“Don’t You Dare Kick That Dog!” — In Defense Of Officer Wilson

By BOB STONE

For the cop who paid it forward back in the summer of 1977 by taking the time to track down a 10 year-old boy’s brand-new Ross Apollo 3 speed that was stolen. I’ll never forget how he convinced me that the kids who stole it and raised the seat and stripped off a lot of the paint before leaving it in the woods somehow made it ‘faster.’ I thought it was the coolest bike in the world after that.

And for my friends in college who went on to become cops.

Let me begin by saying that in my own personal mythology I consider all cops and members of the military as my dogs. For anyone that has ever experienced the unconditional love of a dog the metaphor is quite obvious. After all, I do feed the dogs. Sorry, I meant to say “I pay their salary.” And it’s their job to love me unconditionally, or “serve and protect me” — during weekends, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, graveyard shifts, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and other natural disasters, and to otherwise risk their lives — just to make me feel cozy.  Considering all cops and members of the military as my dogs is the highest form of compliment I can pay them. No offense to Cesar Millan, but no room or piece of furniture is off limits to my dogs.  They’re family and as family they are my equals. Accordingly, unlike those who take the dogs for granted—e.g., only claiming ownership when arrested (“I pay your salary….”)—as my dogs protect me I know it’s my job, when necessary, to have my dogs’ backs.

I suppose that’s the best explanation I have for this protective streak I feel for one dog in particular; Officer Darren Wilson. There’s a mob that’s set on kicking my dog; and if possible putting him down. The mob says my dog attacked and killed an unarmed man without justification. They have him traumatized, fearing for his life and genuinely terrified that they’ll convince a grand jury to offer him up as some sort of sacrifice. So I tell the mob that if my dog attacked and killed a man without legal justification, then my dog should be held accountable. But if it turns out that my dog attacked and killed because he was justified in doing so—i.e., he did what he was trained to do—then you’ll have to pack up your torches and pitchforks and apologize to my dog.

And so the mob presents its “case.” And they tell me how important it is that we have a serious discussion about the lingering problems of Jim Crow, racism and class warfare in America. And they talk about right wing voter registration schemes and the systematic imprisonment and disenfranchising of casual black drug users. And they continue with the problems of militarizing the police and whether the authors of The Posse Comitatus Act would have approved of militarizing county sheriff and police departments….

“Important topics; but what does any of this have to do with my dog?” I ask.

And they tell me how angry they are that a white cop shot a black man; comparing it to the killings of Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till.  And then they show me statistics about how many white cops vs. black cops there are in Ferguson…. And by this time I drift off wondering when they’re gonna break out those twenty seven eight-by-ten color glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one…. And they’re telling me about all the vile racists in St. Louis County, implying that my dog is guilty for being in the same county or profession that they are.… And I drift off again wondering about those twenty seven eight-by-ten color glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one…you know, maybe one of them proving anything they’re implying about my dog.  So I stop ‘em and ask:

“Is this a song about the draft?”

And they look at me all kinds of puzzled and I ask:

“Is this a song about Alice?”

“Who’s Alice?” they ask.

And then I proceed to wonder why they never heard about that Thanksgiving Day Massacre. And right about that time I get to thinking they weren’t gonna be showing me those twenty seven eight-by-ten color glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, so I decide to show ‘em pictures of my dog Officer Wilson instead:

Officer Wilson entering police academy

 

Officer Wilson in training3

Officer Wilson in training

Officer Wilson on duty

Officer Wilson on duty

Oh, I’m sorry.  Did I disturb anyone’s further schemes to dehumanize Officer Wilson?  Well, you know what they say: “You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant; excepting Alice,” and blind rage.

‘Let the jury consider their verdict,’ the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.

‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first — verdict afterwards.’

— “Alice in Wonderland,” Lewis Caroll

Do you know what Trayvon Martin, Emmett Till, Sgt. Major Dan Page and all the other anecdotes about racism and class warfare in Ferguson or the rest of the country have to do with the actual guilt or innocence of Officer Wilson?    Absolutely nothing—unless of course you’re a sucker for the association fallacy.

From the very beginning, the mob has been fueling its rage by engaging in the association fallacy—a.k.a. “the company you keep” fallacy—jeopardizing not only Officer Wilson’s right to due process but his life as well.   The association fallacy is particularly repugnant in that it’s somewhat of a trifecta of red herring; appeal to emotion; and hasty generalization.  The fallacy as employed here goes roughly as follows:

There are racist cops in Ferguson;

Officer Wilson is a white cop in Ferguson;

Officer Wilson shot an unarmed black man;

Therefore, Officer Wilson is a murderous racist.

Both the NY Times and the Washington Post tried to dig up whatever dirt they could find on Officer Wilson to support the fallacy.  The Post even added a bit of melodrama by stating:  “[E]veryone leaves a record, and Darren Dean Wilson is no exception.”  (Cue the soap opera music.)  Yet failing to find anything in Wilson’s “unremarkable past” to justify the mob’s rush to judgment, both The Times and the Post simply amplified the mob’s association fallacy by digging up the dirt of other people in Wilson’s past.  The Times tried to satisfy the mob by discussing the criminal past of Wilson’s deceased mother while the Post focused on the sins of Wilson’s first Police Department in Jennings.  Ultimately neither the Times nor the Post found any evidence whatsoever indicating Wilson himself was one of the criminals and racists they associated him with.

And yet the mob is so possessed by their rage resulting from this fallacy, which if you listen closely enough has its own theme music, that some of its members have actually attempted to shield themselves from any semblance of reason that might rob them of that rage. Witness this article by Olivia Cole, wherein she states unequivocally that anyone who dare wait for all the evidence and a thorough investigation, much less presume any cop is “a good guy,” is just a “troll.”   “Sentence first — verdict afterwards.”

Apparently a good portion of the country has come down with this Queen of Hearts Syndrome.  As a self-confessed “wait for all the evidence” troll, it’s been rather disappointing watching the cable news networks attempting to sacrifice Officer Wilson at the altar of journalistic ineptitude.  While S.E. Cupp tends to be somewhat irrational when it comes to the topic of climate change, ironically enough she did an excellent job of summing up the mechanism by which cable news networks entice viewers into accepting appeals to emotion and hasty generalizations in lieu of facts and rational arguments:

S.E. Cupp (paraphrased):  Cable news networks have a desire to create a Hollywood story around every news story.  It drives everything they cover because it rates better than fact reporting.   It has driven the networks over the past 10 years to promote activists to the role of journalists simply because they can humanize and emote on the news stories.  The networks don’t think there’s room in cable news for fact reporting. They’ve got to create a storyline, and they can’t wait for things like facts because they need the story immediately.   Just throw the activist/journalist on air to TELL YOU who is the villain, who is the hero and why you care — while filling in the blanks before all the facts are known.      (Cain & Cupp, Aug. 16, 2014, beginning around the 18:30 mark)

And that’s exactly what happened to Officer Wilson.  What’s more, the Governor of Missouri and the U.S. Attorney General also exhibited signs of this Queen of Hearts Syndrome by TELLING YOU who the villain was before the completion of any investigation.  Governor Nixon threw Officer Wilson under the bus when he said that “a vigorous prosecution must be pursued.”  Not for nothing, but how many times in his 16 years as State Attorney General did he pursue “a vigorous prosecution” before any investigation was complete?  Or is that how he became governor?

And then there’s Attorney General Holder, who said, “this attorney general and this Department of Justice stands for the people of Ferguson” … “My commitment to them is long after this tragic story no longer receives this level of attention, the Justice Department will continue to stand with Ferguson.” Stand against whom?  Since the Attorney General doesn’t hold press conferences to discuss the “tragic story” behind every justified shooting, Holder’s comments clearly implied Wilson was not justified in shooting Brown before any investigation was complete.  And this just one day after Holder personally sought to comfort the Brown family while completely ignoring the welfare of Officer Wilson who was forced into hiding by the mob and genuinely feared for his life and the life of his family. All of the foregoing words and actions by Holder obviously constituted “extrajudicial comment[s] having a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation” of Wilson. But in a world where NeoconVictoria -“Fuck the EU”-“Yats is our guy”-Nuland, and her buddy N.E.D., can assist in a Neo-Nazi – (“burn Colorado burn”) – coup in Ukraine, and have Putin look like the bad guy for every reaction thereafter, I’m guessing the Attorney General can appear in Ferguson as Impropriety Incarnate without the fourth estate batting an eye. Which reminds me, has anyone seen John Kerry’s Interagency Intelligence Assessment, what with those photos from them fancy surveillance satellites that we pay, as Carl Sagan would say, “billions and billions” of dollars for, confirming all those claims he made about the shoot-down of MH 17? Chris Cuomo?Smith Mundt?Bueller?Anyone? (See also “The Propaganda Series”)

*Hyperlinks provided by Football In The Groin, Inc. — “It works on so many levels!” – H. Simpson

Non sequitur?  Hardly.  Essentially, anyone not caught up in the rush to judgment and the “Big Mike was an angel and Wilson is a racist murderous cop” storyline is in a unique position to catch a glimpse of a phenomenon that could be titled Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur,  Latin for “the world wants to be deceived, so let it be deceived.”

The country wants to be deceived into believing the emotionally simple story of a racist cop murdering a black man just as much as it wants to be deceived into believing the emotionally simple story that Ukraine is “the good guys” while the “separatists” and Putin are “the bad guys”   That’s not the mindset of a thoughtful and inquiring country; that’s the mentality of Po-Jama People, and we have the fourth estate to thank for it.  Eisenhower must be rolling in his grave.

Just for shits and giggles, let’s review some of the rules we all learned as children:

The rule is you don’t walk into a store, take whatever you want and then shove the clerk out of the way when he tries to stop you.  That’s called a robbery and it’s a class B felony in Missouri.

The rule is you don’t punch a cop in the face.  If a cop pulls you over and asks for your consent to search your car (because he/she has no legal reason to do so without your consent), you can say, “Officer, go shit in your hat.”    But what you can’t do is punch the cop in the face.   Punching a cop in the face is … I mean, who the hell does that?!

The rule is that, once a cop orders someone to stop with his gun drawn, it’s over.   Because everyone who’s not mentally incapacitated or acutely intoxicated knows it has just become a potentially lethal game of “Mother May I.”  (Hereinafter: “MOTHER MAY I RULE”)  That clichéd line “make one false move and you’re dead” is clichéd precisely because it’s true.  N.B. The MOTHER MAY I RULE also applies to Law Enforcement Officers; thus the reason they ask permission to show their badge.    To wit: “I’m a cop; let me show you my badge.”

Issue:

Is a cop that’s being rushed by a 6’4”, 292-pound assailant—i.e. the average size of an NFL lineman—after pulling his weapon and ordering the man to stop, under any obligation not to fire his weapon and just let the man, unarmed or otherwise, keep coming and attack him a second time?

Rule: Defense of Life Standard

Under the defense of life standard, Officer Wilson would be justified in using lethal force against Brown if he had an objectively reasonable belief that he posed a threat. N.B. A police officer is supposed to fire his weapon until the threat stops, not until the individual is dead. To justify the shooting, Officer Wilson needs to establish that Brown posed a threat from the first shot to the last.

On The Notion Of A “Harmless Unarmed Man”: There was a case out in Washington State twelve years ago where a “nude and highly agitated man” was running around in traffic and pounding on cars.  When an officer tried to subdue him, without his gun drawn, the “harmless unarmed man” took the officer’s gun and shot him dead.  This is the story that comes to mind when contemplating the threat Brown posed to Officer Wilson.

While there is no official report from Officer Wilson currently available, we do have his version of the events as related to a friend who called into a radio show identifying herself only as “Josie.” According to CNN, this version has been “confirmed by a source with detailed knowledge of the investigation.”

JOSIE: Okay. So he said that they, you know, they were walking in the middle of the street and he rolled his window down and, you know, said “Come on guys out of the street. They refused to, and were yelling back and saying, “We are almost where we are going.”    There was some cussing involved, and then he just kept rolling up and he pulled over, and I believe, at that point, he called for a backup but I am not sure. But I know he pulled up ahead of them and he was watching them and then gets the call-in that there was a strong-arm robbery, and they get the description, and he was looking at them and they got something in their hands that looks like it could be, what, you know, those cigars or whatever, so he goes in reverse back to them and tries to get out of his car and they slam his door shut violently — I think he said Michael did. And then he opened his car again and, you know, tries to get out. And as he stands up, Michael just bum rushes him, just shoves him back into the car, punches him in the face, and then of course Darren grabs for his gun.   And Michael grabs the gun. At one point he has the gun totally turned against his hip and Darren, you know, shoves it away and the gun goes off. Well then Michael takes off with his friend and he gets about 35 feet away and, you know, Darren, of course protocol is to pursue. So he stands up and yells: “Freeze.” Michael and his friend turn around and Michael starts taunting him, “Oh what are you going to do about it?”, you know, “You are not going to shoot me.”    And then, he said, all of a sudden he just started to bum rush him. He just started coming at him full speed, and so he just started shooting, and he just kept coming. So he really thinks he was on something, because he just kept coming. It was unbelievable. And then so he finally ended up — a final shot within the forehead and then he fell about two, three feet in front of the officer.   So that’s why stories are going around that “oh, he was shot execution style.” I think some people saw, you know, the shots to his head. Of course ballistics will prove he wasn’t shot in the back like the other people are saying that “when this (inaudible). But that’s, his version of what happened.  (A.C. 360, CNN, Transcript of Aug. 18th 2014 show)  (Emphasis added)

According to an eyewitness that came forward and made his account public a month later on September 6th, 2014 (Hereinafter: “Worker Witness”), when Wilson had his gun drawn on Brown and ordered him to freeze they were facing each other 10 feet apart. With the “MOTHER MAY I RULE” now in effect:

Then Brown moved, the worker said. He’s kind of walking back toward the cop.” He said Brown’s hands were still up.  Wilson began backing up as he fired, the worker said.    After the third shot, Brown’s hands started going down, and he moved about 25 feet toward Wilson, who kept backing away and firing. The worker said he could not tell from where he watched — about 50 feet away — if Brown’s motion toward Wilson after the shots was “a stumble to the ground” or “OK, I’m going to get you, you’re already shooting me.”  (“Workers who were witnesses provide new perspective on Michael Brown shooting”, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Sept. 6, 2014) (Emphasis added)

Since Wilson and Brown already engaged in a physical struggle at the car, any “hands up” signal was voided the moment Brown started advancing on Wilson while he had his gun drawn and the “MOTHER MAY I RULE” was in effect. As to whether Brown was stumbling or rushing, Brown advanced a full 25 feet on Wilson while he was backing away and firing; and this after beginning only 10 feet apart.

To say that Brown had his “hands up” is also meaningless without context.  “Hands up” while standing still is a sign of surrender, but “hands up” while advancing on an officer with his gun drawn is not.   Furthermore, the phrase “hands up” could mean having one’s hands at a 90 degree angle to the body (straight out) or greater.  Dr. Baden’s autopsy diagram shows Brown had his “hands up” but in “a forward-leaning position” towards Wilson.

Michael Brown autopsy diagram by Dr Baden

Michael Brown autopsy diagram by Dr. Baden

To a forensic pathologist, the body diagram Brown’s attorneys released tells a different story. The wound at the top of the head, the frontal wounds and angled right hand and arm wounds suggest that the victim was facing the officer, leaning forward with his right arm possibly extended in line with the gun’s barrel, and not above his head.  The image of a person standing upright with his hands in the air when he was shot does not appear compatible with the wounds documented on that diagram. Whether a forward-leaning position is a posture of attack or of surrender, however, is a matter of perspective. (“What Michael Brown’s autopsy tells us” By Judy Melinek M.D.,  CNN; Aug. 21, 2014)

Let’s get a little more perspective; shall we?

Relevance of Strong Arm Robbery Ten Minutes Prior to Shooting

“When I took courses on Evidence in law school, the explanation given for this giant collection of rules was simply that Juries were stupid … this does appear to be the only explanation for the development of this branch of the law.” — (Gordon Turlock, “The Logic of The Law” pgs. 93-94 (1971), as quoted in “The Oxford Dictionary of American Legal Quotations”, “Evidence,” # 15, pg. 134)

The video above, released by Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson and narrated by CNN’s Randi Kaye,  shows Michael Brown committing a strong-arm robbery for a $50 dollar box of cigars ten minutes before his altercation with Officer Wilson.  Simply put, a strong arm robbery is a robbery committed by means of physical force and is a class B felony in Missouri.    Since Officer Wilson didn’t stop Brown because he believed he was a robbery suspect, the layman would ask: “Then why is the video of the robbery relevant?”  First, Dorian Johnson confirmed that it was Michael Brown in the video committing the strong arm robbery.  Second, the robbery is relevant to show Brown’s state of mind during the altercation with Wilson.   Under Missouri Law:

The general rule concerning the admission of evidence of uncharged crimes, wrongs, or acts is that evidence of prior uncharged misconduct is inadmissible for the purpose of showing the propensity of the defendant to commit such crimes.” State v. Bernard, 849 S.W.2d 10, 13 (Mo. banc 1993). Exceptions to the general rule provide for the admission of evidence that tends to establish motive, intent, the absence of mistake or accident, or a common plan or scheme. Id. An additional exception is recognized for evidence of uncharged crimes that are part of the circumstances or the sequence of events surrounding the offense charged. State v. Wacaser, 794 S.W.2d 190, 194 (Mo. banc 1990); State v. Flenoid, 838 S.W.2d 462, 467 (Mo.App.1992); State v. Davis, 806 S.W.2d 441, 443 (Mo.App.1991). This evidence is admissible to present a complete and coherent picture of the events that transpired. Flenoid at 467.”  State v. Harris, 870 S.W.2d 798, 810 (Mo. 1994)  (Emphasis added)

See also State v. Skillicorn, 944 S.W.2d 877, 886-887 (Mo. banc 1997); State v. Roberts, 948 S.W.2d 577, 591 (Mo. 1997) (“Skillicorn notes a seventh category permitting evidence of a continuation of a sequence of events that assist in painting a coherent picture of the crime.”)

One could argue that the strong arm robbery video is admissible under the motive exception—i.e., having just committed a felony, Brown would have motive to fight Wilson if he thought he was being arrested.   But the strong arm robbery video does much more than that; it presents “a complete and coherent picture of the events that transpired,” giving us a greater understanding of how and why Officer Wilson was compelled to shoot an unarmed man.

While the mob has adopted a fanatical policy of aniconism toward anyone that dare depict Brown as anything but an angel, the video of the strong arm robbery clearly shows Brown acting like Honey Badger™**.   That belligerent attitude apparently continued in his altercation with Officer Wilson not 10 minutes later.   Having just robbed a store and coming upon a police car, does Brown run?  No.  After striking Officer Wilson in the face while he was struggling for his sidearm, committing yet another felony, Brown flees and Wilson pursues with his gun drawn and orders him to stop.    And what did Brown do with the “MOTHER MAY I RULE” in effect?   Just like Honey Badger™, Brown didn’t give a shit.   Brown advanced on Wilson and Wilson fired while backing away.    And even with the gunfire, Brown still didn’t care because he kept coming towards Wilson for 25 feet despite being hit several times in the process.  Thus Wilson, according to Josie, thought “[Brown] was on something.”  Accordingly, the strong arm robbery, being nearly contemporaneous, is “evidence of a continuation of a sequence of events that assist in painting a coherent picture of the [altercation with Wilson and eventual shooting]” (Roberts at 591) thereby making it relevant and admissible.

**Honey Badger is a registered trademark and the official mascot of Victoria Nuland and all Neoconservatives.

Distorted Retrospective Eyewitness Reports

The advent of social media has vastly decreased the time it takes for any remotely reliable eyewitness pool to be spoiled.  Social media can now operate as a substitute for the official identification process in the post identification feedback effect.   (See also Dr. Elizabeth Loftus and Misinformation Effect)   A recent article in the Wall Street Journal examines a similar phenomenon in the field of clinical research.    If the eyewitnesses do not remain “in the blind,” so to speak, taking to Facebook & Twitter, etc., to discuss what they saw, the authenticity and reliability of those potential eyewitness statements will plummet. Consider that there’s a shooting resulting in death in the middle of a street and before any sort of investigation is carried out, before any official statements have been taken, people are taking to Twitter and texting their opinions about what happened—the Rashomon Effect  gone viral.   When you combine that with the added detail of a white cop shooting a black man in a community rife with racial tension, and add to that national media attention, how long before the eyewitness accounts suffer from confirmation bias or the damaging effect of confirming feedback?

The three primary eyewitnesses, Dorian “My name is Derrick” Johnson, Tiffany Mitchell and Piaget Crenshaw claimed they saw Brown shot in the back while he was fleeing and that Brown was shot while he had his hands up surrendering; all of them neglecting the crucial “MOTHER MAY I” detail of Brown advancing on Wilson with his gun drawn.   When Dr. Baden’s autopsy diagram contradicted the claims that Brown was shot in the back, Crenshaw changed her story to fit the autopsy evidence.

Furthermore, in one of the most stunning and shameless displays of confirmation bias, rivaled perhaps only by Antonin – “you’re as guilty as sin” – Scalia’s concurring opinion for the stay issued in Bush v. Gore, Brown family attorney Daryl Parks stated in a press conference that Dr. Baden’s autopsy report “supports what the witnesses said about [Brown] trying to surrender” because it showed that for the two final shots “the direction of the bullet was in a back-to-front direction.”   Since Dr. Baden came to no such conclusion, he was probably “constrained to blush for [him].”

The Excited Utterance by a Non-Interested and Non-Related Declarant

The one piece of evidence furthest removed from any form of the aforesaid distortive phenomena is the excited utterance of an eyewitness recorded just minutes after the shooting.   While an excited utterance is a form of hearsay, it’s admissible under the excited utterance exception to the hearsay rule.    The basis for the excited utterance exception to the hearsay rule “is the belief that a statement made under the stress [of the moment] is likely to be trustworthy and unlikely to be premeditated falsehoods.  Compared to present sense impression, excited utterance is broader in scope for permitting a longer time lapse between event and statement, and a wider range of content in the statement.”

Here’s what the Missouri Court of Appeals had to say about the excited utterance exception to the hearsay rule in State v. Smith, No.ED 90253, Decided: Sept. 30, 2008.   (Interesting coincidence: The name of the officer in this case, called to testify about the alleged excited utterance, is also Darren Wilson.)

Under the hearsay rule, out-of-court statements offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted are generally inadmissible.   State v. Lucio, 247 S.W.3d 131, 134 (Mo.App. S.D.2008).   The excited utterance exception to the hearsay rule applies to statements made following “a startling or unusual occurrence sufficient to overcome normal reflection such that the ensuing declaration is a spontaneous reaction to the startling event.”  State v. Kemp, 212 S.W.3d 135, 146 (Mo. banc 2007) (quotation omitted).   The essential test for admissibility of an excited utterance is whether it was made under such circumstances as to indicate it is trustworthy. Id. “This exception is premised on the idea that where a statement is made under the immediate and controlled domination of the senses as a result of the shock produced by the event, the utterance may be taken as expressing the true belief of the declarant.”Id. (quotation omitted).   Factors considered in determining whether an excited utterance exists are:  “[1] the time between the startling event and the declaration, [2] whether the declaration is in response to a question, [3] whether the declaration is self-serving, and [4] the declarant’s physical and mental condition at the time of the declaration.”  Id. (quotation omitted).   State v. Smith, No. ED 90253, Decided: September 30, 2008 (Emphasis added)

Factors 2 and 3 are relevant when considering the reliability of an excited utterance made by a declarant having an interest in any future proceedings.  An excited utterance by a declarant having no interest in any future proceedings, and having no relation to the party producing the statement, would necessarily be more trustworthy than an excited utterance by a declarant having such interest or any relation with the party producing the statement.  The litmus test for truth and reliability here is whether there is inter-subjective corroboration between the excited utterance and the testimony of the party producing the excited utterance.

Just minutes after the shooting, a witness on the scene captured an excited utterance reciting the events that just transpired in the background audio of a mobile phone video recording.   Here’s the 55 second clip, beginning at the 6:29 mark on the full recording here.   An approximate transcript from the video is set forth below:

Man: How’d he get from there to here?

Eyewitness: Because he ran, the police was still in the truck

Man: They came this way?

Eyewitness: No. Police was still in the truck. He was like I don’t know..

(cross talk sounding like: “he was like… clasping his hands with ….  in that truck”)

Man:  Him and the police?

Eyewitness: Yeah; him and the police.  I mean the Police was in the truck–he was like … over the truck what not.   Cause then he ran; police got out and ran after him.  The next thing I know, he coming back toward him cuz – the police had his gun drawn already.

Man: Oh, the police shot this man?

Eyewitness: Yeah, the police shot him.  The police kept dumpin’ on him, and I’m thinking that the police missing – he like ––police … was like …. (inaudible – to me at least)

(crosstalk)

Eyewitness: Police… Police fired shots uh the next thing I know I think he missed him.

Man: The police shot him?

Eyewitness:  The police shot him.   Next thing I know I think he missed him.  Then the dude started running — kept coming toward the police.

Compare with Wilson’s account via Josie:

Josie:  … So he stands up and yells: “Freeze.” …. And then, he said, all of a sudden he just started to bum rush him. He just started coming at him full speed, and so he just started shooting, and he just kept coming. So he really thinks he was on something, because he just kept coming.

Excited Utterance: The next thing I know, he coming back toward him cuz – the police had his gun drawn already.

Excited Utterance:  The police shot him.   Next thing I know I think he missed him.  Then the dude started running — kept coming toward the police.

The excited utterance corroborates both Wilson’s account via Josie and the Worker Witness account that Brown advanced on Wilson while he had his gun drawn and the MOTHER MAY I RULE was in effect.    Recall that under the Defense of Life Standard Officer Wilson is supposed to fire his weapon until the threat stops.    The excited utterance not only confirms that Brown kept coming toward Wilson while he was firing,  but it also shows that Brown picked up the pace towards Wilson during the gunfire:

(“Next thing I know I think he missed him.  Then the dude started running — kept coming toward the police.”)

Furthermore, Brown not only kept coming toward Wilson for 25 feet, but he did so while Wilson was backing up and firing.   And since backing away from a rushing assailant makes for less than ideal marksmanship conditions, Wilson was compelled to keep firing because he kept missing center mass as the threat kept coming faster than he could back pedal.  Finally, since Brown and Wilson began only 10 feet apart from each other, when we “solve for X” we find that as Wilson fired Brown advanced for 10 feet and chased him for the other 15 feet; OR, if Wilson would have stood his ground, Brown would have ended up 15 feet behind him.  Either way, hands up or not, Brown was not not surrendering.

Once again:

To a forensic pathologist … the wound at the top of the head, the frontal wounds and angled right hand and arm wounds suggest that the victim was facing the officer, leaning forward with his right arm possibly extended in line with the gun’s barrel, and not above his head.  The image of a person standing upright with his hands in the air when he was shot does not appear compatible with the wounds documented on that diagram. Whether a forward-leaning position is a posture of attack or of surrender, however, is a matter of perspective. (“What Michael Brown’s autopsy tells us”By Judy Melinek M.D.,  CNN 8-21-2014)  (Emphasis added)

Conclusion

In the absence of any video or still camera footage of the event, the inter-subjective corroboration of crucial details between Wilson’s account, the excited utterance and the Worker Witness account is as close to the very definition of truth—i.e., “the agreement of knowledge with its object”—as any investigator could possibly hope to find.  Unless one postulates that Wilson had the power of God himself to plant those details into the mind of the eyewitness making the excited utterance, as well as the Worker Witness, it’s impossible to conclude that he fabricated his story about Brown advancing on him while his gun was drawn and while he was shooting.

While a prosecutor is under no legal obligation to present exculpatory evidence to a grand jury in the state of Missouri, he also has no legal obligation to lift a finger to save a child from choking to death right in front of him.   But unless the prosecutor is truly bereft of conscience, he would have a moral duty to prevent an epic miscarriage of justice; i.e. preventing the mob from using Officer Wilson as a means to an end by punishing him for the sins of the country rather than judging him by his own actions.

Based on the evidence available so far, i.e. from which the media and the mob has been basing their condemnation of Officer Wilson, this “wait for all the evidence” troll finds that my dog clearly and convincingly did what he was trained to do.  And I suppose it’s the Jungian in me that sees the excited utterance/State v. Smith/Darren Wilson coincidence as God’s way of saying: “Don’t you dare kick that dog!”

I remain, Sir, your faithful and obedient servant,

Ensign Pulver,
Officer in charge of laundry and morale

 

 Two Charities For Your Consideration:

America’s VetDogs® – The Veteran’s K-9 Corps® is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that serves the needs of veterans with disabilities from all eras who have honorably served our country. VetDogs provide guide dogs for veterans who are blind; service dogs for those with other physical disabilities; physical and occupational therapy dogs to work with amputees in military and VA hospitals; and combat stress control dogs to be deployed in theater.    

(Basically they provide dogs for our dogs.)

Save A Vet.org:    Save-A-Vet rescues unadoptable military & law enforcement working dogs when their service is done & shelters them with disabled veterans in mutual healing & support.

 

Brody: Wh–what do we do now? We’re quittin’ right?

Quint: We’ve got one barrel on him. So we stay out here, till we find him again.

Brody: Yeah but we can radio in and get a bigger boat  —

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536 Responses to “Don’t You Dare Kick That Dog!” — In Defense Of Officer Wilson

  1. Anonymously Yours says:

    Interesting perspective……

  2. Oky1 says:

    Excellent piece Bob Stone!

    And nice choices of dog pics. That pup look close to identical to the one I’ve in training now.

    I’d say more, but …..

  3. Bob Kauten says:

    I’m confused.
    What planet did all this happen on?

  4. Oky1 says:

    Bob,

    We are all now actually living on the Planet Alice in Wonderland whether we wish to or not.

    ** From Bob Stone: Oh, I’m sorry. Did I disturb anyone’s further schemes to dehumanize Officer Wilson? Well, you know what they say: “You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant; excepting Alice,” and blind rage.

    ‘Let the jury consider their verdict,’ the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.

    ‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first — verdict afterwards.’

    — “Alice in Wonderland,” Lewis Caroll
    **

  5. bigfatmike says:

    Maybe this needs an edit.

    Justification for lethal force depends, in part, on the officers state of mind. So, how did the robbery, of which the officer was unaware, influence the officers state of mind regarding immanent threat to life and limb ,.. well I am going to go back and read that part again.

    And doesn’t the reasoning here depend critically on assertions that are at best controversial – like the blow to the officers head, or movement of the deceased toward the officer during the shooting?

    As a stream of consciousness exploring one persons emotional support for the officer – pretty good. As an argument supporting or explaining the use of lethal force – not so much.

    As I said, eventually, I will work back through this to try to put together a coherent argument.

  6. bigfatmike says:

    “Don’t You Dare Kick That Dog!”

    I think even the title is a problem here.

    Don’t we all have a right and an obligation as citizens to critically evaluate the facts, the situation and the personnel anytime lethal force is used? I think so.

    Yet the title seems to suggest that thorough analysis is inappropriate, an insult or an attack on the officer. I would argue that developing an understanding of this event is vital to preserve a community guided by law.

    If you are going to start by claiming that examination of the events is an unwarranted attack then you need to put up, make the argument, show us what is unfair about demanding an investigation.

    But I don’t think you can do that. I think there is a pretty good rule of thumb. If someone tells you not to look, it is probably because there is something they don’t want you to see.

  7. Congratulations on publishing your first blog post, Bob. I happen to have a pretty good idea how much work you put into this. I believe this is the first real analysis of the shooting incident in Ferguson that has been subjected to anything like a true forensic analysis, such as an investigative detective or forensic team might undertake.

    Are all facts out there? No, of course not. However, one has to work with what facts are publicly available. Way too many versions of what happened is based on media talking heads, who filter their presentation through their own biases, or in some unfortunate cases, through the biases of their corporate owners.

    I have known about this blog post for some time now, but it has taken Bob some time to do the research necessary, including what Missouri law actually says. I don’t entirely agree with the literary device of the dog metaphor, because I think it distracts from the overall story; besides, that bike story is a heartfelt story in its own right that deserves a post of its own.

    I will confess here that Bob consulted me several times regarding ballistics issues, and he also consulted with an emergency room physician with more than twenty years experience dealing with gunshot wounds, both fatal and non-fatal. I want to flesh out a couple of things that may not be obvious to the untrained eye, based solely on the single drawing by Dr. Baden. That, and the statements that Brown was shot multiple times with hollow point bullets.

    While I do not know the details of the firearm that Officer Wilson used, I am familiar with several other shooting incidents where hollowpoint bullets were used. In the near future, I will share the story of Officer Jim Martin of Mena, Arkansas. His is a well-known case in training circles, and involves a shooting incident not unlike another one that took place in New England several years ago. In the Mena, AR shooting, Jim Martin was using standard issue 9mm 125 grain hollowpoint ammunition. The fellow he stopped for weaving all over the road came out of the truck with a pistol, shooting. Martin was hit a total of four times. Jim Martin fired a number of shots, hitting the man a total of seventeen (17) times in the torso. The man would not go down, all the while trying to get another weapon out of his truck. Finally, as the man pointed a rifle at Martin, the officer shot him twice in the head. It took two head shots with hollowpoint ammunition to bring him down. The problem with that hollowpoint ammunition, was that it was fully jacketed, the copper coating on the bullet going down into the hollowpoint cavity. That means the hollowpoint never expanded as it was supposed to, going through the target instead of stopping him. In that case the man was a walking dead man, but was NOT YET INCAPACITATED. It even took Martin two shots to the head to bring him down.

    In the New England shooting, two officers hit a man about 22 times before he stopped shooting at them and went down.

    Examining the autopsy diagram, it appears that one bullet may have made four of those wounds. The implication there is the bullet entered the arm, exited further up the arm and hit the torso, making another entry and exit wound. An expanding hollowpoint won’t behave like that. A fully jacketed, non-expanding hollowpoint can and will do that. Furthermore, it is a physical impossibility for an entry wound to be on the forearm and exit further up the arm, unless that arm is raised, not vertically, but horizontally. The wound to the palmar surface of the hand gives some clue as to trajectory. The elliptical shape of the wound suggest it was a grazing wound that never really penetrated. However, and assuming Dr. Baden’s drawing is correct, the ellipsis gives information as to the direction of the bullet trajectory, and position of the hand when hit. The hand was pointing in the direction of the bullet that hit it, on a horizontal plane. The only way to get a bullet wound like that is if the hand is reaching in the direction of the pistol. The possibility that Brown was reaching FOR the pistol cannot be ruled out.

    There were three autopsies by three different pathologists. We have not seen the x-rays they almost certainly took, and it is likely they also took CT or MRI scans. We don’t know where those bullets ended up. We only have one document released publicly, that being Dr. Baden’s drawing. The typical autopsy report usually runs anywhere from just a few pages to twenty five or thirty pages. We don’t have those yet, and may not until they are entered into evidence at a trial.

  8. Elaine M. says:

    Media Punked by Fake ‘Josie’ Account of Michael Brown Shooting
    8/23/14
    http://crooksandliars.com/2014/08/media-punked-fake-josie-account-michael

    Dana Loesch was all over the air last week defending caller ‘Josie’s’ claim to be telling Darren Wilson’s story. Either she was punked or she was part of the punking.

    Excerpt:
    Last weekend, a caller named “Josie” called into Dana Loesch’s radio show claiming she knew the real story of Michael Brown’s shooting because Darren Wilson had told her. The story spread like wildfire through The Blaze, Breitbart.com, Drudge, and more. Then it shot right into mainstream media with CNN jumping on it too.

    Just to make sure it caught fire, Loesch appeared on Fox News to defend Josie’s account of the killing.

    The story was exactly what you would expect it to be. Michael Brown was the aggressor; Wilson was the victim. Brown rushed Wilson and he had no choice but to shoot. And so on.

    ———-

    Ferguson’s booming white grievance industry: Fox News, Darren Wilson and friends
    http://www.salon.com/2014/08/25/ferguson’s_booming_white_grievance_industry_fox_news_darren_wilson_and_friends/

    Excerpt:
    Why, besides racism, are Wilson’s supporters so convinced of his innocence? Well, any good grift will involve a hoax or two, to gin up the sense of outrage. First there was “Josie,” a purported friend of Wilson’s who called in to a radio show helmed by gun-loving wingnut Dana Loesch to tell Wilson’s side of the story. “Josie” insisted that Brown attacked Wilson, grabbed his gun, and the terrified cop shot only in self-defense. The problem? The details were almost identical to those shared on a fake Facebook page set up to look like Wilson’s own. But before the tale could be debunked, not only Fox but CNN had reported on “Josie’s” tale with some credulity. As karoli notes over at Crooks and Liars, it’s not clear whether Loesch was punked, or was in on the punking.

  9. Mike Spindell says:

    Bob,

    An excellent first piece for Flowers for Socrates. Who’d have known after all these years of reading your comments that you were so talented a writer? That is not to denigrate your past comments, but to emphasize seeing another, more honestly visceral side of you, rather than merely a logician and lawyer. As for your conclusions it’s obvious that we are on different sides of this issue given my own posts on the subject. That, however, is what makes your post so important for this blog. Our writers are an eclectic bunch of people, who think for themselves. We have no “party line” at FFS and we are willing to discuss any issue with intellectual fearlessness. As you know from offline communications, I will be somewhat distracted for the next few days, so my in depth commentary on your points will be delayed. However, I wanted to welcome you on board and tell you how glad I am that you’ve become a part of this enterprise.

    Mike

  10. Tony C. says:

    I have a four-year old dog, a highly intelligent mix of black lab and Australian shepherd, because I like smart dogs. My dog is trained, by me. He knows his right from his left: Look left/right, go left/right, shake left/right. He won’t step in any street without permission: “cross over” is one; “go around” is permission to walk in the street to get around an obstacle. Even when playing with other dogs in the neighborhood; if they run across the street, he looks to me for permission to pursue them (“Get ’em!”). He heels even when shaking in fear (He likes rain, but loud thunder and heavy trucks on a highway scare him). He doesn’t enter the kitchen; it is a forbidden zone. He understands “stay in your yard,” “go to your room,” and “bedtime.” He understands the instruction “your choice,” which lets him choose his walking path.

    He’s a smart dog. Cops are not dogs. First, I think it is demeaning to compare any human to a non-human animal. Second, if cops are your dog, why aren’t they Michael Brown’s dog?

    I think it is disingenuous to compare protocol when dealing with police to a children’s game of “Mother May I.” I was twenty the first time I ever got pulled over by a cop, I was doing 60 on an empty, 45 mph road, and hit a speed trap. I pulled over, got out of my car and walked toward the police officer; because I did not know any better. I was a tall white college student at the time, and the officer without any threatening demeanor at all, said “Stop right there. Why did you get out of your car?”
    ME: “I don’t know, I’ve never been pulled over before.”
    COP: “Well get back in, we do this through the window.”

    How, exactly, is an 18 year old supposed to know the rules of this children’s game? Nobody taught me those rules, if they did teach me I forgot them through lack of use. I’ve certainly never been told what the rules of the game are once a shot has been fired.

    Eyewitness accounts say Brown was fired upon while running away. It seems logical to me that if you are shot at while running away, and decide to surrender, you would turn around and “undo” your running away by walking back toward the officer. Even at 20 I did not know that leaving my car, unarmed, would be perceived by an officer as a threat. How was Brown supposed to know that, with his hands raised, merely walking toward the cop he had been trying to escape was going to be perceived as a threat? Since he wasn’t hit and didn’t see the shot being fired, it is plausible he thought it was a warning shot. Do we need classes now, some orientation on living in a police state so we don’t spook the frightened lawmen?

    And why was Brown fired upon when running away, anyway? Is that part of the dog’s training too, to use deadly force against somebody trying to escape a jaywalking charge?

    If you want to use the dog metaphor, the Ferguson police department sounds like a pack of wild dogs, they don’t sound trained to me. Claiming Wilson was adhering to “training” when the rest of his pack clearly does not, is not a logical conclusion. In fact it sounds like Wilson, by NOT following training, escalated to lethal force that should never have happened for a jaywalking offense, which is the only offense he knew about. I did not hear any warnings on the audio tapes, I do not recall any of the witnesses describing Wilson saying anything at all to Brown, like “stop.”

    Also, as to the arm position and whether Brown was reaching for the gun, we do not know the sequence of the shots, do we? If Brown were shot while surrendering and innocently returning to the officer, then sure, reaching for the gun or deflecting it in an attempt to not be killed seems a plausible action in self-defense.

    Waiting “for all the evidence” is only something I am committed to doing in the legal sense, without proof Wilson is formally innocent until proven guilty, and if I were on the jury (and I have been on a jury) I would feel obligated to a careful analytical approach. But I will not be, and my opinion of the case must be based upon probabilities and suspicions, not certainties, and it seems quite probable to me race played a large part here. It seems probable to me the Ferguson police department allows a culture of racism and racial discrimination and racial oppression, based upon its record and previous incidents, and if you can presume Brown’s state of mind, then that culture goes to Wilson’s probable state of mind in this incident.

    Investigators have to make decisions about what needs investigating without any proof or evidence; proofs and evidence are a product of investigations that are based upon probabilities and unproven suspicions of investigators. I would view what you see the public doing here as the expression of people’s assessment of what should be investigated, because to me the probability that racial discrimination played a part in the death of Michael Brown looks pretty high, and should not be overlooked.

    A presumption that Wilson was just doing his job is not warranted when the probability of an abusive racist culture being allowed to fester (or perhaps being condoned) in the Ferguson police department is high. The mere fact that a jaywalking incident escalated to lethal force against an unarmed perpetrator suggests Wilson was not following protocol or training, and that bears a thorough investigation, not a routine dismissal. The public outrage and any rush to judgment they engage in is their right to free speech and opinion; and our way of trying to make sure Wilson’s wrongdoing is not swept under the rug, as it seems other racial discrimination and abuse incidents in Ferguson have been.

  11. Elaine M. says:

    “As for your conclusions it’s obvious that we are on different sides of this issue given my own posts on the subject. That, however, is what makes your post so important for this blog. Our writers are an eclectic bunch of people, who think for themselves. We have no “party line” at FFS and we are willing to discuss any issue with intellectual fearlessness.”

    *****

    Bob,

    I agree with what Mike said. And I do appreciate how much work and effort goes into writing a post like this.

  12. Congratulations on your first post, Bob. And what Mike and Elaine said; well done. (/golfclapon) I hope this is but the first of many thought provoking articles.

  13. yankeefarmer says:

    Overall, the cell phone video at the bottom, seems to be the most credible of “eyewitness” accounts. I’ve read and prepared Supporting Depositions over the years. How three people standing in a 10 ft diameter area can come to three different narratives, is the realm of psychologists and optometrists.
    The comment made about the mindset of the officer? I’ll go there.
    1) BOLO for two black males involved in a Forcible Taking, one wearing white T-shirt, red ball cap, white shorts.
    2) Seeing that person… and engaging.
    Now, we the jury, could decide that it was a petty theft best ignored or dealt with by observation and requesting detectives for a warrant arrest.
    Unless the video capture of intimidation encounter with the store employee is admissible.
    As the prosecutor of this police officer – I want that excluded, along with the cell phone video.
    “The decedent at no time gave permission to be filmed and/or recorded. Motion to suppress.”
    3) The officer engages the suspect(s) from his vehicle. He’s forcibly resisted at the vehicle, when attempting to exit. This is a trap zone. Much like breaching a doorway, you don’t want to be stuck there. Multiple assailant could gun you down, seat belted into your patrol unit.
    Option A: up the force and exit the vehicle.
    Option B: drive away if the vehicle is running.
    Option B, as your focus is on the assailant, endangers the pedestrian and motorist public. It’s also possible to be filmed “dragging the suspect to his death”.
    See James Byrd Jr., if you need to know the community perception.

    I spend a significant amount of time on the autopsy diagram. My clinical experience is twofold.
    a) I’ve seen similar injuries, from knife and gunfights. The arms of the decedent were outstretched, and he was right-hand dominant. You’ll see similar wounds on police officers who are also right hand dominant.
    b) I’ve shot an assassin in the head with an “underpowered” round. He dropped like a sack of potatoes. In the back of an EMS unit. While he attempted to further ensure the death of a Jamaican national, also employed in the pharmaceutical trade.
    I’ve seen shootings and stabbings of people chemically imbalanced. High or strung-out. My Meth experience is nonexistent as I’m old.
    PCP: made 130 pound skinny white guys into Andre The Giant. Take 520 pounds of cops, and throw them off, down the stairs. I found discharging the LifePak5 into them @ 320 joules worked wonders.
    Cocaine + Alcohol: Doinking them in the head with a steel D-cylinder of oxygen seemed equally effective, and I didn’t have to get that close.
    Heroin: Stoned, they’re impervious to pain. They’re also mostly immobile.
    It when they’re on the brief upslope to stoned that they can do stupid things. Knowing they’re out of dope, still impaired, and now desperate, is when a junkie is a menace. They’ll absorb a lot if killing before dying. I’m told by the young guys Meth is all this, and Salts even more.
    Add “I’m the biggest baddest dude on the block” and you have a situation.

    A somewhat footnote: A dealer of cocaine, also a Jamaican national, was “killin’ on” another Jamaican in a hallway. We’re talking razoring to death. I was called for a “man down, bleeding, third floor”. I got razored for my trouble.
    By accident. Honest.
    “Oh mon no. I didn’t mean to be cutting’ on you none. You be takin’ care o’ my moms.”

    Yep. Reggie, a straight-up Thug Life™ gansta mon from Jamaica, had a mother whom he supported (by illegal activities) and doted upon.
    Every mom with a dead or incarcerated son, calls him a “good boy” – Reggie’s mom too.

    Forecast: There’s no winners coming out of Ferguson. The officer will walk on State charges, the city will burn again.
    The Feds will prosecute on “color of law” civil rights violations and he’ll do 5 years as a Federal Felon. To “send a message”.
    I’ve seen it in NYPD.
    Fry a little fish to feed the masses…
    http://www.nytimes.com/1994/09/29/nyregion/14-more-officers-arrested-at-a-shaken-30th-precinct.html
    “Results! I want to see results! I don’t care who, or how, or what… but if I get one more call about drugs and guns, you guys will find yourself in the shit. Clear?”

    Every year is an election year, every year is about the pressure from the top, down.
    How you cope with that? What you as an Officer and/or Sergeant do?
    If you knew what I know about that case, you might read the statements by the DA and Commissioner differently.
    I stand by my forecast.

  14. I agree with all that has been said regarding being able to hold differing opinions and ideas, while still respecting both the writer and other commenters. Agree or not, when somebody puts as many hours of work and research into an essay as Bob has, it is a mark of the respect he has for us as colleagues and readers.

    If this blog becomes an echo chamber as so many other blogs have become, we will know we failed in our mission and original vision for the place. Likewise, without naming names, we will absolutely not let the comment section turn into a forum of ankle-biting and gratuitous insults.

    See Rule #8.

  15. blouise says:

    Bob,

    A well researched and presented point of view and, although I disagree with the description of those who question Wilson’s actions as a “mob”, it is within keeping of the general tenor of your position.

    As to training … didn’t Wilson get his first two years of training on the Jennings Missouri Police force? I believe in 2011 the city council in Jennings fired the entire police force (corruption and race relations were issues) then offered the officers an opportunity to reapply with no guarantee that they would be rehired. Wilson chose not to reapply in Jennings but applied to and was hired by Ferguson instead. He then worked in Ferguson for three- four years before killing Brown. I am not at all certain what the training in Jennings was during the two years Wilson learned his tradecraft but I’m going to note that the Jennings City Council took a very dramatic step in firing the entire force.

    [The straw that broke the camel’s back — an officer shot at a (black) female,” Rodney Epps, a Jennings city council member, told the newspaper.“She was stopped for a traffic violation. She had a child in the back (of the) car and was probably worried about getting locked up. And this officer chased her down Highway 70, past city limits, and took a shot at her. Just ridiculous,” Epps said.]

    If you want to read the story on the police force where Wilson was initially trained the Washington Post has the most recent and there are several in the St. Louis papers.

    Finally … I find Tony’s question, buried within his first post to be salient:

    “Do we need classes now, some orientation on living in a police state so we don’t spook the frightened lawmen?”

  16. bigfatmike says:

    ” Furthermore, it is a physical impossibility for an entry wound to be on the forearm and exit further up the arm, unless that arm is raised, not vertically, but horizontally. ”

    You are an expert in this area and entitled to some deference.

    Nevertheless I am pretty sure it is possible to find accounts that suggest that trajectory of a bullet through the human body is essentially unpredictable because if the bullet strikes bone it will be deflected. The angle of deflection might be greater with low power or low energy rounds than the high velocity rounds typically used by police.

    But still I don’t see how you get around the fact that simple entry wound/exit wound could be misleading without further analysis and documentation. In fairness, you have noted that we have not seen any of the actual autopsy reports which are likely to contain much more information.

  17. bettykath says:

    I’m somewhat confused why the third person hearsay is more credible than at least 4 eye witness statements that are essentially in agreement. Does it mean that one white third person hearsay is more credible than 4 Black eye witnesses? Thank goodness there were a couple of white workers who were eye witnesses and who tell essentially the same story as the other eye witnesses.

    I appreciate the work that went into telling the story this way, but it does look like the tale was fashioned to support a conclusion, rather than a conclusion coming from the investigation. It’s like the paid expert witnesses for the defense who only testify to an interpretation that supports the defense story, however implausible.

    I look forward to your next post.

  18. Tony C. says:

    yankeefarmer says: 1) BOLO for two black males involved in a Forcible Taking, one wearing white T-shirt, red ball cap, white shorts.

    Bullshit, it was already reported by the proprietor of the store and by the Ferguson police department itself that at the time Wilson killed Brown that crime had not been reported. Therefore there was no BOLO. Please cite your evidence that there was or the Ferguson police department actually issued a BOLO prior to the encounter.

    And further, I think it was Wilson’s own claims that the confrontation began with a jaywalking warning, so I believe you are distorting facts; it was NOT in response to a BOLO.

  19. bettykath says:

    Yankeefarmer: “While he attempted to further ensure the death of a Jamaican national, also employed in the pharmaceutical trade.”

    Love your description of his occupation LOL. I visited in prison with a Jamaican who was similarly employed. A good-looking and personable young man. Taught me a card game. He was released shortly after my visit. Hope he found a new line of work but the odds are against it.

  20. James Knauer says:

    Bob,

    Thank you so much for this. As Chuck pointed out, it represents a thorough look at the situation from some seasoned eyes, using techniques very likely to be employed by investigators. I appreciate you took the time to both describe in detail and give us your conclusions. Based on what is known, it’s as sound as an analysis as we’re going to get.

    My concerns revolve around Chuck’s continued warnings of jumping to conclusions absent all the admissible evidence before us. For me, the single autopsy diagram is insufficient, particularly since much more information is being kept under wraps. We are left to even speculate the reasons for that.

    Elaine and others continue to document how certain story lines in support of Officer Wilson do not ring true. As you point out, Bob, there are some issues with the eye-witness testimony as well. It makes for a no-man’s land, one where I am unable to form any conclusions at this point. If there ends up being no trial, I fear the situation will grow far, far worse.

    And Tony makes an excellent point about what we’re all supposed to “know” in these situations. We’re out-gunned and know next to nothing. Relying on extremes — such as the car-thumper that killed an officer who decided his taser wasn’t the tool for the job — will lead to extreme results.

    We have to find a way of de-escalating our growing distrust of police. Regrettably, this won’t be the case. No matter the outcome, sides will retrench. Whatever the outcome, most police forces will still carry military weaponry, and train their officers to be paramilitary soldiers instead of police. The mentality to which this caters ends up with such people dressed in camouflage in an urban setting, and armed for a war they are certain is already underway.

    Very glad to see we are able to discuss this.

  21. yankeefarmer says:

    Tony C, obviously you’ve read Rule 1 posted on the masthead?
    I’ll leave you to your self-induced justifications for violently resisting the officer at the vehicle. As to BOLO? I expected the store owner to report. I expected the standard radio chatter heard non-stop in certain jurisdictions.
    If you’re looking for this incident, to hang, burn, draw and quarter this one officer – which will put a definite “chill” on the excesses of racist LEOs everywhere? Pass the pipe. I need a hit too.
    The racism will go underground, the extra-judicial executions will continue, just not before witnesses. If this isn’t the Hope & Change you want? Start at the top. President. Governor. Mayor. City Council. Commissioner. Chief. Deputy Chief. Inspector. Commander. Captain. Lieutenant.
    Get rid of the more, with less – the precursor for the abuses of Oakland and LAPD, resulting in the rise of the Panthers. When cops are tasked with “zero tolerance” you get abuses. When cops are given a “call to clear time” of 80, 10 moving violations/citations per shift,
    1> misdemeanor arrests per shift,
    1> felony arrests per 4 day tour.

    We can look to an enlightened Eastern city for an example of progressive racial policing.
    Stop-n-Frisk, Mayor Bloomberg’s personal crusade against the 1st, 4th, and 5th Amendments.
    Yes, the man who sees no gun as a good gun, felt the same way about all young black and latino males. So let’s stop with the self-delusion, that this is somehow, someway, a St. Louis County and Missouri problem, alone.

    One more thing Tony C: I’ve worked the mean streets, and know the shitty end of the stick.
    You’re going to need backup, if you really want to tangle-ass with me.

  22. yankeefarmer says:

    WordPress recognizes greater than and less than symbols as HTML mark-up. Thus a need for edit:

    You get abuses… When cops are given a “call to clear time” of under 2 minutes, a task of patrolling 80 to 120 miles per shift, 10 moving violations/citations per shift, greater than 1 misdemeanor arrests per shift, greater than 1 felony arrests per 4 day tour.

    This is “performance policing” is the opposite of “community policing”… which is too labor intensive, too costly, too “cozy” with the “subjects”. “Subject”.
    Read as your Laird and Master intends you to.

  23. blouise says:

    Tony,

    Here’s some backup for those mean streets:

  24. Elaine M. says:

    Blouse,

    Too funny! Thanks for that. I love the Muppets.

  25. blouise says:

    Elaine,

    Yep … gotta pull ’em out of the vault at least once a quarter. Did you notice poor Fozzie the Bear was only given a whistle?

  26. Tony C. says:

    yankeefarmer says: You’re going to need backup, if you really want to tangle-ass with me.

    Ooh, big bad man makes a threat. Fuck you. Rule #1 is a suggestion. You started with a claim that was untrue; so I didn’t follow the suggestion. For your response, I suggest you read Rule #4; do not threaten violence.

    yankeefarmer says: As to BOLO? I expected the store owner to report. I expected the standard radio chatter heard non-stop in certain jurisdictions.

    Except that didn’t happen, and you are ignorant of what happened so you decided to just make something up and state it as a fact of the case. Constant radio chatter is not an excuse to violate somebody’s rights and then escalate to lethal violence. Period. People are innocent until proven guilty, remember? Or is that just another rule you are willing to ignore and convict somebody based on them matching some vague description?

    yankeefarmer says: If you’re looking for this incident, to hang, burn, draw and quarter this one officer – which will put a definite “chill” on the excesses of racist LEOs everywhere? Pass the pipe. I need a hit too.

    On the contrary, I’m looking for justice for one Michael Brown; if punishing Darren Wilson for not following his training and as a result killing an unarmed jaywalker does lead to other officers not doing the same, then great. If it doesn’t, at least Darren Wilson gets punished and drummed off the force.

    yankeefarmer says: If this isn’t the Hope & Change you want? Start at the top. President. …

    I think you’re an idiot.

    I propose we punish the criminals that are committing the crimes, not the elected officials that generally have nothing to do with the running of law enforcement. What is the President or Governor going to do? Give a speech? Or do you think they have already given a private speech to police officers instructing them to be racists but keep it a secret?

    Racism and sadism starts from the bottom, in law enforcement it is a violation of people’s rights to make decisions based on race or religion and therefore illegal, and enforcement should start there with zero tolerance for it. If that results in fewer police officers because they no longer have the perk of exercising their racism and sadism, then raise the salaries of police officers so non-racists and non-sadists can be hired to replace them.

    A propensity for violence and racism are not a necessity to be a police officer and enforce the law, yet you are pretending that it is, and therefore unstoppable. If people in command are racists and sadists the only reason for that is because the racists and sadists weren’t screened out when they joined the force. And they should be screened out. If that costs us more money to attract the necessary police force, so be it.

    The top is not the place to start, because it isn’t where the problem starts. The problem is with the officers that meet citizens and are willing to be racists or sadists.

    • bigfatmike says:

      “The top is not the place to start, because it isn’t where the problem starts. The problem is with the officers that meet citizens and are willing to be racists or sadists.”

      I agree there is a problem with some officers and we have to deal with those officers. However I also think some of the problems we see with policing in the US really do belong to police management and the policies they implement.

      I am not suggesting that policy set by management is fundamental to this case and the use of lethal force. But some of the crowd control measures in the aftermath really do seem problematical and counter productive and those problems really do belong to management.

      There is a lot in this besides the death of one civilian and the fate of one officer. In my opinion lots of problems and lots of layers have been exposed. I am pretty sure we will be talking about issues raised in Ferguson for years to come.

  27. Tony C. says:

    Blouise: Thanks for the backup. Yeah, he’s a macho, macho man. “Working” those “mean streets” and thinking he got the shitty end of the stick.

  28. swarthmoremom says:

    “On the contrary, I’m looking for justice for one Michael Brown; if punishing Darren Wilson for not following his training and as a result killing an unarmed jaywalker does lead to other officers not doing the same, then great. ” Tony C I’m with Tony C on this one. Bob’s version of the facts that are known does not sit too well with me.

  29. swarthmoremom says:

    Now Bob may be expressing “white privilege” in a writing style that the guest bloggers approve of but that does not change the message.

  30. Oky1 says:

    Lil useful Friday humor:

  31. Bob Kauten says:

    yankeefarmer,
    Lots of faux-violence going on in this thread. Did you notice?
    ” I’ve shot an assassin in the head with an “underpowered” round. He dropped like a sack of potatoes. In the back of an EMS unit. While he attempted to further ensure the death of a Jamaican national, also employed in the pharmaceutical trade.”

    May I see a newspaper account of this execution that you performed? Surely, it was newsworthy.
    I’ve always wanted to read the opinions of experienced professional killers, but I’d like a little verification, first.
    I find that the number of folks who’ve actually heard shots fired in anger, is vanishingly small. I’d love to make the acquaintance of one.
    But I’ve found that the number of folks that like to talk about killing with guns to be very large.
    I’m sure that you understand my caution.
    Thanks very much, in advance!

  32. Elaine M. says:

    swarthmoremom,

    A little George Carlin humor for you:

  33. Smom,

    Approve? Disapprove? It reminds me of something former Bonanno crime family boss Joe Massino once said. “There are three sides to every story. Mine, yours and the truth.” But I don’t think Bob is expressing white privilege. Just another way of looking at the known facts. Me personally? I’m with Chuck over in the “all the facts aren’t known” camp, but I do agree with Bob on this point: there has been a lot of rush to judgement going on around the case proper here, especially in the media. Do I think the shooting was justified? Don’t know yet. All the facts aren’t in, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let the mainstream mass “if it bleeds, it leads” media make my decisions for me. However, I don’t think the benefit of the doubt Bob expresses is based in color but rather in his training and propensity for principle based reasoning. I read his displeasure being with bad and/or emotional thinking regarding the facts as known to this date. I also know Bob well enough to know that if Wilson’s culpability becomes undeniable under future evidence, he’ll adapt his thinking on the matter. Personally, I’m not as trusting of LE in general as he is.

    The truly shocking and unquestionably factual bad behavior of the Ferguson PD in the wake of this episode is what I find most troubling.

    A good friend of mine – like a brother – had a gun pulled on him this week by a member of the Lenexa, KS PD. His alleged crime? Not wearing a seat belt and failure to signal when driving 30 feet from one parking lot to another in the same facility. He’s very white. And to be truthful, the Lenexa PD has had the reputation of being a bunch of gun happy lil’ Nazis long before the post 9/11 world. They had an APC back in 1980 for a suburb about as dangerous as a puppy. When I was in high school, they stopped me once a week for about a year because I was a teenager with a nice car.

    Personally, I think LE in general is out of control and it’s a problem for everyone. That does not mean that there aren’t cops out there doing the job right and for the right reasons either. But what I’m willing to do is abide by the standard I expect LE to use against citizens: innocent until proven guilty, regardless of color.

    This isn’t analogous to the Martin shooting. Wilson was “on the job”, not some macho trigger happy cop wannabe. If he acted improperly? He should have the book thrown at him without question. If he didn’t? He shouldn’t be crucified because he’s white and the dead man is black. That? Is white guilt. And I’ll have none of that either. The lady wears a blindfold for a reason. Our job as citizens to make sure she can’t peak around it, not put a thumb on the scales.

    Also, we aren’t GBs around here. 😀

  34. “Shit, white people ought to understand that their job is to give people the blues, not to get them.”

    I miss George.

  35. Tony & Bob K.
    Be careful about wires and crossing them. I happen to know Yankee Farmer. In fact, he has been a guest in my home. About making assumptions regarding his work; he left clues all over the place. He was not a police officer–a cop if you will. Remember where he was: in the back of an EMS ambulance….trying to save a kid’s life when the original assailant tried to keep him from doing same. What would you have done if you were in a five-foot enclosed space with a dying kid and another armed with a knife trying to finish what he started? It is kind of hard to do a tracheotomy and get an airway into a kid with a throat full of blood when a wired punk with a very large sharp knife is trying to keep you from doing your job.

    As for tangling with him in a debate. That was not a physical challenge but an intellectual one. Be careful. He thinks faster than both Gene and me.

  36. Elaine M. says:

    Gene,

    I don’t think “Josie” is a reliable source of information judging from the research that I’ve done on the subject of Michael Brown’s death.

  37. Elaine,

    As my torts professor used to say, “Could be. Maybe. Possibly.”

  38. Elaine M. says:

    Gene,

    Josie was not an eyewitness to what happened.

    As bettykath said: “I’m somewhat confused why the third person hearsay is more credible than at least 4 eye witness statements that are essentially in agreement.”

  39. And the Rules of Evidence will take that into account when it comes to admissibility. Bob clearly states he was not relying upon Wilson’s firsthand report (as it is not available yet). But just because something is hearsay? Doesn’t make it inherently false or unreasonable, just largely inadmissible. As to “why”, I’m not the person to ask (or answer) that question as I am not the one putting forth the argument in defense of Wilson.

  40. Tony C. says:

    Chuck says: That was not a physical challenge but an intellectual one.

    Didn’t sound like one, you’d think a fast-thinking intellectual would know how to make himself crystal clear to a slow-thinkin’ plodder like me. If he is making an intellectual challenge I certainly do not need any backup, and he’s an idiot for assuming I do. And thanks for your egotistical assumption that you and Gene think faster than me and I should be “careful.” That was funny.

  41. Tony sez:

    The top is not the place to start, because it isn’t where the problem starts. The problem is with the officers that meet citizens and are willing to be racists or sadists.

    Sorry, old chap, but you could not be more wrong. The tone and tenor of any law enforcement agency starts at the top. When there is a leak in your basement, you don’t deal with it by mopping the floor first. You go find the source of the leak and put a stop to that. Then you find out how come the leak started in the first place. If it was due to rotten pipes, you rip them out and replace them. But you don’t solve the problem of bad pipes with a mop.

    Policy setters, administrators and training officers are all at the top of the food chain, at a far higher pay grade than a patrol officer or correctional officer. That is where the housecleaning needs to start.

  42. Oooo. I’m all aquiver at your intellect, Tony.

    Put it back in your pants.

  43. Bob Kauten says:

    Still waitin’ on the newspaper account of the killing he was braggin’ about. I never said I doubted it, did I?

  44. Bob K,
    Don’t hold your breath. Personally identifying information will NOT be posted here.

  45. One more thing, Bob K.
    You would be quite surprised at the number of emergency department doctors, nurses and paramedics who are armed. Either officially as sworn reserve LEOs, or with concealed carry permits. As the drug wars have escalated, it has become a growing trend out of necessity, not desire.

    There is something else you may not know. Many, possibly most, of shooting incidents involving emergency medical staff never make the news. Hospitals, ambulance services and law enforcement want to keep it that way. Especially where gang members are concerned. Anyone taking out a gang member becomes an instant target for retaliation by the rest of the gang. Even if it’s self defense or trying to protect a patient. So, it never makes the news.

  46. Tony C. says:

    Gene: I’m not the one braggin’ about it, Gene, Chuck is. I’m just trying to defend myself. If you read carefully, I did not even claim superiority, and by inference that means you are just piling on.

  47. Bob Kauten says:

    Chuck,
    Thanks, that verified my hypothesis.

  48. Piling on? Really. Who would have thought that I might wind someone up when “defended against”? Speaking of defense . . .

    What’s really funny here is your defensiveness.

  49. Tony C. says:

    Chuck says: The tone and tenor of any law enforcement agency starts at the top. When there is a leak in your basement, you don’t deal with it by mopping the floor first.

    I see; you agree with yankin’ farmer that the frikkin’ PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES is responsible for racism in local law enforcement. Welcome to Wonderland, Alice.

    Or, for the feeble minded that cannot understand sarcasm: That’s ridiculous on the face of it. The President is not setting a tone of racism, or even permitting racism to exist, in local law enforcement, and that is certainly not the place to start. If you want to start with authority, and you also want a chance of success, the people of Ferguson should target the lowest elected official that has the power to summarily fire anybody in the PD, including the police chief. That is probably their mayor, not the State Governor, that probably does not even HAVE the power to fire the police chief of an incorporated township.

    I’m all for aiming strategically; Yankin’ recommends aiming at targets that cannot be achieved and could not do a damn thing. The POTUS has the power to pardon anybody for a crime, not the power to summarily dismiss anybody from their job, particularly employees of a State.

    Target the mayor and city councilmen. In Ferguson, as I recall, the police chief serves at the pleasure of the city manager, that serves at the pleasure of a majority vote of the city council.

    And the “leak in the basement” metaphor is wrong. As a CEO (as I have been) if an employee of yours is guilty of sexual harassment, you fire them immediately or suspend them, get them out of the office, as fast as you legally can. With pay if that is necessary. THEN you start looking at the culture of supervision that permitted sexual harassment to get that far, and you fix that, too. Racism is much more like sexual harassment than a “leak in the basement.” Another business metaphor might be embezzlement, or funneling contracts to friends and relatives, or stealing property, or using office equipment and time to run a side business (all of which I have seen done in various corporations). Fire the perpetrators and THEN fix the problem that allowed the wrong-doing to exist and persist.

  50. Tony C. says:

    Gene says: What’s really funny here is your defensiveness.

    You are being just as defensive in this very post. I see nothing wrong with responding defensively to somebody like Chuck telling me I’m too stupid to be debating the Yankin’ Farmer.

    And, FWIW, Yankin’ made no mention of debate in his threat; he said, “You’re going to need backup, if you really want to tangle-ass with me.”

    Sounds like a veiled physical threat to me. Thanks for enforcing your own fucking policy.

  51. Tony C. says:

    P.S. After telling me he’s a veteran of the “mean streets” and a stone cold killer, no less.

  52. Straw man fallacy should be above you. I don’t think anyone said anything about the President. If it were the fault of the White House, then all departmetnts everywhere in the country are corrupt. Since they are not, the strawman includes faulty reasoning, moving the goalposts, and sweeping generalization.

    If a department is rotten, it is because local authorities wish it so. Oakland, CA and Maricopa County, AZ are pretty good examples. Other departments, like our local Sheriff’s department, come down on rogue officers like a ton of bricks if they do something illegal. Why? Because Mayor Jean Quan and Sheriff Arpaio want it that way in their districts, and by comparison, our sheriff wants his department run the way he runs it.

    As far as I know, the President is not in the loop of street level policing.

  53. Defensive? Moi? Eh, not likely. I haven’t been insulted nor has a stance I maintained been challenged so a defense is not merited (and my defense is often quite a bit like offense). And I don’t think Chuck called you stupid, stupid.

    Do you have to get suits custom tailored for that chip on your shoulder or can you buy off the rack?

    Also: learn to differentiate between “defensive” and “screwing with you just because I can”.

    Or as Sgt. Hulka once said, “Lighten up, Francis.”

  54. Anonymously Yours says:

    Probably shops at “Chip in Dale”….

  55. Also, in re policy, I didn’t read that as him threatening you in any substantive manner or even at all. Merely cautioning you that he has direct experience on matters of working with the public at their rawest. Toughen up, buttercup.

  56. blouise says:

    Tony,

    Ha … see … you do need the Muppets!

  57. blouise says:

    But … back to Bob’s article.

    In my town, which is about the same size as Ferguson, the police officers are shaking their heads over a cop firing his weapon at a fleeing teenager in the middle of a residential/business area. They say it will be interesting to learn where all of the bullets eventually landed and whether or not the danger to innocent bystanders posed by the use of deadly force can be justified.

    Also, I am more than just a little interested in the Justice Department’s investigation into the Ferguson Police Force present and past practices.

  58. Tony C. says:

    Chuck says: I don’t think anyone said anything about the President.

    Oh, please, fast thinker, perhaps you don’t have the memory I have. Let me refresh your memory. Here is the Yankin’ Farmer’s post of 11:39 AM (September 12).

    I will excerpt it for you from halfway down:
    If this isn’t the Hope & Change you want? Start at the top. President. Governor. Mayor. City Council. Commissioner. Chief. Deputy Chief. Inspector. Commander. Captain. Lieutenant. [emphasis mine]

    Maybe you should’ve fast-thunk of a CTL-F for “President.”

    I haven’t even brought up his snarky tone that assumes I’m a Democrat (but do now, because what the hell, another hole in his purported “intellectual debate” skills that include off-handed ad hominem attacks).

  59. Tony C. says:

    Gene says: And I don’t think Chuck called you stupid, stupid.

    Of course he did, he warned me that the Yankin’ Farmer thinks even faster than you or him, so I should be “careful” about engaging him in debate. The obvious logical inference one can draw from that statement is that Chuck thinks I would lose such a debate because I am an inferior thinker to the Yankin’ Farmer, and since his examples are himself and you, that both of you are faster thinkers than I. Don’t be stupid, stupid.

  60. gbk says:

    OS,

    “I don’t think anyone said anything about the President.”

    Actually farmer did mention the president:

    “Change you want? Start at the top. President. Governor. Mayor. City Council. Commissioner. Chief. Deputy Chief. Inspector. Commander. Captain. Lieutenant.”

  61. Again, implication and inference aren’t the same thing, Francis.

    Seriously, are you always this touchy about your intelligence?

  62. Tony C. says:

    Blouise: The Muppets kill (in the humor sense). I can hold my own fine against these small town Madonnas, but who doesn’t welcome a partnership with Muppets?

  63. “small town Madonnas”

    Forget the custom tailoring question. It’s pretty clear you buy your suits from Omar the Tent Maker to accommodate your ego. Do you even realize what a clown you are making of yourself, Tony?

    I’m starting to feel a little embarrassed for you.

  64. Tony C. says:

    Gene: No, I fight back with insults when I’m insulted, it’s half the fun of this game. I usually cannot do that in the real world, either I’m superior to somebody (like a student or employee) or subordinate to a sociopath (like the University President).

    And I do not confuse the words “imply” and “infer,” as you imply.

  65. Tony C. says:

    Gene: I can’t control your inappropriate feelings for me, Gene. And I think you are projecting, anyway. Review the record, I am not the one that claimed superiority here; and you are the one defending the claim of superiority inherent in Chuck’s statement.

  66. You really aren’t tracking what is going on. I’m the one making fun of a thin skinned jackass. Francis.

  67. I’m sorry. Was that too subtle? I wouldn’t want you to infer something I wasn’t implying.

  68. “[T]he police officers are shaking their heads over a cop firing his weapon at a fleeing teenager in the middle of a residential/business area. They say it will be interesting to learn where all of the bullets eventually landed and whether or not the danger to innocent bystanders posed by the use of deadly force can be justified.”

    A very valid question that begs for an answer, Blouise.

  69. bigfatmike says:

    Dana Milbank writing in the WAPO reports that the prosecutors office will decline to make any recommendations the the grand jury and instead will transfer all evidence to them for their decision. As he explains this is legal but highly unusual. The prosecutor has already been criticized for having a clear, lax position on police misconduct documented over more than two decades.

    We have read claims of a rush to judgment here. We just did not realize it was public officials who have made a judgment and are rushing from any orderly review of the facts and any attempt to prosecute wrong doing.

  70. bettykath says:

    Gene, “But just because something is hearsay? Doesn’t make it inherently false or unreasonable”

    This is true, but the basis of this hearsay is a phony facebook page. While the chief stalled in releasing Wilson’s name, Wilson was busy deleting all his social media stuff and leaving the state (I also heard that he left the country but I haven’t been able to substantiate it.) I don’t see that hearsay story as being worth anything whatsoever.

  71. bfm,

    You point to a valid problem in this whole scenario: a prosecution with a history of biased results in favor of LE.

    bk,

    That is your call to make (and one I cannot completely disagree with). Me? I don’t weight that story with too much credence, but I’m still waiting for a more full presentation of the forensic evidence before I make up my mind. I think it’s just the prudent thing to do.

  72. blouise says:

    Gene,

    Teenagers are always running away from the cops here. The Police raid an underage drinking party … kids are climbing out of windows, sneaking out of side doors, running off down streets, through backyards etc. Police catch kids back in the woods drinking or smoking pot and the kids run. Police catch kids out after curfew … some always run. The Police give chase and maybe they catch a few, maybe they don’t but you know one thing I never hear on a Friday or Saturday night when the kids are partying and the cops are chasing them … gunshots. All those kids are breaking the law, all of them are fleeing justice and they don’t stop when the cop yells “STOP” but not once has a cop executed a teenager here or endangered innocent bystanders by using deadly force against a kid who’s running away.

    And, no Chief in his right mind wants the Feds in his hair. Every police department, even the good ones, have somethings they’d prefer to keep “in house”. Once the Feds show up, everything is opened up. Everything has to be explained and woe be to any civilian who may have colluded with an officer … oh yeah, EVERYTHING is looked at and then looked at again. And, the Feds hang around for a long, long time.

  73. Tony C. says:

    Gene says: I’m the one making fun of a thin skinned jackass.

    Yeah, I’m the one making fun of a aggressive phony intellectual braggart (Yankin’ It Farmer) and a pompous self-admiring Chuck. You’re the one so dumb you can’t tell the difference between that and being actually thin skinned.

  74. blouise says:

    Tony,
    I took the farmer’s comments exactly as you did so I guess that puts me right beside you in the stupid place. All we need to do is find a Larry

  75. Whatever makes you happy, Francis.

  76. Bob Kauten says:

    Blouise,
    I immediately took the guy’s words as a not-very-veiled-at-all threat. That’s what got me interested in the rest of his tale. So you have company.
    When I asked for proof, my hypothesis was, “Extenuating circumstances will be cited, which make it impossible to prove this incident.”
    I went off on a top-secret mission to kill several evil-doers with my magic ninja voodoo, and when I returned, yep.
    It’s impossible to verify that I did that of course. If I did, I’d have to kill everyone who reads this blog.

  77. blouise says:

    Bob K,

    Do you want to be Larry? It’s a speaking role.

  78. James Knauer says:

    Off topic, but the relevant quote was, “You’re going to need backup, if you really want to tangle-ass with me.”

    Hard to see this as any kind of real threat. Had the poster said, “Tony I know where you live and you are going to pay for what you said,” that would then drift into questions about appropriate forum moderation.

    “Tangle-ass” has to mean debate in this context. What else could it mean? He uses the word “backup,” common in his profession, which seems to have been largely missed. In terms of any threat from this person, it sounds like he has much bigger fish to fry, and on a moment to moment basis.

    I took the comment as the dance we do. What we won’t do is censor it.

    • bigfatmike says:

      ““Tangle-ass” has to mean debate in this context.”

      I think that is a bit generous. In that context I think ‘Tangle-ass’ has to mean personal confrontation, verbal fight, a brawl with words – something like that.

      I certainly did not think that any of this indicates a physical interaction. But the ‘back-up’ comment clearly indicates the person is going to need support of an ally, or protection of some kind from the speaker. The fact that the internet does not allow any kind of physical interaction does nothing to conceal the hostility of the remarks.

      But deleting it is a different matter. Who needs moderators to get rid of obnoxious comments? It is the internet. If you don’t like it, if the comment seems obnoxious, scroll by it, ignore it, or down load the thread and edit out anything you darn well please.

  79. Bob Kauten says:

    Blouise,
    I want to be one of the Daryls. Then I don’t have to speak until the very end of Bob’s dream.

    James,
    No one was frightened. He just made that remark after boasting that he’d killed someone. It was the context. No need to censor anyone. Just someone playing the badass role. It’s just insulting if he says it, thinking we’ll be impressed.

  80. yankeefarmer says:

    So many detractors, so little time. The assassin was a Colombian national, here on a tourist visa. The other decedent was a Jamaican national, gutted between his residence and the train tracks. Chuck errs in my defense: I was inserting an endotracheal tube, while holding a laryngoscope.
    Neither death made the paper, which would have been the Post, Daily News, and Times.
    Believe it or not, a good number of illegal immigrants are either returned to their embassy for transportation to the home country, or rest in “Potters Field” at public expense. Their deaths make headlines only-if there’s good reason for it.
    In the Crack War era, the papers would have to publish a special edition, if-only for the chronicling of the dead and wounded in the tri-state/metro-NY area.
    There’s another palpable reason for quashing this information. Sure, the Colombians were bad, the city fathers aren’t worried about my safety. They’re worried about the value of real estate, of the willingness of business and industry to locate where there’s rampant crime. Of global impact to tourism.
    Did you read about the 14 year old Colombian national, who’s parents muled drugs as their daughter was held for ransom by the cartel? How when they came up “short” they threatened to cut parts off and send them hour-by-hour until the cocaine was recovered?
    You may know, if you’re body-packing cocaine, the most likely “short” is from a burst package – and a dead mule. Think 4 ounces of pure, immediately released into your colon.
    The “short” happened in Colombia. You never read about her abduction, you never read about her rescue, you never read – as you weren’t in the need-to-know.
    “A kidnapping over cocaine, in New York? Nah, you must be thinking of Mexico. We’ve a Hollywood production company coming to the Pier near the Intrepid! Another one looking at Brooklyn Navy Yard sites! You should come and write about that.” Cities PAY people to spin.

    I referred to the POTUS as well as Governors, and lesser officials. Who’s Commander-in-Chief?
    Under who’s authority does the military hardware flow to the States and municipalities?
    Under who’s authority does the US Military train and equip for urban battle, our “protect and serve” police?
    I mention Governors. I’ve some experience with “The Governor’s Own” the State Police.
    Often, they can be a force for moderation, for calm. Tougher screening, better training, deeper pockets, and less day-to-day dealing with the same faces, on the same streets, over the same issues.
    There’s other times, when a Governor sends them in as storm troopers, just prior to unleashing the National Guard.
    “Put down the unrest, or I’ll put The Guard on the street.”
    qv: Kent State for how well The Guard polices. (yeah, I’m that old)

    Can you have racist rank and file cops? Sure thing. Same for any other civil employee. Racism knows no color.
    Al Sharpton terrorized the Korean green grocers over perceived racism toward African-Americans. He remained blind on how his actions, persecuted another minority. He didn’t want to hear about the shake-downs, the theft, and the smash-and-grab robberies galvanized the Koreans into prejudicial action. Al was an executive, a face of, The Movement.
    He wanted to project his power, and demand action on his priorities, not dialog with the Koreans.

    So too, does the short list exist in every elected official’s small mind.
    Job 1, get re-elected, and/or elected to higher office.
    Job 2, do what’s needed to make Job 1 possible.
    So if your handlers say: Tough on crime. You get the bosses in.
    “Commissioner, Chief. (lifts newspaper with tales of street crime) This bullshit stops,
    and stops now. Do I make myself clear?”

    Do any of you actually believe there’s a 100% retraining of rank and file? 10%? 1%?
    “Mayor says no more street crime, and we’re to be sensitive to the needs and perceptions of the community.”
    Not. Happening.
    Unless it’s good for Job 1.

    No. Instead you get “Zero Tolerance” policies. Stop-and-Frisk. SWAT projecting power of the elected officials. Warrants which used-to be served in the least confrontational manner, are now staged like the battle of Fallujah.
    This encourages an attitude of “us” vs. “them”.
    I had it, back in the ’90s, towards the suit wearing lemmings who were too important to get the hell out of my way. They had it towards the minorities in the districts I served in. They had it towards me by association. This was before the 9.11.01 hero worship lip-service.
    Eventually, my bosses said: “You need to find something else to do. You’re hot shit for skills, except when dealing with the very people who write letters and make campaign contributions. Unless someone’s dying, you really hate people, don’t you.” Note, the last sentence wasn’t asked.
    Need a visual? See the character “Doc” from the TV show Third Watch. Michael Beach is way better looking that I ever was.

    So for the last 2 years of my career, I worked hard at not pissing off the general public.
    You never read accounts of criminal Russian nationals, being body-snatched in Brooklyn by ex-Soviet Russian Embassy personnel. “Tonight you sleep in the Lubyanka, the beatings continue on the plane.”
    The citizenry was pleased, and I wasn’t snarling at them.
    All because I had bosses who said: Enough. Dude. Please.
    That quality of boss was rare then (equally budget deprived times), it’s rarer now. In no small way due to this post 9.11.01 militaristic approach to policing: CITIZEN! YOU WILL COMPLY.
    At the time, I thought Judge Dredd was just another shitty Stallone movie, not a blueprint for the future.

    Who’s to blame? Well, unless you’re really really pissed off about there being little First Amendment, no Fourth Amendment, and scant Fifth Amendment protections – all without due process of repeal under the Constitution?
    Start with you. You set the tone, you vote ’em in. They work with your tacit approval.
    Next? The POTUS. Your Governor. Mayor. Police Commissioner. Chief of Police… and on down.
    The head, controls the feet.
    Remember that the next time you call 911 because of loud music, the scent of Ganja on the evening breeze, or the kid tagging that wall with a spray can?
    Zero Tolerance = Zero Community Policing.
    Once you establish an imperial storm trooper mentality? Racism and Racists are sure to follow.
    And if you’re a DFH anti-Wall Street Occupier? You’re just another nigger in the eyes of the Establishment.
    Color, is often defined by the lack of green in your pocket. Particularly these days.

  81. po says:

    Bob, very eloquent and thorough post.
    i must point out my discomfort at reading the part where you chastise the media and others for demonizing Darren Wilson, the killer, only to turn around and demonize the victim, Mike Brown.
    You make the good point that none of us know what happened, yet went out of your way to offer a narrative that seems to counter what the overwhelming narrative is, supported by most if not all the witnesses.
    The bottom line is actually quite simple: black men are being killed at the drop of a hat, and the reason advanced are always ones that blame the victim for doing something he is little likely to do.
    The other bottom line is this: when a cop kills an unarmed civilian, the burden of proof is on the cop, and the burden of the punishment should be on the cop.
    Additionally, the reaction in Ferguson and around the world is quite natural. People are sick of their children being snuffed without any reason at all. At all! How many black kids were killed this month alone by the cops?! How many?
    I wanted to digest your post further before responding to it, but I think this take on it on the Daily Show says it all.
    http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/ufqeuz/race-off

  82. Oky1 says:

    It’s not a website I normally visit, but I thought this story was kinda dark humor funny in light of the topic here.

    `DALLAS POLICE SHOOT UNARMED WHITE MAN – WHITE TEXANS PROTEST BY GOING TO WORK
    Read more at http://angrywhitedude.com/2014/08/dallas-police-shoot-unarmed-white-man-white-texans-protest-going-work/#K8KOf1r1F3SOfhHR.99

  83. Tony C. says:

    James, BFM: I believe part of the reason for Rule #4 was threats of a physical nature made on RIL by certain posters. It makes no difference if the threats can be carried out or not, if this is the Internet, the point is that physical threats have a chilling effect. As others have said, the context of the statement is what makes it a physical threat, it is not a threat to use harsh words, superior intellect, or some fancy Latin.

    YankeeFarmer’s paragraph read: One more thing Tony C: I’ve worked the mean streets, and know the shitty end of the stick. You’re going to need backup, if you really want to tangle-ass with me.

    That was preceded by his claim of shooting somebody in the head “on the mean streets”, and his derision for gun control. “Backup” and “tangle-ass” are references to a physical fight, and verbally this is physical intimidation.

    What makes it a physical threat as opposed to an intellectual one are all these contextual clues to physical violence. There are no contextual clues to his superior intellectualism or skills at debate; he doesn’t mention “argue”, “debate”, or even something like “putting up your experience against mine.” Does he mention his academic record? Do you think some mention of his high school debate record would fit into the tone of his post? Perhaps the grueling defense of his first PhD dissertation would have fit in there (I’m being sarcastic).

    Blouise nailed it on the first try, to yankeefarmer this is all “macho, macho man” territory; a physical fight on the mean streets is no place for girls and girly men, and Tony is a girly man that would need backup against the bloody experience of yankeefarmer. I reiterate; it makes no difference whether physical threats can be carried out or not, whether this is the Internet or not; they are poisonous. And I am clearly NOT the only member of this community that sees that post as straying into the realm of physical threat.

    Further, who said anything about deleting the post? Rule #4 requires a warning against making physical threats, not censorship. And I am clearly NOT the only person that sees it as a physical one. On the other hand, if I were really worried about it, I would complain privately to Gene first, and I did not and will not do that. I’m calling it out as a physical threat in my comments more as a flag to maintain community standards; don’t get on here and start this macho shit of veiled physical threats. What’s next, oblique references to how skilled he is at private detective work?

    Defense by his friends (like Chuck) doesn’t comfort me. I’m not yankeefarmer’s friend, so perhaps Chuck can’t see those lines objectively.

    Or maybe that is how this forum works, the personal friends of the headliners don’t have to follow the rules. Kind of like the US Government in that respect, if you have the inside contacts nothing is off limits.

    James says: What we won’t do is censor it.

    Oh, hooray, summary judgment from an insider, no debate and forget what you rabble may think. James the cop has made his decree, so shut up and move on, there’s nothing to see here.

    • James Knauer says:

      Tony: “Oh, hooray, summary judgment from an insider, no debate and forget what you rabble may think. James the cop has made his decree, so shut up and move on, there’s nothing to see here.”

      I am sorry you have this inaccurate viewpoint. It would only have meaning if I, or another FFS moderator, actually deleted yours or others’ comments “just because.” I merely stated that is not going to happen. At no time did I tell you to “shut up.” A resolve to not censor indiscriminately is the opposite of “shut up.” I expressed my opinion of the matter, as you do quite extensively here regularly, something I for one appreciate.

      I continue to see yankee’s comments as perhaps off-putting, but posing zero actual threat to you or anyone. Many posters say potentially objectionable things, both in style and content, e.g. “macho man” Stooping to your perception of yankee’s level of debate with the girly-man nonsense does not appear to be helping your case.

      Accent on the “perception of.” At no time, Tony, have I seen you acknowledge yankee the Whole Person. You haven’t focused on the job he does — which occupies most of his time — but rather on a few comments you didn’t like. Rather than ask Chuck the nature of the relationship, you state your discomfort with his friendship. You continue to have corridors both public and private to discover this. It’s an awesome story that does not square with the position you have taken.

      We are following the rules, Tony. I see it every day, and we discuss it often in email. I for one appreciate your comments here, as you take the time to analyze.

  84. swarthmoremom says:

    Tony C, Of course it won’t be censored. It is the same good old boy mentality that was pervasive on the other blog. I don’t always agree with you but one thing you are not is a good old boy, and Blouise clearly sees that. Bob’s article set the stage for the divisive discussion that followed. It angered those that seek justice in this case and, just, maybe that was its purpose.

  85. swarthmoremom says:

    It also empowered O

  86. swarthmoremom says:

    It also empowered Oky to start posting angry white dude links. Don’t think that is a good direction for this blog to go but to each his own.

  87. Elaine M. says:

    po,

    “i must point out my discomfort at reading the part where you chastise the media and others for demonizing Darren Wilson, the killer, only to turn around and demonize the victim, Mike Brown.”

    It’s acceptable to demonize Michael Brown because he was a young black man who was “no angel.” We’ve seen members of the mainstream media and our society do the same thing to other young black men–including Trayvon Martin. Some people think these young men got what they deserved.

  88. Tony C. says:

    SMom: It is the same good old boy mentality that was pervasive on the other blog.

    Trying to prevent that is one reason I am posting provocatively. I like this space, but I think I detect a distinct sense amongst the “Authors” of them instinctively forming a Congress In Charge, an elite club fundamentally different from the rest of the commenting rabble; quick to assert authority (like James, above).

    Consider Mike’s early comment on this thread, to Bob: I wanted to welcome you on board and tell you how glad I am that you’ve become a part of this enterprise.

    I read that and I hear that I, Tony C, am not “on board” or “part of this enterprise,” because clearly, despite extensive commentary, Bob was not “on board” or “part of this enterprise” prior to becoming an author. I think I can follow that up with comments from Chuck, from James and from Gene. The Congress Of Authors coalesces, and clearly thinks it is important to declare a division, a distinction between those allowed a vote and those that don’t even get to hear the discussion of the issues being voted upon.

    Welcome to the new and improved US of A.

  89. Actually, Tony, you don’t know the whole history at RIL in re threats. There have been serious threats of violence made there in the past albeit mostly before your time. The policy behind Rule #4 isn’t to stop trash talk. See Rule #1. Reciprocity applies (as it did here) and intervention happens only if things get too out of hand (the late David Drumm once had a column at RIL that generated so much bickering he simply disabled the comments) or if one or more of the participants is a persistent disruption to threads (i.e. trolling). The policy of Rule #4 is to block what isn’t protected free speech (i.e. actual substantive threats). Had YF said something along the lines of a direct threat – “I’m going to hunt you down and kill you” – he’d have gotten the one warning and on the next threat, he’d have been gone. No argument. No appeal. Other than the legally recognized exceptions (threats, incitement, actionable defamation), there is only really one restriction on free speech at this blog and that is the anonymity policy found in Rule #2 (which goes directly to protect another legally recognized right: the right to anonymous political free speech).

    Although we aim to be salon, the nature of the web means that sometimes there will be a little saloon mixed in. Civility is encouraged, but it is just that, a suggestion. Civility is an inherently subjective standard. It varies from person to person and culture to culture. If someone doesn’t want to participate in a brawl (whether or not it has reached a point one of the bouncers is involved or not), they don’t have to. They are, in fact, free to skip those posts or even sit on the sidelines and ridicule the participants of the brawl. Free speech is not for the faint of heart, but it is the very best thing for the marketplace of ideas we seek to foster at FFS.

    The very marketplace of ideas that is showing in this thread’s substantive comments.

    Don’t mind a bit of heat so long as the meal is getting cooked.

    Also, looking Smom’s direction, the policy of this blog is equal treatment and egalitarianism. The same standards that apply to posters apply to the authors. Just so, provocative stances are also good for the marketplace of ideas. I have no issue with an author posting something I either partially disagree with or even completely disagree with.

    Agreement is not required.

    This is an opinion/legal/news/culture blog and nothing published here should be considered legal, medical or otherwise professional advice. All columns published here are the copyright of the author. Any views expressed therein are their own. Any and all editing is for format and/or grammar, not content.

    And that is what I have to say about that.

  90. swarthmoremom says:

    “I read that and I hear that I, Tony C, am not “on board” or “part of this enterprise,” because clearly, despite extensive commentary, Bob was not “on board” or “part of this enterprise” prior to becoming an author. I think I can follow that up with comments from Chuck, from James and from Gene. The Congress Of Authors coalesces, and clearly thinks it is important to declare a division, a distinction between those allowed a vote and those that don’t even get to hear the discussion of the issues being voted upon.” Tony C Yep, Certainly more of “them” than us at this point.

  91. blouise says:

    You know … this is a fascinating mock up of the very subject we are discussing.

    Farmer makes a reference using words of physical confrontation directly at Tony. Chuck provides a certain spin to amend those words to debate confrontation and backs up farmer’s threat with intellectual creds rather than street creds based on his personal relationship with farmer. Then Tony is accused of being super sensitive even though farmer’s claim regarding the BOLO is nonsense and then everyone is reassured that censorship will not be employed … as if anyone was actually worried about it in the first place.

    This is the perfect thread for such a confrontation. (BTW … I hear Tony gave farmer some “facial fractures” and somewhere there’s a tape of Tony with a fistful of cigars and honestly, what was poor farmer supposed to do … ignore his training … he’s an intellectual superstar and a stone-cold shooter!)

    Somebody … call the Feds!

  92. Tony,

    The voting body politic here is the author/editors unless a regular commentator is asked to opine as some were on the recent internal debate about anonymous authorship. Everyone else has access to the Suggestions column. If you don’t like that the group of editors have more say in how this place is run than you personally do? I suggest that you get over it. Running this joint is part of the task of being an author/editor.

  93. swarthmoremom says:

    Tony supported this blog from the very beginning with his ample postings at a time when there were very few. One would think that he might be appreciated for his efforts rather than told to get over it.

  94. po says:

    Second that, Swarthmoremom!

    Obviously, Oky, I clicked on the link, which shows exactly the underlining issue behind the reaction to the killing of Mike Brown, and before him, of Trayvon Martin. This country has now a great number of people ignorant of their extended history and detached from their recent history and its consequences who see any attempt to extend necessary protection to those in need of it (blacks, gays, women, religious minorities, the poor) from their abuse or those of the society at large as inherently unfair and political correctness gone amok. Then again, how could it not be the case when the supreme court itself is exemplifying it at the highest level?
    This has translated into this state of being where , just as we assume that the battered woman has somehow brought the beating upon herself, the rape victim was too drunk or too slutty, the gay victim was too flamboyant, and the Mike Brown was too dangerous, too big, too strong, too loud, armed (when he wasn’t), lunging (when he wasn’t), had priors, had just robbed a store (when the cop did not know that…)

    It is rather fascinating that not only is it on the dead man to prove his innocence (which is what the crowd reacted to mainly, they saw this as another case where the unproven cop’s narrative would be allowed to stand against the loss of a life), but it is also now established that a cop armed to the teeth, with the ability to retreat and call for backup, with the full force of the law and of the system at his disposal, has no choice but to empty his clip into an unarmed civilian because he somehow feels threathened by said civilian! Stand your ground applies to cops too? The parallels with the Trayvon Martin case are uncanny!

    I came late to the party but I believe Tony has a point here. Like most of you, i understood Yankee’s comments to be of a metaphorical nature, but I can also see how the person to whom it is addressed may react to it literally. Not knowing YF, and based on his preceding words that define him as a someone able and willing to take care of things physically, there is a dose of physical intimidation embedded in those words.

  95. Blouise,

    “Words of physical confrontation” is not the standard.

    “Direct threat” is the standard, to wit: “place any person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury”.

    By his own admission, Tony was not placed in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.

  96. blouise says:

    SwM,

    ” Bob’s article set the stage for the divisive discussion that followed. It angered those that seek justice in this case and, just, maybe that was its purpose.”

    Although I disagree with some of what Bob has opined in this article, I don’t believe he wrote it just for effect. I believe he is sincerely presenting his thoughts and they are provocative.

  97. po says:

    The agreement was specifically to Smore’s earlier words, not that I disagree with her latter ones…I guess I type too slowly…
    Elaine says:
    “It’s acceptable to demonize Michael Brown because he was a young black man who was “no angel.” We’ve seen members of the mainstream media and our society do the same thing to other young black men–including Trayvon Martin. Some people think these young men got what they deserved.”
    Exactly!

  98. So that makes him an editor/author, Smom? No, not really. Tony’s contributions, like your own, are appreciated. That is reflected that in certain internal policy debates you have both been included in the discussions.

    However, this thread is now running far astray from the content. This discussion over policy? Is better served on the Suggestions thread.

  99. Elaine M. says:

    Tony,

    “The Congress Of Authors coalesces, and clearly thinks it is important to declare a division, a distinction between those allowed a vote and those that don’t even get to hear the discussion of the issues being voted upon.”

    Just speaking for myself: I’m not aware of any coalescing. I’ve tried to stay out of this contentious discussion. My main concern with this post is the source the author used for the explanation of what happened in Ferguson on the day that Officer Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown. I provided information on that source in earlier comments…and in the following post that I wrote for FFS:

    Smear Merchants and Bias in News Reporting: Regarding Michael Brown, Darren Wilson, Race, Right-Wing Blogs, and the Mainstream Media
    https://flowersforsocrates.com/2014/09/06/smear-merchants-and-bias-in-news-reporting-regarding-michael-brown-darren-wilson-race-right-wing-blogs-and-the-mainstream-media/

    Excerpt:
    So…where did the story about Darren Wilson having sustained an orbital eye fracture come from?

    Avignone explained how it happened:

    Perhaps the first shot in the right-wing news campaign to smear Michael Brown came in the form of a call to a conservative talk radio host Dana Loesch on Aug. 15. A caller who claimed to be a friend of Wilson’s — who would only identify herself as Josie — told Loesch that Brown had “bum rushed” officer Wilson, punched him in the face and tried to go for Wilson’s gun. Brown and his friend then walked away. Wilson pulled his gun and ordered Brown to stop. Brown turned around, taunted Wilson, then again “bum rushed” him. Wilson fired six shots, the last shot to Brown’s forehead. “Josie” claimed that she had gotten this information from a Facebook discussion. She did not claim that Wilson had been seriously injured in the encounter.

  100. blouise says:

    Gene,
    “By his (Tony) own admission, Tony was not placed in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.”

    Yeah … but what about farmer … isn’t he the real victim here … didn’t you hear the rumor about the facial fractures … geez louise!

  101. swarthmoremom says:

    “Although I disagree with some of what Bob has opined in this article, I don’t believe he wrote it just for effect. I believe he is sincerely presenting his thoughts and they are provocative.” Blouise, WND is provocative to me but not to others. I don’t believe that he he wrote it just for that effect but one could certainly sense his ill will toward Michael Brown and those that have spoken out on his behalf. Just my opinion……….

  102. Blouise,

    Quit making me snicker. I’m trying to wear my serious “Editor-in-Chief” hat. :mrgreen:

  103. Elaine M. says:

    swarthmoremom,

    “Blouise, WND is provocative to me but not to others. I don’t believe that he he wrote it just for that effect but one could certainly sense his ill will toward Michael Brown and those that have spoken out on his behalf.”

    I’m part of the “mob” that’s spoken out on Brown’s behalf.

    Regarding WND:

    WorldNet Daily Continues to Pump Out Outrageous Propaganda
    http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2012/fall/world-nuts-daily

    Excerpt:
    WorldNetDaily (WND) describes itself as “an independent news company dedicated to uncompromising journalism, seeking truth and justice and revitalizing the role of the free press as a guardian of liberty.” The online newspaper, which this year celebrated its 15th year in operation, is one of the “very few sources” martial artist and action film hero Chuck Norris (who happens to be a columnist) trusts for news and an operation that megachurch pastor Greg Laurie (also a columnist) says does “a service to God and Country.”

    WND is the brainchild of Joseph Farah, a self-described “radical” and longtime antigovernment propagandist and apologist for the Confederacy who believes “cultural Marxists” are plotting “to transform our political system, to change the way we think, to attack our values, to demean our faith in God, to reduce that shining city on the hill to the status of a drab public-housing project.”

    Together with a coterie of antigovernment “Patriots,” anti-gay activists, white nationalists, Muslim-bashers, conspiracy theorists, end-times prophets and ultraconservative hardliners, Farah — who did not respond to requests to be interviewed for this article — has built WND into a modest media empire including a book imprint, an online subscription-only “intelligence resource,” and a glossy, full-color monthly magazine. At press time, Alexa, which ranks websites, said WND was the 1,832nd most popular website in the world and the 423rd in the U.S. — just above the site for Nickelodeon and a few notches below Victoria’s Secret.

    WND’s point of view is best described as a cross between the now-defunct supermarket tabloid Weekly World News, which was famous for reporting on Elvis sightings, and The New American, a monthly magazine published by the far-right, conspiracist John Birch Society. In its 15 years online, it has introduced readers to a smorgasbord of bizarre ideas, specializing in anti-gay, anti-Muslim, and anti-liberal propaganda; antigovernment conspiracy theories; and end-times prophecy.

  104. blouise says:

    Gene,

    You know you have my sincere sympathy for we discussed this ad nauseam before anybody came on board.

    farmer will sink or swim on his own … this is a tough room and there are many knives hidden in many places

    just trying to keep the metaphor going until Elaine tells me it’s not a metaphor

  105. po says:

    As I am mulling this “new” tren to blame the victim in our culture, I come across this article that supports that it has been around for a while. From http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/09/09/1328468/-She-shouldn-t-have-flirted-he-shouldn-t-have-worn-a-hoodie-they-shouldn-t-have-voted-for-Hamas#

    “Victim-blaming is as American as apple pie. One need look no further than William Ryan’s seminal book from 1971, Blaming the Victim, to understand just how deeply rooted this phenomenon has been in American society, and just how central victim-blaming is to maintaining power dynamics in this country.

    Unfortunately, we’ve been reminded of this fact repeatedly over the past month via high-profile cases and global crises. Or rather, we’ve been reminded by the way in which a mostly white, mostly patriarchal middle class has responded to such events. Women have been blamed for being victims of domestic abuse and assault, black men have been blamed for being victims of police brutality and murder, and innocent Palestinian children have been blamed for being killed my missiles.

    Contrary to those who dismiss victim-blaming as a liberal misinterpretation of the good old American boostrap-pulling ethic, this phenomenon has been in existence in this country for as long as there have been those in power seeking to maintain that status, buttressed by racist and sexist ideals.

    This past week, we have seen high-profile women publicly attacked for their own abuse – itself a form of abuse. In the past 24 hours, it’s been the story of Janay Rice, the wife of NFL running back Ray Rice, who was knocked unconscious by her husband at a casino and dragged out of an elevator. Video of the incident has sparked outrage and a focus on domestic abuse, but it’s also trained patriarchal, rape-culture-focused eyes upon Janay, judging her. Wondering about her role. About how she could marry that man. About how she, she, she …

    Last week, it was celebrity women who were the focus of scrutiny after a hacker revealed nude, explicit photos of countless known personalities. The hack, itself a form of assault, was compounded by those who violated these women’s privacy by viewing the images and then crowing, If you don’t want nude photos revealed, don’t take them, which is the digital equivalent of blaming a rape victim for being flirtatious or wearing a short skirt.

    For the last month, African-American men have been the target of high-profile victim-blaming. Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager killed in Ferguson, Missouri, was vilified and blamed for his death at the hands of a white police officer, despite evidence he had his hands raised when he was shot six times. That racists in America ran to the officer’s defense, and have cast Brown as a “thug” – code if ever there was one – came as no surprise. However, even the New York Times regrettably called Brown “no angel” in a profile of the youth tragically gunned down.

    He wasn’t the only black man to be blamed for his own death in recent weeks, backed by racist language. NBC fitness ‘guru’ Jeff Halevy, unprompted, blamed Kajieme Powell for his own death, calling him a thief and a thug. Kajieme is the knife-wielding man gunned down by St. Louis police, just after the death of Brown, who was by all accounts emotionally disturbed, not a criminal.

  106. blouise says:

    SwM,

    In my first post I mentioned the word “mob” as Bob used it … “although I disagree with the description of those who question Wilson’s actions as a “mob”, it is within keeping of the general tenor of your position.”

    It’s a common ploy … get ’em angry and they will respond with emotion rather than reason. But we are old hands at this … we can do both and chew gum.

  107. Mike Spindell says:

    One of the beauties of this blog is the fact that we remain friends even as we can lob logical cannonballs across each others bows. Bob’s piece, as I wrote above is extremely well-written and as we might expect from a good lawyer goes all out to make his case, however, weak. Since I’ve already written 4 posts about this issue and numerous comments following them up I’ll let my rebuttal stand. As for this thread many rebuttals that I find persuasive have been made by Elaine, SwM, Tony and Po. I think Po summed up the case in an elegant manner:

    “Obviously, Oky, I clicked on the link, which shows exactly the underlining issue behind the reaction to the killing of Mike Brown, and before him, of Trayvon Martin. This country has now a great number of people ignorant of their extended history and detached from their recent history and its consequences who see any attempt to extend necessary protection to those in need of it (blacks, gays, women, religious minorities, the poor) from their abuse or those of the society at large as inherently unfair and political correctness gone amok. Then again, how could it not be the case when the supreme court itself is exemplifying it at the highest level?
    This has translated into this state of being where , just as we assume that the battered woman has somehow brought the beating upon herself, the rape victim was too drunk or too slutty, the gay victim was too flamboyant, and the Mike Brown was too dangerous, too big, too strong, too loud, armed (when he wasn’t), lunging (when he wasn’t), had priors, had just robbed a store (when the cop did not know that…)

    It is rather fascinating that not only is it on the dead man to prove his innocence (which is what the crowd reacted to mainly, they saw this as another case where the unproven cop’s narrative would be allowed to stand against the loss of a life), but it is also now established that a cop armed to the teeth, with the ability to retreat and call for backup, with the full force of the law and of the system at his disposal, has no choice but to empty his clip into an unarmed civilian because he somehow feels threathened by said civilian! Stand your ground applies to cops too? The parallels with the Trayvon Martin case are uncanny!”

    It is all in the history, rather than in the Constitution or “The Law”. “Innocent until proven guilty” is a wonderful guideline for judging criminal behavior, but in a practical matter in America it is bullshit. Criminal trials have always been matters of innocence, or lack of same, being determined by the publicity value of the case and by the trial via publicity. The other prime factor in that is the status of the victim, or the defendant. That status can be determined by race, by wealth, or by profession. Bob talks of the “mob” rushing to condemn “Poor Officer Wilson” and I suppose I am among that “mob”. There is another “mob” though of which Bob gives no real hint and that is the “mob” willing to justify the police execution of a Black/Poor/Gay/Addicted person because as we all know they are the dregs of our society. The Constitution and “The Law” in the U.S. is a two-faced affair. Applicable against hose without power and inoperative for those with power, or with the protection of power. To call for “fairness” to Officer Wilson is in the end a silly proposition given the overwhelming weight of history.

    This is not to say that I feel no empathy for Officer Wilson, or for the police in general. They were merely pawns in the game, where the rules are constantly shifting at the whim of the powers that be. From that perspective shooting down a person of color, etc. is acceptable behavior until it isn’t. The role of the Police in this country is a tragic one of people being used by the powerful to protect them from the inroads of the powerless. To deny this irrefutable fact is to engage in sophistry.

  108. Elaine M. says:

    Anonymous Lady Says Anonymous Witnesses Back Up Ferguson Cop’s Story Whatever That Is
    http://wonkette.com/557635/anonymous-lady-says-anonymous-witnesses-back-up-ferguson-cops-story-whatever-that-is

    Excerpt:
    We can all go home now, because Tucker Carlson’s cesspool of journamalism has a hot scoop that PROVES Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson is definitely not guilty of murdering unarmed teen Michael Brown.

    “Wilson’s claims match a woman who called herself “Josie” who called into Dana Loesch’s radio show on Friday. CNN confirmed with police officials that what Josie told Loesch matches what Wilson says happened during his encounter with Brown.

    “According to Josie, Wilson, a six-year police veteran, claims Brown assaulted and then “bum rushed” him during their encounter on August 9.”

    Hang tight, we need to bust out some charts and graphs and an abacus to follow this logic. Some lady named “Josie” — oh, right, “Josie,” she knows everything! — called Dana Loesch’s radio show to tell her version of Officer Wilson’s version of the events that occurred on the day Officer Wilson killed Michael Brown. Was “Josie” there? No, but she heard it from a very good, very unbiased source who was also not there: Mrs. Officer Wilson! And just in case you are questioning whether “Josie” really is a friend of a friend of a friend who knows a guy who knows a thing, she called Loesch’s programming director back after dropping this hot scoop to insist “that her relationship to the named officer is legitimate.” That definitely seals it. You know “Josie” would never lie about something like that.

  109. Elaine M. says:

    Blouise,

    MOB (with capital letters) = Mighty Old Broads

    😉

  110. po says:

    Great, Elaine!
    I remember being blown away when this temoignage started making the rounds and this narrative of a “witness” who was not there started to supplant what people who were there actually said.

    I was too busy, Mike to read your posts on the topic but will.

    Your ending paragraph above …
    “This is not to say that I feel no empathy for Officer Wilson, or for the police in general. They were merely pawns in the game, where the rules are constantly shifting at the whim of the powers that be. From that perspective shooting down a person of color, etc. is acceptable behavior until it isn’t. The role of the Police in this country is a tragic one of people being used by the powerful to protect them from the inroads of the powerless. To deny this irrefutable fact is to engage in sophistry”
    …frames the institutional issue quite well. It is less Darren Wilson/Mike Brown, it is the police against the population, and it shifting from its duty to maintain peace and order to being an occupying and oppressive force. History tells us that wherever that has been the case, it has not ended well. One of the many signs of the decline of the empire.

  111. blouise says:

    Elaine,

    MOB R US

    One of the few things Wilson did right, in my opinion, was to shut up and get the hell out of Dodge.

  112. Mike Spindell says:

    Another great thing about this blog is that “the powers that be” and I consider myself one, are good friends yet sometimes see things quite differently. My esteem for Gene and Chuck is immeasurable, but in the instance of Yankee Farmer vs. Tony, I am on Tony’s side. I’ll take Chuck’s word that Yankee Farmer is an estimable person, but no matter how much I esteem Chuck’s word, my won judgment must trump it when it comes to thinking. My opinion on the totality of Yankee Farmers person remains to be fleshed out as I become more familiar with his viewpoints. However, basing my opinions merely on his writing on this thread, he comes off to me as a rather macho type of individual who tries to use his life experience to not only validate his viewpoint, but also to intimidate. I’m not intimidated and it seems neither was Tony. Let’s look at the facts.

    In his first comment YF declares his expertise forensically and talks about the autopsy report as if that is real science. The greatest con job in criminal law is forensic evidence, most of which is conjectural, as illustrated by the many cases of dueling pathologists on the witness stand. The esteemed FBI Crime Lab was shown to be corrupt and doctored results. Please don’t abuse my intelligence by an appeal to autopsy results in the midst of this highly contested case. But I call your attention to the fact that even in this gambit Yankee Farmer asserts a certain macho “je nais se quoi”:

    “a) I’ve seen similar injuries, from knife and gunfights. The arms of the decedent were outstretched, and he was right-hand dominant. You’ll see similar wounds on police officers who are also right hand dominant.
    b) I’ve shot an assassin in the head with an “underpowered” round. He dropped like a sack of potatoes. In the back of an EMS unit. While he attempted to further ensure the death of a Jamaican national, also employed in the pharmaceutical trade.”

    Interesting combinations and permutations leading to the impression that Yankee Farmer is not only scientifically competent, but also quite the “badass” himself. Logic by macho simply doesn’t impress me.

    “One more thing Tony C: I’ve worked the mean streets, and know the shitty end of the stick.
    You’re going to need backup, if you really want to tangle-ass with me.”

    Whew. Sounds like the inheritor of Humphrey Bogart’s film noire mystique. I don’t know what “mean streets” you’ve worked YF, but I’ve worked the mean streets of every supposed dangerous are in NYC including, Harlem, The South Bronx, Queensborough Projects, South Jamaica, Bed Stury, Ocean Hill Brownsville, Red Hook, etc. I worked there day and night as a Child Abuse Supervisor, Social Worker and running programs for the Dually Diagnosed. I’ve literally saved lives by preventing suicides, dealing with drug overdoses and even transporting people in active psychotic fugues back to mental wards sitting next me in my car. Frankly, that only touches above the surfaces of what I’ve seen and had to deal with on those “mean streets” and you know what I never carried a gun, or a knife.

    Tony reacted to your macho posturing and I think correctly. Sadly, in your last comment Friday 10:12pm far you made very good sense and you didn’t do it by trying to show us how tough you were Well maybe a little. Perhaps had you not come in with a chip on your shoulder and the faux weary pose of someone whose seen it all, you might have avoided all the negative response.

  113. Mike Spindell says:

    Sorry about the sloppy editing of my last comment, but I’m in the midst of packing.

  114. blouise says:

    “Many posters say potentially objectionable things, both in style and content, e.g. “macho man.” Stooping to your perception of yankee’s level of debate with the girly-man nonsense does not appear to be helping your case.” (James)

    Hey … that was my objectionable post! I don’t think Tony should get the credit for my girly-man nonsense. I lobbed him the ball on a lateral and he didn’t drop it. And, believe it or not, there was a deeper intent because I strongly suspect that “macho man” attitudes are very much in play at these shootings.

    Sincerely yours,
    MOB

  115. DavidMS says:

    I appreciate your analysis. It appears that there is more to this story than meets the original news reports. Physical evidence does not lie. There seem to be two theories. Theory 1: Mr. Brown was not surrendering and was charging the police officer. Theory 2: Mr. Brown was first shot while running away. Turned to surrender and was effectively executed.

    All I know is that Mr. Brown is dead. Whether Officer Wilson was justified in using lethal force is not clear to me. I am unconvinced by all arguments. Without a full set of witness statements, autopsy, access to the crime scene and a few days, I couldn’t tell you what happened from these media reports. I am leaning towards the preponderance of witness statements because they more or less match up and the NY times (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/18/us/michael-brown-autopsy-shows-he-was-shot-at-least-6-times.html) reports that Brown was shot at least 6 times but does not unfortunately provide the details that an official autopsy would provide such as the paths the bullets took. Witness statements suggest that Brown ran away was shot several times, turned around to surrender and was shot with his hands in the air. I think its plausible.

  116. gbk says:

    James Knauer,

    “I am sorry you have this inaccurate viewpoint. It would only have meaning if I, or another FFS moderator, actually deleted yours or others’ comments ‘just because.'”

    This doesn’t hold water, as you were the first to mention “censoring;” no one else even went down that road. Announcing to this thread what you won’t do, when no one has asked for that action is just diversion of the issue, which brings us to your next statement:

    “At no time did I tell you to ‘shut up.'”

    Tony didn’t claim you did. So why are you getting all pumped up about actions that you won’t do, or didn’t do; actions that only you have suggested? You’re talking to yourself at this point.

    To compare Blouise’s link to a Muppet rendition of a song to farmer’s words is ludicrous.

    “At no time, Tony, have I seen you acknowledge yankee the Whole Person.”

    Yeah, farmer’s words really invite “getting to know him.” Fucking ridiculous statement.

    “You haven’t focused on the job he does — which occupies most of his time — but rather on a few comments you didn’t like.”

    Comments that were meant to be intimidating, and directed specifically to Tony C. Who gives a fuck what farmer does for a job? That’s not the issue. The issue is the blatant intimidation of farmer’s words.

    “Rather than ask Chuck the nature of the relationship, you state your discomfort with his friendship.”

    Oh sure, after being told by Chuck to “be careful” because farmer can run circles around Gene and himself, and that farmer has been a guest at his house, Tony should be reprimanded by not discovering, “the nature of the relationship,” by asking Chuck.

    Farmer’s words were meant to intimidate, especially given the immediate context, as others have pointed out, and his second post did nothing to alleviate this perception.

  117. Elaine M. says:

    “The country wants to be deceived into believing the emotionally simple story of a racist cop murdering a black man…”

    To be sure not EVERYONE in this country wants to believe that story. There are many people in this country who want/choose to believe the story that Michael Brown was guilty of something and, therefore, Officer Wilson was justified in his actions. It appears that some individuals even fabricated stories about what happened that day in Ferguson–the story about Wilson sustaining an orbital eye fracture being one of them–in an attempt to prove that Wilson had good reason to fear for his life and to show that his actions were justified.

  118. gbk says:

    Second attempt. Apologies if it posts twice.

    James Knauer,

    “I am sorry you have this inaccurate viewpoint. It would only have meaning if I, or another FFS moderator, actually deleted yours or others’ comments ‘just because.'”

    This doesn’t hold water, as you were the first to mention “censoring;” no one else even went down that road. Announcing to this thread what you won’t do, when no one has asked for that action is just diversion of the issue, which brings us to your next statement:

    “At no time did I tell you to ‘shut up.'”

    Tony didn’t claim you did. So why are you getting all pumped up about actions that you won’t do, or didn’t do; actions that only you have suggested? You’re talking to yourself at this point.

    To compare Blouise’s link to a Muppet rendition of a song to farmer’s words is ludicrous.

    “At no time, Tony, have I seen you acknowledge yankee the Whole Person.”

    Yeah, farmer’s words really invite “getting to know him.” Fucking ridiculous statement.

    “You haven’t focused on the job he does — which occupies most of his time — but rather on a few comments you didn’t like.”

    Comments that were meant to be intimidating, and directed specifically to Tony C. Who gives a fuck what farmer does for a job? That’s not the issue. The issue is the blatant intimidation of farmer’s words.

    “Rather than ask Chuck the nature of the relationship, you state your discomfort with his friendship.”

    Oh sure, after being told by Chuck to “be careful” because farmer can run circles around Gene and himself, and that farmer has been a guest at his house, Tony should be reprimanded by not discovering, “the nature of the relationship,” by asking Chuck.

    Farmer’s words were meant to intimidate, especially given the immediate context, as others have pointed out, and his second post did nothing to alleviate this perception.

    • James Knauer says:

      gbk: “Comments that were meant to be intimidating, and directed specifically to Tony C. Who gives a fuck what farmer does for a job? That’s not the issue. The issue is the blatant intimidation of farmer’s words.”

      I do, for one. So does Chuck. I don’t see the intimidation, sorry. Neither yankeefarmer nor TonyC can actually come to blows here. There was no actual physical threat made. Ergo, there was nothing to “do” about it, hence my comment on censorship. I used that word deliberately, as that is the logical conclusion to actual, continued violations of policy. I will not shy away from that.

      “Farmer’s words were meant to intimidate, especially given the immediate context, as others have pointed out, and his second post did nothing to alleviate this perception.”

      This is true to some extent of most of what I read here, the assertion of testicles, e.g. “macho man.” My position is to set that aside in favor more inquiry. There is zero harm in asking questions of a poster with whom you disagree. By focusing on yankeeframer’s style over substance, meaningful content has been lost, leading, for example, to your reply to me.

  119. DavidMS says:

    Yankee Farmer – New York is not the only jurisdiction that sweeps crime under the metaphorical rug. Chicago does it too: http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/May-2014/Chicago-crime-rates/

    The real problem is it creates a GIGO scenario where bad data leads to bad policy decisions.

  120. bron98 says:

    Tony C:

    “Trying to prevent that is one reason I am posting provocatively. I like this space, but I think I detect a distinct sense amongst the “Authors” of them instinctively forming a Congress In Charge, an elite club fundamentally different from the rest of the commenting rabble; quick to assert authority (like James, above).”

    And that is why I am a capitalist, if you dont like the restaurant, find another or start your own.

  121. blouise says:

    James,

    Yes … but what about before they got all dressed up and pocketed their tear gas canisters and rubber bullets?

    Did Brown, the boy, disrespect Wilson, the man, calling forth the “Make My Day” macho man bullshit? A lot of the cops I know suspect that is at the root of the wild shooting in a highly populated area and their judgement of Wilson is harsh.

  122. gbk says:

    James,

    Intimidation is the issue, the fact that you don’t see that is something you should maybe work on.

  123. Elaine M. says:

    James,

    It’s verbal intimidation. I knows it when I sees it. I have dealt with it for a couple of years at RIL. It’s a method some people use in an attempt to silence those who disagree with them…or to disparage them in public in hopes of calling their arguments into question.

    • James Knauer says:

      Elaine, you raise a valid point RE:RIL. There is always going to be intimidation in these forums, or attempts at it. Where we differ from RIL is letting the commentariat express and police itself without arbitrary censorship. That seems to be taking place in this thread as I write. There has been complete freedom for everyone to express just how they feel about yankeefamers and tonyC’s and mine and yours and Mike’s and everyone’s remarks. I have my own style, other posters have theirs. Absent that freedom, intimidation of all kinds becomes a real problem, as it has on RIL. I want people to call me out if they think I am being unfair, or obtuse, or insensitive, as my role here sort of requires it.

  124. gbk says:

    James,

    “My position is to set that aside in favor more inquiry.”

    Then why don’t you get to know the “whole person” that is farmer and report back.

    “There is zero harm in asking questions of a poster with whom you disagree.”

    So where should one start:

    1. Farmer, what do you do for a living?

    2. Farmer, what are your thoughts on this country’s foreign policy?

    3. Farmer, do you have any daughters?

    People get to know people here based on their writings; additionally, see sentences two and three of rule one.

  125. blouise says:

    “It’s a method some people use in an attempt to silence those who disagree with them …” (Elaine)

    And sometimes it really doesn’t work … here on the mean streets it’s called backfire.

  126. blouise says:

    gbk,

    “Getting to Know You” was priceless.

  127. And now, a moment of Zen . . .

    Intimidation isn’t an action in the way most people think.

    It’s a lot like fear. Although one may attempt to induce it, it’s a reaction primarily. One cannot be intimidated if they do not accept the desired reaction no more than one can be made afraid of something they do not already or inherently fear.

  128. And a link sent to me by a commentor . . .

  129. gbk says:

    That doesn’t change the fact that farmer’s words were clearly meant to intimidate.

  130. Elaine M. says:

    Gene,

    It’s the attempt by one person to intimidate another that is at issue.

  131. Were they? Or were they hyperbolic rhetoric in advance of argument advertising real world experience with the public behaving badly couched in aggressive language?

    The words can reasonably be read either way as we see here from parties who have interpreted them both ways.

    What the words aren’t, however, is a direct threat as is the standard required for editorial interdiction. Free speech can be a rough and tumble game. As Blouise notes, “this is a tough room and there are many knives hidden in many places”.

  132. Elaine,

    An attempt at inducing a state of mind is only successful if the target allows. How many times have you seen me threatened or people try to intimidate me over the years and I just laugh it off (with the noted exception of one or two seriously unhinged or unethical people?

  133. Elaine M. says:

    Gene,

    You say tomato…and I say tomahto. You see it your way…and I see it my way. I have never avoided standing up to those who tried to intimidate me. That’s why I dealt with constant attacks at the other blog. I don’t need you to tell me that it’s “a tough room.” I have real life experience, doncha know? That said, it doesn’t mean that I hope to see constant confrontations here at FFS as I did at RIL.

  134. bron98 says:

    communication on the internet is not easy. All of the hearing and visual clues are lost.

    As gbk says, or probably paraphrased at this point, “it is up to the author to convey his thoughts so he can be understood.”

  135. Elaine,

    Neither do I, but that is why the rules here have objective standards, to wit the direct threat standard for Rule #4. People who persistently do nothing but disrupt conversation (i.e. a pattern of disruptive behavior) can be banned under Rule #1. But to carte blanc censor confrontational or aggressive language is no better than RIL’s incredibly misguided (and failed in practice) “Civility Rule” which does nothing but enable the passive-aggressive trolls and remove poster’s ability for self-defense (a right which transcends Constitutionality and is a core component of the natural law tradition). One man’s civil is another man’s uncivil. It’s too subjective to be an effective standard. We try to be salon all the time here, but if the odd verbal saloon brawl breaks out (whether or not a bouncer steps in)? So be it. A small price for the freest speech possible under the constraints of the law, I think.

  136. Elaine M. says:

    bron98,

    The reader can also infer/interpret the meaning of the writer’s words as he/she will.

    From Carl Sandburg:

    Look out how you use proud words.
    When you let proud words go, it is not easy to call them back.
    They wear long boots, hard boots; they walk off proud; they can’t hear you calling–
    Look out how you use proud words.

  137. Elaine M. says:

    Gene,

    Whoa…there! Did I say anything about censoring people’s comments? Please don’t put words in my mouth.

  138. I didn’t, Elaine. However, that is the logical extrapolation of the policies in question – where does editorial interdiction become appropriate. To wit, I have revised Rule #4 to clearly spell out the standards and behaviors it applies to and posted this notice: here and updated the 8 Simple Rules page accordingly.

  139. bron98 says:

    Elaine:

    True.

    Proud words? Tangle ass proud words?

    I usually figure people are using metaphors unless they come right out and say I am going to rip the top of your head off and piss in your skull. If Gene said that to me I would laugh.

    I remember when I first started posting I made a comment that was taken much the wrong way, I said something to the affect that I was 6′-6″ and weighed 250 pounds, I caught a good deal of crap for that and so learned a lesson. I certainly didnt mean to be intimidating, most people who know me call me a teddy bear or gummy nerd, but the reader doesnt know that.

    I think Tony C has a small point and Yankee Farmer could have put intellectual tangle ass but it seems a good deal of mental energy has bee exerted on a minor bone that hopefully has not led to bad feelings.

  140. Elaine M. says:

    Let me add this: Yankeefarmer and Tony got into a contentious discussion. Other people decided to involve themselves in the discussion, which is their right as this is a public forum. Who knows what might had happened if others hadn’t decided to enter the fray? Maybe the whole thing would have died with a whimper…and not with a bang?????

  141. Bob Kauten says:

    I doubt that anyone was intimidated. No one is asking anyone for censorship.
    The attempt to intimidate is insulting, as in, “You think that you can pull that one on me, that I’m that gullible, and that timid?”
    I, for one, was insulted, which led to my over-reaction. I was just shaking my head at the “shot him in the head, boom boom whoa-oh” bullshit. Then I saw the threat at the end. I have a weakness for such things. The threat wasn’t to me.

  142. elainemag46 says:

    bron,

    A lot of mental energy…for sure. While you and I rarely agree on issues, I have never felt that you ever tried to intimidate me…or others with whom you disagreed. That’s why you are a welcome voice at FFS.

  143. Elaine,

    As Profession Crowe used to say, “Maybe. Could be. Possibly.”

    But why pass up a chance to educate on the nature of the freedoms afforded here and their very few restrictions?

    The thread is now carrying on two distinct lines of conversation, but both are inherently valuable to the marketplace of ideas.

  144. Bob Kauten says:

    bron98,
    I thought it was “I’m gonna tear off your head and shit down your lungs.”
    Was I misinformed?

  145. Bron,

    Considering some of our past arguments could be used to strip paint or dissolve metal, I’d hope you’d laugh at that. 😀

  146. blouise says:

    Growing pains are uncomfortable but necessary … and healthy.

  147. bron98 says:

    Bob:

    In light of all the head cutting off going around, I wanted to be sensative about that issue.

  148. blouise says:

    Bob K,

    Haven’t heard that one in a long time … ol’ time R&B from the 50’s, right? I think I was in 7th or 8th grade when Mr. Lee hit the charts

  149. swarthmoremom says:

    “Forget the custom tailoring question. It’s pretty clear you buy your suits from Omar the Tent Maker to accommodate your ego. Do you even realize what a clown you are making of yourself, Tony?

    I’m starting to feel a little embarrassed for you.” Gene I think you should forget about censoring but but instead start thinking about think showing more respect to those that comment if you want this forum to be successful.

  150. That’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it, Smom.

  151. bron98 says:

    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/subaudition

    subaudition
    Syllabification: sub·au·di·tion
    Pronunciation: /ˌsəbôˈdiSHən
    A thing that is not stated, only implied or inferred.

    It always helps vocabulary to use it. This thread has been one big example of subaudition.

  152. Mike Spindell says:

    Let’s look at the videotape:

    Tony C:
    “yankeefarmer says: 1) BOLO for two black males involved in a Forcible Taking, one wearing white T-shirt, red ball cap, white shorts.

    Bullshit, it was already reported by the proprietor of the store and by the Ferguson police department itself that at the time Wilson killed Brown that crime had not been reported. Therefore there was no BOLO. Please cite your evidence that there was or the Ferguson police department actually issued a BOLO prior to the encounter.

    And further, I think it was Wilson’s own claims that the confrontation began with a jaywalking warning, so I believe you are distorting facts; it was NOT in response to a BOLO.
    bettykath says: ”

    To which Yankee Farmer replies:

    “Tony C, obviously you’ve read Rule 1 posted on the masthead?
    I’ll leave you to your self-induced justifications for violently resisting the officer at the vehicle. As to BOLO? I expected the store owner to report. I expected the standard radio chatter heard non-stop in certain jurisdictions.

    If you’re looking for this incident, to hang, burn, draw and quarter this one officer – which will put a definite “chill” on the excesses of racist LEOs everywhere? Pass the pipe. I need a hit too.”

    It was YF who started the reference to the rules, because he was discomfited by Tony’s comment. Tony’s comment in no way impinged on Rule 1 and not only that, but pointed out that YF’s premise of a BOLO was incorrect. That is an important issue here because the claim is being made that Officer Wilson paid attention to Brown due to a BOLO, which s not only incorrect, but is thrown in to make Brown into more of a thug.

    Secondly, no one here has called for censoring anyone. When I talk of the swaggering, macho attitude of YF it was descriptive and I think dead on. As I stated above the shame of it is that YF has some good points to make, but seems to have the need to try to impress people with his fortitude. This is a tough crowd to pull that off in. I also disagree that rule 4 comes into play. It was a rhetorical, rther than physical threat, but my feeling s that Tony reacted in kind to the provocation of YF throwing the “rules” at him even though they didn’t apply to Tony’s comment.

  153. Why yes it has, Bron.

  154. Mike Spindell says:

    “It’s pretty clear you buy your suits from Omar the Tent Maker to accommodate your ego. Do you even realize what a clown you are making of yourself, Tony?”

    Gene,

    Nice phrasing, but in this context in-apt. 🙂

  155. Disturbing events that I hope does not turn into a trend.
    Pennsylvania State Trooper dies in shooting, another wounded

    2 officers from ‘Alaska State Troopers’ killed in confrontation

    Given the recent increase in cop-bashing, the inflammatory rhetoric may be coming to bear its bitter fruit. Social and forensic psychologists have been studying the influence of media on lone wolf actors for some time. There are enough unhinged souls out there to create a real threat to any cohort of people or institutions, given enough nudging by media. It may be individuals targeted or groups. For a few horrible examples, think of Dr. Tiller and other doctors who have been murdered for providing a legal medical service, because of mob mentality who don’t approve of what they do. Or Alan Berg.

    How about the Watts riots, bombing the Murrah Federal Building, or the worst case of all, Kristallnacht.

    “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.” Hosea 8:7

    • bigfatmike says:

      “Given the recent increase in cop-bashing, the inflammatory rhetoric may be coming to bear its bitter fruit.”

      Sorry, to me that sounds like a variation of the old saw that criticizing foreign policy disrespects the troops.

      I don’t think it is remotely cop bashing to voice concern over militarization of police forces, or to demand thorough investigations were there seem to be abuses of authority by individual officers.

      Some people seem to act as though we have to have proof beyond a shadow of a doubt before we can investigate, empanel a grand jury, or file charges. That is not the standard and that is not the way it should work.

      The problem for some – repeat some – police officers is that now there are so many video cameras it is hard to hide abuse of authority. That is a good thing. We all ought to be concerned when officers abuse their public trust.

      And finally. I agree we can all hope there is no upward trend in attacks on officers. I would not minimize the tragedy of the stories mentioned. But we should not let the mechanics of news reporting mislead us. Does anyone really believe that entertainers die in groups of 3? The fact is that LE deaths on duty have been trending down in recent years. And just eyeballing it, I don’t see any trend by month on the Officer Down Memorial page either. We can all hope that continues.

      If there is a rash comment in all this I think it would have to be the suggestion that responsible criticism leads to attacks on officers. Where exactly is all the cop bashing. Even in Ferguson what you hear most often if a deeply frustrated demand for a thorough investigation.

      I will wager most anything that the vast majority of officer attacks are related to the apprehension of those known to be involved with crime and have essentially nothing at all to do with political commentary.

      The claim that cop bashing is increasing and responsible for officer deaths seems to be just one more way to tell people to shut up and leave officers alone – regardless of the officers actions.

      That can’t be the right answer. If you want to live in a community ruled by law you have to hold officers accountable as you would anyone else.

  156. Bob Kauten says:

    Blouise,
    1957. I was 11. Maybe 5th, 6th grade?
    Already well on my way to being the street-savvy, tough-as-nails, hardened, gritty, CIA-ninja-operative, powder-puff that I am, today.
    And be damned careful about snickering at that.
    I’ve been known to soil myself, in retaliation.

  157. Elaine M. says:

    Chuck,

    We live in a violent society. Disturbing events occur all the time. Innocent school children are killed by wackos wielding guns…women are battered by their boyfriends and spouses…parents beat, abuse, and kill their own children…we torture people…and pundits, politicians, and the media keep pushing our country toward war.

  158. blouise says:

    Bob K,

    My brother was DIA then CIA now MIA (deceased) … I used to put itching powder on his powder-puff

  159. Tony C. says:

    Sorry, I’ve been out and about on a Saturday. In the meantime, GBK responded quite well on my behalf; thanks.

    James says: At no time, Tony, have I seen you acknowledge yankee the Whole Person. You haven’t focused on the job he does — which occupies most of his time — but rather on a few comments you didn’t like.

    Right, and Yanker really interviewed me thoroughly, my background, my life experiences, my military experience, my dealings with murderers and drug dealers in my youth, before he summarily determined that I would “need backup” before I “tangle-ass” with him. Just like Chuck looked into my academic background, SAT and GRA scores, and the twenty-odd IQ tests I’ve taken before declaring I “better be careful” about dealing with a “fast thinker” like the Yanker (or him or Gene, apparently). This paragraph was all sarcasm, for those that don’t process it well. Because James attempts to impose a burden upon me without any reciprocity required of anybody else.

    I do not acknowledge Yanker the “whole person” because I fully expect anybody that is actually intelligent to be able to show it in their writing. People can claim they are smart all day long, that is just advertising. The proof is in the product of this supposedly superior intelligence. Their arguments, their metaphors, their logic, their clarity.

    Blustering fisticuffs, empty threats, and outright falsehoods (like the BOLO) are not what I expect in the argument of an intelligent person. Assertions that racism and extra-judicial executions are effectively inevitable are not what I expect from an intelligent person. I don’t give a crap what his job is, it doesn’t excuse sloppy thinking and making shit up, nor would any amount of “getting to know him.”

    In fact, James, what you propose is an ad hominem defense, giving the Yanker a pass on bad argumentation (like Chuck did) based on who he is, instead of considering his argument as a thing unto itself. It is no less a violation of logic than an ad hominem attack. It is like letting Stephen Hawking publish a faulty proof in Physica-B because, well, dude, he’s Stephen Hawking! Who cares if his proof doesn’t hold water?

    Argumentation posts, like academic papers, must stand on their own, it makes no difference what “whole person” wrote them, or what their credentials are, or even what their life experiences are outside of what they convey in support of their argument. If they are intelligent, let them convey that through the genius and clarity of their argument.

  160. I, for one, did not address YF’s argument on the merits. Merely the hullabaloo about threats and intimidation.

  161. Oky1 says:

    This post, as were some of my other strike one posts is about the state of mind of the police, the protesters & how/why it’s come to be this way.

    We still don’t know enough of the evidence in the Brown/Wilson case to make a judgment, but we’ve some decent evidence to the Ferguson PD & the protesters state of mind afterwards.

    I think we can safely say the protesters were clearly upset not only at the shooting of Brown, but also of what they consider a long string of abuses & what they believe is causing the abuse.

    And the Ferguson PD/govt response was to 1st go in with the Iron fist & not the velvet glove.

    The Ferguson matter appears to me as one group of human beings responding to the real/perceived abuses of another group of human beings.

    But here I wish to switch your thinking to another line of reasoning that may change your perception of what may be at least part of the problem of why some of We the People are feeling certain areas of LE are being overly abusive.

    Below is a local Tulsa story of an off duty TPD officer shooting & killing an unarmed dog. As a family of dog lovers we here have noticed this growing tend of LE killing family pets/valued family members is out of hand across the USA.

    Now I don’t know if it’s like this everywhere, but if this office or citizen had killed/harmed a police dog it would be a felony in Ok, but not if it’s a private citizen’s valued family member in many cases.

    In part of what I contend is that, aside from other factors, new LE training is leaving some officers to place a very low or non-existence value on human lives & the lives of valued family members, our pets.

    That this new LE state of mind among some of them is unacceptable & has to be corrected immediately.

    That through the use of dogs we may be able change the focus away from the game that the Powers That Be have been playing of the ole standard race war crap, them against us,& onto how we/LE should be treating the the least/weakest among us.

    Even through the dog in the story below is dead, I believe, there is an opportunity presented to us in this state to use the dog’s death to improve the state of mind of LE & gain back some trust of We the People in LE.

    The dog industry has a fairly large economic impact, ie: dog food sales, stores like Pet Smart, vets, etc..

    What I would suggest as a community outreach program by LE is to reach out to the community of pet owners & the dog industry & come up with the funds to have LE work with the pet owners with some simple dog training classes & at the same time teach the pet owners & LE how to be better pet owners & how to successful engage a dog at large other then just murdering it, etc..

    My thinking is that if some those in LE can gain some respect for the life of an animal/family pets then maybe at the same time they may gain some respect for human life instead of this new trend: Oops, I was In Fear For My Life.

    On a side note, since I’ve seen this trend of LE murdering pets, 3 or 4 years ago I went to retraining my ole mutt to “Get” as in get the hell out of here, it isn’t safe for you here as LE has showed up & I don’t want you shot. I haven’t had to use that training, but it’s been just in case.

    Maybe some of you may wish to write your own local/state Leg/LE/Dog industry & get something like this started?

    ** Posted: 11:04 a.m. Friday, Sept. 12, 2014

    Off-duty officer shoots, kills dog in midtown Tulsa
    The dog’s owners say they will file a formal complaint**

    http://www.krmg.com/news/news/local/-duty-officer-shoots-kills-dog-midtown-tulsa/nhLjx/

  162. bettykath says:

    Unarmed Black men/youth/kids killed by cops since Michael Brown – at least 14
    Cops killed by civilians since Michael Brown – 1 (Those in AK were killed in May)

    There seems to be a big wuss factor when armed cops are killing so many of the unarmed.

  163. po says:

    Elaine says it well, Chuck.

    But, yeah, it will become a trend as, we saw it in Ferguson, the police is now an army, in weaponry, tactic and in mindset. The gulf between have and have not is increasing, the rhetoric of violence, within this society and outside our borders is being ratcheted up, and the lines with which we draw the Other have sketched up the president himself.
    What happens on the macro happens on the micro, and we are a warring nation, the greatest purveyor of violence on earth, to quote MLK, and the war is now in our midst, and we are at war with ourself.
    The danger is present, and strangely enough, is not from Mike Brown or Muhamad, it is from young white men, in uniform or not, with a sizable chip on their shoulders who see wrong in being displaced socially, who see right in holding might and using it.
    Just as young muslim men, ISIS or related, now take it upon themselves to take away muslimhood and humanity to whomever they want, young white men have taken it upon themselves to take away american rights and humanity from whomever they want.

  164. Personally, I find the constant dramatic pearl-clutching rather tiresome. Is there a point regarding Bob Stone’s analysis of what is known so far?

  165. Elaine M. says:

    Chuck,

    I have weighed in on a main source that Bob used for his in-depth analysis of what went down in Ferguson, Missouri. I called that source into question. Do you think Josie–who was not an eyewitness to what happened–is a reliable source of information? A better source than actual eyewitnesses?

  166. Oky1 says:

    ** bigfatmike says:
    September 13, 2014 at 2:29 pm **

    Nice piece!

  167. blouise says:

    Chuck,

    And I weighed in on the training.

    For those unfamiliar with the insult built into the phrase, pearl-clutching, it is a snarky way of saying, “I’m too blasé and worldly to be shocked by this.”

  168. “If you want to live in a community ruled by law you have to hold officers accountable as you would anyone else.”

    Yep.

  169. swarthmoremom says:

    “pearl-clutching (comparative more pearl-clutching, superlative most pearl-clutching)

    (idiomatic) Timid, sanctimonious, or easily offended.” Maybe being accused of pearl clutching is tantamount to being called pc on RIL. 🙂

  170. bron98 says:

    As long as the pearls are hanging on a pair of bodacious ______, I am all for clutching them.

    • bigfatmike says:

      “As long as the pearls are hanging on a pair of bodacious ______, I am all for clutching them.”

      The pearls, right??? You are suggesting clutch the pearls… aren’t you?

  171. Elaine M. says:

    I don’t gut no stinkin’ pearls to clutch. I’m not into jewelry.

    I’ll be away this evening and much of tomorrow. It’s our fiftieth high school reunion weekend–a harbor cruise this evening and a reception tomorrow.

  172. Bob Kauten says:

    Shit! My pearl string broke! They’re all over the place!
    Guess I forgot to open my fist, before taking my hand away from clutching them.
    No, I’m not calling you guys swine.

  173. gbk says:

    And, as everybody knows, men wear pearl necklaces.

    Jeez, ZZ Top, or Monty Python?

  174. po says:

    beautiful, gbk!
    Have fun, Elaine.

  175. Beautiful? No it isn’t. :mrgreen:

  176. po says:

    gbk, that falls under rule number 4, don’t it? I think Gene deserves a warning for that.
    No, let’s skip the warning and just kick him off his own blog 🙂

  177. gbk says:

    Po,

    Rule 8 is the best one — until it isn’t.

  178. Tony C. says:

    Chuck says: Is there a point regarding Bob Stone’s analysis of what is known so far?

    I think the point was made; I think Bob is cherry-picking the rules by claiming that Wilson was only following the rules. That seems highly unlikely, not only to me hearing it second-hand, but to the eyewitnesses on the scene stating in disbelief “he had his hands up.” Seems to me, they thought Brown was surrendering, too.

    Further, the commentary about the position of the right arm as inferred by bullet wounds is all fine and good, but easily explained by the plausibility of those wounds being inflicted subsequent to previous bullet wounds, causing Brown in shocked fear of his life to abandon surrender and drop his raised arms in service of defending himself, or to attack instead of surrender, or to flee again, and then being shot by one or more new bullets as his arms came to the horizontal. Any aggressive intent of a horizontal arm position relies upon those arm wounds being caused by initial bullets fired; which is not only not in evidence, but belied by the shock of eyewitnesses at Michael Brown being shot “with his hands up.”

    And how plausible is it that Wilson was afraid Brown was reaching for his gun, when according to eyewitness accounts, Brown was ten feet from Wilson when he started shooting? That’s ridiculous. Dorian Johnson, Brown’s companion, said Wilson fired on Brown, then Brown turned with his hands up and said “Don’t shoot,” then Wilson continued firing until Brown was dead.

    Cops are not dogs blindly following the orders of trusted masters. Wilson was not following the rules, and claiming he was just following one rule, shoot until the threat is over, is mighty convenient when the whole incident is probably the result of breaking any number of other law enforcement rules that led to this escalation in the first place.

    This story has legs precisely because everybody in their right mind knows that something went seriously wrong and it appears Wilson in effect executed an unarmed teen for jaywalking and being disrespectful when any shooting was completely unnecessary. He didn’t tell Brown to stop or do anything when Brown surrendered and said “Don’t shoot.” Wilson just kept firing, from ten feet away. Is that in the rules too? Shoot at a fleeing suspect, if he stops and surrenders by physical sign and verbally, empty a clip into him, and make sure the final shots are to the head? What rule is that, exactly? Leave no witnesses?

    That scene is not my own private take on it, that is the take of several eyewitnesses. But hell, who are we gonna believe? The people that were standing there, or the racist Ferguson PD trying to hide and spin the truth and blame the victim, or the Fox News pundits that just make shit up (like the orbital eye fracture that never happened)?

  179. Tony C. says:

    Ha! Self correction here; I typed “GRA” instead of GRE (Graduate Record Exam), a prerequisite for grad school. Whatever, it’s been awhile … I dun real good, ma.

  180. Oky1 says:

    ** po says:
    September 13, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    gbk, that falls under rule number 4, don’t it? I think Gene deserves a warning for that.
    No, let’s skip the warning and just kick him off his own blog 🙂
    **

    🙂

    I was once involved with a msg bb that the members were self correcting , organized & managing it though moderators & owner turned ahole because he became jealous or something of the likes. Everyone mutinied.

    Everyone went to a new msg bb that was started. That ole owner, beside himself, threated a tort actions, but it went nowhere.

    Oh the land of Msg BB Kings, Queens & other assorted lunatics, what fun we’ve had. 🙂

    BTW: I’ve strike one & I’m a capitalist biz man, I’m thinking about putting strike 2 & 3 up for Bid, what am I offered? 🙂

    Maybe Gene will buy me out? How’s the severance pay around here Gene?

  181. Erik says:

    That picture of “officer Wilson entering the academy” is me and my dog Brody from Buffalo NY. please correct yourself.

  182. Tony C. says:

    Erik: FWIW In Bob’s metaphor, “officer Wilson” is not you (the person in the picture), officer Wilson is the dog in the picture; Brody. The punchline is the third picture, of a dog, captioned “Officer Wilson on Duty.” Bob is saying that human police officers are akin to dogs following the orders of their masters.

    I am not a police officer; if I were I would find his analogy offensive. But maybe that’s just me.

  183. Bob Stone says:

    In Re: Josie I wrote: “According to CNN, this version has been “confirmed by a source with detailed knowledge of the investigation.”

    In Re: Jennings P.D.

    I Wrote: “Both the NY Times and the Washington Post tried to dig up whatever dirt they could find on Officer Wilson to support the fallacy. The Post even added a bit of melodrama by stating: “[E]veryone leaves a record, and Darren Dean Wilson is no exception.” (Cue the soap opera music.) Yet failing to find anything in Wilson’s “unremarkable past” to justify the mob’s rush to judgment, both The Times and the Post simply amplified the mob’s association fallacy by digging up the dirt of other people in Wilson’s past. The Times tried to satisfy the mob by discussing the criminal past of Wilson’s deceased mother while the Post focused on the sins of Wilson’s first Police Department in Jennings. Ultimately neither the Times nor the Post found any evidence whatsoever indicating Wilson himself was one of the criminals and racists they associated him with.”

    In Re: Victim Blaming

    The accusation of victim blaming carries with it an a priori denial of any facts that would justify Wilson’s shooting of Brown.

    ‘Sentence first — verdict afterwards.’

    This is why everyone was so upset about the robbery video; they were already “all-in” on the “Big Mike was a saint who was shot in cold blood by a murderous racist” storyline.

    As detailed above, Brown acted like Honey Badger in the robbery and twice with Wilson ten minutes later.

    The accusation of victim blaming is not license to lie to one’s self and others about what happened.

    In Re: Available Facts

    I wrote:

    Based on the evidence available so far, i.e. from which the media and the mob has been basing their condemnation of Officer Wilson, this “wait for all the evidence” troll finds that my dog clearly and convincingly did what he was trained to do. And I suppose it’s the Jungian in me that sees the excited utterance/State v. Smith/Darren Wilson coincidence as God’s way of saying: “Don’t you dare kick that dog!”

    I remain, Sir, your faithful and obedient servant,

    Ensign Pulver,
    Officer in charge of laundry and morale

    • bigfatmike says:

      “The accusation of victim blaming carries with it an a priori denial of any facts that would justify Wilson’s shooting of Brown. ”

      This is the part that confuses me. If the lawful use of lethal force requires the reasonable belief of immanent threat to life, then how can facts about the victims past possibly in any way justify Wilson’s shooting of Brown?

      It seems to me that any previous facts about the victim known to the shooter can only go to the shooters emotional state – with the distinct possibility that knowledge interferes with reasonable judgment.

      Past facts about the victim cannot possibly alter the facts of the shooting scene such as distance between the two, the velocity and direction of the victim – and other specific physical facts that determine reasonable belief of immanent threat.

      Perhaps you could enlighten us and explain how the victims past history leads to the reasonable conclusion of immanent threat? I am sure many of us would be interest in hearing that discussion.

    • bigfatmike says:

      ” “wait for all the evidence” troll finds that my dog clearly and convincingly did what he was trained to do.”

      Actually that is the 64 dollar question, isn’t it? Did the officer actually perform in accordance with rules of engagement and according to law on lethal force.

      Does anyone else find it ironic that the person cautioning use to wait for all the evidence and accusing us of a mad rush to judgment has already concluded the officer performed according to his training?

      However many holes we may punch in Bob Stone’s presentation he is entitled to his point of view. We have more important tasks.

      We have a duty to demand a real investigation – which does not seem to be happening. We have an obligation to follow the evidence where it takes us. We have an obligation to hold officials accountable to perform a real investigation and to demand that Officer Wilson account for his actions. That should not be controversial. That should be the standard.

      BTW I read the Olivia Cole article and suggest you read it too. She was not saying that we should not get all the facts. She was warning us there will be some who use ‘get all the facts’ as a ploy to play for time, to impugn the reputation of the victim, and to deflect the investigation. I do not believe that anyone who demands all the evidence is a troll in Cole’s meaning of the word – but some are. Olivia has some perceptive comments well worth considering by anyone with a genuine interest in getting the right result in this case.

  184. nivico says:

    “The Police give chase and maybe they catch a few, maybe they don’t but you know one thing I never hear on a Friday or Saturday night when the kids are partying and the cops are chasing them … gunshots. All those kids are breaking the law, all of them are fleeing justice and they don’t stop when the cop yells “STOP” but not once has a cop executed a teenager here…” – blouise

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and presume that Officer Wilson also doesn’t routinely go around “executing” teenagers on Friday and Saturday nights, either… and this is likely the first time he has ever had to resort to using deadly force against anyone during his career.

    I’m also going to presume that Officer Wilson, with the better part of a decade under his belt as a LE officer, has interacted with and been involved in the apprehension and arrest of thousands of suspects and criminals without incident.

    So why was this one particular encounter deadly when none of the thousands before it have been?

    To answer that you have to look at the only significant variable that is different here………….. the offenders themselves (Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson).

    And even only one of these two got himself shot.

    Res ipsa loquitur…

  185. bettykath says:

    I think Bob did some cherry picking. As I said before, he seems to have started with a conclusion, Wilson was justified in killing Brown, and picked the evidence that supported that conclusion.

    I want to see the more of the forensic evidence, should it ever be released.

    The prosecutor has said he is going to present everything to the grand jury without argument one way or the other and let the grand jury decide. I don’t know how that is possible. If he presents pieces of paper, that’s an incomplete story. If he presents witnesses, which ones and what are the questions they will be asked is very difficult to keep neutral, and completely antithetical to what prosecutors do. Or will he present witness statements without the witnesses themselves? Even with an indictment, what kind of prosecution will he do? We saw in the Trayvon Martin case how a prosecutor with plenty of evidence can throw a case,

    Has Wilson been read his Miranda rights? Has he specifically said he is invoking his Miranda rights and that’s why he didn’t submit an incident report? If not, his silence may be interpreted in court as guilt.

    There’s still a lot to happen with this case.

  186. po says:

    Agree with you, Bettykath.
    As in the Trayvon martin case, the armed man, the one with the power and authority, whether conferred by gun or badge or both, initiated the conflict and concluded it with gunshot and murder. Yet some of us then and now are willing, not having been present, and especially in this case where witnesses were present and mostly in agreement about the abuse of power and authority, to give the benefit of the doubt to the killer against the killed man!
    Why?
    There is no excuse for killing an unarmed man who, according to most if not all witnesses did no more than run away from the cop. Not having heard from the cop himself, what spurs one to attempt justifying what made him shoot the kid?
    WE have yet to hear from him, why would we then assume that there is another side, another narrative to what has been said, again by several witnesses, which is that the cop shot an unarmed man running away from him?

  187. Slartibartfast says:

    [thread-jack]

    Note: Since I’ve only read to about 11am, I apologize if any of this is out of date.

    I seem to have come late to the cage match, so I feel like I should pour some kerosene on the bonfire (remember, it will always light if you use enough kerosene…). As an author who hasn’t actually published anything, I’d like to know what godlike powers I am entitled to. So far, the only thing I’ve been doing is fishing the occasional comment out of the spam filter, which is cool and all, but if I could, say, cut guns in half with my mind (or be terribly mysterious), then I’d like to know about it. Honestly, I think the whole thing is a little silly, but if people want to keep “tangle-assing”* for the amusement of everyone else, then just let me get some popcorn…

    In the end, I think Blouise wins the thread (and the internet) for pointing out that the cage match thread-jack is actually a meta-example of the issue at hand. I’m on her side. As for Bob, no one is going to confuse me with his best friend and I don’t necessarily agree with him, but he’s laid out his position clearly and, like any commenter, however exalted or any author however humble (or vice versa), he deserves the presumption that his opinions are honestly held.

    *I am strongly in favor of adopting this term into our lexicon—it’s useful and has a certain amount of truthiness.

    [/thread-jack]

    I think Bob did a great job framing this issue, well done!

    Since Bob made a good point about rushing to judgement (something I believe everyone on both sides of this issue should think about), let’s look at what scenarios are possible here. First off, Bob’s take on things is clearly possible, although others have brought up evidence that calls parts of it into question, nothing has falsified it. Let’s call this option “good dog, good master”. Now, it is also possible that either the dog or the master was bad. Officer Wilson could have acted contrary to his training or the training itself could be at fault.

    If the dog was good, then the shooting was justified in a legal sense and if the master was good as well then it was morally justified as well. Since it is beyond doubt that there have been officer-involved shootings that were either morally or legally unjustified, any response we have should accept these possibilities and deal with them appropriately if they turn out to be the case.

    So, if Bob is right and Officer Wilson was a good dog faithfully carrying out the training of a good owner, what should have happened? Well, to answer that we need to look at some other dogs—namely the protesters. What does it mean for these dogs to be good? I’d say that, provided they merely asserting their Constitutional rights, they are clearly good dogs. Those instigating violence are bad dogs (be they Bob’s dogs or, say, Elaine’s dogs) and looting is right out. Similarly, I think that their “masters” are good provided they have a legitimate grievance that they are protesting.

    Even if Officer Wilson was totally in the right, the protesters have a valid reason to be upset because of past examples of bad dogs and bad masters—one particularly egregious example involving a wannabe good dog who was terrifyingly stupid, a horrifically bad master (in the state of Florida) and the legally justified and morally shameful killing of an unquestionably good dog comes to mind. This being the case, there is every reason for protesters to call Officer Wilson’s actions into question and, by doing so, bring down the Feds to crawl up everyone’s ass with a microscope. If, in the end, he is vindicated, then he should be able to resume his career, but until the process has run its course he should have the presumption of innocence personally, but his employers need to treat him as if it is possible that he is guilty.

    At this point, I would note that if this was a literal dog, then, should either the dog or the master be at fault, the dog would be destroyed. Since dogs are not capable of deciding if their orders are legal and moral, I would argue that a human “bad dog” or a “good dog of a bad master” should both be metaphorically destroyed—i.e. fired and possibly imprisoned.

    So, Bob, I will agree that no one should kick your dog until the facts come out (“good dog” protesters excepted), but, should it turn out that your dog was bad after all or that you were a bad master, would you be the one to shoot your own dog?

  188. blouise says:

    “with the better part of a decade under his belt as a LE officer, ” (nivico)

    Two years in Jennings and 3-4 years in Ferguson … better part of a decade sounds better than less than a decade

    Yep, I’ve been watching the cops chase the kids here for 40 years, that would be 4 full decades and they haven’t even tried to shoot one. That’s 40 years of kids breaking the law and living to tell about it. I guess we need someone like Wilson to come in here and clean up this town and he wouldn’t have to worry about a thing because these kids are just as negliget as Brown and could certainly be blamed for causing the unusual event. Res ipsa loquitur… back at ya.

  189. blouise says:

    Slarti,

    Still waiting on the Snowden article which should draw a lot of heat. I would be willing to bet more heat than this article.

    I unabashedly admit that you are my favorite filter fisherman.

  190. blouise says:

    “Does anyone else find it ironic that the person cautioning use to wait for all the evidence and accusing us of a mad rush to judgment has already concluded the officer performed according to his training?” (BFM)

    Yes … but … that’s Bob … and it’s his article and wouldn’t he have to see it that way in order to present this defense? I think it’s a benefit-of-the-doubt thing. My benefit-of-the-doubt goes to Brown … his goes to Wilson. Neither one of us knows. He has the luxury of telling us to wait because his benefit-of-the-doubt guy is alive, mine’s dead … he ain’t got the luxury of the Justice system.

    • bigfatmike says:

      ” wouldn’t he have to see it that way in order to present this defense?”

      Well that seems to be what he has done. But no, there is no necessity.

      It is entirely consistent for a more even handed person to present the best possible case for Officer Wilson then conclude: but not all the evidence is in and only time will tell.

      I would argue that some of Stone’s ham handed phrasing and emphasis of controversial assertions has only undermined Wilson’s defense – here. However that may be, I am confident that if officials will only conduct a thorough inquiry, officer Wilson will likely get exactly what he deserves – no more, no less. Isn’t that what we all should want?

  191. yankeefarmer says:

    GBK, thank you for asking.
    gbk says:
    1. Farmer, what do you do for a living?
    GBK, actually I farm. I also consult on, and restore Historic Register properties.
    Rarely, I’m called to testify as an expert witness on matters of incendiary fires, motor vehicle incidents, and firearms.

    2. Farmer, what are your thoughts on this country’s foreign policy?
    GBK, honestly? I’d be shocked if we had a cogent foreign policy. Certainly nothing that survives from SoS to SoS, or Administration to Administration. I’m unsettled by the influence of multinational corporations, as compared to the weighing the physical threat to our Citizens. That we, as a nation, prefer to catch-up with other Imperial powers of yore, and subjugate populations, rather than build alliances.

    3. Farmer, do you have any daughters?
    I have no children of my own. I do however lease stepdaughters. Usually when they’re in crisis.
    I usually give them four options: Shoot something. Blow something up. Work it out. Go for dessert. While the my intention is for them to pick ONE, usually only one is eliminated, and *never* the last option.

    What wasn’t asked:
    White. Old, according to everyone I know. Child of the ’60s. Grew up rural, a 650 person town.
    Three black families in town, who predated all but, a handful of other families. We’re talking “British subjects” pre-dating.
    I worked Alphabet City, suburbs, Yonkers, Bed Sty, Brownsville, Mount Vernon, The Village, Spanish Harlem, the North Bronx, The West Side, Hollis, and Bensonhurst. Been there for the 77 pct abuses, and the Dirty 30.
    Ended my time in Little Odessa, as an Investigator.
    Spent much of my time with a Jaws-of-Life in my hands.
    Lost 6 friends in the events of 9.11.01. One of whom was the Chief of Department, one the Chief of Special Ops.
    Found that a young man I mentored, was on dive rescue training at The Battery, and avoided the collapse.
    Know that each of the six, plus hundreds more, died as we knew was possible: Shit, happens.
    qv: Walbaums fire, or for those of you in metro-Boston: Worcester Cold Storage.

    There’s been mention of my anti-gun control position. Not in this thread, so someone is doing research. Gun control in this nation has always, and I mean forever, had a racial and/or classist origin. Do I have problems with regulation? No. I think qualification with a class of firearm should be required. I do however, distrust the processes in place to be fair and equitable for all persons, of all colors, and gender/sexual preferences. I just haven’t seen fair and equitable in-person.

    The NFA ’34 was desired for 2 decades before passage. It was right and proper for the Industrialists to gun-down dock workers and miners. It was an abomination for those same citizens to take up arms.
    Were Sacco and Vanzetti framed? Sure, but they were anarchists, and did support and/or give aid to those persons, who would destroy American capitalism and it’s exploitation of immigrants.

    The GCA ’68 did seek to restore the “Black Codes” prohibiting the yeomanry of African-Americans from owning a firearm. It just so happened to (cough-cough) prescribe against “felons”. qv: Malcolm Little.
    The most feared black man in America. Sure… Newton and Seale had a catchy logo, and neat berets.
    None of whom were the real threat to America, and Americans.
    J Edgar Hoover however… was, and lives on in other guises. Nice pumps dude.

    I did shoot a person, in the back of an EMS unit. With a Walther PPK .380 ACP.
    A nice purse gun. If that makes me a girly, macho man? I prefer “soft Butch” thanks.
    Some of the toughest firefighters, cops, and EMT/Paramedics I ever knew, were women.
    So to say: “girly man” is probably to depict the whine bag 6 footer breaking 230 pounds who bitched about everything: It’s heavy. It’s too hot. I’m cold. When are we leaving?
    The 155 pound hard-body “fireman” next to me, went through hell to get on the job, and she dished it out in equal measure. The female reporter who called her a “lady firefighter” barely survived.
    I took. The. Entire Test. Kicked-ass, took-names. You. WILL address me, as Fireman.

    The closeted gay fireman? The one with wife and kids? Another one top of the list, when looking for a can-do person. He held two degrees, one from Fordham Law, and still wanted to wear the station house blues, instead of a suit and tie.
    He’s the one who said: “Never be photographed. They can’t prove you were there, without it.”
    Years later a girlfriend tried to freak me out by taking “conservative fireman” me to Christopher Street. Snorf chuckle wheeze. I knew the door bouncers. Dragged her into Birds of a Feather.
    Yeah, I’m conservative, but I travel in an Alternative Universe.

    Mostly? We were liked and respected by the minority community we served, even the gangsters and addicts. As firemen and EMS, we weren’t the problem, the police were. That made life easy.
    We were also stolen-from on a regular basis, by the crack cocaine-addicted. Call in a bogus incident, steal a radio or battery from a fireman’s car. That, was a nuisance.
    Having the community molotov and stone your station house? That was a problem.
    We, didn’t have problems. Oh, one other thing:
    The Ralph Avenue Ladder Company was our bitches.
    If anyone of you know them, please pass the word along. They always waved, saving 4 fingers for later.

    For a decade after leaving the job, I carried a gun daily. Russian mobsters, make Colombian narcotico trafficantes appear to be Girl Scouts™.
    Now? If they can find me, they can have me. My attack rooster is my first line of defense.
    Fear the rooster. He’ll summon the geese.
    Ever been beaten by geese? Think Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard, at the same time.

    Mostly, if you’re trying to impress me? Have some real time, street experience. Your suburban street, has just as much cred as Atlantic Avenue. I just ask that you put your body where your rhetoric is. Now? I feed the indigent, while making poverty wages myself.
    Thanks to the ex-wife for taking much of the potential for lucrative retirement, the current wife is worth the economic strain.

    Know the truism: “The victor writes history” applies to law enforcement, politics, and so-called “due process”. Know too, “A Grand Jury will indict a ham sandwich* if so-instructed” remains a cornerstone of jurisprudence.
    * Sol Wachtler
    http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/indict_a_ham_sandwich/
    http://columbialawreview.org/ham-sandwich-nation_reynolds/

    Sol would later find out how well that worked, when charged with spousal abuse and witness tampering.

    Oh, there was an allusion as to my lacking education.
    I’ve 920 documented hours of college level education. Over 20 years, that’s not much effort.
    EMS, personnel management, fire forensics, occupational safety, project management, adult education, educational development, structural engineering for the fire service, race and gender studies, ballistics, and forensic photography.
    I wrote curricula for building collapse and vehicle extrication using pneumatic and hydraulic rescue tools.
    All however, are certifications by various accreditation authorities, and not University degrees.
    Contract reads: Pay more, if degree is issued.
    Government says: “New accreditation authority… your old credits do not convey, nor transfer”.
    If I had the degree? The US Marshall for the Southern District would have been my employer @ 1989. Spiffy badge, unlike the tiny badges the Feebs carry.

  192. swarthmoremom says:

    http://www.thenation.com/blog/181589/new-ferguson-witnesses-say-michael-brown-had-his-hands-what-more-will-it-take-arrest-dar ““Hands up, don’t shoot!” has been the cry of the thousands who took to the streets seeking justice for Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old who was shot and killed in Ferguson, Missouri, by Officer Darren Wilson on August 9. According to multiple witnesses, Brown had his hands in the air—a gesture generally understood to signal surrender—when Wilson shot him to death. The police have a different story: they say Brown was the aggressor, having reached for Wilson’s gun while the officer was still in his vehicle, and later charging toward Wilson. This version of the story, frankly, sounds ridiculous. And now there’s more reason that ever to doubt the police’s explanation. CNN has reported on two witnesses that had not previously given statements to journalists:

    Two men, shocked at what they saw, describe an unarmed teenager with his hands up in the air as he’s gunned down by a police officer. They were contractors doing construction work in Ferguson, Missouri, on the day Michael Brown was killed.And the men, who asked not to be identified after CNN contacted them, said they were about 50 feet away from Officer Darren Wilson when he opened fire. An exclusive cell phone video captures their reactions during the moments just after the shooting.

    “He had his f**n hands up,” one of the men says in the video. The man told CNN he heard one gunshot, then another shot about 30 seconds later. “The cop didn’t say get on the ground. He just kept shooting,” the man said. That same witness described the gruesome scene, saying he saw Brown’s “brains come out of his head,” again stating, “his hands were up.”

    At this point, I need someone to answer this question for me like I’m stupid: What else is needed to arrest Darren Wilson? I’m not asking what a prosecutor would need to for a murder conviction, or even what a grand jury would need to bring formal charges. What else is needed for police to say, “Darren Wilson, you shot and killed someone, you are under arrest”? What more?”

  193. Swm,

    Hold your arms up & take a look, even in a mirror if need be.

    Bob Stone re-presents us with the only autopsy report so far to judge by.

    If Browns hands were up he’d been shot a few times in the back of the arms, but the autopsy we have clearly shows that not to be the case.

    I’m not picking a side here yet, I’m just pointing out a piece of the evidence we have.

    ** Dr. Baden’s autopsy diagram shows Brown had his “hands up” but in “a forward-leaning position” towards Wilson. **

  194. blouise says:

    SwM,

    I read that. From what I understand, these two contractors have also testified at the Grand Jury. I suspect as more witnesses finish their testimonies we will be hearing more accounts.

  195. gbk says:

    yankeefarmer,

    Thanks for answering my rhetorical questions. Your answer to (3) is quite illuminating:

    “3. Farmer, do you have any daughters?
    I have no children of my own. I do however lease stepdaughters. Usually when they’re in crisis.
    I usually give them four options: Shoot something. Blow something up. Work it out. Go for dessert. While the my intention is for them to pick ONE, usually only one is eliminated, and *never* the last option.”

    Thanks for clarifying that you are an asshole.

    Your answer to rhetorical question (2) is also revealing:

    “2. Farmer, what are your thoughts on this country’s foreign policy?
    GBK, honestly? I’d be shocked if we had a cogent foreign policy. Certainly nothing that survives from SoS to SoS, or Administration to Administration. I’m unsettled by the influence of multinational corporations, as compared to the weighing the physical threat to our Citizens. That we, as a nation, prefer to catch-up with other Imperial powers of yore, and subjugate populations, rather than build alliances.”

    That you see “nothing that survives . . . from Administration to Administration” says to me you don’t pay attention. Our foreign policy has been steady since Malta, in that hemisphere, much longer in ours. The fact that you see it as “catch-up” tends to make me agree that you are an idiot.

    Why don’t you go back to your original entry in this thread, deal with your brass balls, and when that’s over with, maybe answer some more rhetorical questions.

  196. swarthmoremom says:

    Oky, I thought you were against over aggressive law enforcement or is that only when it concerns Cliven Bundy and his pals.

  197. Oky1 says:

    SwM,

    I’m for justice , The Preamble of the Bill of Rights & the Rights themselves.

    I went back for another look at those autopsy drawings & it may be possible Browns hands were in a position that I’m not sure of.

    The govt seems slow on this case, maybe not I don’t know, but one thing that could have happened already is that the family could have released photos of Browns body just as the lawyer Jesse Trentadue did with his dead brother’s body, maybe thought have been involved in the OKC crap, but later shown to have been false.

    There’s more sick pics of the deceased Kenneth on the net if you wish to see the type of results that also later came from Bush’s John Yoo’s Tortured Memo.

    BTW, Professor Turley debates Yoo next week. I’d rather see our govt do the right & Prosecute John Yoo as a Terrorist that I believe he is.

    http://www.kennethtrentadue.com/

  198. Slartibartfast says:

    Blouise,

    I’m just bummed that I came late to the party and can’t do more than add much needed snark and sarcasm. A little bit later I think I’m going to threaten to rip off Bron’s head and shit down his throat. I’m sure he’ll be very intimidated.

    Gene,

    This argument is pining for the fjords.

    S’mom,

    I’d say that the evidence needs to be brought before a grand jury—that’s the way the system is supposed to work. If one-sided evidence is presented then I think you have every right to be upset (I certainly will be), but as long as the system is doing what it is supposed to, then I think it is better to focus on what the appropriate response for either possibility should look like. Not that I am in any way confident that that is what will happen.

    Bron,

    Want to tangle-ass you capitalist pig?

    Tony,

    I would note that in the extensive back-channel discussions regarding the publication of this very article, you were on every email I received, so if this blog has a “star chamber”, you are a member. I also point out that after I suggested that you and the other commenters be given an equal vote to the authors it was pretty much universally accepted.

    Just sayin’ 😛

  199. Of course it is, Kevin. It’s the Norwegian Blue.

  200. Oky1 says:

    SwM,

    I think we’ll hear some more facts on Ferguson/Brown?Wilson very soon.

    Obama & his AG Holder both chimed in on Ferguson. This is FYI on the creep AG Holder is & the bloody baggage I believe he’s carrying.

    Warning, the pictures are gross. I’m supposed to be tough, but I can hardly stand to see some of this type stuff. The case is below. Good Dogs/Bad Dogs?

    http://www.apfn.org/apfn/OKC_Trentadue.htm

  201. Oky,

    There is almost something we can agree on. Holder doesn’t have a stellar record for being tough on bad LE. Quite the opposite in fact.

  202. po says:

    Worth noting here that without the protests in Ferguson, no grand jury would have convened and this officer would never have had to deal with the consequences of shooting an unarmed civilian, just as many officers around the country have escaped with nary a reprimand after having shot and killed an unarmed civilian.
    If we are even discussing a grand jury, it is only because of the global outrage this shooting has brought about, and many communities around the countries are similarly demanding that the cop(s) who killed their unarmed son be held accountable.
    Zimmerman would not have had to answer to us in court without the public pressure , for seemingly, the police are executioner, jury and judge. If they are satisfied with the claim of the victor, hell who are we to demand further investigation?

  203. Oky1 says:

    Gene,

    Why do the people put up with these creeps like Holder, John Yoo, Bush, Kissinger, etc.

    Ignorance, indifference, etc..

    I’m not sure why they suffer the fools when the people at large have it with their power to stop all this insanity tomorrow.

    Often I think I’m the fool attempt to remain optimistic & at some point enough of the public will come to their senses to put a stop to this National insanity.

    For whatever reason I’ll likely keep throwing my back into what I see as the solutions. And we’ll all see results or not.

    What else I’m I going to do with my time, buy a $$$ million dollar parking spot in Manhattan? 🙂

    I don’t think so.

  204. blouise says:

    Slarti,

    It went all bad-ass when farmer decided to “warn” Tony. The minute I read those couple of sentences I knew we were in for a ride. Warning Tony is like warning Buddha is Laughing (you remember him from the old days before he got all respectable) … fun times at Ridgemont High.

    Seriously, I really am waiting on the Snowden piece.

  205. blouise says:

    po,

    Yep … people have learned … demand accountability

  206. blouise says:

    BTW … I had no idea this was the article under discussion … sometimes I can be really, really stupid

  207. pete says:

    po

    the overreaction by ferguson pd at the first sign of unrest didn’t help much either. kerosene on the fire, so to speak.

  208. Bob Stone says:

    nivico says: “I’m going to go out on a limb here and presume that Officer Wilson also doesn’t routinely go around “executing” teenagers on Friday and Saturday nights”

    Bingo. That’s a good summation of the presumption I began with.

    Bettykath & Po,

    Outcome determinism? No.

    As we know from every trial for murder you’ve ever heard about, the killing of a man, absent a mental defect, usually entails a motive or a set of circumstances leading up to the extreme act.

    The “cherry-picking” I did was to focus on just such obvious circumstances as would lead one to understand how and why Officer Wilson would be constrained to take the life of Mike Brown.

    The mob violated Sutton’s law,

    or

    “When you hear hoofbeats behind you, think horses, not zebras.”

    Slarti,

    I get the feeling you were initially caught up in the emotion of hearing zebras and are now settling down to listen to that keen analytical mind of yours.

    Good dog.

    Give yourself a cookie.

  209. Blouise,

    “Buddha is Laughing (you remember him from the old days before he got all respectable)”

    You can still see him now and again when the weather conditions are right. Off in the foggy lowland hills, setting trolls alight, green face illuminated by their burning skulls, mad laughter echoing off fen and stone, a revenant upon the moors striking terror in the hearts the dank bridge dwellers. Sometimes in the highlands, on cold starry nights, you’ll glimpse a flash of emerald shadow and hear the screams of the propagandists. “Relent!”, they beg. Still he shows no mercy until their cries fade to silence in the darkness. And like that, he is gone.

    Somewhere in the distance, a dog barks.

  210. gbk says:

    yankeefarmer,

    “Thanks for answering my rhetorical questions . . .”

    Sorry, but I forgot to note some details in your response to my rhetorical questions as I had to leave to pick my wife up at a public transit station. But here they are:

    1. The rhetorical questions weren’t addressed to you. They were addressed to James Knauer in the process of pointing out what I felt were, well, disingenuous arguments.

    2. This is why they were rhetorical, both in tone and substance.

    3. The next time you want to re-enter a thread, I would suggest not using tertiary rhetorical questions to do so, as this can make the thread meander a bit too much.

    4. I would also suggest that “stream of consciousness” writing is difficult for a reader to follow, and that there are reasons for such devices as topic sentences, commas, semi-colons, and whole sentences representing at least a modicum of thought.

  211. blouise says:

    Gene,

    And an owl hoots as the cauldron bubbles … troll soup tonight my little darlings.

    I have a nostalgic love for BIL. He was my very first blog experience and one never forgets one’s first.

  212. gbk says:

    Gene, Blouise:

    Get it over with already, huh? 😉

  213. blouise says:

    gbk,

    That’s a really good number. I’m going to look up more of his work.

  214. Slartibartfast says:

    Blouise,

    Yankeefarmer was just following rule #8 of fight club (if this is your first night, you must fight) which means we get to follow rule #8 here. Seriously, it’s his first day in the prison yard, he had to pick a fight with someone, right? Yankeefarmer chummed the waters, Tony C was just the one to rise to his bait. Some others decided to get a piece of it as well. It’s no big deal, it isn’t Tony’s first time at the dance and Gene’s built one hell of a shark cage here. The rules provide a level playing field, we’re supposed to fight it out and may the best ideas win. Besides Tony v. the farmer is just the undercard. We’re all really just waiting until some of the heavyweights get engaged on the merits of something. Then the fun really starts. I’ll get to work on doing my part… 😉

    Bob,

    I freely admit that I thought I heard zebras, but I never tried to kick your dog and it hasn’t been established that we’re not (metaphorically speaking) in Africa. Also, I didn’t really get caught up in the emotion (and even now I haven’t really been paying attention to the details), as I’ve been distracted by many shiny objects.

    I think the important thing is to understand what should happen, if only so that we are aware if what does happen turns out to be the wrong thing (which I fear will happen no matter what the facts turn out to be—in fact, knee-jerk reactions on both sides confirm it). If it turns out that Officer Wilson didn’t follow the rules (or that the rules themselves are inappropriate), what do you think should be done? If Officer Wilson is in the right, isn’t the fact that we can’t deny that there was a possibility he wasn’t a good reason to try and prevent future cases where the dog (or the master) isn’t good?

    What I really want to see is reasonable actions that address very real problems (whether or not this particular instance is an example of those problems). I suspect, in the end, I will be disappointed.

    Also, even though I like dogs and appreciate well-trained ones, I’m really more of a cat person. But I’ll take the cookie.

    Gene,

    Next you’re going to start telling us about Buddha’s plumage…

  215. blouise says:

    Slarti,

    We all swim around like Charlie the Tuna until Jaws shows up.

    There’s not much controversy now. It’s really going to heat up when the Grand Jury makes a decision. Then again when Justice finishes their work.

    The mob, as Bob likes to call us, got the ball rolling. Ferguson’s City Council is busy making all sorts of ordinance changes valiantly trying to keep their jobs. The mob ain’t too happy with them. I doubt this new found sense of responsibility towards their constituents is going to save them from getting voted out of office. New Aldermen mean new City Manager means new Police Chief (if the Feds haven’t already convinced him to retire) and most important to the ol’ boy network … new city contracts. Lots of angst in Ferguson and heavy turnout at City Council meetings.

  216. Oky1 says:

    OT:

    How to survive to live to be old, be the soberest drunk in the car. One night the driver was to drunk, I insisted on getting out & I hiked 15 miles home. I’m glad those boys survived but many others did not.

    Surviving is great, what I’m doing is seeing to it I enjoy it. And I remember that day back then. 🙂 Do you?

    Gnite

  217. JoeJr says:

    Everything I’ve read suggests the grand jury is just getting a bunch of stuff dumped on it with the delliberat intention of no indictment. Many here seem to have faith that the process is working. What am I missing?

  218. bigfatmike says:

    ” What am I missing?”

    Ummmm…..the fix is in? Is this a trick question?

  219. bigfatmike says:

    “When you hear hoofbeats behind you, think horses, not zebras.”

    Fair enough. But if you turn around and you see a guy in a badly fitting horse costume it is probably not a horse – its a fake. And he is trying to confuse you.

    As in trying to describe Wilson as the victim, make Brown the villain – a thug, confuse the issue of whether it is Brown’s or Wilson’s state of mind that matters in the application of lethal force. BTW it is Wilson’s state of mind that matters not what Brown was thinking or what Brown had done earlier that is relevant to the legal application of lethal force.

    Then accuse anyone one calling for a thorough investigation of being part of a mob rushing to judgment.

    Pretty transparent stuff. And funny. Like a guy walking around in horse costume thinking he is fooling anybody.

  220. yankeefarmer says:

    The question no one’s asked, is why the convenience store owner did not report the strong-arm taking of merchandise. No “BOLO” as there was no immediate report.
    If insured, and I say “if” as getting insurance in certain locations requires Lloyds of London level of premium, the insurance companies love official police reports. It substantiates claims, and premium increases.

    Possibles:
    1) One more claim, or a continued history of thefts, and you have no insurance.
    So it better be something big. Like a car into the store, or an armed robbery.
    2) Personal threat. “Call the cops, and I’ll end you.”
    3) General threat. “Call the cops, and this place will burn to the ground.”
    4) The police are an equal menace. Physical intimidation, protection money, also taking merchandise.
    5) The police, drive business away. Partly by being there, partly by a number of your daily clientele having active warrants.
    6) Yes.

  221. yankeefarmer says:

    GBK: Your comment is illuminating.
    “That you see “nothing that survives . . . from Administration to Administration” says to me you don’t pay attention. Our foreign policy has been steady since Malta, in that hemisphere, much longer in ours. The fact that you see it as “catch-up” tends to make me agree that you are an idiot.”

    If you really want to play foreign policy hardball? Fine. We’ve maintained consistency since the Jackson Administration and Manifest Destiny. Subjugation of non-whites, usurpation of their resources, and the creation of enemies where none need exist. See: Banana Wars.
    To Malta, and the appeasement of Uncle Joe: what did we accomplish, other than to agree with the partitioning of the Baltic and Slavic States? A renewal of the broken Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, with the US and UK filling the role vacated by the Reich. “At least it spares ol’ Blighty!”
    Korea. Vietnam. Cambodia. Laos. Containment of the commie hordes… or was it instead fulfillment of Eisenhower’s speech.
    http://coursesa.matrix.msu.edu/~hst306/documents/indust.html

    This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

    In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

    We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

    Thanks for playing.

  222. Tony C. says:

    yankeefarmer says: There’s been mention of my anti-gun control position. Not in this thread, so someone is doing research.

    I mentioned it, I did no research other than reading your posts and using logic. You mentioned Bloomberg here and used the phrase “Yes, the man who sees no gun as a good gun,” in the same post you derisively refer to “Hope & Change” (Obama’s tag line) and “progressive racial profiling” [emphasis mine]; from the tone of this post I inferred you are opposed to the gun control. I also infer you are on the side that sneer at progressive policy and incorrectly (IMO) assume Obama is comin’ after their guns.

    I have done zero research outside this blog on you; I am skilled at inferring people’s state’s of mind from their word and phrase choices in their writing, both by training and as a hobby in the analysis of the mechanics of fictive dialogue in TV, film and novels.

  223. Elaine M. says:

    The Ferguson police department has itself to blame if people don’t trust it to provide them with the truth.

    http://wonkette.com/557635/anonymous-lady-says-anonymous-witnesses-back-up-ferguson-cops-story-whatever-that-is

    Excerpt:
    Just one quick little nuisance-y question for Dana Loesch and the Daily Caller and the Post-Dispatch reporter and Mrs. Wilson and of course “Josie.” And really, we hate to even bring it up, since it’s so very beside the point, but we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t. It’s just that the Ferguson Police Department’s official story of Officer Wilson’s official story has varied just a little in the past week or so, what with the justification for the shooting being something about resisting arrest, and then a thing about being a robbery suspect, but then another thing about not knowing Brown was a robbery suspect at the time, but then a thing about how Officer Wilson saw some cigars in Brown’s hand, so he deduced that Brown was the robbery suspect he did not even know about, even though the police report on the robbery was not filed until several days after the shooting, which was justified because Brown was hopped up on marijuana, actually.

    So in spite of all of this “evidence” — and again, so sorry to bring this up, we are such a pain like that — what exactly is Officer Wilson’s story again?

  224. Elaine M. says:

    THE BODY IN THE STREET
    By Charles P. Pierce on August 22, 2014
    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/The_Body_In_The_Street

    Excerpt:
    I keep coming back to what seems to me to be the most inhumane thing of all, the inhumane thing that happened before the rage began to rise, and before the backlash began to build, and before the cameras and television lights, and before the tear gas and the stun grenades and the chants and the prayers. I keep coming back to the one image that was there before the international event began, before it became a television show and a symbol in flames and something beyond what it was in the first place. I keep coming back to one simple moment, one ghastly fact. One image, from which all the other images have flowed.

    They left the body in the street.

    Dictators leave bodies in the street.

    Petty local satraps leave bodies in the street.

    Warlords leave bodies in the street.

    A police officer shot Michael Brown to death. And they left his body in the street. For four hours. Bodies do not lie in the street for four hours. Not in an advanced society. Bodies lie in the street for four hours in small countries where they have perpetual civil war. Bodies lie in the street for four hours on back roads where people fight over the bare necessities of simple living, where they fight over food and water and small, useless parcels of land. Bodies lie in the street for four hours in places in which poor people fight as proxies for rich people in distant places, where they fight as proxies for the men who dig out the diamonds, or who drill out the oil, or who set ancient tribal grudges aflame for modern imperial purposes that are as far from the original grudges as bullets are from bows. Those are the places where they leave bodies in the street, as object lessons, or to make a point, or because there isn’t the money to take the bodies away and bury them, or because nobody gives a damn whether they are there or not. Those are the places where they leave bodies in the street.

    Bodies are not left in the streets of the leafy suburbs. The bodies of dogs and cats, or squirrels and raccoons, let alone the bodies of children, are not left in the streets of the leafy suburbs. No bodies are left in the streets of the financial districts. Freeze to death on a bench in the financial districts and you are whisked away before your inconvenient body can disturb the folks in line at the Starbucks across the street. But the body of a boy can be left in the street for four hours in a place like Ferguson, Missouri, and who knows whether it was because people wanted to make a point, or because nobody gave a damn whether he was there or not. Ferguson, Missouri was a place where they left a body in the street. For four hours. And the rage rose, and the backlash built, and the cameras arrived, and so did the cops, and the thing became something beyond what it was in the first place. And, in a very real way, in the streets of Ferguson, the body was still in the street.

  225. Bob Stone says:

    Slarti: “If it turns out that Officer Wilson didn’t follow the rules (or that the rules themselves are inappropriate), what do you think should be done?”

    Slarti,

    He should be held accountable; exactly as I stated in the second paragraph.

    My problem from the beginning was the mob beginning with the conclusion that Wilson was a murderous racist that shot a man who was surrendering; all other facts and analysis contradicting said conclusion be damned.

    That kind of crap.

  226. Elaine,

    Yep. It was rather a “shades of Pinochet” kind of moment.

  227. Elaine M. says:

    At least 6 Ferguson officers apart from Brown shooter have been named in lawsuits

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/at-least-6-ferguson-officers-apart-from-brown-shooter-have-been-named-in-lawsuits/2014/08/30/535f7142-2c96-11e4-bb9b-997ae96fad33_story.html

    Excerpt:
    Federal investigators are focused on one Ferguson, Mo., police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager, but at least five other police officers and one former officer in the town’s 53-member department have been named in civil rights lawsuits alleging the use of excessive force.

    In four federal lawsuits, including one that is on appeal, and more than a half-dozen investigations over the past decade, colleagues of Darren Wilson’s have separately contested a variety of allegations, including killing a mentally ill man with a Taser, pistol-whipping a child, choking and hog-tying a child and beating a man who was later charged with destroying city property because his blood spilled on officers’ clothes.

    One officer has faced three internal affairs probes and two lawsuits over claims he violated civil rights and used excessive force while working at a previous police department in the mid-2000s. That department demoted him after finding credible evidence to support one of the complaints, and he subsequently was hired by the Ferguson force.

    Police officials from outside Ferguson and plaintiffs’ lawyers say the nature of such cases suggests there is a systemic problem within the Ferguson police force. Department of Justice officials said they are considering a broader probe into whether there is a pattern of using excessive force that routinely violates people’s civil rights.

  228. Tony C. says:

    Slart says: I would note that in the extensive back-channel discussions regarding the publication of this very article, you were on every email I received, so if this blog has a “star chamber”, you are a member.

    I was going to follow the rule of “what happens in Vegas”, but since you bring it up: I was indeed. Nor would I ever decline to express my opinion in such a setting.

    That doesn’t mean I think it is the best way to handle it. Belatedly, I think the “constitutional” analogy for FFS would demand that a “constitutional amendment” for FFS be publicly debated to determine whether anonymous authorship should be allowed or not, or under what circumstances, and let the public vote as they choose, if they so choose. Like a constitutional amendment, demand some threshold of super-majority to change the status quo; which is clearly real name revelation.

    Unlike the Founding Fathers, I do not think it should ever be up to a ruling body to set their own rules, salaries, or choose their own members; it is an inherent conflict of interest. Isn’t it odd that the same people that speak out against government secrecy, non-transparency and the making of governance decisions in back rooms hidden from the public eye will decide to do engage in precisely the same behavior as soon as they are given a chance?

    Isn’t it funny how quickly and naturally people just give up and say, “I shall defer to the King, he owns this place”?

    How quickly those in power assert their right to dictate rules by ownership and proclamation: “my house, my rules, if you don’t like it form your own country.” I find it quite amusing that these same people then sincerely wonder WTF happened to real democracy and civil rights in America.

    I honestly think the wrong decision was made here, I see absolutely nothing in Bob’s post that is informed by the use of his actual name instead of a pseudonym; and I find the entire claim of “people must take ownership” a load of macho bullshit posturing, easy for those with nothing to lose to advocate (the retired, the CEOs, people in protected positions that do not have to worry about being denied a livelihood if their real name is googled). It is like the chicken hawks in Congress ordering up a war and more dead teenagers to prove their own macho credentials to their constituents. IOW “easy for them to say”.

    Bob could have made precisely the same argument under his pseudonym, perhaps with the explicit line “I am in real life an attorney, as advertised.” Academics can even publish papers anonymously or under pseudonyms (hence the Student t-distribution; published under the pseudonym “Student” with the knowledge of the editor of Biometrika). The founding fathers published under pseudonyms extensively even after the revolution, in publicly debating the Constitution.

    Which means, forcing Bob to reveal his name is nothing but chest pounding and egoism. If you want to be part of Skull and Bones, first you will demean yourself and subordinate yourself to that fraternity. You don’t get to be in the Mafia until you murder somebody. You don’t get to be in the cool girl’s sorority unless you put on a blindfold and blow a stranger. It’s like that, right?

  229. Elaine M. says:

    Slarti said: I would note that in the extensive back-channel discussions regarding the publication of this very article, you were on every email I received, so if this blog has a “star chamber”, you are a member.

    *****
    blouise said:
    September 13, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    BTW … I had no idea this was the article under discussion … sometimes I can be really, really stupid

    *****
    We had back-channel discussions about this article? Like Blouise, I must have missed something. I was not aware that Bob was going to post an article on this subject.

  230. Elaine,
    Regarding the manner in which the post-incident situation was handled, including how long the body remained on-site. One has to remember there are two different situations. First, in any shooting, whether done by a single officer, several, or even a civilian, the shooter has no control over what happens next. Officer or civilian, the shooter will be removed from the scene immediately. That person or persons will be back at the station, in an interrogation room, answering questions in a debriefing. Detectives take over the follow up, and if it is a small department with no crime lab, the CSI team may have to come from somewhere else. I have no idea whether the Ferguson department has their own crime scene investigation team or not.

    The last shooting The Lassie went to, the body laid in the front yard of the house for several hours while CSI was sent for and did their work. However, that was a rural area and was at night. Her crew picked up the wounded and departed before the detectives were finished.

    That said, it sounds to me as if the scene was handled badly. Most departments have a protocol for setting up visual barriers whether it is a crime or an accident. Both our local sheriff’s department and police department make sure a body is screened from rubberneckers and is also protected from the elements.

    At any rate, regardless of his level of culpability, Officer Wilson had no control over what happened afterward. That falls on somebody else…or a lot of other somebodies.

  231. Hey people, the subject of a post should not have mattered, and if it had been revealed in discussions, what difference would it make? The overall discussion was, and still remains, about blog policy in general, both now and in the future. The question was to establish some kind of policy as to whether posting should be anonymous, or via byline. It just so happened that Bob raised the issue, which resulted in a general policy discussion. No one expected unanimous consent or agreement, because in any group of more than three people there will almost always be dissenting votes on some subjects.

    If the subject Bob had in mind had been published to the discussion, would it have made a difference? If so, why?

  232. blouise says:

    yankeefarmer,

    I, too, wondered about the store not calling the police. The owner even hired a lawyer who, in turn, told the community that neither the owner or any employees reported anything. The lawyer then said that the store did not tell anyone about the video tape but the day/2 days after the shooting the State (or maybe it was County) police showed up with a court order to look at the store’s tapes and then took the tapes. The store owner, through his/her lawyer, wanted to assure the community that the store had not reported or volunteered anything.

    Now you have suggested several possibilities for the lack of action on the store owner’s part and I, particularly, wonder about #4 on your list, given the reputation of the Ferguson Police Department,. This is one of the small mysteries that I hope will be solved through the Feds investigation. I also am interested in finding out how the police learned of the incident (the owner’s lawyer opined it was a customer who called and others have suggested it was through the questioning of Brown’s companion) and how the State/County police obtained their warrant. So far all official responses to those questions have been, “No comment”. Understandable but adds to the mystery.

  233. Elaine M. says:

    Chuck,

    I didn’t say it would make a difference. I was just wondering what Blouise and I had missed in the discussions. We evidently weren’t aware of some details that others knew about.

  234. FWIW, Bob wasn’t forced to do anything. He made a request. The request was considered. The request was denied, but a forward thinking policy change resulted. Every editor/author knows coming into this that using their real name on the byline (if they are regular authors on the masthead) is just part of the gig.

  235. Elaine,

    You were on all the email distributions discussing the policy change, but I dropped Blouise because of personal reasons (hers, not mine, the timing was just bad for her).

  236. po says:

    Elaine
    Re the body in the street, i haven’t been able to intellectually, and mentally take stock of that part of it. My horror at that is so overwhelming that it somehow undermines my outrage that a boy may be shot to death by the cops in our cities without any apparent reason, and I do not know yet how to do one without doing the other.
    I keep imagining myself as the parents, and as the friends, and I know WITH CERTAINTY, that I would not have been so patient, and the lack of concern and care shown the boy in life and in death would have been overwhelming for me. The end result would have been a full on riot on the spot, or another person (me) shot to death and left to lay in the streets for another 4 hours.

    It is a dangerous thing that to side with the power against the powerless, especially when the facts seem to give reason to the powerless.
    It is also a mistake, once again, to make this solely about Mike Brown and officer Wilson. This is a symptom of a larger state of being, and is akin to treating the fewer in lieu of the underlying disease.
    Just as the Arab spring turned into a hurricane from just that little breeze of one single Tunisian man lighting himself on fire, Mike Brown’s death is that spark that makes the “mob” say, we’ll take this no more.”

  237. Elaine M. says:

    Gene,

    I know we discussed a policy change. That wasn’t what I was talking about. I must have missed reading an email or two. I had no idea who asked for a policy change. I also wasn’t aware that a final decision had been made.

  238. po says:

    BTW,the second was part was not directed to Elaine, just wide range rambling.

  239. Elaine,

    The who was never part of the conversation (purposefully so). The final decision in re anonymous authorship was never discretely spelled out but it was “yes, but rarely and only as circumstances merit, and with a laxer standard for guest bloggers” (yes, we are going to start having guest bloggers if a pending test run works out, but not in the way RIL did, more on that later and in private).

  240. blouise says:

    Chuck,

    It was a funeral home team. ..Calvin Whitaker … they have a contract with the city.

    Saturday, August 9, 12:01 in the afternoon, Ferguson officer Darren Wilson encounters Michael Brown and a friend walking in the street.
    12:07 the shooting is reported.
    12:10 a paramedic in the area responds and finds no pulse.
    12:15 other Ferguson officers start to arrive
    And the body is partially covered with a white sheet.
    12:43 country officers notified of shooting.
    1:30 county homicide detectives arrive
    2:01 Calvin Whitaker is called to pick up and deliver the body to the county morgue…
    His county contract states, he must be on the scene within an hour.
    2:25 Calvin arrives at the shooting scene.and 2 hours and 12 minutes later at 4:37 he delivers Brown’s body to the morgue. A 15 minute drive from Ferguson..

    Once Whitaker arrived on the scene crowd control is an issue. I believe Whitaker credits Brown’s parents with quieting the crowd so that their son’s body could be gotten off the street.

  241. blouise says:

    Elaine,

    Tex has some serious health issues so Gene is giving me space.

    How’s the reunion going?

  242. Elaine M. says:

    Chuck,

    “First, in any shooting, whether done by a single officer, several, or even a civilian, the shooter has no control over what happens next.”

    Did I suggest that Darren Wilson had control over what happened to Michael Brown’s body?

  243. blouise says:

    po,

    It is beyond horrifying. Brown’s mother got to the scene rather quickly (a friend called her). The Police would not allow her to go to him of course so she stood there for 4 hours … for quite awhile his body was uncovered as she pleaded with them to at least cover him.

  244. blouise says:

    “Did I suggest that Darren Wilson had control over what happened to Michael Brown’s body?” (Elaine)

    Of course you didn’t but you are part of MOB, don’t cha know. 😉

  245. Elaine M. says:

    blouise,

    Time for a little Monty Python…and Hell’s Grannies:

  246. blouise says:

    Elaine,

    Very apt … particularly for this thread … Wilson good, MOB bad. We’re just in it for, to quote one of the gang, “the free gifts”.

  247. Tony C. says:

    Gene says: Every editor/author knows coming into this that using their real name on the byline (if they are regular authors on the masthead) is just part of the gig.

    What an interesting deflection of responsibility. Like, “If you want to be a sister of Kappa Delta Phi, you’ll get naked, put on this blindfold, and suck some dick. We all had to do it, girlfriend, it’s just part of the gig. We don’t make the rules.”

    (Oh, wait, yes you do make the rules, it isn’t “just part of the gig” at all, it is an anti-free-speech demand by you.)

  248. bron98 says:

    Slarti:

    “Bron,

    Want to tangle-ass you capitalist pig?”

    I am a passafist. Be careful who you be callin a capitalist pig. Pretty soon you never know who might be one.

    Then that person might take all that money and start making more oinkers and then pretty soon the world is full of oinkers helpin oinkers and then what is a progressive to do? You cant have a BBQ if there are too many pigs.

    I have limited energy to tangle ass so I will do what any good little piggy would do and hire a 10 year old to kick your candy progressive ass. I’ll tell her to go easy on you and not hurt you too bad.

  249. blouise says:

    JoeJr,

    You may not be missing anything … it may be we who are blind. Right now there is nothing that can be done except talk about it. I’m sure there are many on all sides of this issue who are making plans to be carried out once the Grand Jury announces their decision. I’m not one of them.

  250. You don’t like it, Tony? Feel free not to be an author/editor.

  251. And while we are at it, let me make something perfectly clear: I run this place like a pirate ship. It’s a democracy, but I’m still the captain. Hence, “Editor-in-Chief”. All the e/a’s know this and accept it. I’m also a very benevolent and solicitous captain on policy formulation. The early e/a’s had input in the formulation of the 8 Simple Rules and continue to have input on evolving policy: something they did not have at that other place. We strive to maximize their rights just like we strive to maximize the rights of posters. They are full editors too. If you don’t like those terms? Again, you are not an e/a. They don’t apply to you. Reasonable accommodation has been made to comply with Rule #2, reasonable accommodation that they have voiced no opposition to, but there are other considerations taken into account in running this blog and you are not privy to them. They are, however.

  252. Bron,

    “You cant have a BBQ if there are too many pigs.”

    You can. But everyone needs to eat more, faster. :mrgreen:

  253. bron98 says:

    Gene:

    Are you going to share the booty when you hit the big time? What will the split be?

  254. Tony C. says:

    Gene says: Feel free not to be an author/editor.

    Ha! Who coulda seen that coming? Oh, wait, it was me at 9:17; two and a half hours ago. Spoken like a true dictator, Gene, your way or the highway.

    Like I said, it is amazing how the very people that decry anti-democratic insider rule by secret meeting in America, that vilify dictators and monarchists and those that seek authoritarian rule, engage in precisely the sins they condemn the minute they are given (or take) some authority. Amazing.

  255. Equitable, Bron. As it should be. I’ve already put quite a bit of thought into that, but at this point in time, it’s cart before horse. If this blog ever turns into a money making proposition though, everyone will get a fair share of the profits. We are growing and growing rapidly, but that day is still a ship on the horizon. Arrrghhh, matey.

  256. Tony,

    If you have a problem with hierarchy and authority in management structures, I suggest that is your problem.

  257. Tony C. says:

    Gene says: It’s a democracy, but I’m still the captain.

    Oh bullshit, this is not a democracy, the participants here extend beyond the authors, by your own admission, and in fact are anybody that reads and chooses to comment is affected directly or indirectly by the policy decisions made. Your governing body is chosen by you, the only people allowed votes are chosen by you, even what is up for a vote is chosen by you. Is who “runs this ship” up to a vote? I doubt that, too. In what fantasy world is this anything but a benevolent monarchy? Heck, I would not be surprised if in future discussions I am stripped of any vote by being excluded from the back-channel conversation; because Tony is too contentious and too democratic.

    Shall you now engage in a little Aynish redefinition of Democracy to suit your needs?

  258. Tony C. says:

    Gene says: If you have a problem with hierarchy and authority in management structures, I suggest that is your problem.

    Well, dictatorships and monarchies and ruling cabals are indeed something I find problematic, I admit, even though I understand the urges of human nature to create such ruling structures and maintain control of people and the conditions under which they are allowed to speak or allowed a vote.

  259. bron98 says:

    Tony C:

    Gene took the time and effort to start this blog, it is his to do with as he sees fit. He did build it even if he had help. He built the website [or had it built], he set up alliances with the guest bloggers and provided a venue for them to express themselves, he is probably marketing the site, he is updating and improving the site.

    In short he has the right to sail in any direction he chooses and we as consumers have the right to join him or not. And the same for the guest bloggers.

    I have always said you have the totalitarian in you, you just need to be in control. Hell you cant even let a dog get a leg up on you. People who desire to control everything have no control of themselves. In my mind the desire for control over others is the true evil in this world, it isnt the left or the right but the extremes of both who desire power over others because they have such small egos. They fill that emptiness with control.

    You dont need to control everything you are involved with, Gene is quite capable in his own right as are the guest bloggers. Maybe if you gave up some control once in awhile you would learn something. No one person can control everything, no small group of people can control everything. When they try is when the problems arise and force is always the result.

    Men have reason to determine their own way, if you have determined, through reason, that your needs, wants and desires arent being fulfilled by FFS; start your own blog. Dont try and force Gene to conform to your vision [not that you could], he has his own. We all have our own vision and we should be free to pursue our personal dreams.

  260. nivico says:

    ” “When you hear hoofbeats behind you, think horses, not zebras.” ”

    The sad reality is that folks have been conditioned to always hear zebras, even when logic and rational thought dictate that it is almost certainly a horse…

    …and when they turn around and see a horse, they won’t believe their own eyes because they have also been further conditioned to believe that the zebra’s stripes must have been painted over.

    And that’s where were at in the Ferguson situation. An officer with an ‘unremarkable’ past and service record, and an offender with a criminal record who not ten minutes earlier robbed a liquor store… and people still think they hear zebras.

    • bigfatmike says:

      ” an offender with a criminal record who not ten minutes earlier robbed a liquor store… and people still think they hear zebras.”

      Lets just stipulate for a minute that the person shot was the devil incarnate, or at least spawn of the devil. That has absolutely nothing to do with whether the shoot was legal.

      Even the devil has a right not to be shot unless he poses an immanent threat to life. That is the single question we have to investigate fully – would a reasonable person conclude that Michael Brown was an immanent threat to life? The other stuff about whether he was a good person or a criminal is obfuscation designed to confuse you.

      I don’t know much about horses or zebras but I do know propaganda when I hear it.

  261. Tony,

    You were asked to participate in that out of camera discussion as a courtesy. The e/a’s, however, realize it is my name capping the masthead and that the buck has to stop with someone. Here, that someone is me. They have an active stake in the performance of this blog. That is reflected in the fact that they have shaped policy from day one. You are a guest here, not a host. You have – listen very carefully – no rights in this blog’s management. Your opinion was solicited and then you asserted that you have a vote in how this blog is run. You do not. The e/a’s do.

    I can see now that extending that courtesy out of respect for your long time participation was an error. Unlike the other long-time posters asked to participate, you have tried to piss on every fire hydrant you’ve come to and acted like a petulant child when the consensus didn’t go your way. When the consensus didn’t do what you wanted, you opted to throw a temper tantrum in public like a three year-old who was raised by wolves being denied a toy in Walmart.

    Well played. Stellar performance. Please, keep on with your futile rant.

    Like Napoleon, I never stand in the way of an opponent making an error.

  262. lol

    Nice selection, Chuck. Most appropriate.

  263. bigfatmike says:

    It really is funny. Grown men prancing around in a horse costume thinking they are fooling anybody.

  264. bron98 says:

    Gene:

    I should be thanking you for creating a venue where I can speak my mind.

    Thank you.

  265. You are most welcome, B. One lives to be of service.

  266. blouise says:

    BFM,

    And I don’t believe Brown has a criminal record … at least according to the County Prosecution’s office …St. Louis County Prosecutor’s office confirmed that Brown had no prior misdemeanors or felonies against him.

  267. That conforms with what I’ve read, Blouise.

  268. blouise says:

    I’m beginning to think these guys are riding unicorns.

  269. As somebody with experience in this field, there is a caveat. Juvenile records are usually sealed. I don’t know what Missouri law says about unsealing juvenile records these days. When I lived there, getting access to a juvenile record practically took an act of Congress. The DA may or may not be correct.

  270. bettykath says:

    I have no illusions that I really have a say in any decision-making here, but I do have an opinion that I offer that has not been solicited and may/will be ignored. (Permission granted for the obvious). I have no problem with articles being presented with the use of a pseudonym. For the author, it may provide some protection from back-lash in other aspects of his/her life. For me, it would probably aid my ability to read and analyze and comment with less bias based on my perceptions of the author.

  271. bk,

    Serendipitously, that has been factored in to the current policy. If an e/a can show sufficient substantive threat of backlash, that is grounds for anonymity thus conforming to Rule #2 and the very reason anonymous political free speech is protected. GB’s (assuming the pending test of that program works out) will have the choice of true or anonymous byline if their article is published, backlash or not, conforming with Rule #2. As a normal course of business though, owning your opinions if you are on the masthead conforms with Rule #1. The whole issue really was a micro-exercise in the resolution of the conflict of laws, but I think the balance found will serve the body well in the long term. Some conflict of laws issues in the larger world though are not quite so easily resolved. It’s one of the thornier areas in the study of jurisprudence.

  272. Unicorns. Dangerous on both ends and treacherous in the middle.

  273. bettykath says:

    According to the timeline presented by Blouise from an official source:

    It took 6 minutes for the shooting to be reported
    So Wilson didn’t call for backup when confronting
    the jaywalkers; he didn’t immediately call in his use
    of deadly force
    It took another 8 minutes for Ferguson cops to appear.
    It took 42 minutes from the time of the shooting for the county to be notified
    What? 42 minutes to notify the county
    of a homicide? oh, by then the “mob”
    was formed and no chance to call it
    a suicide.
    It took another 45 minutes for the homicide detectives to arrive.
    High traffic day? or high volume
    of homicides?
    Another half hour for a call to the mortuary
    No ME or Coroner? Aren’t these the
    folks who should be called first? Maybe
    not in MO or maybe it’s just Ferguson.
    25 minutes for the mortuary to arrive
    reasonable for a 15 minute ride
    after cleaning out the hearse
    or maybe more high traffic
    2 hours and 12 minutes for the body to be delivered to the morgue.
    More high traffic and must have
    had a cop along for the ride
    so a donut stop was necessary.

  274. bettykath says:

    Gene, Thanks for explanation. Much appreciated.

  275. blouise says:

    Chuck,

    And there is a valid reason for that … we give kids a chance to learn before killing them.

    However a conservative blogger (I think it was Got News) did piggyback, or unicornride onto a petition to see if Brown had a criminal juvenile record claiming they’d heard the hoofbeats of a serious felony charge Brown was facing at the time of his death. The judge denied the petition and a juvenile court official said there was no felony charge pending. The unicorns went hungry that night. Brown’s family says there is no arrest record but then, what do they know?

    I don’t know if the MOB is petitioning for Wilson’s records, emails, job reviews or training schedules .

  276. Tony C. says:

    bron says: I have always said you have the totalitarian in you, you just need to be in control.

    I don’t know where you get that from this discussion; I have never once asked to be in control, nor do I desire to be in control. In my business interests I have seldom had sole control, I am more inclined toward partnerships. Even when I am the major investor I advocate for shared control and a flat-topped pyramidal structure with co-CEOs at the top. It works. I am more democratic than USA; I firmly believe unitary control is a grievous error and the buck should NEVER stop with one individual, no one person should ever wield final decision authority on anything. You, Bron, are far more the authoritarian than I have ever been, in my life.

    As for my dog, he is not a human with human foresight or any understanding of physics. And you are wrong even about that; my dog understands the command, “your choice,” which he is given for about half his walks. This morning he led me on a 66 minute walk; longer than normal, but I let him follow his nose.

  277. blouise says:

    Tony,

    You have my email on one of those cc’s … drop me a line if you’d like

  278. bettykath says:

    I think the claim about Michael is that he was “involved” in an investigation. I don’t remember the exact wording but it didn’t suggest he was a suspect, rather, he might have been a witness or had some other role. If my neighbor shoots someone I’m automatically “involved” b/c of geographic proximity even if I didn’t see or hear anything.

  279. Tony C. says:

    Gene says: You are a guest here, not a host. You have – listen very carefully – no rights in this blog’s management. Your opinion was solicited and then you asserted that you have a vote in how this blog is run. You do not. The e/a’s do.

    Learn to read. I asserted I should have that right; out of consideration that you, in violation of your own rules and promises, sent my real name and email address to people that were NOT e/a’s or on the masthead.

    Not only that, but you unilaterally revealed names TO me that I did not know prior, in direct violation of your “8 simple rules” promise to never reveal posting information to anybody. Let me quote from #2: Your posting information will never be disclosed by any FFS editor and/or author to third party posters on this blog absent your consent …

    So you listen very carefully: You broke that promise, I never claimed any right to vote in how this blog is run, I asserted I should have a vote on the issue in question since my anonymity had been unilaterally stripped without my consent; I deserved at least that much in compensation.

    My assertion since then, in comments, is that this is NOT a democracy, as you assert, which you are obviously proving by (I presume) stripping me of future participation or vote in such discussions, essentially stripping me of any right to vote because you don’t like my free speech, which you now call pissing on hydrants. Thanks King Gene, for proving my point, your delusions of democracy are ashes, it is a plain old Monarchy and not that benevolent. You choose your advisors, you choose who votes, and if you don’t like what they say, you eject them from the circle. And on top of that, you make rules and then break them without apology, just dismissive excuses. Couldn’t be more kingly.

    Carry on with your fantasy.

  280. Speaking of fantasy, all of the e/a’s have access to your email and IP because they are, duh, editors. If you don’t like that? I suggest not participating in WP blogs or any kind of computer forum. They already knew how to contact you. But shall I quote your email, Tony?

    “I feel entitled to a vote whether I am an author or not.” – Tony C., email dated: Friday, September 5, 2014 at 7:24 AM

    A right you claimed, but not a right you actually have nor one that was conferred. I let it slide at the time because I’m fully realize from other dealings with you that your ego is out of control, but the bottom line is you claimed a right you simply never had. So please, rant some more. Keep illustrating that you are just as Bron describes: a pitiful man with control issues.

    It’s funny.

    And as a matter of fact, I am not going to extend that courtesy to you in the future. Why? For the same reason children aren’t allowed to participate in political or business process: lack of capacity.

    You’ve amply demonstrated that here today.

    Good show.

    If any of this displeases you? I invite you to get out a micrometer to measure my concern over the matter.

  281. blouise says:

    bettykath,

    I think you’re right. It was “involved” but they didn’t know how. Was he charged, or a suspect, or a witness, etc. The hoofbeats were used as an excuse for a fishing expedition which the court denied.

  282. Tony C. says:

    Bron says: Gene took the time and effort to start this blog, it is his to do with as he sees fit.

    You are changing the subject, I never argued differently. I argued he was wrong to call it a Democracy, it is a simple monarchy, as he just demonstrated in his last post.

  283. In a democracy, there is still a leader. Or do you think the Executive Branch serves no function?

    And the fact is, you are arguing differently. You seem to think you should run this blog and you’ve thrown a fit because 1) you didn’t get your way in private and 2) your indignation at strong language was resoundingly dismissed earlier has seemingly unhinged your mind. Well congratulations, today you’ve successfully destroyed any chance that you had at being asked to be an e/a and thus have a say in blog management as well as removed the value from any future solicitations of opinion, Tony. My error was in thinking you were up to the task given. Apparently not. It’s not a mistake I’ll repeat with you.

    See Chuck’s video above for further guidance.

  284. Tony C. says:

    Gene says: all of the e/a’s have access to your email and IP because they are, duh, editors.
    Is Blouise a guest author? Is Bron? I don’t think so; and you revealed my name and address to them.

    As for my email, way to quote a partial sentence out of context in order to be misleading. Here is what I wrote: Well, since my anonymity was partially abridged by including my email address in this group, I feel entitled to a vote whether I am an author or not.

    Keep illustrating that you are just wrong.

  285. Also, for the record, the disagreement at RIL that led to the schism wasn’t who the captain of the ship was. It was over inconsistent propagation of rules in private versus in public, inconsistent enforcement (actually preferential treatment), restrictions placed on GBs with no consultation and by fiat and a fundamental disagreement on the formulation of rules along subjective versus objective standards.

    The rules have been public here since day one.
    The rules have been enforced here consistently from day one.
    No restrictions are on the e/a’s that they have not agreed to and were not consulted upon.
    We are unified in using objective standards as the best possible basis for rule formulation.

    Carry on.

  286. Keep trying to manage this blog and see how it works out for you, Tony.

  287. Wow, trying catch up and follow this from the beginning has been exhausting and nearly futile, nearly.
    Great comments from nearly everyone (at least everyone I managed to read in the last hour and forty five minutes). Po I really enjoyed yours I have not read anything from you before.

    On to my point.

    Tony I often really enjoy reading your comments and as Mike S. says I feel some justification in your initial complaint(?). However, I implore you to understand or perhaps a better way to say it would be stop and look at what you are doing. You are yelling at a wall of reality.

    Gene is the Host, the ultimate authority, for better or worse. I for the most part enjoy your contributions. Especially when they do not wax into attack or self justification. I also would like to continue to see those same quality contributions. Gene seems willing to drop the matter at any point, please for the sake of my future enjoyment of your writing do the same.

    On the topic of the post, thanks Bob. I don’t really agree, but I always appreciate further exploration of the topic. I don’t see the Wilson issue as being primary anymore. That will be resolved with a long series of factual and erroneous testimony hopefully and will probably take some time. With luck and truth it will come out well.

    By far the larger and more upsetting issue to me is the practical application of martial law in Ferguson by a local police agency and the lack of action about it.

  288. frustration /frʌˈstreɪʃn/, n.,

    1: The feeling of being upset or annoyed as a result of being unable to change or achieve something:

  289. Caitlyn Laufey,

    1) Po’s a good ‘un. Well worth noting.

    2) “Gene seems willing to drop the matter at any point, please for the sake of my future enjoyment of your writing do the same.” Good sound advice.

    3) “By far the larger and more upsetting issue to me is the practical application of martial law in Ferguson by a local police agency and the lack of action about it.” To me, that is also the most alarming issue at hand. Not that the race relations between the Ferguson PD and the community are not alarming in their own right, but that response was something else altogether.

    4) Welcome aboard.

  290. Thanks Gene, it is good to be welcomed. Remind me to stay on your good side though.

  291. bettykath says:

    Tony, I agree with your on-topic comments. I see your frustration with the off-topic comments. Gene is king with a parliament. Right or wrong, the rest of us are the peasants. I appreciate not having the responsibility.

  292. bk,

    Peasants isn’t the word I’d have chosen, but I see where you are going.To shift analogies, I see it more like a party. It’s my house, but I have friends help throw the soiree for the enjoyment of . . . our beloved guests.

    There are some few rules, we have bouncers, but Rule #8 is the most important: Have fun.

    Like any party, sometimes someone gets a snoot full or looses their happy place and, like any party, they either pass out, wander off or find their happy place again.

    Caitlyn,

    It’s really pretty easy to stay on my good side.

  293. Tony C. says:

    Gene: In a democracy, the leaders are elected, not self-appointed for life. Or do you think all monarchies and dictatorships are also democracies?

    I do NOT believe I should run this blog, I have neither time nor inclination to do so. I have never requested to be an e/a or to have any say in blog management. You seem to think that my criticizing your claim of “democracy” means I have some ambition besides calling you on a blatant falsehood, be it lie or delusion, and it does not; you infer incorrectly.

    As for “not getting my way,” I said I cast a vote to allow anonymity, because I believe anonymous publication should be a right for good reasons. And although I used my own situation as an illustration of real world consequences of prohibiting anonymity, that does not mean I wanted to be an anonymous guest author.

    For other readers, the issue I cited is that my real name is googled at least a few times a year by colleagues, business investors, and other people that control grants, contracts and my employment in the universities and other facilities where I perform research; and I’d rather my political and social commentary not pop up in such searches. Even though the government could undoubtedly link my comments here to me, that is not something the people I am talking about are capable of doing, but they certainly can and do type my name into search engines, a few have even told me they’ve done that.

    Thus I, for one, comment anonymously and have a minimum social presence online. That said, that argument should not have been taken as an implied argument that I wanted to guest-author anonymously or I would have privately requested to do that, as Bob actually did. It should have been taken as a real world example of why somebody else with something to say might have a valid reason to comment anonymously. That, and the fact that there are crazy people out there, as we saw at Turley’s blog, that might choose to use a real name to find somebody in real space and pay them a little visit. My argument was that a post (like a comment) should stand on its own, the real name of the author does not matter, and if somebody wants to post anonymously then, like an academic paper, a review to ensure accuracy and legality and appropriateness of the post was sufficient.

    My argument was never about me wanting to be an anonymous author; at worst I used my own situation as proof of the reality of reasons somebody might wish to remain anonymous and should be allowed to do so, for professional or personal reasons (an example of the latter being not wanting to invite crazy people to visit their home).

    I have continued that argument here because it was brought up again, here. That is an exercise of free speech. For which, Gene is now punishing me, after violating the privacy he promised to protect.

  294. Bob Stone says:

    nivico says: “And that’s where were at in the Ferguson situation. An officer with an ‘unremarkable’ past and service record, and an offender with a criminal record who not ten minutes earlier robbed a liquor store… and people still think they hear zebras.”

    Give that man a Kewpie doll!

    Not only that nivico, but they keep doubling down. Saving face becomes more important than truth.

    • bigfatmike says:

      “Not only that nivico, but they keep doubling down. Saving face becomes more important than truth.”

      Talk about doubling down and who actually has an interest in the truth.

      It is time to rope, and tie, and brand these phonies in a horse costume.

      Lets just assume the Officer Wilson is an angel which we can verify because there are wings sticking out the back of his uniform. And assume that Brown is spawn of the devil who just robbed a liquor store, is found to have gold from Fort Knox in his pockets, and is known to have masterminded the Brinks robbery.

      The fact still remains the devil has a right not to be shot unless he poses an immanent threat to life. As citizens our duty is to demand a thorough investigation to determine if a reasonable person, at the time the trigger was pulled, would have concluded that the Devil or Brown was an immanent threat to life.

      What ever Brown was or was not, what ever Brown did in the time before the incident where the shots were fired is completely irrelevant. And being an angel is not going to save officer Wilson if there was no immanent threat at the time he pulled the trigger.

      But people more interested in propaganda than truth will keep trying to convince you that some how Brown’s past acts are relevant to this incident. Brown’s past acts, his character, his reputation are all totally irrelevant. The only issue is immanent threat to life at the time the shots were fired -which has nothing to do with Brown’s past or Wilson’s past – not a bit, not at all.

      Do you guys want the baby oil before or after we apply the iron? Wouldn’t it be simpler if you guys just stuck to the relevant facts?

  295. Tony C. says:

    bettykath: I believe most parliaments are elected bodies; Gene’s e/a are not elected but invited, by him, unilaterally. As he reveals in saying, unilaterally, I will never be so invited.

    I would call it his Royal Court.

  296. Tony,

    I should have put all the posters consulted in a BCC, true. That was my bad, but who hasn’t bungled an email? It was a growing pain. We are defining process on the fly while dealing with exponential growth. Accidents will happen and for that, I humbly and truly ask your forgiveness.

    However, your information was not revealed with malice aforethought or to anyone of any consequence to your life directly (or indirectly except as posters here). As such, the policy on consulting posters for opinions was changed before you even penned that last post.

    It is, however, a lie to say you are being punished. You have had your full say without any censure. You have had your full say despite testing the limits on thread disruption. None of this negates that you have been acting like a spoiled child. You need to learn that if you truly don’t want to run this blog, you should stop trying to. You need to learn that your opinion was heard and that a different course of action (with the same net result, btw) occurred vis a vis anonymous authorship. You need to come to grips with the fact that you also have effectively destroyed any credibility and value as an adviser to this blog you might have had and by your own actions here today.

    The cook says you have two choices.

    Pick one.

  297. Actually, for someone not in the process as an e/a, you’re again talking out of your ass, Tony. New e/a’s are subject to group discussion and approval. James was suggested to us all by Chuck and we all thought he was a fine addition (especially since some of us had been talking to him for years and knew what kind of guy he is). So e/a’s are indeed elected.

    Anything else you’d care to guess and be wrong about, Karnak?

  298. Also, as to you never being invited? Well, that’s a self-inflicted wound, sport. You effectively shot yourself in the foot here today so you have no one to blame for that but yourself.

  299. JoeJr says:

    Bias and history is such an interesting impediment. F’instance

    I was surprised by Chuck’s unusually fierce defense of the post..But then I remembered his history and his daughter. So as I continued reading his comment. I considered it less seriously than I normally would because I felt it was a natural defense of his daughter and her profession.

    My bias….his bias…all immediately muck up the waters.

  300. Slartibartfast says:

    Blouise and Elaine,

    Don’t feel bad about not connecting the back-channel discussion to this post—I probably wouldn’t have done it on my own, but I happen to talk to Gene regularly…

    Bron,

    Candy-ass? And I thought you were proud of being a capitalist pig…

    Be careful about your 10 year-old thugette—I might just give her some candy, convince her of the error of your ways and send her back to lecture you until you start to weep about how foolish you’ve been and beg me to teach you the true meaning of capitalism. 😛

    Gene,

    Be nice to Tony—he can’t help being himself. While I might think his tangle-assing is a bit silly, its entertaining and it has shone a light on how policy decisions are made around here and the contrast with how other, entirely hypothetical, blogs may or may not be run only does you credit in my mind. So he’s kind of a buffoon—he’s also very smart and has an interesting perspective.

    James,

    I want a unicorn with kevlar-backed, aircraft aluminum plate barding, stealth tack and a minigun for a horn… and it had better fart rainbows.

    Caitlyn,

    I agree completely about catching up. Also, you don’t have to worry, it’s never hard to figure out when Gene is annoyed at you… 😛

    Tony,

    I’m not sure what would be served by keeping the fact that back-channel discussions took place or who participated secret. You will note that I didn’t reveal or even characterize anything anyone said (besides myself), although now that you mentioned your support of anonymity I will point out that I strongly agreed with your analogy to science where the value of ideas must be judged on their merits, not their authors. I do think, however, that your comparison to an anonymously published academic paper—especially a math (statistics) paper—is inapt since, as was discussed, there are many considerations that apply to a blog post but not to an article which is objectively meritorious.

    You further make the comparison to Congress and the Founders, another analogy I find inapt. While they were trying to start a community of the people, governed by the people, for the good of the people, this is a community of people who decided to come here knowing it was Gene’s party (and, in a good many cases because it was Gene’s party). He’s dictator and gets to set the rules (in which, ironically, he tries to afford everyone as much freedom as possible—he’ll have to work on the whole “ruling with an iron fist” thing…) and each of us have complete control of our own participation—at least as long as we follow Gene’s rules.

    Just so it’s clear, when I argued that you and the other commenters included in the discussion be given an “equal vote” to the authors, I understood that to mean that Gene would put the same weight on the opinions of the commenters and the authors before making the decision himself. That’s how most enterprises where people come together for mutual benefit work, at least in the beginning.

    You opined that you wont be included in future back channel discussions (if they occur—I suspect that, at most, they will be few and far between) and Gene seems to agree. I think you’re both wrong and, should the issue arise, I’ll argue with Gene for your inclusion—pointing out your contribution to the discussion on anonymity. I’ll bet you a nickel that I win (well, after catching up, maybe a penny).

    Anyway, I have no problem whatsoever with you airing this blog’s “dirty laundry”, but I think that all you’ve established is that it is really pretty clean. Maybe you would have done things differently and Gene hasn’t done things perfectly, but, honestly, I’m not sure what your strategy in this discussion is. As Sun Tzu said, “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat“. While there may be some abstruse technical point on which you win, it seems like you are showing us what the latter part of Sun Tzu’s saying means as well as providing a textbook example of the term “Pyrrhic victory”.

    Bob,

    Sorry, my bad. You have stated from the beginning that you would not support Officer Wilson if it turned out he was a bad dog (although there are details you could clarify like what level of evidence would be sufficient to change your mind and why is that standard fair to both Officer Wilson and Mr. Brown). I wasn’t clear in what I was asking, which was this: what, if anything, do you think should be done to prevent future instances of bad dogs and bad masters? Is doing something about that contingent on the justification (or lack thereof) of Officer Wilson’s actions?

  301. po says:

    Nice insight, JoeJr. We all have biases, and it is interesting that when we successfully identify the poster’s bias, and especially the reasons behind the bias, we tend to then give them a pass and are more patient with their position.
    Too often however, we assume willful dishonesty from the argument rather than just emotional bias, the first, inexcusable, the second, mostly excusable… sometimes.

    Based on previous posts, I like Bob and respect him, and am more than willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on the emotional value of his bias. I understand that he is merely siding with the tribe (to quote Mike :), as most of us do when the group with which we identify is perceived to be under attack And as someone said earlier, BK or Elaine, I think, his conclusion was derived first and then developed backward, which effectively challenges his own call for objectivity.
    But that has been said, and said well, and BFM did a great job showing that these horses and these zebras are merely donkeys at best, and perhaps even unicorns, as Blouise suggests.

    Thanks, Caitlyn/Gene.

  302. Slarti,

    I think you know me well enough to know that I am indeed showing restraint and mercy. :mrgreen:

  303. Now where is that velvet glove . . . just had the stupid thing . . .
    Damn iron fist has to be around here somewhere . .
    (grumble grumble)

  304. Tony C. says:

    Caitlyn: I presume Gene will do anything he wants, as people with unilateral power typically do, as Turley did on his blog, as CEOs all across the country do, as the NSA and CIA do, as the President of the United States does. He can redefine the meaning of words, he can ban the use of the letter “k” on his blog. Hec, that’s the great thing about being ing, he doesn’t have to thin twice about it!

    I never worry about being fired, Caitlyn. I speak my mind and do what I think is best for the enterprise, always.

  305. Therein you reveal the fundamental flaw in your thinking. Although run with certain elements in common with a government, this isn’t a government. It’s a privately owned blog. The freedoms recognized here are recognized by choice, not social compact as it informs a constitution. If it bothers you that that choice is mine ultimately (which apparently it does)? That’s your problem, Tony. You and the guests here have far more leeway than most blogs allow. Pretty much the maximum allowed by law.

    And yet you still complain because you didn’t get your way.

    Interesting.

  306. The fact that this site is organic is one of the things that I like most about it. It is developing and adapting to evolve within the structure of the issues it finds itself confronting. If there were not perceived errors of judgement and things were always measured against iron rules of process I would be worried. Communication is rapidly changing (duh right) and the process of collaboration is constantly morphing or attempting to in an effort to keep up.

    Feel free to keep finding mistakes and addressing them openly. This sort of behavior is exactly what needs to be done in the Ferguson issue. Sadly also in the Ferguson issue we need a voice at the end of the chain that says “hey this here is what it says in the book”.

    In this case, Gene was the one that brought the paper, wrote the first page and loans the pen out.

  307. “It is developing and adapting to evolve within the structure of the issues it finds itself confronting.”

    Ooo. Thank you for noticing, Caitlyn. That is by design. You’re the first to notice though. Most flattering to know that what I always thought was one the blog’s most attractive features isn’t going unnoticed. To quote Stimpson J. Cat, “Joy!”

  308. I aim to please. as long as I am still able to anyways.

  309. bfm once again earns a “yep” with:

    “But people more interested in propaganda than truth will keep trying to convince you that some how Brown’s past acts are relevant to this incident. Brown’s past acts, his character, his reputation are all totally irrelevant. The only issue is immanent threat to life at the time the shots were fired -which has nothing to do with Brown’s past or Wilson’s past – not a bit, not at all.”

    Even assuming Wilson knew about the cigar incident in technicolor detail (which there is no evidence he did), was Brown an immanent threat meriting that Wilson’s gun even be out of the holster much less fired? The full forensics will hopefully shed some light on that.

  310. Slartibartfast says:

    Gene,

    If you are going to claim “exponential growth”, then you’d better be able to back it up with a graph that has a good least-squares fit to something of the form C * exp(r*t).

    Just sayin’…

    [I’ve been reading What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by xkcd’s Randall Monroe and it’s got the mathematician in my all overstimulated. Sorry.]

  311. I leave the running the math over our graphs to the experts. That’d be you and James. I like the purty pictures with big ol’ spikes in the graphs but I wasn’t going to slap down the numbers to check if it was actually an exponential (or logarithmic, etc.) relationship. I just know it is big and thus used a method known to both rhetoricians and mathematicians: hyperbolic description. :mrgreen:

    Remember, cornbread are square, pi are round.

  312. Tony C. says:

    Slarti says: [Gene]’s dictator and gets to set the rules

    A dictatorship is not a democracy, Slarti. That is my point.

    As for my “strategy,” I’m not sure I need one. I am expressing an opinion, as people respond to me I respond to them, which I think is my right under free speech. That is not hijacking a thread; in fact when Chuck asked it be redirected to Bob’s article I responded with a post that was entirely about Bob’s article.

    The majority of my posts off the topic of Bob’s article were entirely and justifiably about yankeefarmer writing a physical threat against me, and I was not the only one that read it as a physical threat. I was not frightened by that but chose to react to that extremely, on purpose, in an attempt to dissuade yankeefarmer from using that Macho Man bullshit tactic in the future; I don’t like people that do it and I feel it is a social responsibility to stand up against those that try it.

    In a very similar vein, I am irritated by people making pronouncements from on high. Chuck did that by claiming he personally knew yankeefarmer and was confident his threat was just intellectual, regardless of how it read. Hm, how did Chuck know who YF was? I presume Chuck used his insider position to find that out, and then decided to side with YF against me. Then James makes the royal pronouncement “we” won’t censor it. I didn’t ask for censoring, but what the heck, another insider butting in to inform me of their irrevocable decision. I also did not expect YF to be warned, but I wanted the Macho Man to realize he could be warned for making macho threats.

    I don’t care who runs the blog, it is not a job I want. But I will talk to you, Slart, since you haven’t committed any of these offenses you should find none of the following offensive! You do not need to micromanage the blog, you do not have to wear your “management badge” on your sleeve in your posts, and you can wait until there is actually an incident or report or some direct violation before you start barking to herd the sheep away from some imaginary wolf. That’s my opinion, you run it how you want, but like the police, you will stray into irritating and chilling territory if you confuse the prevention of law-breaking with coercing people into being fair, nice, respectful or non-vulgar. It is not the job of the police to insert themselves into heated arguments between people on the street, it is only their job to ensure they don’t actually commit an assault.

    This blog is small enough, and reviewed enough, that nothing requiring actual management intervention (like an explicit physical threat or inappropriate revelation of personal information) is going to slip through the cracks, and any “management” that must be done should, like real management, not be done in public but done in private; you have the email addresses available to you to accomplish that.

    In business (and in academia) I am friendly but never befriend those over whom I have authority. Mixing roles is sometimes unavoidable when I have gained authority over friends; and that is probably more like the situation for you here: I think it is imperative to not confuse your role as a commenter (analogous to friend) with your role as a manager with power over commenters.

    End of advice to Slarti. This thread was not hijacked by me, I responded to posts that were talking to me or about something I posted. I talked about Bob’s article when asked to refocus, nobody responded to me about that. I think people talked themselves out over Bob’s article and the thread took a different direction, largely because I exercised free speech to express an opinion in response to you. Would the reaction have been the same if I expressed an opinion that the Supreme Court had erred in some judgment? I don’t think so, I think Gene and the other authors are taking my assessment of their failings personally.

  313. Tony C. says:

    In response to Gene: And yet you still complain because you didn’t get your way.

    Let me respond with a few rhetorical questions, Gene. Are you fundamentally opposed to the idea of a Supreme Court in the United States?

    I will presume, for the sake of argument, that the answer is “No.” Now, will you still complain about how they decided Bush v. Gore, or Citizens United?

    I am just guessing, but my guess is you can simultaneously NOT have a problem with the mechanical structure of the judicial system in general but STILL have a problem with the specific decisions it makes, and believe those decisions were poorly or wrongly justified, politically biased, racially biased, gender-biased, corporate-influenced or unConstitutional.

    I’m not complaining because I didn’t get “my way,” if I still complain it is because I think the decision was wrong and chilling to free speech. Are those of us complaining about the Hobby Lobby decision complaining because we didn’t get “our way,” or because we think it is a wrong headed decision that is bad law and causes harm to others?

  314. Bob Stone says:

    Po,

    Exactly where did I show my “emotional bias?” Was it in my addressing the informal fallacies of logic employed by the mob against Wilson; or was it in my legal and forensic analysis?

    And yes, mob is an apt term; since it best describes a large group of people suffering from Queen of Hearts syndrome.

  315. blouise says:

    Remember, cornbread are square, pi are round. (Gene)

    I prefer graphs in the bar.

  316. blouise says:

    Remember, cornbread are square, pi are round. (Gene)

    I prefer graphs in the bar.

  317. blouise says:

    Wow … good graphs … posted twice all on it’s own

  318. Tony,
    You have really worked hard derailing any rational discussion of the subject matter of this post. If you cannot discern the difference between a physical threat and a rhetorical device, blogging might not be the thing for you. As for Yankee Farmer, stuff that paranoia back wherever it came from. Not that it matters, but I have known him for years….even long before I started writing on RIL. Y’know, people do happen to actually get to know each other and become friends out in the meatworld.

  319. Bob Stone says:

    Slarti: “what, if anything, do you think should be done to prevent future instances of bad dogs and bad masters? Is doing something about that contingent on the justification (or lack thereof) of Officer Wilson’s actions?”

    What particular procedural issue in law enforcement do you feel needs addressing?

    Police procedure has at its core a categorical imperative; it’s a universal method of approaching problems. As I stated in the article, Brown’s actions brought about his own demise; not police procedure. If you have a problem with the defense of life standard being applied to an allegedly “harmless unarmed man” you should read this:

    http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20020623&slug=deputy23m0

  320. Let me address another flaw in your thinking in addition to mistaking this for a government. “I never worry about being fired, Caitlyn. I speak my mind and do what I think is best for the enterprise, always.” This isn’t a government and just so this isn’t your enterprise either. At best, if you want to continue that analogy, you were called in as a consultant and subsequently fired after you jumped up on water cooler outside the meeting room, took a big ol’ dump and starting flinging poo like rabid chimp when your precious advice wasn’t taken chapter and verse by management. A less understanding executive would have had you escorted to the door by now, but as Slarti notes, you can’t help being you.

    On the matter of chilling? There is no substantive chilling effect at all. No one is forced to publish here. No one is forced to be an e/a. If they insist on anonymity? They can submit an article to our upcoming guest blogger program and write under any damn name they like for no good reason at all. The e/a’s? Can also write anonymously. They just have to demonstrate substantive need by rational means first.

    As for the rest? That’s some stretch you are making there. Don’t hurt yourself. The SCOTUS isn’t “supreme” because they are infallible. They are “supreme” because they are final. The short answer is CU is still the law no matter how much I disagree with it (and on the grounds of solid and valid legal theory I might add). Just like the rules here are what the rules here are no matter how much you object personally, Tony. I’m not the final word because I’m infallible. I’m the final word because I’m final. If things go sideways? It’s me WordPress will be talking to, not Chuck or Elaine or Mike or Mike or Mark or Kevin or James or Bob. You don’t like the final decision? It’s still the law ’round these parts, pardner.

    It’s really pretty apparent you’ve got a grudge because you think I’m wrong so you decided to throw a tantrum like a three year-old. Apparent to everyone but you, obviously. And do you know what you’ve accomplished (besides looking really foolish)?

    Absolutely nothing that gets you what you want.

    You haven’t even succeeded in annoying me. Amuse, sure, I’ve been laughing my ass off all day. Get it off your chest? Without a doubt. That must be some form of catharsis for your tortured mind. So you got that going for you. Which is nice.

    You have, however, provided a lovely teaching moment to show “how the sausage is made” around here. Something that never happened at that other place. Personally, I take pride in our flat structure and inclusive processes and being able to tell people about them has inherent value even if it is in the context of tellin’ lil’ Tony he can’t have the action figure he wants. So thanks. I know it’s not the way you thought you were “being helpful” but, hey, sometimes benefits are unintentional and incidental.

    The bottom line is this:

    This is my blog that I share with my friends so in that respect it is ours, but at the end of the day when the toys are being put away, it goes in my box. I’ll set fire to this blog and burn it to the ground . . . if I want to. I could make it fully moderated today. I could shut off comments altogether. There’s nothing you can do about it.

    If you don’t like the way this blog is run, Tony? Feel free to be elsewhere. Your participation here is voluntary. I didn’t like the way that other place was being run, so I left. And lo and behold, the results of that are this fine blog people are reading here today and seeing a degree of transparency not found at most blogs.

    Yes, yes, I know. “Predictable response,” says Tony. But the choice is still the same as when the cook presented it earlier, predictable or not.

    Take it or leave it.

    But you’re not allowed in the kitchen anymore.

    Sausage, anyone?

  321. Blouise,

    Or maybe a really good bar! 😉

  322. bettykath says:

    Gene, something to consider. You admit that you made a mistake in exposing all email addresses to everyone and reconsidered that bcc might have been a better choice. You started by outing at least one person who preferred to remain anonymous. Your reconsidered choice would have convened a group where only you would have known who was invited. I’m not sure how you can have a robust discussion with only one person knowing who is participating. Perhaps a two step approach might be better. Send everyone a bcc email indicating that you want to convene such a meeting, with an idea of what is to be discussed, and who you want to invite by a classification. The addressees would be covered by one classification or another. If someone chooses to remain anonymous, perhaps they should not be part of the meeting unless you can find a way for them to be part of the discussion anonymously. This respects the promise to maintain anonymity and leaves the power to abandon it to the person who chose it in the first place. Keeping promises is sometimes more work than not keeping them.

    I was once active in an organization that promoted democracy and diversity. A large steering committee was elected with particular attention to diversity. This group elected a smaller executive committee to keep of track of things more closely. There was an executive director, the only person who was paid, except for the person who did the newspaper layout (me for awhile).

    The execdir voted on everything, no attempt at being neutral. On one occasion the steering committee voted on inviting a number of people to participate (in what I don’t remember), based on a list provided by execdir. The steering committee very quickly added some more people to the list. There was lively discussion on the pros and cons of those on the revised list. The vote taken. Well, it seems the execdir didn’t like the result. He made a unilateral decision to expand the vote to those members of the steering committee who weren’t present. He made up his own list with his reasons why certain people should be elected. Now none of the people he sent this ballot to heard what those who were present at the meeting had to say, nor did they know how those people had voted. Those present at the meeting didn’t find out that he had done a runaround until much later. Based on this new ballot, two people who had been specifically rejected by those present displaced two others that those present had elected.

    In another instance, the organization, or possibly the steering committee (don’t remember which) elected a secretary. The execdir decided this secretary had to go and the reason given was that he couldn’t do the job b/c of his disability. Those who elected him knew of his disability but elected him anyway because of his abilities. Excir sent the secretary a letter that sort of resigned him, a very shameful letter. So in the name of democracy, yes, it was all democratic [sarcasm] the execdir sort of fired someone the larger body had elected and with whom no one else a problem,

    In another instance, when he was outvoted, he decided that a larger body should decide and sent out a poll. I don’t have to tell anyone here that the questions can be skewed to produce any result the pollster wants. Questions were of the nature of “do you want apple pie?” (his position) or “do you want castor oil?” (the already decided position that he didn’t like). More people resigned over this.

    And then there’s the way I was fired from doing the newspaper layout. It was at an executive committee conference call. When I checked up on it, it turns out there wasn’t a quorum so no decisions were made and there was no discussion whatever about the newspaper.

    Why do I bring this up? Gene’s insistence that this blog is run democratically, but he makes the decisions based on input. This reminded me of my experiences with that organization that made high-handed proclamations of being democratic. That was the objective and most of those participating believed it. But to those who were paying attention, it wasn’t in the least in the actual workings. I’m also disappointed that I didn’t speak up more clearly and then leave the organization when he attacked the secretary. I got the same feeling here that I need to speak up b/c I think Tony has made some valid points and he’s been beaten up pretty badly for it.

    I think it would be helpful if Gene dropped the “democratic” phrasing. This blog isn’t run democratically, at least not by my understanding of what democratically means, nor does it have to. I think Gene is paving a road with some ideas of where he wants it to go and he’s recruited some good folks to help. Democracy can be messy and it can take too long to make stuff happen. And it isn’t always needed.

  323. bk,

    “Perhaps a two step approach might be better.”

    You must be a mind reader today. That is precisely the policy change that was instituted to correct the process.

    As for democracy, our internal processes are democratic and there is one with veto power. Unlike most constitutional democracies, that veto has no override mechanism other than the one that always exists in dealing with me: the words of Marcus Aurelius.

    “If any man is able to convince me and show me that I do not think or act right, I will gladly change; for I seek the truth by which no man was ever injured. But he is injured who abides in his error and ignorance.” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, VI, 21.

    I’m pretty sure the good Stoic emperor didn’t say “Throw a fit when you can’t change someone’s mind.”

    As for the “party guests”, true, they are not voters in that process even if consulted for opinion, but look at the e/a’s as a meta-Congress. One of the operational goals of this blog is to make it responsive to readers/commentors as much as we possibly can and still maintain production. Democracy may indeed be too strong a word and I don’t think it is being applied here with the proper context. It is closer to representative democracy. The blog promotes democracy in the realm of public governance, sure. I think what I said about about “flat management structure and inclusive process” is probably the best description though.

  324. First of all I want to say that not all dictatorships are bad as long as free speech and freedom are allowed. Which they seem to be here. As I said every ship needs a captain. Someone who actually owns the boat.

    Second, Bob the article of the officers being killed was sad certainly but I think hardly a comparison to the Wilson – Brown issue for many reasons. Nor is 3 cases of officers in a notably dangerous profession comparable to the deaths of just black male youths by officers of the law this year alone.

  325. Also, bk, not using the BCC in the first place? Simply a mistake. I’m at the tail end of a move, really tired, and not back in the swing of things yet. The policy change now includes a stronger measure though: a discrete invitation before being included on distributions.

  326. bettykath says:

    Making a mistake is not the end of the world. What we do after the mistake is what counts.

  327. Let me preemptively correct myself. Not a dictator, but an absolute authority on final decisions.

  328. bk,

    I take mistakes in stride. 😉 I do a lot of process analysis. Error occurs. You’re right. Fixing it is the thing.

  329. Bob Stone says:

    Gene,

    Taser implies Brown didn’t know what he was doing and that it was Wilson’s responsibility to adapt to Brown’s thinking.

    Would taking Brown down with a Taser been ideal? Sure.

    But long before tasers cops carried guns and everyone knew that disobeying the “MOTHER MAY I RULE” had fatal consequences.

    There is nothing inherently wrong with that rule.

    • bigfatmike says:

      “But long before tasers cops carried guns and everyone knew that disobeying the “MOTHER MAY I RULE” had fatal consequences….There is nothing inherently wrong with that rule.”

      From the article: “The rule is that, once a cop orders someone to stop with his gun drawn, it’s over. Because everyone who’s not mentally incapacitated or acutely intoxicated knows it has just become a potentially lethal game of “Mother May I.” (Hereinafter: “MOTHER MAY I RULE”) ”

      You seem to be arguing that officers can execute anyone who disobeys the officer’s order. I don’t think that is the law. It seems that most law and case law approximates ‘reasonable belief in immanent threat to life or severe bodily injury’.

      If you know of any exception in law that would allow the summary execution of citizens for disobeying a lawful order please let us know were we can find a copy of that law.

      If you know of any departments or training officers that are telling officers they execute citizens for disobeying an order please let us know those departments as well. I am sure there are many who would like to know where those departments are located.

      If you really believe, as your remarks suggest, that officers have authority to execute citizen for disobeying an order please fill us in on your thoughts here. I am sure we would all like to hear the argument to support the belief that officers can decide to execute someone for disobeying an order.

    • bigfatmike says:

      Opps, I just though of an exception. I believe in addition to the ‘reasonable belief in immanent threat to life’ rule (hereafter the RBITL rule) some jurisdictions allow officers to shoot at a fleeing felon.

      However I don’t think that exception really changes the discussion. Neither the RBITL rule nor the authority to fire at a fleeing felon suggest in any way that the officer can simply invoke the MMIR and execute a citizen for failure to obey an order – even if that order is lawful in other respects.

      If you believe the MMIR allows an exception to the requirement that the officer reasonably believe there is an immanent threat to life or serious bodily harm then then speak up, make the argument, tell us why we should agree with you.

  330. I didn’t say that to imply that the MMIR was inherently wrong. I said that because of the rules of escalation of force that sound martial arts practice imparts always makes “lethal” the last resort option. Disarm, disable, neutralize, if you can’t do those and the threat persists and/or escalates, then kill. Taser does indeed imply that Wilson didn’t know what he was doing, but using non-lethal force on an opponent does not require that that opponent be non compos mentis first. The duty to judge proportionate response falls to the responder. The mental state of the opponent is relevant only if it is intractable (for whatever reason). The question is was Wilson’s response proportionate to the threat. I don’t think we’ll know that until we have a more cohesive and comprehensive forensic picture of events.

  331. I have seen no possible indicator of how Michael Brown could have possibly presented a threat worthy of multiple shots from an officer. If nothing else I know that officers are taught at that range if threatened to use means other than their firearm because it is ineffective. Plus I would question the validity of a threat that merit the risk of that many rounds fired in what I believe was a relatively occupied area.

  332. Bob Stone says:

    BFM,

    Reductio ad absurdum doesn’t win the day.

    I said “potentially lethal.”

    Issue: Is a cop that’s being rushed by a 6’4”, 292-pound assailant—i.e. the average size of an NFL lineman—after pulling his weapon and ordering the man to stop, under any obligation not to fire his weapon and just let the man, unarmed or otherwise, keep coming and attack him a second time?

    I’m saying there’s nothing in the job description of a police officer that says he has an obligation not to use lethal force in such a circumstance.

    The cop has more of a right to go home alive than an obligation to accommodate the peculiar demands of a belligerent intent on approaching while his gun is drawn.

    On the myth of the “harmless unarmed man”

    Deputy shot dead after man takes gun

    By Brian Joseph and Tan Vinh, Seattle Times staff reporters

    NEWCASTLE — A veteran King County sheriff’s deputy was killed yesterday when a nude and highly agitated man who’d been running in traffic and pounding on cars took the officer’s gun and shot him repeatedly outside an apartment complex here.

    The deputy’s name was not officially released last night because authorities were still contacting relatives. Officials said he had been with the department as long as eight years and was retired from the military. He was in his mid- to late 40s, married and had an 18-year-old daughter.

    A source close to the department said the slain deputy’s last name was Herzog; King County payroll records list a Richard Herzog of Puyallup in public safety. Tony Isaacs, a neighbor of a Richard Herzog in Puyallup, confirmed that Herzog is in law enforcement and retired from the Army. Isaacs said squad cars were at Herzog’s house last night.

    The deputy, wearing a bulletproof vest, had gone to the apartment building at 7311 Coal Creek Parkway S.E. in Newcastle, southeast of Bellevue, shortly after 5 p.m. in response to a report that a man was dodging cars in the street.

    Witnesses and police said the deputy approached the man and sprayed him with pepper spray in an attempt to subdue him. The two scuffled and the man grabbed the officer’s gun.

    The deputy quickly realized he was in danger and began retreating, moving away from bystanders as if to draw any gunfire away from the crowd, according to a witness, William Dickerson. The man then repeatedly shot the deputy, who became the first law-enforcement officer to die in the line of duty in Washington this year.

    Police arrested the assailant, believed to be in his 40s, about 45 minutes later. “I am angry. I am sad. It rips your heart out,” said King County Sheriff Dave Reichert. “The message I want to deliver tonight is that all of us are grieving. This is very hard.”

    At least 10 area police agencies responded to help interview witnesses and gather evidence. Police shut down parts of Coal Creek Parkway Southeast, a busy arterial through the suburban area, for the investigation last evening.

    Dickerson, of Newcastle, said he was driving along Cold Creek Parkway Southeast with his wife when he saw a naked man and a police officer standing in front of a bus. He pulled over and could hear the officer trying to calm the man. He said a woman, “obviously distraught,” was standing nearby, also trying to calm the man.

    The officer and suspect started to fight. As the officer started to retreat away from the crowd, the man jumped him. Dickerson said he saw the officer’s gun fall from his holster, the magazine clip falling from the gun when it hit the pavement.

    The suspect “grabbed the firearm and magazine, put them together, turned around and immediately started firing,” Dickerson said. The man kept firing as the officer ran and, when the deputy fell, stood over him and emptied the clip.

    Raminder Singh, who works at an AM/PM minimart and gas station kitty-corner from the apartment complex, was behind the counter when he looked out onto Coal Creek Parkway Southeast and saw a muscular man running around in traffic, stopping cars and pounding them with his fist.

    “He was completely naked. No shoes, no nothing,” Singh said.

    At one point, Singh said, the man was struck by a car and fell to the street, only to get back up again and run after the car. Singh called police.

    According to Singh’s account:

    After running after the car that struck him, the man stood in front of a bus trying to block its passage. Singh said that when the bus stopped, the man ran to the door and shouted to be let in.

    That’s when the deputy arrived, the two scuffled, and gunshots were fired as the man stood over the deputy, who fell to the street.

    The man ran back toward the apartment, firing random shots before he went inside. Minutes later, he appeared — now clothed in jeans, a T-shirt and cap — on a balcony overlooking a nearby McDonald’s. He raised his arms in the air in what looked like a gesture of surrender, then went back inside the apartment.

    Singh said that about half an hour to 45 minutes later, he heard more gunshots and saw police removing the man from the apartment building.

    Synthia Sandhal had stopped at the minimart to buy cold drinks for the children in her car. She was standing in line when she heard Singh declare: “See that man. He’s running around naked over there.”

    “I was freaked out. I was terrified,” she said. That’s when the shots rang out. “I ran out of the store and said, ‘I don’t need a receipt!’ We just heard the gunshots and everybody started running like it was Godzilla over there.”

    That the deputy had tried to stop the man with pepper spray likely will revive a long-standing debate over the merits of nonlethal force, which many police officers say is ineffective against determined individuals — especially ones as agitated as the suspect appeared to be.

    Last year, police shot a sword-wielding man after two shots from M26 Taser guns failed to stop him.

    Prompted by the controversy surrounding the April 2000 fatal police shooting of David John Walker, a mentally ill man who was skipping down a Lower Queen Anne street and waving a knife, the Seattle Police Department purchased 194 Taser guns over the last year and has been gradually introducing them in the field as part of a special program to use more nonlethal weapons.

    Even then, police warned the public that Taser guns, Mace, rubber bullets and other nonlethal means would not end the necessity of police shootings.

    Still, numerous community leaders and activists have said that the police are too quick to use lethal force, most recently after Robert Lee Thomas, a 59-year-old truck driver from Seattle, was shot by off-duty King County sheriff’s Deputy Melvin Miller after Thomas parked his pickup in Miller’s east Renton neighborhood April 7.

    Those same arguments were heard after the May 2001 shooting of motorist Aaron Roberts.

    Two other police officers have lost their lives since 2000.

    On March 7, 2001, Des Moines police officer Steven J. Underwood, 33, was shot and killed while questioning four juvenile suspects he had stopped while they were walking along Pacific Highway. All four suspects were eventually apprehended and the shooter was charged with aggravated murder and could face the death penalty.

    In August of 2000, Deputy Sheriff Wallace Edward Davis, 48, of the Clallam County Sheriff’s Department was shot and killed after responding to a domestic-disturbance call.

  333. po says:

    Bob: Exactly where did I show my “emotional bias?” Was it in my addressing the informal fallacies of logic employed by the mob against Wilson; or was it in my legal and forensic analysis?

    What else but an emotional bias can make one side with the killer when the facts lean heavily against him, when the most likely scenario based on witnesses’ testimony and the fact that Mike was unarmed is that which is claimed by those who were present (and there were quite a few ff them)? Bob, it is either emotional bias, or it is contrarian attitude, or downright intellectual bias (the second one being enabled by the 3rd.)

    The mob’s actions were not fallacious in the least. It (the mob) is subject to ongoing and relentless oppression by the police, which is known to murder their sons and neighbors THEN blame the victim. Experience tells them (the mob) that as for every other instance where one of them was killed by the police, a gun will be produced whose ownership will be attributed to Mike Brown posthumously, or a claim will be made that the victim lunged at the cop, or that the victim tried to take the cop’s gun. Either way, the cop felt in danger because of some action or some perceived action by the victim.
    News travel quite rapidly in such closed quarters, and the news, which have yet to be proven untrue, was that the kid was simply executed. Still, all the mob asked for was quite simple, to know the name of the officer, and that the killing be investigated. That would sound fair to most people anywhere where the pictures of the current leader are not on the currency. The response to the mob’s request was instead to mass an army against it and to cloth it in a fog of pepper spray, to arrest it in its own backyard and pellet it with rubber bullets.

    Had you, Bob, limited yourself to penning a post calling for restraint until we know the facts, there would not have been any issue, at all. The problem arose when you went beyond that, and actually made a claim that the officer was, in some way, justified. Further, you brought up the liquor story robbery as if if was linked to the killing somehow.
    Timeline matters, and though am sure everything is linked somehow because nothing happens in a vacuum, the facts so far are pretty established that nothing Mike did prior to meeting officer Wilson has anything to do with whatever drove officer Wilson to pull the trigger.
    WE can scrutinize autopsy reports and ballistic charts all we want, but the facts are also pretty established that there is a consensus of the witnesses’ narratives, and it is that officer Wilson killed a boy who was running away from him, then tried to surrender to him, an execution no less.
    To blame the mob for wanting justice is a bit outrageous, actually!

  334. That’s terrible all those officers died, honestly. But I just went to the first article I could find for police shootings. Saw that the source was the FBI Dept. of Justice, 1 yr. black males 218, 740 total. To me the fact that many citizens are being killed, especially when portions of the population are being done so at such dis-proportions it means something should be looked at and more control used.

  335. Po,
    The assumption that Brown was “running away” does not comport with the autopsy drawing by Dr. Baden, who was hired by the family. Baden is one of the premier pathologists in the country, and has a reputation for doing excellent work.

    The drawings of the wounds indicate all entry wounds were to the front. One entry wound to the volar side of the forearm, with an exit wound significantly proximal, indicates the arm was pointed directly at Wilson, not raised. At least one bullet appears to have made two entry wounds. The speculation in an earlier comment was that bullets tumble and that is true. What bullets do NOT do is turn at right angles, even if they hit bone. All shots hit Brown on the anterior side of the coronal plane, and superior to the transverse plane. All shots were in fact directly parallel to the sagittal plane. There is no doubt whatsoever, if Dr. Baden’s drawing is to be believed, that Brown was facing Wilson with his right arm extended or reaching in Wilson’s direction.

    Secondly, to respond to Caitlyn’s question. None of those shots were disabling until the shot directly to the brain case. Those are what facts can be gleaned from Dr. Baden’s report.

    Some witnesses indicated the confrontation started with the two men about ten or fifteen feet apart, and ended with Brown having advanced approximately 25 feet. That would have suggested unless Wilson was backing up, Brown would have ended up ten to 15 feet behind Wilson. Those witnesses may be discredited. Maybe they won’t. We simply have to wait on the forensic evidence for that.

    And for those who are unfamiliar with target shooting, it is hard enough to hit a stationary paper target, much less a moving target. In the Academy, they teach to shoot for center mass. The “shoot to wound” is a myth, and virtually impossible in a real life situation.

  336. nivico says:

    “What else but an emotional bias can make one side with the killer when the facts lean heavily against him…”

    You’re operating under the false premise that all of the facts (or even most of the facts, for that matter) have been made available to the public…

    …you’re also operating under the false premise that all of the limited information that is available is credible.

    Now, consider that for a moment… you don’t have all the facts and the facts that are unknown to you could go either way. So which one ~deserves~ your deference and benefit of the doubt, the police officer who just minutes ago was assisting the EMT’s with a choking toddler, or the criminal who just minutes ago was robbing the liquor store?

  337. pete says:

    Oh, well, when you put it like that. Lets just throw wilson a parade, buy him some more bullets and turn him back onto ferguson.

  338. Mike Appleton says:

    Bob:

    I don’t know how the hell you found the time, but the result is a truly superb analysis.

  339. Oky1 says:

    ** The “shoot to wound” is a myth, and virtually impossible in a real life situation.
    **

    Dr Stanley,

    With all due respect to your expertise over mine, I personally know that is false as I once used that tactic successfully to dissuade an attacker from advancing further.

    It was successfully in ceasing another’s violence towards me & turning it into resolving things peacefully as is my view most every dispute should be. No one was harmed, but he knew I wasn’t going to allow him to attack me without me defending myself.

    But yes, my words at the time made all the difference to the upset person at the time.

    Ignorant Bastards, one is bound to run into them in 40 years of biz, he should have just worked a couple more days though the heat & he’d had more money & it’d be over.

    Bull Riders are Puzzys!!! Stack’em like cord wood or cowboy up puz.

    Stanley, if the words are with you, as I’ve found, I’ve never need a gun. (Well, then their was the guy freak out prison which I found out later was high on heroin, but I was young then, high or not, he was smart enough not to advance against me.

    That’s another story, I’ve moved since then & posted this property twice as the other Ok AG recommended to me. IE: Take that BS down the street, I’m not in the mood for any one’s crap here, I’ve other things that are more important to me to tend to.

  340. Oky1 says:

    Dr Stanley,

    It’s late, I’ve been busy & I’m now tired, but for others personal safety that matter to me I’ll add a bit more of my personal observations to hopeful aid them later.

    IE: Attn: You’ll have to find another sucker to be your victim as I’ve not the time of day for that BS game & get it off my block.

  341. Slartibartfast says:

    Bob,

    I’m working on two assumptions—both independent of what happened in Ferguson. First that “bad dogs” exist—something that seems reasonably obvious to me—and second that “bad owners” exist as well. Whether or not the events in Ferguson were justified, there are a myriad of cases where the police have done things ranging from preventing people from recording them on video to beating them to tasering them and even killing them—stuff that was either unjustified or shouldn’t have been justified.

    In the case of Officer Wilson, if events happened in the manner in which you suggest, then neither his actions nor the procedures under which he took them were inappropriate. On the other hand, if things went as others on this thread argue that they did, then Officer Wilson actions didn’t meet the threshold of justification you laid out. The gripping hand* is that there are cases all around the country of unjust actions under the color of authority. Or would you argue that no innocent black man has ever been unjustly shot by the police or that the treatment of, say, latinos by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department is fair and equitable?

    One of my points which you haven’t addressed is that the protesters (regardless of the morality and legality of Officer Wilson’s actions) are, themselves, “good dogs”. They are raising a legitimate grievance (at least they believe their grievance to be legitimate and have the Constitutional right to express it), so what (if anything) do you believe should be done to address it? You’ve made it clear what you want from those who feel more empathy for Mr. Brown (not to kick your dog), what concessions are you willing to make to address their valid concerns in return?

    * This is a reference to The Mote in God’s Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. Yes, I am a sci-fi geek.

  342. Slartibartfast says:

    Bob,

    To be clear, I think that if Officer Wilson’s actions met the appropriate standards then he should be cleared of wrongdoing and returned to his job, but I don’t think it is clear that is the case (at least based on all of the evidence presented here). What evidentiary standard do you think should be applied here? Innocence until guilt is proven? Preponderance of the evidence? Reasonable doubt? Keep in mind that the issue is kicking your dog on the one side and a death sentence on the other.

    I think that if there is reasonable doubt that the shooting was justified then Officer Wilson should be fired. No prejudice should attach to this action beyond removing the possibility of him being in a similar situation again. In other words, Mr. Brown must be proven guilty by the legal standard for Officer Wilson to keep his job. I don’t think any lesser standard is reasonable when a person’s life is potentially at stake. If justification cannot be made on a preponderance of the evidence, then I believe the Brown family should win a civil suit if they choose to file one. Then, of course, if it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the shooting was unjustified then Officer Wilson should be going to jail.

    What about you? At what point would you switch from protecting your dog to shooting him yourself?

  343. Slartibartfast says:

    Slarti says: [Gene]’s dictator and gets to set the rules

    A dictatorship is not a democracy, Slarti. That is my point.

    Sure. But where did the idea that this blog should be a democracy or that that would be a good thing come from? Different forms of control are appropriate for different social structures. I think Gene has done a pretty good job on the structure here.

    As for my “strategy,” I’m not sure I need one. I am expressing an opinion, as people respond to me I respond to them, which I think is my right under free speech. That is not hijacking a thread; in fact when Chuck asked it be redirected to Bob’s article I responded with a post that was entirely about Bob’s article.

    You are certainly entitled not to have a strategy if you wish, although Sun Tzu would seem to discourage it. I don’t think anything you’ve done has been inappropriate, I just don’t see it as having generated much of a positive effect. I’m just a pragmatic Buddhist—you put out good karma because that is the best way to attract good karma to yourself.

    The majority of my posts off the topic of Bob’s article were entirely and justifiably about yankeefarmer writing a physical threat against me, and I was not the only one that read it as a physical threat. I was not frightened by that but chose to react to that extremely, on purpose, in an attempt to dissuade yankeefarmer from using that Macho Man bullshit tactic in the future; I don’t like people that do it and I feel it is a social responsibility to stand up against those that try it.

    It was a pretty lame physical threat, if it was intended to be a physical threat at all, which I doubt. Plus it introduced the totally awesome term “tangle-ass”. 😉 The fact is that you also knew that yankeefarmer’s shtick wasn’t going to fly in this room and that no one, including yourself, thought it was anything more than first day in the prison yard bluster. You didn’t need to jump into the fray—you wanted to. Which is fine. Who doesn’t like a good barroom brawl? But it wasn’t like you were protecting truth, justice and the American way or anything, you just decided you wanted to tangle-ass.

    In a very similar vein, I am irritated by people making pronouncements from on high. Chuck did that by claiming he personally knew yankeefarmer and was confident his threat was just intellectual, regardless of how it read. Hm, how did Chuck know who YF was? I presume Chuck used his insider position to find that out, and then decided to side with YF against me.

    I think you have it backwards. I’m guessing that Chuck knew YF in meatspace and was the one that pointed him to FFS. I don’t even know how I could use my “insider position” to find out much of anything without doing some borderline internet stalking myself. I can’t see Chuck ferreting out the kind of details he seemed to know. (then there was the flat out statement that YF has been to dinner at his house—unless that was in email rather than on this thread). Chuck introduced a friend to the blog and introduced the blog to his friend after he posted, so what? I’d do the same thing myself and expect any of the other authors to do likewise. It isn’t a pronouncement from on high, it’s common courtesy. If a friend of yours commented here, wouldn’t you pump them up a little to enhance their first impression?

    Then James makes the royal pronouncement “we” won’t censor it. I didn’t ask for censoring, but what the heck, another insider butting in to inform me of their irrevocable decision. I also did not expect YF to be warned, but I wanted the Macho Man to realize he could be warned for making macho threats.

    Okay, now he knows that you know that you know that he knows (but do you know he knows? 😛 ) We’re all “green” here and some of us are newer than others. Since everyone is probably aware of how horrible flame wars can erupt from seemingly small roots, not to mention excited about this venture and perhaps a little overeager, is it really that surprising that someone would jump in and make sure the position of “the management” was clear? One of the things that all of us think is important is that we don’t just start discussions, we participate in them. That goes for both the issues raised in the blogs and meta-issues like this one.

    I don’t care who runs the blog, it is not a job I want.

    I don’t want the job either, but I care who runs this blog. I’m here to prove that Gene’s rules are conducive to honest and productive discussions of a sort that are made impossible by Professor Turley’s cargo cult civility policy.

    But I will talk to you, Slart, since you haven’t committed any of these offenses you should find none of the following offensive!

    No offense taken

    You do not need to micromanage the blog, you do not have to wear your “management badge” on your sleeve in your posts, and you can wait until there is actually an incident or report or some direct violation before you start barking to herd the sheep away from some imaginary wolf.

    The puppies get excited sometimes. Don’t worry, they’ll grow into fine sheepdogs. Actually, I think its kind of cute. The fact is that no one in this whole discussion has believed that there was any serious problem, although many have preemptively jumped in to show that problems will be dealt with—starting with you.

    That’s my opinion, you run it how you want, but like the police, you will stray into irritating and chilling territory if you confuse the prevention of law-breaking with coercing people into being fair, nice, respectful or non-vulgar. It is not the job of the police to insert themselves into heated arguments between people on the street, it is only their job to ensure they don’t actually commit an assault.

    The authors here aren’t cops, they are equal participants in the discussion (I believe, like you do, that, ultimately, the merits of the ideas are all that matter). Nor is anyone being coerced into being fair, nice, respectful or non-vulgar. Since there will come a day when someone tries to commit an assault, so to speak, doesn’t it seem like a good idea for the members of the group who will have to play the roles as policemen to get some practice. Not to mention, working out what techniques and standards are appropriate and effective. Which brings us back to Blouise’s point about this being a meta-example of the topic of the thread. There is clearly a winner of this thread and it’s Blouise. 😉

    This blog is small enough, and reviewed enough, that nothing requiring actual management intervention (like an explicit physical threat or inappropriate revelation of personal information) is going to slip through the cracks, and any “management” that must be done should, like real management, not be done in public but done in private; you have the email addresses available to you to accomplish that.

    Has any management that should have been done in private been done in public?

    In business (and in academia) I am friendly but never befriend those over whom I have authority. Mixing roles is sometimes unavoidable when I have gained authority over friends; and that is probably more like the situation for you here: I think it is imperative to not confuse your role as a commenter (analogous to friend) with your role as a manager with power over commenters.

    Personally, I just worry about doing my fair share in making comments (as Slarti, not an author or a manager). Someday I hope to be a real boy and publish articles of my own, but I don’t see that as granting me any kind of authority over anyone either. Even in the role of my meatspace sock puppet, where I am the one sitting in the captain’s chair, I don’t think of myself as having authority over anyone, but rather as trying to put them in positions in which they can help me by helping themselves.

    End of advice to Slarti.

    Okay.

    This thread was not hijacked by me, I responded to posts that were talking to me or about something I posted.

    Even if it was, hijacking per se isn’t against the rules—it’s only persistent hijacking to bring up a pet issue that is verboten. No one has accused you of addressing inappropriate subjects that I am aware of.

    I talked about Bob’s article when asked to refocus, nobody responded to me about that.

    Which is all fine. That’s how the marketplace of ideas works—you make a comment and others decide whether or not to respond.

    I think people talked themselves out over Bob’s article and the thread took a different direction, largely because I exercised free speech to express an opinion in response to you.

    Yes, I can be a force for threadjacking. I don’t think people are “talked out” over Bob’s article, though. Besides, Blouise’s observation means that both conversations, for all intents and purposes, are the same.

    Would the reaction have been the same if I expressed an opinion that the Supreme Court had erred in some judgment? I don’t think so, I think Gene and the other authors are taking my assessment of their failings personally.

    You wouldn’t be expressing an opinion about the Supreme Court TO the Supreme Court. Is there any reason you would expect the reactions to be the same? Besides, I don’t think anyone’s feathers are really ruffled—certainly not Gene’s. In the end, I just think there isn’t very much “there” there.

  344. Tony C. says:

    IN RESPONSE TO CAITLYN:

    Caitlyn says: … as long as free speech and freedom are allowed. Which they seem to be here.

    You are not sitting in my seat, nor in Bob Stone’s, who was prevented from speaking anonymously and told he could only post an article under his real name. Free speech in America and other free countries is allowed to be anonymous speech, even anonymous to government officials. My free speech is not allowed here. If I criticize the leadership of this blog I am at further risk of being banned. Heck, I may not even have the right to respond to you when you address me.

    Caitlyn says: every ship needs a captain. Someone who actually owns the boat.

    That is simply false, too. A real-life analogy is the Supreme Court of the United States hearing a case. No individual justice has veto power over the rest, the Chief Justice can be over-ruled by a simple majority. Now, before others jump on me, the Chief Justice does have other administrative and representative duties, so the analogy only extends to the hearing of the case; but it is plausible all those other duties could be conducted by any one of the members chosen by a roll of the dice whenever one of them was needed; we could certainly have a functioning supreme court with a panel of people in charge instead of an individual person.

    Another analogy exists in the court room; our own Jury system. Yes, we have a foreman, but the foreman (and I have been one) does not have any final veto power over the vote, doesn’t “own the ship,” serves a minor functionary role, and their vote carries no greater weight than any other juror’s vote.

    The same is true in for-profit enterprises. I can cite my own reasonably successful experiences, but I was influenced primarily by other much larger and more successful enterprises founded by engineers. Many large successful for-profit companies are run by a Board of Directors that have a Chairman of the Board with no veto power or special powers at all. Some successful companies cited in business literature have no Board, five equal co-CEOs, and have been profitable and growing for over a decade.

    The upshot is, the “captain” of the ship does not have to be an individual at all, it can be a panel of people. The buck does NOT have to stop at a specific person, no organization requires an individual to be king, or the final decision-maker, or the executive in chief. Hierarchies can exist and function perfectly well without that. Emergencies can be handled by appointed subordinates that specialize in them while remaining subordinates that are not in charge; for example, lawyers. Or indeed firemen or other first responders; they do not take on all the powers of the State Governor when responding to an emergency, but are granted more legal leeway in their decisions to destroy private or public property or perform actions that would normally be prohibited by law in any non-emergency situation (e.g. firemen can break into your home or office).

    None of that should be taken as my sour grapes, I am making the intellectual point that those claims are falsehoods. Every ship does not need a captain. That is an artifact of culture, nothing more, proven false by myriad successful examples. It is usually propagated by people that covet power, and authoritarians (both the kind that like to command, and the kind that like to have a heroic leader in charge making decisions for them).

  345. HELP Tony C. says:

    I seem to have lost a comment to Caitlyn in the spam filter; any help would be appreciated.

  346. Tony C. says:

    Slarti says: But where did the idea that this blog should be a democracy or that that would be a good thing come from?

    Ummm, Gene’s oft-repeated claim that it was a democracy? Until I pointed out all the ways it was not, then he tells me I was making a fundamental error to consider it any kind of government at all ….

  347. Tony C. says:

    Slarti says: You wouldn’t be expressing an opinion about the Supreme Court TO the Supreme Court.

    That’s my point! They are taking personal offense and threatening to ban me and making ad hominem attacks on me and false accusations (e.g. I want to run the blog!) because I am criticizing them, when me making similar criticisms about the Supreme Court would go unremarked.

  348. Tony C. says:

    Thanks for releasing my comment to Caitlyn.

  349. Tony C. says:

    Slarti says: The authors here aren’t cops, they are equal participants in the discussion …

    Only until they start to assert their power in the management of the blog, in the comment section.

    Slarti says: Nor is anyone being coerced into being fair, nice, respectful or non-vulgar.

    Haven’t I been repeatedly told, by implication and derision and false accusation, to stop complaining about a decision they made? Doesn’t Gene believe he is punishing me by banning me from ever becoming an author or participant in his cohort? Haven’t I been threatened with being banned altogether for what I am saying on this thread?

    Slarti says: doesn’t it seem like a good idea for the members of the group who will have to play the roles as policemen to get some practice [?]

    Until you are the protester being pepper sprayed and cracked in the head with the baton, or Michael Brown lying dead in the street. “Sorry kid, I was just practicing, workin’ out my moves, you know?”

  350. 1) Bob wasn’t harmed in the making of this movie. He made a request. The request was denied. What you don’t know, because again you talk from an orifice not usually used for speech, is that when the request was made by Bob it was couched in language of “I understand if you don’t want to do this”.

    2) I specifically said I run this place like a pirate ship. That’s indeed how I run it, not like an appellate court.

    3) Enjoy your next cruise on a ship with no captain. Remember the code is 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42.

    4) “The upshot is, the “captain” of the ship does not have to be an individual at all, it can be a panel of people.” A classic example of the ought/is fallacy.

    5) “None of that should be taken as my sour grapes, I am making the intellectual point that those claims are falsehoods. Every ship does not need a captain.” – Actually you seem to know nothing about how pirate ships were run, Tony. The only difference between this and a real pirate ship is that this captain cannot be removed by tossing him overboard. How are them grapes again?

    6) What Slarti said.

    7) Blouise is indeed the winner of the Internet. Except the case here is Tony is begging me to shoot him and it’s not going to happen. I’m perfectly willing (and amused even) to watch him shoot himself . . . over and over again. Ad nauseum apparently. He’ll have to commit some rule breaking offense substantive enough to merit suicide by cop here. Last time I checked, hubris and not knowing when to stop wasn’t against the rules. To be clear, you haven’t been threatened with banishment at any time Tony. You’d be rather explicitly warned you were on thin ice. I’m not one to shy away from explicit (adj., stated clearly and in detail, leaving no room for confusion or doubt). You’ve been told you won’t be asked your out of camera opinion again and that you’ve effectively ruined any chance you had at being asked to be an e/a (which actually was under consideration until your little hissy fit started). But those? As noted before, are self-inflicted wounds. When a Lieutenant-Commander acts so poorly that the Captain busts him back Midshipman, that loss rests on the former Lieutenant-Commander. Cause and effect still apply.

    Now somebody stop me before I mix metaphors again! Oh, wait, that’s right. I can’t be stopped.

    I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

  351. bron98 says:

    Tony C:

    “Is Blouise a guest author? Is Bron? I don’t think so; and you revealed my name and address to them.”

    Did I send you an email? And I am sure Blouise [although I am not speaking for her] has better things to do than send you emails.

    My name and address was on my emails, I trust the people who Gene had on the emails. You should give Gene more credit than that. If he thought there would have been a problem, he would have Bcc’d everyone.

    Do you think I am going to hunt you down? I disagree with you but dont know you and dont care to know you except in the context of this blog. I am sure you have the same thought.

    I dont know about you but I dont think any of the people who post here regularly would ever invade my privacy unless asked.

  352. So you view your loss of participation out of camera as punishment? Interesting considering you stated you have no interest in running this blog. A loss of nothing of value to you hardly seems like a loss let alone punishment. I don’t view it as punishment. I view it as consequence. Dual consequence actually. The consequence for me is learning from an error that some people cannot function in a conflict of laws scenario without lashing out like a child when they don’t get their precise way. The consequence for you is losing your consultant status and any chance you have of being asked to be an e/a.

    Being asked to consult or be an e/a isn’t a right, Tony. It’s a courtesy and a privilege, respectively. That you’ve acted so poorly as to merit retracting that courtesy and eliminating your chance at the privilege is your onus to bear.

  353. bron98 says:

    Tony C:

    Please forward the address of your new blog. You have my email address.

    Thank you,

    Bron

  354. Tony C. says:

    Gene: On the contrary, it is your voluntary decision; certainly not a consequence of any actions I have taken contrary to some written rule. It is entirely your pique at my exercise of free speech. I did not throw a tantrum; that is your perception, but even throwing a tantrum (in writing) is an exercise in free speech.

    I have no interest in running the blog. Losing a vote in a dictatorship is not a loss, and losing an opportunity I would not be allowed to exploit anonymously is also not a loss.

    As for “consideration,” you might as well tell me it was under consideration but only if I would swear a blood oath of obedience; it would be a ludicrous trade. So, the back-channel discussion was useful to me in understanding that the majority of FFS authors have flawed and shallow thinking (not you in this particular case, you at least considered anonymous authorship), but I fight enough uphill battles against flawed and shallow thinking in real life, I don’t need yet another.

    Gotta go for most of the day, I have a thing to do with my daughter.

  355. I’m going to share a response I just posted in an internal e-mail that should clarify things further:

    “For the record, my issue here isn’t me being challenged by Tony. It’s his overreaction and lack of temperament in a conflict of laws scenario. Sometimes compromise is the solution to those problems and I think the comprise solution reached is the best one possible.”

    Rorschach in Watchmen said, “That’s the difference between you and me, Daniel. Never compromise even in the face of death.” That works fine if you’re a sociopathic comic book character, but the real world of conflict of laws issues requires a lot more flexibility. The solutions to those scenarios rarely leads to everyone being totally satisfied, but absolutism rarely results in a solution at all, satisfactory or otherwise.

  356. po says:

    nivico says:
    Now, consider that for a moment… you don’t have all the facts and the facts that are unknown to you could go either way. So which one ~deserves~ your deference and benefit of the doubt, the police officer who just minutes ago was assisting the EMT’s with a choking toddler, or the criminal who just minutes ago was robbing the liquor store?

    Once again, nivico, timeline matters, that is the sphere in which cause and action finds expression. You cannot make your case retroactively by using the video of the “criminal” to justify the action of the cop WHO DID NOT KNOW ABOUT THE CRIME.

    An hour before he was killed, Mike Brown helped an old lady cross the street safely, and rescued a puppy about to be hit by a car. May or may not have happened. Should we introduce every instance of good and evil action each one did in the previous 24 hours in order to see whether officer Wilson was justified in killing an unarmed man, and Mike Brown was justified in not being killed?
    Obviously, officer Wilson has never, ever committed any immoral act, has never been a teenager and never done any of the stupid stuff teens do. He has never lied, never cheated, never stolen, been a perfect individual, in every single aspect of his life. Yep, that makes him Jesus!

    10 minutes before the shooting, contractors working in the same street said Mike Brown started a conversation with them, pleasant and friendly. He said to them, I’ll be back later, and when they saw him again, was when they heard the gunshots and saw him running away chased by lead bees, and when he stopped, said ok ok, and turned around with his hands up, the same bees kept stinging him, fatally.
    As it is for all of humanity since the beginning of time, in any situation, we turn towards the witnesses, those who were present and saw or heard what happened and can offer testimony. None of the witnesses has yet to be found untrustful, while the police’s assertions have been challenged time and time again by either recordings of the gunshots, or by those same witnesses’ statements.
    Which one deserves the benefit of the doubt? The murdered obviously! In light of all the past and current precedents of cop shooting, in light of the abuse the residents take from the police daily, in light of the fact that Mike Brown was unarmed, in light of all the statements by witnesses who were present, in light of the armed, violent response to the “mob”s request for investigation… the real question is…why when you don’t have all the facts and the facts that are unknown to you could go either way… which one ~deserves~ your deference and benefit of the doubt, the kid who just graduated high school and was to start college, who is not known to be a criminal or a felon, who is widely described as a good kid, or the armed police officer who is said to have unlawfully roughed a man previously, and part of a police force that is known to abuse the black residents it is supposed to police?

  357. Bob Kauten says:

    Gene,
    I take issue with your “Ad nauseum apparently.”
    It’s way past ad nauseam.

  358. po says:

    Bron, you are not helping.

    Tony, I think you made good points, and Gene acknowledged them.
    Just as you will not back down from the verbal brink, nor will he. What matters at this point is whether you have been heard, and it is obvious, to me at least, that you have been heard, Arguments have been made and insults exchanged, but points have been acknowledged and changes have been made. There is nothing else beyond this of value to anyone, you, him, this blog.
    As they say back home, take the gift from the king but do not demand he smiles too.

  359. “On the contrary, it is your voluntary decision; certainly not a consequence of any actions I have taken contrary to some written rule.”

    Actually it’s a direct consequence of your actions. You illustrated you don’t have the temperament and flexibility of thought to handle compromise solutions without lashing out like a spoiled child.

    “I did not throw a tantrum; that is your perception, but even throwing a tantrum (in writing) is an exercise in free speech.”

    I might give that credence if I was the only person who sees your behavior as a tantrum, but I’m not. By a long shot. And you are right. A tantrum is a form of free speech. Free speech in which you have no way been abridged I might add. But just because free speech is free doesn’t mean it doesn’t have consequences. Telling your boss his wife is a “bloated warthog” is your opinion and you have every right to express it. Doing so might lead to your unemployment, but you have every right to say it. Action, consequence. You shot yourself in the foot, but you keep screaming “Assassin!” all you like. The only person you are fooling is yourself.

    “As for “consideration,” you might as well tell me it was under consideration but only if I would swear a blood oath of obedience; it would be a ludicrous trade.”

    Reductio ab absurdum gets you nowhere if you don’t know how and when to deploy that tactic. If you, or indeed any e/a, doesn’t like the very few restrictions for posting here then you are free not to accept the position. If you are on the masthead, use your real name (now with the process in place for reconciling Rule #1 and Rule #2) and don’t make major site changes without consulting me are the only restriction other than those found in the published rules for posters. They retain their right to self-defense. They can comment (or not) within the few rules as they see fit. I let them choose their own topics and any editing I might later do is only for format and possibly grammar. They retain full rights to their works including republishing (although an “originally published at” credit is requested). Unlike some blogs, I don’t demand exclusivity in exchange for nothing of value other than a platform. All internal editorial tasks are assigned on a voluntary basis. It’s a very reasonable and liberal schema of operation with as minimal restriction as possible.

    Oh, and I do ask them to try to remember to uncheck “Uncategorized” when setting up the categories and tags for their stories (Mike S., looking your direction), but when they don’t? I’ve spent hours (literally) going back and cleaning up the categories. I’m just that kinda guy.

    If any of that sounds like a deal with the Devil to you, Tony, I suggest your devils are puppies in disguise.

  360. Bob K,

    FWIW, I agree. Tony should have stopped shooting himself long ago.

    And what po said.

  361. Elaine M. says:

    Here’s an interesting story out of California:

    Police Allegedly Mistake Black Actress Kissing White Partner For A Prostitute
    The Huffington Post | By Emily Thomas
    Posted: 09/14/2014 1:39 pm EDT Updated: 09/14/2014 7:59 pm EDT
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/14/daniele-watts-actress-detained-police_n_5818304.html

  362. Mike Spindell says:

    Tony,
    Look, I’m in the middle of packing up my summer home and heading south for the winter. I haven’t been around much as a commenter, but have been keeping my fingers on the pulse of things. As the first “guest blogger” to quit RIL and as the first person to sign up with Gene, it is true that I’m part of the “in crowd” here. In this issue as it began with Yankee Farmer, I supported you in your reaction. In the private tete a tete of which you were a part you will note that I also supported “anonymity”. I’ve also, offline and now online, expressed to Chuck and Gene that their initial defense of YF’s comments to you may have had to do more with friendship, than with the logic of the situation, since I too found YF’s macho annoying. Look above I also put that in writing. Finally, you have been with us as a supporter from the start and for that I am grateful. We share many similar perspectives and also have had many disagreements. I value the contribution you have made here and you’ve certainly earned my loyalty. Among this talented group of people there will always be disagreements. Back at RIL Bob and I had some vicious arguments on some issues, yet I strongly supported him for writing here. Arguments and debates will always be part of the game when smart people discuss issues

    That said, a big part of the reason I left Turley was that he played a game of pretend. The game was he was totally for “free speech”, until he wasn’t, when it suited his purposes. The arguments me and Gene put forth to him was that he was a part-time proprietor and thus missed much of the nuance of what went on at RIL. Though I documented much of Nick’s transgressions, he ignored them and instead set out censoring any who would attack Nick, in their response to Nick’s attacks on them. From the jump here, we made it clear that this was Gene’s blog, his rules, etc. Do Elaine, Chuck and I have tremendous input with Gene, of course we do. Is there an “In Crowd” so to speak here? Yes there is. This is not a democracy, nor will it be, because as we saw at RIL, Jonathan’s “democracy” has become the purview of right wing nutjobs, drowning out all other voices with faux facts and vicious diatribe, couched in semi-civil tones.

    I personally want to ask you to stick with us because your voice is valuable and I would be sad for it not being heard here. As for the “confidentiality” issue yeah that was a blunder, but we’ve resolved it and will learn from it. We’ve only been in business since January and we’re still working out the kinks by trying to learn from experience. Hang around Tony because your voice here, or anywhere for that matter, is important.

    Mike

  363. bettykath says:

    Tony has some valid points. This whole thing started with YF using some very strong language to assert some “facts” that weren’t, then finished with a threat, yes, I took it as a macho-man-meet-me-in-the-streets kind of threat, not an intellectual threat. Tony responded. Then others piled on chastising Tony which led to a discussion of how the blog is run. Gene has said repeatedly that the blog is run democratically, then he backed off to say that those who provide advice, mostly selected by him, operate democratically but clarified that he makes the final decision. Any time that a vote can be accepted or rejected by one person with no provision for override, well, that’s simply not a democracy. Gene has now admitted that he runs the blog like a pirate ship with him as captain. Certainly an admission that it’s not a democracy.

    I don’t see Tony’s arguments as being childish in the least. I give him credit for sticking to his position and making the arguments that have led to a more correct description of how the blog is run. His objections have actually led to some good changes. I don’t have a problem with the way the blog is run but I did have a problem with calling it a democracy when it clearly isn’t. Now that’s cleared up.

    Tony’s description of companies and the Supreme Court not needing a buck-stops-here person is interesting and maybe should be a separate topic. I’ve worked with a couple of groups that really were democratic. There was no voting, just discussion until the answer emerged. No one was called leader by any name. Leadership rotated organically as the projects evolved. I took a couple of business courses and there wasn’t a single mention of co-ops as business models.

  364. Mike Spindell says:

    Gene,

    I don’t do no stinkin categories and I don’t use spell check either. With power comes responsibility Mr. Editor. 🙂

  365. Pardon me while I do the Walter Huston dance . . .

  366. Elaine M. says:

    Ferguson’s massive cover-up: How police departments are protecting Michael Brown’s killer
    Basic evidence is being kept from the public. And investigators aren’t showing proper zeal to figure out the truth
    9/14/14
    http://www.salon.com/2014/09/14/fergusons_massive_cover_up_how_police_departments_are_protecting_michael_browns_killer/

    Excerpt:
    But while Jackson’s high-profile statement may have been outrageously false and misleading, it’s the underlying actions of his department in the shadows that are downright criminal, part of a seemingly routine pattern of actual lawbreaking by the police themselves, both in Ferguson and St. Louis County—a persistent pattern that hasn’t stopped, according to emails provided to Salon even though the Department of Justice has announced it’s going to investigate both organizations.

    In fact, police are now using the DOJ investigation itself as an excuse for further violations of the sunshine law, relating to arrests of protesters who continue demonstrating in Ferguson, according to emails provided to Salon (details below). The emails come from Charles Grapski, a legal and political theorist and political scientist, as well as an active citizen with decades of experience filing public records requests, including work with local activists and lawyers in different states across the nation…

    “Ferguson is deliberately violating both the laws and its own policies to prevent any information from being produced and made public that could be used to hold Officer Wilson to account for his actions,” Grapski wrote in the Aug. 29 post, and he repeated this in interviews with Salon.

    “They are committing criminal offenses themselves,” Grapski said of both police departments’ public records violations. “It’s not a high crime, but it is class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to year in prison, and a pretty significant fine, by withholding, by knowingly not complying with the public records law. The records law has teeth, and that is it has criminal sanctions.”

  367. po says:

    True, Mike, well said.
    He is infuriating, this Tony but there is something fascinating (infuriatingly) about him. I can’t help shaking my head, smiling, when I think of him. A pain in the ass, sure, but a valuable one nonetheless.
    I enjoy how recently it was Bob and me against you and Tony, and now it is Tony, you and me against Bob…
    it is all great and enjoyable and such a welcome change from …
    Been wondering…how did all of you come together? Is everyone an alumnus of the Turley blog? What brought you there in the first place? Especially the ladies?

  368. po says:

    Thanks for that, Elaine.
    In today’s paper, Dana Millbank’s column …:

    What happened in Ferguson, Mo., last month was a tragedy. What’s on course to happen there next month could be a farce.

    October is when a grand jury is expected to decide whether to indict the white police officer, Darren Wilson, who killed an unarmed black teenager by firing at least six bullets into him. It’s a good bet the grand jurors won’t charge him, because all signs indicate that the St. Louis County prosecutor, Robert McCulloch, doesn’t want them to.

    The latest evidence of this came recently from The Washington Post’s Kimberly Kindy and Carol Leonnig, who discovered that McCulloch’s office has declined so far to recommend any charges to the grand jury. Instead, McCulloch’s prosecutors handling the case are taking the unusual course of dumping all evidence on the jurors and leaving them to make sense of it.

    One might give McCulloch the benefit of the doubt, if not for his background. His father was a police officer killed in a shootout with a black suspect, and several of his family members are, or were, police officers. His 23-year record on the job reveals scant interest in prosecuting such cases. During his tenure, there have been at least a dozen fatal shootings by police in his jurisdiction (the roughly 90 municipalities in the county other than St. Louis itself), but McCulloch’s office has not prosecuted a single police shooting in all those years. At least four times he presented evidence to a grand jury, but didn’t get an indictment.

    One of the four: A 2000 case in which a grand jury declined to indict two police officers who had shot two unarmed black men 21 times while they sat in their car behind a fast-food restaurant. It was a botched drug arrest, and one of the two men killed hadn’t even been a suspect. McCulloch at the time said he agreed with the grand jury’s decision, dismissing complaints of the handling of the case by saying the dead men “were bums.” He refused to release surveillance tapes of the shooting. When those tapes were later released as part of a federal probe, it was discovered that, contrary to what police alleged, the car had not moved before the police began shooting.

    McCulloch apparently hasn’t learned from that. His spokesman, asked by the Post’s Wesley Lowery about those remarks, said the slain men “should have been described as ‘convicted felons’ rather than ‘bums.'”

  369. nivico says:

    “In fact, police are now using the DOJ investigation itself as an excuse for further violations of the sunshine law…”

    Matters currently under investigation are not subject to FOIA and Sunshine. Missouri’s statute reads:

    “Notwithstanding any other provision of law other than the provisions of subsections 4, 5 and 6 of this section or section 320.083, RSMo, investigative reports of all law enforcement agencies are closed records until the investigation becomes inactive.”

    “Except as provided in subsections 4, 5, 6 and 7 of this section, if any portion of a record or document of a law enforcement officer or agency, other than an arrest report, which would otherwise be open, contains information that is reasonably likely to pose a clear and present danger to the safety of any victim, witness, undercover officer, or other person; or jeopardize a criminal investigation, including records which would disclose the identity of a source wishing to remain confidential or a suspect not in custody; or which would disclose techniques, procedures or guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, that portion of the record shall be closed and shall be redacted from any record made available pursuant to this chapter.”

  370. swarthmoremom says:

    po. As far as I know all the ladies are from the Turley blog. I have gone around and around with Tony on a few things myself but Tony has shown a good amount of loyalty to this effort by continuing to post when he was sometimes nearly the only one posting. I think the only time I have agreed with Bob was on Tony’s plan for the Palestinians.

  371. bron98 says:

    Po:

    I agreed with Tony C about anonymity. But it is Gene’s blog so he has a right to be the final decider.

    Personally, I hope Tony C keeps posting and I also hope Gene allows him to be a guest blogger. But Tony has the right to start his own blog and Gene has the right to publish who he wants.

    That is the great thing about free markets. Free being the operative word.

    I think Tony is wrong about raising a fuss about this issue. He may be collegial in his management style but that doesnt mean that is the right style for all organizations. Everyone on this site has strong opinions, I doubt a collegial environment would work very well. Gene’s pirate ship would be adrift in no time with no ports of call agreed upon.

  372. po says:

    Thanks, Smom. I did notice the charged atmosphere between you and Bob, but having missed the circumstances…
    Not to hijack this thread,,,too late han? But what brought you to the Turley blog?

    Gene, I was laughing my bum off when I just read the comics and saw this:
    http://www.dilbert.com/

  373. bettykath says:

    Bob talked about the statement of a worker. Is his worker one of these, both of whom describe and execution?
    http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/10/us/ferguson-michael-brown-shooting-witnesses/index.html

    It has somehow crept into the discussion that it was a liquor store hold up. No, it was a convenience store. The initial report was of stealing, as in shoplifting, petty theft, reported by a customer. It was a couple of days before the cops showed up with a warrant for the surveillance videos where it became a strong arm robbery.
    ——–
    According to the forensic pathologist’s verbal report, with the exception of the fatal shot that entered through the top of his head and the entry wound in the inner part of his forearm below the elbow, the rest of the wounds are located in the front part of the body.

    Depending on the position of his right forearm, Professor Parcells said the shot could have come from behind MB as he was walking or running away from the police vehicle or it could have come as he was raising his hands or it could have been a defensive wound.
    ——
    According to Michael Brown’s friend, Dorian Johnson, who was walking with Brown at the time, the police officer pulled up beside them and said, “Get the fuck on the sidewalk. Johnson said the young men replied that they were “not but a minute away from [their] destination, and [they] would shortly be out of the street.”

    Without saying anything further, Johnson states that the officer drove forward, only to abruptly back up, positioning his vehicle crossways in their path, almost hitting the two men. Said Johnson, “We were so close, almost inches away, that when he tried to open his door aggressively, the door ricocheted both off me and Big Mike’s body and closed back on the officer.”

    At that point, the officer, still in his car, grabbed Brown through the open window around the neck. Brown tried to pull away, but the officer continued to pull Brown toward him.

    According to Johnson, Brown “did not reach for the officer’s weapon at all,” insisting that Brown was attempting to get free of the officer rather than attempting to attack him or take his weapon from him.

    At that point, according to Johnson, the officer drew his weapon, and “he said, ‘I’ll shoot you’ or ‘I’m going to shoot,’” and almost instantaneously fired his weapon, hitting Brown.

    Following the initial gunshot, Johnson said that Brown was able to free himself, at which point the two fled for their lives. The officer exited the vehicle, after which he fired a second shot, striking Brown in the back. At that point, according to Johnson, Brown turned around with his hands in the air and said, “I don’t have a gun. Stop shooting!” The officer then shot Brown several more times, killing him.

  374. bk,

    “I don’t see Tony’s arguments as being childish in the least.”

    Function is not mode. Clarifications were had, refinements made, lemons were made into lemonade. But I’ll call petulance and tantrums what what they are. The very same clarifications and refinements could have been made in an entirely different mode. It displayed a temperament not conducive to delicate policy issues like resolution of conflict of laws.

  375. bettykath says:

    Gene, So we see Tony’s objections/arguments in a different light, much like we see YF’s threat differently. Sure makes things interesting to have different points of view.

  376. bettykath says:

    I made a quick stop at that other blog last night. Our “favorite” commenter seems to have been absent for the day. The civility of the thread was noted. Hope he’s on vacation or something. Don’t want him ailing, just busy elsewhere.

  377. Bob Stone says:

    Slarti,

    I didn’t write about police procedures. Furthermore, the topic of what burdens of production and burdens of persuasion apply for each stage of the administrative process is a far more complex legal question requiring a different analysis, of said burdens, than what was set forth here.

    Po,

    Unlike Slarti, who has brought up evidence and procedural points that weren’t discussed, you’ve completely ignored the applicable points of evidence law as set forth and analyzed in the article.

    Po: “What else but an emotional bias can make one side with the killer when the facts lean heavily against him,”

    “Sentence first — verdict afterwards.”

    “Bob, it is either emotional bias, or it is contrarian attitude, or downright intellectual bias (the second one being enabled by the 3rd.)”

    Of course, the fact that Wilson was justified is not one of your choices. Indicative of an objective mind? Hardly.

    Po: “The mob’s actions were not fallacious in the least.”

    Oh, now the association fallacy is not fallacious. And the reason you’re attempting to re-define the rules of logic is … emotional bias perhaps?

    Po: “It (the mob) is subject to ongoing and relentless oppression by the police,”

    And the mob has utility bills to pay as well. What RELEVANCE does it have to the incident and Officer Wilson’s guilt or innocence? ZERO.

    Po: “Experience tells them (the mob) that as for every other instance where one of them was killed by the police, a gun will be produced whose ownership will be attributed to Mike Brown posthumously, or a claim will be made that the victim lunged at the cop, or that the victim tried to take the cop’s gun.”

    Experience tells Israel that Palestinians, e.g. Hamas, carry out terrorist attacks on Israeli citizens. Does that mean Israel was justified in slaughtering 2000 Palestinians in Gaza? NO. Get a grip Po. You can’t punish Wilson for the sins of others; just like Israel can’t kill civilians for the acts of militants among them.

    Po: “Had you, Bob, limited yourself to penning a post calling for restraint until we know the facts, there would not have been any issue, at all. The problem arose when you went beyond that, and actually made a claim that the officer was, in some way, justified.”

    Exactly how is that a problem? You have a right to call Wilson a killer based on unexamined eyewitness reports, rumor and innuendo, without so much as a hint of a legal analysis, while I can’t defend him using the available facts, applicable law and logic?

    Jesus H. Christ chief.

    “Further, you brought up the liquor story robbery as if if was linked to the killing somehow.
    Timeline matters, and though am sure everything is linked somehow because nothing happens in a vacuum, the facts so far are pretty established that nothing Mike did prior to meeting officer Wilson has anything to do with whatever drove officer Wilson to pull the trigger.”

    (followed later by) “You cannot make your case retroactively by using the video of the “criminal” to justify the action of the cop WHO DID NOT KNOW ABOUT THE CRIME.”

    Are you kidding me? You’ve been arguing so much with Tony that you’ve adopted one of his most famous tactics; i.e. whenever the rules go against you, claim the authority to change the rules.

    You can no more re-write the law of evidence than you can re-define gravity.

    Once again:

    One could argue that the strong arm robbery video is admissible under the motive exception—i.e., having just committed a felony, Brown would have motive to fight Wilson if he thought he was being arrested. But the strong arm robbery video does much more than that; it presents “a complete and coherent picture of the events that transpired,” giving us a greater understanding of how and why Officer Wilson was compelled to shoot an unarmed man.

    While the mob has adopted a fanatical policy of aniconism toward anyone that dare depict Brown as anything but an angel, the video of the strong arm robbery clearly shows Brown acting like Honey Badger™**. That belligerent attitude apparently continued in his altercation with Officer Wilson not 10 minutes later. Having just robbed a store and coming upon a police car, does Brown run? No. After striking Officer Wilson in the face while he was struggling for his sidearm, committing yet another felony, Brown flees and Wilson pursues with his gun drawn and orders him to stop. And what did Brown do with the “MOTHER MAY I RULE” in effect? Just like Honey Badger™, Brown didn’t give a shit. Brown advanced on Wilson and Wilson fired while backing away. And even with the gunfire, Brown still didn’t care because he kept coming towards Wilson for 25 feet despite being hit several times in the process. Thus Wilson, according to Josie, thought “[Brown] was on something.” Accordingly, the strong arm robbery, being nearly contemporaneous, is “evidence of a continuation of a sequence of events that assist in painting a coherent picture of the [altercation with Wilson and eventual shooting]” (Roberts at 591) thereby making it relevant and admissible.

    Po: “WE can scrutinize autopsy reports and ballistic charts all we want, but the facts are also pretty established that there is a consensus of the witnesses’ narratives, and it is that officer Wilson killed a boy who was running away from him, then tried to surrender to him, an execution no less. To blame the mob for wanting justice is a bit outrageous, actually!”

    Since when do eyewitness statements trump actual physical evidence?

    See also reply by Dr. Stanley above.

    And since when does justice consist of bending to mob rule in lieu of following LAW AND ORDER?

    Plato is rolling in his grave.

    :

  378. Bettykath,

    It was like a vacation with nick not being on yesterday…… People actually agreed to disagree….

  379. bettykath says:

    AY, it was your observation that made me want to read more so a quick scroll through the thread but I was too tired and still had stuff to do. Maybe I’ll check it out later today.

  380. po says:

    Bob:
    Unlike Slarti, who has brought up evidence and procedural points that weren’t discussed, you’ve completely ignored the applicable points of evidence law as set forth and analyzed in the article.

    What I did, Bob, was to point out the exact problem in your argument, that is to take points away from someone for using a fallacious argument, only to use exact fallacy in one’s own argument. Perfect example is found in the God Delusion of Dawkins.

    Bob:
    Of course, the fact that Wilson was justified is not one of your choices. Indicative of an objective mind? Hardly.

    Well, Wilson may be justified, sure. I don’t know yet. Unlike you however, I refrained from declaring anyone justified because I do not know. You, on the other hand, declare him justified from the get go.

    Bob:
    Oh, now the association fallacy is not fallacious. And the reason you’re attempting to re-define the rules of logic is … emotional bias perhaps?
    Sure, I have an emotional bias, everyone has, and you do too. Unlike you however, I admit mine,, you don’t. Association is not intrinsically fallacious, erroneous association is. Your whole post is associative, including and especially the points about quoting Josie and the video recording of the robbery.

    Bob:
    And the mob has utility bills to pay as well. What RELEVANCE does it have to the incident and Officer Wilson’s guilt or innocence? ZERO.

    In response to your attack on the mob, in the process of explaining the mob’s natural and normal response. What relevance does the robbery have on the shooting?

    Bob:
    Experience tells Israel that Palestinians, e.g. Hamas, carry out terrorist attacks on Israeli citizens. Does that mean Israel was justified in slaughtering 2000 Palestinians in Gaza? NO. Get a grip Po. You can’t punish Wilson for the sins of others; just like Israel can’t kill civilians for the acts of militants among them.

    Who is being punished here? The mob is punishing Wilson by asking that justice takes its course and that he doesn’t escape legal scrutiny? Only wish Mike Brown was punished similarly!

    Bob:
    Exactly how is that a problem? You have a right to call Wilson a killer based on unexamined eyewitness reports, rumor and innuendo, without so much as a hint of a legal analysis, while I can’t defend him using the available facts, applicable law and logic?

    Did Wilson kill Mike brown or not? That may be the only thing that is not in doubt! To call him a killer is to do some emotional labeling, sure, but it isn’t factually incorrect. To call Mike Brown a criminal is factually incorrect (he has not been convicted of a crime) and surely to do some emotional labeling. So we are at the exact point, hence the oddness of the finger pointing.

    Bob quotes Po:“Further, you brought up the liquor story robbery as if if was linked to the killing somehow.
    Timeline matters, and though am sure everything is linked somehow because nothing happens in a vacuum, the facts so far are pretty established that nothing Mike did prior to meeting officer Wilson has anything to do with whatever drove officer Wilson to pull the trigger.”

    (followed later by) “You cannot make your case retroactively by using the video of the “criminal” to justify the action of the cop WHO DID NOT KNOW ABOUT THE CRIME.”

    Bob says: Are you kidding me? You’ve been arguing so much with Tony that you’ve adopted one of his most famous tactics; i.e. whenever the rules go against you, claim the authority to change the rules.

    You can no more re-write the law of evidence than you can re-define gravity.

    Once again:

    One could argue that the strong arm robbery video is admissible under the motive exception—i.e., having just committed a felony, Brown would have motive to fight Wilson if he thought he was being arrested. But the strong arm robbery video does much more than that; it presents “a complete and coherent picture of the events that transpired,” giving us a greater understanding of how and why Officer Wilson was compelled to shoot an unarmed man.

    To quote Tony, Bob, BULLSHIT!
    Wow, you must be a contortionist you are twisting around so hard in order to make the case for your biggest (and most fallacious) argument, that Mike Brown’s criminal act and and therefore his criminal nature, and therefore his soon to be accomplished career as mass murderer and enemy public number one has direct bearing on the officer’s action.
    Interesting too that Mike Brown’s actions were informed by his future criminal path, while Wilson’s act was not informed by Mike Brown’s criminal future, yet Wilson’s act was justified by same criminal future that he knew nothing about AND by which he is not affected. Wow!
    Should we use the fact that one day Wilson will be videotaped punching his wife in an elevator and hitting his 4 year old with a switch (possible…) as justification for Mike Brown’s supposed lunging at him to take away his gun before he got shot with it?

    Then you bring up Josie into it. Who is she again? Oh yeah, someone who was no there. At all. Nowhere near. Speaking for Wilson. Supposedly. And that is your argument. A past event that spurred an action by someone who knew nothing about it. And a witness who was not there.

    Bob:
    Since when do eyewitness statements trump actual physical evidence?
    Yes, how many juries have believed witnesses over physical evidence? What physical evidence are we talking about again? Autopsy report? Ballistics? I’ll wait to see those interpreted differently by each side to pronounce on those.

    Bob:
    And since when does justice consist of bending to mob rule in lieu of following LAW AND ORDER?

    Is mob rule now to ask that justice looks into the police shooting of an unarmed boy? So far, justice hasn’t bent, and this brand of justice seems more like obstruction to me,and more like protecting the shooter than bending, to me.
    What is law and order but to hold everyone responsible for their action? If indeed Mike Brown reached for the cop’s gun, then a case can be made for Wilson, same as if he indeed punched the cop. Short of the “physical evidence” you tout, we only have the witnesses’ statements to go by, and they say that Mike Brown was simply executed.

  381. Slartibartfast says:

    Can’t we all just be sociopathic comic book characters?

  382. Slartibartfast says:

    Or maybe an anarcho-syndicalist commune where we take it in turns to be a sort of executive officer for the week…

  383. Mike Spindell says:

    Slarti,

    I prefer to be a sociopathic comic book character. Knew some anracho-sydicalists in the 60’s and they were as annoying as Trotskyites. Though Maoists were the worst, because they never wanted to get high.

  384. Bob Stone says:

    Po,

    I don’t know what to say.

    You’re asking me to entertain theories and modes of analysis that are founded neither in law nor logic. It’s as if you’re not even paying attention to what I’m saying at all. Just on the Josie issue itself, you’re ignoring that according to CNN, Josi’s version has been “confirmed by a source with detailed knowledge of the investigation.”

    Po: “Sure, I have an emotional bias, everyone has, and you do too. Unlike you however, I admit mine,, you don’t.”

    What’s the title of my article? What did I explain in the first few paragraphs? You’re not listening.

    Po: “Association is not intrinsically fallacious, erroneous association is. Your whole post is associative, including and especially the points about quoting Josie and the video recording of the robbery.”

    I’m sorry Po, it’s one thing to help someone understand the law by attempting to do the lifting for both sides of the argument, but I refuse to continue holding the couch, so to speak, while you sit on the grass and complain about how we’re not moving.

    You said “Bullshit” to a fundamental rule of evidence. And you demanded, like Tony would, that I continue arguing with you based on a completely flawed and incorrect understanding of the rules of evidence.

    Here’s what another attorney said about my analysis:

    Mike Appleton says:

    Bob: I don’t know how the hell you found the time, but the result is a truly superb analysis.

    As Leo Steiner of Carnegie Deli said in that Levi’s Jewish Rye bread commercial from the 1970’s

    “From a deli owner; that’s a rave.”

    Replace deli owner with attorney.

  385. bron98 says:

    Bob:

    Was it ever confirmed that Wilson had bad facial fratures?

    I think you are right about waiting for all the evidence.

  386. Tony C. says:

    Mike says: This is not a democracy, nor will it be, because …

    [eye roll]. Okay, I’m catching up.

    1) Mike, I did not claim FFS was a democracy.
    2) Gene repeatedly claimed FFS was a democracy.
    3) I called bullshit on the democracy claim.
    4) Gene kept trying to defend it, then abandoned it.

    FFS is not a democracy, it is a monarchy with a circle of friends (a cohort). Which is fine by me! But you know that in the past I have spent weeks calling bullshit when people (like those quoting Ayn Rand) try to redefine words to what they are not. I won’t bother to reiterate the many reasons FFS is not a democracy, but it was not me that claimed it was! And you seem to agree with me on that point, that it is not a democracy.

    ************

    Thanks bettykath, for your understanding.

    ************

    po: I seldom agree with what Bob posts; including the current post, but even if I had been informed that it was Bob making the request, I would still defend what I consider his right to post anonymously. Just as I (a committed atheist) would and will defend your right to belief in supernatural nonsense. Not just because I want the right to espouse my beliefs, but because I personally think suppression of freedom of/from supernatural beliefs (or the freedom of anonymous speech) is a cause of harm and a form of coercion. I will hasten to make a distinction between what is done on behalf of such beliefs or what is incited with the speech; because that too can become a cause of harm and coercion. But in regard to speech, it makes no difference who said something if the content of the speech is not clearly causing some kind of harm or coercion (e.g. some kind of panic, mob assault, or conveying a threat).

    ************
    I said: The upshot is, the “captain” of the ship does not have to be an individual at all, it can be a panel of people.”
    Gene says: A classic example of the ought/is fallacy.

    No it isn’t. It is a recitation and summary of history and actual fact, there is proof by existence that large organizations can exist and can be organized without unitary powers being possessed by any individual; no captain is necessary, an organization does not require any single person to have final decision powers. That has been proven. The logical portion of that argument is just there to try to help Caitlyn understand, in general, how it has been accomplished in the past: A company (or a government) can be run by a panel of equals.

    Here is an article that describes it, it is a few years old but includes the five-CEO company of which I was already aware: Are Two Better Than One?”

  387. “Gene repeatedly claimed FFS was a democracy.”

    And it is. Like a pirate ship. I didn’t abandon anything. Tony.

    Let’s look at the word:

    democracy /dɪˈmɒkrəsi/. n.,
    1: A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives: [emphasis added]

    The management of the blog is democratic in that all e/a’s have a say, but like a Presidential Constitutional democracy there is an Executive. And while there is no formal appeals process for my veto power it is held under the very same rubric and operational principle I have used for most of my life (and certainly all the years the e/a’s have known me). The words of Marcus Aurelius.

    “If any man is able to convince me and show me that I do not think or act right, I will gladly change; for I seek the truth by which no man was ever injured. But he is injured who abides in his error and ignorance.” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, VI, 21.

    That you assumed you were an eligible voting member was your presumption – one I should have in retrospect nipped right in the bud instead of humoring your ego – but that you failed to change my mind on the conflict of laws resolution is simply your failure to change my mind. My veto power is absolute, true, but if you can convince me I’m wrong, I’ll change my mind. I’ve seen me do it. So again . . .

    You have two choices: take it or leave it.

    But you’re still not going to get back into the kitchen. Ever, after this two-day fit. However, since you feel so strongly about absolute anonymity, feel free to submit an article for publication via our guest blogger program once it has been put in place. You can sign your article any damn way you please then. M’kay?

  388. Tony C. says:

    bron says: [Tony] may be collegial in his management style but that doesnt mean that is the right style for all organizations.

    I didn’t say it was the “right” way to do it, I was saying, in response to Caitlyn (and Gene and others) that the general claim “somebody has to be in charge” or “somebody has to captain the ship” or “the buck has to stop somewhere” is just flat false. There are proven other ways of organizing large efforts that work just fine.

    The reason I am responding to YOU specifically on this point is that, as a capitalist, you have always believed in the “invisible hand,” in its essence that if people acted in their own best, well-informed self-interest, we do not need top-down control of an economy.

    Well if we don’t need top down unitary control of the entire economy, meaning we don’t need to have some individual “in charge” of the economy for the economy to function properly, why do we need some individual in charge of a corporation for it to run properly? Can’t something analogous to “self interest” govern a corporation?

    For example, a few friends can get together (even if they are an even number of friends) with assigned duties for different aspects of the company; Marketing, finance, production, HR, etc. They can meet, vote on company wide issues, and in the event of a tie defer to the partner with the most purview over the topic in question; since they presumably know the most and will have to implement. Thus nobody is always the decider for the company, everybody can be overridden by majority, but the company still gets run. And for the individuals it is no worse than being overridden by a unitary CEO; i.e. nobody always gets their way.

    My claim is there is another way; my claim is that it is a falsehood that there must be a captain of the ship.

  389. Also, you apparently don’t understand the nature of the ought/is fallacy a.k.a. the naturalistic fallacy, i.e. you are trying to describe things as you think things ought to be instead of how they are. Things are run here as I described whether you like it or not, Tony.

  390. bettykath says:

    Another misunderstood cop or two.

  391. More on the Daniele Watts incident, with full audio. This is interesting. TMZ is definitely not my favorite place to visit, but they have the raw audio. You take what you can get where you can find it. Warning, NSFW

    http://www.tmz.com/2014/09/15/django-actress-daniele-watts-lapd-race-card-fame-audio/

  392. Slartibartfast says:

    Bob,

    I’ve accepted your admonition not to rush to judgement (which I fully agree with). That being the case, it would seem important to establish the standards by which judgement will be made in the future. What is the purpose of putting off judgement if not to be fair to both Officer Wilson and Mr. Brown? You don’t need to go into the nuances of actual legal standards to comment on whether or not you think the standards that I laid out are reasonable, do you?

    If it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Officer Wilson’s actions were not justified, then he should go to jail right?

    If it can be shown that, based on a preponderance of the evidence, Mr. Brown should not have had deadly force used against him, shouldn’t his family be able to bring a successful civil case against Officer Wilson and the city?

    Finally, if it cannot be established beyond a reasonable doubt the Mr. Brown deserved to die, then doesn’t returning Officer Brown to the force effectively give him (and every other officer) a “license to kill”?

    If we are supposed to let the process work (and I agree that we should), how do we know that the result is just if we haven’t established what the applicable standards are?

    Po,

    I found RIL around the 2008 election when I was looking for information about the merits of the “birther” movement. I found Vince Treacy authoritatively, comprehensively and, above all, politely destroying every single birther legal argument (he was like Godzilla to the birthers—a force of nature, not an enemy) and ended up staying around because of the level of the discussion. In those days there were two strong voices on either side that shaped the debate with their insight and civility: Mike Spindell and Former Federal LEO (I miss FFLEO—he saw the writing on the wall at RIL before any of the rest of us even suspected it). I nearly never agreed with FFLEO (and almost always agreed with Mike), but I always respected both of them and their positions.

    I made friends with Buddha and Byron and Blouise (but not all commenters with a pseudonym beginning with “B”) and others and let’s just say that there is a reason that no one ever debates who’s fight with Bob was the biggest… [tip of my hat to Bob] (I also vocally supported Bob becoming an author here—a position which I think has been proven correct by the response to this article).

    After a couple years as a regular, I built an NSA jr. toolkit* with my LEGOs (or Python… I get those confused) and turned it loose on RIL. This led to several events which caused me to question Professor Turley’s integrity. Most significantly his indifference to defending Rafflaw from false accusations and his response to someone cyberstalking Mike and using the information they gained to pretend to have hacked his computer. Eventually I left to spend some time as an obsessed mad scientist/basement inventor, but I remained in regular contact Gene (and occasional contact with others) and was ultimately included on many of the back channel emails with Professor Turley leading up to the Exodus which brought us all here.

    * Neither I nor the NSA did anything inappropriate with metadata. Except for that one time in Vegas…

    Tony and Gene,

    Are you two still tangle-assing? [tip of the hat to yankeefarmer] I would point out that both of you have gotten exactly what you say you want: Tony not having an advisory or authorial role in the blog and yet being able to submit an “over the transom” anonymous article should he choose to do so (which he would then be able to decide whether or not to acknowledge as “Tony C”). Have you gotten it out of your system (for now, anyway) or do you have to fling some more snark at each other?

    Seriously, guys, the way I see it, I win this dustup hands down. Tony, if he feels the desire, will be able to submit an article to be published in the anonymous manner which he advocated (and I supported). Gene’s new policy will address the legitimate issue that Tony C had with his email being shared without his consent (watch out for Swarthmore mom, she’s a sly one—plays a mean game or six of Scrabble too!). While it seems all but certain Gene will never ask Tony to participate in such a back channel discussion again and that Tony, if asked, would refuse, I’m guessing that, in the future, such discussions, if they occur at all, will probably end up being either public or restricted to the authors. If not, and if I thought Tony’s insight would be valuable, I could always ask for his opinion privately (I have every right to use his email to contact him) and pass it off as my own. Finally, I seem to be the one getting the most enjoyment out of the cage match (everyone else seems to have mostly gone from mildly concerned to bored).

    Of course, I could go on to make the connection to Bob’s dog, but that just means that Blouise wins again and I’ve already said that I’m on her side. Anyway, keep up the tangle-assing if you like—it wont change the outcome (that both of you got what you wanted), but I’m settled in with my popcorn so we aren’t letting a crisis go to waste.

    Mike,

    You mean that Mao didn’t write the Little Red Book while stoned? Who knew?

  393. Tony C. says:

    Gene: You’re backtracking. I thought it was understood, in my email in context that I did NOT assume I was a voting member, I claimed I deserved a vote as compensation for having my anonymity violated, by you despite your own written rule #2.

    Which you apologized for. But that was the context; prior to that email I would not have expected to be involved and would not have asserted any such right. When I saw that email with my name amongst all the others I was pissed off; after a check to see the exposure was limited I was less pissed off, but figured as a result of being fucked over I should weigh in and be allowed a vote on the topic that was the proximate cause of me being fucked over.

    But clearly you have (or had) some low reading comprehension going on, because you missed that part, or dismissed it out of hand without thinking about what you had done.

    Later in the day, my comment about you “enforcing your own fucking policy” in regard to YF’s threat against me, which I still consider a borderline veiled physical threat you couldn’t even be bothered to address in the comment section, was half-inspired by my residual pissed-offedness of your previous violation of Rule #2. (And half-inspired as an attempt to wake up YF to the rule on making such threats, so he would cut out his macho man crap.)

    Of course that comment was misinterpreted by you because, despite my informing you of the Rule #2 violation, you had already waved your royal mitt and wrongly dismissed my concerns as unfounded, and your followers accepted that without question, like good little authoritarians.

    Between that and what I see as supercilious commentary on my complaint about YF’s threat from Chuck and James and you, I figured I would push on you boys to show us your true iron-fisted authoritarian colors. And that is what happened, in my view.

    I didn’t ask to be in the kitchen. The response from you (and Mike) now was a Bush, Cheney, and Obama classic, “Mistakes were made, but we need to look forward, not back.”

    I forget the comedian but remember the line; “You know who else wants to say that? Bank robbers, drug dealers, drunk drivers.”

    Once I was dragged into the kitchen, I figured I might as well vote on the stew. If I am now barred from the kitchen, so be it, how is this any different for me than last Monday?

    Oh, here’s how, I remain stripped of my anonymity by you violating your own written policy, which I value highly and trusted you to keep. And what’s funny is when I got pissed off about that, you decided to punish me for being pissed off.

    Keep your consolation prize; I wasn’t arguing on behalf of myself, but on behalf of principle. Bob should have been allowed to post anonymously as “Bob, a Lawyer”; it would have changed nothing about his post or comments, the only value in using his name is worthless ego stroking for you authoritarians at the expense of whatever Bob feels he gave up by posting under his real name. It wasn’t worth it. You were wrong. Not because I didn’t get my way, not because I want to post something, but because of the principle that the demand for self-identification in speech can chill speech and prevent valuable topics from being broached and valuable insights from being shared. That will remain true if I am dead tomorrow. Which is also something I am not asking for!

  394. Slartibartfast says:

    More tangle-assing it is!

    I would also point out that there has been several mentions (including one by me) of past interactions with Bob—something that would certainly change if the article had been posted anonymously.

  395. Tony C. says:

    Gene says: Also, you apparently don’t understand the nature of the ought/is fallacy a.k.a. the naturalistic fallacy, i.e. you are trying to describe things as you think things ought to be instead of how they are. Things are run here as I described whether you like it or not, Tony.

    Geez Gene, are you always this unrelentingly self-centered? I understand the fallacy fine; I was never saying FFS should be run that way, I am saying it is a LIE to claim there must be a captain of a ship. It is not true. It is a falsehood. That is a dead parrot! Alternatives exist. They have been put into practice. They work!

    So stop trying to deflect responsibility by saying there must be a final arbiter or chief or singular CEO or whatever you wish to call it. You are not the king of the realm because the realm MUST have a king, you are the king because you want to be the king. You WANT there to be a unitary power, and you want it to be you.

    There’s nothing wrong with that, except perhaps you don’t like the way it sounds so you choose to deflect some imaginary criticism for that with “somebody has to do it.” You don’t have to tell that lie, and I know you aren’t so dumb you cannot comprehend my post explaining why it is indeed a lie. You own the blog fair and square and it’s good to be the king. Grow a pair and own it, you like to be in charge, you started the damn thing, and you deserve it. I’ve done the same thing on the business front. That post isn’t about FFS, it is about the truth and telling the truth: Ships do not require captains.

    To thine ownself be true, dude.

  396. Tony C. says:

    Slart: Agreed, but aren’t those off-topic? If we think his post should be judged on its merits alone, past interactions with the author are irrelevant.

    (Sort of; I admit when reading certain academic authors I am on heightened lookout for the kinds of mistakes I know they make…)

  397. Slartibartfast says:

    Definitely more tangle-assing.

    Tony,

    Ideas should be judged on their merits, but there is no way I can avoid my response to the article being informed by my past interactions with Bob. Something which I don’t see as bad (hopefully Bob agrees). Specifically, I am more on my guard and careful with what I say as I know how skilled Bob is at exploiting any flaw in an argument.

    I would say, as a rule of thumb, that a person is reasonably objective provided they would have come to the same conclusion whether they knew the author (or were misinformed as to the author) or not. Knowing Bob wrote this article didn’t change anything regarding my position on the issue (my strategy), but it definitely effected how I approached the debate (my tactics). In either case, I would have ended up pretty much where I am now: asking about appropriate standards of judgement and watching you and Gene tangle-ass (or you and Byron if they decide to play tag-team).

  398. JoeJr says:

    Oooooh. THAT Bob.

  399. Bob Stone says:

    Slarti,

    I already said Wilson should be held accountable if his actions weren’t justified.

    But let me show you briefly the problem with your questions:

    “If it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Officer Wilson’s actions were not justified, then he should go to jail right?”

    The burden of production and persuasion for a finding that the shooting was justified is not the same as a criminal trial.

    “If it can be shown that, based on a preponderance of the evidence, Mr. Brown should not have had deadly force used against him, shouldn’t his family be able to bring a successful civil case against Officer Wilson and the city?”

    Preponderance of the evidence is precisely the burden of persuasion the Brown family would have to prove in a civil suit for wrongful death against the state.

    “Finally, if it cannot be established beyond a reasonable doubt the Mr. Brown deserved to die, then doesn’t returning Officer Brown to the force effectively give him (and every other officer) a “license to kill”?”

    Where are you getting that burden of production from? “That Mr. Brown deserved to die?” That’s not the issue. The issue is Defense of Life and Wilson’s shooting until the threat stops.

  400. I read just fine. “I claimed I deserved a vote” I read you claiming a right that was never yours perfectly over a minor and quite accidental transgression that resulted in no substantive harm to you. What your claim was in response to is irrelevant. Speaking of which . . .

    It’s funny that you think you’re being punished. You’ve been allowed to post whatever you want in your lil’ tantrum without censure. You haven’t been banned or threatened with banishment. The only negative repercussions have been you’ve been told a courtesy extended to you once will never be extended to you again because you choose to act like an infant. That’s not punishment. That’s consequence. Nothing has been taken from you but future opportunity that not all guests get to share in, a lagniappe. Punishment would be to boot you off the blog or put your comments in moderation. You should really learn to differentiate between punishment and a consequence of you showing your ass.

    Like. Dislike. I’m the guy in charge ultimately. You say there are other ways to do things? Then go do them that way yourself and someplace else. This isn’t your blog. You are a guest here and a very poorly behaved one it is turning out.

    If that presents a problem for you, if you don’t like how this blog is run?

    The choice remains the same.

    Take it or leave it.

  401. Also, and again, Bob wasn’t forced to do anything.

    He could have changed his subject. He could have declined to publish. He instead opted to post as himself. Bob didn’t see it as such a problem that he opted for either for the first two paths.

    You think you’re fighting for principle? What you’re doing is fighting for your ego, Tony. It’s not like all of us familiar with you haven’t seen you do it before. I’ve seen you argue that the entire underpinning of a profession you aren’t even trained in is wrong basically because you cannot understand the concept of the social compact on anything other than a literalist level regarding “the state of nature”. This whole thing is about you pissing on trees, sport. If anyone is lying, it’s you to yourself about that.

    You sure aren’t foolin’ anyone else.

  402. Bob Kauten says:

    I didn’t request whine with dinner, but we got it anyway.

    “Geez Gene, are you always this unrelentingly self-centered?”

    My jaw dropped at the clueless, steely irony of that one!

  403. Bob K,

    I was actually eating dinner when I read that one. I’ll tell you this for free. Snorting baked potato? Not a good experience. :mrgreen:

  404. JoeJr says:

    Perhaps I’m in error, but it seems that much depends on a third-rate cable station, CNN, (who is willing to play a story about aliens and lost Malaysian planes for days), on Josie with-the- no-last -name-no-address-no-info and a post that began on Facebook, and a unnamed source who ‘vetted’ Josie and has ‘close ties’ to the investigation. That could include anyone from Eric Holder on down to the vendor who supplies the yellow crime scene tape.

  405. Bob Kauten says:

    Gene,
    Thanks for the review of snorting baked potato. I’ll pass on that one.
    Did try snorting melted milk chocolate, though.
    Exquisite pain, of very long duration. If you don’t want it to stay in there, don’t put it in there.

  406. nivico says:

    “If it can be shown that, based on a preponderance of the evidence, Mr. Brown should not have had deadly force used against him, shouldn’t his family be able to bring a successful civil case against Officer Wilson and the city?”

    Brown was an adult, so it’s questionable whether his parents even have any legal standing to sue for wrongful death.

    http://writ.news.findlaw.com/colb/20031231.html

  407. Slartibartfast says:

    Bob said:

    I already said Wilson should be held accountable if his actions weren’t justified.

    But you wont tell us what should be done to hold him accountable or what the evidentiary standard for justification is. If Officer Wilson’s actions weren’t justified then Mr. Brown is the victim here (and one who has been kicked by plenty of the masters of your dog). What does justice for him (and not rushing to judgement, for that matter) look like?

    But let me show you briefly the problem with your questions:

    “If it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Officer Wilson’s actions were not justified, then he should go to jail right?”

    The burden of production and persuasion for a finding that the shooting was justified is not the same as a criminal trial.

    It seems to me that if the shooting wasn’t justified then a crime was committed and if that crime was proven beyond a reasonable doubt then a person would be punished for it. What would need to be proven to the criminal standard for you to put Officer Wilson in jail?

    “If it can be shown that, based on a preponderance of the evidence, Mr. Brown should not have had deadly force used against him, shouldn’t his family be able to bring a successful civil case against Officer Wilson and the city?”

    Preponderance of the evidence is precisely the burden of persuasion the Brown family would have to prove in a civil suit for wrongful death against the state.

    So I got that one right.

    “Finally, if it cannot be established beyond a reasonable doubt the Mr. Brown deserved to die, then doesn’t returning Officer Brown to the force effectively give him (and every other officer) a “license to kill”?”

    Where are you getting that burden of production from? “That Mr. Brown deserved to die?” That’s not the issue. The issue is Defense of Life and Wilson’s shooting until the threat stops.

    I was using “Mr. Brown deserved to die” and “the shooting was justified” as meaning the same thing. I don’t know what the appropriate legal standard is, but it seems to me that if there is reasonable doubt that Mr. Brown’s death was justified by his actions and Officer Wilson’s training, then Officer Wilson should never be put in such a position again. What standard do you believe the shooting should be required to meet in order for Officer Wilson to keep his job?

    Ultimately, I think that any equitable solution must consider the rights of both Officer Wilson and Mr. Brown and that either side leaping to judgement is being disrespectful of the valid concerns of the other side. Which brings up another question you didn’t answer: what should be done to address the legitimate concerns of the protesters, regardless of Officer Wilson’s justification or lack thereof?

    nivico,

    His estate has standing to sue on his behalf and, most likely, his parents are his heirs.

  408. Tony C. says:

    Gene says: That’s not punishment. That’s consequence.

    No, that is a violation of free speech, moron. You are the “government” of this blog, meaning the sole entity with power, and you are using that power to deny me an opportunity forever, an opportunity you freely admit that, prior to this thread, was likely to be afforded me. Your exercise of power is solely because you do not like what I said or how I said it. The fact that I do not value said opportunity is immaterial; prior to this thread the choice would have been mine, after this thread it no longer is mine.

    Consequences of free speech are how other citizens react, it is not how the government reacts. Can the US Government deny me, say, social security because of something I have posted on this blog? No. If I write them a letter and call them poopy heads and claim they are acting unfairly to me, they cannot say, “No soup for you!”

    As always, you have to twist things so you did nothing wrong, that is how fragile your little ego is.

    Gene says: Also, and again, Bob wasn’t forced to do anything.

    Bob was forced to choose between remaining silent or speaking under his real name, neither of which were his first choice, and both of which exclude true free speech in America, which affords any amount of anonymous publication. I have not and will not Google Bob, but other readers may. I don’t know the nature of his practice or future ambitions, but his existing and future clients, employers, potential business partners or even competitors will, increasingly, execute the “poor man’s” background check of an Internet search on his name, and as you well know, as private citizens, they can impose “consequences” on Bob for his speech here, including denying him financial opportunities. That constitutes a risk. Thus Bob was forced to do something; choose between shouldering a real, permanent and unnecessary risk in order to speak in this forum, or remain silent.

    Your further arguments as to the “balancing of laws” is just more puerile bullshit and deflection of responsibility used in over a dozen corporations where I have worked. Like them, you wrote the rules, and as you just proved with Rule #2, you can rewrite the rules at will.

    Citing a need to “balance” laws as if you were coerced by paper is just an excuse to pretend a distasteful act was not your choice when it was. It is a way to deflect responsibility and criticism; because the truth is the laws can be revised by you at will to comply with what is truly just and right. And as you have proven with me, as emperor you are free to violate any of the rules and then claim the harm done by you was minor and not substantive.

    You and your forum decided Bob could not post anonymously even though he wanted to. Why? Because you want to increase the “credibility” of the site, to increase readership, which means for your own selfish and egotistical reasons. Precisely the same sort of reasoning that I think led Turley to his selfish and egotistical management of RIL, the seeking of accolades and awards and (for Turley) the indirect rewards that comes with a modicum of fame. As Turley decided, your Senate has concluded that content does not matter as much as traffic, and that credibility (and therefore traffic) would be increased by making people “own” their articles and shoulder any physical or financial risk associated with that. Then belatedly, “Oh, we can set up a kiddy table for anonymous authors, but we want to make sure readers know the difference between them and us stalwart, brave heroes on the front lines.”

    Gene says: You haven’t been banned or threatened with banishment.

    For the record, you have a comment to Elaine at 12:28 that says, People who persistently do nothing but disrupt conversation (i.e. a pattern of disruptive behavior) can be banned under Rule #1.

    Then I have a private email from you after that post (dated Sep 14 at 3:19 pm) that says: Would you like to continue on your current path and see what the limits of Rule #1 are or would you like to live with the fact that you have no say in blog management and that your opinion is no longer needed or wanted?

    Obviously, the limits of Rule #1, as conveyed to Elaine, is banishment; that is the heaviest penalty you can actually impose upon me and therefore the limit. Substituting that limit in the subsequent equation, it reads: Would you like to continue on your current path and [be banished] or would you like to live with the fact that you have no say in blog management and that your opinion is no longer needed or wanted?

    Thus I have indeed been threatened with banishment.

    Let’s move onto why, as conveyed in the alternative presented which is presumably the antithesis of my “current path.” That antithesis is “living with the fact” that I have no say in blog management, and, more importantly, that my opinion is no longer needed or wanted.

    I think the threat was pretty clear; let me summarize: stop opining on blog management or be banned.

    So you still can’t tell the truth, Gene. You have threatened me with banishment, and since you have, your mention of sending my comments to moderation and censoring me is also a threat.

    Gene says: over a minor and quite accidental transgression that resulted in no substantive harm to you.

    Man, wouldn’t it be a great world if all of us had the power to declare the harm done by our own accidents and transgressions as minor and inflicting no substantive harm? Wouldn’t it be great if we all got to be our own judge and jury? It’s good to be the King!

    Clearly your own written rules and promises do not apply to you, right, Emperor? Like Nixon says, if the President does it, it isn’t illegal! You have the power to pardon yourself, after all.

  409. Speaking of moron . . . your participation in the management of this blog isn’t a right, free speech or otherwise. It’s a privilege. Just like your ability to comment here is a privilege. It is a private forum with publicly offered services and terms of service (rules) but it is the private sector. You have no free speech rights in the private sector other than what the employer or provider of the platform allow (see Terms of Service). You’re free to comment all you like until you break the rules. But you are right about one thing: your opinion in matters of blog management is no longer needed or wanted. But let’s look at that sentence:

    Would you like to continue on your current path and [be banished] or would you like to live with the fact that you have no say in blog management and that your opinion is no longer needed or wanted?

    There is more than one consequence of Rule #1. So here’s one: you’ve just been warned that if you make a persistent pattern of disrupting threads in the manner you have on this one, you will be shown the door.

    And if you think you’ve been substantively harmed? Sue me. Good luck with that.

    Now if you’ll pardon me (or not in your case), I have a busy day.

    Feel free to keep shooting yourself.

  410. Tony C. says:

    Bob K says: My jaw dropped at the clueless, steely irony of that one!

    First, thanks for your earlier agreement with me on the YF threat; I appreciate you taking the time to post that.

    Gene is being self-centered because he thinks everything I say is a demand for a change in his blog management. It is not. What I actually said was that his excuse for being a dictator, subscribed to by Caitlyn, was false. Specifically, the excuse that somebody has to be the chief executive.

    That has nothing to do with me being self-centered or not; it has to do with whether Gene and Caitlyn and the other authors and readers that believe that claim actually believe in a fact or a fiction, a cultural artifact they have been raised to believe.

    What I wrote is a refutation of Gene’s excuse for being a dictator; it is about whether that excuse is valid or not, whether it is true or not. But Gene is so self-centered he thinks my calling his justification for being a dictator into question is an implicit demand that he stop being a dictator. That is an understandable but false inference, it is not true and I have no such demand, I am pointing out that the claim that “a ship needs a [unitary] captain” is simply false. I provided proof by logical exposition and proof by example, a link to a 2012 study of 111 large public companies that are successful without unitary leadership.

    I think it (the “ship needs a [unitary] captain” assertion) is a falsehood used to deflect responsibility and clothe dictatorship in an air of necessity and inevitability; i.e. somebody must wear the crown. It is precisely the falsehood used by authoritarians (those that crave authority and hierarchy) to excuse the current Imperial Presidency, that an individual must be king and make all final decisions.

    Similarly, Gene’s claim of a “democracy” also rings false; as even the authors accept that Gene is king of the blog for life, his divine right by virtue of founding it. I don’t have a problem with that, as I said earlier I have done exactly the same thing with companies I founded. My problem is with calling something a “democracy” when it clearly is not a democracy at all; it is misleading.

    Similarly, Gene’s claim that Bob wasn’t forced to do anything. It just isn’t true, Bob was forced to choose between an actual risk and speaking his mind.

    Similarly, Gene’s claim that I have not been threatened with banishment, when I have.

    Similarly, Gene’s claim that he has to balance rules. No he doesn’t, he wrote the rules and can totally rewrite them at will, it is his blog and prerogative to do so, as he just demonstrated with Rule #2. An acknowledged dictator pretending otherwise is just deflecting responsibility for doing whatever they want. It is like a CEO and sole owner of a company telling me, “I’m sorry, but this is company policy.” (Maybe it is, CEO, but you wrote that policy and nothing prevents you from waiving it at will, right?)

    Whether I am self-centered is immaterial to whether Gene is speaking the truth or not. That is what I am commenting on; this is not some subterfuge to change how he manages his blog or to be included in some future deliberations or to be allowed to post anonymously. It is just me pointing out when Gene is making counter-factual claims.

    Each instance of which typically ends in ad hominem attacks on me. However I did get one apology, quickly diluted by the assertion that in his estimation any harm done to me by him was minor and not substantive, and I should stop whining about it, that my non-anonymity basically comes with the territory if I comment on blogs, that I should take it or leave it.

  411. Tony C. says:

    Gene: I see, now I am “disrupting the thread” by answering posts directed at me, or clearly responding to something I have said. YankeeFarmer threatened me. Slartibartfast brought up the back-channel communication directly in response to me. My responses have been to comments directed at me and to commentary clearly about what I have written; or I have written on claims you have made that are simply untrue.

    So disagreement and criticism is now “disruption.” Who knew?

  412. Tony C. says:

    Correcting myself: I meant rule #4 was rewritten, not rule #2.

  413. Bob Stone says:

    nivico,

    Good point.

  414. Bob Kauten says:

    Tony,
    When I challenged yankeefarmer, I wasn’t actually supporting anyone.
    I can stand a bit of macho bluster, but I interpreted his warning paragraph as, “I shot some guy in the head, I’m the meanest son-of-a-bitch in the valley, so you’d better not fuck with me.”
    My interpretation of his remarks guaranteed that I would fuck with him. There’s no need to go to the valley, so don’t go there. Don’t go there.
    Now, to take your very incisive paraphrase of Gene’s argument, totally out-of-context:
    “…any harm done to me by him was minor and not substantive, and I should stop whining about it, that my non-anonymity basically comes with the territory if I comment on blogs, that I should take it or leave it.”
    This excerpt, out-of-context, if taken to heart, would be a breath-taking breakthrough in self-awareness.
    We live in hope.
    This thread has become the 24-hour “me” station. “Our mission statement: No perceived slight, no matter how inconsequential, will escape our perpetual, agonizing analysis. The same news, whether you need it or not, repeated endlessly.”

  415. Bob Stone says:

    Slarti,

    Why are you asking me questions like this:

    “What would need to be proven to the criminal standard for you to put Officer Wilson in jail?”

    That question essentially asks me to assume everything I wrote about was not true.

    If you’re interested in a case where a cop was clearly not justified in using deadly force, and yet was not charged by the D.A. and remained on the force, check this out:

    http://data.newsday.com/long-island/crime/huntington-station-shooting/

  416. Bob Stone says:

    Grand jury now has until January to decide whether to charge Ferguson officer

    CLAYTON • The grand jury considering whether Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson should be criminally charged in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown now has until Jan. 7 to decide.

    The extension of the grand jurors’ term of duty does not necessarily mean the job will take that long, officials said. But it could.

    There is significant apprehension, especially along the West Florissant Avenue business strip hit by looting and rioting after the killing of Brown on Aug. 9, that violence might return if the grand jury does not send Wilson to trial for something. Some activists have threatened as much.

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/article_aa4111fc-2952-54c9-8316-76c4867dea48.html

  417. bron98 says:

    Bob:

    If I understand you correctly, your post is about waiting for all of the facts before passing judgment.

  418. po says:

    Bron, I know, han?
    Based on the following video, there is significant apprehension from the urban black community that an interaction with a cop means being punched in the face then charged with resisting arrest.

  419. bettykath says:

    Bob, ” Some activists have threatened as much.” I doubt that statement. I know it’s in the article, but the activists that I have heard have been consistent in speaking of non-violent protest. The looting was by opportunists. The rioting generally comes from the cops. Without the cops giving riot cover to the opportunists, the looting might not occur.

  420. bron98 says:

    Po:

    that guy is drunk, and apparently had words with the cop. should the cop have hit him? I dont know, probably not though. Cops are only human and maybe some people just dont have the temperment to be cops. The vast majority in this country are good people or else we would see much more than we do.

    I think cops do a very hard job, especially in urban centers.

  421. Bob Stone says:

    Bron,

    As I said at the beginning of my article, I’m one of those “wait for all the evidence” trolls.

    However, based on the evidenced made available so far, the only reason to indict Wilson would be to satisfy the mob.

  422. Actually, throwing a tantrum like a child is disruption regardless of what the tantrum is about, Tony. See the earlier comment to bk re: modality. If the ridicule in responses bothers you, might I suggest you stop acting ridiculous. I’ve said how the blog is run. Actually, how the sausage is made has been quite explicitly laid out. I take pride in FFS’s flat structure and inclusiveness. The pirate ship model holds.

    I’ve said what needs to be said and counted to one, matey.

    Tell the rest to tha’ parrot. Don’t mind if it don’t respond. It’s pining for the fjords.

  423. po says:

    Bron
    It really does not matter that the guy seems drunk or seems to have words with the cop. Has he broken any law? If yes, then take care of him the proper,legal way, not punching him. If no, then he should be allowed to mouth off. His right.
    The fact that we can even excuse this somewhat is a sign of how dysfunctional the system is.
    What, have we forgotten about Rodney King already? Don’t have enough of our money going towards settling the lawsuits filed by people victimized like this?
    How quickly would any of us here call a lawyer the moment we are bailed out?
    This is not the exception, by the way, a quick search would reveal a great deal of such occurrences daily.
    Cops are hired to police, not to abuse and oppress, they are trained and paid to do fair policing. If you don’t have the temperament to be a police officer, get the hell out of the force, become a football player or join the army.

  424. po says:

    Bob
    Your reaction to the mob makes you throw the baby out with the bath water.
    This has gone beyond an exercise in lawyering, it is downright the building of a case against the mob, why? Because officer Wilson doesn’t really have a case.
    You could have tried to argue officer Wilson’s case on its merit alone (and that would have been better perhaps had you waited to know the facts), but lacking such, you had to resort to making both the victim and the mob full blown stars in this drama rather than the bit player they are.
    The options are thus:
    1- Based on his direct interaction with Mike Brown, officer Wilson was justified in the shooting (based on the facts you say to wait for).
    2-Based on his direct interaction with Mike Brown and the knowledge of what happened in the liquor store earlier, officer Wilson was justified in the shooting.
    3- Based on his direct interaction with Mike Brown, the ignorance of what happened earlier at the store, Mike Brown’s assumed stress at the sight of the cop in relation to the liquor store robbery (despite the fact that the main witness says the cop addressed their street walking rather than the robbery), and the mob’s future role in this drama, officer Wilson was justified in the shooting.

    The fact that you chose option 3 is understandable, but to keep making the case of the mob as active participant in this drama, almost as an accessory to whatever caused officer Wilson to shoot Mike Brown is getting to be a bit perplexing.
    This is further compounded by your blaming the opposing parties for not waiting for the facts to come in when you yourself built a whole case on facts that are yet to be in.

    • James Knauer says:

      Chuck, as I now live on a fjord, a scant 1/4 mile from the sea, I can report Slarti’s craftsmanship remains beyond reproach. The stark merging of mountain and ocean is most satisfying. Either that, or slarty REALLY hates sandy beaches. You need thick soles here or the carbonaceous detritus will leave a mark!

  425. gbk says:

    Chuck,

    This one works too!

  426. A slight correction, James, if I may . . .

    an award-winning fjord”

    Slarti is due credit where credit is due.

  427. Slartibartfast says:

    Bob said:

    Slarti,

    Why are you asking me questions like this:

    “What would need to be proven to the criminal standard for you to put Officer Wilson in jail?”

    That question essentially asks me to assume everything I wrote about was not true.

    The quick (and glib) answer is that I believe that the answers to those sorts of questions are pertinent to the discussion and strengthen the points I’m trying to make. On another level, you have cautioned that we not rush to judgement regarding Officer Wilson. I have suggested that Mr. Brown deserves the same consideration (after all, he’s potentially someone’s dog as well). As a result, yes, I am asking you to answer questions based on the assumption that we don’t yet know the facts regarding Officer Wilson’s justification and Mr. Brown’s culpability. Specifically, I wont let you assume that your arguments are correct unless they are generally accepted by the other side as well (or vice versa). Personally, I’m not really interested in the specifics of this case, but in the standards which determine the morality and legality of Officer Wilson and Mr. Brown’s actions that night. Both men made choices that night that irrevocably and radically changed the course of their lives. Understanding which choices were and were not appropriate (i.e. the standards by which the actions should be judged) seems vital to me if we are to learn from this.

    Rather than saying that I’m asking you to assume that the case you made regarding Officer Wilson was not true, I’m asking you to assume it isn’t proven (which was what you asked me to do) and accept that it isn’t relevant to my questions, which are about how culpability relates to possible fact patterns.

    If you’re interested in a case where a cop was clearly not justified in using deadly force, and yet was not charged by the D.A. and remained on the force, check this out:

    I assumed the existence of such cases (thank you for providing evidence for that assumption), which only proves my point that the protesters have a legitimate grievance, but I’m not interested in specific examples. The fact that such cases have happened in the past is, in my opinion, more than sufficient reason for the protests and skepticism regarding the scenario you are advocating. If you really want people to stop rushing to judgement in the future, I think you need to address the root problem which validates the concern of those who wonder if Officer Wilson was a bad dog (or had a bad master).

    Anyway, that’s more or less why I’m asking these questions (and you seem to be taking the questions in the way I meant them). There’s an additional reason, but I’d have to bring up Popper and Gene would roll his eyes and sigh—another time, perhaps.

  428. Slartibartfast says:

    Guys,

    Say what you like, just send me my royalties… 😉

  429. Bob Stone says:

    Slarti: “I assumed the existence of such cases (thank you for providing evidence for that assumption), which only proves my point that the protesters have a legitimate grievance”

    Slarti, the mob wants Wilson dead or in jail. The mob has promised “chaos” if Wilson’s not indicted. So please don’t even try to tell me the mob has a legitimate grievance when it sentences Wilson without trial and does so while foisting upon Wilson the sins of America’s racists and attempts to sacrifice him like some old testament goat.

    Slarti: “Personally, I’m not really interested in the specifics of this case, but in the standards which determine the morality and legality of Officer Wilson and Mr. Brown’s actions that night.”

    I gave you the standards in the article. I spelled out which rules applied and why. It’s all there for you to comprehend. Mike Appleton said I shouldn’t change a word.

    You need to ask yourself what’s really getting in your way.

    • bigfatmike says:

      ” the mob wants Wilson dead or in jail.”

      Which mob is that? Or are you using the words of a very few reckless and irresponsible people to slander the good name of thousands of responsible citizens who are correctly demanding an impartial investigation?

      “I gave you the standards in the article. I spelled out which rules applied and why”

      Which rule is that. Are you referring to the Mother May I rule. That so called rule seems to suggest that any officer on any day can use any whim to execute any citizen. If there is any structure, paradigm, or algorithm that leads to a consistent result please take us through it and explain your reasoning. If there is any suggestion that the Mother May I rule implements any rule of engagement consistent with legislated law or case law please tell us how.

      It is your rule. All we are asking is that you explain it. Tell us how the Mother may I rule applies in the case of Brown and Wilson.

      Could you please go over it again how “There is nothing inherently wrong with that rule” [Mother May I rule].

      Or are you going to claim that asking questions precisely on point to your article and the discussion thread here are some how absurd – “Reductio ad absurdum”. I would argue that the only thing is your “Mother May I” and your refusal to engage in reasoned discussion of your article.

    • bigfatmike says:

      I would argue that the only thing absurd is your “Mother May I” and your refusal to engage in reasoned discussion of your article.

  430. Bob Stone says:

    Po: “Your reaction to the mob makes you throw the baby out with the bath water.”

    Po, the law does not recognize the legitimacy of a mob.

    Po: “This has gone beyond an exercise in lawyering, it is downright the building of a case against the mob, why?”

    Because the mob wants to sacrifice Wilson like an old testament goat without a care in the world for things like facts and legal analysis. Queen of Hearts syndrome.

    Po: “Because officer Wilson doesn’t really have a case.”

    Yes, your majesty; sentence first, verdict afterwards.

    Po: “You could have tried to argue officer Wilson’s case on its merit alone (and that would have been better perhaps had you waited to know the facts), but lacking such, you had to resort to making both the victim and the mob full blown stars in this drama rather than the bit player they are.”

    Amazing. So, the fact that the mob wants to lynch Wilson is irrelevant. And, even more audacious, you expect me to argue Wilson’s case by leaving the motivating factor for his actions, i.e. Brown, completely out of the calculus and making a mockery of legal reasoning. Suggesting I take such an irresponsible approach is a tacit admission that you’ve removed Brown’s actions from your calculus; i.e. assuming he was an angel and Wilson is just a cold blooded racist killer.

    Po: “The options are thus:”

    My options? You’re dictating my options on how to conduct a legal analysis?

    Hooper: [trying to get the fishing line secure] It may be a marlin or a stingray… but it’s definitely a game fish.

    [Hooper pulls as the lines snaps and he crashes his head into the wall]

    Quint: [picking up the line] Gamin’ fish, eh? Marlin? Stingray? Bit through this piano wire? Don’t you tell me my business again! You get back on the bridge…

  431. Bob Kauten says:

    Bob,
    “…the mob wants to lynch Wilson…”
    “…you’ve removed Brown’s actions from your calculus; i.e. assuming he was an angel and Wilson is just a cold blooded racist killer.”
    Where are you getting these strange ideas? From Josie?
    I haven’t heard anyone talking about lynching Wilson.
    I haven’t heard anyone saying Brown was an angel, or that Wilson is just a cold blooded racist killer.
    Why would Brown be an angel? He’s a teenager.
    No one knows whether Wilson killed Brown in cold blood, or hot blood.
    No one knows whether Wilson is racist.
    You seem very defensive. The only violent “mob” I’ve seen so far, was the Ferguson police.
    No one knows much of anything, because there doesn’t seem to be any police report, or any sort of judicial system, in Ferguson.

  432. po says:

    What Bob, Bob Kauten said…for he said it well.

    That’s the thing, Bob, Bob Stone, you frame Wilson as justified, Mike Brown as a criminal and a cop puncher, the mob as racist and blood thirsty and anyone who doubts your conclusion…queen of hearts …
    Remember, we are reacting to your conclusion, before the facts are in. WE are saying your conclusion is too premature because it assumes things none of us knows for sure.
    And no, I am not assuming anything about Mike Brown or Wilson, neither angelic nor devilish nature. I just know that based on everything we know so far, Mike Brown did not have to die. I am not taking a side nor should you. If he indeed punched the cop in the face, let him serve hard time for a while. Short of him threatening the life of Wilson with a gun, a large rock, a knife of through hands around his neck, I do not think that he deserved to die. Simple.

  433. David Abercrombe says:

    Author Bob,

    “So please don’t even try to tell me the mob has a legitimate grievance when it sentences Wilson without trial . . .”

    I did not know that Wilson had been sentenced already. Thanks for the update.

  434. bfm,

    In defense of the MMIR, and I’m sure Bob will correct me if I’m wrong in this perception of what he is portraying, I see it as a practical rule of combat. Even in martial arts training, they tell you to do whatever you can to deescalate a situation where your opponent has a gun but especially if you don’t. Like the old advertising saw goes, “God made men, Samuel Colt made them equal.” It’s just too easy to kill with a handgun. The only time you practically consider disarming a man with a gun is when 1) the range is perfect (i.e. they’ve gotten waaaay too close to you thus eliminating the very real very valuable advantage of range and you can “safely” move to control the weapon), 2) where there is minimal risk of harm should the weapon go off to you and bystanders and/or 3) you really have zero options because the attacker is going to shoot you no matter what you do. That is the MMIR in action. It’s not absurd I don’t think, but I will stipulate that a non-rational attacker may not be thinking that way (or at all). But most people? Training or not are going to do what the guy with the gun says.

  435. bigfatmike says:

    The mother may I rule MMIR from the article follows:

    “The rule is that, once a cop orders someone to stop with his gun drawn, it’s over.   Because everyone who’s not mentally incapacitated or acutely intoxicated knows it has just become a potentially lethal game of “Mother May I.”  (Hereinafter: “MOTHER MAY I RULE”)” 

    Do you see anything that limits the application only to a subject with a gun. Do you see any standard, structure, paradigm, or pattern except the whim of the officer? Do you see any attempt to approximate a legal standard in legislation or case law?

    If you do, please tell me because I do not. What I see is an attempt to suggest that the whim of the officer should be treated as a lawful reason to execute a citizen without regard to actual threat or physical danger.

    Make the argument. Tell me how I am wrong. Tell me what I am missing.

  436. nivico says:

    “I haven’t heard anyone talking about lynching Wilson.”

  437. nivico says:

    “Short of him threatening the life of Wilson with a gun, a large rock, a knife of through hands around his neck, I do not think that he deserved to die. Simple.”

    You do realize that self defense necessarily has take place before it gets to that point (Brown’s hands around the officer’s neck), because once it does get to that point the officer is already dead…

  438. Bob Stone says:

    Gene,

    They’re right. I’m the one who rushed to judgment.

    There was no mob marching through the streets and taking to the airwaves demanding Wilson be arrested before any investigation.

    Mauricelm-Lei Millere and the New Black Panthers aren’t looking to beat up fellow African American Martin Baker for publicly expressing his support for Darren Wilson

    To wit: “Martin Baker must be caught, beat, drug, and whipped to the point of seeing the light for supporting white racist murderer Darren Wilson. We must physically beat this jiggaboo to save him from destruction, or destroying us. Minister Mauricelm X – African American Defense League September 05, 2014″

    The New Black Panthers aren’t putting up Wanted posters for Wilson saying “Dead or Alive” and they’re not marching calling for the death of Wilson.

    There were no articles, like the one by Olivia Cole, and no public rhetoric shaming anyone who dare demand to wait for all the evidence; much less attempt to interpret said evidence in an way contrary to what the mob wanted. And no one is shaming anyone who dare analyze the facts and law favorable to Wilson by calling them racists.

    The governor of Missouri and the Attorney General didn’t over step their bounds by increasing public condemnation of Wilson; implying he was guilty before the completion of any investigation.

    There haven’t been any threats of chaos in the streets if Wilson’s not indicted; much less repeated just last night in yet another city council meeting.

    Officer Wilson hasn’t been judged by the mob via the association fallacy for crimes and wrongs he had nothing to do with. Trayvon Martin, Sgt. Major Dan Page, tales of racist white cops and the disproportionate number of black cops in Ferguson — it’s all relevant to the issue of whether Wilson was justified in shooting Brown.

    Mike Brown’s strong arm robbery isn’t relevant in a People v. Molineux way; since, as the mob says, the only way the robbery is relevant is if Wilson knew about it.

    Brown’s behavior in the strong arm robbery video couldn’t possibly explain the altercation arising between he and Wilson. Brown wasn’t acting like Honey Badger–challenging everyone he came into eye contact with and taking whatever he pleased. He was clearly collecting donations for the Red Cross.

    Calling Officer Wilson “Mike Brown’s killer” before the completion of an investigation isn’t a rush to judgment.

    No Gene, I’m the one rushing to judgment for using the same available facts in defending Wilson; don’t ya know. Honestly, how dare an attorney question the juristic acumen of a mob?

    I apologize Gene.

    It’s all my fault.

    • bigfatmike says:

      “There were no articles, like the one by Olivia Cole, and no public rhetoric shaming anyone who dare demand to wait for all the evidence; much less attempt to interpret said evidence in an way contrary to what the mob wanted. ”

      I read the Cole article and suggest that you do to. It is clear she was pointing out there would be some (that she calls trolls) who will use the call to wait for evidence as a ploy to delay and deflect any investigation, and to gather time to attack Brown. She further suggested these people will never be convinced no matter how much evidence is brought forth.

      She was not saying we don’t need evidence. She was pointing out there are some who will use the call for evidence as a tool to convict Brown and defend Wilson regardless of the facts.

      Sound familiar – anyone?

  439. bigfatmike says:

    “It’s not absurd I don’t think, but I will stipulate that a non-rational attacker may not be thinking that way (or at all). But most people? Training or not are going to do what the guy with the gun says.”

    The question we need to consider, in fact the essence of the issue with Wilson and Brown, is not what most people do when confronted with a gun. The question is when does the officer have legal authority to shoot.

    I am crystal clear on this point. The officer has legal authority to shoot if and only if there is reasonable belief the subject poses an imminent threat to life of serious bodily injury.

    But what about you and Bob? You (plural) seem to claim that the MMIR offers guidance. But when we ask you to take us through an application of the rule to a hypothetical situation, or a situation like the Brown/Wilson situation, or offer some explanation of how the MMIR is applied we get high highfalutin, nonsense reasons from Bob to avoid the discussion.

    I think it is time for Bob to put up or shut up. He can say anything he wants to. But to be taken seriously at the blog you have to engage, move past the stereotypes, drop the emotion laden language, stop insulting people with labels like ‘mob’ and make your argument.

    If you can’t break it down and make the argument then why would anybody listen to you?

  440. Bob Kauten says:

    nivico,
    I still haven’t heard anyone talking about lynching Wilson. The sound wasn’t great, but I thought they said something like, “dead.”
    Were these fools talking about killing Wilson without a trial, or executing him after being found guilty of murder?
    Were they advocating “Second Amendment remedies”? If so, what are the implications of the belief in the right of open carry in public? Still sound like a good idea? The possibilities are hilarious.
    But I digress.
    “Lynching” is a buzzword often used by demagogues to incite fear and outrage among followers. But I ain’t a follower.
    Lynching isn’t exclusively a racial interaction, but that’s what it’s associated with, in this country.
    If you want to get into a discussion of real lynching, we could probably figure out whether more whites have been lynched by blacks, or, perhaps, is it vice-versa?
    Perhaps lynching is not a productive term to use in connection with the advocacy of an actual investigation into a cop killing a black man. Particularly if you think race shouldn’t be a consideration, here.

  441. Bob Stone says:

    BFM,

    You’re right. I didn’t talk about the Defense of Life Standard; or the necessity to shoot until the threat stops. There’s no standard procedure for training cops before they go out on the street with their guns; there never has been since the invention of the sidearm. Cops aren’t trained to pull their weapons as a last resort. And when they do pull their weapons and say freeze, it should be treated as an invitation for the subject to advance on the officer.

    • bigfatmike says:

      “You’re right. I didn’t talk about the Defense of Life Standard; or the necessity to shoot until the threat stops. ”

      Yes, Bob you did mention that. But so far as I can find you never use the Defense of Life standard to analyze or justify officer Wilson opening fire on Brown – which I believe is the key to the whole controversy.

      As far as I can tell, in your article, you use the Mother May I rule 4 separate times to justify officer Wilson opening fire on Brown. Each of these instances follows a very similar pattern: you claim the (1) gun is drawn (2) the MMIR is in effect (3) Brown continues to advance (4) officer Wilson fires his weapon and continues firing.

      Every instance states as fact, and relies on assertions that are highly controversial and the essence of what we are trying to determine.

      It is only in the last instance that you mention the Defense of Life rule. In that instance the MMIR is used to justify initially firing the weapon. The Defense of Life rule is used to justify continuing to file.

      Four times you use the MMIR to justify opening fire. Only once, in the last instance, you use the Defense of Life rule to justify continuing to fire.

      The problem, I see it, is that in every instance we have the same set of assertions stated as fact. These assertions are the essence of the controversy. The claim is these controversial assertions justify invoking the Mother May I rule.

      The Mother May Rule is not a rule at all. There is no analysis that suggest the Mother May I rule is a rule in any usual sense of the word ‘rule’ – MMIR seems to be the officer’s whim. There is no analysis to suggest the Mother May I rule conforms to laws governing the application of lethal force.

      Some people call this analysis. Some might call the repeated use of controversial or false assertions for what it is – propaganda.

      Could the author have made a stronger, more coherent analysis to defend officer Wilson – maybe. But he did not.

      BTW: I don’t see why you need two rules: one to start firing and a second rule to continuing firing. It seems to me that one rule is sufficient.

      For example: is there legal basis to fire – yes – fire, is there still legal basis to fire – yes – fire, is there legal basis to fire – no – cease fire.

      But if Bob and Plato, and Kant think you need two rules, that is OK with me, I am good with that.

      The problems with this article lie far beyond the cockamamie logic of using two rules to govern firing a weapon.

    • bigfatmike says:

      “. There’s no standard procedure for training cops before they go out on the street with their guns; there never has been since the invention of the sidearm. Cops aren’t trained to pull their weapons as a last resort. And when they do pull their weapons and say freeze, it should be treated as an invitation for the subject to advance on the officer.”

      No one except Bob has suggest that officers receive no training.

      But the reader ought to wonder why Bob has brought this up.

      In his article I can find only two references to training. However, in fairness, there are several 10’s of references in reader comments that follow the article.

      Here are Bob’s comments from his article:

      “But if it turns out that my dog attacked and killed because he was justified in doing so—i.e., he did what he was trained to do—then you’ll have to pack up your torches and pitchforks and apologize to my dog.”

      “this “wait for all the evidence” troll finds that my dog clearly and convincingly did what he was trained to do. ”

      I don’t see that the issue of training or the lack of it is used in Bob’s analysis of officer Wilson’s use of lethal force. And I am not aware of any significant controversy regarding officer Wilson’s training.

      I would argue instead that if there is a controversy it has to do with what might be called a ‘culture of bigotry toward minorities’ in the departments where officer Wilson trained and served.

  442. bigfatmike says:

    Are you seriously suggesting that ‘Mauricelm-Lei Millere and the New Black Panthers’ are representative of anyone but themselves.

    Are these the leaders of the ‘mob’ you have so frequently referred to.

    Does anyone else serious suggest that the hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, across the nation who demand an thorough, impartial investigation are lead by ‘Mauricelm-Lei Millere and the New Black Panthers’.

    Does anyone besides Bob seriously suggest that “Mauricelm-Lei Millere and the New Black Panthers” represent the views of millions of concerned citizens all across the country?

    Really, I mean seriously? This is the best you have. This is how you try to dismiss and demean a demand for a complete investigation?

    So once again let me be crystal clear. I don’t think “Mauricelm-Lei Millere and the New Black Panthers” represent anyone except members of the New Black Panthers. In case Bob has been reading the wrong propaganda – the New Black Panthers are a very, very small group.

    To suggest the New Black Panthers are anything more than photo-op for a slow news day is … well … dim.

  443. Bob Stone says:

    Bob Kauten

    Buzz words? How about “Mike Brown’s Killer”?

  444. Bob Stone says:

    BFM: Which mob is that? Or are you using the words of a very few reckless and irresponsible people to slander the good name of thousands of responsible citizens who are correctly demanding an impartial investigation?”

    I’m agreeing with you. There is no mob and there has been no rush to judgment.

    And Olivia Cole is the model of intellectual honesty.

    • bigfatmike says:

      “I’m agreeing with you. There is no mob and there has been no rush to judgment.
      And Olivia Cole is the model of intellectual honesty.”

      No you are not. You are trying to deflect what you cannot justify or explain.

      You have referred to the mob numerous times. You have used the term ‘ mob’ as though there is only one source of criticism. You have tried to use the label ‘mob’ to dismiss the serious questions of people who have beliefs that are nothing like the ones you attribute to your made up ‘mob’.

      And Cole has pointed out serious problems with some people who have commented widely. You have misrepresented her views – as though she suggests we not get all the facts.

      Cole in her article warns that there will be those who claim they want all the facts when in fact they are trying to delay any reasoned review of the data we have so that they can attack the reputation of a dead man and make excuses for the officer. Think about. I am sure many of us have seen exactly what Cole was warning us to watch out for.

  445. Bob Stone says:

    nivico, Gene,

    Thanks.

    “Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”

  446. Bob Kauten says:

    Bob,
    “Calling Officer Wilson “Mike Brown’s killer” before the completion of an investigation isn’t a rush to judgment.”

    Well, no, I don’t think it is a rush to judgement. Has anyone expressed any doubt that Wilson killed Brown? It seems that several witnesses saw Wilson shoot Brown. Now Brown is dead. I strongly suspect that Wilson killed Brown. Do you think someone else killed Brown?

    I fail to see how this statement helps your case. You seem to be flailing. You could make a better argument by not careening into absurdity. Ya think?

    All these people whom I’ve never heard of, making death threats? How many people is this? Enough to call a “mob”?
    Are the folks walking, with their hands up, toward the Ferguson cops, demanding death for Wilson? I doubt it.
    I can stroll casually through the interwebz, and find idiots making death threats against all sorts of people. Against Mike Brown, not so much. That’s been taken care of, hasn’t it?

  447. nivico says:

    “Really, I mean seriously? This is the best you have. This is how you try to dismiss and demean a demand for a complete investigation?”

    Three separate agencies (including the DOJ) are already investigating, three possibly four autopsies have already been performed, dozens of witnesses have been interviewed and re-interviewed and re-re-interviewed, and ~AND~ every witness and every piece of evidence are being presented to a grand jury.

    The amount of investigation into this shooting is unprecedented… and folks still think, zebras.

  448. Bob Stone says:

    “The amount of investigation into this shooting is unprecedented… and folks still think, zebras.”

    Nivico with the zebra call-back.

    Well played sir.

  449. Bob Kauten says:

    nivico,
    “You do realize that self defense necessarily has take place before it gets to that point (Brown’s hands around the officer’s neck), because once it does get to that point the officer is already dead…”
    No, actually, your fantasy scenario would not result in the officer being already dead. If Brown attempted to strangle Wilson, which no one has claimed, Wilson would likely be alive at least for a few minutes, in the event that Brown cut off his air supply. Not before. So Wilson cannot be dead by the time Brown gets his magic ninja hands on Wilson. Even if you believe in the fabled “death palm,” the victim doesn’t die before he’s touched.
    Can we somehow maintain the boundaries of space and time, here?

  450. Bob Stone says:

    “You seem to be flailing.”

    Of course I am.

    I’m waving my arms pointing to the legal analysis above that you completely bypassed; don’t ya know.

  451. Bob Kauten says:

    Bob,
    It’s easier to have a conversation if you refrain from the very witty practice of stating the opposite of your belief, expecting us to reverse it for you.
    Gets tiresome after you do it a few times.
    Oh, and about the repetitious dog and zebra references. You’re not Aesop, and we don’t need fables. Just say it.

  452. Bob Stone says:

    Deputy shot dead (in “fantasy scenario”) after man takes gun

    By Brian Joseph and Tan Vinh, Seattle Times staff reporters

    NEWCASTLE — A veteran King County sheriff’s deputy was killed yesterday when a nude and highly agitated man who’d been running in traffic and pounding on cars took the officer’s gun and shot him repeatedly outside an apartment complex here.

    The deputy’s name was not officially released last night because authorities were still contacting relatives. Officials said he had been with the department as long as eight years and was retired from the military. He was in his mid- to late 40s, married and had an 18-year-old daughter.

    A source close to the department said the slain deputy’s last name was Herzog; King County payroll records list a Richard Herzog of Puyallup in public safety. Tony Isaacs, a neighbor of a Richard Herzog in Puyallup, confirmed that Herzog is in law enforcement and retired from the Army. Isaacs said squad cars were at Herzog’s house last night.

    The deputy, wearing a bulletproof vest, had gone to the apartment building at 7311 Coal Creek Parkway S.E. in Newcastle, southeast of Bellevue, shortly after 5 p.m. in response to a report that a man was dodging cars in the street.

    Witnesses and police said the deputy approached the man and sprayed him with pepper spray in an attempt to subdue him. The two scuffled and the man grabbed the officer’s gun.

    The deputy quickly realized he was in danger and began retreating, moving away from bystanders as if to draw any gunfire away from the crowd, according to a witness, William Dickerson. The man then repeatedly shot the deputy, who became the first law-enforcement officer to die in the line of duty in Washington this year.

    Police arrested the assailant, believed to be in his 40s, about 45 minutes later. “I am angry. I am sad. It rips your heart out,” said King County Sheriff Dave Reichert. “The message I want to deliver tonight is that all of us are grieving. This is very hard.”

    At least 10 area police agencies responded to help interview witnesses and gather evidence. Police shut down parts of Coal Creek Parkway Southeast, a busy arterial through the suburban area, for the investigation last evening.

    Dickerson, of Newcastle, said he was driving along Cold Creek Parkway Southeast with his wife when he saw a naked man and a police officer standing in front of a bus. He pulled over and could hear the officer trying to calm the man. He said a woman, “obviously distraught,” was standing nearby, also trying to calm the man.

    The officer and suspect started to fight. As the officer started to retreat away from the crowd, the man jumped him. Dickerson said he saw the officer’s gun fall from his holster, the magazine clip falling from the gun when it hit the pavement.

    The suspect “grabbed the firearm and magazine, put them together, turned around and immediately started firing,” Dickerson said. The man kept firing as the officer ran and, when the deputy fell, stood over him and emptied the clip.

    Raminder Singh, who works at an AM/PM minimart and gas station kitty-corner from the apartment complex, was behind the counter when he looked out onto Coal Creek Parkway Southeast and saw a muscular man running around in traffic, stopping cars and pounding them with his fist.

    “He was completely naked. No shoes, no nothing,” Singh said.

    At one point, Singh said, the man was struck by a car and fell to the street, only to get back up again and run after the car. Singh called police.

    According to Singh’s account:

    After running after the car that struck him, the man stood in front of a bus trying to block its passage. Singh said that when the bus stopped, the man ran to the door and shouted to be let in.

    That’s when the deputy arrived, the two scuffled, and gunshots were fired as the man stood over the deputy, who fell to the street.

    The man ran back toward the apartment, firing random shots before he went inside. Minutes later, he appeared — now clothed in jeans, a T-shirt and cap — on a balcony overlooking a nearby McDonald’s. He raised his arms in the air in what looked like a gesture of surrender, then went back inside the apartment.

    Singh said that about half an hour to 45 minutes later, he heard more gunshots and saw police removing the man from the apartment building.

    Synthia Sandhal had stopped at the minimart to buy cold drinks for the children in her car. She was standing in line when she heard Singh declare: “See that man. He’s running around naked over there.”

    “I was freaked out. I was terrified,” she said. That’s when the shots rang out. “I ran out of the store and said, ‘I don’t need a receipt!’ We just heard the gunshots and everybody started running like it was Godzilla over there.”

    That the deputy had tried to stop the man with pepper spray likely will revive a long-standing debate over the merits of nonlethal force, which many police officers say is ineffective against determined individuals — especially ones as agitated as the suspect appeared to be.

    Last year, police shot a sword-wielding man after two shots from M26 Taser guns failed to stop him.

    Prompted by the controversy surrounding the April 2000 fatal police shooting of David John Walker, a mentally ill man who was skipping down a Lower Queen Anne street and waving a knife, the Seattle Police Department purchased 194 Taser guns over the last year and has been gradually introducing them in the field as part of a special program to use more nonlethal weapons.

    Even then, police warned the public that Taser guns, Mace, rubber bullets and other nonlethal means would not end the necessity of police shootings.

  453. Bob Kauten says:

    Bob,
    I’ve read all of your comments, above. I didn’t see any legal analysis. I did see a lot of fabrications and fantasies.

  454. Bob Stone says:

    Bob,

    Yours is superior.

    Unarmed men pose no threat to cops.

    The only way unarmed men kill cops is in “fantasy scenarios.”

    Right Bob?

  455. Bob Kauten says:

    I don’t get the connection. Was Brown naked? Did he take Wilson’s gun, and shoot him?
    I’ve already seen this odd story used as justification for killing unarmed people. Got something new?

  456. Bob Stone says:

    “I’ve read all of your comments, above. I didn’t see any legal analysis. I did see a lot of fabrications and fantasies.”

    Hey Gene, did ya hear that? He didn’t see any legal analysis.

    Say goodnight Bob.

  457. Pat Winston says:

    Gene:

    “Training or not [you] are going to do what the guy with the gun says.”

    This is the assumption of those that are unfettered with the realities of state sanctioned violence on a daily basis.

    nivico:

  458. Bob Kauten says:

    Bob,
    “Unarmed men pose no threat to cops.
    The only way unarmed men kill cops is in “fantasy scenarios.”
    Why do you say that?
    Did I say that?
    No.
    Did you say that?
    Yes.
    What am I expected to say in response to such a weird statement?
    Oh!
    I get it! You’re doing both sides of the conversation, and arguing with yourself!
    How quaint!
    Who’s winning?

  459. bigfatmike says:

    “Three separate agencies (including the DOJ) are already investigating, three possibly four autopsies have already been performed, dozens of witnesses have been interviewed and re-interviewed and re-re-interviewed, and ~AND~ every witness and every piece of evidence are being presented to a grand jury. ”

    Actually three investigations do not necessarily add up to even one through investigation.

    Already we are seeing how the local investigation can be undermined and derailed. There are suggestions that the local DA will turnover all the data to the grand jury and make no request one way or another.

    Apparently the strategy is to drown them in data. Anyone who has ever started with basic reports, field reports or first level reports knows how many hours, days, weeks it can take to sort through it all and reach conclusions in a presentable form. Without a staff and a manager I don’t see how they will accomplish anything.

    Whether the other two investigations will use sound principles for a thorough review of all data is an open question. We have seen how easily a motivated DA can undermine the the process.

    The fact that there is at least the suggestion that motivated officials are using their influence to misdirect any investigation is one reason there are people all over the country watching events as they unfold and demanding a real and impartial investigation.

    Data is not information till it has been analyzed, summarized and presented. Sending boxes of data to the grand jury is probably the most underhanded, cynical, and limiting action any motivated person could do.

  460. Pat Winston,

    “This is the assumption of those that are unfettered with the realities of state sanctioned violence on a daily basis.”

    No. It is human nature. Self-preservation is a prime driver of human behavior right up there with sex, sleep and eating. Just so, and to acknowledge RATM, so is rebellion (or more generally resistance regardless of an imbalance of power) after x amount of oppression. The assumption of oppressors is that they can get away with it indefinitely. You can only kick someone for so long before 1) you kill them or 2) they fight back. Also human nature. My observation was meant to clarify what utility (guidance) I saw in Bob’s use of the MMIR in the context above. The MMIR isn’t a law in any traditional sense or even a law of nature, rather a common response from a range of possible responses.

  461. Bob,

    There certainly is legal analysis there, albeit on an incomplete picture of the forensic evidence, but I think (in retrospect) that calling “Mother May I” a rule is perhaps causing some . . . confusion(?).

  462. pete says:

    “Simon sez” works better.

  463. pete,

    Well played. Indeed it does.

  464. bron98 says:

    call me simple minded and a one dimensional thinker, but if someone was beating the shit out of me to the point where my face was being litterally bashed in, I would shoot them without a second thought.

    John Locke said it pretty well:

    “Sec. 16. THE state of war is a state of enmity and destruction: and therefore declaring by word or action, not a passionate and hasty, but a sedate settled design upon another man’s life, puts him in a state of war with him against whom he has declared such an intention, and so has exposed his life to the other’s power to be taken away by him, or any one that joins with him in his defence, and espouses his quarrel; it being reasonable and just, I should have a right to destroy that which threatens me with destruction: for, by the fundamental law of nature, man being to be preserved as much as possible, when all cannot be preserved, the safety of the innocent is to be preferred: and one may destroy a man who makes war upon him, or has discovered an enmity to his being, for the same reason that he may kill a wolf or a lion; because such men are not under the ties of the commonlaw of reason, have no other rule, but that of force and violence, and so may be treated as beasts of prey, those dangerous and noxious creatures, that will be sure to destroy him whenever he falls into their power.”

    If Wilson was having the shit beat out of him to the point where he was in fear for his life, he had a natural right to put Brown down to perserve his own life.

  465. po says:

    Bron says:
    …if someone was beating the shit out of me to the point where my face was being litterally bashed in, I would shoot them without a second thought.

    You won’t find a detractor regarding that, Bron. However, that is no the issue, and the fact we have to keep reiterating that it isn’t the issue is perplexing.
    You see, the source of the punching in the face, is a lone one, and it is the Josie, and based on those IFs you offer, the whole of Ferguson, hell, the whole US should be blown up if it ganged up and punched Wilson in the face.
    None of the witnesses, those who were there, reports Mike punching Wilson. Why do you use the least worthy testimony, of someone who was neither there but perhaps even nowhere, as the one valid testimony, and then building a whole case on it?
    Either we wait for the facts to come in then we discuss what we know, or we rush to judge one party or the other, and accept that others would rush in to call bullshit.

  466. po says:

    Nivico: You do realize that self defense necessarily has take place before it gets to that point (Brown’s hands around the officer’s neck), because once it does get to that point the officer is already dead…

    Cops are trained to perform self-defense tactics before the need even arises. From they way they accost a suspect to their stance, to the distance to the direction to the position of their hands and their own body in relation to the suspect to the shielding of the gun away from from the suspect…
    basic principles of martial arts at play.
    Pulling a gun on someone is not self-defense, perhaps in stand your ground territory sure, when both parties are civilians and one is reacting to a threat raised by the other.

    The cop is naturally the aggressor, his role is to be on the offensive, to confront verbally and/or with force, but always with might, suggested or practiced. He requires compliance and forces it. There is a huge difference however between forcing compliance by threat or act of force, and forcing compliance by causing loss of life.
    Killing in the line of duty is actually a short cut. The point is never to kill, it is to stop the accomplishment of an act harmful to one, many or the whole. To kill someone armed is to decide that based on time and circumstances, there is no other solution to this situation than to stop it right now, and that can be excused because it is essentially a judgement call.
    To shoot someone unarmed is to choose to refuse to use the whole toolkit, and to instead take a shortcut, emotional or intellectual, to the resolution. It is less excusable.

    You know the black guy who was just shot in Utah for lunging at the officers with a samurai sword? Well, there was an investigation, hence no need for a mob to gather. There was a private autopsy which showed the man was shot in the back as he fled, and that the samurai sword was a souvenir from a gift shop. and the police has now changed their story. The lone witness says that the initial interaction was civil… Wonder where is the Josie in this case…

  467. po says:

    Elaine
    It is typical blame the victim bs, in both cases and every other. Same bs of deference to power, white