Police

Resistance Isn't Always Rational

We needn't endorse the means of desperate people to acknowledge their ends are worth fighting for.

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ShordeeDooWhop/Twitter

I agree with Robby Soave that non-defensive violence is not a good solution, both for moral and tactical reasons. But I nonetheless find myself filled with empathy for the people—rioters? protesters?— who have been engaging in acts of violence against police property, corporate property, and police themselves this afternoon and evening in Baltimore. That's not to say I condone their acts, but I find them understandable. Resistance isn't always rational, nor necessarily kind. Or, to say it another way, desperate people do desperate things. And it is very clear that there are a lot of people in this country in a state of desperation over our unaccountable, ever-encroaching, fee-mongering, violence-first police force and its myriad biases.

I was never a police hater or even much of a police skeptic, you guys. Sure, I believed in bad apples and bad laws—especially concentrated on/around bad policy, like the drug war—but I still believed the vast majority of individual cops and law enforcement agents were basically good. And they still may be, but it doesn't really matter in the face of a system that's so thoroughly stacked, at all levels, against the vulnerable and disenfranchised, as well as toward the perpetuation of its own power and unaccountability. Covering "criminal justice" in various ways for the past year and a half at Reason—from the crafting of legislation aimed at cracking down on criminals of various sorts and the swelling/moral squalor of America's jails and prisons to individual instances of police abuse and the "general warrants" that are vice laws … I don't necessarily think most cops or prosecutors are bad people, but they're fucked (as are we all) by a sweeping, self-perpetuating schemata that knows but one problem and one solution: bad guys and more (thorough) more (prisons) more (funds) more (fear) more (MORE) law enforcement.

Meanwhile, a lot of people still want everyone to pass the perfect victim and perfect rationality test in order to gain at least a shred of sympathy. Last week I wrote about a woman, Suzanne Guzman, who saw her son kidnapped out of her driveway (dad had put him, sleeping, in the family car and then went back inside for a moment) and called the police, a situation that resulted in mom being thrown down, handcuffed, and arrested along with her husband while friends helped locate their son and car. The trouble started when the woman refused to let police into her house until her husband, who was out searching for their son, returned; her initial reason was that she had two big, unfriendly dogs he needed to corral.

Asawin Suebsaeng/Twitter

Police insisted it was policy to first check the house—maybe the boy went back inside (or maybe she was a murderer). Yes, you and I can see, reading about this dispassionately from the Internet, that this is not an entirely unreasonable request and the whole process would probably have gone a lot smoother if she had just wrangled the dogs herself and let the cops in. In any event, her shouting at them and getting immediately defensive didn't help. But neither did the cops' utter lack of warmth, patience, or empathy.

It's not too hard to put yourself in this woman's place, is it? Her son is missing; there's 911 audio of her in hysterics. She's desperate—and here police are seeming to not believe her version of events and not be putting their best efforts into what she believes will help find her son. She has difficult dogs—cops have been known to shoot those. Maybe she is breaking some sort of unrelated law—maybe there's an eighth of weed, a friend's painkiller prescription, or an unregistered weapon inside. Some might say all these pale in comparison to helping cops find one's child, but there was (and she knew this) already an Amber Alert and a cadre of cops out looking for him. Perhaps Guzman judged that nothing was to be gained by letting cops in immediately to search for a son whom she knew wasn't inside; in fact, it could make things worse. If now-agitated officers discovered some infraction in the midst of their search, they may have charged the Guzmans or even tried to take their children away.

Police haven't been above arresting crime victims for low-level offenses in the midst of investigating their cases. When I highlight a case like the Guzman's, it's not necessarily to say, what terrible people these individual cops involved are! but because all these individual instances add up to something. I'm not sure anyone knows what exactly that is yet—there's racism involved, sure, but also poverty, and power, militarization, pay-for-play officers, petty fines, police unions, and a whole lot of cops shooting the mentally ill. There is no simple answer, but some things, or many, are clearly and desperately amiss.

Beyond the harm caused to individual victims and their loved ones, or the outbursts that capture national attention as in Baltimore right now, each of these stories, from the relatively minor to life altering to the fatal—each Suzanne Guzman and Danielle Meitiv and Shona Banda, each Freddie Gray, Eric Harris, and Walter Scott—breeds more of a stealthily toxic dynamic between police and those they're supposed to be protecting. People in certain communities have long preached the axiom "never call the police" (i.e., they'll only  make things worse). It's getting to the point where that advice seems wise for a wider and wider swath of people. 

Perhaps our perfect victims will never have to worry. But most of us are not perfect victims. And some could never be no matter how rule-abiding their lives. We shouldn't be asking people to be perfect before they deserve respect, constitutional protections, equal treatment under the law, and a modicum of understanding.

I'm a pretty mild-mannered and non-confrontational person, but I've raised my voice at overzealous traffic cops and excessively bureaucratic customer-service reps. Dealing with a seemingly needless level of surveillance and inflexible-authority can be frustrating. Imagine if that was your only or ongoing experience with law enforcement. Imagine if those traffic cops had a robust record of randomly shooting people who looked like you.

Those rioting and perpetuating violence against Baltimore cops weren't being imminently threatened. It's easy to point fingers at them. It's warranted on one level. But we all know that, right? We also know that in some cases, history forgives non-directly defensive violence. It's a hyperbolic comparison, sure, but those boats full of British tea weren't directly threatening anyone's life or liberty. 

All I'm really trying to say is there's a binary in blame that's both all too prevalent and all too unproductive. We needn't endorse the means of desperate people to acknowledge their ends are worth fighting for, nor must imperfect acts of resistance prove the roots of this resistance unworthy. Condemning the counter-productiveness of such acts is fine, but it shouldn't ignore the context these imperfect acts take place in. Sometimes people take to the streets not with well-planned political agendas or thoughts to how it will play out on Twitter but with a raw, terrified, excitable, and justified anger at an unjust state. 

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  1. Where are the gun owners using their weapons to defend their property?

    Oh, this is Baltimore where guns are controlled but the people (and the cops) aren’t.

    1. This is a city where bike cops take their jobs very serious. On a bicycle. While wearing a helmet.

      1. They need training wheels. Police statism and Mob rule are both to blame. The biggest blame should be laid at the feet of the Progressives and their use of the welfare state dependency program.

        1. The Welfare state has been an intrinsic and necessary part of the Bismarckian governmental model, where the poor and the working class (or their leaders, anyway) are bought off, and the elites thereby freed for war and imperialism abroad and fiscal con games at home. I’d hesitate to call it ‘progressive’ since it hasn’t changed much other than to slowly deteriorate.

          In other news, it seems funny to make fun of the cops for riding bicycles. I’d rather see them on bicycles than riding around in tanks and APCs, myself.

      2. Nothing conveys an image of authority like a man, or woman, wearing spandex and riding a bicycle.

    2. It would be nice if people would admit that these people are savages though. This is no different than the savages on the streets of Somalia.
      Granted cops are scary too but the mob scenes look like hyenas on a kill.

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      1. http://www.plusaf.com/linkedin…..hsense.jpg

        Lumera… who the fuck cares?

  2. Never call the police.

    1. Well, I call them names, but I know what you mean….good advice. Always.

    2. I’ll call you.

    3. Call a hippie.

  3. “We needn’t endorse the means of desperate people to acknowledge their ends are worth fighting for, nor must imperfect acts of resistance prove the roots of this resistance unworthy. Condemning the counter-productiveness of such acts is fine, but it shouldn’t ignore the context these imperfect acts take place in.”

    Well put. Increasingly more important to avoid the extreme ends of the spectrum.

    1. Condemning the counter-productiveness of such acts is fine, but it shouldn’t ignore the context within which these imperfect acts take place in.”

      C-

  4. Let me put it this way, based on the just-war criteria by which some of us (at least) measure the justifiability of a rebellion (just cause, exhaustion of alternative means, reasonable chance of success).

    George III: Let’s see, oppressed the people, could not be held to account at the polls because Americans didn’t vote for him or his Parliament, repeated petitions for redress spurned, decent chance of successful rebellion.

    Baltimore/MD/US government: Oppressive, yes, but subject to being fired by voters. If the voters are too apathetic to do this, they’re too apathetic to rebel. No serious chance of a successful rebellion. Govt responsive to votes and lawsuits if people have the guts to use these tools.

    Hmmm..can you see how rebelling against good old George is a bit better idea than rebelling against the current establishment?

    But of course we’re not talking about approving the rioters, just “understanding” them. That sort of Otto Kernerism is a recipe for disastrous public policy.

    If the riots aren’t justified, then they’re a threat to liberty and property (and maybe to life) – and the authorities need to read them the actual, literal Riot Act and then have the boldness to attack those who won’t disperse.

    1. You show not the slightest bit of reading comprehension. Empathy seems to not be your strong suit. Isn’t it a military axiom that to defeat the enemy, you must understand him?

      No one is claiming the rioters were in the right. But that doesn’t mean they were as alien as Martian war robots. It doesn’t preclude trying to understand how human their reaction is.

      Have you never been desperate? Have you always been calm, cool, and collected?

      1. Empathy is overrated. There is right and there is wrong. Understanding does not make right.

        1. No, but understanding is one step in solving the problem. Blind finger pointing is, literally, pointless.

          1. – “No, but understanding is one step in solving the problem. Blind finger pointing is, literally, pointless.”

            Deluding yourself into thinking that you understand something – because what you’ve deluded yourself into believing makes you feel better about yourself – is not the same as actually understanding it.

            We still don’t yet know exactly what happened to Mr. Gray, and neither do those who are using the event as an excuse to loot and destroy private property. Just like it wasn’t yet clear what happened in Ferguson, but looting and rioting was rationalized there in the same way….even after no less than FBI’s investigation, under Eric Holder’s direction, publicly concluded that the evidence did NOT support the “Hands up, don’t shoot” narrative version of events.

        2. Empathy is overrated? What? Empathy is origin of all human morality, the “right and wrong” you mention. Without empathy, we would fail as a social species. We would have gone extinct long ago.

          1. People like you have empathy for Stalin and hitler

        3. In a hopeless and desperate situation, the citizenry may rise in rebellion or struggle for liberty, and the whole world would empathize with them. A lot of people even fell for the Arab Spring.

          But this isn’t NK or Commie Russia. A good chunk of these rioters (not protesters) are merely grievance mongerers who often lash out at the establishment. There are already instances of citizenry rising up against police misconduct without resorting violence. The aftermath of the Kelly Thomas tragedy comes to mind.

          They chose to be violent and put a scare into an entire state. Truth be told, the immigrant community wasn’t boiling in anger over the Rodney King incident. It was a news worthy event like the OJ saga or the first Iraq war. The riots wrecked lives and set back race relations for decades. Many Koreans who would otherwise empathize with the protesters would click their tongue at the riots.

          1. Many Koreans clicked the safety off on their weapons as I remember the Rodney King Riots.

        4. “Empathy is overrated.”

          That right there in a nutshell is why the libertarian movement is having such a hard time making any headway.

          Empathy and reciprocity are the two pillars of morality. How can you have any minority rights without empathy? Lack of empathy is how you get majority rule with no minority rights.

          1. It’s called morality and commpassion.

          2. My experience is that I see a lot of people becoming libertarians now.In the year 2007,the libertarian movement had about 200,000 people. Now polls show we have between 15,000,000 to 20,000,000 post classical liberal era. SO I believe libertarians are doing just fine.

            1. Being 5 to 8 percent of 330,000,000 people in the United states is good.

              1. Not sure if you are being sarcastic, but I’d say for a third party being 5-8 percent is actually astoundingly successful. That of course doesn’t include the rather large percent of Republicans (and even some Democrats) with strong libertarian values. If the Libertarian party could pull 8 percent of the vote every election I, for one, would be overjoyed, and we would see our beliefs actually represented by politicians, which is hardly the case currently.

              2. Blist… nice red herring, but it’s not 5-8% of the Total Population that makes it noticeable… it’s 5-8% of The VOTERS… major difference!

                My grandkids can’t vote (yet) but I’ll do my best to try to prevent them from becoming extreme Liberals OR extreme Conservatives!

          3. That right there in a nutshell is why the libertarian movement is having such a hard time making any headway.

            He’s not a libertarian, he’s an Objectivist.

      2. Wait, wait, wait – these people are not attacking opposing forces, by and large, they are attacking the innocent and destroying the properties, not of their oppressors, but of their neighbors and anyone who seeks to equate looting opportunists and thugs attacking random motorists with those seeking social justice is full of it. I makes me think of the “LA 6” or 5 or whatever it is – those savages who pulled Reginald Denny out of his truck and beat him right to the brink of death – with respect to anyone who defends these people as victims in someway, well, fuck them. You know, I fill my facebook page with report after report of police misconduct and brutality and examples of the victimization of minorities by our justice system, but that doesn’t mean that I think that there is ANY justification for destroying the property or harming the innocent.

        1. ^this^ IMO anyone caught looting or destroying other people’s property should be shot. Giving rioters room to destroy is just plain stupid,

          1. and I felt The Same Way when a bunch of Greens destroyed bulldozers or Hummers in CA some decades ago…

            Protest is fine, but if you destroy private property in the process, THAT ‘bright red line’ has been crossed.

    2. I didn’t realize that Baltimore had a law on the books allowing individual cops to be voted off the force.

      1. If voting could do that it would be illegal. Just like removing them with a hurled chunk of concrete is.

        1. USPS is right.

          1. American Letter Mail Company

            I temporarily switched to the handle in homage to one of my best friends as an adolescent. He grew up to be a successful expressman. He passed recently.

    3. “George III: Let’s see, oppressed the people, could not be held to account at the polls because Americans didn’t vote for him or his Parliament, repeated petitions for redress spurned…”

      Gary North begs to differ:

      Not counting local taxation, I discovered that the total burden of British imperial taxation was about 1% of national income. It may have been as high as 2.5% in the southern colonies.

      The colonists had a sweet deal in 1775. Great Britain was the second freest nation on earth. Switzerland was probably the most free nation, but I would be hard-pressed to identify any other nation in 1775 that was ahead of Great Britain. And in Great Britain’s Empire, the colonists were by far the freest.

      I will say it, loud and clear: the freest society on earth in 1775 was British North America, with the exception of the slave system. Anyone who was not a slave had incomparable freedom.

      http://www.garynorth.com/public/8215.cfm

      1. Gary North is insane…

      2. The whole *point* of the American revolutionaries was that they thought the British were *plotting to take away their freedom,* and that they were starting out by establishing the *principle* of taxation without representation, and in short the right to legislate for the colonies without the consent of the colonists or their representatives.

        First, of course, the Brits had to establish these new powers by innocuous-looking laws. “Look, it’s only a *small* degree of taxation without representation!” Then, once that’s accepted, you’ve conceded the principle and tyranny is at the door.

        1. And by definition, if your grievance is taxation without representation, you can’t vote out the people who don’t represent you.

          1. When voting, 50% – 1 people get representatives who don’t represent them.

            1. I’m talking about the feasibility of armed revolution and the exhaustion of peaceful alternatives.

              1. Well that’s what you still end up with after the revolution. That’s why I’m for rebellion without revolution.

                1. What the fuck is “rebellion without revolution”? Do you mean infrequent violence just to keep the government in check? Because that’s the only reasonable explanation I can come up with for your post. Even then, not sure how reasonable that belief is.

                  1. flinging a phrase like that around without definition or explanation is a classic means of avoiding a serious discussion. Think ‘warmites’….

        2. The whole *point* of the American revolutionaries was that they thought the British were *plotting to take away their freedom,* and that they were starting out by establishing the *principle* of taxation without representation, and in short the right to legislate for the colonies without the consent of the colonists or their representatives.

          One of the things that radicalized Ben Franklin was seeing how Britain’s restraint of Irish trade was impoverishing the people there. And the British most definitely wanted to impose similar controls on the American colonies.

      3. People are less likely to revolt now because they’re so much richer than then. Today even though the sovereign takes so much more of what you have, the more economic way to deal with it is simply to produce more rather than try to defend your possessions.

        1. Here Here.

          We are way too rich for there to be an armed revolution in this country as more and more of our freedoms are removed.

          It’s almost like someone put a frog into a pot of water and slowly turned up the heat.

    4. “Baltimore/MD/US government: Oppressive, yes, but subject to being fired by voters.”

      This is an assumption that, in the case of the Baltimore or Maryland governments is mistaken. The Democrat party machine if Maryland is pretty blatant. When I lived in the area (from 1980-1998) it was generally known that the only reason there had never been a huge court case over Democrat vote fraud was that the process of investigation was wholly in the hands of Democrat political hacks who had no interest in pursuing it. I’ve read some things that assert that this has changed to some degree, but I suspect that the public in general don’t believe that they really have a voice.

    5. True rebellion is against the state not your fellow citizens and this is what is happening in these riots thus they loose the moral high ground and people loose empathy for them when those who had nothing to do with the problem, loose property and life.

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  5. Oh, rioters don’t just loot and destroy, they strengthen the hand of the police. Good going, guys.

    1. Are you trying to make a farce of victim blaming? Are you now saying that the rioters are responsible for police immunity and police union elitism?

      Of COURSE the rioters shouldn’t have rioted, looted, destroyed. But actions have consequences, and actions have causes, and the intermingling spreads blame forwards and backwards. Sure the Iranians shouldn’t have invaded the Tehran embassy in 1980. But the US shouldn’t have overthrown their government in 1954, and the government shouldn’t have stolen oil companies, and the oil companies shouldn’t have stolen oil rights, and on and on backwards we go.

      To pinpoint blame on one specific act is insane.

      1. the US shouldn’t have overthrown their government in 1954

        The USG never did, and they absolutely should have.

        To pinpoint blame on one specific act is insane.

        No it isn’t. What you’re doing is just dispersing blame into the ether. No moral world can exist with that kind of thinking. Eddie is right; the rioters are weakening the police reform movement.

      2. “Are you now saying that the rioters are responsible for police immunity and police union elitism?”

        No.

      3. No, what Eddie is doing is making the rational point that violence leads in the long term to greater police intrusions into the lives of the public because people want to be safe. SWAT teams started because of the legitimate danger of active shooters and the perceived need for an elite unit to neutralize such threats. Now they serve no-knock warrants at 2 in the morning because an anonymous snitch said someone had weed.

        Violence begets violence and violence against third parties who have done nothing wrong cannot be tolerated for just that reason.

      4. The UK did a lot more in overthrowing the Iranian PM in 1954. The US played a supporting role

    2. Exactly. You don’t get sympathy looting a CVS or burning down and old folks home.

    3. True, if they would just vote for themselves…stop with the hive mentality of voting the getfreestuff party. (the other party isn’t much better, but at least make a dim-0-rat earn your vote)

  6. At what point, in the pretty unlikely scenario that the Nation of Islam or Black Panthers or some other black partisan group came to dominate regionally in the midst of racial discontent like the current climate, should libertarians begin rooting for the separatists? I realize we’re not anarchists, but libertarians tend to stand alone in recognizing the right of secession from a tyrannizing government. Democrat-controlled inner-cities with their repressive economic regimes and brutalizing cop gangs qualify as local despots far better than most of the gripes libertarians would like to take to war. So when is a separatist group no longer a criminal insurgency but a force of freedom fighters?

    1. repressive economic regimes and brutalizing cop gangs

      You’re making a big assumption that those separatists oppose those two things.

      1. Exactly right.

        The people of the inner cities have bought this line of BS from the Democrats that more government intervention will solve poverty and crime. Until these voters pull their heads out of the sand, there’s little that can be done for them.

        1. Should our founding generation have continued petitioning George III until he or his successor relented? I mean, they might have installed another monarchy after giving his the boot. Better to endure as subjects than take the risk, right?

          1. (I don’t actually doubt that you’re right, but I’m not content with that response as an answer to my question.)

            1. Should we support the Communists, neo-Nazis and ISIS because they don’t like the USG?

              1. Not actually my point, but in short order: no, no, and no. My benchmark for legitimacy isn’t anti-USG but withdrawing from the local municipal or state-run political machine. More like vigorously disincorporating from the local polity.

                1. Well if they don’t have terrible economic policies and express a dislike for police that goes beyond wanting their own gang of thugs to take their place then sure…

                  1. I guess that’s all I really wanted, after all.

                    I mean, it sucks that the best we can come up with is a Muntz laugh and “Serves you right, you voted for ’em,” which suits me when the subject is butthurt middle-class white liberals in their suburbs or dippy college students on campuses or Seattleites and San Franciscans dealing with the fallout of boosting the minimum wage dramatically. It’s something altogether different when the subject is a bunch of blacks in cities not overrepresented so much as dominated by one political party. They’re specimens in an experiment playing out since the late 60s with the advent of huge social welfare investments, and it’s been disastrous from top to bottom. As satisfying as it is to watch white lefties squirm while they pretend to excuse Hillary’s many foibles, it’s less satisfying to watch the tantrums play out in urban settings where blacks have literally nothing else going for them except the patronage of a wealthy aristocratic white upper class.

                    1. And before anyone accuses me of racial pandering and privilege shaming, because I can feel my skin crawl, I think there’s a significant difference between communities that live within and without the nexus of social welfare programs. And the communities which tend to live within are essentially ethnic clients to the bureaucrats and politicians who hold the pursestrings. It’s a morally perverting, spiritually numbing state of affairs made all the worse by economic policies inhibiting growth and criminal injunctions against, shall we say, alternative lines of work. I don’t believe people are born into privilege any more than I believe in the doctrine of predestination, but it’s pretty obvious that ongoing social welfare policies are keeping captive populations for whom more of the same is the only choice available.

                    2. That’s essentially removing agency from people because they’re ostensibly too poor/stupid to know any better.

                    3. Yes, nail meet head. Inner city nightmare scenarios are almost 100% Team blue plantations. Been that way for 50 years.

                      And the national team blue calls for more free shit won’t help. As a rational person I’d guess most people in Baltimore would like a decent education and a shot at a decent living, just like everyone else. The problem is that the team blue fucktards care more about retaining their power in these cities than actually addressing the reason that their voters get hassled endlessly by the man. Because they want the coin to fund to fund idiotic policies that do nothing to improve their situation.

                      It would be nice if these people could realize that more freedom to do business would be to their benefit and that their team blue masters pass laws that prevent it.

                      Until that happens, I’m not very optimistic.

          2. Why not? The Dominion of New England was gotten rid of without revolution.

            1. A relatively(?) non-violent revolution is a still a revolution.

    2. So when is a separatist group no longer a criminal insurgency but a force of freedom fighters?

      Honest answer? Almost never, which is why revolution tends to be so bloody and destabilizing. As far as establishing a rule in favor of violence against authorities goes, I’d point out that none of us are flocking to countries where rebels are as common as pi?ata parties (Columbia has had some 50+ attempted rebellions since WWII, for example).

    3. Simple answer
      Your a freedom fighter when you go after the state.
      Your a gang, criminal insurgency, when you loot and destroy your neighbors property.

    4. So when is a separatist group no longer a criminal insurgency but a force of freedom fighters?

      At the same moment any group of rebels becomes legitimate:
      When they win. Until then, they are traitors, and will be hung as such.

  7. Baltimore ain’t exactly Selma.

    1. juris imprudent|4.27.15 @ 10:31PM|#
      “Baltimore ain’t exactly Selma.”

      True, but I’m sure blacks have higher expectations than Bull Connor gave them at the time. We no longer expect a kid to end up in the canal tied to a mill-stone.

  8. Sorry but I have no empathy for people who vandalize and destroy the private businesses or private property of others.

    If you beef is with the police then take it up with the police. The guy who owns the corner market had nothing to do with it.

    1. If you have no empathy, then you are a sociopath. I think you probably mean you have no sympathy. I would have thought readers of Reason would know the difference. I guess my expectations were too high.

    2. Well said. If this was truly motivated “resistance” and not an excuse to steal and engage in vandalism the only targets would be the police or government. Not private business, churches or peoples homes.

  9. Shoot the looters.

    1. Congress is still in session, isn’t it….

  10. I don’t understand destroying or stealing a third party’s property. Unless you mean that you understand that some people simply wish to steal and destroy property, and will take any opportunity to do so when they can get away with it. I understand the protests, the clashes with police, but as Gilbert said – third parties have nothing to do with it.

  11. But I nonetheless find myself filled with empathy for the people?rioters? protesters?? who have been engaging in acts of violence against….corporate property…

    No disrespect, Ms Nolan-Brown, but that is one of the most insanely idiotic things I’ve every read a columnist at Reason post. And Reason features Sheldon Richman. The companies doing business in Baltimore are doing just that. Doing business. They aren’t the police. They aren’t the ones abusing people. They’re in that city selling people stuff they want. Whatever the grievances of the people you’re talking about, the corporations doing business in Baltimore aren’t responsible for it. So, let me ask, if some guy, angry about, say excessive marginal tax rates, punched you in the face, would you “understand” his anger? Would you “understand” why he decided you were a legitimate punching bag? I would most certainly hope not. But, there’s really no difference. That was a moronic and vile statement. And if you really believe it, you should be ashamed of yourself.

    1. Does anyone here know what the term “empathy” means? It doesn’t mean one finds another person’s actions beliefs justified, and it is not synonymous with sympathy.

      I don’t believe the rioting is justified, and I think it’s also counterproductive. But understanding how or why a group of people reaches the point where this stuff happens doesn’t make me or anyone else a terrible person anymore than someone explaining how the Nazis gained popularity with the German people is justifying said support.

      1. *or

      2. No, these people seem to think empathy means agreeing with the looters.

        I admit to a lack of empathy with such blatant and willful misunderstanding of a simple word.

      3. Empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

        https://www.google.com/#q=empathy

        Here’s the thing. I don’t give a shit about their feelings. Hell, I don’t give a shit about my own in that context. What they’re doing is wrong. Period. No “ands’, “ifs” or “buts”. It’s wrong to destroy the property of innocent people because you’re angry. And no, I don’t “share” their feelings. It’s the basic level of moral self-control we expect of people in a civilized society. And people who can’t practice that basic level of self-control are properly regarded as moral retards.

        And by the way, I’m not particularly impressed by your or Brown’s “it’s counterproductive” nonsense. What? If it got the ends you want, you’d be fine with it? You might want to take a good hard look at what that says about you.

        1. Great job cherrypicking there Bill. How about a full definition from Webster’s?

          “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also : the capacity for this”

          Words can have broad or multiple meanings, but it’s simply not true that the word empathy necessitates agreement.

          “Here’s the thing. I don’t give a shit about their feelings. Hell, I don’t give a shit about my own in that context. What they’re doing is wrong. Period. No “ands’, “ifs” or “buts”. It’s wrong to destroy the property of innocent people because you’re angry. And no, I don’t “share” their feelings. It’s the basic level of moral self-control we expect of people in a civilized society. And people who can’t practice that basic level of self-control are properly regarded as moral retards”

          Ok, sure, no one fucking said it isn’t wrong. At the end of the day, simply repeating that doesn’t do anything to further any sort of understanding as to why these things happen or how they could be solved or prevented in the future. Just because some people engage in analysis of criminal activity that goes beyond “bad people do bad things” doesn’t make them immoral apologist scum.

          1. Great job cherrypicking there Bill.

            Cherry-picking?! It was the definition that came up directly on a Google search.

            1. And of course it was the only one, right? There are plenty of definitions of empathy that do not require someone to share the other person’s feelings. It can mean that, but it is not required. The fact that ENB explicitly stated on multiple occasions that she did not agree with the actions taken by rioters should indicate that she was not using that definition of the word.

              1. The fact that ENB explicitly stated on multiple occasions that she did not agree with the actions taken by rioters should indicate that she was not using that definition of the word.

                Not necessarily. Sharing another’s feelings isn’t the same as condoning their actions based on those feelings.

                Also, it’s entirely possible that, even with your more generous definition, some people simply can’t empathize with folks whose first impulse at a slight towards their identity group is to break and steal shit from people who didn’t cause the slight. You can disagree with it AND simply not understand it, be sensitive to it, or vicariously experience it. It’s difficult for people who’ve never had that impulse to relate to it or explain it, in the same way that it’s difficult for people who’ve never strapped on a suicide vest to understand, be sensitive to, or explain it. It’s hard to rationally relate to irrationality.

        2. “And by the way, I’m not particularly impressed by your or Brown’s “it’s counterproductive” nonsense. What? If it got the ends you want, you’d be fine with it?”

          Yes Bill that’s exactly what I said. Literally took the words right out of my mouth. It couldn’t possibly be that I was simply remarking on the fact that their actions aren’t even productive on the grounds the people are engaging in them on, I clearly meant that they would be totally justified if they did get their way. You must possess the same ability to mindread that so many progressives who read ridiculous shit into other people’s words do.

        3. Bill Dalasio: That was an awful definition of empathy you linked, but I’m sure you chose it because it fits the narrative you’re trying to spin.

          Empathy is central to who we are as a social species. It’s how we pass information from one generation to the next (teaching). It’s why movies and TV shows entertain us. It’s why, when you see someone cry, you might feel your own emotions start to well up…unless you’re a sociopath, in which case you have my sympathy because your missing out on a lot in this life.

          There is a biological basis for this. Your brain (assuming you aren’t mentally deficient/sociopath) has mirror neurons which respond to what you see other people do. As a result, watching someone play the piano, for example, is the same as playing the piano yourself. Your brain reacts the same way. Unless you’re a sociopath.

          1. Nothing like being lectured on empathy by somebody who screams SOCIOPATH when encountering a different point of view.

            1. I assume you agree with the content of my post since all you managed to mention was nonsense about “screaming”. I’ll try to be more sensitive with my tone in the future so I can avoid offending your delicate sensibilities.

              1. I assume

                Yeah, you could have stopped there. I kinda got that when you accused anyone who doesn’t share your own “delicate sensibilities” of being a sociopath. Can you pull anything else out of that hat, or does that about sum ‘er up?

          2. You may choose to allow your feelings to dominate you, to let them take the place of a rational assessment of facts and a considered assessment of the morality of people’s behavior.

            Grown ups don’t. In fact, reaching the point where considered judgement takes precedence over emotional outbursts is generally considered kind of a necessity to consider someone mature.

            Not all emotions are legitimate. That person crying who got your emotions to well up might well be crying because “we haven’t reached the judgement day where the white man rises up and puts the black man back in his place”. If you’re getting all emotional for him, you’re a buffoon.

            And as I pointed out before, the definition I chose was the very first thing that came up on the Google search.

  12. I saw this show before. It was called the French and Russian Revolutions. Worked out well.

    1. Jefferson was a big fan of the French revolution.

  13. Maybe she is breaking some sort of unrelated law?maybe there’s an eighth of weed, a friend’s painkiller prescription, or an unregistered weapon inside. … Perhaps Guzman judged that nothing was to be gained by letting cops in immediately to search for a son whom she knew wasn’t inside; in fact, it could make things worse.

    Well put, but isn’t it a sad statement when bullet point number one on the list of reasons why I may not want cops to ransack my house isn’t that, absent a warrant, it’s my sovereign domain? And that turning down a cop should be a rebuke to their indiscretion in demanding access, rather than an admission of as-yet uncorroborated guilt?

    You can enumerate a thousand reasons why it’s preferable not to give strangers access to your home to rifle through your goods and come up with reasons to hassle you, but it’s heartbreaking given our history of civilly differing with authority that it comes to utilitarian reasons to deny an unwarranted search rather than the principle of the thing: No, thank you, I understand your sentiment, but no, this is my home.

  14. Very well written, even convincing. But the Boston Tea Party was an act of vandalism, not protest, in the opinion of many contemporaries, including B. Franklin. Of course Sam Adam’s did think differently….maybe the comparison is apt?

    1. Of course. But at least the “tea party” addressed the actual source of the outrage. The tea partiers did not just randomly assault and rob their neighbors. Looting a liquor store does nothing to address police misconduct. Lashing out randomly when you are angry is what a toddler does.

      1. Perhaps looting a liquor store and only taking Sam Adams?

  15. I don’t find it surprising that ENB is both a copsucker and a looting-apologist. Seems pretty typical for a progressive.

    1. Someone’s waiting for an opening at Huffpo…

      1. Salon. Isn’t that where all ‘recovering libertarians’ end up?

    2. I’m going to make a wild guess that this is the same big brain who was frothing about “faggots” in the other thread.

      either = “liberal troll pretending to be fire-breathing conservative”

      or

      its actually just our resident racist, “American”

    3. Looters are copsuckers best tools.

  16. But I nonetheless find myself filled with empathy for the people?rioters? protesters?

    So, you don’t know that the rioters and the protesters are not the same people?

    Good grief.

    1. Once again, pretty typical for a progressive.

      There are peaceful protestors.
      (signs, chanting, marching, meandering about expressing their extreme displeasure with the government and their armed henchmen)

      There are violent protestors.
      (battling riot cops, throwing stuff, destroying police and government property)

      Then there are opportunistic criminals engaging in property destruction, random violence and theft

      1. Violent protesters who targeted the cops responsible (or their department/offices/chief) would be justified.

        The others not at all.

  17. I can not have empathy for the rioters. Their destruction of property and terrorizing the innocent negate sympathy. I support the peaceful protestors, but these are roving bands of savages.

    1. You, too, do not understand basic English. Empathy does not mean agree.

      1. If someone has empathy for Hitler,then explain to me what the word mean .

        1. It’s the ability to essentially be able to imagine another person’s perspective, which doesn’t depend at all on agreeing in any way with that perspective. You don’t have empathy “for” someone, by the way, you empathize “with” them. They receive nothing, it’s not “sympathy”.

          God, do people even learn English anymore.

    2. Empathy with.

  18. I would be sympathetic to this sort of article if I hadn’t read that people were saying the exact same things about revolutionary violence during the French and Russian Revolutions.

    1. Honestly, couldn’t someone say the same damned hing about a Jim Crow era lynch party?

      “Hey, those rednecks were angry someone raped one of the women in their community. And the police weren’t acting with sufficient speed in punishing the culprits. I might not condone the mob’s acts, but that doesn’t mean they’re not understandable.”

      1. I think we may have a threadwinner.

      2. If the cops are preventing a lynching and due process has exonerated or declined to indict the supposed perpetrator, that’s just murder. If the cops are themselves guilty of maiming and murdering, that’s another thing altogether.

        Looting and rioting are still idiot ways to go about demonstrating your discontent.

        1. Oh, now, now, Dweebston, why are you expecting rationality from people “desperate” for justice?

          Of course, none of this is to justify it at all. Just to understand it.

          1. Yeah, I don’t buy it for a minute. Organize, rally, and when the political process fail (as it will, when the left is predominates the way it does), then you resort to nonviolent, noncoercive demonstrations. And when that fails… I have no idea.

        2. But it got att’n, didn’t it? So did the disturbances of 50 yrs. ago. Some people are satisfied by the policy response to the disturbances of that time. They got, approximately, what they wanted. Others didn’t, & still others got the opposite of what they wanted. But you can’t deny that things were shaken up. If you don’t like the status quo, there’s a good chance that riots will change it, just that you don’t know what directions the change will take.

          1. The ’68 riots destroyed large parts of the West Side in Baltimore. The area was already reeling from urban renewal and planning geniuses who developed the high-rise projects of the ’50s. You’ve got three or four or five generations of poverty.

            The area never recovered from the last swath of violence.

      3. Yes, exactly. The rednecks were pretty poor, often sharecroppers and sent their kids to work as child labor. And they were worried that blacks would TAKE DER JOBS, kill them and rape their women.

      4. Someone could say the same thing about violence from any group deemed sufficiently underprivileged. Literally any group.

        I mean, Hindus in India have dealt with Muslim terrorist attacks, so clearly it would be ‘understandable’ if they just murdered all the Muslims!

        It’s the same sort of logic, which is why I have a problem with the argument.

        1. But the point of the argument isn’t to justify it, it’s to explain why it happens. Limiting explanations and analysis of these incidents to just “bad people are doing bad things and they should stop doing it,” while not untrue, is a major oversimplification and isn’t very productive in any sort of discussion as to how to resolve or combat the issue at hand.

          1. No offense but if you think that empathizing with violent people is the key to resolving their issues then you might be new to this world.

            1. and I’m using empathizing to mean “understanding”, you may not be in agreement but you’re still not helping

            2. You don’t think understanding violent people is important when it comes to reducing violence?

              1. I don’t think your sentence actually means anything there.

                and i think you can understand people better than they understand themselves, and it aint worth a fucking thing if you aren’t in a position to do anything about it.

                1. Gil, sure, I don’t disagree, but my point is that even so one isn’t a moral monster merely for trying to understand why these things happen beyond “bad people do bad things for no reason.” And while no one here is capable of doing anything to solve the issues at hand, that doesn’t mean society as a whole isn’t (though obviously even then there’s not exactly an easy or simple fix to anything).

                  1. one isn’t a moral monster merely for trying to understand why these things happen

                    I don’t think anyone has called ENB a “moral monster”, just a fucking moron.

                    1. But no really has offered an explanation as to why other than it offends their sensibilities to react with anything more nuanced than “These people are wrong, end of story.” Yes they’re wrong, that doesn’t mean there’s no other issue at play or that we can just chalk this up to being no more complex than immoral people doing immoral things. Again, is someone who tries to understand why many German people supported the Nazis a fucking moron for doing so?

                    2. But no really has offered an explanation as to why other than it offends their sensibilities to react with anything more nuanced than “These people are wrong, end of story

                      Charlie Hebdo?

                    3. But no really has offered an explanation as to why

                      They have, but you’ve just written them all off with the same boilerplate crap about how nobody except you and ENB knows the true meaning of empathy.

                      is someone who tries to understand why many German people supported the Nazis a fucking moron for doing so?

                      The causes of European anti-Semitism and the rise of national socialism in Germany have been studied and investigated ad nauseum, and the kind of people who would preface such an examination with disclaimers like:

                      I nonetheless find myself filled with empathy for the people?rioters? protesters?? who have been engaging in acts of violence against police property, corporate property, and police themselves this afternoon and eveningNovember 8th, 1923 in BaltimoreMunich. That’s not to say I condone their acts, but I find them understandable. Resistance isn’t always rational, nor necessarily kind

                      Are rightly dismissed as Nazi apologist crackpots.

                    4. “November 8th, 1923 ”

                      Sure, blame it on the beer drinkers.

              2. Reducing=Eliminating?

                1. Playa – que?

          2. ” it’s to explain why it happens.”

            It doesn’t.

            See my point below.

            1. I agree with a lot of points made, but your fallback explanation is still overly simplistic and has too many holes in it.

              “And the idiots doing it aren’t doing it for any other reason than “they can”. they’re just punks.”

              This doesn’t actually tell us anything. Any group of people anywhere is capable of rioting. There are punks everywhere. Rioting isn’t some sort of societal inevitability that happens without regard to social circumstance, simply because there’s a set number of punks (who are punks for no reason) waiting around for an excuse to raise hell.

              1. “This doesn’t actually tell us anything. ‘

                So much better to do some 50,000foot pop-psychoanalyzing!

                my point was that when ENB says, “their ends are worth fighting for.’?

                that its entirely a bunch of bullshit projection.

                when someone smashes into a store and steals stuff, their ‘end’ is not some larger ‘social justice’ and ‘police misconduct reform’.

                their end is, ‘Free shit’.

                ” Rioting isn’t some sort of societal inevitability that happens without regard to social circumstance’

                No. and as i pointed out = Bmore is one of the worst run cities in america, with one of the most concentrated and criminal populations in the country, and the riots that have taken place elsewhere have certainly primed places like this for their own.

                Did you miss that part? i thought it was clear.

                1. “when someone smashes into a store and steals stuff, their ‘end’ is not some larger ‘social justice’ and ‘police misconduct reform’.

                  their end is, ‘Free shit’.”

                  I agree that wasn’t good phrasing by ENB. And many people looting probably are just opportunistic, but that doesn’t mean anger over police brutality, misconduct, and the entire socioeconomic situation in these neighborhoods isn’t a reason why some of these people decide to do messed up shit like this. I think the reason ENB said that is because a lot of cop-defenders will use these incidents to attack anyone who supports criminal justice or police reform and to try to delegitimize the complaints of such people. I know multiple people like that in my own family.

                  “Did you miss that part? i thought it was clear.”

                  No, I didn’t, hence why I said I agree with a lot of your points. But the line I quoted doesn’t really jive with that sentiment. There are clearly reasons besides “because they can.” The riots didn’t just happen randomly, which you yourself acknowledge.

                  1. Kind of sounds like you’re willing to dismiss as an accident of “phrasing” just about every bit of ENB’s Tumblr-quality bullshit just so long as you can both, as middle class whitebread crackers, share in your experience of publicly and loudly “empathizing” with brown people despite having absolutely no actual first-hand knowledge of their circumstances whatsoever.

                    1. I’ve lived in South LA for four years, so it’s not like I have no experience with poverty-stricken, high crime urban environments, or policing in such communities.

                      If I wanted to impress people through social signaling my empathy with brown people, I certainly wouldn’t do it on Reason.com of all places.

                    2. ” I certainly wouldn’t do it on Reason.com of all places.’

                      true dat

                      when it comes to these occasional differences of …. not even ‘opinion’, but how things are expressed…. i tend to give you a lot more credit than most. you’ve got boatloads more honesty and sincerity than many people who are flogging the ‘gawkeresque’ position.

                    3. Where in South LA? You better say somewhere south of MLK.

              2. The black community has been influenced by Marxism for a 100 years now. W.E.B Dubios, black panthers,a lot of civil rights leaders, etc… were socialist leaders of the black community.Black gangs also came from marxism for example, the bloods and the crips(who came from the black panther party).So the political subversion of marxism has been in the black community for years.

          3. You do know that “desperate people rising up and we must understand them” is also rather simplistic and isn’t really productive either?

            1. By itself, no, but I think it allows for a lot more productive analysis than “bad people do bad things for no real reason” does.

              1. “bad people do bad things for no real reason”

                Who has actually said that?

                1. “Who has actually said that?’

                  Ding ding ding.

                2. If anyone who attempts to understand the reasoning behind the actions is attacked as an apologist, then what are you left with? If anything beyond “this is wrong, they are wrong, end of story” is not acceptable, then what other explanation is there to give?

                  And Gilmore, you yourself just said “And the idiots doing it aren’t doing it for any other reason than “they can”. they’re just punks.”

                  That’s basically the same thing as my quote.

                  1. “If anyone who attempts to understand the reasoning behind the actions is attacked as an apologist, then what are you left with?”

                    The mistake is assuming there is “reasoning” behind mob violence.

                    My original comment was pointing out that there is a context here far more significant that the recent focus on ‘police misconduct’ in the popular media (e.g. Mike brown, Eric Garner, now Freddie Gray)

                    people who try and use these events to project some kind of motivation on people is self-serving and fucking stupid.

                    There *is* a reason for mob violence. but its not so fucking simple that inarticulate social-justice-lingo-slinging bloggers are going to get within a country mile of reality.

                    1. I would agree that the context goes well beyond recent police misconduct stories and local issues and history are a lot more important. Again, though, there is reasoning behind mob violence. It might not be simple or rational, but that doesn’t mean it happens for no reason (I’m a bit confused by your first sentence and last paragraph, as they contradict each other).

                    2. lol

                      to be clear (dear god, i’m biting obama)

                      this? = “The mistake is assuming there is “reasoning” behind mob violence.”

                      i think is right. “shit happens”. Nobody involved is rioting for any ‘purpose’. there’s no ‘group will’.

                      this? = “There *is* a reason for mob violence.”

                      is simply acknowledging that there are conditions that produced these results.

                      yes , i pretty much fucked myself there. you’re welcome.

  19. i think this needs to be sent back to the editor and have some of the drama-queen washed out.

    I actually don’t even think the rioting necessarily has anything to do with the police misconduct narrative. This shit has been going on forever, and its only gotten media attraction lately. Its a ‘detail’, but not the story.

    If there’s an reasonable and objective angle to ongoing shitshow, its that B-more has been in the running for the one of the worst run, most criminally infested, fuckups of american cities for nearly 2 decades straight.

    And that’s saying something. It means you can go toe to toe with heavyweights like Newark and Detroit. Hell, they can make an HBO series about how fucked up you are? and still no one does anything about it.

    As for the rioting and looting? it was probably going to happen sooner or later. it was predictable after the ferguson, garner media firestorms. All it needed was an excuse and a new setting.

    Its not “justified”. And the idiots doing it aren’t doing it for any other reason than “they can”. they’re just punks.

    If anything, i think the fact that 2014-2015 has had more ‘rioting’ than we’ve seen since the OJ trial? is more about the fact that Obama hasn’t done fuck-all for anyone who is poor and black. And i mean absolutely fucking nothing. Not even pandering speeches.

    1. Empathy DOES NOT MEAN agree. Understanding why looters loot does not mean finding it acceptable.

      1. Violent thugs don’t deserve empathy, sorry. They’re not children.

        1. Deserve empathy? That doesn’t even make sense. Replace that with sympathy and it would make sense. Empathy is not something that people deserve or don’t deserve. It’s something in you. You either have it or you don’t. And if you don’t have empathy, you should see a therapist for help in managing with your anti social personality disorder.

        2. Being able to empathize is a skill/talent/asset/whatever the fuck you want to call it that has nothing to do with whether someone “deserves it”. For example, I would argue you could empathize with Hitler and still think he was an insane despot who deserved a cruel and unusual death. It’s about putting yourself in someone’s shoes and imagining their motivations, however fucked up they may be.

      2. Where did you get the impression i don’t know what empathy is, or that i think someone said looting was ‘acceptable’

        if you have something to respond to, quote what i said, and respond. Otherwise it seems you’re projecting the same point-of-disagreement on everyone not currently applauding.

        1. if you have something to respond to, quote what i said, and respond.

          GILMORE|4.27.15 @ 10:54PM|#

          I’m going to make a wild guess that this is the same big brain who was frothing about “faggots” in the other thread.

          either = “liberal troll pretending to be fire-breathing conservative”

          or

          its actually just our resident racist, “American”

          Good advice. Take it

          1. What, you’re not?

            well, sorry then.

            there have been a number of fly-by assholes lately.

      3. the other day i made a point of re-telling something i’d come across which was an example of the ’empathy/sympathy’ distinction. can’t find it now, but it went like this =

        “a group of soldiers were recently forced to walk a mile in women’s high heels. Doing so surely gave them a great deal of empathy with women’s experiences.

        – any sympathy these men may have had with a woman’s choice to wear high heels was forever erased that day”

      4. So, let me ask. If a bunch of store owners got angry about this and decided to start shooting protesters and rioters indiscriminately, you’d be here reciting their grievances against the protesters in the name of understanding them?

        1. Ah that’s my other annoyance. I don’t hear a lot of hand wringing about we “don’t understand” white racism like lynch mobs, the New York Draft Riots and Jim Crow.

          1. I don’t think that’s true, though. People hardly view the Draft Riots as if they happened for no reason, and people downplay racism of the past all the time because “it was a different time,” “they were raised differently,” etc.

            1. Yes but are there articles bemoaning that we “don’t understand” the lynch mobs?

              1. Well it’s been a while since there’s been a lynch mob in this country, so I’m not sure of the relevance of the comparison. In any case, I think understanding why lynch mobs form is necessary to any effort to solve the problem and the underlying issues. One key difference is that lynch mobs were socially acceptable in much of the country for long periods of time. Society doesn’t condone rioting to anywhere near the same extent.

                1. Care to find the advocates of anti-lynching legislation and programs bemoaning that we “don’t understand” the lynch mobs?

        2. Not the guy you replied to, but yeah, I would understand if a store owner got angry enough to do that. I wouldn’t agree with it at all, it be a morally heinous act, just like the riots and looting are. But I wouldn’t pretend like there was no explanation behind it.

          1. What’s to understand. He’d be an asshole. Really, you don’t particularly need anything more than that. His motives are about as relevant as the temperature of horse turd.

            1. If you want to simply accept that all violence is inevitable, then ignoring motivations is fine. Rioting isn’t inevitable, I don’t see how ignoring any rationale behind it produces anything other than moral self-righteousness. This is an awful thing, I’d like to minimize how often it happens. The chances of doing that while not understanding why it happens aren’t exactly very good.

              1. Pretty much every riot in history has been motivated by the same thing: the rioters are pissed off. Ascertaining what they’re pissed off about is as easy as asking them most of the time. That’s hardly a solution to the problem of rioting. Placating a mob of pissed off people isn’t an easy proposition, and placating them may not always be the best route to take anyway. A great number of riots have been motivated by grievances that were hardly legitimate. The time to address the issues that caused a riot is before they caused the riot.

              2. And paying attention to the “root causes” for the last fifty years has proven just such a spectacular success? No, no it hasn’t.

                Any attempt to “understand” rioters is putting your motivations in their head. You’re essentially rioting vicariously through them.

                There’s essentially an infinite number of reasons people can choose to riot. Focusing on those justifications ignores the fact that people, for whatever reason, decided they didn’t find it necessary to observe the rules of basic civility. It ignores what’s really the only relevant matter in the discussion. Moreover, it gives the rioters carte blanche to make any demands they want.

  20. Every Breath You Can’t Take by The Police is their seminal work.

    1. I am pretty sure it is Solsbury Hill

      1. Solsbury Hill Street Blues would be a show about epiphany cops.

        1. Ed Marinaro was a Heisman trophy runner-up.

    2. Murder By Numbers

  21. I question the idea that the people engaged in the rioting actually give a shit about the things they’re pretending to care about.

    There was a guy who cut a fire hose as they were trying to put out a burning building. They burned down a building under construction which was supposed to be a senior center.

    You can say ‘well resistance isn’t always rational!’ but there are an awful lot of hardcore criminals in Baltimore and it seems to me highly likely that much of the violence isn’t coming from protesters actually upset with police brutality but is coming from a pre-existing criminal element who know that a) it will be difficult for the cops to arrest them amid all the chaos and b) people will actually defend their horrible actions if they pretend it’s for some noble cause.

    1. I think it’s safe to say it’s a combination of things. Criminal elements no doubt take advantage of these situations. That said, I don’t think that’s a full explanation by any means.

  22. I’m amazed that ENB hasn’t written about this charming little keepsake yet:

    How do you want to be remembered when you die?

    And what memorial would you choose?

    How about having your ashes used in a sex toy, so your partner can remember your more intimate moments together?

    Okay.

    He continued: ‘I sometimes help an elderly lady with her groceries and she has an urn standing near the window with the remains of her husband.

    ‘She always speaks with so much love about him but the jar he was in didn’t reflect that at all.

    ‘In that same period I read an article about widows, taboos and sex and intimacy and then I thought to myself “can I combine these themes and make an object that is about love and missing and intimacy?”‘

    American hero.

    1. Finally, something in this thread that is ‘batable.

    2. “I always did like to play with a stiffy!”

      “Ironically, his nickname was Buzz.”

      “He was more of a D cell, if you know what I mean.”

    3. “American hero.”

      “Dave Burke for Metro.co.uk”
      Ah, ENGLISH hero!

    1. Second.

      1. Second bate already?

  23. Baltimore has always been on the top 10 when it comes to the tragic reactionary “gun control”,..strike that – legislative Human Rights violation that has happened in this country after every random tragedy involving firearms. So all the law abiding citizens in this civil liberties backward hamlet have been disarmed for the obvious convenience of the criminals,both types-the ones with costumes and badges and the regular opportunistic type. Good luck chasing looters off your property with nothing but colorful language and your dick in your hand.

  24. “Meanwhile, a lot of people still want everyone to pass the perfect victim and perfect rationality test in order to gain at least a shred of sympathy. ”

    I’m not sure who this article is directed at. If someone is upset with the Baltimore situation for the people who are acting “less than perfect”, I’ve yet to hear about that. As far as I know, people have a problem with the rampant looting and the cops handling of it.

    1. I think she was talking not about the Baltimore situation but about the various incidents involving police where people try to excuse the police’s actions because the victim supposedly did something wrong. Such as Garner not immediately obeying police, Scott running away, etc.

  25. Meanwhile,is this too early to bring up the whole TOO MANY FUCKING LAWS AND REGULATIONS type thing that might be the root cause this thing?

  26. Meanwhile, CNN is live at Buckingham Palace to cover the latest rumors about Kate Middleton’s new dress.

    1. Oooooh! oooooooh! What color?!?!

      /kidding

      1. Look, as long as it ends well above the knee, those legs will make any evening better.

      2. /No you’re not

        1. i bet you think Douglas Fairbanks was a great swordsman as well

          1. Well, Errol Flyn was a great, uh, something.

            1. he was hot. oh, just admit it.

              1. You need to check with Jesse.

      3. White and gold.

        1. *KIDDING*

          jesus, next you’ll think TV-doctors actually have medical training.

          1. Or was it blue and black?

  27. “Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security”
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb…..+s,aps,264
    High correlations between corrupt governments and civil violence; her understanding of markets is typical ivy-league liberal (faulty) and her suggested remedies are predictably naive (‘gov’t bad; we need more of it!’)
    But the correlations are well researched and the various form of corruption are carefully defined; Egypt /= Russia. Maybe she needs to study B’more and Ferguson. Looks like the people there are resorting to the same sort of self-destructive violence which happens when there is sufficient desperation.

    1. Couldn’t the correlation easily run the other direction, meaning that people who are more likely to be violent are more likely to end up ruled by corrupt and violent thugs?

      I think there’s probably some sort of feed back loop.

      1. Viscount Irish, Slayer of Huns|4.27.15 @ 11:41PM|#
        “Couldn’t the correlation easily run the other direction, meaning that people who are more likely to be violent are more likely to end up ruled by corrupt and violent thugs?”

        My mistake; that is *exactly* the point. She starts with an admittedly anecdotal story of a guy in Kandahar who is trying to move some goods and gets stopped twenty times for ‘customs duties’ on the way (which extorsions are to “customs duties” as Shrillery’s bribes are to “donations”).
        He confides he’s so pissed at the Afghan gov’t that he’s tempted not to tell the police (who demanded the vig) about the next IED he sees someone planting.
        Maybe not this time, but how many more grabs before he decides the Afghan gov’t isn’t any better than the local warlord?

  28. They say an eye for an eye, we both lose our sight
    And two wrongs don’t make a right
    But when you been wrong and you know all along that it’s just one life
    At what point does one fight? (Good question right!)

    Several tons of mountain just killed more people in five seconds than the amount murdered on 9/11, and we are arguing whether or not a bunch of thugs were justified for looting a failing mall next to the projects in Baltimore, famous for being the city from “The Wire”.

    Perspective is everything.

    1. Don’t forget Bruce Jenner.

    1. ouch.

      i myself sometimes pause and ask myself, “are you being mean? don’t be mean. people always say you’re just a little mean.”

      then i see people like you, and i go, “well, fuck! there’s nothing wrong with *me*!”

    2. Hey, maybe ENB isn’t so bad:

      http://www.bustle.com/articles…..cky-got-it

      1. And educational:

        http://www.bustle.com/articles…..ateur-porn

        1. And she’s determined to pursue the story relentlessly and uncover previously-unknown bits of information:

          http://www.bustle.com/articles…..igner-says

    3. Nice books and magazines ? Most important to 10 percent of women and 13 percent of men. You’re careful pruning of your visible bookshelves works!

      Editing is the enemy, folks. Especially when you’re talking about how important showing off your literacy to your SO is…

  29. Resistance Isn’t Always Rational

    And riots aren’t always “resistance,” or even “protest.”

    Let’s not collectivize the mass of people on the street. They’re not all the same. Some are protesting. Many are just taking advantage of an excuse for violence and looting, as you can tell from many of the targets. Many of those are simply criminals, though some are probably political agitators, Black Bloc anarchists, etc.

    I’m fine with empathy for peaceful protestors, but not so much for anyone looting and burning and breaking things. I think having “empathy” towards inappropriate violence just gives the violence an excuse. “But my FEELZ!! They’re so strong!! They justify my violence!!” No, they don’t. Fuck you.

    1. Replace empathy with sympathy and your post makes sense. As it is currently written, it makes no sense, at all.

      1. needz more pedant

        1. You think pointing out a misunderstanding of the difference between sympathy and empathy is pedantry? LOL. The fact that you call it pedantry is evidence that you don’t understand the concepts.

          1. My we are a bit bitchy, aren’t we?

            1. +100

  30. Either there is “rule of law” or there is not.

    If there is, then trashing and burning CVS is unjust.

    If there is NOT, then there is nothing which can be a standard of justice about anything that happens to CVS.

    You wish to have it both ways. Police can murder and slaughter outside of the rule of law. But somehow CVS and the rest are inside.

    Resistance to unreason, or double standards is always rational.

    1. So I guess I can go to Afghanistan and kill and rape a bunch of people?

    2. What if there is “rule of law” but those laws are basically just excuses for the occupying army of the political class to terrorize and brutalize the poor and disenfranchised?

      1. So can I go down the street and rape and shoot the neighbor?

        1. Winston|4.28.15 @ 12:21AM|#
          “So can I go down the street and rape and shoot the neighbor?”
          You can so long as you are the occupying army or its agent. If not, you in deep shit, pal!

          1. Y’know, so long as my options are “my daughters are free game to be raped by anyone” and “my daughters are free game to be raped only by officers of the law”, I’ll take the latter while holding out for the better option of “my daughters are free game to be raped by no one”.

            I guess I’m funny that way, preferring an unequal state of affairs to a more unjust one…

            1. You might take the other option:
              I’ve got a gun and I’m joining those who would prefer their daughters didn’t get raped at all.
              Because once you accept that those in authority have a pass to rape your daughter, you’ve now acquiesced to authority doing whatever it pleases.

              1. I’ve got a gun and I’m joining those who would prefer their daughters didn’t get raped at all.

                Well, I’m always on that team.

                Narrowing down my list of targets to “officers of the law who decide they want to get frisky” as opposed to “every pervert who can’t be held accountable to any law” is a definite move in the right direction, far as I’m concerned.

                1. “Narrowing down my list of targets to “officers of the law who decide they want to get frisky” as opposed to “every pervert who can’t be held accountable to any law” is a definite move in the right direction, far as I’m concerned.”

                  Given that “officers of the law” operate under protection of the government, I fail to see how they are preferable to “every pervert” who enjoys no such protection.
                  You shoot a pervert, you might get away with it. Shoot an officer of the law, and now you’re in jail while the cops continue to screw your kid.
                  I think you have entirely too much faith in the gov’t’s ability or desire to protect you.

            2. With the first option, you’d have options to resolve the injustice by being the aggressors’ equal. With the second you won’t and you’ll have a permanent unjust state of affairs. And so long as it’s sporadic enough or the majority condones it or just replaces one oppressor with another, you’ll never get the better option.

              1. With the first option, you’d have options to resolve the injustice by being the aggressors’ equal. With the second you won’t and you’ll have a permanent unjust state of affairs.

                That first option is already the case now. I’d rather have the powerful side with me for justice outside the small population enforcing their dictat (even if it’s for self-interested reasons). I’ll take my chances with those (relatively) few perverts in the ranks if they come for my family, with the realization that it is a better state of affairs than “Me against my brothers, me and my brothers against my cousins, me and my brother and my cousins against the world”, which is what seems to hold in lawless societies.

                1. “I’d rather have the powerful side with me”
                  So you sold your kid for protection?
                  I’m missing something here, or you have some faith I don’t.

                  1. Given that “officers of the law” operate under protection of the government, I fail to see how they are preferable to “every pervert” who enjoys no such protection

                    “Officers of the law” and “government” don’t disappear in some deep dark void in the absence of rule of law; they are (at best) merely renamed into “security officers” or “mercenaries” and “armies for hire”, respectively.

                    Since I do not have the option of making the powerful disappear merely because such would be to my benefit, my other option has historically been to somehow convince the powerful to consistently side with me in at least areas of life. Such is traditionally called “rule of law”, when it is consistent enough.

                    From the lack of mass daughter-rape so far in most societies built on a strong rule of law, I’d say that option works a whole lot better than the alternative, which is usually some form of tribalism.

                    I reserve my right to shoot anyone dead who tries to rape my daughters, and that includes the powerful and the pauper alike. While we’re talking about which society this would be more likely in, I’d suggest that the one without rule of law would make such actions on my part more necessary and less likely to succeed.

                2. You may succeed only if the political status quo allows it. That’s all. You’re assuming those who wield a monopoly of force will always be just when just the opposite is true. So you may be able to successfully seek justice for one case, but still loose out on hundreds of others. Move to a different place and the only thing that changes are the tiny cases where the rulers are on your side and all the others where they’re not.

                  1. You’re assuming those who wield a monopoly of force will always be just

                    I’ve assumed exactly the opposite. The powers-that-be would not be just out of preference; this is exactly why it is preferable to come to terms with them now as opposed to simply counting on their beneficence in a state of anarchy, and counting on my own strength only after this has failed.

                    As I said before, I’d stack up the successes of places with strong rule of law organized along classical liberal lines against any of the other systems (particularly those with weak rule of law). Scorning rule of law always sounds cool right up until you realize just how pervasive violence in societies organized otherwise really is.

                    1. The Immaculate Trouser: So what you’re saying is that you’d turn me in to the Stasi because you want to ally yourself with that power as much as possible and the Stasi are in a position of power.

                    2. SO WHAT YOUR SAYING IS YOUR HITLER?

                    3. Typical Gilmore. Heavy on snark, light on substance.

      2. Exactly. With positive law, “rule of law” always results in tyranny. Always.

  31. If we were talking about strikers at the turn of the 19th century or black sharecroppers or Chinese peasants in Mao’s Red Army, I might agree. Hell, I might be right up there with them, with my AK up in ’em hills — sure as hell beats any other game in town.

    We are instead living in one of the most secure countries in the world, with incredible opportunity to escape the violence of inner cities. I have no sympathy for those who, instead of choosing to make something better of themselves, decide to fuck over their communities and burn shit. The opportunities for someone to get out of the ghetto by working hard and saving money are very good, and — unlike the working conditions of the 19th century or the endemic poverty present in many countries today — getting out of the ghetto is no more difficult than finding money for gas fare. The young men burning shit down are acting like scum, and can certainly do better for themselves and their communities. I have no sympathy, and there is no sense in which their situation is “desperate” even if the cops are assholes.

    1. AK?

      *narrows gaze*

    2. “Working hard and saving money”? What planet are you from? Or rather, what century? Don’t you know that “oppression” and “racism” and “poverty” are the cause of all problems today? They’re structural! Endemic! No individual can escape them! First, the whole system must change, and racism must be expunged from every human heart. Every microaggression must be hunted down and exterminated. Only then these quaint ideas of “working hard” and “saving money” might be things to do. Until that time, though, only anger and demonstrations and riots and politics are called for.

      1. I didn’t catch the sarcasm until halfway through your post. Good work.

  32. the best way to show the police that you’re not just a bunch of a criminals isn’t to act just like a bunch of criminals.

  33. “But I nonetheless find myself filled with empathy for the people?rioters? protesters?? who have been engaging in acts of violence against police property, corporate property, and police themselves this afternoon and evening in Baltimore.”

    Me too, Elizabeth. I keep hearing on cnn that this violence is “senseless.” Jesus Christ. Really?

    1. “Me too, Elizabeth.”

      (pat on head)

      1. Hi Gilmore,

        Drama queen? So, I take it you are a sexist asshole.

        1. american socialist|4.28.15 @ 12:56AM|#
          “Hi Gilmore,”
          Hi, shitstain,
          So I take it you are a lying piece of shit.

        2. No, he’s just mocking you.

          1. He wasn’t referring to me. He was referring to the writer of the piece. “I think this needs to be sent back to the editor and have some of the drama queen washed out”

            You see why normal people think libertarians are assholes?

            1. I might take over the world and leave you alone.

              You can keep paying for my bike path, though.

              1. Were you the one saying I should feel guilty about not paying taxes on gains from my 401k? And now you are bragging about your taxpayer funded bicycle path? Are you sure you are a friend of limited government? I say you are suspect and might be joining me in the Stalinist Deviationist clique of the cult by and by.

                1. (stops patting head, looks for ‘put to sleep’ needle)

        3. “Drama queen? So, I take it you are a sexist asshole.

          (pat on head)

          1. Thanks man. You are the nicest pig I’ve ever met.

            1. you’re so cute when you pretend to think

    2. If anyone is to be consulted on the legitimacy of mob violence, surely it’s the guy who goes to bat for the Russian Revolution and Stalinism.

    3. Yeah, shitstain, I’m sure you really don’t accept gov’t violence toward the population, right?
      “Stalin’s mass murders were ‘entirely rational’ says new Russian textbook praising tyrant”
      […]In the West, it has been widely accepted that in the 1920s millions were shot, exiled to Siberia, or died of starvation after their land, homes and meagre possessions, were taken to fulfil Stalin’s vision of massive ‘factory farms.’
      In the 1930s millions more whom he considered or suspected a threat to the USSR were executed or exiled to Gulag labour camps in remote areas of Siberia or Central Asia, where many also died of disease, malnutrition and exposure.”
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..yrant.html

      Hm, why is it that I think you might be crying crocodile tears? Maybe because you’re a lying piece of shit? Maybe that’s the reason!

      1. How’d the fight against Uncle Ho go? Didn’t you guys kill about two million Vietnamese? You aren’t one to talk about mass murder. Wanna know how many wars I’ve signed up for?

        1. american socialist|4.28.15 @ 12:59AM|#
          “How’d the fight against Uncle Ho go? Didn’t you guys kill about two million Vietnamese? You aren’t one to talk about mass murder. Wanna know how many wars I’ve signed up for?”

          Oh, look! Slimy piece of shit tries misdirection!
          ‘You guys” weren’t me, asshole, and your momma paid for whatever happened there.
          And then you try to compare 2M in a war to a thug gov’t which you applaud that killed 20M innocent people?
          I’m sure there is some pathetic excuse for a moral agent that is sleazier than you, I’m just fortunate enough not to have encountered it yet.
          Fuck off; you smell of the bottom of the septic tank.

          1. It’s not 1934, jerkoff. Time to move on. Nobody supports Josef Stalin– except the dude you’ve been arguing with in the mirror. How many years did you get paid to play soldier during the Vietnam war?

            1. american socialist|4.28.15 @ 1:12AM|#
              “It’s not 1934, jerkoff.”

              Yeah, shitpile, making excuses for mass murderers is so 2014, right? Nobody supports Stalin except for you, until you’re called on it.
              Fuck you with Bill Clinton’s dick, you slimy piece of shit.

              1. By the way, you know that Lenin ended Russia’s involvement in world war 1. I wonder how many Russian lives that saved. Many Germans, including my great-grandfather came home from the Eastern Front disabused of the notion that fighting for capitalism, or nationalism, or militarism was a noble idea. Good for them. I would rather spend time in prison than kill a fellow worker that happens to live in a country I’m supposed to be at war with.

                How many years did you spend fighting Uncle Ho, again?

                1. By the way, you know that Lenin ended Russia’s involvement in world war 1. I wonder how many Russian lives that saved.

                  I dunno, maybe you should ask the 60,000 Russians who died in the Polish-Soviet War, or those who died during the purges, famines, and Civil War. Seems to me like a whole lot of boys who didn’t come back to momma between WWI and WWII did so as a direct result of your boy Vlad’s policies and bloodlust.

                  1. Shrugs. I’m not a communist so maybe you should ask a communist to defend the legacy of the Soviet Union. I’m just giving people the finger that call me a nazi or a totalitarian. Do you want to know what the literacy rate in the Soviet Union was in 1919 and how it compared to that rate in 1954? I wonder if more people died from racists in the American South or from Khruschev’s prisons?

                    1. I’m not a communist so maybe you should ask a communist to defend the legacy of the Soviet Union.

                      That explains it.

                      I actually was a communist during the Cold War, and we were a lot better at debating and thinking than you apple-polishing “democratic socialist” pieces of shit. What’s the last time you got off your ass to help the working class, and was it by participating in the sham capitalist system?

                      You’re perfectly happy to claim literacy rates from the Soviet Union as your achievement while being too chickenshit to get your hands dirty — won’t even defend it more than half-heartedly.

                      That’s the difference between the type of manly socialism that gets you laid and makes you feared by capitalists, and the limp-wristed socialism-lite which makes you the CIA’s butt-buddy and the monopolist’s best friend.

                      You’re not even worth debating.

                    2. Da,

                      The old commies and socialists hated capitalist and wanted to steal all of their shit, the only difference was how many should also be killed.

                      Today’s progressive socialists want mommy to take care of them and protect them from scary sounds.

                    3. I’m not a communist so maybe you should ask a communist to defend the legacy of the Soviet Union.

                      ::Proceeds to defend legacy of the Soviet Union::

                  2. I dunno, maybe you should ask the 60,000 Russians who died in the Polish-Soviet War, or those who died during the purges, famines, and Civil War.

                    Hey, I’m sure they’d give their lives again in a heartbeat in service of such a noble and worthy cause, in much the same way that Ted Kennedy’s career would have brought comfort to Mary Jo Kopechne in her old age.

                2. Many Germans, including my great-grandfather came home from the Eastern Front disabused of the notion that fighting for capitalism, or nationalism, or militarism was a noble idea

                  Your grandfather was never fighting for “capitalism” because Germany never had it; what it had was a proto-fascist economy dominated by cartels protected by high tariffs and a baroque patent system. This turned into a fully fascist economy with the Nazis. As part of that, Germany had a full complement of welfare services: old-age pensions, accident insurance, medical insurance and unemployment insurance, all provided by a state in order to strengthen its authoritarian power.

  34. And the notion that riots are done out of desperation is not necessarily true. The Tsar and the Ancien Regime weren’t overthrown until significant economic growth occurred. And most of the race rioting in the Jim Crow Era was done by the whites.

    1. Er more accurate to say that rioters generally do have to have some level of comfort in order to stop what they are doing and riot.

  35. I can empathize with Chris Dorner. His case was imperfect but on the right track.

    But I can’t empathize with the looters and the rioters against mostly property owners who likely did not give a shit about the protest. From what Playa mentioned, apparently they’re highschoolers. This is also one reason why we should treat them as the adults they are rather than “kids”. People taking security into their own hands may be illegal but certainly justified.

    1. Dorner? Really? HAHAHA

      1. To clarify, Dorner was no hero. He was a shitty cop, and yet he wanted to stay on the job. But he lost all of his appeals, and it was largely because of incompetence. He had an accidental discharge when he was a probationary employee. (a fireable offense, no union protection).

        He wasn’t a reformer, he was a disgruntled employee.

        And if you read his manifesto, he vastly overestimated his abilities. He only killed a few people (even though he though of himself as a Navy SEAL), and NONE of them were LAPD. He did kill one Captain’s daughter. The Captain’s transgression: not doing a good enough job helping him with his appeal.

        There was nothing political about Dorner. He wasn’t fighting for a cause. He was a guy who couldn’t handle rejection; no different than the loser who shoots up the post office.

        1. Whatever Dorner’s intentions or actions, he certainly pulled the mask off of local law enforcement when the LAPD and County Sheriffs went full on Murder Squad hunting him down.

        2. I’m aware of his selfish motivations, but I meant his appeals and filing or reports and with his decision to try to expose the LAPD for abuses and corruption–even he was motivated by payback–going ignored.

          1. He also wrote about police abuse of detainees that was systematically covered up. That was the reason that he could be a cop – he tried to apply the rules equally to cops acting illegally. And that cannot be tolerated by members of the Blue Gang.

  36. Chingao cabrone-pues tenemos una problema!

    1. Y este problema es… ? Hermano, tenemos muchos problemas, pero no estoy seguro que estemos en acuerdo sobre cuales son los importantes.

      1. Creo qeu la problema es puramente damasiado leys e un chingo de gobierno.

  37. uptil I looked at the paycheck which was of $6898 , I have faith …that…my father in law was actually erning money parttime from their computer. . there neighbor had bean doing this for less than nine months and at present cleard the loans on there apartment and got a great new Nissan GT-R:…… ?????? http://www.netjob80.com

  38. That’s not to say I condone their acts, but I find them understandable. Resistance isn’t always rational, nor necessarily kind. Or, to say it another way, desperate people do desperate things. And it is very clear that there are a lot of people in this country in a state of desperation over our unaccountable, ever-encroaching, fee-mongering, violence-first police force and its myriad biases.

    No, sorry, it’s not understandable. While police violence clearly happens, it is decreasing. And while racism doubtlessly exists in the police, the demographics of police victims reflects the demographics of criminals. In addition, in Ferguson, the people who the riots were supposed to represent had never bothered even voting in local elections (but did turn out for Obama’s election).

    We needn’t endorse the means of desperate people to acknowledge their ends are worth fighting for

    I don’t even understand what those “ends” are supposed to be. Toni Morrison wants more white teenagers shot in the back; are those the “ends”? Is it statistical population based racial parity, ignoring who actually commits crimes? I don’t like police shooting people, I don’t like them carrying military gear, I don’t like them being rude and arrogant; but what changes do you want to make?

  39. No one needs to die in police custody. This is the only point worth forwarding in Baltimore.

    But you know what? Businessmen don’t need to have their property vandalized and looted and the citizens don’t need to be besieged by mindless savages who only desire to steal and destroy other people’s property. These rioters are showing the very elements of their personality and morality that sees them murdered at the hands of police, and my patience for their behavior has waned to the point that I’m ambivalent to their plight.

    When more of these animals die in police custody, there will be plenty of footage to go back and reference and say, “See? If this is how you acted towards the police, then it’s no wonder they weren’t sympathetic to the mere fact that you were black.”

  40. A bit off-topic but there’s a mother who did the job of a cop in Baltimore and that video should be more viral. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRlmCf1Kj2o

  41. Criminals. Most un or undereducated and a lot of former offenders continue to disgrace the successful Civil Rights leaders (of all stripes) who have proceeded them. Most have never been to a community meeting, a civic meeting or a city council hearing to address problems.

    But the Main Scream Media is just pouring fuel on the flames by covering only one side the story. Black Rioters, ISIS, EBOLA, scare the public, ignore rational solutions: End the Drug War and fewer poor black people will have their lives destroyed, End unconstitutional wars and fewer foreigners will dislike draconian terrorist U.S. foreign policy, etc.

    Turn of the teevee and you’ll be much happier.

    1. “End the Drug War and fewer poor black people will have their lives destroyed”

      This, a million times this. I live in the St. Louis area and during the Ferguson riots I kept telling people, end the drug war and 75% of these problems (at least) never happen.

  42. Well, I think a lot of what is going on here is “Fergusen Envy”. A bunch of people feel disappointed that they didn’t get to take part in the Great Fergusen Riot of 2014, and so feel compelled to make their own.

    That said all of those problems mentioned in the article are genuine issues, driving an unhealthy dynamic with tentacles reaching back to police unions and the drug war. And they don’t just affect blacks either.

    The black community would do itself a huge favor if they would direct their violence exclusively against the police and not against innocent white (or non-black) business owners. They might discover that some of those business owners also have bad experiences with authorities, and that they’re not the enemy. Yes, racism is a component of the police’s behavior, but that doesn’t make the problem primarily racism.

  43. When I had to trudge through snow to get to a rock concert there were prohibitionists everywhere. If you didn’t like them but were OK with meeting violence with violence you could join the Weathermen or Panthers. Then Nolan and friends registered the LP. Immediately the draft ended, antiabortion bigots lost their white pillowcases and laws began to slowly change for the better. Even in Maryland people had a perfect chance to vote libertarian. But nooooooooooo…
    Anyone who misses the Weathermen, the draft and the Klan ought to head for Baltimore.

  44. Shit kegs are the anarchy buttons and law enforcement has spent decades engineering shit kegs.

    Zero tolerance policies, onerous multitudinous laws, arrogant authorities, and unionized unaccountable police forces haven’t changed a wit since the 60’s. You motherfuckers want to stop the Fergusons and Baltimores? get your fucking attorney-spammed left and right-winged brain stems out of the Hegelian, pseudo-cop science, and religious philosophies that promotes the state as a god hammer and the citizen as anvil.

    Evidently not a single fucking thing is being taught in higher education that contributes a single goddamn useful morsel to the nurture of peaceful and prosperous open society. The social results of societal righteousness is merely the bark on rotting trees. Everyone on the tube is a banter expert and the governmental mouths open and close and blank words tumble out like someone took a fucking elementary primer and shredded into useless dust with a Stihl.

  45. The author, and anyone who finds this article persuasive, needs to re-watch that scene in Forrest Gump when Jenny is smacked around by her boyfriend. Wesley was frustrated at the time because of “the war and that lying son of a bitch Johnson…,” so he lashed out at Jenny, who he associated with the “baby killer” Forrest. Notwithstanding his rationalizations, though, and even if one agrees with his politics, Wesley was a dick. I thought everyone realized that. Until I read this.

    1. God that character was a real asshole.

    2. I believe ENB is an affirmative action hire. Reason needed more vaginas on the payroll . . .and voila, there she is.

      She really belongs at Salon.

  46. At the risk of being a kill-joy, there is no statistical difference between the rate at which Whites and Blacks are killed by law enforcement. From 1999-2011, there was an average of about 1 death per 28,000 arrests — White and Black. There were about 5,000 total deaths during that time period. So there’s not only not a War on the People by Cops going on, there’s also no War on Blacks by the Cops going on. The numbers are there at the CDC and the FBI.

    However, there is a War on the People by so-called “progressive” politicians and their media allies who constantly hype, stoke and fuel racial division and anger, pushing the mantra that black people are oppressed, that society is racist, that whites hate them, etc. So despite the fact that blacks and other minority groups have no legal racism barriers, that intermarriage is at an all time high blurring the line between the “races,” that fewer and fewer blacks in American ever experienced Jim Crow laws and have only ever experienced legal equality and an ever racially liberalizing society, and we have black men and women in positions of power at the highest levels of society — racial tensions are at an all time high because it serves a purpose for those
    people who use this to gain and keep power. Classic divide and conquer.

    1. Source?

      Last I heard, the FBI weren’t keeping stats on persons killed by police.

  47. Even though the actions of the rioters are wrong it still may force people to pay attention to the unchecked power of the police state that is if they don’t over step. Once you cross that line the only reaction is a stronger police state requested by those who lost property and lively hood. I think the rioters may have over stepped.

    1. Honestly, I think the riots were caused by a bunch of high school kids who:

      1 – Don’t understand what exactly they are “protesting”
      2 – Don’t give a shit about the facts
      3 – Want an excuse to steal and destroy shit

      By the way, I absolutely think there are severe problems with the police and their interactions with minority and poor communities. I just don’t give the rioters that much credit to assume they have thought these things through as much as a lot of people seem to. The peaceful protesters are another story entirely, but the rioters? They don’t want to fix a damn thing.

  48. So you’re saying it’s like Bill Burr’s bit about how there ARE reasons to hit a woman, but you still shouldn’t do it?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIOY2ezMy9A

  49. Empathy has always been an effective tool for the left. The criminal is oppressed. The police are mean. Same old garbage, slightly different bag.

    Where is the empathy for the family of a sick child who can’t go to CVS ? What about those who are out of work now, and their job may never return? The parents who have to stay home today because school is cancelled and they have no daycare? As usual, the silence is deafening.

  50. So according to the author…we might not condone the wife beater, but we can understand why the bitch had it coming?

    These rioters aren’t doing anything noble, nor are they excused from their actions because of other bad actors in the world – these are predators who should be jailed.

    If the private property owners who were victimized by these thugs had the full exercise of their 2nd amendment rights, perhaps they would’ve been able to prevent some of the violence…

  51. This, coming from a bitch who doesn’t believe in Freedom of Association.

    Go fuck yourself, Liz and make it snappy.

  52. What the hell is going on? When the Federalist is more libertarian than is Reason, I believe Armageddon has indeed arrived!!!

  53. Why is Elizabeth Nolan Brown a senior editor of Reason? Obviously, she doesn’t reason, she’s too friggin emotional.

    What is Reason thinking? Oh, wait – they aren’t!!!

    Matt, fire the beech or I’ll cancel my subscription

  54. One can certainly sympathize with the many victims of police misconduct, a high percentage of which happens in areas controlled by Democrats (and sometimes at their behest, as in the “John Doe” investigations by partisan liberal Democrat John Chisholm in Milwaukee). But that sympathy goes away when they (or, more precisely, rioters claiming to act in their name — Gray’s family called for peace, not rioting) decide to destroy their city. I sympathize with the victims of that violence (such as the sort of small businesses libertarians used to care about).

  55. roomate’s mom makes $61 /hour on the computer . She has been out of a job for nine months but last month her check was $13778 just working on the computer for a few hours
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.netjob80.com

  56. If I wanted to empathsize, I’d be posting at Empathy.com.

    This is reason. R-E-A-S-O-N.

    YOU’re a dumb twat, Liz.

  57. ENB’s latest article has “I want to work for Salon come hell or high water” written all over it.

  58. This article screams of too much estrogen and not enough logic.

  59. Empathy for the rioters? Sweet Jesus. These animals are looting burning and trying to kill cops in the name of a POS drug dealer. How about Empathy for the thousands and thousands of innocent blacks killed by other blacks in this country? Nah. The race baiters and yellow journalist won’t make their 30 pieces of silver.

  60. Beautiful piece! I agree.

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  62. –] I still believed the vast majority of individual cops and law enforcement agents were basically good.

    I used to believe this too. Then I woke up and realized that there are no good cops.

    I reason thusly: There are bad cops. And there are cops who tolerate bad cops. Those cops are also bad cops. The cops who do not tolerate bad cops – who turn them in, testify against them, see that they are put in jail – don’t stay cops very long. Usually they’re hounded from their jobs by the bad cops. So while there may be good cops in small numbers for short periods of time, in the grand scheme of things, there are no good cops. There are only evil cops using their badges to intimidate, maim, steal, murder… and bad cops who let them get away with it.

    1. Individual cops need not be bad, nor does the majority of them, for the state of policing we are seeing to exist. They simply operate in the system that hired them, in other words, they are doing their job as they are required to do. The problem is that the system is corrupt and malevolent. If you could get someone from the Baltimore PD to tell you what happened and why I’m certain they would tell you how they were doing what had to be done to accomplish the mission of public safety. Sure, this particular incident was against the law but totally necessary to bring the lawbreakers to heal (or death, as in this case).

      And the irony would be missed by them entirely.

  63. Erm . . . empathy? Does that mean you’ve shared the whole violent and mindless rioting as a form of self-defeating protest thing?

    And if you meant to say sympathy, you are just pathetic! You lose both ways.

  64. upto I looked at the receipt four $4773 , I didn’t believe that…my… mom in-law was realy receiving money parttime from there new laptop. . there aunts neighbour started doing this 4 only twenty one months and recently paid the dept on their villa and bourt a new Car
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.netjob80.com

  65. Based on the pictures and video, I’d say the ones engaged in mayhem and looting are not ‘desperate.’ They don’t look hungry and they’re hardly dressed in rags. They are having a very good time breaking stuff, burning and looting. The more you excuse this behavior, the more of it you’ll get, so think carefully when you write rubbish like this column.

    That said, there is every reason to believe the Baltimore local government including its PD is incompetent and corrupt. The way to fix that is to STOP ELECTING CORRUPT INCOMPETENTS! Maybe starting with removing all Oberlin graduates from consideration for any post in the city’s org chart rated dogcatcher or above.

  66. my roomate’s half-sister makes $71 /hr on the computer . She has been laid off for 5 months but last month her pay was $17321 just working on the computer for a few hours
    …… ?????? http://www.netjob80.com

  67. Something tells me most of these protestors/rioters are melodramatic middle class students desperately seeking their 1968-moment, and are not actually really desperate in a material or legal sense of the word.

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