Demilitarize the police – and stop flinging false racism charges

I join my voice to those of Rand Paul and other prominent libertarians who are reacting to the violence in Ferguson, Mo. by calling for the demilitarization of the U.S.’s police. Beyond question, the local civil police in the U.S. are too heavily armed and in many places have developed an adversarial attitude towards the civilians they serve, one that makes police overreactions and civil violence almost inevitable.

But I publish this blog in part because I think it is my duty to speak taboo and unspeakable truths. And there’s another injustice being done here: the specific assumption, common among civil libertarians, that police overreactions are being driven by institutional racism. I believe this is dangerously untrue and actually impedes effective thinking about how to prevent future outrages.

In the Kivila language of the Trobriand Islands there is a lovely word, “mokita”, which means “truth we all know but agree not to talk about”. I am about to speak some mokitas.

Let’s begin with some statistics. Wikipedia has this to say about race and homicide rates:

According to the US Department of Justice, blacks accounted for 52.5% of homicide offenders from 1980 to 2008, with whites 45.3% and Native Americans and Asians 2.2%. The offending rate for blacks was almost 8 times higher than whites, and the victim rate 6 times higher. Most murders were intraracial, with 84% of white homicide victims murdered by whites, and 93% of black victims murdered by blacks.

Moving forward from 2008 or back from 1980 would change these figures very little; I cite Wikipedia because it’s handy, but I already knew them within a couple of percentage points and they’ve been very similar since before I was born in the 1950s. And we can take homicide figures as representative of racial disparities in wider violent crime rates, because – observably – they are.

Now here are some more facts which taken together, change the implications of that 52.5% a lot. First: in any subpopulation, whether chosen by race or SES or any other criterion, almost all violent crime (up to statistical noise) is perpetrated by males between the ages of 15 and 25.

Second: The black population of the U.S., as of the 2010 census, is 12.61% of the total.

Third: Within that population, males 15-25 are approximately 8% of it (add up the 15-19 and 20-24 boxes in table 2 and divide by two to account for the fact that half of that percentage is female). Multiplying these, the percentage of black males 15-24 in the general population is about 1%. If you add “mixed”, which is reasonable in order to correspond to a policeman’s category of “nonwhite”, it goes to about 2%.

That 2% is responsible for almost all of 52% of U.S. homicides. Or, to put it differently, by these figures a young black or “mixed” male is roughly 26 times more likely to be a homicidal threat than a random person outside that category – older or younger blacks, whites, hispanics, females, whatever. If the young male is unambiguously black that figure goes up, about doubling.

26 times more likely. That’s a lot. It means that even given very forgiving assumptions about differential rates of conviction and other factors we probably still have a difference in propensity to homicide (and other violent crimes for which its rates are an index, including rape, armed robbery, and hot burglary) of around 20:1. That’s being very generous, assuming that cumulative errors have thrown my calculations are off by up to a factor of 6 in the direction unfavorable to my argument.

Now suppose you’re a cop. Your job rubs your nose in the reality behind crime statistics. What you’re going to see on the streets every day is that random black male youths are roughly 20 times more likely to be dangerous to you – and to other civilians – than anyone who isn’t a random black male youth.

Any cop who treated members of a group with a factor 20 greater threat level than population baseline “equally” would be crazy. He wouldn’t be doing his job; he’d be jeopardizing the civil peace by inaction.

Yeah, my all means let’s demilitarize the police. But let’s also stop screaming “racism” when, by the numbers, the bad shit that goes down with black male youths reflects a cop’s rational fear of that particular demographic – and not racism against blacks in general. Often the cops in these incidents are themselves black, a fact that media accounts tend to suppress.

What we can actually do about the implied problem is a larger question. (Decriminalizing drugs would be a good start.) But it’s one we can’t even begin to address rationally without seeing past the accusation of racism.

575 thoughts on “Demilitarize the police – and stop flinging false racism charges

  1. Oh-oh, you are committing the contemporary sin of noticing awkward facts….

  2. I live in a town that is 97% white. So I can’t speak to the race questions, but I think demilitarizing the police is a good idea. Suicide by cop has become epidemic here. Cops killing people that stumble into a drug bust almost equally so.

    As reported by our local newspaper, our local police force is trained that if they fire one bullet at someone, they should empty their clip in them too. Better a dead victim than a live one that can testify. A policy endorsed by the local DA.

    What happened to ‘Protect & Serve’?

  3. These figures are neither false nor wholly irrelevant, but they do not mean much in this case. The officer seems to have been culpably in the wrong, even if everything happened precisely as he is reported to have said. Gunning down a retreating suspect (with hands raised in this case) is against procedure in any circumstance other than those in which the officer has a good faith reason for believing that the suspect is an imminent threat.

    The non-representational demographics of the Ferguson government seems to be problematic for systemic reasons that hopefully can be addressed in the wake of this incident:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2014/08/14/ferguson_missouri_government_why_is_it_so_white.html

  4. > What happened to ‘Protect & Serve’?

    It’s still in force: Protect your brother cops, and serve (really service) your targets.

  5. >Gunning down a retreating suspect (with hands raised in this case) is against procedure in any circumstance other than those in which the officer has a good faith reason for believing that the suspect is an imminent threat.

    That is correct. But also irrelevant to my point, which is that too much is being made of the racial angle; it impedes understanding of the actual problems.

  6. >That is correct. But also irrelevant to my point, which is that too much is being made of the racial angle; it impedes understanding of the actual problems.

    You spoke of the cop’s rational fear with this demographic. It does not appear that the cop’s fear or behavior was defensibly rational in this case, though more will come out on that.

  7. “Retreating suspect”? Maybe. We don’t know for sure what happened. Supposedly the officer involved was treated for injuries, so there seems to have been some sort of fight.

    While I have great sympathy for people who are pure victims of police misconduct (e.g. wrong-door no-knock raids), I have less for people who start the situation with their own aggression and idiocy. E.g.: Rodney King: drive under the influence, lead the police on a chase, get into a fistfight once they catch you, and then, once the police win the fistfight and go too far, it’s police brutality. Yeah, you poked the dog with a stick until it bit you, and so clearly the problem is vicious dogs.

    We don’t know the facts this case. I am now skeptical of all such incidents, because it usually comes out that the dead guy was no angel and contributed to his own demise. E.g. Trayvon Martin.

  8. >“Retreating suspect”? Maybe. We don’t know for sure what happened. Supposedly the officer involved was treated for injuries, so there seems to have been some sort of fight.

    The two facts are not incompatible.

    >While I have great sympathy for people who are pure victims of police misconduct (e.g. wrong-door no-knock raids), I have less for people who start the situation with their own aggression and idiocy.

    Definitely. You have to be pretty foolish to be anything other than meekly cooperative with police, and assaulting an officer is extraordinarily ill-advised. No argument.

  9. I’m not convinced.

    Yes, racism of the anti-black sort (as opposed to the “all blacks are victims” sort, still heavily practiced on forums like MSNBC and “The View”) has just about entirely disappeared from our country. But:

    (1) Police jobs continue to be very attractive to the remaining racists for the same reason they’re attractive to anybody who enjoys bullying other people. And,

    (2) There are still plenty of laws on the books, including just about all the drug laws, which were written to enable the police to conduct warfare against race groups the laws’ writers didn’t like. Naturally, then, the targeted groups continue to be disproportionately charged with, and convicted of, not only drug crimes but also “drug related” violence.

    Now, if someone can come up with crime statistics that control for those two factors, and income level, and *still* show that blacks are worse behaved than whites, then I’ll believe that their worse outcomes are not (or are mostly not) results of racism.

    I expect such a study, if done, to show that there is still some correlation (not least because the followers of black leaders like Sharpton and Jackson, who are effectively extortionists themselves, are nearly all black), but that crime correlates more with things like having been raised fatherless and/or on welfare than with being black.

    Now as to your larger point, that “too much is being made of the racial angle”, I’d say that’s true in some contexts, but would want to know more about what you think we should emphasize instead.

    I believe the right way to handle misbehavior by police is to strip them of their legal immunity, and of their monopoly on the right to prosecute. Let everyone victimized by a cop have his day in court as the plaintiff, and let one serious act of misconduct end a cop’s police career forever. The police are not only our employees, they’ve been given a high degree of trust. If they don’t merit that trust it needs to be taken away.

    And no taxpayer-funded employees should ever be allowed to unionize, especially ones with the kind of history of covering up each other’s bad behavior that police have.

  10. Indeed. Cops are often killed during innocuous-sounding things: traffic stops, noise complaints. They learn to be paranoid. I also think it takes a lot of self-control to (as may be the case here) be assaulted, have someone go for your gun, and then not shoot the guy once you get control of the gun. Especially if the guy goes, in a matter of seconds, from fighting with you to surrendering. This doesn’t excuse the cop, but things can happen fast and adrenaline is pumping, so I think there may be mitigating factors.

  11. > Definitely. You have to be pretty foolish to be anything other than meekly cooperative with police, and assaulting an officer is extraordinarily ill-advised. No argument.

    This is at least partial proof that the police have gone to far in militarizing. We are all being conditioned to respond meekly to them because of the asymmetry of the power in interacting with them. What should be an interaction between two citizens with the same basic rights, is almost always a situation of powerful vs. powerless. The example of citizens politely refusing to comply because its within their rights being terribly abused is far far to common.

  12. >crime correlates more with things like having been raised fatherless and/or on welfare than with being black.

    Yes. Also inversely with IQ. In fact, if you normalize by IQ distribution most “racial” differences in things like crime rates, lifetime income, etc. vanish.

    Unfortunately – IQ medians differ significantly by race.

  13. >This is at least partial proof that the police have gone to far in militarizing. We are all being conditioned to respond meekly to them because of the asymmetry of the power in interacting with them. What should be an interaction between two citizens with the same basic rights, is almost always a situation of powerful vs. powerless. The example of citizens politely refusing to comply because its within their rights being terribly abused is far far to common.

    That’s what the courts are for, though. The police have to deal with a lot of people who are drunk, who are violent, who are genuinely dangerous to anyone around them. As a rule, I want to make it immediately clear to any peace officer that I come into contact with that I’m not in that category, and I don’t want at any point to give them reason to suspect that I am.

    That’s not to say that military-style responses to protests is smart or appropriate on the other side, either. Radley Balko of the Washington Post has a really important piece up about how protests have historically been handled, and lessons that should be drawn from that by police departments:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/08/14/after-ferguson-how-should-police-respond-to-protests/

  14. “That’s what the courts are for, though.”

    Did you intend to tell a joke there? When it’s the word of Joe Citizen versus Fred Cop, the judge always, ALWAYS believes the cop.

  15. Before I go off “open bolt”, what do you mean by “militarization of police”?

  16. You have to also realize if you are a law abiding black man 13-40 you are still treated as a criminal. I am white but my brother in law is black. I have friends and coworkers who are black and all of them have repeatedly pulled over dwb. Driving while black. Not just pulled over, but asked to get out of the car and sit on the curb while the police check their record and often illegal check their care.

    Profiling has a place but it is being abused on minorities of all races. Even if original intent is not racist it is civil rights issue for those who have done nothing wrong but constantly are in fear of police treatment

  17. When inflammatory incidents like this occur, the notoriety and media attention is often focused on memetic advocacy rather than objective reporting or social enlightenment. As a result, most people respond to media reports with an emotional reaction and herd bias. Eric has analyzed the situation rationally, and as such, is trying to educate and hopefully stimulate viable improvements. At the risk of opening another mokita of worms, affluence and memetic conditioning has made us hypersensitive to these essentially rare events. Sometimes shit happens and it’s not an existential catastrophe.

  18. esr> But I publish this blog in part because I think it is my duty to speak taboo and unspeakable truths.

    That sounds like grandstanding to me, so I’m curious: You’ve been publishing this blog for over a decade now. What are some of the worst things you have suffered as a consequence of “speaking taboo and unspeakable truths”?

  19. >What are some of the worst things you have suffered as a consequence of “speaking taboo and unspeakable truths”?

    The usual. Otherwise rational people think I’m a nutcase and attack me both publicly and privately. Organized covert smear campaigns – a hostile edit of my Wikipedia page made the list of 25 most heinous Wikipedia edits ever. :-) And then there were the death threats.

    I feel I have to speak mokitas because so many other people are afraid to.

  20. >Profiling has a place but it is being abused on minorities of all races.

    Were you expecting me to disagree with either part of this?

  21. esr> 26 times more likely. That’s a lot.

    To be sure, it’s a large multiple. But large multiples do not necessarily mean large absolute numbers — 26 times zero is still zero, for an obvious example.

    In a typical American jurisdiction, the total rate of violent crime is around 400 incidents per year per 100,000 people of population. So even if Michael Brown’s odds are 26 times that, the chances of him being a law-abiding citizen would still be 99 percent. Far from being “crazy”, equal treatment for Brown would have made perfect sense for a cop. Indeed, it would make enough sense that any substantially unequal treatment would be evidence — not proof, but evidence nonetheless — of a racist attitude by the police.

  22. >In a typical American jurisdiction, the total rate of violent crime is around 400 incidents per year per 100,000 people of population.

    Spoken like a typical insulated gentry liberal.

    Yeah, for you it’s like that. For me, too.

    Not for a street cop.

    A major difference between you and me is that I know that…

  23. esr> Spoken like a typical insulated gentry liberal.

    Whether I’m a typical insulated gentry liberal or not, I’m arguing from the same FBI statistics as you did — the ones you got your multiple of 26 from. So whenever you’re finished with your ad-hominem argument, feel free to enlighten me with data: What is the violent-crime rate against street cops is in America (crimes per year per 100,000 street cops)? And how does it vary by race and age? If you have a source for your number, that would be perfect. And if this number proves an order of magnitude larger, I will happily admit that the multiple of 26 now does make a difference, and that I was wrong to challenge the statistical reasoning in your original post.

  24. “The militarization of our law enforcement is due to an unprecedented expansion of government power in this realm.”

    No. The “militarization” of our law enforcement is due to an expansion of the threats to our way of life.

    The fear is that the mall attack in Kenya can happen in Kansas. Which only takes a half dozen guys with AKs, some HMEs and a death wish.

    Which is why Podunk police departments have been “militarized” by DHS. Which for both liberals and libertarians means black mean looking guns (semi-auto or burst), body armor and lightly armored trucks in camo rather than police blue/black.

    Police do not have “tanks”.

    Folks bitching about sniper rifles mounted on bearcats need to buy a clue about what is militarized and what is essentially a Ford F-550 truck with half an inch of steel plate for level 4 protection (30-.60 AP) which is about what an armored bank truck has.

    And Podunk police departments have actually used these things in normal (aka non terrorist) scenarios where their cruisers and SUVs got shot up and the armored trucks kept them safer from fire.

    http://patch.com/pennsylvania/doylestown/bearcat-survived-standoff-police-cars-did-not

    In what way do you want to “de-militarize” the police? Take away mean looking semi-auto assault rifles with large mags? Take away body armor? Take away their fancified bank trucks that can save their asses when some whacko lights up their police cruisers?

    Allow them to have this gear but only in pink?

  25. PS: In your answer to my “unspeakable-truth” question, my first read either missed the part about the Wikipedia edit and the death threads, or you added them later. Either way, I think I better understand the vehemence of your fight against conventional wisdom now.

  26. There’s a push towards the police having to video all their interactions with the public. I’m not convinced this is enough, but it’s a start.

  27. >In what way do you want to “de-militarize” the police? Take away mean looking semi-auto assault rifles with large mags? Take away body armor?

    Mainly I want to stop training them to think like assault troops or gendarmerie rather than civil police. The gear isn’t of primary importance, except that when you have an MRAP you tend to think up MRAP things to do with it. These are usually the wrong things for civil police to be doing.

  28. In what way do you want to “de-militarize” the police? Take away mean looking semi-auto assault rifles with large mags? Take away body armor? Take away their fancified bank trucks that can save their asses when some whacko lights up their police cruisers?

    Allow them to have this gear but only in pink?

    My only objection to the weapons themselves is the taxpayer money that they’re wasting. The problem is how those weapons are being used. Police, just like the rest of us, should have every right to their body armor and AR-15s and APCs. But even in the most gun-friendly town in America, if anyone but a police officer were to go around aiming sniper rifles at crowds of protesters and lobbing tear gas canisters at film crews, you can be damn sure that person would get taken down in a hurry. And if I were to shoot an unarmed teenager, even in a situation where it was justified (something I’m continuing to assume is the case here), I’m pretty sure the police wouldn’t be withholding my name to protect me from reprisal.

  29. The “militarization” of our law enforcement is due to an expansion of the threats to our way of life.

    [citation needed] Crime is massively down over the last twenty years. Terrorism isn’t a serious rational threat in the United States, and don’t try to sell me on your bear patrol. The militarization of our “law enforcement” is a threat to our way of life.

    Most of the regulars here know perfectly well that there’s no meaningful difference between most “sniper rifles” and hunting rifles. We object to having police aiming them at citizens. And your strawman about taking away body armor is pathetic even for the quality of trolls on this blog; body armor and scary guns are perfectly proper items for any citizen to carry.

  30. @ Nigel – “No. The “militarization” of our law enforcement is due to an expansion of the threats to our way of life.”

    Violent crime is down dramatically over historical averages. Terrorist attacks are still exceedingly rare. Our nation’s population, both citizens and illegal immigrants, is growing rapidly. The threat to “our way of life” can have many connotations. Loss of liberty and privacy have been significant in the wake of 9/11, but that attack came from our indigenous government. Every outlier tragedy is now fodder for increased nanny statism.

  31. >What is the violent-crime rate against street cops is in America (crimes per year per 100,000 street cops)?

    That’s not even the right question, because (among other things) it ignores the extreme geographical concentration of violent crime in the U.S.

    Criminologically speaking, the U.S. is two very distinct countries. One has a crime rate comparable to Switzerland, the other comparable to Swaziland. Our Switzerland is full of law-abiding people who legally own lots of guns; crime is very rare there. Our Swaziland (places like Detroit and the South Side of Chicago) is isolated patches of endemic crime and violence, much of it associated with the drug trade. In most of Swaziland only the thugs are armed. The difference in risk isn’t small, it spans orders of magnitude.

    Being a cop in Switzerland-USA is easy duty. Being a cop in Swaziland-USA is quite dangerous. National statistics on risk to cops are useless, because they wash out these differences.

    Here’s the problem. If you are a street cop (white or black) and you look around and see mostly young black men on the street – you are in Swaziland. You are in danger. Every cop knows this. They don’t usually talk about it with civs because they know some idiot will scream RACIST! at them. But it’s not about the race; streets full of black women, or older black men, are not dangerous. It’s about the particular black male age 15-25 demographic. Especially in a drug zone, or near alcohol.

    When you’re in Swaziland, that 26:1 propensity in your threat environment is not moderated by a much larger cohort of basically law-abiding people. You’d damn well better look invulnerable, because if you don’t the Bloods or Crips or one of their numerous lesser imitations/quasi-affiliates is going to waste your sorry ass.

    Historically, many countries have has a third criminological zone: rural bandit country. The U.S. hasn’t had that since around 1910.

  32. >>When it’s the word of Joe Citizen versus Fred Cop, the judge always, ALWAYS believes the cop.

    Unless there’s video evidence to the contrary. I find it very telling that the very next thing the police did after the shooting, even before calling EMS/Coroner, was to canvas the witnesses and strong-arm them into giving up their cell phones, making them sign a “waiver” under duress. Multiple federal violations there, not that we have AUSAs interested in going after police officers. Want to bet that if those video records show exactly what the witnesses are saying (shot in the back while in the surrender posture) those cell phones will ever see the light of day? “Oops, we accidentally sold them as unclaimed property.”

  33. >There’s a push towards the police having to video all their interactions with the public. I’m not convinced this is enough, but it’s a start.

    I agree, on both counts.

  34. > In a typical American jurisdiction, the total rate of violent crime is around 400 incidents per year per 100,000 people of population. So even if Michael Brown’s odds are 26 times that, the chances of him being a law-abiding citizen would still be 99 percent.

    Umm, 26 x 400 is 10,400 per 100,000, which would be closer to 10%. Of course that’s a victimisation rater rather than a perpetration rate, so it’s not the best measure.

    Looking at arrests for violent crime in 2011 we can see that the majority of blacks are never arrested for [and likely never commit] violent crime, but we can also see that about 38% of all arrests for violent crime is of blacks, but they make up about 12% of the population. In comparison whites make up about 59% of arrests for violent crime, and 73% of the population. Given these we can estimate that blacks should be about four times more likely to have some form of bad relationship with the police than whites including being victims of police brutality*. [(73/59)/(12/38) ~= 3.9]

    And if we assume that homicide should be considered instead of all violent crime the rate changes to about six times more likely. [Whites: 48% of homicide arrests, Blacks 50%; (73/48)/(12/50) ~= 6.3]

    Also a not insignificant portion of the “White” is “Hispanic White”, which would likely be treated differently by the media if they happened to be the victim of police brutality.

    * Police Brutality is essentially an excessive response to something, generally the victim actually deserves some mistreatment, but the Police officers in question take it to excess, so we should reasonably expect victimisation rates for police brutality to be at least related to arrest/crime rates for a particular demographic group.

  35. @Thomas Blankenhorn:
    “What is the violent-crime rate against street cops is in America (crimes per year per 100,000 street cops)? And how does it vary by race and age? If you have a source for your number, that would be perfect. And if this number proves an order of magnitude larger, I will happily admit that the multiple of 26 now does make a difference, and that I was wrong to challenge the statistical reasoning in your original post.”

    I can’t provide any hard statistics myself, but in your post previous to the one quoted above, this particular sentence jumps out at me: “So even if Michael Brown’s odds are 26 times that, the chances of him being a law-abiding citizen would still be 99 percent.”

    And my first thought is this: “99% isn’t very good odds for a situation one encounters daily”.

  36. I agree with esr that “Police Militarisation” is more a matter of culture and training than equipment, but there are a few things you can see from equipment that give hints as to the underlying culture and training:

    * Police carrying a lot of equipment that’s not legal for the general population to carry in their area suggests an attitude of “us-versus-them” (and can cause it, if it’s not already there).

    * Increased prevalence of low-visibility uniforms over high-visibility uniforms suggest an emphasis on sneaking around and shooting people instead of being the visibly representatives of civilisation (or law and order if you prefer).

    Neither of these are definite indicators (a police force that wears camo, and carries full-auto assault rifles as their standard weapon may be doing a better job of “proper” police work than one that wears bright-blue with high-vis tape, and carries billy-clubs as their standard weapon), but they are warning signs. And obviously certain types of equipment encourage certain types of attitudes.

  37. “We object to having police aiming them at citizens.”

    Police typically only aim them at citizens when they aim at anyone (illegal aliens being the notable exception).

    Soldiers aim at non-citizens.

    So your objection is to them doing their job?

    The case at hand is an overreaction on the part of the police and poor strategy with achieving calm. 99% of the rest of them time these “militarized” police are aiming at bad guys.

    “And your strawman about taking away body armor is pathetic even for the quality of trolls on this blog; body armor and scary guns are perfectly proper items for any citizen to carry.”

    Not my strawman. Read the article quoted. From where I sit the difference between liberal and libertarian is simply what to be stupid about.

    “Why armored vehicles in a Midwestern inner suburb? Why would cops wear camouflage gear against a terrain patterned by convenience stores and beauty parlors?”

    “today, Bossier Parish, Louisiana, has a .50 caliber gun mounted on an armored vehicle. The Pentagon gives away millions of pieces of military equipment to police departments across the country—tanks included.”

    Bernick is an idiot and Paul an idiot for quoting him. The piece makes it sound like police have tanks and fighter jets. What they have is lightly armored trucks and surplus MRAPs for which the military utility consists of being able to run over small IEDs without getting everyone on board killed and resisting small arms fire. Which is why the military is dumping them.

    So the “militarization” claim is based on looks and not capability just like liberals and scary assault rifles. You can argue that looking like the military with their scary camo and fancified trucks can change police mindset (not likely…these guys are already like that) but that’s a far cry from actually militarizing our police forces.

    So answer the question genius. How would you “de-militarize” the police?

    And Podunk police departments is where you want this stuff anyway and not exclusively deployed by federal law enforcement. Sure, you get the occasional cluster from Johnny Rambo with a badge but these local LE guys are not a significant overall threat to liberty and more likely to resist the black helicopter mind control scenario that many libs seem to fear.

    Saying terrorism is not a rational threat today is like claiming nuclear war was not a rational threat during the height of the Cold War. Where we have been lucky is that jihadists with a hankering to kill Americans have had a target rich environment in Iraq and Afghanistan. That is changing and there is now a larger pool of radicals from western countries (like that Aussie in ISIS) that can carry out attacks.

  38. “Mainly I want to stop training them to think like assault troops or gendarmerie rather than civil police. ”

    SWAT needs to train this way. That’s their job.

    These days so does the average cop. The doctrine in many areas is the first 4 guys that can get on scene suit up and go in with whatever is in the trunk since response time is everything in a shooting event and waiting for SWAT to arrive raises the body count.

    You want these guys to have the training to shoot the bad guys and not the 5th grader and his teacher…or themselves for that matter.

  39. esr>

    That’s not even the right question, because (among other things) it ignores the extreme geographical concentration of violent crime in the U.S. Criminologically speaking, the U.S. is two very distinct countries. One has a crime rate comparable to Switzerland, the other comparable to Swaziland.

    That’s certainly a catchy image, and thanks for returning to data-based arguments. In thinking about your exposition, it occurred to me that there’s no reason to stop at the little-country level: Even Swasiland has some safe neighborhoods; even Switzerland has unsafe ones. So the question becomes, what kind of neighborhood is Ferguson MO with its predominantly-black population?

    To figure this out, I searched Google for the address. The most specific information I found is that the cop shot Michael Brown on Florissant Rd. I then consulted city-data.com, a site that makes crime maps using FBI data. As it turns out, it doesn’t matter that I failed to find the exact intersection, because the violent-crime rate is marked “average” for almost the entire length of Florissant road (381/year/100,000 inhabitants). The short remainder has a “low” crime rate.

    To use your imagery, this means that Michael Brown’s shooting happened in an average-for-America, safe-for-Swaziland kind of place. The police might have exercised extra caution based on Brown’s age, but the crips-and-bloods imagery seems misplaced.

  40. How the police can de-escalate.

    One of the pioneers of community policing — a form of policing that stresses interaction over reaction, deescalation over brute force, and that police should have a stake in the communities they serve —is Jerry Wilson, who was appointed police chief for Washington, D.C. in 1969. Wilson was of course appointed during a very turbulent time in America, and he took office just after the riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. had ripped the city apart. But Wilson went to great pains to recruit police officers from the city’s residents, and to try to make the police force more reflective of the city. He also took a much different approach to protest. I interviewed Wilson for my recent book on police militarization. Here’s a passage from the section about Wilson’s approach to protest:

    Wilson believed that an intimidating police presence didn’t prevent confrontation, it invited it. That didn’t mean he didn’t prepare, but he put his riot control teams in buses, then parked the buses close by, but out of sight of protesters. Appearances were important. In general, instead of the usual brute force and reactionary policing that tended to pit cops against citizens—both criminal and otherwise—Wilson believed that cops were more effective when they were welcomed and respected in the neighborhoods they patrolled. “The use of violence,” he told Time in 1970, “is not the job of police officers.”

    It’s worth noting that during Wilson’s tenure, not only did Washington, D.C. not see the level of rioting and protest violence we saw in other parts of the country, crime actually fell in the city, even as it soared across the rest of the country.

  41. @ Nigel – “You want these guys to have the training to shoot ”

    When all you have is a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail.

  42. TimP Umm, 26 x 400 is 10,400 per 100,000, which would be closer to 10%. Of course that’s a victimisation rater rather than a perpetration rate, so it’s not the best measure.

    It’s actually both, because both the victims and the perpetrators are subsets of the same population. But on your main point: Ouch! That’s what I get when I try to perform arithmetic under the influence of politics. :) Thanks for the correction.

    TimP Given these we can estimate that blacks should be about four times more likely to have some form of bad relationship with the police than whites including being victims of police brutality,

    . . . which, together with the juvenile-delinquent effect, should put us into the same ballpark as Eric’s factor 26. With that, and with my misplaced decimal comma being corrected, I have to concede that the statistical reasoning in Eric’s original post was sound. I stand corrected.

  43. Nancy, I guess the italicised blockquotes come from the css for Eric’s ibiblio theme. I didn’t do anything to make them look that way, apart from using the “blockquote” html tag.

  44. “When all you have is a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail.”

    What do you want them to use? Harsh language?

    If there is an active shooter you need to make him an inactive shooter as quickly as possible.

  45. Jonathan Abbey: You are correct, the first picture on that page someone named Joda Cain.

  46. No response from Jim yet. Is there a faster / more reliable way to get a message to him than using the ‘submit a tip’ email link?

  47. No idea. Somebody posted about it in the comments, and I seconded it. I suspect someone will notice by tomorrow.

  48. > There’s a push towards the police having to video all their interactions with the public. I’m not convinced this is enough, but it’s a start.

    I was genuinely surprised that this wasn’t at the center of the controversy. It seems to me that, no matter what you believe happened, you should be demanding ubiquitous surveillance of police officers’ interactions with the public. Michael Brown’s supporters should be demanding it: video evidence would have supported the officer’s conviction. The police should be demanding it: if the officer in question followed appropriate rules of engagement, then video evidence would exonerate him.

    I feel like I’m being a bit naive for even asking but why isn’t any of the outrage being used to push the one solution that could have plausibly prevented this?

  49. If there is an active shooter you need to make him an inactive shooter as quickly as possible.

    (1) There usually isn’t an active shooter until the police open fire. (2) An armed citizenry will usually be able to stop an active non-police shooter more quickly than the police can.

  50. I was genuinely surprised that this wasn’t at the center of the controversy.

    Then you’re naive about the media’s agendas. (Generally whargarbl from Fox News, but pretty much OMG RACISM THIS NEVER HAPPENS TO CRACKERS from everyone else.) And the police don’t want cameras for the obvious reason: They prefer not to be second-guessed, and that’s for the honest ones.

  51. > Then you’re naive about the media’s agendas. (Generally whargarbl from Fox News, but pretty much OMG RACISM THIS NEVER HAPPENS TO CRACKERS from everyone else.)

    I suspected as much, but it struck me as a bit too cynical to be true. Preferring to push a certain narrative over a solution that should *actually save lives*? (The very lives they’re claiming to try to protect, in fact…)

    The alternate hypothesis is that that media, as a whole, is just too stupid to propose actual solutions instead of manufacturing outrage. Or that there are some truly perverse incentives in place that encourage manufacturing outrage over saving lives.

    Huh, this must be what losing a good chunk of your remaining idealism feels like.

  52. Preferring to push a certain narrative over a solution that should *actually save lives*?

    They were all over the “vaccines cause autism” bit until recently, when they’ve mostly trailed off (note that correction stories are always on page C23). Relentlessly hyping bogeymen exaggerated or invented by the government to push infringement on civil rights and exorbitant spending that would do a lot of better good elsewhere. Not questioning the underlying assumptions of the so-called health-care reform and asking whether finding ways to disentangle the *existing* red tape might do more to make medical care affordable than slapping on more.

  53. >They were all over the “vaccines cause autism” bit until recently, when they’ve mostly trailed off (note that correction stories are always on page C23)

    The few stories noting that the IPCC’s climate model sheaf has at this point failed the 95% confidence test have been buried even deeper.

  54. The few stories noting that the IPCC’s climate model sheaf has at this point failed the 95% confidence test have been buried even deeper.

    Yes, but I was going for a specific, direct death-causing trend. Andrew Wakefield is directly responsible for the deaths of identifiable children, and he was enabled by a media that is addicted to controversy and demonizes “corporations” without the slightest sense of irony.

  55. Anti-vaccine activists are very, very much in the wrong, but I don’t believe that their position was ever uncritically treated as valid by the mainstream media. The anti-vaxxers tend to be conspiracy theorists (or at least possessors of Hidden Knowledge not acknowledged by the corrupt media), and thrive on their opposition to scientific argumentation.

    The anti-GMO folks are also quite damaging, and I think they do tend to receive a more sympathetic portrayal.

  56. studies that showed the effect of racial perceptions on quick decision making in potentially dangerous situations

    I don’t have any easy answers, but repeated studies have shown that humans will make snap judgments on who’s in the in-group or out-group based on the most salient characteristic. What has racially prejudicial results isn’t actually an inbuilt racism, it’s an inbuilt algorithm that takes a pluggable classifier function combined with the raw fact that absent any other clearly identifiable discriminating characteristic–like uniforms, styles of dress indicating SES, or accent (if you have the opportunity to hear the person speak)–skin color is the most salient by virtue of being the only matching criterion that’s observable.

    The upshot of this is that efforts to combat racism by shaming the (alleged) racists will be not only worthless but actually counterproductive, as they encourage keeping race as an identifying factor foremost in the mind. I’m not sure what sorts of efforts would be helpful, but I have a nagging suspicion that they would require creating some other out-group to fulfill our need for a Them.

  57. >The upshot of this is that efforts to combat racism by shaming the (alleged) racists will be not only worthless but actually counterproductive, as they encourage keeping race as an identifying factor foremost in the mind. I’m not sure what sorts of efforts would be helpful, but I have a nagging suspicion that they would require creating some other out-group to fulfill our need for a Them.

    As a life-long atheist it pains me to say this, but I think that’s precisely the useful propose that religion has served in human civilization. Identifying one’s tribe through ideological agreement scales beyond the extended family, and has all kinds of practical benefits. Religions are memetic, though, and so they change over time, fork and merge (syncreticism) and so forth. As long as the religion or ideology varies over time and space, you’ll always have a Them.

  58. Reducto ad absurdum (and a bit of strawman): should cops treat differently 70+ old females than 15-25 old males, or should they strive to treat them “equally”? ;-)

  59. Here’s a “mokita” for general consideration (and thanks to Eric for that wonderfully evocative word): all police departments, at any level of civil society, absolutely do “protect and serve”. What is less commonly understood, and disparaged whenever openly discussed, is that those societal enforcers are intended to serve the interests of the politically influential segment of the population they patrol.

    The rest of us are merely statistics in the documentary record of that service.

  60. Slightly confused by your adjustment to the odds ratio Eric: a factor of six overestimate would reduce the odds ratio to 26/6 : 1, not 26-6 : 1. Whether 4:1 is also a reasonable estimate, and whether that is a problem, I have no opinion, but it seemed to weaken the argument to have this calculation be wrong in a way that benefits the argument greatly.

  61. >The upshot of this is that efforts to combat racism by shaming the (alleged) racists will be not only worthless but actually counterproductive, as they encourage keeping race as an identifying factor foremost in the mind.

    See also my discussion of “akusala” in Preventing Visceral Racism.

  62. >Slightly confused by your adjustment to the odds ratio Eric: a factor of six overestimate would reduce the odds ratio to 26/6 : 1, not 26-6 : 1.

    This is a confusion of either your language or mine, not of the statistics; don’t get hung up on it. Especially since I low-balled the threat ratio; there’s a good case for it being much closer to 52:1 because the “mixed” category is vague.

    The real point is that the threat level relative to baseline is so high that even the most excuse-friendly assumptions about differential arrest/prosecution/conviction rates (systemic bias) cannot pull it down to where a fear response from cops becomes unreasonable.

  63. On the militarization of cops as a response to things like the terrorist mall attack: Just because we haven’t had one of those yet doesn’t mean we won’t. Like a gun, you don’t need a team capable of an appropriately armed response to such things until you need it badly. If we were to have such an attack tomorrow, and there was no capable response for a day or two while a military response came together, most of the same people who say “we don’t need militarized police!” would be saying “you screwed up! Why weren’t you ready to handle this?”

    A cop can never win, and there will always be cop-bashers.

  64. > That is changing and there is now a larger pool of radicals from western countries (like that Aussie in ISIS) that can carry out attacks.

    If you piss yourself from fear after seeing a picture of some white dude amongst jihadists it means “terrorists win” already.

  65. > not a significant overall threat to liberty and more likely to resist the black helicopter mind control scenario that many libs seem to fear.

    Seriously? “Mind control”? Lemme guess – you hate Snowden beyond imagination, right?

    And deep inside you know why – because he showed that wackos like you do not need any mind control: you’ve already given away all the basic liberties, you let Feds to read your email, watch over your shoulder and digg in your trash. They didn’t even have to use black helicopters – they just showed you pictures of some bearded man with AK and you already scream in terror while happily bending over so feds can do a colonoscopy.

  66. “Seriously? “Mind control”? Lemme guess – you hate Snowden beyond imagination, right?”

    No, I don’t hate him. I won’t shed any tears if he ever gets arrested though. Releasing classified info is one thing. Running to the Russians and given them the rest is different. Anything he hasn’t already released is in the hands of our enemies.

    A man of true conviction would have stayed and faced the music.

    A man of intelligence would have run to the country of his choice FIRST and then released his information. Not get stuck as a guest of Mr Putin.

    “And deep inside you know why – because he showed that wackos like you do not need any mind control: you’ve already given away all the basic liberties, you let Feds to read your email, watch over your shoulder and digg in your trash.”

    If I cared I’d use encryption and not worry about the Feds reading my kids soccer schedule. I also know its freaking impossible for them to track everything anyway.

    If they want to dig in my trash all they are going to find is trash.

    Big deal. Amazon and Google know more. And google more annoying.

    “They didn’t even have to use black helicopters – they just showed you pictures of some bearded man with AK and you already scream in terror while happily bending over so feds can do a colonoscopy.”

    Lol. Nice projecting. Terrorists and crazies with guns are a threat. Training police to deal with these threats is a rational and measured response given I live in a may issue state.

    Law enforcement guys are just guys like everyone else. They hunt, fish, watch sports, have kids, etc with typically similar political views as most conservatives. The more local the LE the more this is true but even the Feds are like this. The mass of jackbooted BATF Gestapo thugs and FEMA death camps exist only in the freverent imagination of kooks. Sure there are their fair share of bullies and wackos in their ranks but probably not much more than your average high school football team.

    What we have is nothing like the PAP in china.

  67. Let’s also point out, Eric, that that 2% ARE MOSTLY KILLING BLACK PEOPLE. So when a white policeman stops a young black man from killing, he is almost certainly stopping them from killing a black person. Factually, it’s hard to claim that he’s being racist.

  68. “If you piss yourself from fear after seeing a picture of some white dude amongst jihadists it means “terrorists win” already.”

    You don’t find folks that behead people and let their kids play with the severed heads disturbing? You don’t find the images of little girls with no heads disturbing?

    Piss myself? No. Wish we could simply nuke them into oblivion? Yes. But that is an irrational response. Training and equipping police to be more effective against shooters is not.

    What is scary isn’t really the crazy “white dude”…there will always be crazies. What is concerning is when westernized middle class Muslims that went to college can be sufficiently radicalized to pose a suicide bombing/shooter threat. This isn’t some ignorant tribesman in the middle of nowhere but folks that are educated and should be inoculated against this level of radicalism.

    To really cause terror in this country would only take a handful of people with good shooting skills to do Malvo style random sniper attacks and a handful of folks willing to die to terrorize a mall or theater or local sporting event. Sustain these kinds of attacks over a few months and folks will understand they are very soft targets with or without CCW.

  69. It looks to me as though you have made mistakes with your statistics.

    “Or, to put it differently, by these figures a young black or ‘mixed’ male is roughly 26 times more likely to be a homicidal threat than anyone outside that category – older or younger blacks, whites, hispanics, females, whatever.”

    “*26 times* more likely.”

    “Anyone”? “Whatever”? Specifically: 26 times more likely than a young man who is not black? Lots more likely, yes; exactly or even nearly 26 times more likely, no.

    More generally: given the 26x-greater-than-overall-average figure you gave before, this 26x-greater-than-every-slice can’t really be true unless the slices all have the same criminality rate, and that is not the case. Very few of the other differences are large enough to truly rival a big factor like 26, but a fair number of the other differences are large enough to divide it by a factor of two or more.

    For any realistic situation involving a sample of one individual, you would probably need to set the situation up very carefully to avoid significant error from this. (Notice how even professionals who are very serious about trying to get unbiased individual samples, such as honest political pollsters, find it quite tricky to do so.) Such sample skew doesn’t always reduce the factor. E.g., for a situation where a young black guy is encountered in a mostly white retirement community, the factor could easily be significantly higher. But it means that “26 times more” instead of something like “at least 10 times more” or “at least 100 times more” tends to be false precision when you’re talking about individual samples in realistic cases.

    “In fact, if you normalize by IQ distribution most ‘racial’ differences in things like crime rates, lifetime income, etc. vanish.”

    Reported IQ is strongly correlated with crime rates, I agree with that wholeheartedly. Nonetheless AFAIK “most” is still an exaggeration.

    Also note that quite possibly this correlation is overstated by the usual difficulty of controlling for everything in social sciences. High IQ results are hard to achieve unless you are actually bright, but low IQ scores tend to be easier. It is quite plausible that people who are predisposed to crime are also predisposed to have their IQ measured artificially low, due to things like impulsiveness and alienation. For some purposes that confusion can end up cancelling out, not reducing the predictiveness of the test very much — e.g., impulsiveness and alienation strong enough to drag down measured IQ are likely to drag down job performance too. But for other purposes, such as designing incentives or considering defensive tactics, a comprehensively dim oaf is not quite the same thing as an embittered flake of more ordinary intelligence. It would be interesting to see the results of e.g. short g-loaded tests (Wonderlic?) with subjects paid $100 for each correct answer. (And as far as I know, there hasn’t been much research along these lines, although this is not a new idea.) I don’t think such a short high-stakes test would erase the crime-IQ correlation, but I bet it would reduce it by 20% or more.

  70. Even so, a particular young black man is not likely to be violent, and it’s important for police to not escalate the risk of violence.

  71. @ nht – “Law enforcement guys are just guys like everyone else.”

    The greatest mass murderers of the past century (Stalin, Mao, Hitler, etc.) did not personally kill the tens of millions of victims under their control. They all acted through state-created “security” forces which typically consisted of many tens of thousands of “guys like everyone else.” There is a well known and highly effective methodology for converting the “guys like everyone else” into agents of oppression that will do as ordered. There is also a naive belief that it cannot happen here, because by golly we are the US of A. For reality check, see War on Drugs and extrapolate.

  72. One suggestion:
    Have police riot gear be bright pink. As a practical matter the color doesn’t actually matter. However, psychologically, the police will feel and act less like soldiers, and the crowd will be less likely to be violent.
    With black body armor, there is street cred to be earned by attacking the soldiers, and little to be lost if unsuccessful – “I was police brutalitied by the storm troopers – what did you expect?” OTOH, that situation is reversed if we’re dealing with the Hello Kitty police – there isn’t a lot of social credit to be earned by beating up people who are dressed like a children’s toy, and you stand to lose a lot if you get beaten up by them.

  73. Militarization seems to be a side effect of risk aversion. We’ve reached a society where someone dying young, whether from a rare disease, an accident, or violence, is a major tragedy. In most senses, this is a good thing. However, it has led to some odd priorities. We now expect law enforcement to be prepared for any worse cased scenario, and do it without risk to themselves. On a departmental level, this means SWAT teams and armored vehicles, even when the risk to cost ratio doesn’t justify it and it endangers the public. You have to have it, because conceivably there is some scenario where you need it. Because you have to pay for it, there it a budgetary incentive to use it. Therefore, you have a SWAT team that is used to arrest non-violent offenders using tactics and training normally reserved for fighting active combatants, and every so often, one makes a mistake and accidentally shoots someone. On an individual level, though, it’s not the militarization so much as the risk avoidance in general. That dog could bite you; shoot it. That item the suspect is holding could be a gun; shoot him. In this case, we have “That guy may have tried to take my gun; better him dead than me” for the initial confrontation, followed by “deploy everything we have” for the response.

    The other part of this is blame avoidance. If something goes wrong, and someone dies. it can no longer be a mistake. People lose their jobs, and people get sued for large amounts of money. In business, internally, when something bad happens, ideally you figure out what happened, fix it, and make procedural changes so it doesn’t happen again (blame/justice isn’t as important as prevention). Interactions with police, media and politicians never work that way. Both sides will take the worst interpretation of the other side’s actions and use that to avoid their own blame. This, incidentally, explains why police don’t like to record their interactions; they will make mistakes, people always do, and since their mistakes are recorded, they’ll take the blame.

  74. >“Anyone”? “Whatever”? Specifically: 26 times more likely than a young man who is not black? Lots more likely, yes; exactly or even nearly 26 times more likely, no.

    Oops. I phrased that wrong; I’ll fix it. Should read ““Or, to put it differently, by these figures a young black or ‘mixed’ male is roughly 26 times more likely to be a homicidal threat than a random person outside that category – older or younger blacks, whites, hispanics, females, whatever.”

    Yes, if you restrict to white males 15-25 you get a lower ratio. According to that same table 2, white males 15-24 are 23.5% of the U.S. population. If we assign them almost all of the 45.3% of homicides committed by whites this puts their threat level at just about 2:1 over baseline. There’s still a factor 13 difference with black male youths even giving the latter group every possible break in the calculation.

    In fact, the difference is probably much larger. Remember that I lowballed the black-male-youth figure by including the “mixed” category. If we split that down the middle instead the ratio jumps to 39:1.

    >Reported IQ is strongly correlated with crime rates, I agree with that wholeheartedly. Nonetheless AFAIK “most” is still an exaggeration.

    Go read The Bell Curve. Murray and Herrnstein make exactly this case with mountains of evidence.

  75. Regarding militarization of police. It’s the tactics and doctrine of overwhelming force applied immediately that militarizes, not the gear.

    Other than cops getting access to gear for protection of self and others that other civilians cannot, I don’t object to officer tacticool or his MRAP ride. (As noted, it’s only a little better than an armored Suburban). It’s the 0 to SWAT without intervening stops on the continuum of tactics I object to.

  76. In fact, I’d rather the general issue long arm be a M4-pattern carbine than a shotgun. The carbine is a superior weapon in many ways for self defense

  77. >I don’t object to officer tacticool

    I do. I think it encourages misbehaviors. There’s a case for SWAT teams dressing that way, but if all your cops think like SWAT you have a problem.

  78. > Have police riot gear be bright pink.

    That’s actually brilliant. Standing in front of a badass-looking people (who, btw. know that they look that way and enjoy it quite a lot) is one thing – seeing ridiculously-looking guys in all pink with hello-kitty and hearts all over the place is totally different.

    It won’t affect security of the officers in any way – rifle and armor just as efficient when they painted pink as when they are black. But the attitude towards using them – that’s what matters.

    The person with big gun and small dick might use it because his delusion of feeling like a Rambo went too far. The person in pink uniform with a rifle with little hello-kitty got no such delusions – hence he’s more likely to use it only when he have to.

  79. The few stories noting that the IPCC’s climate model sheaf has at this point failed the 95% confidence test have been buried even deeper.

    Even more damning has been the silence regarding the forecasts getting downgraded (both in severity and probability) for
    El Nino this year.

  80. Note the victims are the same race. The problem might be simpler. Blacks cannot effectively seek justice or.even protection within the system. So what is the alternative? The 20x is internecine. The police do not protect the demographic from violence but self-help turns into self-fulfilled prophecy.

    We had peace officers, and a Different institution for.riots. Whatever happened to “Sending out the National Guard”. Oh, Iraq, among other things. Responding to an accusation of excessive force with an even bigger show of force is counterproductive. What next, Shock and Awe? Bomb MO, or send predators to preach hellfire?

  81. I am not opposed to hello kitty tactical gear with pink, black and white camo…

  82. >the forecasts getting downgraded (both in severity and probability) for El Nino

    Very bad news for the alarmists. A whopper el Nino was their only hope of sustaining any illusion of a good model fit.

  83. Even if someone has committed murder, that doesn’t mean they’re a homicidal threat right now, and it still makes sense to not escalate minor encounters.

    Light-touch policing has been substituted for the heavily armed and armored police in Ferguson, and it hasn’t been a disaster.

  84. Anyone who has spent a considerable amount of time in midwestern small to large urban areas that have relatively large minority populations (often heavily segregated) will know that racism is very much alive and probably does greater damage to the cycle of racism > poverty, lower education, higher crime > racism than what you claim is a rational paranoia, whatever that is.

    Certainly stories like this ( http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/15/the-day-ferguson-cops-were-caught-in-a-bloody-lie.html ) indicate a greater motivation from racism than a rational sense of self-preservation from statistics and genetics.

  85. >Even if someone has committed murder, that doesn’t mean they’re a homicidal threat right now,

    You can afford such optimistic thinking only because you are guarded by men who cannot.

    >and it still makes sense to not escalate minor encounters.

    Absolutely. But that’s not the same issue. You’ve jumped from a claim about how police should evaluate differential threat levels to a separate one about how they should act on that evaluation.

  86. Some dude calling himself Jason says:

    they just showed you pictures of some bearded man with AK and you already scream in terror while happily bending over so feds can do a colonoscopy.

    Wrong.

    A bearded skinny with an AK makes me loosen my cover garment and keep a close eye. I have to wait until he fires his first shot, then guns are loose and there’s going to be a second shooting.

  87. >Certainly stories like this [...] indicate a greater motivation from racism than a rational sense of self-preservation from statistics and genetics.

    How about this more relevant story?

    It seems Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson (his companion when he was shot) were caught on video shortly before the shooting robbing a convenience store, stealing cigars. The officer who shot Brown was investigating the robbery.

    So, um, not put-upon youths innocently taking the air. Petty thugs, probably stealing cigars to make blunts with. Changes the frame, doesn’t it? Shades of Martin “why no, I just carry this burglary tool at random” Trayvon…

    Shooting a fleeing suspect may still have been excessive force, but that case is to say the least more ambiguous now. Stills from the video appear to show Brown physically threatening and manhandling the store owner.

    Safe prediction: Now that this incident cannot easily be made to fit a racially inflammatory narrative of innocents wronged, it will disappear almost completely off the news.

  88. “How about this more relevant story?”

    What about it? My position holds even if they were responding to a specific threat/report. Even if the officer had indisputable confirmation that Mike Brown and his friend not only matched a report of the suspects but were in fact the suspects. (Although this new report and that theory doesn’t match up with previously reported details.)

    “Changes the frame, doesn’t it?”

    Not in the least. I didn’t have nor do I have now any illusions about the potential criminality of victims of police misconduct.

    I also don’t have the utter delusion that there is no problem with racism within police forces (or that any such perceived racism is wholly rational and defensible as self-preservation).

    “Safe prediction”

    You are dog-shit at playing Nostradamus, ESR. This is likely to be more inflammatory but the new efforts to de-militarize will have the most mitigating affects and trying to assert that any dissipation of tension is a result of the police rationalizing firing multiple bullets into the back of a young man because he was suspected of having stolen blunt wrappers is insane and idiotic.

  89. >Citing The Bell Curve? Bwahaha!!

    Ah, yet another downshouter who hasn’t read the book, I’m guessing.

    Pretty much everything you think you know about it from the public smear campaign is wrong.

  90. >I also don’t have the utter delusion that there is no problem with racism within police forces

    Actually, I don’t suffer from this delusion either. The assumption I’m attacking is that differential (even differentially violent) treatment of black male youths is itself sufficient evidence for racism. Can’t be, given the crime statistics.

  91. I have read the book, the criticism, the criticism of the criticism. To me, what is valid about The Bell Curve is clear (mostly uncontroversial and uninteresting, already supported and shown through many studies), what is invalid and bad science is clear.

    What you are asserting (correlation between race and IQ) is, to me, non-controversially shown to be not in evidence.

  92. firing multiple bullets into the back of a young man because he was suspected of having stolen blunt wrappers is insane and idiotic

    The shooting did not happen because he was suspected of a crime. The shooting happened because he fought with the officer. That doesn’t excuse the shooting if the threat had ended a moment before, but it is a mitigating circumstance.

  93. >A bearded skinny with an AK makes me loosen my cover garment and keep a close eye. I have to wait until he fires his first shot, then guns are loose and there’s going to be a second shooting.

    You’re braver than me. I’d be running for hard cover first, then readying to draw. Well, actually, if his eye isn’t on me I’d be slipping into cover as inconspicuously as I can – running gets you noticed.

  94. “The assumption I’m attacking is that differential (even differentially violent) treatment of black male youths is itself sufficient evidence for racism. ”

    Completely irrelevant and unnecessary to me. I know for a fact that racism is real and problematic within the Ferguson police force, Ferguson, and many parts of the US.

  95. >What you are asserting (correlation between race and IQ) is, to me, non-controversially shown to be not in evidence.

    If you actually read the book, you somehow missed all the cited evidence about race differences in IQ means. This makes me doubt your claim.

  96. “The shooting did not happen because he was suspected of a crime. The shooting happened because he fought with the officer. That doesn’t excuse the shooting if the threat had ended a moment before, but it is a mitigating circumstance.”

    As I said, this new release doesn’t match with the previous story: that the young man resisted arrest. (But I didn’t trust the original story, nor do I trust the second story). The witness also said they were told to get on the sidewalk which doesn’t match with this new story (but I never trusted his story either).

    We don’t know the truth to the events yet. I wasn’t saying what I said as what actually occurred; I was stating it in rebuttal to the claim that now that the police is claiming the officer was responding to a reported threat and was perceiving Brown to be a suspect that the shooting was not rationalized and justified and the tension would dissipate. Such a claim is both absurd and completely ignores the real racism and real social tension that didn’t just surface in one shooting and won’t go away whether or not Brown was a petty thief or resisting arrest.

  97. There’s also twenty years of evidence disputing the validity of the assertions, ESR, and plenty of apparent flaws in some of their arguments and in the interpretations of people like you as to what the book argues and proves.

    Really. I didn’t know twenty years later there was much controversy or that I would actually here someone try to argue: IQ is racial and genetic and The Bell Curve proves it. Such silliness.

  98. Two obvious typos but the first needs correcting:

    1. “I was stating it in rebuttal to the claim that now that the police is claiming the officer was responding to a reported threat and was perceiving Brown to be a suspect that the shooting was NOW (not “not”) rationalized and justified and the tension would dissipate.”

    Also…

    2. “Really. I didn’t know twenty years later there was much controversy or that I would actually HEAR someone try to argue: IQ is racial and genetic and The Bell Curve proves it. Such silliness.”

    Obviously

  99. World and national events may be creating a heightened sense of anxiety (amorphous fear with no clear link to a specific threat) and consequently people may be using these tragic outlier cases as a means to vent their emotions. Add a hot, humid summer in heart of the Midwest, and this sort of over-reaction can almost be therapeutic. We are human animals after all.

  100. >Really. I didn’t know twenty years later there was much controversy or that I would actually here someone try to argue: IQ is racial and genetic and The Bell Curve proves it. Such silliness.

    I’ve been following the literature on psychometrics and population genetics (admittedly as an outsider) ever since. Not only do The Bell Curve’s conclusions seem intact, but estimates of IQ heritability have actually increased since as a result of more separated-twin studies.

    Furthemore, the politically explosive stuff about racial differences in IQ means was already pretty well established before the book, all the way back to the 1960s. The evidence there is so robust that people attempting to deny the consequences had to invent an entire secondary mythology about IQ tests being meaningless.

    I am still not convinced you have actually read the book. You display a degree of ignorance about its contents and the general topic that would be quite astonishing if you had.

  101. ESR:

    Mainly I want to stop training them to think like assault troops or gendarmerie rather than civil police. The gear isn’t of primary importance, except that when you have an MRAP you tend to think up MRAP things to do with it. These are usually the wrong things for civil police to be doing.

    This, in a nutshell.

    But here’s the problem today the number of violent crimes is down, mostly to incarcerating the people who commit them, but the variety and severity of threats is higher than ever before, and cannot reasonably be reduced (only pushed around).

    Active shooter events have shown that the “set up a perimeter and wait for the specialists” is just a protocol for more dead bodies.

    The new(ish) protocol for active shooter events is that the first police on scene stack up and go in. This means that most police *should* have level III or IV armor in the trunk, and something a little easier for them to shoot accurately than a service pistol.

    We’ve had at least 2 incidents, Beslan and the Narobi Westgate attack, where this would have lead to dead cops (maybe in Narobi. Certainly in the US terrorists would use a larger force to take and hold a mall (rather than shooting it up and running away). These are exactly what a lightly armored vehicle would be good for–both for delivering the second set of officers to the scene and to start immediate evacuation of the wounded/dead.

    This isn’t 1960. We have to stop thinking about the world like it’s 1960.

    We also have to stop thinking about the police like we did in 1960. We can, and we *need* to train and retrain our police officers to be *peace officers*, not occupiers. We need to inculcate in them what Robert Humphrey calls “Dual Life Values” (http://www.lifevalues.com/), and to get them to see the people in the communities they’re serving as “their” people, not as “those” people.

    I think there are four general things that need to be done:

    1) The uniforms go back to being light colored shirts + dark colored trousers and boots.
    2) Police schools teach the “no better friend, no worse enemy” mindset, and DRILL it in.
    3) Require that a significant portion of the active police force be drawn from the communities they serve.
    4) Reintegrate the police and the community.

    Oh, and a Fifth thing–Ban the Al Sharptons and the “Rev.” Jacksons of the world from going within 200 miles of these sorts of events. A large part of the problem we’re seeing now is part of a really, really bad feedback loop between communities and the police departments.

    In each round both the members of the community (usually driven by outside community leaders) take steps to “win” that just increase the levels of animosity.

    A community does not “win” when they treat the police as an outside force, and the police lose when they start to treat the community they’re supposed to be serving as if they were occupying the streets.

    The MRAPs and the Camouflage BDUs are a symptom, not a cause.

  102. I agree the police are too militarized. That’s been getting worse for a long time without any obvious reason for the rank and file to behave so. At one time what is now normal was either a special unit like a S.W.A.T or nonexistent. There has never been any reason to bust pot dealers like it’s the Normandy Invasion. This militarization far predates 9/11. And the militarization of the police refers to their tactics, not armament. They began to act like soldiers a long time before they 9/11 or had different weapons.

    People should remember a lot of this armament came about after the 1997 North Hollywood bank heist shoot-out where the police were severely outgunned.

    I agree this is another Trayvon Martin who’s death is being politicized in a straight up lie. According to the FBI, twice as many blacks kill whites as do whites kill blacks, yet the opposite narrative is being sold all the time by the PC, particularly by our intersectional justice warriors whose crocodile tears are flooding Twitter right now offering minute by minute updates of Ferguson while thousands of black men murdering each other every day is apparently some kind of righteous kill.

    These folks claim they’re in the streets cuz this is a racist country but these folks are never in the street for a white death, no matter how it occurs. On the other hand lots of whites stand up for black folks. It’s a double standard I have no sympathy for. In other words the folks in the street are far more racialist than the country is, and so couldn’t create a thing like the Constitution let alone maintain one.

    Even more bizarre is how the stats you cite are ignored. Even presenting them is considered racist. On the other hand, using the SFF community as an example, a simple accidental demographic reality is considered a white supremacist KKK – no stats or quotes required. That goes beyond mere hypocrisy into racist delusion. The delusion is that our intersectional PC friends grasp at such racial and sexual pie-charts any time they can to light up the straight white male but if I do it I’m a neo-Nazi.

    Call it what you will: PC, the far Left, intersectional radical feminism – the sum total is a racist sexist supremacist cult that spends all its time accusing people who are not bigots of being one while displaying the most openly racist and sexist institutions in America.

    Being Orwellians, the PC display fear of whites, men, and heterosexuals while accusing them of women-hatred, racism, Islamophobia, rape culture and homophobia without stats that would reflect such an America. But if I use their exact same reasoning – WITH STATS – to look at blacks with a leery eye I’m a racist.

    The New York “stop-and-frisk” is another myth being sold. The fact is whites come close to statistical zero when it comes to gun crime there. So 60% is doing almost all the crime. So why frisk people who don’t fit a profile? They’re the police, not a feminist pie-chart.

    “It is what it is” isn’t a very popular phrase with the PC – in fact it’s non-existent. Only the PC get to do what they do. If the PC were using logic rather than racism here – in other words reacting to wrongful deaths – they’d be on the streets in Chicago every day. The PC only care who does the killing, not who gets killed, or how many. How many young black men have been murdered since Trayvon Martin and how many riots have we NOT had since then?

    As in the case of Trayvon Martin I have nothing to say about Ferguson because I don’t know what happened. But like Martin, people commenting on Ferguson tell us far more about themselves than what happened. Like Martin, in the overall scheme of things, Ferguson is an anomaly being sold as a trend while actual trends are hushed up by our “truth to power” cult of institutional racialist liars.

  103. > I know for a fact that racism is real and problematic within the Ferguson police force, Ferguson, and many parts of the US.

    Possibly true. Meanwhile, the video has been released, and we now know that the shooting took place about three minutes after the robbery. The officer was responding to a dispatcher request to be on the lookout for a suspect matching Brown’s description. Want to bet against the cigars being on Brown when he was shot?

    About all that could save the racial-grievance narrative now is if the video was faked. This remains theoretically possible.

  104. “Want to bet against the cigars being on Brown when he was shot?”

    Sure, how ’bout a $1000? Wilson and the entire police force knew Brown and his companion were thief’s but for 5 days his companion was free and talking to the public without getting arrested and there was no mention when it occurred or even now 5 days when they trot out this story that the stolen items were found at the scene of the crime? Sure, I’ll absolutely take that bet. If you’re not confident enough to wager $1000, name your number.

  105. If the suspect did assault the storekeeper it doesn’t matter if he stole cigars or diamond rings. He committed robbery, not theft, and assault. Felony level crimes.

    If he fought with the officer following his assault and robbery the officer (depending on jurisdiction) had every right to shoot. It’s called the fleeing felon rule. Now most cops will not apply the fleeing felon rule even with escaping convicts but you don’t get to commit robbery, assault, assault again, resisting arrest, etc and then cry when you get consequences.

    As to the different countries cops live in I have lived and worked in both and in ‘bandit country’ where you could expect a random shot down a dirt road or a trap around a cooker or grow. The key is to respect all the citizens. Treat them as you would in any courteous encounter and even when applying force be professional and polite (unless harsh language is needed).

    Police should be demilitarized in attitude/approach to citizens. The MRAP bs is a boondoggle!

  106. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/08/15/ferguson-police-chief-encounter-between-officer-and-michael-brown-did-not-relate-to-robbery/?hpid=z2

    Doh. Still want to bet, ESR?

    The chief is now making it clear the incident was initiated without regard to whether or not the pair were suspects or the actual perpetrators of the robbery. Yes, I strongly doubt Brown was walking down the street with a box of blunts and that the crime scene photos will show it lying next to his gunned down body… since, if he was, that would have been a very good reason to initiate some interaction.

  107. >but for 5 days his companion was free and talking to the public without getting arrested

    You make a good point, but maybe not the one you think. The cigars could easily have been on the accomplice. No bet.

    Note that the police have not “trot[ted] out this story that the stolen items were found at the scene of the crime”. Possibly they weren’t, or possibly the cops have them in an evidence room with a solid chain of provenance and are going to pull a Breitbart on the grievance-peddlers in a few days. That’d be fun.

  108. “What you are asserting (correlation between race and IQ) is, to me, non-controversially shown to be not in evidence.”

    Oh really? I don’t have the book — just checked for it at the Barnes and Noble nearby, not there, color me *totally* surprised. But it is not the only source for that correlation; to add to ESR’s response above, one source available online is Dickens and Flynn “Black Americans Reduce the Racial IQ Gap” http://www.iapsych.com/iqmr/fe/LinkedDocuments/dickens2006a.pdf .

    What is your source for correlation between race and IQ “non-controversially shown to be not in evidence”?

    Or when you backed off to

    “Really. I didn’t know twenty years later there was much controversy or that I would actually HEAR someone try to argue: IQ is racial and genetic and The Bell Curve proves it.”

    does that mean you recognize that the correlation is well-established so you want to back off to genetic causes not being established? If so, to clear the air and all, would you mind explicitly retracting your remarkable earlier claim?

    “Such silliness.”

    Or are you just trolling?

  109. As a general rule I disagree with the contention that the police should be less militarized. When public safey is an issue the last thing you want is for the good guys to be outgunned.

    The problem is not the types of weapons used, it is that the police are not always the good guys. And that is the thing that needs to be fixed.

    At the bottom of this “the police aren’t always the good guys” are several cultural structures that cause the problems:

    1. The idea that the police are above the law. This happens from small to large. It starts with the police being able to fix their own parking tickets, goes through the notion that you flash your badge and you don’t get a speeding ticket, all the way up to allowing the police to get away with far more serious crimes. The truth is that the police should be held to a HIGHER standard of law, not a lower standard.

    2. The problem of discretion around over legislation. This is best captured in that Ayn Rand quote:

    “Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”

    When it is impossible to get through life without breaking some minor law, it allows the cops to treat everyone with a contempt for their rights. A break light broken is enough for a stop, possible search, and even arrest.

    3. The idea that the cops are owed a special duty of respect. This is related to 2, if you don’t defer to a police officer he can make your life hell, and you have no real recourse. (This, BTW, I think is what is at the root of what happened in Fergason.)

    4. The horrible inefficiency of the courts. Here the problem is that the cops stop you for anything, no matter how innocent you might be, you are going to be in a world of hurt. I have a friend who was sued with absolutely no basis whatsoever, but ended up paying off the plaintiff because it was cheaper than handling the legal costs.

    5. The idea that filming the police in the exercise of their duties is a bad thing, even illegal. On the contrary, I think every cop, every police cruiser, and every police station should have a camera on them at all times and the raw footage uploaded to a public web site. Certain issues of personal privacy excluded of course.

    6. Finally, the idea that the police are a paramilitary organization, distinct and separate from the population. The very reason we have a police is the opposite of this. The original police forces in the UK were put in place by Peel to eliminate the idea that the military should patrol the streets, since that was the very essence of tyranny. The police were simply regular citizens with special responsibilities and resources.

    So it isn’t the guns and armored cars that are a problem, it is the messed up attitudes and cultural context that is the problem.

    To me the route to a solution is a simple one — a demand that the police operate a full sunshine policy, recording everything that the police do, and posting it publicly, unedited with time stamps online. The solution to out of context videos is to provide a full video context. With some reasonable and strict restrictions on what may be hidden for the privacy of the public members the police deal with. (Much as we have for the courts system.)

  110. So far you’ve resorted to:

    1. I don’t believe you did what you say you did because you don’t agree with me.

    2. Wanna bet on this really stupid theory? Oh shit, you’re willing to stand by your viewpoint, no bet! Bet’s off!

    3. Making up alternate realities with zero evidence to base it on or support it to amuse yourself and support your worldview.

    It’s kind of sad.

  111. Running to the Russians and given them the rest is different.

    Can’t tell whether you’re intentionally lying or just willfully blind. Snowden’s claimed, credibly and with corroborating evidence, not to have either taken or given further documents to Russia. And the “face the music” claim is unadulterated duckspeak given that he tried to go through official channels and was explicitly rebuffed and that it isn’t possible to get a fair trial on charges of releasing classified information for a variety of procedural reasons (basically, the accused is essentially forbidden to present evidence).

  112. “What is your source for correlation between race and IQ “non-controversially shown to be not in evidence”?”

    The volumes of evidence and rebuttals to those are nearly endless… I know there is valid evidence and bad evidence, good arguments and bad arguments on both sides. So there is not room here to point to a single volume or a single paragraph of words or a single data set. However, the APA’s study is probably the strongest, most rigorous, most thorough, and most scientific place to start. Stephen Jay Gould’s one argument and book are significantly flawed but I find his logical attack on the measurement of IQ to be on point. There are many more… too many to list. Do the work yourself.

    “does that mean you recognize that the correlation is well-established so you want to back off to genetic causes not being established? If so, to clear the air and all, would you mind explicitly retracting your remarkable earlier claim?”

    No, no backing off whatsoever. I am confident in my position that it’s reasonable and that the vast majority of reasonable and well-informed people hold it to be noncontroversial that The Bell Curve does not scientifically demonstrate there to be either a genetic or racial connection to IQ (which is not to say that the correlation has been scientifically disproven either).

    “Or are you just trolling?”

    Nope.

  113. >Possibly true. Meanwhile, the video has been released, and we now know that the shooting took place about three minutes after the robbery. The officer was responding to a dispatcher request to be on the lookout for a suspect matching Brown’s description. Want to bet against the cigars being on Brown when he was shot?

    This afternoon in a press conference, the head of police in Ferguson specifically stated that the officer who shot Brown was not aware of the robbery call at the time of the incident.

    That said, it looks like Michael Brown was at least violating three, if not four of the following very important rules:

  114. I should clarify because I just now noticed my own sloppiness. I’ve accidentally was sloppy about using IQ for intelligence a number of times above.

  115. “This afternoon in a press conference, the head of police in Ferguson specifically stated that the officer who shot Brown was not aware of the robbery call at the time of the incident.”

    Actually, he said he does not know if the officer was aware of the robbery call and the description of the suspects but he is aware that the incident was not motivated by the robbery call but by their walking in the street. Subtle distinction and doesn’t change much but it’s helpful to be accurate. (Why the hell the police chief does not know whether or not Officer had heard the call and may have been considering it when encountering the two I don’t know.)

  116. >Actually, he said he does not know if the officer was aware of the robbery call and the description of the suspects but he is aware that the incident was not motivated by the robbery call but by their walking in the street. Subtle distinction and doesn’t change much but it’s helpful to be accurate. (Why the hell the police chief does not know whether or not Officer had heard the call and may have been considering it when encountering the two I don’t know.)

    Right, thanks Tim.

  117. Don’t dispute your facts or assertions.

    However.

    In this particular case, from what I’ve read so far, it appears that the police officer in question shot at a fleeing, unarmed suspect. That suspect has been shown on a video recording to have grabbed and shoved a shopkeeper while he and an accomplice stole cigars. Now, OK, maybe this kid was a punk, but neither theft of cigars nor simple assault are death-penalty offenses.

    The shopkeeper would have had a legitimate SYG argument in Texas for shooting one or both of those young men IMO. The officer does not. And the talk that the young man was trying to take the cop’s gun, I’ve heard enough cops crying “stop resisting!” to immediately call that assertion into question, but even so, the young man fleeing was (again AFAIK) known to be unarmed, and the cop shot him, presumably because he couldn’t be bothered to chase him or call it in.

    Frankly, this whole situation reinforces my long-held belief that cops should be forced to wear cambadges, with enough battery to record a 720p30 compressed video/audio feed for at least 12 hours (128GB flash should be way more than sufficient), using tamper-resistant memory that’s admissible in court, encrypted and signed data, and with criminal penalties for tampering, destroying, sabotaging, or intentionally obscuring the camera by officers.

  118. SFF author N.K. Jemisin claims “Ferguson Is a Microcosm of Our Racially—and Politically—Polarized Country http://www.newrepublic.com/article/119099/ferguson-underscores-larger-white-black-power-disparity … ‘…de facto apartheid.'”

    I’d say what happened is microcosm of a criminalized racial culture.

    The article in question remarks “When you pass Ferguson through a racial rather than political filter…”

    Well, just make sure you pass the politically correct racial filter. The one that only points in one direction.

    The article further states: “’Overall,’ according to the ACLU, ’42 percent of people impacted by a SWAT deployment to execute a search warrant were Black,’ and yet black people comprise just over 12 percent of the national population.”

    And…? Whose side are you on, New Republic?

    The article finishes with “What happened in Ferguson is a national disgrace.”

    I agree. What moron grabs a guy by the throat to steal cigars?

    Kinda egg on the face when all those protesters realize they went to bat for an thug robber and burned down the place the guy robbed. George Orwell, start your engines, dammit.

  119. Shooting a fleeing suspect may still have been excessive force, but that case is to say the least more ambiguous now.

    Ambiguous? Doesn’t it rest entirely on Dorin Johnson’s supposed “eyewitness account”, or on accounts given after, and influenced by, his? Now that we know he was Brown’s accomplice in the robbery, his story must be excluded from consideration, and without it where do we get the idea that Brown was fleeing or had his hands up?

    Now we also understand why Johnson, who was so eager to tell his story to the public, was unavailable to talk to the police.

  120. The chief is now making it clear the incident was initiated without regard to whether or not the pair were suspects or the actual perpetrators of the robbery.

    He said the initial contact was not made in connection with the robbery. Not that the incident was not initiated in connection with the robbery. Stopping a pair of punks who are walking in the middle of the road, and telling them to get off it, is not an incident. The incident was initiated some seconds or minutes later, by which time Wilson who had surely heard the dispatcher’s message would have realised that these two fit the description. In fact I’d guess that’s why he initiated what would become the incident.

  121. >Ambiguous? Doesn’t it rest entirely on Dorin Johnson’s supposed “eyewitness account”, or on accounts given after, and influenced by, his? Now that we know he was Brown’s accomplice in the robbery, his story must be excluded from consideration, and without it where do we get the idea that Brown was fleeing or had his hands up?

    There were at least two other direct witnesses, Tiffany Mitchell and Piaget Crenshaw.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/14/us/ferguson-michael-brown-shooting-5-things/index.html

  122. >He said the initial contact was not made in connection with the robbery. Not that the incident was not initiated in connection with the robbery. Stopping a pair of punks who are walking in the middle of the road, and telling them to get off it, is not an incident. The incident was initiated some seconds or minutes later, by which time Wilson who had surely heard the dispatcher’s message would have realised that these two fit the description. In fact I’d guess that’s why he initiated what would become the incident.

    Plausible, not confirmed. At this point, it’s up to the prosecutor’s office to investigate the shooting and report back. The prosecutor in charge has said that he will be interviewing all witnesses, including Dorin Johnson.

  123. This afternoon in a press conference, the head of police in Ferguson specifically stated that the officer who shot Brown was not aware of the robbery call at the time of the incident.

    No he didn’t. He said he didn’t know whether the officer was aware of it or not.

  124. There were at least two other direct witnesses, Tiffany Mitchell and Piaget Crenshaw.

    Did they give their accounts before or after hearing Johnson’s?

  125. >Did they give their accounts before or after hearing Johnson’s?

    I don’t know. You could Google their phone numbers and ask? I guess?

  126. I’d say that for a guest on ESR’s blog, Tim F. is getting awfully pushy and maybe obnoxious. Lighten up a bit.
    Still lots of unknown unknowns in this whole situation.

  127. >As far as the Bell Curve question, I think the more recent data on the effects of environmental lead poisoning is worth considering:

    Yes, it is. I’ve spent a fair amount of think time on this, because I would actually be much happier if we could dismiss genetic explanations and write off the black/white median IQ difference to lead poisoning. I more or less wanted this to be true.

    Alas, the theory doesn’t hold up.

    It fails to explain why you see the same median IQ difference in side-by-side urban populations. And you do; IQ testing by employers was effectively banned on dispatate-impact grounds.

    It also fails to explain lower average black IQ in places (notably in Africa) where leaded paint and gasoline were not in use.

  128. Without saying more, I can say that I would never personally engage a lawyer who writes this badly.

    Crump is the same race hustler who represented Trayvon Martin’s parents, found and coached the moron so-called “girlfriend”, and generally helped turn that incident into the disgrace it became.

  129. “The incident was initiated some seconds or minutes later, by which time Wilson who had surely heard the dispatcher’s message would have realised that these two fit the description. In fact I’d guess that’s why he initiated what would become the incident.”

    Your entire account seems wholly made up to support what you want to believe. If Wilson SUBSEQUENTLY was under the impression that the two individuals were suspects to the robbery call, that is the “incident” was “initiated” by them working in the street but the officer then had the knowledge later, during the “incident” and prior to the shooting, certainly this would have been communicated to the chief by now and he would relay it in the press conferences today. That he is still saying that he is not even aware of whether or not the officer was aware of the call and/or had then viewed them as suspects is not consistent with your made-up story.

  130. >Tim F. is getting awfully pushy and maybe obnoxious.

    That would be OK by me if his position had any discernable relationship to reality. As it is, he’s benefiting from the extra forbearance I extend to people who disagree with me.

  131. A guest? Are there renters, or is this a seniority deal, like the Teamsters? You’re not Freemasons are you? Is this a timeshare?

  132. @Fail:

    I guess you haven’t heard the First Rule of esr’s blog.

  133. “Now that we know he was Brown’s accomplice in the robbery, his story must be excluded from consideration, and without it where do we get the idea that Brown was fleeing or had his hands up?”

    There is plenty of forensic evidence to support or contradict the stories (residue powder in the car, residue on Brown, distance to Brown, number of shots fired, number of wounds, entry wounds on front and back of body, etc). Of course, considering Ferguson has resisted cruiser cams and recently allowed officers to file their own misconduct reports, the police dept didn’t know who monitored or reviewed them, and they weren’t copied to individual personnel files, and that they didn’t know whether or not they owned the vehicles and weapons we’ve seen them using, there is concern the evidence isn’t necessarily being handle very appropriately.

  134. “Lighten up a bit.”

    Sorry if I find it morally repugnant that ESR thinks that it may be possible and that he would certainly be amused if the Ferguson police department is withholding the release of evidence he claims would immediately put an end to any rational basis for racial outrage and certainly would be potentially mitigating, certainly not damaging, for the sake of a political gotcha. And yet that it is wholly premature and presumptive to speak of institutionalized racism.

  135. >It also fails to explain lower average black IQ in places (notably in Africa) where leaded paint and gasoline were not in use.

    It’s definitely not an adequate explanation for observed group differences, but it looks like leaded paint and gasoline did have quite severe effects in the 20th century in the United States, some of which was differentially detrimental to blacks.

    Reading the Wikipedia article on Race and Intelligence is rather impressive in terms of the complexity of the problem. It will be interesting to see how things go over the next century as we develop biological enhancements to intelligence in addition to our current cyber tools.

  136. “I guess you haven’t heard the First Rule of esr’s blog.”

    Wouldn’t it be just as easy to write “This is the First Rule of esr’s blog” and then tell me what it is? Or is it really long. Like the Magna Carta or something? In that case I understand.

  137. >Wouldn’t it be just as easy to write “This is the First Rule of esr’s blog” and then tell me what it is? Or is it really long. Like the Magna Carta or something? In that case I understand.

    Rule 1 is that we don’t talk about esr’s blog.

    You see the problem. ;-)

  138. >there is concern the evidence isn’t necessarily being handle very appropriately.

    Dunno about that, and don’t expect to this soon.

    On the other hand, the attorney for the Brown family has just admitted that was him in the video, robbing the store and roughing up a Pakistani half his size.

    What a sweet, innocent flower of black youth. Doubtless gunned down while composing poetry…three minutes later.

  139. Again, for you, for Fail Burton, for Milhouse, whether or not Brown had immediately prior robbed, raped, or murdered, my views remain unchanged and valid. I do not consider, presume, or need Brown to be an “innocent flower of black youth” — do you cringe a little inside when you write this crap? — to believe there is a pre-existing, persistent, and contributing issue of institutionalized racism playing a part in the gun death and subsequent response to the protests. Call me a hippy liberal if you want.

  140. “We’ve had at least 2 incidents, Beslan and the Narobi Westgate attack, where this would have lead to dead cops (maybe in Narobi. Certainly in the US terrorists would use a larger force to take and hold a mall (rather than shooting it up and running away).”

    Beslan probably isn’t a likely scenario in the US. Anywhere from 30 to 70 militants. Very well armed militants.

    Better to use a small force for a mall attack since you aren’t getting away anyway. Why attempt to hold it?

    If you had 15 or so gunmen you’ll cause more terror by splitting then in groups of 5 and hitting 3 malls rather than one.

    NYPD thinks there were only 4 shooters in Westgate and a bunch of blue on blue casualties after viewing the tapes.

    If so then pushing in early would still save lives.

    The 1977 Hanafi siege would play out very differently today…both in terms of their objectives and our response.

  141. >>>> Johnson’s account is worthless

    >>> There were at least two other direct witnesses

    >>Did they give their accounts before or after hearing Johnson’s?

    > I don’t know. You could Google their phone numbers and ask? I guess?

    What good would that do? Your suggestion implies that I should take their word as the truth; my point is that we have no basis for doing so. If they told their story independently of his, then to the extent they corroborate each other we could give it credence, but if they based their story on his then it’s worth no more than his, and we already know that his word is worth nothing.

  142. >What good would that do? Your suggestion implies that I should take their word as the truth; my point is that we have no basis for doing so. If they told their story independently of his, then to the extent they corroborate each other we could give it credence, but if they based their story on his then it’s worth no more than his, and we already know that his word is worth nothing.

    No, my suggestion was that your question was obviously rhetorical, as it’s going to be up to the prosecutor’s office to interview the witnesses and determine which if any are credible. As I couldn’t possibly answer your question, it seemed proper to advise you on who you might ask for better information.

    It does appear that you are right about Officer Wilson backing up after hearing about the robbery, incidentally. I hadn’t seen anything stating that when I commented previously.

  143. Well, Tim, the sarcastic point is that the first thing the PC did was racially profile the cop as a racist and Brown as a happy teen on his way to college. Now we know he was a hopelessly arrogant thug strong-arming a local store in broad daylight. More likely he was headed for a life in prison and I have no idea what “institutional” racism might have done to turn Brown into a fool and make moronic decisions.

    You do know what the word “institutional” means, don’t you? It’s not a will-o’-the-wisp. If you “believe” in a thing you can’t show that’s no different from believing in the tooth fairy. Such a mythical anti-white outlook on social media caused many people to jump the gun – in the precise manner you are falsely profiling the cop – that got businesses burnt down.

    And what response to the protests are you implying was wrong: riot police reacting to a mob burning buildings – a mob that also doesn’t understand the meaning of “institution?”

    All these folks around the world and lined up holding vigils are either racists or chumps. Hell, I wish I could be part of an “institutional” criminal culture and have dumb whites fight for my right to strong-arm a store and not have karma come crashing down around my head.

    Here’s a tip to those concerned about “institutional” racism: had Brown been at home studying fractal geometry or reading “Jane Eyre” he’d be alive. Funny how “institutional” racism keeps hitting criminals on the head and putting them behind bars, even when they’re leading constructive and peaceful lives. I mean, just look at all the Asians white racist America puts in prison.

  144. @Fail Burton:

    > Wouldn’t it be just as easy to write “This is the First Rule of esr’s blog”

    No. Sshhhhh… I’ve written too much already.

  145. In a typical American jurisdiction, the total rate of violent crime is around 400 incidents per year per 100,000 people of population. So even if Michael Brown’s odds are 26 times that, the chances of him being a law-abiding citizen would still be 99 percent.

    Math isn’t your strong suit, is it?

    400 x 26 = 10,400

    10,400 !=! 1% of 100,000

    Of course, now that Mr. Brown’s friend has admitted their joint culpability for the videotaped convenience store theft/assault, the “chances of him being a law-abiding citizen” are demonstrably zero. But even with the numbers you cited, they were under 90%.

    /Not A Math Major

  146. “All these folks around the world and lined up holding vigils are either racists or chumps.”

    Proud to be aligned with the racists and chumps according to your delusional worldview.

  147. > It does appear that you are right about Officer Wilson backing up after hearing
    > about the robbery, incidentally. I hadn’t seen anything stating that when I
    > commented previously.

    I hadn’t seen it either, it just seemed to be the only logical explanation for the Chief’s words. Specifically, the Chief had said that Wilson was responding to the robbery, which means he knew about it, and that he couldn’t say whether Wilson knew that these two were suspects at the time of the initial contact. That was pretty specific, and implied that he certainly knew it some time after the initial contact.

  148. One thing striking me as odd is that so many people seem to think that their walking in the middle of the road, at noon, was perfectly normal. As if telling them to get the hell out of the road was some sort of harassment.

  149. I did see somewhere (can’t remember where) a claim that Brown was already awaiting trial for another robbery. So his lack of an adult criminal record was merely due to there not having been enough time since his 18th birthday for him to have been tried and convicted of anything.

  150. It’s not delusional, Tim, but based on a timeline of actual events that perfectly match the Trayvon Martin death. Social Justice Warriors – who are themselves either racists or useful idiots – went off half-cocked and automatically sided with every black view of this affair and automatically racially profiled, not just the cop, but the entire country. That is a fact. You are now defending at least a felony robber and one that may have attacked the cop cuz he saw a long jail sentence in his immediate future. How you can transpose a cop who is upholding the law as a criminal and a criminal as one representing human rights is just plain weird. Had that been your throat Brown had his 300 lb 6 ft. 4 in. frame behind I feel you would not have been mourning his death by way of burning down buildings in protest.

  151. “I feel you would not have been mourning his death by way of burning down buildings in protest.”

    Yes, this is what I am doing. Morning a death by burning buildings down in protest. Yup, that’s my viewpoint.

  152. > The article further states: “’Overall,’ according to the ACLU, ’42 percent of people impacted by a SWAT deployment to execute a search warrant were Black,’ and yet black people comprise just over 12 percent of the national population.”

    What article carefully does not state, is what percent of crimes (warranting a search warrant) are committed by Black (i.e. 42% warrant against Black vs ??% crimes done by Black, not against 12% Blacks in national population)… heh…

  153. If you think that Brown and his accomplice were acting like Joe Average when they were walking across the street you’re dead wrong. They were felons just coming from a robbery and had a cop car behind them.

    If you’ve ever been in that situation you know both of them might as well been screaming “LOOK AT ME! I’VE JUST COMMITTED A CRIME!” That’s why a Terry stop allows an officer to factor in his own training and experience. The robbers were jacked from assault and robbery. It probably took nothing more than, “Excuse me step over to the sidewalk we need to talk to you for a minute.” Or something similar.

    Now at some point the officer opens his door and get’s assaulted possibly with a huge violent felon reaching for his gun. That’s a recipe for a shooting even if nothing else had happened. I’m not saying the officer didn’t make mistakes but shooting a huge violent felon who has just assaulted you is probably not one of them (not the way most people are thinking).

  154. Tim, what is interesting to me, and the dead giveaway with the PC, is how you attribute some kind of racial failure on the part of whites with as much enthusiasm as you reject that same idea on the part of blacks. That stands out to me in these conversations again and again. It’s a logic hole you can drive a truck through and the PC can’t see it, can’t see how they’ve essentially adopted a viewpoint of black racial supremacy and racism while pretending to the exact opposite.

    You are as enthusiastic about the idea there is a tacit conspiracy by 240 million whites to put out blacks as you are put off by the idea of a tiny subset of young black men who comprise a very real criminal culture. I know the PC believe this and lie about it by the simple fact they won’t live in black neighborhoods. I know black folks share that belief by leaving black neighborhoods as soon as they can afford it. Going to live with those 240 million white racists while rejecting a mythical black criminal culture isn’t doing the PC argument one bit of good. The idea blacks leave their own neighborhoods because of white racism is laughable.

    The same rings true of radical feminism: men are idiots because of their sex but that possibility applied to women is some chimera. This is all such third rate thinking it doesn’t even deserve the name of thought. In that sense, these groups are their own explanation for their failure, not my failure.

  155. I”ve been saying the police are overly militarized since 1994, and that things had gone upside down in some ways by the time we were sending troops into Yugoslavia to deliver humanitarian aid — As a soldier, I will GLADLY protect Red Cross workers or whoever are distributing food and giving medical aid. If someone attacks a Red Cross worker, there’s no way that anyone can turn that into propaganda in favor of whatever faction thinks attacking the Red Cross workers is an act of heroism. Just can’t be done..

    On the other hand, when you have uniformed military passing out food, etc… well… they really can’t defend themselves when they’re doing their humanitarian work (even if it’s just passing out MRE’s)… you can’t pass out food while holding a rifle at the ready. Plus an aid worker in the form of uniformed military can make a GREAT target for some group with a grievance… and in the eyes of many, what’s more heroic than attacking members of the U.S. military — regardless of whether the soldiers or sailors attacked are infantry, medics, or chaplain’s assistants.

  156. “Snowden’s claimed, credibly and with corroborating evidence, not to have either taken or given further documents to Russia. ”

    LOL, then it’s quite the puzzler how he managed to give the SCMP more files 13 days after claiming he no longer had any copies in his possession.

    The FSB won this round in a big assed way. The guy is a traitor and he’s given them a lot more stuff. Only amazingly naive people think otherwise.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/did-wikileaks-sell-snowden-russians-190031664.html

  157. “Tim, what is interesting to me, and the dead giveaway with the PC, is how you attribute some kind of racial failure on the part of whites with as much enthusiasm as you reject that same idea on the part of blacks.”

    Nonsense.

    “…can’t see how they’ve essentially adopted a viewpoint of black racial supremacy and racism while pretending to the exact opposite.”

    Nonsense

    “You are as enthusiastic about the idea there is a tacit conspiracy by 240 million whites to put out blacks as you are put off by the idea of a tiny subset of young black men who comprise a very real criminal culture.”

    Nonsense.

  158. A recent police shooting in San Jose CA. Officer with a PC name shoots and kills woman holding an electric drill – thought it was an Uzi. Shit happens all over, not always racist.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/15/us-usa-police-shooting-idUSKBN0GF1UI20140815?feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNews

    Put that in your pipe Tim.

    “Officers asked her to drop it, but she did not, pointing it at them instead, Randol said. One of the officers, Wakana Okuma, shot the woman, who was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead.

    Randol said Okuma, who has been placed on administrative leave, “feared for her safety and the safety of the public” when she shot the woman.

    Officers later realized the woman had been holding a cordless drill that was painted black, Randol said.

    The Santa Clara County coroner’s office declined to release the woman’s name or provide any details about her death or condition.

  159. ESR:

    You’re braver than me. I’d be running for hard cover first, then readying to draw.

    Learn to draw on the move. Movement is life.

    Nigel on 2014-08-15 at 17:50:10 said:

    “We’ve had at least 2 incidents, Beslan and the Narobi Westgate attack, where this would have lead to dead cops (maybe in Narobi. Certainly in the US terrorists would use a larger force to take and hold a mall (rather than shooting it up and running away).”

    Beslan probably isn’t a likely scenario in the US. Anywhere from 30 to 70 militants. Very well armed militants.

    30 to 70 is probably excessive, unless native/nativist groups get involved. But the point isn’t about it happening EXACTLY that way, the point is about local police needing to be able to step their game up *right now* in response to events, and that waiting for a special team to show up is going to get more non-cops killed.

    Police are our second line of defense against the bad guy (for the first line of defense see the first comment in this response.), and they’re going to have to present credible threats.

    Even 6 to 8 “bad guys” taking a facility can/will overwhelm a “three and in” stack. Hell, a single *good* shooter with experience could do it. This is why they NEED a certain level of training, and that training *HAS* to include both moral/values based training AND technical/tactical training.

    Better to use a small force for a mall attack since you aren’t getting away anyway. Why attempt to hold it?

    If you had 15 or so gunmen you’ll cause more terror by splitting then in groups of 5 and hitting 3 malls rather than one.

    The same reason you put 5 guys in a stack to kick in a door and clear a house with 2-3 people in it. Speed, agression and ruthlessness tends to cow hell out of people, making most of them less likely to fight back. I can take those 15 guys and start them at either end of a mall pushing the “herd” into the middle and get them *all*, use 5-7 for cleanup and use the rest set up for the rescue teams on their way. Send 2-3 out before the cops get there to act as overwatch/snipers and then REALLY show those weak American Infidels how it’s done by killing the first responders.

    THAT would strike fear.

    Which is all really beside the point.

    Right now we’ve got several Islamist Terrorist groups, plus organisations like MS-13 and various drug orginzations, potentially La Raza, the New Black Panter party and some of the idiot white separatists and random psychotics.

    The point is that Andy Griffith is a great guy to have on your block dealing with drunks and guys who are stealing food because their kids are starving. He’s useless as phuq against organized crime, crazies or psychos. For that you need people like Jim Cirillo, Gabe Suarez and other “less civilized men” who get that there are really bad people in the world and sometimes you just have to shoot them to the ground and then staple them there.

    This is the dichotomy of policing. 99% of the people you come across are at the very, very worst minor miscreants, the thoughtless, the lazy and the stupid. They aren’t Good people, but they’re not Bad. They’re the thick (for several meanings of hte word) part of the bell curve that is the line between good and evil (Queue the Cramps version of I walk the Line). They are the blunt smoking rap artists, the punk rockers smoking dramamine, the businessman driving too fast, the obnoxious foul mouth rachet at McDs.

    But they are “the flock”. You might have to nip at their heel every so often to keep them straying too far because they’re just shortsighted and ignorant (or really stupid).

    But they’re not wolves. Wolves are why you’re really there.

    The trick is knowing the difference.

    The other trick is making the sheep understand the difference.

  160. “Put that in your pipe Tim.”

    What am I smoking and why? What does this incident that you are linking to have to do with what I am saying here (which is basically that, yes, there is most definitely institutional racism involved in the Brown death and resulting protests and that to claim that the issue should be addressed divorced from mentioning racism is not productive)?

  161. For a little change-of-pace I’d like to point out that those armored vehicles have their uses, mostly to rescue hostages and people pinned down by the threat of gunfire. You put the vehicle between the shooters and the citizens and then drive off slowly to safety, the victims walking alongside.

  162. Your statistics about the predominance of the young in perpetrating murder are wrong.

    In fact, in the US in 2012 (and other years should be similar), there were 2,537 murders attributed to blacks between the age of 13 and 24 (out of 5,531 known to be committed by blacks, 10,353 cases in which the race of the murderer was known, and 14,581 murders overall). That’s 46% of black murders, certainly a disproportionate amount, but it’s a far, far cry from “almost all, up to statistical noise”. For whites, it’s 1,495 murders for ages 13-24 out of 4,582 known to be committed by whites, so an even smaller proportion of white murderers are young.

    About 9 out of 10 murders are committed by men, but 10% isn’t negligibly small, either. You can’t just assign “virtually all” murders to young men the way you did. It’s not true. Using the 2012 numbers, the proportion of all murders committed by young (13-24) black men is about (2537/10353)(.9) = .22 (assuming the unknown cases show similar proportions to the known ones). That’s still huge for 2% of the population — 11 times the average — but it’s well below the 26 times the average you claimed.

    My source for all this data is http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded-homicide/expanded_homicide_data_table_3_murder_offenders_by_age_sex_and_race_2012.xls

    Lastly, while I don’t have my sources at hand (Department of Justice surveys, I believe), I’m not sure how accurate murder is as a proxy for other kinds of violent crime. What I recall is that armed robbery is more skewed toward blacks than murder, rape and aggravated assault less so, and simple assault is a lot closer to population numbers than any other violent crime.

  163. >For whites, it’s 1,495 murders for ages 13-24 out of 4,582 known to be committed by whites, so an even smaller proportion of white murderers are young.

    The net from your reanalysis is that:

    (a) the threat ratio between male youths and the general population drops a bit (a few more murders and violent crimes are committed by women and older men).

    (b) the threat ratio between black youth and white youths increases, making ‘institutional racism’ even less necessary as a hypothesis to explain the Brown shooting than it was under my numbers.

    So thanks for the technical criticism, but if anything it strengthens the thrust of my article, which is that yelling “institutional racism” is unjustified by the facts.

    if I can find a more detailed breakdown of violent crimes by age I can probably find an upper cutoff (30?) that does capture violent crime up to statistical noise and compute those ratios.

    Since there hasn’t been any rash of police shootings of black women, I think we can safely assume including those isn’t going to move the numbers much – unless you think white women are more likely to be murderers? I don’t think so – likely we’d find they’re less so by about the same ratio as for white males vs. black ones.

    I don’t think there’s any way to slice or dice these numbers that comes out well for the racial-grievance industry.

  164. I thought I’d see for myself what the ratio between young whites and young blacks came out to. From the census link you gave, we have 29.2 million white males and 6.6 million black males of ages 15-24. Most likely very few murders are committed by 13 and 14-year-olds, relative to the rest of the 13-24 category, so, using the fact that men commit 90.7% of the murders in this category, we get (.907)(1495 / (2.92 * 10^7)) = 4.6 per 100,000 for young white males, and (.907)(2537 / (6.6 * 10^6)) = 34.9 per 100,000 for young black males. So the ratio here is 7.5 to 1, about the same as for the white and black populations at large. Pretty crazy that young white males are only about averagely murderous. (The FBI lumps white and Hispanic together, by the way, so the non-Hispanic white number would probably be less than that.)

    >if I can find a more detailed breakdown of violent crimes by age I can probably find an upper cutoff (30?) that does capture violent crime up to statistical noise and compute those ratios.

    The table I linked to as my source provides a breakdown of murderers (in 2012, though other recent years are also available) by age, race and sex, where these are known. I don’t know what your number for “up to statistical noise” is, but it’s considerably more spread out by age than I expected. At a glance you’d have to go beyond 40 to get 90% of either white or black murderers.

    >I don’t think there’s any way to slice or dice these numbers that comes out well for the racial-grievance industry.

    That is most likely true, though I seem to recall Tim Wise finding a way to claim that the large percentage of black-on-white violence somehow showed that whites, per encounter, were more likely to be violent toward blacks than vice versa (how this allegedly worked I don’t recall — surely interracial encounters are symmetrical), so don’t underestimate statisticians with ideologies.

  165. @esr
    “Our Switzerland is full of law-abiding people who legally own lots of guns; crime is very rare there. Our Swaziland (places like Detroit and the South Side of Chicago) is isolated patches of endemic crime and violence, much of it associated with the drug trade. In most of Swaziland only the thugs are armed.”
    *emphasis mine

    I was wondering about the life expectancy of a law abiding black young man visibly carrying a gun in a black neighborhood. And also who is more likely to kill him, the thugs of his neighborhood or the upstanding officers enforcing the law?

    What Happens When A Black Man ‘Stands His Ground’ In Florida
    http://disinfo.com/2014/02/happens-black-man-stands-ground-florida/

    A Black Man is Killed in the U.S. Every 28 Hours by Police
    http://www.occupy.com/article/black-man-killed-us-every-28-hours-police

  166. Nancy: “Light-touch policing has been substituted for the heavily armed and armored police in Ferguson, and it hasn’t been a disaster.”

    Well, it wasn’t till it was, again.

    Tim: “Proud to be aligned with the racists and chumps according to your delusional worldview.”

    So why aren’t you in Ferguson robbing and burning and looting with the racists and chumps you so vocally support?

  167. >I was wondering about the life expectancy of a law abiding black young man visibly carrying a gun in a black neighborhood.

    Why assume open carry? I wouldn’t open-carry anywhere gangs might be active either, at minimum not without someone else armed watching my six. This is basic prudence to which neither my race nor that of the gangs is relevant.

    The articles you cite are written as though every one of those killed is some sort of innocent victim. This is pure propaganda. The context we’re missing is how many of those killings interrupted the commission of a crime.

  168. Murder is the best and perhaps only proxy. Other crimes get pleaded down, ignored, investigated but without much effort etc but murder usually gets real attention and is followed to the end. Few (I won’t say no but few) murders get ignored.

    Plus murders are properly tracked. The only anomaly is that Hispanics are counted as victims but not perps all hispanic perps are counted as white or very rarely black.

  169. @esr
    “The articles you cite are written as though every one of those killed is some sort of innocent victim.”

    No, the question in my mind was “Were these killings necessary and unavoidable?”.

    Too many in depth reports tell me that few of these killings could not have been avoided had the responsible officers followed guidelines and common sense.

    The function of a police force is not that of an executioner of extra-judicial death penalties. The behavior of many police forces remind me in horrible ways of that of the Spartan kryptes unleashed onto the helots.

  170. >Few (I won’t say no but few) murders get ignored.

    True. One consequence of this is that we can dismiss claims that stand-your-ground laws are leading to a rash of unjustified killings. Even police departments and DAs that are lax about lesser crimes tend to do murder prosecutions carefully and diligently. The political blowback they catch when they don’t is harsh.

  171. “So why aren’t you in Ferguson robbing and burning and looting with the racists and chumps you so vocally support?”

    Because I can’t afford the time and money at the moment to be in St. Louis. I will be marching today in my home town however.

  172. And, seriously, anyone trying to paint the protests as “burning and looting” is part of the problem. Yes, these are mostly young, uneducated kids who haven’t much experience with civil disobedience and protest but considering what the police has done (tear gas into yards with people behind their own fences peaceably assembled as a family, rubber bulletin the white, female pastor doing the most to preserve peace, etc)… One store (at the center of the community) looted, with a few attempts last night (stopped by responsible protesters), and a few violent incidents is hardly any worse than what occurred during several Occupy protests or nearly any other volatile demonstration. It’s not perfect, not everyone is innocent, but there is a lot of quality demonstration occurring by those who’ve never done so before but who have experienced years of pain, suffering, and anger.

  173. Here is audio giving a third-hand account of the incident in Ferguson:

    http://danaloeschradio.com/alleged-friend-of-officer-darren-wilson-offers-his-side/

    It is consistent with the other facts available, including the BOLO call that came through to the officer after the initial interaction with Brown.

    Have you noticed what has been carefully kept out of the lamestream media accounts? Yup, they’ve never mentioned the officer’s race. Since it would have been the first thing trumpeted if the officer was White, we can be certain that he is Black and this embarrassment to the SJW narrative is being suppressed.

    Also, the fact that Michael Brown had just committed strongarm robbery and assault is no longer disputable. It’s beyond doubt that nobody, but nobody, would stand up for a White robber in such circumstances. Those who still defend Michael Brown are defending him simply because he is Black. In short, they are racists.

  174. FWIW, I’m leaning on 70, so any opinions I may express are based on decades of observation. Anyhow….

    I’ve come to the conclusion that any use of canned phrases like “Institutional Racism” is prima facie evidence of a Marxist point of view, either directly held by the user or more likely so deeply inculcated that its use is unconscious. Any time arguments are expressed in handy slogans, you may be sure there’s a Red behind the scenes trying to stir up shit. Use one of those arguments and I stop listening, and rarely have I found at a later date that I’ve missed anything.

    In my less than humble opinion, anybody who truly doesn’t recognize that the Brown incident is being played solely to create chaos and divisiveness is an imbecile. The only (rhetorical) question is, “Cui Bono?”

  175. “Yup, they’ve never mentioned the officer’s race. Since it would have been the first thing trumpeted if the officer was White, we can be certain that he is Black and this embarrassment to the SJW narrative is being suppressed.”

    Umm, we know he’s white. Sorry try again. Don’t spread misinformation without backing it up. Btw, there are 3 black policeman on a force of 53 in a town 67% black (no institutional racism in Ferguson or America at large, nope).

  176. >And, seriously, anyone trying to paint the protests as “burning and looting” is part of the problem.

    Uh huh. What color is the sky on your planet, again?

    http://www.click2houston.com/image/view/-/27416084/medRes/2/-/maxh/360/maxw/640/-/61ovok/-/Ferguson-looting-jpg.jpg

    http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/stltoday.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/52/75269dff-ffe9-5d27-909f-494623a937fa/53e83fa9e84a5.preview-620.jpg

    These are two images of the aftermath of burning and looting in Ferguson that I found with a 30-second Google search. There are dozens of others. There is video of your poor, misunderstood innocents rioting and trashing stores. Not, mind you, even stores owned by rich white oppressors. They’re destroying their own neighborhoods, the behavior of people too fucking stupid to think beyond the next blunt and the next jug of Ripple.

    >hardly any worse than what occurred during several Occupy protests

    Would these be the same protests that produced an epidemic of rapes and sexual assaults? You’re wrong; the Fergusonians haven’t sunk that low. Which speaks well for black people and not so well for the spoiled white trust-fund babies of Occupy.

  177. >In my less than humble opinion, anybody who truly doesn’t recognize that the Brown incident is being played solely to create chaos and divisiveness is an imbecile. The only (rhetorical) question is, “Cui Bono?”

    With the possible exception of PBS and cable access programs, everything on TV is there for the ratings. So, there’s the Cui who is Bonoing.

    I was concerned about the Michael Brown shooting because of reports that Brown was walking away, then kneeling with hands up when he was shot. I would have been concerned about that kind of report regardless of the races involved, but it wouldn’t have been news for any big length of time if not for the community reaction.

    Similarly, I was concerned about the Trayvon Martin shooting because initial reports indicate that George Zimmerman had seemingly been permitted to walk away from the shooting by the police without further investigation due to Florida’s SYG law. It seemed dangerous to me that SYG shooting were being handled in such a cavalier fashion.

    That’s me, a white guy many states away. If I were black and felt (rightly or wrongly) that my own life or community was being discriminated against because of my being a minority, I can see that my interest might be greater. Not because of a racial grievance industry (are you saying that you think ESR is a Red, Rob?), but because of personal grievances.

    In the same way, I imagine I would have difficulty being receptive to the argument that my race was dumb and violent and so I deserve discrimination.

  178. >In the same way, I imagine I would have difficulty being receptive to the argument that my race was dumb and violent and so I deserve discrimination.

    Even if true.

  179. The looting occurred for about 15 minutes last night before other protestors took over to defend stores AFTER the armored vehicles returned, riot gear, and smoke bombs, and then the police vacated the area and refused to do anything (despite 20 year old “gangbangers” and “scary, black men” protecting stores for other people in a responsible manner). People were up at 6am this morning to clean the stores and damage for others in the rain. (Actually following the people on the ground minute-by-minute via twitter, instagram, vine, and other social media is very helpful.)

    I didn’t say no looting occurred or there’s been no violence.

    I’ve said, relatively speaking, it’s been a remarkably peacable and effective demonstration considering who’s involved, their experiences, and the fact that they’ve had assault rifles pointed in their face and have been choking on tear gas for 5 days.

  180. PapayaSF, the “Great Inversion” as described in that article is precisely what people have in mind when speaking of “institutional racism.”

    The whites are retreating from the suburbs and buying into the gentrified urban areas of St. Louis and displacing the urban black community.

  181. J Abbey,

    And if you didn’t watch television?

    You’ve handily refuted your own argument. Since you a) don’t live there and b) admittedly believe what you’re told on the teevee, you happily present yourself as a know-nothing. Further, if public media were driven solely by ratings, the vast preponderance of money-losing leftie propaganda movies and television “news” shows would not exist.You’re being lied to every single time you turn that thing on. And PBS, by the by, is the pluperfect example of Marxist social propaganda.

    In my experience and research, there has never been a “popular” uprising that wasn’t fomented by someone with an agenda who then stood on the sidelines and reaped the benefits.

  182. >The looting occurred for about 15 minutes last night

    You’ve been flim-flammed. There’s a lot more than 15 minutes’ worth of damage in those pictures. And burning, too. I suppose the arson was just a good-hearted attempt to provide illumination for the cleanup efforts?

    >police vacated the area and refused to do anything

    Of course they refused. They refused because of idiots like you. To intervene, they would have had to touch the politically sacred black persons, triggering screams of “oppression” from every white liberal fuckwit who wasn’t there. And doubtless a bureaucratic reaming by the racialist PC enforcement squad at Eric Holder’s “Justice” department as well.

    >it’s been a remarkably peacable and effective demonstration

    If your standards were formed by the Occupy drug-and-rape festivals, that may even be true. It’s damning with pretty faint praise, though.

  183. >The whites are retreating from the suburbs and buying into the gentrified urban areas of St. Louis and displacing the urban black community.

    So, if I buy a house downtown because I don’t like the incidence of crack whores and drive-bys on my street in the suburbs, I’m “institutionally racist”. OK then. I’m glad we’ve cleared that up.

  184. >You’ve handily refuted your own argument. Since you a) don’t live there and b) admittedly believe what you’re told on the teevee, you happily present yourself as a know-nothing. Further, if public media were driven solely by ratings, the vast preponderance of money-losing leftie propaganda movies and television “news” shows would not exist.You’re being lied to every single time you turn that thing on. And PBS, by the by, is the pluperfect example of Marxist social propaganda.

    a) I was making an argument?
    b) I’m a skeptic. I believe things only tentatively, and in proportion to my evaluation of the credibility of the evidence. In both of the instance I mentioned above, I was clearly speaking about my initial concerns at the time, not my final evaluation.
    c) Money-losing programming does not stick around. Movies may lose money, but that’s a calamity to be avoided. Television news is a wasteland, but it is very much driven by ratings. CNN didn’t spend a month constantly speculating on the fate of Malayasia Air 370 with ‘holograms’ to bring about the revolution of the proletariat. They did it to amuse the proletariat so that they could be sold beer.
    d) ‘Nova’ is Marxist social propaganda?

  185. The first image is the QuickTrip (QT) that burned a few days ago (with almost zero looting in the interim until things got tense again last night). The second picture is the same store prior to it burning. So your dozens of examples are the same one… good job (and yes, there are more but you aren’t doing a good job at it.)

    For nearly 10 hours last night, the QT was a peaceable block party with bands playing and young children dancing.

    Last night, after almost a day and a half of peaceable demonstration, the police geared up again and things sparked off. The two immediate targets in the area (Ferguson Market and Beauty Supply) were attacked but largely protected, and some armed out-of-towners went after Sam’s Club.

    I’m not blind to the fact that there are bad actors, poor examples, folks who are coming in now from out of town with their own motives. But the notion that everyone is burning and looting and raping and pillaging or that it’s even a majority or even more than a single digit percentage is inflammatory and not supported.

  186. “So, if I buy a house downtown because I don’t like the incidence of crack whores and drive-bys on my street in the suburbs, I’m “institutionally racist”. OK then. I’m glad we’ve cleared that up.”

    No. Are you and others here really so dense as to not comprehend institutional racism? Sad.

  187. >And if you didn’t watch television?

    Things are much the same on the Internet. The lower cost of production and communication means that there is more noncommercial speech, but all the links we’ve been throwing around in the comments here have been advertising sponsored.

  188. The PC expand or contract the definitions or words, or ignore them entirely, in a display of semantic gibberish to advance an agenda. “Undocumented alien” is an example. White people moving to the suburbs is not “institutional racism” or anything like it.

    We’re looking at Ferguson and not even speaking the same language. There is no proof of institutional racism there. A simple demographic disparity doesn’t cut it. If it did the NBA would be on a watchlist.

    An “institution” is something like a law, Jim Crow, slavery, anti-Jewish, anti-Catholic college quotas. A college is an institution, an organization is, especially if it has power, age and credibility. An institution is usually associated with controlling or determining benchmarks for conduct, even if it’s simply in the lead position of a cultural expression, like NASCAR or the NFL.

    Asserting that police institutionally murder blacks is absurd. If one black guy is being shot per day by cops or security, that speaks to another type of institution, one where crime is informally institutionalized within a culture. Rap is certainly a cultural institution and crime and disobedience is at the top of rap’s list. It’s not like cops are walking into libraries and gunning down blacks or making it seem blacks commit more crime than they do.

    There’s a reason why people dress alike or use the same slang: they share the particulars of a culture. If that’s physics/geek culture, the likelihood of getting shot by cops is nil. If it’s gang signs and strong arm petty robberies, death may be in your future.

    It is what it is.

  189. >No. Are you and others here really so dense as to not comprehend institutional racism? Sad.

    No, I get it. “Institutional racism” is short for “I’m a Gramscian-damage case losing an argument.”

  190. >No, I get it. “Institutional racism” is short for “I’m a Gramscian-damage case losing an argument.”

    Jesus, Eric, don’t do that. I had to go and look up Gramsci on Wikipedia. Talk about brain-scrambling.

  191. I’ll repeat this again because it needs repeating for people without brains. Intersectional thought is intellectually empty. It is inherently self-contradictory.

    This guy is ready to take the definition of “institutional” and extend it out into the boondocks so as to gather in as many whites as possible. By the same token, he is ready to shrink it as much as possible to exclude as many non-whites as possible when applied to them. They are two completely different standards pretending to say the same thing. That is what intersectionalism is devoted to – lighting up whites – especially men, and rhetorically protecting women, gays and non-whites. It is a form of lying.

    Can you think of any cultish ideology that self-defines itself as anti-racist and racist in a single act of rhetoric? Intersectionalism reveals as much about its sick ideology by what it never says as by what it does. And what it never says means intersectionalism itself agrees it would be racist to do so, namely making insulting remarks about straight white males and never doing that about homosexual non-white lesbians.

    The remarks this guy is so blithely making about whites he will never in a thousand years apply to non-whites, and that right there says it all.

    The fact that logic-hole befuddles PC intersectionists speaks to the brutal ignorance of its orthodoxy, and why so many people laugh at Social Justice Warriors, the Wrong-Way racist anti-racists of American culture.

    There are only 3 types of people who subscribe to PC intersectional thought: straight up bigots/liars, the ignorant and naive, and those with mental health issues.

  192. Jesus, Eric, don’t do that. I had to go and look up Gramsci on Wikipedia. Talk about brain-scrambling.

    Eric uses the term enough that it’s about as important for understanding the political discussions as computational determinism is for the technical.

  193. Jesus, Eric, don’t do that. I had to go and look up Gramsci on Wikipedia. Talk about brain-scrambling.

    See there, you learned something that’ll never be on television – although I hope you realize that citing wiki marks you as a member of the echo chamber just as much as citing NPR does.

    Antonio Gramsci was an Italian Communist who, in the 1920s, proposed that Vladimir Lenin’s method of Murdering Peasants for Peace (that’s irony, but barely) was too costly, and that a far more cost-effective way to turn nations to Communism was to destroy their cultures from within by attacking the pillars of civilization itself – National patriotism (all the anti-American rhetoric you hear on NPR,) Marriage and the Family (Government-supported Single Motherhood, Gay Marriage, etc,) Communal Adhesion, by setting factions at war with one another (Ferguson, Missouri,) a common language (multi-culturalism and Political Correctness [like the term "Institutional Racism," for example]) and the church (attacks on Catholicism, Mormonism, etc.) This could handily be accomplished by infiltrating the public school system (since the time of Thomas Dewey, inventor of the Dewey Decimal System and the structure of Progressive Public Education from which you obviously spring.)

    Lessee, what else…..Oh yeah. “Nova” is in fact PC propaganda, which fact you will no doubt recognize once you learn to listen to the message behind the medium. You seem like a genuinely ethical person, so all I can say to you is You Been Punked.

    Gramsci’s theory was with the culture thus undermined, chaos would follow (Ferguson, Missouri,) with the inevitable result that the people would cry out for a totalitarian leader just to turn down the noise.

  194. >Last night, after almost a day and a half of peaceable demonstration, the police geared up again and things sparked off.

    “The police geared up again.” Have you ever bothered to ask yourself why we have this combination of over-militarization and inaction? Police armed like Marines standing by while looters destroy peoples’ livelihoods?

    Before 1965 or so, here’s what would have happened. A line of police, wearing their day uniforms and using billyclubs, would have waded into the beginnings of the riot and beaten the really bad actors to the ground, scaring the rest into dispersing and nipping it in the bud. Low-level violence, rough justice, and little permanent damage. It would never have entered a cop’s head that he could be prosecuted for doing his job.

    Then came the politicized rhetoric of “institutional racism” and “police brutality”. What had been rough justice became a football for advocacy groups. Rioting was confused with political action. For the police, the new order of the day was to intervene no sooner than necessary rather than as early as possible. Stand off – and, implicitly, let the riots get bigger – in order not to be exposed to charges of over-reaction, brutality, and racism.

    One of the consequences was that Detroit, once arguably American’s second city, was fatally wounded by the 1967 riots. The law-abiding correctly observed that the Detroit police were too hobbled and frightened of political blowback to keep civil order. They left. The city became a deadly wasteland. I have friends in the ‘burbs who are armed martial artists and EMTs and they’ve told me the score; don’t go downtown if you’re non-black and want to live.

    Another consequence is that police everywhere, having lost the option of using force to quell microriots, adjusted their gear and tactics to be able to contain full-scale breakdowns of civil order – which is genuinely too blunt an instrument to use on anything less severe. That’s how we ended up with police platoons in MRAPs doing nothing while shopkeepers plead with the city government to stop the riots.

    Simultaneously, of course, the same fuckwit liberals who had hobbled the police with charges of “institutional racism” were destroying the black family with welfare and telling blacks they are precious persecuted flowers whose history of oppression relieves them of the necessity to live up to any civilized standards at all. Any racial/ethnic group at all could have degraded into a mob of violent yahoos given enough of that treatment; maybe the tragically low average IQ of blacks sped up the decay, but only as a matter of degree rather than kind. Could have happened to my Irish ancestors 150 years ago if they’d been unlucky enough to have welfare and fuckwit liberals to make them into political totem objects.

    Fast-forward forty years and you get Michael Brown robbing a convenience store in broad daylight, arrogantly confident that (a) the police almost certainly won’t touch his thug ass for fear of riots, and (b) if he does have to assault or kill a cop to get free, every brother and sister in sight will lie to cover for him, and every liberal fuckwit in the media will dutifully at least pretend to believe the lies after the fact. Because oppression and The Man, you know.

    Tim F., Michael Brown died from your sins. He died because people like you surrounded him in a fantasy ideology of victimization and entitlement. People like you taught the police to fear doing their job in the small, so they reacted (and overreacted) by becoming an army. And people like you are still doing everything possible to make the problem worse.

  195. >Jesus, Eric, don’t do that. I had to go and look up Gramsci on Wikipedia. Talk about brain-scrambling

    See Gramscian damage. You have a mild case of it. Tim F. has a much more severe – and much more typical – case.

  196. Third Wave Intersectional Feminism is increasingly the go-to ideology at the core of liberalism, since it has come to embody so many like-minded streams. Intersectionalism certainly has some Marxist roots, starting with Brazilian Paulo Freire’s Critical Pedagogy and through to Critical Race theory and Jim Cone and Rev. Wright’s Black Theological Marxism.

    This idea of a Gramsci “hegemony” is a constant drumbeat with the PC in the SFF community. It’s not at all uncommon for PC feminists in SFF to use that exact word. In the case of PC intersectional thought, they are more concerned with how it applies to the opposites to their own identities, with the idea of white, Anglophone, Western, male and heterosexual as defining the “norm,” and constantly rail against the idea. That’s why they’re constantly complaining about films and books that are too white, too male and too heterosexual, or even too English. The idea those things define the “norm” infuriates radical gay and racialist feminists. Tor.com just recently had two intersectional tirades against the “hegemony” at GenCon and the film Guardians of the Galaxy. Tor might subtitle their site “Your Go-To Site for Anti-Hegemony” and be completely accurate. Radical feminist bloggers at Tor are more than just a few, led by the always reliable female supremacist, Liz Bourke.

    The tough part for the PC in this regard is that their “norm” is also the “norm” for failure on a historic level. The paradigms of identity the PC embrace as equal and noble in fact show no sign of creating things anybody wants, including themselves. That’s why they constantly emigrate out of themselves and their cultural expressions and into mine. That’s why they’re always raiding what they say they hate: the white West. When I do that it’s “cultural appropriation.” When they do that it’s just and noble or some such gibberish.

    PC is a suicide cult. They’ll destroy anything they infiltrate, whether country, village or genre. The 2014 Nebula winners were not only a pitch perfect example of intersectionalism, but failure – in that case, artistic failure.

  197. >You seem like a genuinely ethical person, so all I can say to you is You Been Punked.

    Pretty good summary. I would only add the emphasis that Gramscian damage isn’t a conspiracy, it’s a memetic infection. The victims generally have no idea they’re running a dezinformatsiya program designed by a dead Communist tyrant.

    These days I would also add that Western conservatives bear a significant amount of blame for the resulting mess. They should have been effective defenders of our politics and culture; instead, they marginalized themselves with sexual prudery and religious obsessions. As a commenter later put it, they weren’t there at High Noon because they were too busy shooting up the whorehouses.

  198. Most homicides are intraracial. Most homicides are committed by young black males. So, everybody should be weary of young black males’ homicidal tendencies? Unless you are hunting unicorns and black swans, you made a logical leap.

    Where are the statistics on cops killed by young black men? Also, whatever mental compensations the officer may have made, that would only matter in context of the facts of what actually occurred. You did not even attempt to include those in the discussion.

    I agree that the police should be demilitarized. I had the realization some years ago. I also agree that racism isn’t always the boogey man that it is made out to be, but I always, and I mean always find that you are at your weakest when you wade into almost any discussion that includes race. It is the most intellectually disappointing thing about your writings. That and that you have gained little to no insight into the subject over the years.

    At this point, and given your acumen for burrowing into a subject, I cannot shake the notion that you just don’t care enough to try. I am not suggesting you should try harder. It is just my ardent wish that you would shut about it if you aren’t going to. But, as the saying goes, people in hell want ice water. (sighs and casts Wiccan wishing spell)

  199. Your take on the evolution of riot response is interesting. During the 2011 revolution in Egypt, the security forces (in the main) refused to use live fire on Egyptian citizens, sticking mostly to tear gas. The gov’t fell in 18 days. Still, something like 850 people died across Egypt, many from snipers.

    When Morsi’s turn came to face protests, he also didn’t use live fire, but the difference was he had the MB fighting in the streets and it was worse than anything during the revolution. The MB was outnumbered maybe 3 to 1 on the street but used violence and some gunplay. Had El-Sisi not stepped in, crowds would’ve dragged Morsi out of the palace eventually, but only after a virtual street civil war that killed thousands. That’s why he stepped in. The reports it was a coup are false.

    After their brush with Democracy and Morsi, El-Sisi came into power and he hasn’t been messing around. It’s not like he went for the jugular but when push came to shove he cleared out the ongoing Muslim Brotherhood sit-in protest in Cairo a year ago. About 3/4 as many people died in a day or so as died across Egypt during 18 days in 2011. Now, the MB sporadically used guns themselves in the lead-up to that while during the 18 days of 2011 no protesters used guns. There were even a few explosions and other terrorist attacks. That explains some but not all of El-Sisi’s violent takedown of the MB. He’d probably observed and learned from the mistakes of Mubarak.

    Now El-Sisi’s President and folks are mostly happy. But the recent months of mocking the gov’t in comedy on TV like they did under Morsi? That’s all gone. I don’t know how many people were arrested a year ago and since then but I’d say it’s in the thousands, completely opposite to the original revolution.

    In the entire 4 years, there was no PC in sight. That hasn’t caught on in the Middle East, except as ex-pats in the West use it against us.

    I agree with your portrayal; liberals have done far more damage to their own than the phantasms they create. That is something the PC cannot wrap their heads around.

  200. I think the narratives of police history fail to account for the War on Drugs as a major aggravating factor, both through the incentivizing of violence to defend black-market turf and through casting drug dealers and especially users in the role of Monsters Who Must Be Stopped At All Costs. Just as with modern copyright, the essential absurdity of the draconian system has led to a general disrespect for the entire idea of law enforcement. This makes it even easier for things to get out of hand, go confrontational, and turn what should be a determined but nonviolent protest into a pitched standoff.

  201. >See there, you learned something that’ll never be on television – although I hope you realize that citing wiki marks you as a member of the echo chamber just as much as citing NPR does

    I wasn’t citing anything. And I’m not sure what you think ‘echo chamber’ means, in this context. Are you contending that Wikipedia is uselessly compromised in all respects?

    >See Gramscian damage. You have a mild case of it. Tim F. has a much more severe – and much more typical – case.

    Your essay makes much more sense than the Wikipedia article on Gramsci did. There’s an astounding amount of cant.

  202. >Most homicides are intraracial. Most homicides are committed by young black males. So, everybody should be weary of young black males’ homicidal tendencies? Unless you are hunting unicorns and black swans, you made a logical leap.

    You misunderstand. I don’t have to worry about the 26:1 (or whatever) threat ratio because I’m not exposed. I don’t suggest anyone else in the Switzerland-like part of criminological U.S. should be particularly worried, other than knowing where not to go (Detroit, parts of North Philly). I, personally, can be particularly chill because I train to fight empty-hand and normally travel armed; the odds that a random street thug will pose a problem I can’t deal with are rather lower than for J. Random Average.

    Cops are a special case. They have to go where the crime is; therefore (because it’s highly correlated) they have to go where there are concentrations of young black males in places where civil order is tenuous. For them, a degree of nerves about young black males that would be unreasonable paranoia in you or me is functional – indeed, nearly a survival requirement.

  203. And, more to the point, if someone is attacking you, as the department says Brown was, you’re absolutely in the right to defend yourself. The question now is as to the veracity of the witnesses concerning the sequence of events leaving Brown down on the ground.

  204. >There’s an astounding amount of cant.

    The cant is essential. The tactics that go with Gramscian strategy require it; by damaging the language of political discourse you can prevent successful opposition to the totalitarian program.

    George Orwell’s essay Politics And The English Language remains profoundly relevant. As an exercise to clear your mind, try to identify at least one example of each of his categories (“dying idiom”, “verbal false limb”, “meaningless words”, awkward loan-translations of foreign terms of art, etc.) in – say – a third-wave feminist tract. Or an essay on critical race theory, or postmodernism.

    The rhetoric of these movements is designed to induce epistemic closure. It aims not only to defeat opposition but to make the terms in which opposition can be formulated unthinkable. Whenever you detect this, you have exposed the clanking machinery of the Gramscian program, still running decades after the end of the Soviet Union. (For a distinct but related idea, see my essay on Kafkatrapping.)

  205. Yeah; it reminds me of the nonsensical weeds that theology gets into. I’ve seen many an apologist attempt to dispense with criticism through mocking the simplicity of the atheist argument.

    As a general matter, the following quote sums up my feelings on much argumentation:

    Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.

    John Kenneth Galbraith

  206. >Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.

    Or, as Robert Anton Wilson put it, “Whatever the Thinker Thinks, the Prover will Prove.” Also summed up by the pithiest four-word description of global-warming alarmism I’ve ever seen: “policy-based evidence-making”.

    This is why killing the Buddha daily is such an essential exercise.

  207. These days I would also add that Western conservatives bear a significant amount of blame for the resulting mess. They should have been effective defenders of our politics and culture; instead, they marginalized themselves with sexual prudery and religious obsessions.

    Ever since I read it in the earlier essay, I’ve been itching to ask: why do you think this?

    I’m younger than you and so you remember things I can’t…but I’ve read a fair amount of conservative literature from the 1950’s and 60’s (used to be a hobby of mine)…and I haven’t seen a sign of this. For example, Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative and Why Not Victory? say next to nothing about sex or religion, but a great deal about anti-communism; and what I’ve read of his ’64 campaign (or Nixon’s in ’60 for that matter; he got his reputation for his role in the Alger Hiss conviction)…or the controversy over the HUAC, the McCarthy Subcommittee, and for that matter the Vietnam War…I see a lot of conservatives passionately arguing the anti-communist position, but very little about sex or religious “obsession.”

    Then as now, conservatives overall were more religious than their opponents, and it would be foolish to ignore that in campaigning for their support…but what I haven’t seen is evidence that religiosity hurt conservatives, distracted them from patriotism or anti-communism, or that they would’ve had a better record against the enemy with a different stance on sex or religion. You remember more and have doubtless read more, and when you write about something I know you always have solid evidence; but what is your evidence of this?

    A refrain in William F. Buckley’s writing, which right now I think hits closer to the mark, is that the great failing was among American intellectuals, not American conservatives. In fighting what you call memetic warfare, we need heavy intellectual firepower…smart, educated writers ready to combat the hostile memes….but then as now the Academy was trending the other way.

  208. Just another night of peaceful protesting in Ferguson.

    The police went to being warm and fuzzy and not doing their jobs. Look what happened. Yeah, some folks did stop looting…for a while.

    But then the protesters returned to their natural form: rioting, arson, looting – while the cops stood by and did nothing, as the leftists demanded.

    So now the mobs are hurting innocent people. Where ar ethe cries for justice about that?

    Oh, right, that wouldn’t advance the “white people are racists” narrative, so it gets ignored by the Left.

    Tim, until those protests you proudly proclaim to join in protest people hurting innocents like the owner of that beauty supply store, you’re just serving the race-baiters.

  209. >You remember more and have doubtless read more, and when you write about something I know you always have solid evidence; but what is your evidence of this?

    The evidence is my direct experience of growing up in the late 1960s and 1970s.

    When I was a kid, “conservatives” were people who threw Beatles records into bonfires, uttered red-faced rants about the Pill, and in general seemed terrified by the thought of anyone having non-approved sex and getting away with it. That kind of conservative is still with us; see for example Rick Santorum.

    To the limited extent I understood Communism, I grasped that it was evil. But I had to get that by reading things like Darkness at Noon; the conservatives visible to me actually hindered my education, because everything else they were visibly against seemed like a pretty good idea. (I didn’t understand economics then.)

    I think I was typical. Conservatives lost most of two or three generations of young people politically because they couldn’t get their cultural reactionaries to shut up. They still don’t have me, forty years later. Lost along with this was the ability to mobilize all those kids against the Gramscian program; instead, they let the bad guys have the cool music and pushed not a few people into sympathy with anything “anti-establishment”.

  210. > Also summed up by the pithiest four-word description of global-warming alarmism I’ve ever seen: “policy-based evidence-making”.

    As you know, I think you tend to some of that yourself. Many of your observations on AGW claims have some merit, but I’ve seen you throw the baby out with the bathwater on more than one occasion in discussing it.

  211. “He died because people like you surrounded him in a fantasy ideology of victimization and entitlement.”

    The obvious dangers of hate speech and in pulping words like “oppression,” “institution,” and “systemic” until they are no longer recognizable, and all of it put at the service of group defamation supposedly in the name of anti-defamation.

    The reason I so closely follow the mainstreaming of hate speech in the SFF community is because it is a few years in advance of what will be mainstreamed into the heart of America. Considering how bad it is right now, one can only shake one’s head.

    The non-stop witchhunts and inquisitions within SFF are beginning to take root in earnest at colleges across America, where intersectionalism’s darling called “rape culture” is subverting due process. That should come as no surprise since the PC have no use for law except as it is in their favor.

    I urge everyone to read this foul manifesto presented to Dartmouth University to understand how completely insane these people are, and how utterly racist. And realize no less than 30 of the morons who support this BS are nominated for Hugos this year. That is a disgrace to any form of literature which ever existed, not to mention the death of that literature.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/208843285/The-Plan-for-Dartmouth-s-Freedom-Budget-Items-for-Transformative-Justice-at-Dartmouth

  212. @Jonathan Abbey quoting Galbraith
    > Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.

    I think that is true, and I think we are all ready to laugh at those poor rubes who conduct themselves in such a manner. However, let me offer a perspective on this. In many respects this is actually a pretty rational course of action.

    Beliefs are a complex network of inter-related things. Tearing down one belief can cause a whole matrix of others to tumble like a house of cards. And we have to step back and take an honest look at the actual utility of rationality.

    For a society as a whole rationality has brought us immense wealth and power. Control over so many of the things that were attributed to magic and gods in the past. A rational society is of extreme value.

    However, on an individual level many types or rationality are really not important at all. For example, here in the USA, over half the population attests to their belief in a young earth, and a creation as per Genesis. They often decorate it up with holly and bunting to make it look pretty with names like “intelligent design” or “creationism”, but it is still a bunch of illogical baloney.

    However, holding that belief actually is a rational decision (at a meta rationality level) for many people. The cost of the illogic verges on zero, and the benefit — namely the access to various church communities predicated on a literalness view of the bible — is very beneficial.

    And it isn’t just religion or direct tangible benefits where this matters. Oftentimes it is primarily about what you think about yourself. For example, taking the US population as a sample, why do most people who believe in strong gun regulation, also believe in weak abortion regulation? Why do most people who believe in low taxes also believe in “keeping marriage special”. These beliefs are at best tenuously related. What holds them together is a self identification of the type of person you are, not the beliefs themselves. The beliefs are kind of like a badge you wear to prove your props. Since one does not have the ability to change the cannon of that “type of person” being only able to change one’s mind, once again, changing a belief can be an extremely costly endeavor.

    Of course there are some things we have to be rational about. If you believe that God is watching over you and angels will lift you up and protect you from harm, then you will quickly be removed from the gene pool when you truly show your faith by stepping off that cliff. But many of the things people really argue about don’t have much impact on their lives at all.

    The whole subject of vaccination of children is actually a fascinating study in belief systems, why people believe what they do, and how people become a “type of person” and what the implications are for that. However, I have rambled on enough here. If I ever create a blog I’ll probably write about it.

    Our brain has evolved a fascinating mechanism to allow us to hold contradictory beliefs in our brains — compartmentalization. I have a friend who is a passionate Christian, and a believer in the literalness of the Bible. She is also a PhD student at a very prestigious university, studying biology. How can she do that? Compartmentalization. It is actually a fascinating thing to see in action.

    We all do the sort of thing in the Galbraith quote to some extent. I for one am a passionate libertarian, but occasionally people will point out to me things that seem to show that my axiomatic belief — namely that people in government are mostly boobs, almost always incompetent, and always incentivized in ways contrary to their public claims — is sometimes wrong.

    If someone points out to me something that is measurably beneficial that governments do, I am not going to abandon my whole belief system because of one item. I will indeed get out my proof machine to aggressively examine the new data and it has to be strong data before it is going to bend my logical system that I have carefully constructed over a long period of time.

    Which is to say new beliefs should be examined with empty hands, but not empty heads. The idea that we should come to new ideas and beliefs without preconceptions is utterly ludicrous.

  213. > Jessica Boxer eloquently says a lot that I completely agree with.

    Yup. “One should keep an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out.” is the pithy version.

    I would love to read your blog.

  214. > I urge everyone to read this foul manifesto (http://www.scribd.com/doc/208843285/The-Plan-for-Dartmouth-s-Freedom-Budget-Items-for-Transformative-Justice-at-Dartmouth) presented to Dartmouth University to understand how completely insane these people are, and how utterly racist.

    Holy shit! I mean, this is worse than a parody of such people I might have tried to come up with.

    What do you do about people who fall into the trap of epistemic closure? Write them off as hopeless?

  215. > …holding that belief actually is a rational decision (at a meta rationality level) for many people. The cost of the illogic verges on zero, and the benefit — namely the access to various church communities predicated on a literalness view of the bible — is very beneficial.

    The phrase that I like to use is “belief as attire”. I’m not sure who coined it first, but I think it might have been Robin Hanson (http://hanson.gmu.edu/belieflikeclothes.html)

  216. What do you do about people who fall into the trap of epistemic closure? Write them off as hopeless?

    If only it were that simple. Those people routinely seize police power in November and force their disastrous policies on me.

  217. @Joshua Brule
    > What do you do about people who fall into the trap of epistemic closure?

    You isolate them, aggressively argue with them and “other” them, These people are dangerous because they try to make their views “normal” and trap people into dangerous belief systems. Notwithstanding my earlier comments, it is generally speaking important to make extremists remain extreme. To often they can capture various memetic mechanisms to make their crazy seem accepted wisdom.

    The purpose of arguing with these people is not to try to convince them — they are unconvincable — it is to play to the audience, those who are bystanders, to refuse to allow their crazy to become normal.

  218. Firstly: We know this guy was a hulking big thug who viciously attacked random people pretty much all the time, and, inevitably, he eventually attacked an armed police officer.

    If you are comfortably sitting in your armchair, the policeman used grossly excessive force.

    If a hulking big black guy viciously attacks you, how much force are you going to use?

    Secondly. We know that a large number of blacks responded by setting to work burning their own town down and had to be restrained. If you use individualized force on individual bad people, the kind of force that is OK for libertarians, you are going to lose.

    When the police stopped using collective force against collective enemies, stopped using military style force, they started to lose, and had to resume using collective force against collective enemies.

    So really, the available choices are

    1 Use military style force.

    Or

    2. Build a wall around Ferguson and occasionally throw raw meat over the wall.

  219. esr wrote:

    Conservatives lost most of two or three generations of young people politically because they couldn’t get their cultural reactionaries to shut up.

    And now their cultural reactionaries have shut up.

    Marriage continues to collapse, and whites are no longer reproducing. Increasing numbers of males, underwhelmed by the prospect of marrying a thirty year old shrew who has bitterly and reluctantly resigned herself to marrying a man she regards as entirely unsexy after having had sex with sixty different handsome charismatic males who never got around to calling her back, and having children by her who are then promptly removed in divorce, have given up on conventional employment.

    Perhaps those cultural reactionaries had a point.

  220. The purpose of arguing with these people is not to try to convince them — they are unconvincable — it is to play to the audience, those who are bystanders, to refuse to allow their crazy to become normal.

    Exactly, and the reason for arguing needs to be reiterated often. Thank you.

  221. @JAD
    “Marriage continues to collapse, and whites are no longer reproducing. Increasing numbers of males, underwhelmed by the prospect of marrying a thirty year old shrew who has bitterly and reluctantly resigned herself to marrying a man she regards as entirely unsexy after having had sex with sixty different handsome charismatic males who never got around to calling her back, and having children by her who are then promptly removed in divorce, have given up on conventional employment.”

    This single paragraph explains why cultural conservatives have lost two generations. If you cannot stand the heat of bright woman, stay single.

  222. @Christopher Smith
    “I think the narratives of police history fail to account for the War on Drugs as a major aggravating factor, both through the incentivizing of violence to defend black-market turf and through casting drug dealers and especially users in the role of Monsters Who Must Be Stopped At All Costs.”

    Just as the War on Drugs lays waste large parts of Mexico, Central America, and neighboring parts of South America. The number of people killed by the War on Drugs in these areas is approximating that of a real open war.

    But the real question is whether the militarization of the police really is a consequence of the War on Drugs, or whether this war was started to increase police powers. Because in the latter case, we would simple exchange drugs for some new evil whose (impossible) ending would justify all means, e.g., copyright violations, or child porn, or something new.

  223. This single paragraph explains why cultural conservatives have lost two generations. If you cannot stand the heat of bright woman, stay single.

    Only patriarchal men marry and stay married to have children.

    I, like many highly intelligent men of my generation, married a highly intelligent woman after having sex with her at age seventeen, and proceeded to have children by her when she was still young enough to have healthy children easily. My children have not done the same. Looking around silicon valley, few of the high IQ people in silicon valley are having children, and those have had children, are unlikely to have grandchildren. Of those few in silicon valley that marry and have children, none have children early enough to be good for the health of wives or children.

  224. “What do you do about people who fall into the trap of epistemic closure? Write them off as hopeless?”

    I honestly don’t know the answer to that. When madness and hate have been sufficiently mainstreamed you reach a tipping point. That Dartmouth president should’ve read their manifesto in front of them, told them it was racist and why and thrown it into the garbage in front of them. The fact he didn’t shows he’s either scared or has no red line beyond which he won’t pull up and stop, short of an obvious act of violence, and even then we’ve seen Occupy Wall Street and Ferguson can make that seem reasonable.

    The danger of mainstreamed hate speech is that there is ultimately no rational populace to appeal to, either from reasons of fear or sheer stupidity. Take the Hugo Awards as an example. Imagine 30 people are nominated who are either white supremacists who disdain gays and women or support that.

    It’s pretty clear that LonCon3 is a culture in microcosm that has no access to neutral principles that would show such a thing if it’s transferred to another race or sex. In fact the Orwellian reality of the intersectional ideology in question stipulates women, gays and non-whites are basically incapable of bigotry. It’s a closed logic loop addicted to visuals and not events or actions.

    So what does that mean? It mean a free-fire zone of racism and sexism which sees misogyny in clouds yet laughs off obvious misandry as if one said one saw a UFO. It laughs off the idea any person of color can be a racist while seeing racism in simple accidental demographics, but only if they’re white, not the NBA or rap music. It laughs off the possibility there could ever be such a thing as heterophobia while stipulating homophobia is just part of the scenery. In other words, intersectionalism is racist and sexist to its very core but simply doesn’t LOOK like it. It denies success or failure resides in the human spirit and instead in race and sex.

    A culture that stupid is beyond hope of recovery. At least in the case of the feminist WisCon and their Tiptree Awards they have long since announced their supremacist and women’s advocacy agenda. But now those exact same people have moved into the SFWA, Readercon and WorldCon and pretend they’re just regular folks. And guess what? People believe them. And they’re slowly making inroads into SD ComicCon.

    Look at the case of Best Fan Writer and Best Semiprozine. With the possible exception of Interzone, the other 4 ‘zines make their bones on intersectionalism. All five fan writers have made their names known by lighting up straight white men/advocating feminist supremacy. All use rhetoric which is based on simultaneous supremacy and defamation. In other words classic neo-Nazi-style bigotry and propaganda. They hide behind the word “diversity.” And people are clapping their hands and looking to these people as leaders – cutting edge global progressive thought and justice.

    The fundamental lesson of Orwell’s 1984 – the perceptual trap – is not only being ignored but used as a blueprint. It’s mind-boggling to see it among SF writers. SF, which should be leading the charge of not falling into such traps, has completely fallen apart. At least in terms of its awards, LonCon3 is nothing more than a stupid-fest where a very large contingent of what we’d otherwise see as KKK basically dominate the field. People laughed for decades at the idea this could ever happen in a place like America or the UK, but it has.

  225. In regards to the use of the concept of “hegemony” retooled for race and gender, here is just a small sampling of what is crowding into SFF:

    This is from a funding announcement for an initiative titled “Science Fiction Through Lens of Racial Inclusiveness.”

    “‘Alternative Futurisms,’ which will launch in September 2015, will bring together African American, Latino, Native American, and Asian American scholars, artists and writers to examine the colonial roots and legacies of science fiction and the power of speculative fiction as a tool for social change.

    “Science fiction fans and scholars are rethinking what counts as science fiction, explained Sherryl Vint, professor of English and co-director of the SFTS program with Latham. Vint is co-principal investigator of the Sawyer Seminar with Latham and Nalo Hopkinson, professor of creative writing and an award-winning author of science fiction and fantasy.

    “‘The canon is not monolithically white,’ she added. ‘Questions of social justice are emerging, particularly with regard to colonialism, borders, DNA, and profiling. Our seminar will elicit and sustain dialogue among the many peoples of color who are using speculative techniques to combat systemic racism and will seek to displace the hegemony of the post-racial imaginary with a range of ethnic futurisms.'”

    In the “contributors round robin interview” for the racial revenge fantasy anthology “We See a Different Frontier,” you have this exchange:

    “Aliette (de Bodard) asks Djibril (co-editor Djibril al-Ayad): For me, We See a Different Frontier is an important watermark in genre, presenting the perspective of the third world/the colonised instead of the usual (white) Anglo-American hegemony. As someone who lives in the UK, how do you relate to this hegemony, and what do you think should be done to counter its effects?”

    At Strange Horizons SFF webzine, the ever-complaining Rochita Loenen-Ruiz writes “…how there can be a reconciliation in SF if hegemony fails to recognize, acknowledge, and welcome the work and contribution, not only of women in SF, but also the work of women of color, the work of non-Western writers, and the work of those of us who identify as LGBTQ.”

    Multiply those quot

  226. I accidentally left off multiply those quotes by many times. Trust me – they’re there and they easily reach into the hundreds.

  227. @Paul Burton
    Below all the nonsense, there does lurk interesting questions.

    One, why are early US SF stories obsessed with aliens comming down from space to do to humans what Europeans did to the natives of the Americas and Africa? In contrast, early British SF is obsessed with aliens/mutants crawling up from below the earth. Why this difference if not for the local history.

    Two, why is there a current obsession in the US with total collapse and zombie apocalypse? How is this related to modern USA vs other regions of the world?.

    There are many more such interestimg questions regarding form and content of SF studies.

  228. I don’t know early American SF is obsessed with such a thing although there’s plenty of it. I recommend Everett Bleiler’s 1998 book “Science-Fiction: The Gernsback Years : A Complete Coverage of the Genre Magazines Amazing, Astounding, Wonder, and Others from 1926 Through 1936″

    Not only does he have a synopsis of every single story, but arranges themes in tables.

    Here is a list of American and some British pre-genre pulp SFF stories:

    A Columbus of Space – Garret P. Serviss 1909
    Morning Star – H. Rider Haggard 1910
    Lair of the White Worm – Bram Stoker 1911
    The Second Deluge – Garret P. Serviss 1911
    The Elixir of Hate – George Allan England 1911
    Darkness And Dawn – George Allan England 1911
    The Lost World – A. Conan Doyle 1912
    The Book of Wonder – Lord Dunsany 1912
    The Scarlett Plague – Jack London 1912
    Princess of Mars – Burroughs 1912
    The Nightland – William Hope Hodgson 1912
    The Poison Belt – A. Conan Doyle 1913
    At the Earth’s Core – Burroughs 1913
    The Gods of Mars – Burroughs 1913
    Warlord of Mars – Burroughs 1913
    Under the Andes – Rex Stout 1914
    Beyond Thirty – Burroughs 1915
    Pellucidar – Burroughs 1915
    Almost Immortal – Austin Hall 1916
    The Bowl of Baal – Robert Ames Bennett 1917
    The Messiah of the Cylinder – Victor Rousseau 1917
    The Nightmare – Francis Stevens 1917
    Through the Dragon Glass – A. Merritt 1917
    Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar – 1917
    The Rebel Soul – Austin Hall 1917
    Polaris and the Goddess Glorian – Charles B. Stilson 1917
    People of the Pit – A. Merritt 1918
    The Planeteer – Homer Eon Flint 1918
    The Draft of Eternity – Victor Rousseau 1918
    The Moon Pool – A. Merritt 1918
    Palos of the Dog Star Pack – J.U. Giesy 1918
    The Land That Time Forgot – Burroughs 1918
    Fruit of the Lamp – Victor Rousseau 1918
    The Citadel of Fear – Francis Stevens 1918
    The Heads of Cerberus – Francis Stevens 1919
    Conquest of the Moon Pool – A. Merritt 1919
    The Girl in the Golden Atom – Ray Cummings 1919
    The People of the Golden Atom – 1920
    Into the Infinite (Sequel to the Rebel Soul) – Austin Hall 1920
    The Lord of Death (The Queen of Life) – Homer Eon Flint 1920
    The Runaway Skyscraper – Murray Leinster 1920
    The Mad Planet Leinster – 1920
    The Red Dust – Leinster 1921
    The Metal Monster – A. Merrit 1920
    The Blind Spot – Austin Hall & Homer Eon Flint 1920
    Tarzan the Terrible (Pal-U-Don) – Burroughs 1920
    The Doom That Came to Sarnath – H.P. Lovecraft 1920
    The Cats of Ulthar 1920 – Lovecraft
    A Voyage to Arcturas – David Lindsay 1920

    As for zombies and collapse, I think the conclusion is the new enemy is us.

  229. Conservatives lost most of two or three generations of young people politically because they couldn’t get their cultural reactionaries to shut up.

    “Cultural reactionaries” were a big part of the population then…how were conservatives supposed to get them to “shut up”? And how, after alienating such a large part of the population, were they supposed to accomplish anything politically?

    And it looks to me as if some of the biggest battles conservatives lost in fighting against Communist influence had very little to do with young people or “optics” over sex, drugs, and rock & roll. McCarthy’s subcommittee and the HUAC were both — however imperfectly — direct efforts to combat the “agents of influence” and “memetic warfare” you talk about, and supported by the conservatives of that era…but the Army-McCarthy hearings destroyed him in 1954, and the HUAC was being denounced from the academy in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, long before the “young people” of your generation had a chance to influence who the professors were or what they’d be teaching. (I’m going in part from the introduction to Buckley’s The Committee and Its Critics – which quotes many.)

    (In fact, Buckley reported from his days at Yale that anti-anti-communism was already quite prevalent there in the late 1940’s — which I remember because of his language: “If you suggested that anyone was, or ever had been, or ever might be a communist, you were a witch-hunter. And everyone knew what to do with witch-hunters: namely, burn them.”)

  230. @Fail Burton
    “As for zombies and collapse, I think the conclusion is the new enemy is us.”

    New enemy? New?

    Anyhow, the most pure vitriol about “Americans” I have encountered I read in the comment section of this blog. I can imagine that the old Victorian idea that “civilization” is just a thin veneer over cannibalistic Barbary comes up when you hate you compatriots this much.

    PS:
    Empirically, most societies just regrouped after hideous disasters, mourned their dead, and went on with their lives (and wars). At least Europe did after the great plague, the Napoleonic wars, WWI&II, and the fall of the USSR.

  231. >One, why are early US SF stories obsessed with aliens comming down from space to do to humans what Europeans did to the natives of the Americas and Africa?

    You have your chronology wrong. Alien invasion didn’t become an important theme in SF until the 1950s, and then mainly in movies and comics – in print SF it has never been very central. Most critics believe (and I agree) that the alien-invasion movies had more to do with Cold War tensions than colonialism.

  232. Passing through a tipping point is typically a gradual process that only becomes evident in retrospect many years hence. However, the transition can often be punctuated by outlier events that bring focus and foreshadowing of things to come. We’ve been too affluent for too long, and most of our citizens have lost their ability to produce and, more importantly, persevere through extreme hardship. De facto, we are gambling that extreme hardship will never return to the US. Strangely, it is likely that the only road back from this abyss leads through a valley of hardship.

  233. > You have your chronology wrong. Alien invasion didn’t become an important theme in SF until the 1950s, and then mainly in movies and comics – in print SF it has never been very central.

    Where does HG Well’s “War of the Worlds” fit into this?

  234. >Where does HG Well’s “War of the Worlds” fit into this?

    It took up the entire space for decades. :-)

    Winter did specify “American” SF, and Wells was a Brit. Moreover he was previous to the development of genre SF in the pulps. So, slightly out of scope.

    But here is a related point. While alien-invasion stories were never central in print SF, a related subgenre very distinct in tone from them became so. I refer to the first-contact story: the archetype was Murray Leinster’s “First Contact” in 1945, after which thematically similar stories rapidly became a staple of the genre in both short and novel forms.

    Now that I consider the matter, the prominence of the first-contact theme coupled with the relative lack of interest in alien-invasion narratives is rather interesting. The challenge in first-contact stories is not victory or submission, it is mutual understanding. They are fundamentally puzzle stories rather than conflict narratives.

  235. >“Cultural reactionaries” were a big part of the population then…how were conservatives supposed to get them to “shut up”? And how, after alienating such a large part of the population, were they supposed to accomplish anything politically?

    I don’t know. What I do know is that, by inaction, conservatives alienated an even larger part of the population – and failed to effectively oppose the Gramscian long march through the institutions. We are all living with the evil consequences of that failure, and it may yet prove terminal.

  236. @esr
    You could be right about the fear for Communism. However, this does not really square with the motive of annihilation of the human race. A communst invassion would not be expected to be followed by direct genocide at the time.

    I did only start reading SF later ;-), and I do not have my chronology right.

    Though, I do remember a great number of (bad) US alien invasion stories and movies. Culminating in the ultimate parody “Mars Attack”.

    @Deep Lurker
    Wells was British.

  237. Hostile (or not) aliens were fairly common in the ’20s and ’30s and then Astounding got John Campbell as editor with more sophisticated themes and a decade or more later you had Galaxy and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction following suit.

    Thrilling Wonder Stories, Startling Stories and Amazing Stories stayed more true to their juvenile roots in the ’40s. Amazing actually had an amazing monthly circulation of up to 400,000 in the mid-’40s. Weird Tales was in a league of its own although it has the weird distinction of having created space opera.

    It shouldn’t come as any surprise the 48 stories of the 3 vol. SF Hall of Fame anthology are completely dominated by the Campbellian school. Only 9 have aliens at all.

    Alien invasion movies of the ’50s perhaps speak towards a more simple explanation for such stories in the pulps earlier on: they were aimed at teenagers.

    Astounding, Galaxy and the Magazine of F&SF might have been catering to an older generation that had grown up on pulps and needed the pulps to grow up with them. Amazing, Thrilling and Wonder may have catered to new blood.

    I don’t know exactly how the ’50s movie monster craze got started. Just 2 or 3 movies making money, especially to a new group of previously ignored teens with newfound cash could account for it. It’s never stopped; that’s for sure. They’d been there all along but were mostly Universal gothic territory and serials. SF monster films seemed more hip and new I guess, less old country. They were mostly pretty terrible but lots of fun. What kid wants to watch All About Eve when you have a beast from 20,000 fathoms creeping up the pipe?

  238. >However, this does not really square with the motive of annihilation of the human race.

    Most alien-invasion stories don’t feature human annihilation, either. Rather, the tendency is for humans to be either subjugated or brushed aside and dismissed as irrelevant to what the aliens actually want.

  239. @esr
    “Most alien-invasion stories don’t feature human annihilation, either.”

    Maybe I am just too much inflenced by HG Wells and immitators.

  240. @ Winter – “A communst invassion would not be expected to be followed by direct genocide at the time. ”

    Throughout recorded history, conquering tyrannies have typically killed off the opposing fighting age males, enslaved the women of childbearing age, looted anything of value, and imposed by force their culture upon the region. This was the evolutionary modus operandi because it worked. SF writers simply projected this historical behavior onto mythical off-planet conquerors. In most of these stories, the Earthlings win in the end; else we would be reading about how the aliens “liberated” Earth.

  241. If you cannot stand the heat of bright woman, stay single.

    If you’re so smart, why are you so unhappy?

  242. @TomA
    “Throughout recorded history, conquering tyrannies have typically killed off the opposing fighting age males,…”

    Indeed, but if the aliens were projections of a fear for communist invasions, that would be strange. At the time, there was no fear that the communist would commit genocide after conquering a territory. That was why I considered a fear of a repeat of the conquering of the Americas. But that was historically not the way it entered the SF literature.

    @Rob De Witt
    “If you’re so smart, why are you so unhappy?”

    I am happy. But I can understand that smart people get depressed from the world they live in.

  243. @James A. Donald
    > If a hulking big black guy viciously attacks you, how much force are you going to use?

    You use as much force as you can muster, including taking his head off with your weapon if necessary. However, what you don’t do is pump a couple of rounds in his back when he is running away, or pop a few more off when he goes down.

    That seems to be what happened in this case.

  244. @James A Donald
    BTW that is the difference between Zimmerman and this cop (whose name I can’t recall.)
    Zimmermann shot Martin during an ongoing attack, the cop shot his alleged attacker after the attacker was leaving the scene.

    A few seconds are the difference between self defense and murder, and if you are going to accept the huge responsibility of carrying a deadly weapon, you had better be able to quickly tell the difference.

  245. @PapayaSF
    > Jessica Boxer: There is some evidence that Brown doubled back

    If that is true it puts a different perspective on the matter. However, the data doesn’t seem all that compelling. A comment from some traumatized teenage girl doesn’t hold up well against the objective evidence of the autopsy that the punk had a couple of rounds in his back. Not impossible, but someone’s got a lot of explaining to do.

  246. >It also fails to explain lower average black IQ in places (notably in Africa) where leaded paint and gasoline were not in use.

    (a bit late and rather off topic, sorry. Didn’t notice it before)

    Where did you get that leaded paint/gasoline was/is not in use in Africa ? I’d assume they’d import the same paint as was used in Europe and elsewhere. And most cars in Africa are 2nd hand exports from Europe etc, and often quite old. They’d need leaded gas, no ?

    otoh, malnutrition may still be an important IQ-lowering factor in Africa.

    I wonder whether education plays a role. It takes certain skills (other than IQ) to score well on an IQ test, skills that may be less prevalent in a population with an overall lower level of education.

  247. what you don’t do is pump a couple of rounds in his back when he is running away, or pop a few more off when he goes down.

    That seems to be what happened in this case.

    No, that is what the race-baiters (including the notorious Benjamin Crump, who helped spin a massive narrative of lies around George Zimmerman) claim happened.

    The claim that Michael Brown was just minding his own business, not fleeing with stolen goods from a robbery, has been debunked.  The autopsy results will show that Michael Brown got all his gunshot wounds in the front.  But the race-baiters will gin up riots with their lies from now until eternity, because the Blacks will never believe the “racists”… and all White people are racists by PC definition.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some microaggressions to take care of.

  248. >The autopsy results will show that Michael Brown got all his gunshot wounds in the front.

    Let’s hope so. Surprising that the department and/or DA’s office and/or Mayor wouldn’t have made such information public ASAP, though.

  249. I have no trouble believing that this particular shooting may have been justified.

    OTOH, a lot of police shootings are not; probably more than we know about (and we know about a lot of them). I look forward to the day when any on-duty policeman who kills someone is automatically adjudged to be guilty of murder if there is no contrary video evidence.

    Because I strongly believe that *working* video capture equipment should be an integral component of police uniforms by now, and the only reason that it isn’t is not technological, but cultural.

    I also believe that the Ferguson PD needs a huge lesson in how to handle PR properly…

  250. @Ms. Boxer:

    I had a conversation with my father in about 1995 or 1996, with me arguing from the Libertarian side and he from the Paleo-Conservative side. I was arguing in essence that almost all of government is corrupt[1], power hungry and self-serving. This included both the elected officials and the bureaucrats.

    His response was that he couldn’t believe that. That he had supported and been part of hte system for his whole life, that he had broken bread with some of these folks, and that he *could not* believe that.

    I later realized what he meant–that literally his world view as such that he really couldn’t believe it, that at his age to believe that would start to unravel the skien of his worldview, and he couldn’t handle that on top of all the other shocks in his world (keep in mind this was in the middle of the Clinton Administration). By June of 1997 he was dead. I think Clinton and my Mom killed him — manslaughter through epistemic confusion.

    Then you later say:

    You use as much force as you can muster, including taking his head off with your weapon if necessary. However, what you don’t do is pump a couple of rounds in his back when he is running away, or pop a few more off when he goes down.

    I strongly suspect (if we see holes in the back, and forensics shows “finishing shots” that Wilson simply panics. There is nothing that we’ve seen so far to show he was particularly well trained or experienced in martial matters. He was attacked and got hit in the face by something (he was treated at a hospital for that) and could very well have just fired to slidelock out of poor training and brain-lock.

    This doesn’t absolve him of the death, but it makes it more of a “natural” response than a murder.

    The link that Mr. Abbey posts changes a lot of things though.

  251. Eric Holder’s Department of Injustice has demanded to do a second autopsy on Michael Brown.  Obviously, the actual autopsy results will not back the narrative of police oppression, so they must take the job in-house.

  252. >Where did you get that leaded paint/gasoline was/is not in use in Africa ?

    Leased paint may be in some use in cities, but a lot of Africans still live under conditions where “shelter” is a thatched hut or tin-roofed shanty.

    >And most cars in Africa are 2nd hand exports from Europe etc, and often quite old. They’d need leaded gas, no ?

    I did a bit of research to check my previous beliefs about this and found that the available facts are thin. On the one hand, the phaseout of tetraethyl lead in industrial countries started in 1975 and over most of Africa unleaded gas has been unavailable for some time (the exception is Algeria). Whether most of the automobiles in use ever required no-knock gas is therefore a question about how African demand ramped up over time to which I previously thought I knew a pretty definite answer. Now I am uncertain.

    What we can say pretty certainly is that gasoline-powered transport was uncommon outside of cities until well into the 1960s, and thus so was tetraethyl lead. Given the intense pressure to come up with environmental explanations for IQ divergences, if there had been even faint evidence of an urban/rural correlation someone would have published it.

  253. At the local community level, the Ferguson incident s essentially about ascertaining the facts and adjudicating a reasonable resolution. Good shoot, bad shoot, or something in between is yet to be determined and should guide the outcome.

    However, at the national level, this incident is solely about memetic warfare, grievance mongering, and political maneuvering. The people playing the national game are hardcore incipient tyrants that seek power for its own sake and don’t give a damn about the personal tragedy. If you need to find a bad guy in this episode, look there first.

  254. On the one hand, the phaseout of tetraethyl lead in industrial countries started in 1975 and over most of Africa unleaded gas has been unavailable for some time (the exception is Algeria). Whether most of the automobiles in use ever required no-knock gas is therefore a question about how African demand ramped up over time to which I previously thought I knew a pretty definite answer

    The height of that faseout was in the 90s – at least that’s when leaded fuel and the cars that require it disappeared in Europe. Add 10 years for those cars getting a second life in Africa and you can expect leaded gas there until somewhere between 2000 en 2010. (As it happens, wikipedia says 2006)
    So, that claim that Africans did not get exposure to lead is quit dubious, imo.

  255. >So, that claim that Africans did not get exposure to lead is quit dubious, imo.

    There are many other holes in the theory that lead drove the measured IQ difference. One is that, as in the U.S., European populations living cheek-by-jowl with Africans don’t exhibit the same low average IQs. So either lead is not the causative factor, or it acts on both black and white populations equally and whites must start with a much higher baseline average IQ. I suspect the second alternative is unpalatable to most proponents of the lead theory.

    My own position, for those new to the blog, is that (a) interracial IQ differences are real, significant, and largely genetic, but (b) this does not have the consequences racists desire because the individual is not the mass.

    Knowing that Ashkenazic Jews have about a standard deviation average-IQ advantage over European gentiles tells me nothing about how to treat an individual Jewish job applicant or neighbor; it does leave me unsurprised that Jews win Nobel prizes at a rate hugely disproportionate to their population share. The consequences of low average IQ are equally irrelevant in evaluating any individual black person, but are written all over African politics and the rioting in Ferguson Missouri.

  256. Lead has been gone a long time, yet strangely, it is still the case that every black poster boy anointed as a victim of racism turns out to be a thug who preyed on white people.

    If there was one actual victim of white racism in all America, we would see better poster boys than Trayvon, Michael Brown, and Crystal Mangum

    In contrast, every day there are many, many, white victims of black racism.

    Just imagine if every white victim of black racism got the Michael Brown – Trayvon – Crystal Mangum hate week treatment, a full on mass hate week.

    In half an hour there would be white riots to eradicate the black plague from America.

  257. “The officer seems to have been culpably in the wrong, even if everything happened precisely as he is reported to have said. Gunning down a retreating suspect – ”

    Your information is false. Two witnesses have claimed that Brown turned around and charged the police officer. Stop speculating about the case until all the facts have come out. And for crying out loud, stop repeating the media narrative.

  258. Okay, here’s some other inconvenient facts.

    There are about 10,000 fatal intentional shootings in the US each year. Local police fatally shoot about 400 people a year, or about 4% of the total. There are about 800,000 police in the US, or 0.267% of the population. This means police are about 15 times more deadly than the average citizen.

    Now granted, police may encounter far more people who need shooting than the average citizen does, that’s the nature of their job, but it’s still something to think about.

  259. Gunning down a retreating suspect (with hands raised in this case)

    There’s zero evidence that anyone was gunned down while retreating with their hands raised.

  260. Actually, we’d be better off if police were more militarized — not in the sense of having more shiny, high-powered weaponry, but in the sense of having serious marksmanship and fire-discipline training.

    If a soldier demonstrated the kind of fire discipline our policemen all-too-often do, both the soldier and his commanding officer would be severely punished.

    In the world of civilian police, poor marksmen with lousy fire dscipline are more likely to be celebrated than condemned.

  261. You use as much force as you can muster, including taking his head off with your weapon if necessary. However, what you don’t do is pump a couple of rounds in his back when he is running away, or pop a few more off when he goes down.

    People are just shamelessly making stuff up at this point. I half expect to read how the officer took Brown out to a shack in the woods where he tortured him for hours before finishing him off execution style. It would not be any more far-fetched than some of the other speculative fiction I’m seeing.

  262. There are many other holes in the theory that lead drove the measured IQ difference. One is that, as in the U.S., European populations living cheek-by-jowl with Africans don’t exhibit the same low average IQs. So either lead is not the causative factor, or it acts on both black and white populations equally and whites must start with a much higher baseline average IQ. I suspect the second alternative is unpalatable to most proponents of the lead theory.

    How possible is it that lead acts differently on different people, due to genetics? For example, some gene causing lead to be more readily absorbed into tissue, rather than being expelled without reaction. I admit, this strikes me as far-fetched, but I don’t feel qualified enough to render an expert opinion on it. Meanwhile, it also strikes me as something that would be very hard to test, and therefore would not be.

    In CAGW news, I’m inclined to believe it’s simply not its turn in the media limelight, and it may creep up later. I have been seeing a few blips on the issue in the last couple weeks, however, involving some curious holes discovered in the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia. They’re still under study. The theory that seems to get the most press is that they’re caused by methane gas erupting from the ground, freed by rising temperatures. I’m not seeing figures on all three found so far – one is cited as 15 meters wide, the other 80 meters wide (and 70 deep).

  263. @James A. Donald
    > If there was one actual victim of white racism in all America, we would see better poster boys than Trayvon, Michael Brown, and Crystal Mangum

    For sure these cases are hardly compelling, however, to dismiss racism in America because of these loud obnoxious voices is wrong. There is plainly meaningful racism going on in America. Part of it is an unfortunate but necessary result of the necessity of stereotyping for successful living. Crossing the street when a bunch of boisterous black youths is in your way may be statistically a good choice, but is rather unfair on that particular group who are actually a group of honors students blowing off steam after an exam.

    I’d offer for evidence this study “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination.” from Duke University which concludes a large statistical difference of responses to resumes with black sounding names verses white sounding names. It seems to me to be methodologically sound (though I certainly haven’t picked it apart).

    http://public.econ.duke.edu/~hf14/teaching/povertydisc/readings/bertrand-mullainathan2004.pdf

    Honest and decent people should be made to feel very uncomfortable by that study. We are a long way from Jim Crow and the KKK, but black people do get the short end of the stick in some ways.

    Which isn’t to say that racism against white people doesn’t happen, it does; and I think if you were to claim that part of the racism against black people is a reaction against the race baiters, hustlers and affirmative action machine, I’d agree. But if you are an honors student Jamal, who has succeeded by hard work and effort against difficult circumstances, it is unfortunate that this is another barrier to climb, irrespective of the cause.

  264. In half an hour there would be white riots to eradicate the black plague from America.

    You’re either high off your ass or you’re intentionally making absurd comments.

  265. I’m not uncomfortable Jessica. If you were to raise a family do you consider Wisconsin, Spain, Indonesia, Egypt and Guatemala interchangeable? No? Neither do I, and I’m not uncomfortable with having eyes.

    If your family’s life is on the line which army would you choose to defend them? Brazil’s, India’s or ours? What methodology is that? It’s reality. Having eyes has nothing to do with being honest or decent. It is political correctness talking there, the great monster of sad politeness that insists everything’s interchangeable or racism. Wrong. Some things are better than others, as even a 6 yr. old could tell you.

  266. Jessica, I think “Emily and Greg vs. Lakisha and Jamal” is more about standard hiring wisdom and class than about racism. The best advice I ever got about job interviews was that the number one thing on the HR person’s mind is “Is this person going to fit in?” A “ghetto name” is a marker that a person might not fit well for several reasons, one of which is being raised by parents (or one parent) who would give a child a “ghetto name.”

    Plus, of course, you can probably fire Emily or Greg without worrying about a racial discrimination lawsuit.

  267. @Jessica Boxer:

    > which concludes a large statistical difference of responses to resumes with black sounding names verses white sounding names.

    Back in February, when I saw the name on the top of a resume, I asked “is he black?” and was immediately grilled by two people asking me “what does it matter?” No, it didn’t matter, except that that’s how our brains work, by making connections, and it was extremely annoying to have to justify my question as being one of mere curiosity, because in all other aspects, we are actually _supposed_ to be curious.

    It turns out it he was black, and was by far the best candidate available for the job, according to all the interviewers, including me. He got the job as the head of my department — he’s my boss.

    Also around the same time, I happened to overhear one of the software engineers complaining bitterly to his manager about a schedule, saying “this sucks!”, whereupon the manager immediately replied “you need to watch your language — we’re going to have new people here and you have to set a good example.” I, of course, had to interject “Oh, I thought it was only a problem if you said it sucks big donkey dicks!” The manager took me aside and explained that things were going to be different, because they were hiring a couple of female engineers. I looked at him like he had a third head and asked, “So what, exactly, is Jackie?”

    (Jackie is a hardware, not software, engineer, so she doesn’t work for him. Nonetheless, she’s been around probably around 20 years or so, and he knows her quite well.)

    To the extent the manager had a point, it’s probably this — Jackie’s been around long enough she quite possibly put up with some real harrassment along the way, and the new hires are unknowns — are they delicate flowers who won’t even put up with imaginary harrassment?

    In any case, Jackie and I had a good laugh over it later.

  268. Glad to see someone else notice the numbers.

    Here are some others:
    From the CDC: 2010 11,062 homicides by firearms
    Homicide by black females ages 1-85 597
    Homicide by black males ages 1-85 5,551

    One half of those 11,000+ homicides are committed by black males.
    Black males are ~ 6% of the population.

    Ages of perpetrators
    15-19 1016
    20-24 1521
    25-34 2061
    15-34 yo black male perpetrators 4598

    The standard reply is racism has produced poverty and anger. But as you pointed out, the majority of the homicides are black on black.

    I would like to see someone(s) try to seriously address the issues and look for real solutions.

  269. >How possible is it that lead acts differently on different people, due to genetics?

    Possible. But I’m pretty sure that there’s not even a hint of this in the literature. Because again, there’s a lot of political pressure in favor of environmentarian theories of IQ; anything that makes even a plausible talking point in favor gets hyped way up.

    Inconveniently, every refinement in methods for assessing heritability has pushed the apparent heritability of IQ up.

  270. >Plus, of course, you can probably fire Emily or Greg without worrying about a racial discrimination lawsuit.

    This is a huge and, I think, underappreciated drag on black candidates. Hell yeah I’m going to hire Greg over Jamal, unless Jamal is strongly and unequivocably better for the job; doing so reduces my legal risk.

  271. In CAGW news, I’m inclined to believe it’s simply not its turn in the media limelight, and it may creep up later. I have been seeing a few blips on the issue in the last couple weeks, however, involving some curious holes discovered in the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia. They’re still under study.

    The landscape is full of similar, less recent holes, some of them thousands of years old. They are caused by liquid water erupting through permafrost like a cryovolcano.

    This is similar to the fact that every time the antarctic glaciers calve, we hear that the antarctic icecap is going away, although a hundred years ago the Mawson expedition explored a coast now deeply buried in permanent antarctic ice.

    Recall

  272. Jessica appears to be here as PC police.  Political Correctness is a war on noticing.  If you notice things you are not supposed to notice, it is Crimethink and you are a bad person.

    Among the things you are not supposed to notice is that race is biological (e.g. two Zulus do not have Swedish-looking babies).  One of the consequences of this is that racial equality is a social construction.  For those reading resumes, someone whose mother is dumb enough to name him Shitavious probably inherited both her IQ and her attitude.

  273. Speaking of lead exposure as an explanation, there are 19th-century and earlier accounts of behavior of Africans, both in the Americas and the dark continent.  Lead was used in paint at the time, but how many dwellings in Africa were painted?  Obviously, aerosolized lead from automobiles was not a factor on any continent.

  274. In half an hour there would be white riots to eradicate the black plague from America.

    You’re either high off your ass or you’re intentionally making absurd comments.

    If the media can manufacture a race riot from one fictitious incident of white hurtful behavior to blacks, they could manufacture a race riot ten thousand times larger from ten thousand entirely real incidents of black hurtful behavior to whites.

  275. > since the time of Thomas Dewey, inventor of the Dewey Decimal System and the structure of Progressive Public Education from which you obviously spring.”

    Thomas Dewey was a politician, governor of New York; probably best remembered today for the “Dewey Defeats Truman!” blooper headline.

    John Dewey was the (IMO) boneheaded and proto-fascist education philosopher.

    Melvil Dewey was the guy who created the Dewey Decimal System.

    While we’re there, George Dewey was the admiral who won the Battle of Manila Bay in the Spanish-American War, and the first five-star equivalent admiral in U.S. history, and Dewey Duck is Donald Duck’s nephew.

  276. The police apologetics in this article is too much B.S.

    I was a volunteer public safety worker in a major city near Ferguson for years and worked the ghetto almost exclusively. I had lots of opportunity to see and hear the cops in action then and at other times. Without a doubt the police (as a group) are the most racist people I have known outside the Deep South in the early 1960’s. They act as if there is no difference between a 60 year-old Black woman and a 19 year-old male in gang colors. Both are treated like s**t. The only thing the woman and the man have in common is color and that’s enough for the cops to abandon any pretense of respect.

    The post-9/11 era has brought cops an attitude of fear. At the Academy and in nearly every in-service training course they begin by watching a film of cops being shot during traffic stops (which happens in about 1 citizen encounter per 100,000) so that they are brainwashed to believe that EVERY non-cop, black or white, drives around looking for a cop to kill. That’s not true. Police officer doesn’t even make the top 10 deadly occupations. And these fearful individuals are now being told they are in a War against almost everyone while being supplied with all the battlefield toys they crave. If you have a MRAP, you will use it. If you have a SWAT team, you will use it. The combat mentality sets in. Even in my affluent, crime free suburb.

    Oh yes, indeed, the combat mentality does set in and it warps every contact the police have with non-cops. If you roll through a stop sign these days, expect the full treatment even if you are White and sixty. The disrespect that the Black community has long felt is being spread by the cops to everyone. No one is safe (cops beat up young women, old women, young men, old men, disabled persons, anyone — just watch a week’s video record of their activities). They are armed and afraid so you best be very afraid. “May I lick you boots, Officer” is the attitude they want. Says something about them, doesn’t it? And it fits perfectly with the responses of the town police and the county police in Ferguson, MO.

    P. S. I live in an American Switzerland but the village police think they work in Swaziland (or maybe Iraq). THEY need to face reality. Mayberry is still Mayberry.

  277. Jessica Boxer on 2014-08-17 at 21:15:30 said:

    @James A. Donald

    > If there was one actual victim of white racism in all America, we would see better poster boys than Trayvon, Michael Brown, and Crystal Mangum

    I’d offer for evidence this study “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination.” from Duke University which concludes a large statistical difference of responses to resumes with black sounding names verses white sounding names. It seems to me to be methodologically sound

    Have you considered the significant likelihood that if you interview someone called Lakisha, she is going to beat the hell out of you with a steel jack handle, with the result that you will fired for racism and never get another job in your life?

    The chance that any one black interviewee will do this is quite small, but if one interviews quite a few blacks, the probability that sooner or later something like that will happen to one becomes quite large, just as if a taxi driver picks up blacks, sooner or later he is going to get robbed or killed. Being attacked in your workplace by a black person is going to have much worse consequences than being attacked in the street, because even if it was completely obvious that the black attacked you, everyone is going to absolutely treat the incident as you attacking the black. Mentioning that it was the other way around will be hate speech, and noticing who attacked who will be prevented by crimestop. Every time Lakasha’s jack handle strikes your face, it will be, due to crimestop, as if you were wielding the jack handle, and it was striking Lakasha’s face.

    But if you are an honors student Jamal, who has succeeded by hard work and effort against difficult circumstances, it is unfortunate that this is another barrier to climb, irrespective of the cause.

    When we see a chimpanzee, we assume it needs to be in a cage or on a leash. This is probably not true of all chimpanzees. I suppose that is unfair to a minority of chimpanzees.

    Whenever there is a violent incident between a man and a woman, the man will be charged and the woman will not be charged, even though some women attack men by surprise, and with weapons, confident that their sex will protect them from the consequences that a man might well suffer were he to attack another man. Before we worry about Jamal, let us repeal the violence against women act.

    But of course, violence against women really is a problem. So instead of repealing the violence against women act, let us pass the violence against whites act, which shall require that in any violent conflict involving a black man and a white man, the black man shall automatically be charged..

  278. They act as if there is no difference between a 60 year-old Black woman and a 19 year-old male in gang colors.

    That must account for all the 60 year-old black women who get shot by the police.

  279. >The disrespect that the Black community has long felt is being spread by the cops to everyone.

    So, more evidence that “institutional racism” isn’t the problem, then. Thanks.

  280. @Mr. Rational
    > Jessica appears to be here as PC police.

    LOL, obviously you don’t know me too well.

    > Political Correctness is a war on noticing. If you notice things you are not supposed to notice, it is Crimethink and you are a bad person.

    No, I think you need to actually think about the argument rather than reacting so viscerally. The argument is when the only difference between two candidates is their name and consequently implied ethnicity that the putatively black person is significantly less likely to get the job. What that means is that race alone is sufficient to decrease ones chance of getting a job, which irrespective of the motivation, must be very frustrating for hard working, dedicated black people. Is it racism? Depends on what that word means. If racism means making judgement based only on race, then it apparently is.

    Now the issue that Eric and a couple of people raise about the possibility of lawsuits is an excellent point, however, that is just a type of racism in a different part of the system that decreases the black person’s opportunity. It doesn’t really make it any better for Jamal, the honors student where the disadvantage comes from.

    And the argument that giving a child a name like “Jamal” means the mom is stupid, and consequently the kid is raised in a stupid environment is just racism on stilts. People can call their kid anything they want, and it doesn’t signal anything except a cultural preference. In a sense, even if you accept the premise that the mom must be dumb you might reasonably even come to exactly the opposite conclusion. If “Jamal” is raised by a dumb mamma and gets the same level of qualifications or skills as “Greg” with the smart mamma, that seems to me to indicate that “Jamal” might be the sort of hard working, overcome the circumstances, type of guy that you want working for your organization.

  281. ESR posted “So, more evidence that “institutional racism” isn’t the problem, then.”

    Wrong. The institutional racism against Blacks is still there; if anything it has gotten worse. Blacks continue to be treated worse than Whites. A Mississippi deputy sheriff helping the KKK to kill 3 civil right workers in 1964, knew he was a Racist. Cops today “think” they aren’t (often citing your stats) although their actions haven’t changed in the ensuing 50 years.

    BUT, the police “misconduct” is now being spread to Whites too. When the police lose the White middle class they will rue the day when they began to view all 299,500,000 of us as their enemy.

  282. If the media can manufacture a race riot from one fictitious incident of white hurtful behavior to blacks, they could manufacture a race riot ten thousand times larger from ten thousand entirely real incidents of black hurtful behavior to whites.

    You mean like the Tea Party did?

    Seriously though, while people don’t do that anymore. The exception that proves the rule is whenever the anarcho-syndicalists get together to protest because they’re not running things and the people who are aren’t running towards international progressive socialism quite fast enough they managed to get a dozen or two angry young men in black hoodies to throw trash cans at McDonalds.

  283. @James A. Donald
    > Have you considered the significant likelihood that if you interview someone called Lakisha, she is going to beat the hell out of you with a steel jack handle, with the result that you will fired for racism and never get another job in your life?

    No, honestly, despite having interviewed several hundred people in my lifetime, including many people from different races, that has never crossed my mind. I have also fired many people too. Those people I do worry about sometimes that they’ll come back and shoot up the workplace. That problem is primarily a white male problem. Should I not hire white males for that reason?

    Since this is a concern for you JAD, has a Lakisha beaten you up with a Jack handle? Do you know anyone who, as a result of a job interview, been beaten up by Lakiisha with a Jack handle?

    > just as if a taxi driver picks up blacks, sooner or later he is going to get robbed or killed.

    Taxi drivers are actually an interesting case. Taxi drivers don’t pick up black people primarily for two reasons. One because they are part of a government monopoly which means there is an artificially constricted supply of taxi services — which is to say they don’t pick up black passengers because they don’t have to And two because most cities make it extremely difficult for taxi drivers to defend themselves, by, for example, carrying a weapon.

    > When we see a chimpanzee, we assume it needs to be in a cage or on a leash.

    Chimps don’t have the right to equal protection under the law. Black people both do and should.

    > Whenever there is a violent incident between a man and a woman,

    Way to change the subject.

  284. Jessica, I never said that naming a kid “Jamal” means the mom is stupid. Intelligent people make stupid decisions all the time. But the name could mean many things: an inner-city upbringing, which means an increased chance of poor schools. It could mean a very racially-conscious upbringing, which most employers would want to avoid. (I’ll bet a white male candidate named Nathan Bedford Forrest Smith would be a tough self, too.) Or the HR person just might believe the candidate wouldn’t be a good fit, for reasons that boil down to class more than race.

    A true test, though it would be difficult to construct, would be to send to interviews candidates who were identical in as many ways as possible, including manners of speaking etc., but differed only by race. If that were done, I’d bet the black candidates would be more likely to be hired in preference to the white candidates.

  285. @esr:

    Plus, of course, you can probably fire Emily or Greg without worrying about a racial discrimination lawsuit.

    This is a huge and, I think, underappreciated drag on black candidates. Hell yeah I’m going to hire Greg over Jamal, unless Jamal is strongly and unequivocably better for the job; doing so reduces my legal risk.

    Never mind that the causes and symptoms are misidentified; to Jamal, this has exactly the same effect as anything else that might be called “institutionalized racism.”

    And, of course, merely by voicing this opinion, you are handing ammunition to those who want to force you to have the correct percentage of Jamals in your workplace.

  286. @PapayaSF:

    > I’ll bet a white male candidate named Nathan Bedford Forrest Smith would be a tough self, too.

    What’s wrong with a name like “Nate Smith”?

  287. “which happens in about 1 citizen encounter per 100,000″

    How many traffic stops will an average officer make in a career? How many in a department in a year?

    Just curious. Absent those numbers the 1:100,000 ratio doesn’t provide insight into the danger faced.

  288. If a soldier demonstrated the kind of fire discipline our policemen all-too-often do, both the soldier and his commanding officer would be severely punished.

    That’s untrue. Soldiers in combat expend prodigious amounts of ammo to get a single hit on an enemy.

  289. That’s untrue. Soldiers in combat expend prodigious amounts of ammo to get a single hit on an enemy.

    That comment is true but nonresponsive. Fire discipline and targeting have some relation but are distinct issues. Indiscriminately firing on unidentified people in civilian areas is frowned upon.

  290. race alone is sufficient to decrease ones chance of getting a job, which irrespective of the motivation, must be very frustrating for hard working, dedicated black people.

    The only “racism” which hard-working, educated black people face is the racism of affirmative action and being avidly pursued by employers desperate to get one of the minority of hard-working, educated black people on their payroll.

  291. That comment is true but nonresponsive.

    It’s responsive to the comment it was made in response to.

    Indiscriminately firing on unidentified people in civilian areas is frowned upon.

    The officer in this case did not indiscriminately fire on unidentified people, so let me suggest that “that comment is true but nonresponsive”.

  292. The Bad Guys today are well-armed (especially if they come from the Mexican drug cartels – who got more than a few weapons courtesy of our drug agencies), so police ought to be as well armed.

    But to bring out tanks and high-powered sniper rifles at a street demonstration does seem to be a little over the top.

    And to send out SWAT teams to serve subpoenas is going too far.

    People in power (police, Presidents) will take as much power as they can get away with.

  293. to bring out tanks and high-powered sniper rifles at a street demonstration does seem to be a little over the top.

    People throwing bricks and Molotov cocktails does not actually count as a “street demonstration”.

    to send out SWAT teams to serve subpoenas is going too far

    Which has jack to do with the case in question.

  294. @Patrick Maupin
    > And, of course, merely by voicing this opinion, you are handing ammunition to those who want to force you to have the correct percentage of Jamals in your workplace.

    I think Patrick that I was doing more than voicing my opinion. I was citing a study that seems to have done a pretty good job isolating the key variable. You know me well enough to know that I would never propose a government solution. I’m not even saying it should be fixed (though I agree with the implication that Eric made that the legal jeopardy with uneven hiring practices and various other racial preference laws are entirely counterproductive, an outrageous violation of the private business of employers and should certainly be removed from the books.)

    However, just because I don’t know a good solution doesn’t mean that the facts aren’t the facts. We talked earlier about the proof machine churning up when the facts don’t match our views. I’d rather just see the facts and deal with that, even if it can’t be fixed. And I certainly don’t think not talking about something out of fear that the “something should be done” crowd is a good idea at all.

  295. @Steve
    > The only “racism” which hard-working, educated black people face is the racism of affirmative action and being avidly pursued by employers desperate to get one of the minority of hard-working, educated black people on their payroll.

    So you reject the data in the cited study that says exactly the opposite of this? And your reason to reject this carefully controlled study is what?

  296. I grew up with a guy who was a a taxi driver for years. He said his beef and that of other drivers was there was a pattern that black guys would get to the destination and then bolt out of the cab without paying.

  297. Jessica Boxer – what you don’t do is pump a couple of rounds in his back when he is running away, or pop a few more off when he goes down.
    That seems to be what happened in this case.

    Have you made a retraction yet?

  298. @Steve
    > Have you made a retraction yet?

    I’m confused Steve, what am I supposed to be retracting? And why is “retracting” important?

  299. I’m confused Steve, what am I supposed to be retracting?

    Your claim that Brown was shot in the back. That should have been obvious, since I quoted you saying it.

  300. @Jessica Boxer
    “I’d offer for evidence this study “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination.” from Duke University which concludes a large statistical difference of responses to resumes with black sounding names verses white sounding names. It seems to me to be methodologically sound (though I certainly haven’t picked it apart).”

    Such studies are done every few years over here in the Netherlands. The results are the same: There is quite a lot of discrimination based on ethnic background.

    They use other minorities here, but the rest is identical: Send actors with the exact same story but different ethnic names and background to potential employees and see who gets hired. The results are identical: With the wrong name or facial color you are much less likely to get a job.

    What is most revealing in the comments I read here is the ability of readers of this blog to ignore reality. Even when it stares them in the face.

    Here is a methodological study of this Dutch research with some background:
    http://imiscoecrosscluster.weebly.com/uploads/4/6/9/4/469440/andriessen_nievers_faulk___imiscoe.pdf

    For those who can read Dutch:
    Newspaper report (Dutch)
    http://www.volkskrant.nl/vk/nl/2686/Binnenland/article/detail/3364411/2012/12/17/Acteurs-tonen-discriminatie-in-uitzendbranche-aan.dhtml

    The original report (Dutch)
    http://www.scp.nl/dsresource?objectid=33067&type=org

  301. >Never mind that the causes and symptoms are misidentified; to Jamal, this has exactly the same effect as anything else that might be called “institutionalized racism.”

    That’s not my problem. In that situation, my fiduciary responsibility to my firm trumps his hurt feelings. Perhaps Jamal should recognize where his self-interest lies and campaign to have the laws which make him a hiring risk revoked.

  302. >Cops today “think” they aren’t (often citing your stats) although their actions haven’t changed in the ensuing 50 years.

    You’re contradicting yourself. Earlier you said that cops today put everyone through the kind of authoritarian shit that used to be meted out only to blacks. Now you say their actions haven’t changed much. You seem too confused to be a reliable informant.

  303. >What is most revealing in the comments I read here is the ability of readers of this blog to ignore reality.

    So, let’s grant the observation of these studies. How do we know the effect is due to racism?

    There are at least two explanations I find more plausible when these tests are run in the U.S. One is the problem that people named Jamal are difficult to discipline and risky to fire because of EEOC regulations and lawsuits. The other is that what looks like racism at first blush is often classism – avoiding hiring people with ghetto names because you don’t want someone with a ghetto-culture background in your business.

  304. There is excellent reason not to hire Jamal even if he has the same paper qualifications as James:  as an outlier for his group, his rating is much more likely to be a fluke than someone who is more representative of their group.

    La Griffe du Lion analyzed this in detail:
    http://lagriffedulion.f2s.com/dct.htm

  305. @esr
    “The other is that what looks like racism at first blush is often classism – avoiding hiring people with ghetto names because you don’t want someone with a ghetto-culture background in your business.”

    We do not call it racism, we call it discrimination. People are discriminated based on their ethnic roots.

    Now, we can argue about what constitutes “Racism” until the cows come home, and even the KKK seems to claim they are not racists:
    http://crooksandliars.com/2014/04/virginia-kkk-leader-were-not-racist-were

    Let us stick to visible behavior instead.

    Discrimination on ethnic background is quite often used as the definition of “Racism”. This is especially so as those who are unambiguously “Racist” by ideology are only rarely able to formulate a coherent definition of “Race” that makes any sense (biological or otherwise).

    But the hidden inner feelings of those doing the hiring are not particularly relevant. To those that are rejected because their (grand-) parents were born in the Caribbean, Surinam, North-Africa, or Turkey, this is pure racism.

    I know that there is a game-theoretic analysis that will lead to the conclusion that employers will simply hire from the subset of applicants that others hire from.

    But that simply means that they will hire based on skin color in the USA and Europe. Which is discrimination based on Race in any reasonable definition of “Race” as it is has been used since the inception of the word.

    You can say that they have a right to hire based on race, but I do not see how you can deny that people are discriminated based on their race.

  306. And with the release of the autopsy report, the social justice warriors are now bent on proving WHY cops are against wearing body video recorders – the new pravda is that the police officer didn’t need to shoot the deceased so many times, and that by expending 6 rounds the officer is a murderer; the round count (or in some cases, the use of a firearm instead of a taser) is sufficient to convict.

    The old saw of being judged by 12 in preference to carried by 6 is being replaced by being judged by 12 million…

  307. A Mississippi deputy sheriff helping the KKK to kill 3 civil right workers in 1964

    Did he? Were poster boys then better than poster boys now?

    Let us go all the way back to John Brown. Turns out that John Brown seriously needed hanging.

    Whenever I investigate a poster boy or a poster girl, turns out to be fake.

    Normally, if you want to demonize group X as behaving badly to group Y, you just collect any bad thing any member of group X has done since the birth of Christ, and you wind up with a mighty thick book, for almost any value of group X. If instead, you want to prove that group Y oppresses group X, you wind up with a similarly thick book.

    But when you guys want to demonize heterosexual white males, you come up empty handed.

  308. But that simply means that they will hire based on skin color in the USA and Europe. Which is discrimination based on Race in any reasonable definition of “Race” as it is has been used since the inception of the word.

    If such discrimination was irrational, some company would be able to scoop up an equivalent or better workforce for less money, and cream the competition.

    This isn’t happening.  The disinterested observer is forced to conclude, like the study that found that banks which “discriminated” against minority mortgage applicants were merely adjusting qualifications to get the same default rates as non-minorities, that race actually has some relationship to job performance.  Even if it’s only communications barriers between cultures, there’s a rational basis for a company to hire people who are culturally compatible.  Since culture is related to race, there’s a rational basis for disparate racial numbers.

  309. In evolutionary time, those who overcame great hardships typically got to reproduce and consequently played a crucial role in the advancement of the species. Maybe Jamal gets screwed in 10 job interviews because of his race (which is unfair and sucks); but then he says “fuck it,” becomes an entrepreneur, gets rich based on his intelligence/hard work/anger-driven resentment, and hires lots of Jamals in his thriving business. Pissing and moaning about institutional racism is not going to make you a better person.

  310. Pissing and moaning about institutional racism is not going to make you a better person.

    ^This. One of the huge, should-be-obvious flaws in this point of view is that it says, in effect, “I can’t succeed until millions of other people change the ways they think and speak and behave, ways which are so terribly pervasive and deep-seated and subtle and reinforced by cultural forces that they often don’t even know they are doing any of it.”

    Well… don’t hold your breath.

  311. @James A. Donald

    > Have you considered the significant likelihood that if you interview someone called Lakisha, she is going to beat the hell out of you with a steel jack handle, with the result that you will fired for racism and never get another job in your life?

    Jessica Boxer on 2014-08-18 at 00:06:19 said:

    No, honestly, despite having interviewed several hundred people in my lifetime, including many people from different races, that has never crossed my mind.

    And were any of those people blacks with ghetto names? Name one.

    A lot of progressives tell me that they are totally unworried by visiting minority areas, where by minority they mean the Chinese district, not North Oatlands in the Bay Area.

  312. >You can say that they have a right to hire based on race, but I do not see how you can deny that people are discriminated based on their race.

    Sometime people are discriminated against on the basis of their race. Sometimes what looks like racism is something else. The difference matters; if you get the cause wrong, you get the cure wrong.

    My actual problem with hiring Jamal can’t be cured by any amount of persuasion not to be racist because it doesn’t spring from racism. If I’m worried about the risk of a meritless EEOC lawsuit, the only remedy is to annul the laws and regulations that create that risk. The effect would be that my hiring behavior looks less race-conscious. On the other hand, if I hate black people, revoking those laws will reduce the pressure on me to conceal that fact, and my hiring pattern will look more race conscious.

    It’s all very well to say “stick to visible behavior”, but if you do that when most employers are like me (that is, more worried about EEOC risk than racist) your attempts to help black people through regulation will do them iatrogenic damage.

  313. @ PapayaSF – “Well… don’t hold your breath.”

    No, that’s a futile gesture. Try “rolling up your sleeves” and proving them wrong.

    Whining is not hard work, and it doesn’t improve the gene pool.

  314. @William O. B’Livion:

    “His response was that he couldn’t believe that. That he had supported and been part of hte system for his whole life, that he had broken bread with some of these folks, and that he *could not* believe that.”

    The sad thing here is that part of paleoconservatism is religious conservatism, but he seems to have forgotten one of the central tenets of Chrisitanity: original sin.

  315. >And with the release of the autopsy report, the social justice warriors are now bent on proving WHY cops are against wearing body video recorders – the new pravda is that the police officer didn’t need to shoot the deceased so many times, and that by expending 6 rounds the officer is a murderer; the round count (or in some cases, the use of a firearm instead of a taser) is sufficient to convict

    Someone on Twitter is saying that CNN had someone on who claimed that the position of the shots on the inside of Brown’s arm is consistent with him being shot while raising his arms to surrender. True or not, apparently the protestors were taking it as true tonight.

  316. Someone on Twitter is saying that CNN had someone on who claimed that the position of the shots on the inside of Brown’s arm is consistent with him being shot while raising his arms to surrender.

    Heh. “Consistent with”. I bet it’s also consistent with raising his arms to charge. Funny how inconclusive that stuff can be and how pliable “consistent with” is.

  317. >I bet it’s also consistent with raising his arms to charge.

    If Brown had his hands up when he was perforated, the shot through the top of his head must have been plunging fire. From a black helicopter, no doubt.

  318. >If Brown had his hands up when he was perforated, the shot through the top of his head must have been plunging fire. From a black helicopter, no doubt

    Or he had already collapsed.

  319. @esr
    “It’s all very well to say “stick to visible behavior”, but if you do that when most employers are like me (that is, more worried about EEOC risk than racist) your attempts to help black people through regulation will do them iatrogenic damage.”

    You are confounding two things:
    1) A lot of people won’t get hired in a job they qualify for because of their ethnic background/skin color/name.

    2) Avenues open to increase the number of people with minority backgrounds that get employed based on their merit.

    My single point is that 1) is simply true. All empirical evidence proves that time and again. And it does not matter whether this is caused by unadulterated Racism or by recruiter laziness or any other cause.

    When we want to talk about 2), then that is a whole different matter. The fact that you do not like the way the USA is trying to solve the fact that a considerable part of the population is shut out from the labor market does not mean they are not discriminated against. And there are other ways to improve the plight of people discriminated against than resorting to the dysfunctional legal system of the USA.

  320. >Or he had already collapsed.

    Possible. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the cop kept firing after Brown went down – when you’re adrenalized to the point of tunnel vision that sort of thing tends to happen. It’s one of the known risks of having to shoot someone in self-defense that this rather mechanical manifestation of fight-or-flight response will be mistaken by a prosecutor and jury as perseveration and malice.

    In any case, the autopsy results as reported by the NYT not only render “shot in the back” untenable, they show that Brown’s accomplice in the robbery either deliberately lied about what happened or his recall of it was distorted under stress. I consider the latter as likely as the former.

    I’ve studied patterns in this kind of incident because I occasionally teach defensive pistol. I’ve been withholding judgment until we knew something about the shot placement. Now that we do, I have an informed opinion to offer. I’m not a top-flight pistol self-defense expert a la Massad Ayoob, but (aside from its political loading) this isn’t a complicated case, either.

    I predict we will be told that the cop is right-handed and at least a moderately proficient shooter. Under those assumptions, everything about the autopsy results makes sense.

    The most likely reconstruction of events in my mind matches what the cop’s unnamed friend told a reporter. That is, Brown was shot while charging the cop, head down and arms extended. The pattern of the shots tells me that the cop was aiming for center of mass as he’d been trained to do, but the shots tended left (striking to Brown’s right side) because he was jerking the trigger. This is why right-handedness and some trained competence are relevant; skewing outwards off the midline is much less common than inwards if the shooter is at least semi-skilled.

    I also think it’s likely that the shot through the top of the head happened because the cop was doing the Mozambique drill cops train for against a charge (I do, too). That is, two shots to center of mass, shot to the head. The body hits might have crumpled Brown forward in time for the head shot to go through his crown rather than his face or forehead.

  321. The reaction in Ferguson is the result of the institutionalization – the mainstreaming – of hate speech by making it seem reasonable, and with the typical double standards of intersectional thought – otherwise known as bigotry – attached.

    It is not some white racist governor of Missouri who talks about “my people” but Eric Holder, the top law enforcement official in America. It is not a white racist police chief in St. Louis who is talking about raising a “white son” but the black Captain of the highway patrol in St. Louis talking about “my black son” and how they can be “better black men.”

    Are Ferguson’s white police officers talking about “better white men?” NO. And what would they be called if they did? “White supremacists.” Oh, but wait – they already are. In intersectional thought, events mean nothing – identity determines who is a racist, not actually being a racist. Identity determines who is a criminal – not actually being one.

    It is not white racism which owns the aftermath of the Brown shooting but witchhunters, rabble-rousers, con men, naive “allies” and straight up racists. In other words, the same forces that own the defamatory and supremacist results of the 2014 Nebulas and Hugos. In this culture of thought, defamation and supremacy always go hand in hand – always.

    Ferguson and the SFF community share the same hallmarks of identity over principle that makes the SFF community such an interesting microcosm in the study of sheer hatred combined with sheer stupidity. It’s no coincidence a rabble-rousing racist witchhunter from recent Readercon panels about “diversity” one month has announced they’re going to Ferguson this week. Why not? That’s what vultures do. They sense weakness and death and ensure no recovery.

    No one following the SFF community or events in larger America should be surprised at the racist con game being played out either in Ferguson or the SFF community.

  322. Couple of things: I may not have been clear, but I don’t believe that the recordings of police acting in the line of duty having the chance to be misused by defense lawyers, SJWs, or malcontents is sufficient reason to not have them required

  323. @James A. Donald
    > And were any of those people blacks with ghetto names? Name one.

    I don’t know what a “ghetto” name is, but I have certainly interviewed, hired and fired many people with names from the black culture. I think calling it the “ghetto” culture oozes racism in itself. Off the top of my head I have hired a Demetrius, a Tyrone and a Darius. Not too many black women, but I work in computer software, so women of all colors constitute a smaller part of the demographic.

    > A lot of progressives tell me that they are totally unworried by visiting minority areas, where by minority they mean the Chinese district, not North Oatlands in the Bay Area.

    The idea that all black people live in the ghetto is nonsense. I wouldn’t visit some of those areas because they are scary and dangerous. Several years ago I was in Rio De Janerio. I wouldn’t visit the favelas there either, even though they are populated by the same Cariocas as richy-rich Ipamena and I wouldn’t go into many biker bars, even though they are full of white guys.

  324. @esr
    > The difference matters; if you get the cause wrong, you get the cure wrong.

    I don’t think I was looking for a cure. All I was saying is that “walks like a duck quacks like a duck” racism is a common experience in the lives of many black people. Even if you can’t fix it, there is value in even acknowledging the reality of it.

    > If I’m worried about the risk of a meritless EEOC lawsuit, the only remedy is to annul the laws and regulations that create that risk. The effect would be that my hiring behavior looks less race-conscious.

    Again, I have interviewed and hired a LOT of people. I have also worked for several large corporations and the description you give of the hiring process is not at all what I have seen. On the contrary, corporations are concerned to avoid legal actions in hiring, but they do so by trying to eliminate race (etc.) as a factor, not by specifically decreasing the likelihood of hiring people of a certain race. So my experience of the corporation is 180 degrees different than what you describe here.

    Someone here testified to this, where he explained how he got beat up because during a discussion on resumes he commented a name “looked black.” This is my experience is too. Even mentioning something about a candidate’s race is verboten. This is an honest and legitimate attempt by the corp to eliminate race from hiring. Not hiring someone out of fear of a meritless EEOC lawsuit is the sort of thing that will actually get you fired.

    However, I hire professional people, it might be different in different types of employee.

  325. @Jessica:

    And, of course, merely by voicing this opinion, you are handing ammunition to those who want to force you to have the correct percentage of Jamals in your workplace.

    Ummm, I wasn’t responding directly to you. Rather, to Eric’s opinion that he would do the same as those in the study.

    @Fail:

    I grew up with a guy who was a a taxi driver for years. He said his beef and that of other drivers was there was a pattern that black guys would get to the destination and then bolt out of the cab without paying.

    Yeah, the unbanked are going to have problems, but Uber and Lyft are going to own the market for transporting “suspicious-looking” people who happen to have smartphones and credit cards. And with relatively little risk in the process, once they get the kinks ironed out. (Do they ask subscribers to post a picture of themselves so the cab driver knows who to look for?)

    @esr:

    That’s not my problem. In that situation, my fiduciary responsibility to my firm trumps his hurt feelings.

    Because you’re not a white man in Ferguson? We’re not talking “hurt feelings” here; we’re talking the inability to find a good job. You aren’t going to be part of the solution when you equate that with “hurt feelings.”

    Perhaps Jamal should recognize where his self-interest lies and campaign to have the laws which make him a hiring risk revoked.

    Although you believe we should treat Jamal as an individual, you believe that he is a member of a group that can successfully sue for discrimination if fired. This seems to me to happen infrequently these days, and probably for good reason — if Jamal is smart enough for you to hire him, he is probably smart enough to keep his mouth shut and move on to the next job.

    But you’re not even going to interview Jamal, which means that you probably believe, a priori, knowing nothing else about Jamal, his IQ is probably a standard deviation low, and yet you expect him to try to overturn those laws, because callous you, who won’t even interview him, says that those laws are not in his best interest. Do you really expect poor, dumb Jamal to believe you? Or is he going to believe those who tell him that the law is necessary but not sufficient — that we need your company to have a quota?

    The problem may or may not be tractable, but your armchair “solution” — to convince Jamal to do the heavy lifting — seems unlikely to be helpful. Because from Jamal’s perspective, it’s been one excuse after another for a long time.

  326. FYI, Michael Brown was hit not once but twice in the head.  If memory serves, one headshot hit his right eye, exited through his jaw, and hit his clavicle.  The bullet in the crown was most likely the last of two head shots, which finally incapacitated him.

  327. The police may not like being second-guessed by a camera record, but guess what? Major League Baseball is using camera replay for appeal of calls. If Derek Jeter can put up with it, so can Barney Fife.

  328. Is it just me, or does Nigel strike anyone else as a coward? Fearful of terrorists, fearful of criminals, how afraid of everything do you have to be to get the white feather?

  329. Oh, sorry, I missed Nigel’s fear of Russians, too. I haven’t read the whole thread yet, so let’s just assume that Nigel is afraid of his own shadow and not mention any other specific fears.

  330. The police may not like being second-guessed by a camera record, but guess what? Major League Baseball is using camera replay for appeal of calls. If Derek Jeter can put up with it, so can Barney Fife.

    I agree – I was calling out the SJWs for pivoting to “too many shots fired” when the original line was discredited by the (privately commissioned) autopsy; and that this was one reason police are against recording their actions. I wasnt’ claiming this was a sufficient reason, however

  331. Pingback: Eyes on the ball(s) in Ferguson | The Common Room

  332. @TomA
    Seven killed and 29 wounded in Chicago over the weekend. Where is the national outrage and hysteria?

    I think the media should indeed be more outraged over a cop shooting an innocent than some gangbanger shooting an innocent. Of course in both cases the innocent is dead, however, when the cop does it, in a sense it is me who did the killing, because the cop is acting as an agent of the state that I elected.

    When somebody kills an innocent in my name, then I should be more outraged than some random act of violence that has nothing to do with me.

    However, I think @Steve was referring to the autopsy that seems to have appeared. I stand by my earlier statement that a cop has no right to shoot someone in the back running away, but it seems that that is not what happened in Missouri, since all wounds seem to have come into the front of his body.

    To be clear, I fully recognize the cop’s right to take down a violent unarmed attacker, even using deadly force.I think what happens needs a thorough investigation, but the direction of the bullet wounds indeed changes everything about this case.

  333. >But you’re not even going to interview Jamal, which means that you probably believe, a priori, knowing nothing else about Jamal, his IQ is probably a standard deviation low,

    Um, where did I say either thing? Upthread I started out by saying I wouldn’t hire Jamal over James unless he’s a significantly stronger candidate – better enough to more than offset the attached risk in my mind. This presupposes that I would interview him, doesn’t it? I also would not believe that I knew anything about his individual IQ before interviewing him. The individual is not the mass.

    >Do you really expect poor, dumb Jamal to believe you? Or is he going to believe those who tell him that the law is necessary but not sufficient — that we need your company to have a quota?

    What Jamal believes on this score is not, ipso facto, more interesting to me than if he were a Flat-Earther. My responsibility in this situation is to my own (individualist) ethics and my firm. He gets the job if I think the expected value of his productivity minus the expected risk of hiring him is higher than the same figure for James.

  334. The fear is that the mall attack in Kenya can happen in Kansas. Which only takes a half dozen guys with AKs, some HMEs and a death wish.

    That’s the fear all right. Packaged and sold by the establishment so they can spy on us without a warrant, detain us without a trial, and execute us by remote control without remorse. Even Isagenix couldn’t ask for a more clever and insidious marketing campaign.

    “Terrorism” is mostly bulshytt. (Read Anathem to grok the nuances of this word when spelled this way.) The chances of you getting attacked by terrorists are vanishingly small. I think you’re still more likely to be struck by lightning. Anyway, reacting out of fear towards them is giving them what they want. All this heightened security means the terrorists are calling the shots. Since it works out conveniently for governments to get unpopular security measures and war declarations pushed through, one may wonder if the relationship between governments and “terrorist” groups is as adversarial as is suggested in the media, non?

    By the way, “national security” is also bulshytt; in practice it actually means “we’re from the government, we’re not accountable to you, we don’t have to explain why we’re circumventing the Constitution. There are worse things out there, so be glad you’re living under our thumb.”

  335. By the way, “national security” is also bulshytt; in practice it actually means “we’re from the government, we’re not accountable to you, we don’t have to explain why we’re circumventing the Constitution. There are worse things out there, so be glad you’re living under our thumb.”

    I admire the mental gymnastics that permit you to recognize this and still call for stronger government powers.

  336. I’m glad someone else brought it up; the black-swan events of 9/11, shoe bomber, underwear bomber, &C) are in no way a good reason to repress individual liberty. We gave up essential liberty for temporary security, and it was and is a bad deal.

  337. @esr:

    Um, where did I say either thing? Upthread I started out by saying I wouldn’t hire Jamal over James unless he’s a significantly stronger candidate – better enough to more than offset the attached risk in my mind.

    Perhaps I was conflating your response with that of the original study, which was about responses to resumes…

    This presupposes that I would interview him, doesn’t it?

    We toss a lot of resumes without interviews, based on subjective evaluations of candidate strength. You have to, because there isn’t enough time to interview everybody.

    What Jamal believes on this score is not, ipso facto, more interesting to me than if he were a Flat-Earther.

    Maybe it should be. There are more Jamals than flat-earthers, and their erroneous beliefs are more likely to cause you harm.

  338. >I admire the mental gymnastics that permit you to recognize this and still call for stronger government powers.

    I know people think I’m cranky when I describe the belief system of the American left as wreckage left by Soviet memetic weapons. One of the hot clues to this is exactly this internal contradiction – government action is good and our future is rightly trusted to expert planners disinterestedly engineering outcomes, except when it’s the American national-security apparatus, in which case everyone involved is a power-hungry villain and the outcome is necessarily bad.

    It’s such a specific carve-out that it seems designed rather than natural. There’s another specific carve-out near sex, drugs, and porn. Yet lefties never notice the 180s they do near these areas. It’s like they’re programmed not to notice.

  339. > There are more Jamals than flat-earthers, and their erroneous beliefs are more likely to cause you harm.

    Lots of fscking idiots believe creationism, too. That doesn’t mean I owe them any respect or notice.

  340. The systemic (dare I say “institutionalized?”) belief that private businesses should not be able to fire certain employees at will is ostensibly much more damaging to the Jamals of this world than the belief in a young earth created by an omnipotent being is to many of its adherents.

    The first belief isn’t backed by any religion that I know of; one would think that it could be changed, given the appropriate approach. Changing it would probably be good for all of us. You don’t have to respect Jamal or do it for Jamal. You probably agree that changing the belief would be useful, which is why I pointed out that conflating Jamal’s inability to find a job with “hurt feelings” isn’t helpful.

  341. Jeff Read on 2014-08-18 at 14:07:24 said:

    “Terrorism” is mostly bulshytt. (Read Anathem to grok the nuances of this word when spelled this way.) The chances of you getting attacked by terrorists are vanishingly small. I think you’re still more likely to be struck by lightning.

    Those who say they are unafraid of terrorists usually support the imposition of Sharia law on non Muslims, making non Muslims second class citizens: For example affirmative action for major Hasan, forbidden to depict the prophet, etc.

    Which suggests that they are afraid of terrorists.

    The problem with terrorism is not that it kills a lot of people. As you say, it does not. The problem is that it is intended to coerce, and is successful in coercing.

  342. >Those who say they are unafraid of terrorists usually support the imposition of Sharia law on non Muslims, making non Muslims second class citizens: For example affirmative action for major Hasan, forbidden to depict the prophet, etc.

    Citation required.

    I’m unafraid of terrorists because I live in the US and there are zero of them here, statistically speaking. Even 9/11, as horrific as it was, was meaningless in terms of numeric impact on the US population.

    That’s not to say that might not change in the future is bioweapons become cheap and easy to get ahold of, but right now at least the flu shot protects me more than anti-terrorism forces.

  343. “Even 9/11, as horrific as it was, was meaningless in terms of numeric impact on the US population.”
    So was Pearl Harbor.

  344. “The chances of you getting attacked by terrorists are vanishingly small. I think you’re still more likely to be struck by lightning.”

    Play 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon only replace Kevin with a victim and see how many steps it takes from you to a terror victim.

    Around the DC area it’s usually not that many hops in terms of people or locality (as in OMG I was at that Home Depot the day before the sniper shooting).

    I don’t stand out in the middle of a golf course during a thunderstorm either.

    Having officers trained to effectively enter and engage in a shooting incident is not so different in preparation.

    And it’s not the populace that currently fears such a mall attack because mostly the populace is unaware because it hasn’t happened here yet.

    It’s the sheepdogs that fear because they all know that the majority of casualties will happen in the first few minutes before they can get there. They will always be behind the power curve since the bad guys holds the initiative.

    The only way they can steal the march on the bad guys is via intel and surveillance and nail them during the planning and prep stages.

    As far as the CCW crowd goes, well, good luck. If the bad guys don’t shoot you the heavily armed responders probably will unless you hide.

    “Anyway, reacting out of fear towards them is giving them what they want.”

    Making sure our police are properly armed and trained to respond to either a terrorist attack or a nutjob like in Aurora is reacting out of fear or prudence?

  345. Although, Pearl Harbor was committed by an enemy with the military resources of a state, and they were answered as such.

    The terrorists who committed 9/11 were traceable to the sovereign territory of a state, and that state was quite properly attacked with large scale force as well.

    I’m just saying that I feel no greater fear of terrorists than seems warranted given the actual threat as far as I perceive it. Because fuck them, that’s why.

  346. Sorry, I should have completed the syllogism for James A. Donald.

    In addition to not fearing terrorists, I also do not support Sharia law anywhere in the world.

    So, there’s that.

  347. Steve on 2014-08-18 at 00:47:31 said: “>>>to send out SWAT teams to serve subpoenas is going too far

    Which has jack to do with the case in question.”

    Perhaps you missed the question, which was “Demilitarize the police”, and the tendency of some police to overreact.

  348. Jonathan Abbey commented

    In addition to not fearing terrorists, I also do not support Sharia law anywhere in the world.

    If true, easy to prove. Just state a hate fact about Mohammed or Islam, as everyone in this thread continually does about Christianity.

    Then we will know you don’t fear terrorists and don’t support Sharia law anywhere in the world.

    If, on the other hand, you cannot state a hate fact about Mohammed, you are, for whatever reason, obeying Sharia law.

  349. @James A. Donald
    > Just state a hate fact about Mohammed or Islam, as everyone in this thread continually does about Christianity.

    As one of the haters of Christianity, I volunteer. I think the fact that Mohammed married a six year old girl, but didn’t consummate the marriage until she was the ripe old age of nine, when he himself was in his fifties, means that he was a creepy old pervert.

  350. >If true, easy to prove. Just state a hate fact about Mohammed or Islam, as everyone in this thread continually does about Christianity.

    So? What’s a “hate fact”?

    I think that Islam is a false religion (along with the rest of them), and that it is a throwback to the medieval period much like the Coelacanth is a living fossil from the Cretaceous. I think that it is massively repressive. I think the claims it makes for itself are ludicrous. I think that it is totalitarian in creed and in action, when and where it gains enough power to be so.

    Is that a hate fact?

    How about this:

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  352. @Jessica Boxer:

    I think the fact that Mohammed married a six year old girl, but didn’t consummate the marriage until she was the ripe old age of nine, when he himself was in his fifties, means that he was a creepy old pervert.

    Wait, what? If he had consummated the marriage right away, he wouldn’t have been a pervert?

  353. If true, easy to prove. Just state a hate fact about Mohammed or Islam, as everyone in this thread continually does about Christianity.

    I’m not afraid to state that as bad as Christianity is, Islam is far worse.

    But riddle me this: while the Christians were burning the library at Alexandria, who was reintroducing classical knowledge back into Europe, forming the basis for what we now call “Western civilization” in all its modern glory?

  354. True, there were some positive effects of Islam a thousand years ago. Since then, well, ummm….

  355. >But riddle me this: while the Christians were burning the library at Alexandria, who was reintroducing classical knowledge back into Europe, forming the basis for what we now call “Western civilization” in all its modern glory?

    Christians were not responsible for the destruction of the Library, though not for lack of intent. At worst, Pope Theophilus II ordered the destruction of a daughter library at the Serapeum in 391CE; the main work of destruction had been done (accidentally) by Julius Caesar in 48BCE and the Emperor Valerian circa 272CE.

    There is a late and doubtful account that the final destruction of the Library itself was ordered by a Muslim Caliph.

  356. What Happens When A Black Man ‘Stands His Ground’ In Florida
    http://disinfo.com/2014/02/happens-black-man-stands-ground-florida/

    I don’t know enough about the Michael Giles case to comment, but I do know enough about the Marissa Alexander case, and the way the linked article blatantly lies about it gives me no reason to take seriously its characterisation of the Giles case.

    A Black Man is Killed in the U.S. Every 28 Hours by Police
    http://www.occupy.com/article/black-man-killed-us-every-28-hours-police

    A black man murders someone a lot more often than that. If once in 28 hours one needs killing, I’m OK with that. The mere frequency is no indication of injustice.

  357. Btw, there are 3 black policeman on a force of 53 in a town 67% black (no institutional racism in Ferguson or America at large, nope).

    Why would that indicate “institutional racism”? What percentage do black people in Ferguson make up of those who a) want to be policemen, and b) qualify for the job? Also, Ferguson has only recently turned so black; what percentage of the force has been there for a long time, and what was the black/white ratio when they were first hired?

  358. @Patrick Maupin
    > Wait, what? If he had consummated the marriage right away, he wouldn’t have been a pervert?

    LOL, that’d be a grammar fail. Perhaps my sloppy English will mean that I don’t loose my eternal paradise…

  359. @Milhouse:

    > Why would that indicate “institutional racism”?

    Institutional racism is defined as lack of equality of outcome, which has the immense benefit of making it extremely easy to prove, even by innumerates.

    @Jessica:

    That’s a relief. For a minute there, I thought you were saying I was being perverted when I have sex with my wife. She’s much older than six.

  360. Jeff Read on 2014-08-18 at 21:23:13 said:

    But riddle me this: while the Christians were burning the library at Alexandria, who was reintroducing classical knowledge back into Europe, forming the basis for what we now call “Western civilization” in all its modern glory?

    Ah, you oppose Islam but …

    The Muslims did not introduce classical knowledge back into Europe.

    The crusaders found, in unused Muslim libraries, dust covered books long unread, and brought them back into Europe.

    Islamic civilization reached its high point around 850AD and has been in uninterrupted decline ever since. By the time Muslim learning was introduced into Europe, the Muslims had long forgotten it.

  361. >Islamic civilization reached its high point around 850AD and has been in uninterrupted decline ever since.

    That’s too early. While 850-900CE was arguably the apex point of the arc, serious, uninterrupted decline didn’t begin until after 1000CE. I have studied this matter closely because, as I’ve noted before on this blog, it’s the clearest case on record of a civilization being wrecked by a single toxic intellectual.

  362. >The crusaders found, in unused Muslim libraries, dust covered books long unread, and brought them back into Europe.

    The Crusaders didn’t give a shit for Muslim libraries. The actual transmission belt was the Iberian peninsula during the early Reconquista, and to a lesser extent trading contacts between North Africa and the Italian merchant cities. Many of the bridging intellectuals on both sides were Sephardic Jews.

  363. I don’t have a citation handy, but I’ve read in more than a few places, that most of the Muslim science wasn’t Muslim. Much of it was dhimmis, or people that had lived and died long ago in places that later became islamic.

    As in, clueless apologists notice that Persia was once part of the caliphate, and suddenly Algebra was a Muslim invention, and so on.

    Some even take it so far as to claim that Muslim learning in general is a modern myth perpetuated by useful idiots. I haven’t done enough research on the matter to develop a strong opinion of my own. Anyone else familiar with these claims?

  364. @Patrick Maupin
    > I thought you were saying I was being perverted when I have sex with my wife.

    I have no data to say whether that is or is not true….

  365. Now that more facts are coming out, it’s beginning to appear that the police officer is not the homicidal racist that the media circus is promoting. However, Eric’s other point about the militarization of the police is still valid and important.

    http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=2196838

  366. >Islamic civilization reached its high point around 850AD and has been in uninterrupted decline ever since.

    esr

    That’s too early. While 850-900CE was arguably the apex point of the arc, serious, uninterrupted decline didn’t begin until after 1000CE.

    The Quarmatians (899AD) sure look like serious decline

    The Quarmatians sucked, and when they finally self destructed and Abassids then revolted against them and regained Abassid power, the Abbasids sucked. And thereafter, everyone sucked worse.

    You can say that was not uninterrrupted because when the Qarmatians self destructed, things got less bad.

    You seem to be arguing that the serious fall began with “the Incoherence of the Philosophers” sometime around 1020 or so, oft proclaimed as the peak of Muslim Philosophy or the beginning of the end, but the Quarmatians were still hanging on at that time, even though they, like the communists after Stalin, no longer really believed in themselves.

    But it seems to me that the Qarmatian victory created a time in which no one wanted to care about the philosophers, and “the incoherence of the philosophers” retroactively provided a rationale for ignoring them, much as Kant provided a rationale for ignoring reality for intellectuals who had long found reality increasingly inconvenient.

  367. esr:

    The Crusaders didn’t give a shit for Muslim libraries. The actual transmission belt was the Iberian peninsula during the early Reconquista, and to a lesser extent trading contacts between North Africa and the Italian merchant cities

    The first translations appear 1240 or so, when the Crusaders ruled much of the middle east. Trading contact between North Africa and the Italian merchant cities was trading contact between crusaders and the Italian merchant cities. Jewish intermediaries were entirely unnecessary.

    Further, the books were not translated in Italy, but in Toledo, Spain.

    The translations began ten years after the Holy Roman Emperor took up residence in Jerusalem, and ruled it, so I don’t see Jewish merchants doing much book dealing under these circumstances.

    The connection with Italy is only that the Holy Roman Emperor set forth from Italy to Jerusalem.

  368. >You seem to be arguing that the serious fall began with “the Incoherence of the Philosophers” sometime around 1020 or so

    That is correct. The doom of Islamic civilization was sealed when Al-Ghazali’s followers successfully organized the persecution and destruction of the rationalist Mu’utazilite school.

    >But it seems to me that the Qarmatian victory created a time in which no one wanted to care about the philosophers

    This may have been a contributing factor. But it was the establishment of occasionalism and anti-rationalism as the reigning orthodoxy of Islam that guaranteed Islamic civilization would never recover its early ability to do innovation in science and technology – under Ghazalite thinking the very thought processes required for innovation are irredeemably blasphemous. This cleared the field for the rise of Western Europe.

  369. In 1229, the holy Roman Emperor, who speaks both Norman and Arabic and several other languages, takes up residence in Jerusalem as King of Jerusalem.

    In 1240, most of the translations of Aristotle from Arabic are made in Toledo, Spain.

    Now maybe Jewish booksellers were somehow involved in this story and the emperor and his multilingual court are irrelevant, but it is a funny looking coincidence. What evidence do you have for Jewish intermediaries?

    I think you are basing your theory on the stereotype of Crusaders as ignorant bigoted buffoons, which obviously they were not. By 1100 or so, it was the Arabs that were ignorant bigoted buffoons, and the Jews not much better.

  370. >In 1240, most of the translations of Aristotle from Arabic are made in Toledo, Spain.

    Exemplifying my point that the actual route of transmission was primarily the Iberian peninsula.

    >What evidence do you have for Jewish intermediaries?

    In the Muslim portions of Iberia, as later in Christian monarchies, “court Jews” were a significant element of the machinery of rulership. Some of them wrote commentaries which were attached to the works passing from Arabic to Latin, especially in the areas of law and medicine.

  371. @JAD
    “If true, easy to prove. Just state a hate fact about Mohammed or Islam, as everyone in this thread continually does about Christianity.”

    Only modern neo-fundamentalist Muslims care about the utterances of non-believers. Just as a medieval Jew could say blasphemous things about Jesus and Maria, Jews and Christians could say bad things about Mohammed.

    @JAD
    “Then we will know you don’t fear terrorists and don’t support Sharia law anywhere in the world.”

    Which Sharia?

    SHARIA INCORPORATED
    A Comparative Overview of the Legal Systems of Twelve Muslim Countries in Past and Present
    http://dare.uva.nl/document/221087

    See also:
    Reformation of Islamic Thought: A Critical Historical Analysis
    http://books.google.nl/books/about/Reformation_of_Islamic_Thought.html?id=0UZc_Yvle_AC&redir_esc=y

  372. >http://www.idscience.org/2007/07/28/islam-the-real-cause-of-the-dark-ages/

    This is a rant uttered by Christian apologists.

    Actually I think they (following Pirenne) are correct in observing that Roman institutions and trade networks survived the formal end of the Western Empire largely intact, only to be trashed by Islamic wars and raiding around 700. There’s good archeological evidence for this, notably in the form of burn layers at many urban sites in the Mediterranean basin.

    Their desire to write Christianity out of the picture as a co-factor in the decline is not so well founded. All of Gibbon’s reasons for believing that Christianity helped erode the old Imperial order are still sound. One indicator of this is that the medievals knew how to do urban sanitation on the Roman model – that knowledge wasn’t lost – but they just didn’t, for religious reasons. Urban plumbing was associated with bathhouses, which were considered sinks of iniquity. Predictable consequences – urban epidemics and population collapses – followed.

  373. @esr
    “There’s good archeological evidence for this, notably in the form of burn layers at many urban sites in the Mediterranean basin.
    Their desire to write Christianity out of the picture as a co-factor in the decline is not so well founded.”

    Indeed, cities can be rebuild and irrigation works restored. But this was often a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face. In this respect, early Christians were on par with current day Taliban, if not worse.

  374. PapayaSF, the “Great Inversion” as described in that article is precisely what people have in mind when speaking of “institutional racism.”

    The whites are retreating from the suburbs and buying into the gentrified urban areas of St. Louis and displacing the urban black community.

    Um, how is that racism of any kind?

  375. “Russ Nelson on 2014-08-18 at 10:55:34 said:
    Is it just me, or does Nigel strike anyone else as a coward? Fearful of terrorists, fearful of criminals, how afraid of everything do you have to be to get the white feather?”

    LOL. Someone calling someone else a coward on the internet is amusingly ironic. It’s nice to know that you are consistent in your behavior here as in the OSI.

    I don’t fear Mr law enforcement nor Mr black helicopter nor Mr microsoft. Or Mr terrorist either for that matter. I do prefer someone shoot him with a hellfire over there than a 9mm over here.

  376. No. Are you and others here really so dense as to not comprehend institutional racism? Sad.

    It’s a nonsense term that nobody comprehends, because it was made up by blockheads like you for the express purpose of blaming normal people for it.

  377. Only modern neo-fundamentalist Muslims care about the utterances of non-believers. Just as a medieval Jew could say blasphemous things about Jesus and Maria, Jews and Christians could say bad things about Mohammed.

    Read this hadith.

  378. The city [Detroit] became a deadly wasteland. I have friends in the ‘burbs who are armed martial artists and EMTs and they’ve told me the score; don’t go downtown if you’re non-black and want to live.

    I’ve been to the area around the Rosa Parks bus terminal, and walked the few blocks between there and Woodward, and while it looked very run-down and largely deserted, and I thought that perhaps I ought to be afraid, nothing actually made me feel that way. Nobody accosted me, and I didn’t see anything that seemed threatening. Now maybe that’s the “good” part of downtown; I wouldn’t know. Maybe someone who knows the city can confirm this, or else tell me how stupid I was for going there. I know there are genuinely good parts of the city, because I’ve gone past them on the Dexter bus and they looked lovely. I’ve also been to the block or two around Wayne State, which I assume is safe, but I also assume the safe zone doesn’t go past those few blocks.

  379. @Joseph W
    “Read this hadith.”

    Indeed, and what is remarkable is the length to which this web site goes in modern times to spin out this story of a man who killed the mother of his children.

    In Islamic law, blasphemy was evidence of Apostasy, that is act of abandoning Islam, which was often punished by death.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemy#Islam

    Common practice was that unbelievers could not abandon Islam, so were not bound by this law. But it is never a good idea to insult the ruling class. The idea to murder non-believers for blasphemy by law seems to be a very modern development.

  380. The 2014 Nebula winners were not only a pitch perfect example of intersectionalism, but failure – in that case, artistic failure.

    That would be the 2013 Nebulas; the 2014 winners won’t be chosen till next year.

    How are they failures? The only one I’ve read Ancillary Justice, and I liked it quite a bit.

    The use of female pronouns for characters identified as male did get a bit grating after the first 50 pages or so; it was a clever and completely justified literary device, one of the things that are typical of SF, but I think it would have been better suited to a shorter piece. Still, I don’t think that justifies calling it an artistic failure. In the end I didn’t vote for it because I felt there was nothing completely new in it, it just put together elements with which I was already familiar, but I thought it did so well enough.

  381. PS: I mean I didn’t vote for it for the Hugo. I don’t want to pretend that I get to vote on the Nebulas.

  382. Most homicides are intraracial. Most homicides are committed by young black males. So, everybody should be weary of young black males’ homicidal tendencies? Unless you are hunting unicorns and black swans, you made a logical leap.

    How so? It’s not as if young black males are preferentially killing black people, so that non-black people shouldn’t be afraid of them. They mostly kill black people simply because they have a greater opportunity to do so. They would just as readily kill anyone else, given the chance, so everyone should be wary of them.

    Where are the statistics on cops killed by young black men?

    I don’t know, but I don’t see any logical reason why they’d be more reluctant to kill a cop than anyone else.

  383. I urge everyone to read this foul manifesto presented to Dartmouth University to understand how completely insane these people are, and how utterly racist. And realize no less than 30 of the morons who support this BS are nominated for Hugos this year.

    Could you please expand on that? I’ve been out of the loop lately, and have no idea what you’re talking about. I couldn’t make it to San Antonio last year, or to London this year. I still hope to make it to Spokane next year. Who are these 30 nominees, and in what way do they support the sort of BS represented by that Dartmouth document?

  384. Indeed, but if the aliens were projections of a fear for communist invasions, that would be strange. At the time, there was no fear that the communist would commit genocide after conquering a territory. That was why I considered a fear of a repeat of the conquering of the Americas. But that was historically not the way it entered the SF literature.

    The idea that the conquest of America was genocidal was not current at that time. It comes from the ’70s.

  385. You use as much force as you can muster, including taking his head off with your weapon if necessary. However, what you don’t do is pump a couple of rounds in his back when he is running away, or pop a few more off when he goes down.

    That seems to be what happened in this case.

    Based on what? I realise you wrote that before the autopsy report came out, but even then what evidence existed for your scenario?

  386. Zimmermann shot Martin during an ongoing attack, the cop shot his alleged attacker after the attacker was leaving the scene.

    Well, we now know that wasn’t the case, and even when you wrote this there was no reason to believe it was the case. But even if it had been, you forgot the fleeing felon rule. Yes, cops are more restricted in this than ordinary citizens are, but even cops are allowed to shoot a fleeing felon if they have reason to believe he’s dangerous. So if Wilson had shot Brown in the back to prevent him from fleeing, his defense would be that Brown was a known robber, who had already assaulted a cop and tried to take his gun, so it seemed likely that if he got away he would hurt someone. If the tox report shows that he was on something, that would have bolstered such a defense.

  387. the objective evidence of the autopsy that the punk had a couple of rounds in his back.

    What are you talking about? The autopsy showed the exact opposite; I assumed you wrote before seeing it, so I didn’t blame you for not knowing about it, but now I don’t know what you thought you knew at the time.

  388. Winter commented:

    Only modern neo-fundamentalist Muslims care about the utterances of non-believers. Just as a medieval Jew could say blasphemous things about Jesus and Maria, Jews and Christians could say bad things about Mohammed.

    South Park had its depiction of Mohammed censored.

    The US federal government recently arrested a man for creating a you tube video in which Mohammed was (accurately) depicted as a bastard.

    Multiple similar arrests in Britain.

    During “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” Pakistan cut off access to the internet.

    Molly Norris is in hiding and under a new identity.

  389. esr:

    Actually I think they (following Pirenne) are correct in observing that Roman institutions and trade networks survived the formal end of the Western Empire largely intact, only to be trashed by Islamic wars and raiding around 700. There’s good archeological evidence for this, notably in the form of burn layers at many urban sites in the Mediterranean basin.

    Islamic invasion is more effect than cause.

    If we look at economic indicators – shipwrecks, urban garbage, and the pollution caused by copper production, the empire declined steadily, slowly, and fairly uniformly from about 100AD onwards, hitting bottom around 700-900 AD. Imperceptibly slow, about one percent a year, with the fall of Rome scarcely making a blip.

    So if anything, the Saracen invasion forced them to turn around and pull their act together.

    I attribute this turnaround to Charles the Hammer confiscating the wealth of the Church and forcing Christianity at swordpoint to become a more martial and valiant faith in order to prevent Saracen conquest – thus more capable of maintaining order, forcing Christianity to support, rather than subvert, the social order, making Christianity a reactionary rather than revolutionary faith.

    Similarly China has been in decline for 900 years, and I attribute its recent (1978-1980) turnaround to the nineteenth century invasions by the British Empire and the twentieth century invasion by the Japanese, which cured them of their self indulgent belief in the superiority of system that had long been in terrible decline.

  390. > The doom of Islamic civilization was sealed when Al-Ghazali’s followers successfully organized the persecution and destruction of the rationalist Mu’utazilite school.

    I’d be a lot more skeptical of third-hand accounts written by non-Arabic speakers than you’re being. Check out what NNT has to say about the Ghazali-Avveroes debate–it was hardly even noticed among Arab scholars at the time. The 11th c. was around when Turkish invaders first started making serious incursions in the region, precipitating a much more tangible decline than abstruse philosophers could manage.

  391. Let’s hope so. Surprising that the department and/or DA’s office and/or Mayor wouldn’t have made such information public ASAP, though.

    The police and local DA are hamstrung by the FBI and DOJ people. It took them some effort get hold of the robbery video from the store, and then they had to defy the DOJ’s orders in order to release it. Holder wanted it kept secret, the better to fan the narrative for the 2014 elections. You do realise that’s what this is all about, don’t you? It’s an exact repeat of the Martin/Zimmerman affair two years ago: a method for getting black voters to the polls.

  392. However, at the national level, this incident is solely about memetic warfare, grievance mongering, and political maneuvering. The people playing the national game are hardcore incipient tyrants that seek power for its own sake and don’t give a damn about the personal tragedy. If you need to find a bad guy in this episode, look there first.

    It’s much simpler than that: it’s about the midterm elections.

  393. My own position, for those new to the blog, is that (a) interracial IQ differences are real, significant, and largely genetic, but (b) this does not have the consequences racists desire because the individual is not the mass.

    Knowing that Ashkenazic Jews have about a standard deviation average-IQ advantage over European gentiles tells me nothing about how to treat an individual Jewish job applicant or neighbor; [...] The consequences of low average IQ are equally irrelevant in evaluating any individual black person.

    Only if you have better information about the individual than what is immediately visible. If you’re sorting a pile of applications to decide whom to interview first, and your applicant pool has not already been filtered by, e.g. a requirement that they have PHDs, then you’re probably best off interviewing the Jews first, then the Asians, then the whites, and you’ll probably fill the position before you get to the black applicants.

    OTOH if all your applicants are PHDs then there’s no reason to suppose the black ones are less intelligent than the Jewish ones; there will just be a lot less of them. Along similar lines, if you meet a young black male on the street, you make one set of assumptions; if you meet him in a physics class (or at an SF con, or at a yeshivah) you make a whole different set of assumptions, becuase the sample of young black men who are likely to be there is not typical of the general class.

  394. his means police are about 15 times more deadly than the average citizen.

    Now granted, police may encounter far more people who need shooting than the average citizen does, that’s the nature of their job, but it’s still something to think about.

    No, I think that’s enough to completely explain it. Also, while in some states ordinary citizens have a duty to retreat, and everywhere else it’s a good idea for them to retreat if they can, cops in all states have a duty not to retreat. Their responsibility is not just to protect themselves and their own family, but everyone else as well, and that means shooting people whom an ordinary person would be better advised to leave alone.

  395. There is plainly meaningful racism going on in America. Part of it is an unfortunate but necessary result of the necessity of stereotyping for successful living.

    That’s not racism. Racism is by definition irrational and unfair. This is not.

    Crossing the street when a bunch of boisterous black youths is in your way may be statistically a good choice, but is rather unfair on that particular group who are actually a group of honors students blowing off steam after an exam.

    Avoiding them is not unfair. What’s unfair is the fact that they look like people who should be avoided. Life has been unfair to them, in making them look like that. Or, perhaps, the people who look just like them, and who rob and hurt people, have been unfair to them, in making it so that people avoid them. The people who do the avoiding are not being unfair.

    Really it’s no different from someone who has an uncanny resemblance to a wanted criminal. So long as that criminal is in the wind, his innocent doppelganger is going to get stopped by the police every time they see him. That can get very old for him, very fast, and it might even get dangerous for him. But the police are not being unfair to him. (I actually know someone who looked exactly like the published identikit of a wanted criminal, and indeed he did get stopped once or twice on the first day that the picture was published; fortunately the bad guy was caught the next day.)

  396. I’d be a lot more skeptical of third-hand accounts written by non-Arabic speakers than you’re being. Check out what NNT has to say about the Ghazali-Avveroes debate–it was hardly even noticed among Arab scholars at the time. The 11th c. was around when Turkish invaders first started making serious incursions in the region, precipitating a much more tangible decline than abstruse philosophers could manage.

    If you are looking for material decline, that is the Quarmatians, who took power in 899, and left desolation behind them.

    If you are looking for intellectual decline, they stopped writing new good stuff after 850

    If you want to put their peak at 1000AD, as esr does, then you say Avicenna wrote some great stuff, but Avicenna represented himself as summarizing existing knowledge, as an encyclopedist rather than an originator.

  397. The argument is when the only difference between two candidates is their name and consequently implied ethnicity that the putatively black person is significantly less likely to get the job.

    No, it isn’t. Or, if that is the argument, then it’s a stupid one, and completely unsupported by any evidence. I can easily believe that a Greg is more likely than a LaKisha to score an interview; I do not believe that, once they’ve both been interviewed and performed equally well, he is more likely to be hired.

  398. Jamal is a real name; but my first thought on coming across a made-up pseudo-African name like LaKisha is “what sort of idiot parents call their kid that?”. My second thought is that the daughter can’t be blamed for having a stupid mother. “Latisha” or “Antwan” are even worse, because it means their mother was too ignorant to know how to spell these perfectly good names.

  399. >I can easily believe that a Greg is more likely than a LaKisha to score an interview; I do not believe that, once they’ve both been interviewed and performed equally well, he is more likely to be hired.

    I can believe that easily. LaKisha is double EEOC jeopardy, black and female. After visualizing my legal bills if I have to fire her and she sues, she’d better be a damn sight stronger candidate than Greg for me to even consider that hire.

  400. Taxi drivers are actually an interesting case. Taxi drivers don’t pick up black people primarily for two reasons. One because they are part of a government monopoly which means there is an artificially constricted supply of taxi services — which is to say they don’t pick up black passengers because they don’t have to And two because most cities make it extremely difficult for taxi drivers to defend themselves, by, for example, carrying a weapon.

    Those are not reasons for the observed behaviour; they are merely explanations for why the observed behaviour is not mitigated in ways one might expect it to be. The first “reason” presupposes that they would want not to pick up black passengers; why would that be? The second “reason” presupposes that picking up black passengers is more dangerous than picking up white ones; which is true, but that, not their inability to defend themselves, is the reason they behave as they do.

    At least you did indirectly allude to the fact that black passengers are more likely than white ones to attack a taxi driver. Actually, this is only reason #2. You omitted several other major reasons why taxi drivers are reluctant to pick up black passengers:

    1. They tend not to tip. Ask any taxi driver, and you’ll find that this is the main reason.
    3. They often want to be taken to destinations where it will be hard to find a fare back to the city.
    4. They often want to be taken to destinations where if they don’t attack you someone else will.

  401. >You omitted several other major reasons why taxi drivers are reluctant to pick up black passengers:

    Here’s a reality check on that theory. Do they report this reluctance about a black man in a suit?

  402. JAD, the Qarmatians’ base of power was in eastern Arabia, already a desolate region, and they were never more than a splinter of a splinter Shi’ite group. The destruction they wrought doesn’t come close to what the influx of a highly militarily capable nomadic population could do.

  403. >Islamic invasion is more effect than cause.

    Interestingly, the relatively high population density of N Africa under the Roman Empire was because of a centralized grain-trading system that encouraged the cultivation of otherwise unprofitable land (similar to Soviet cotton production in Central Asia). After the collapse of this system, the depopulation of the region allowed the Arab invaders to cut through it like a knife through butter.

  404. Milhouse on 2014-08-19 at 15:19:19 said:

    OTOH if all your applicants are PHDs then there’s no reason to suppose the black ones are less intelligent than the Jewish ones; there will just be a lot less of them.

    Again, let me remind you about Obama’s highly credentialed but moronic wife. Clearly an academic credential issued to a black or a woman does not mean the same thing as as academic credential issued to a white or a male.

  405. JAD, the Qarmatians’ base of power was in eastern Arabia, already a desolate region, and they were never more than a splinter of a splinter Shi’ite group.

    The Caliph paid them tribute and accepted their religious authority, and when he neglected to do so, they looted Mecca, massacred pilgrims, and destroyed the holy sites.

  406. There is excellent reason not to hire Jamal even if he has the same paper qualifications as James: as an outlier for his group, his rating is much more likely to be a fluke than someone who is more representative of their group.

    That works for a single exam, not for a whole education and/or career.

  407. >Clearly an academic credential issued to a black or a woman does not mean the same thing as as academic credential issued to a white or a male.

    It depends on the credential. Some degrees are more political than others. I wouldn’t be surprised if a black person (or a white person) with a Ph.D. in gender studies, or “peace science”, or sociology, or literature, turned out to be an idiot who’d got by on copping the right attitudes. Being black or female probably makes this more likely, as it increases the political leverage.

    On the other hand, I would be extremely surprised if a black man or a woman with a degree in math or physics turned out to be a stupid clown. I haven’t seen it happen in computer science, either.

  408. >The Caliph paid them tribute and accepted their religious authority, and when he neglected to do so, they looted Mecca, massacred pilgrims, and destroyed the holy sites.

    So when the Caliph stopped bribing them to keep quiet (he never recognized their religious authority), they went on a raiding expedition from eastern Arabia to western Arabia. Then soon after went extinct. Compare this to the large-scale and centuries-long invasion of the heartland of Islamic culture and commerce which usurped Abbasid authority in Baghdad and extended to Syria, Anatolia, Iraq, and Persia.

  409. Along similar lines, if you meet a young black male on the street, you make one set of assumptions; if you meet him in a physics class (or at an SF con, or at a yeshivah) you make a whole different set of assumptions

    The black in the physics class is unlikely to beat you up, but he is unlikely to be able to handle the course material.

    Looks to me that when they select blacks for academic courses for which they would not be eligible on merit, their first criterion is “Is he going to beat me up”, and their distant second criterion is “Is he smarter than the average black”.

    If you meet a black male who is operating a consultancy in software programming, chances are he can do software programming pretty well. (And he probably will not beat you up either)

    But if you interview a black male with a degree in computer science, and no other evidence of competence in computer science, chances are he cannot do software programming – though I would say that black males with computer science degrees are, surprisingly, more likely to be competent than white females with computer science degrees.

    Somehow Google’s affirmative action program wound up primarily affirmative actioning incompetent white females, rather than competing for the limited supply of competent black males. Finding that these females were an embarrassment, they solved the embarrassment by adjusting their evaluation criteria to remove disparate impact against white females.

  410. Why is it that only comedians get to tell the truth?

    Because discomfort is the essence of humor. That’s why court jesters were the almost-formal devil’s advocates and puffed-head deflaters; it’s okay to let “unserious” people say taboo things because they can be written off (either on the surface or genuinely).

  411. On the other hand, I would be extremely surprised if a black man or a woman with a degree in math or physics turned out to be a stupid clown. I haven’t seen it happen in computer science, either.

    Then your eyes are closed.

    Computer science degrees are being continually adjusted to be more female friendly, with the result that they fail to select for ability to write software, and a female with a computer science degree can seldom write software. (Though I married a female with a hard science degree who can write software)

    Google has a systematic policy of hiring software engineers of under represented groups outside the normal track. Most of those hired on this path, nearly all of those hired on this path, were females. Google had a system for evaluating performance. The performance of females hired on this path was so horrifying that they had to abolish the system, and replace it with PC bullshit.

  412. Milhouse

    That’s not racism. Racism is by definition irrational and unfair. This is not.

    No, racism is by definition being white. “Racist” is a hate word for white, as “kike” is a hate word for Jew. See Radish’s masterly examination of actual usage and etymology of the word.

    Words mean what they are used to mean. If we look at actual usage, rather than claimed usage, “racist” is merely a hostile epithet for white, preparatory to state or private violence against whites.

    The only way a white can not be racist is to be culturally black on the inside – to not know stuff, not read old books, steal stuff, lie, cheat, that sort of thing. And, most of all, to hate whites.

    Hence the allergy to old books and the Duke University rape case.

  413. “it’s the clearest case on record of a civilization being wrecked by a single toxic intellectual.”

    Mmmm…and not Confucius? Eh, I guess he doesn’t count.

  414. >Mmmm…and not Confucius?

    Now that you mention it…hmmm, no, not in al-Ghazali’s league. He seems to have been good for early Chinese civilization, turning to bad when Confucianism degenerated into inward-looking conservatism. Ghazali was all bad from the get-go; The Confusion of the Philosophers makes that very clear.

  415. More on “Michael Brown was executed” vs. Reality:

    Gateway Pundit posts that Darren Wilson had an “orbital blowout fracture” or floor fracture of the eye socket, certainly inflicted by Michael Brown.  (Note:  Holder’s DOJ attempted to prevent the release of the robbery video, to support the false narrative.  Throwing Wilson under the bus is part and parcel of this.)

    Also, more than a dozen witness confirm the Wilson account of the Brown shooting.

    Moonbattery has a compendium of links.

    There was a time when we had de-militarized police.  We also had Jim Crow, restrictive covenants, segregated schools, and host of other measures to tamp down on Black violence and keep it between Blacks.  We cannot have freedom, a safe and orderly society, and civil rights for Blacks.  The majority culture of Blacks will destroy safety and order if they have freedom.

    Apartheid worked; as Fred Reed notes, togetherheid does not work.

  416. We toss a lot of resumes without interviews, based on subjective evaluations of candidate strength. You have to, because there isn’t enough time to interview everybody.

    Then aren’t you wasting valuable time interviewing the Jamals, when you’re more likely to find what you’re looking for among the Yossis and the Lius? Unless, of course, your pool of candidates is already so pre-screened that the Jamals who made it through are precisely the ones who are just as good as the Yossis.

  417. >We cannot have freedom, a safe and orderly society, and civil rights for Blacks. The majority culture of Blacks will destroy safety and order if they have freedom.

    And this makes them different from the Irish of 150 years ago how? We didn’t need apartheid to solve that problem, and we don’t need it to solve this one. I think what we need to do is hold blacks to the same standards as everyone else. No more telling them they’re precious victims, no more affirmative action, no more setasides, no more race-conscious policy of any kind. It worked on the Irish.

  418. Those who say they are unafraid of terrorists usually support the imposition of Sharia law on non Muslims, making non Muslims second class citizens: For example affirmative action for major Hasan, forbidden to depict the prophet, etc.

    I’ve got to say, I have never come across such people. Never. I’ve only ever heard of their existence on the right-wing blogs I frequent, but I think if they existed I’d have encountered them somewhere. In general, what a certain kind of right-winger complains of as “imposing sharia on non-Moslems” turns out to really mean “accepting Moslems who wish to live according to sharia”. From the ranting of CAIR and other such terrorist fronts I could easily and comfortably conclude that Islamophobia is a myth, but I can’t because I’ve seen it. That doesn’t make CAIR right, of course.

  419. If true, easy to prove. Just state a hate fact about Mohammed or Islam, as everyone in this thread continually does about Christianity.

    Funny, I haven’t seen one yet.

  420. while the Christians were burning the library at Alexandria

    When who was doing what?!

    , who was reintroducing classical knowledge back into Europe

    If the Christians had burned the libarary, which they didn’t, it would have been at a time when Mohammed’s great-great-grandparents had not yet been born.

  421. “even cops are allowed to shoot a fleeing felon if they have reason to believe he’s dangerous.”

    And now we know that Brown was most definitely dangerous: he gave Officer Wilson a blowout fracture of the eye socket.

    After that, it can easily be argued that Wilson not only had the power and the legal right to take Brown down, using deadly force if needed…but a duty to do so.

  422. Nigel on 2014-08-19 at 18:12:30 said:

    “it’s the clearest case on record of a civilization being wrecked by a single toxic intellectual.”

    Mmmm…and not Confucius? Eh, I guess he doesn’t count.

    Confucius wrote in a dark age. Then China came out of that Dark Age. Looks like Confucius had the number nailed: “The Rectification of Names” – by which he meant the eradication of political correctness.

    Score 1 for Confucius.

    After 1050AD or so, China descended ever deeper into darkness. Then, in 1978-1980 it quite abruptly and suddenly turned a corner and became more civilized, more humane, more prosperous ….. And more Confucian.

    Score 2 for Confucius.

    The corruption of language looks like it is a key part of dark ages. It does not necessarily stop individuals from thinking, but it stops groups from thinking, so that the wisdom of the individual is unavailable to the group, rendering the group as a whole evil and insane. See also the complaint of Iupwer, that what is done in the name of good, is evil.

  423. Here’s a reality check on that theory. Do they report this reluctance about a black man in a suit?

    In my limited experience, yes. I don’t know that many taxi drivers, but the ones I do know say that black people, no matter how dressed, don’t tip, and often want to go to bad neighbourhoods. And I know one driver who was mugged by a suited passenger.

  424. >Now that you mention it…hmmm, no, not in al-Ghazali’s league. He seems to have been good for early Chinese civilization, turning to bad when Confucianism degenerated into inward-looking conservatism. Ghazali was all bad from the get-go; The Confusion of the Philosophers makes that very clear.

    “Arabic science and philosophy gained in strength and vigor after the Averroes-Ghazali debate (Saliba). Nobody in the Arabic-speaking world cared about that debate as it was not even mentioned.” (note 80 on http://fooledbyrandomness.com/notebook.htm). The trouble with so many writers on pre-modern Islam is that they don’t have a fraction of the depth of knowledge needed to understand the intellectual traditions.

    Part of my mistrust of memetic theories of civilizational collapse is that they give far too much credit to ideas as drivers of events, while ignoring MUCH bigger material factors. In the Ghazali case, though, most writers aren’t even wrong.

  425. Because discomfort is the essence of humor. That’s why court jesters were the almost-formal devil’s advocates and puffed-head deflaters; it’s okay to let “unserious” people say taboo things because they can be written off (either on the surface or genuinely).

    And why fools are the only characters in Shakespeare’s plays who always tell the exact literal truth. Pay close attention when a fool speaks; there are important plot clues. (cf Ophelia’s speech)

  426. >After that, it can easily be argued that Wilson not only had the power and the legal right to take Brown down, using deadly force if needed…but a duty to do so.

    That is correct. Furthermore, at common law a policeman’s duties in this respect are not substantially different from those of any armed citizen. I would have had the same duty, had I been present.

  427. And this makes [blacks] different from the Irish of 150 years ago how?

    The Irish of a 150 years ago never deliberately burned down their own suburbs.

    A 150 years ago no one felt like getting away when they saw a group of Irishmen.

    A 150 years ago, if an Irishman assaulted you, he would go to jail instead of you losing your job.

  428. That is correct. Furthermore, at common law a policeman’s duties in this respect are not substantially different from those of any armed citizen. I would have had the same duty, had I been present.

    Depending on state law, perhaps greater. The Supreme Court restricted the fleeing felon rule as applied to policemen. Those restrictions do not apply to non-state actors, since they are not bound by the fourth amendment.

  429. In general, what a certain kind of right-winger complains of as “imposing sharia on non-Moslems” turns out to really mean “accepting Moslems who wish to live according to sharia”.

    What it means to impose Sharia on non Moslems is that South Park’s parody of Mohammed gets censored, while South Park’s parody of Jesus causes no problems.

    What it means is that Muslims in jail get special and more favorable treatment than non Muslims in jail, resulting in a lot of jailyard conversions, some of which wind up being sincere.

    What it means is that it is illegal for Christians to proselytize in certain areas.

    What it means is that the feds arrest a man who creates a you tube film depicting Mohammed as a bastard.

  430. >The Irish of a 150 years ago never deliberately burned down their own suburbs.

    Duh. There were no suburbs then. Among those who lived in cities, arson wasn’t that uncommon a pastime among them. You should read some histories of old New York. They’d curl your hair.

    >A 150 years ago no one felt like getting away when they saw a group of Irishmen.

    *snrk* And what color is the sky on your planet?

    >A 150 years ago, if an Irishman assaulted you, he would go to jail instead of you losing your job.

    Yeah, good luck with that. Law was thin on the ground in the Irish ghettos.

  431. Ben Duval on 2014-08-19 at 19:39:59 said:

    Part of my mistrust of memetic theories of civilizational collapse is that they give far too much credit to ideas as drivers of events, while ignoring MUCH bigger material factors.

    The best known civilizational collapses are Rome and the Song Dynasty. I really don’t see any material factors, other than over taxation and overregulation, both of them memetically driven.

    What are your proposed big material factors?

    The proximate cause of Roman decline was that the legions got out of hand. The proximate cause of Chinese decline was that the bureaucrats got out of hand. It is memes that make such groups groups, and memes that make them behave in one way rather than another.

  432. >The Irish of a 150 years ago never deliberately burned down their own suburbs.

    esr

    You should read some histories of old New York. They’d curl your hair.

    Then give me a link to Irish mobs looting and burning shops, Ferguson style.

    >A 150 years ago no one felt like getting away when they saw a group of Irishmen.

    *snrk* And what color is the sky on your planet?

    I read old books. You don’t, for fear that they might contaminate you with dangerous crimethink. The Molly Maguires were more like the mafia or a secret society than a black street gang. If someone saw a bunch of young irishmen walking along the street, he was not going to think he was running into the Molly Maguires.

    You might get beaten up by the Molly Maguires because your business was competing with a business that paid protection money for protection from competition, or because you were a non union employee, and the union had protection and your employer did not. You would not get beaten up for walking along the street.

    >A 150 years ago, if an Irishman assaulted you, he would go to jail instead of you losing your job.

    Yeah, good luck with that. Law was thin on the ground in the Irish ghettos.

    By modern standards, law was pretty tight. The crime rate in Irish ghettoes was far lower than the modern crime rate.

  433. I will grant you the Irish did a fair bit of burning in the riots against Lincoln’s draft, but at least they were burning someone else’s area, not their own.

  434. 1. Irish crime was rational organized crime: They forced businesses to employ certain people and not others, to buy from certain suppliers and not others. You did not get beaten up for walking along the street.

    2. Irish riots were rational and political rather than self destructive. They did not riot because some thug got killed by police, and when they did riot, they did not shit in their own nest. When the Irish rioted they burned out blacks who were causing the same problems then as now, not the storekeepers that kept their own Irish areas running.

  435. Let’s get real. During the Rodney King chimpout the last thing anyone complained about was the police having too much firepower…lol.

  436. >You did not get beaten up for walking along the street.

    Strictly speaking, you don’t generally get beaten up for walking on the street in a black area, either. (I speak from experience in Philadelphia.) But if they think you have something they want…

  437. Better yet, burning an orphanage.

    And I bet every non black neighbor of that black orphanage was secretly mighty relieved.

    Blacks were causing problems then as now. Shopkeepers were not causing problems then or now. So the Irish did not burn out shopkeepers in their own areas, then or now.

  438. Strictly speaking, you don’t generally get beaten up for walking on the street in a black area, either. (I speak from experience in Philadelphia.)

    We have some you tube videos to the contrary

    It simply is not true that Irish areas had high levels of street crime. If anything, they had exceptionally low levels of street crime. The organized criminals tended to eradicate the unorganized criminals.

  439. 2. Irish riots were rational and political rather than self destructive.

    Are you seriously making the argument that the standin up to da man going on in Ferguson is not political?

    I read old books. You don’t, for fear that they might contaminate you with dangerous crimethink.

    I’ll take “off his meds” for $10 please.

  440. Are you seriously making the argument that the standin up to da man going on in Ferguson is not political?

    Not political in the sense of having clear and achievable aim. The Irish did not want to be conscripted, and they did not want blacks moving into their neighborhoods. The Ferguson rioters just want to hurt people and steal stuff and not be punished for it. But if they get their way, there will not be any shops in their neighborhood, and then they will have to move into another neighborhood. They want crime to not be punished, and then find themselves strangely forced to move out of places where crime is not punished to places where crime is punished.

  441. The huge and obvious difference between blacks and Irish is that the blacks drive themselves and everyone else out of their own neighborhoods by destroying the shops and businesses in their own neighborhoods with petty individual violence, petty individual theft, large scale collective violence and large scale collective looting. And, with shops and services unavailable, have to move into someone else’s neighborhood to do the same thing all over again.

    This never happened with the Irish. Not 150 years ago, and not today.

  442. >The huge and obvious difference between blacks and Irish

    …is that the Irish didn’t have idiot left-liberals teaching them the superior virtue of being useless, resentful parasites, and massively subsidizing the destruction of their families through welfare for several generations. If they had, I have no doubt the Irish would be about as dysfunctional today as ghetto blacks. And these are my ancestors I’m talking about, one lot anyway.

  443. And this makes them different from the Irish of 150 years ago how?

    The Irish had a long tradition of literacy, including monasteries which kept alive much of European learning through the Dark Ages; they Americanized themselves in one generation.  Blacks?  Aside from never having developed written languages, sailing craft, the wheel, well…

    After the South lost the War of Northern Aggression (deliberately inflammatory term), Washington imposed Reconstruction.  This included Black rule over White populations.  Here is a quote attributed to J.W. Garner’s “Reconstruction in Mississippi”, as quoted by M.G. at Those Who Can See:

    In some instances the board [of supervisors] was composed entirely of illiterate negroes. Although their duties necessitated calculation and computation, there were instances in which no member could do the smallest operation of arithmetic, and their highest mark of erudition was the ability of the president to sign his name to a record, the contents of which he could not read. In Issaquena County, in 1874, every member of the board was alleged to be an illiterate negro.
    … In Madison County, every member of the board was colored, and the maximum of learning among them was the ability of one to sign his name mechanically. There was not a justice of the peace in the county who could write his name. [...] shortly before the meeting of the grand jury, they usually got some friendly white neighbor to write up their dockets for presentation at the proper time. (1)

    It was accompanied by this Harpers magazine cover.

    Have Blacks changed in 150 years?  Consider the following.

    Imprimis:  The Detroit Board of Education elected as its president, from its elected membership, one Otis Mathis, who cannot write and was so deficient in impulse control that he was forced to resign after being caught masturbating in a meeting with a female official.

    Item:  Black city councils continue to resemble the Harper’s cover to this day.

    Item:  As of 2009, all members of the US House of Representatives under investigation for ethics violations were Black.

    Item:  The moronic Shiela Jackson Lee (D-Tx) and Hank Johnson (D-Ga).  They may be actual morons; it’s a shame that no IQ test is required to serve in Congress.

    I could go on, but I’m out of time and patience (Radish magazine has a long list with choice quotes from historic books).  Note that these are not samples of the Black masses, but Black leadership elected by Blacks.  Can you find any examples of such idiocy among elected Irish?  Wouldn’t you expect Irish to make certain that their reps weren’t utter laughingstocks?

    Could the difference be that the Irish actually have the intelligence to understand who is canny and worthy of leadership, and who needs to be hidden away like the village idiot… and that a large majority of Blacks do not and cannot tell the difference?

    The point is that Whites cannot be governed by Blacks without what amounts to genocide (impositions of conditions they find intolerable).  Even significant Black electoral power leads to corruption and decay, as pols pander and policing degrades to avoid charges of “racism”.  If Blacks do not want to be governed by Whites, they need to hie themselves to one of the countries with Black rule.  Haiti and Liberia are two; neither allows Whites to be citizens.  Those who are most upset about White racism, especially “microaggressions”, should find Black-run countries quite congenial.

    That is, unless racism is like witchcraft:  it has no set definition, just a designated perpetrator who must be eliminated.  Yesterday it was seeing Goody Proctor with the devil, today it’s seeing someone be insufficiently obsequious to a Person of Color.

  444. What it means to impose Sharia on non Moslems is that South Park’s parody of Mohammed gets censored, while South Park’s parody of Jesus causes no problems.

    Nonsense. Comedy Central was not at all concerned with sharia, it was only concerned with not getting burned down or blown up. The exec in charge made a practical decision not to provoke crazy people. And then probably had a bacon sandwich for lunch. And the rest of CC programming remained as non-sharia-compliant as ever. In any case, who do you claim was imposing sharia on whom? Comedy Central on its viewers?!

    What it means is that Muslims in jail get special and more favorable treatment than non Muslims in jail, resulting in a lot of jailyard conversions, some of which wind up being sincere.

    In what way is their treatment more favourable?

    What it means is that it is illegal for Christians to proselytize in certain areas.

    Bulldust. There is no public place in the USA where this is the law. Not even Dearborn street fairs.

    What it means is that the feds arrest a man who creates a you tube film depicting Mohammed as a bastard.

    More bulldust. Nakoula Nakoula was arrested for violating his parole.

  445. By the way, Walid Shoebat claims, with some plausibility, that Nakoula Nakoula is an Islamist, and the whole video was a put-up job to create an excuse for riots and attacks. Remember how he first pretended to be a Jew, and when that failed he claimed to be a Copt.

  446. What it means to impose Sharia on non Moslems is that South Park’s parody of Mohammed gets censored, while South Park’s parody of Jesus causes no problems.

    Milhouse on 2014-08-20 at 02:12:33 said:

    Nonsense. Comedy Central was not at all concerned with sharia, it was only concerned with not getting burned down or blown up.

    Or punished by the government for “racism”.

    And the rest of CC programming remained as non-sharia-compliant as ever.

    Does it now? I don’t think so.

    What it means is that Muslims in jail get special and more favorable treatment than non Muslims in jail, resulting in a lot of jailyard conversions, some of which wind up being sincere.

    In what way is their treatment more favourable?

    Among other things special food that is fresher and more edible than usual. If you are going to supply a religious minority with special food, since it is minority food, it should be less fresh and less edible than usual.

    What it means is that it is illegal for Christians to proselytize in certain areas.

    Bulldust. There is no public place in the USA where this is the law. Not even Dearborn street fairs.

    Christian evangelists at Dearborn report otherwise

    What it means is that the feds arrest a man who creates a you tube film depicting Mohammed as a bastard.

    More bulldust. Nakoula Nakoula was arrested for violating his parole.

    If you look hard enough, you can always find a parole violation, and they when they saw that video, they decided to look mighty hard.

  447. @JAD
    “If you look hard enough, you can always find a parole violation, and they when they saw that video, they decided to look mighty hard.”

    First, isn’t it odd that so many US citizens are on parole? You will not find that in the rest of the developed world.

    But
    If you look hard enough, you can always find
    – sharia based censorship
    – Christian censorship
    – Liberal censorship
    – discrimination of Muslims
    – discrimination of Christians
    – discrimination of Jews
    – discrimination of blacks
    – discrimination of whites
    – discrimination of Asians
    – discrimination of natives
    – discrimination of immigrants
    – corruption
    – racism
    – stupidity

    Some are (much) easier to find than others. It is clear you have to go to great lengths to find your examples.

  448. Winter commented:

    First, isn’t it odd that so many US citizens are on parole? You will not find that in the rest of the developed world.

    That is in part because in the rest of the developed world they can and will directly arrest you for crimethink, for political dissent, while in the US they have to find some indirect way of accomplishing the same outcome while pretending they are doing something else.

  449. @JAD
    “Journalists in the muppet states of the American empire are free to agree with Harvard, the New York Times, and the state department. Yeah freedom.”

    [citation needed]

    I posted data, you post phantasies. You claim our police jails those who express dissent, but you have only your phantasies to back them up.

    Come up with some evidence that we are more likely to get jailed for speaking up our dissent than people in the USA. You are the one and only person that expresses that opinion and you have nothing to back it up.

    As usual, you simply are unable to face reality.

    In the USA, the incarceration rate is 707 per 100,000 (adults only)
    The incarceration rate in my country, the Netherlands, is 82 per 100,000 .
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_incarceration_rate

    In 2008 approximately one in every 31 adults (7.3 million) in the United States was behind bars, or being monitored (probation and parole).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States

  450. >The proximate cause of Roman decline was that the legions got out of hand. The proximate cause of Chinese decline was that the bureaucrats got out of hand. It is memes that make such groups groups, and memes that make them behave in one way rather than another.

    Remember that the growth of Roman tyranny came as a result of a) a growing slave population that displaced free labor and b) barbarian invasions that necessitated an ever-larger standing professional army. Both these factors made the most reliable means for advancement finding a position with the state. Maybe you can claim it was memes that made the legions think they were entitled to make and break emperors, but I doubt those memes would have had much force without ample outside forces pushing in the same direction.

    As for Song China, I don’t know enough to argue one way or the other, but the fact that it was subjected to first Jurchen then Mongol invasion, and that China has been historically subject to a vicious Malthusian cycle, makes me highly suspicious of the memetic claim.

  451. @JAD

    “Journalists in the muppet states of the American empire are free to agree with Harvard, the New York Times, and the state department. Yeah freedom.”

    Winter:

    I posted data, you post phantasies.

    Am I fantasizing that Andrew Bolt was punished for thought crime?

  452. >The proximate cause of Roman decline was that the legions got out of hand. The proximate cause of Chinese decline was that the bureaucrats got out of hand. It is memes that make such groups groups, and memes that make them behave in one way rather than another.

    Ben on 2014-08-20 at 08:06:56 said:

    Remember that the growth of Roman tyranny came as a result of a) a growing slave population that displaced free labor and b) barbarian invasions that necessitated an ever-larger standing professional army.

    No, I don’t remember that at all. The rate of slavery in Rome was always about one third of the population, and never changed all that much.

    Barbarian invasions were a response to depopulation. Lot of vacant land up for grabs.

  453. >No, I don’t remember that at all. The rate of slavery in Rome was always about one third of the population, and never changed all that much.

    Where do you get your numbers? There was a big shift in the late Republican era, and the rate in Italy steadily increased under the Empire.

    >Barbarian invasions were a response to depopulation. Lot of vacant land up for grabs.

    More due to even scarier barbarians pushing them west. Land was hardly “up for grabs” when several Roman legions stood in front of it, and depopulation didn’t start until later. But supposing you’re right, that’s an even stronger case for material factors.

  454. @JAD
    “Am I fantasizing that Andrew Bolt was punished for thought crime?”

    Could be, but he does not live anywhere near Europe.

    Australia does not have a stellar track record in Freedom-of-the-Press. It is even put below the United States in the list I posted.

    Anyhow, it is you who claim we are more likely to be arrested when expressing dissent, say, in The Netherlands, Belgium, Scandinavian countries, or Germany, than in the USA. So, come up with data, not anecdotes.

    The plural of anecdotes is not data.

  455. @Ben
    “More due to even scarier barbarians pushing them west. Land was hardly “up for grabs” when several Roman legions stood in front of it, and depopulation didn’t start until later. But supposing you’re right, that’s an even stronger case for material factors.”

    Depopulation was the reason the legions had to hire foreigners. Even Italy became depopulated. At the end, Rome fell because the German mercenaries that were promised land in Italy were double crossed. They then simply took the land by force.

    But indeed, it was material factors that forced the decline. Something was amiss with the agricultural productivity. That can also be concluded from the fact that the Eastern part of the Roman empire lived on for another millennium.

  456. Winter, when did that depopulation begin? I didn’t think it was until the 4th, or maybe late 3rd century.

  457. >But indeed, it was material factors that forced the decline. Something was amiss with the agricultural productivity.

    One of the things I learned from studying primate ethology is that, in evolved systems, all interesting behavior is overdetermined. Nature likes to overload behaviors to achieve multiple functions, so it is almost always possible to find multiple adaptive explanations for any behavior, each sufficient. None of the individual explanations are complete, but none are wrong.

    I think a similar rule holds (though less reliably) for evolved social systems. Yes, a collapse in agricultural productivity was a sufficient explanation for the Western Roman collapse. So was the exhaustion of the Tartessian silver mines. So was Christianity. Multiple sufficient causes speed up change.

  458. >Yes, a collapse in agricultural productivity was a sufficient explanation for the Western Roman collapse. So was the exhaustion of the Tartessian silver mines. So was Christianity. Multiple sufficient causes speed up change.

    Or rather, each explanation by itself is insufficient. One fascinating thing about the Eastern Empire was that it survived despite the massive depopulation of Justinian’s Plague, estimated by some to be worse in percentage terms than the Black Death. Of course, half the empire was lost to Islam a century later.

  459. @esr
    “Yes, a collapse in agricultural productivity was a sufficient explanation for the Western Roman collapse. So was the exhaustion of the Tartessian silver mines. So was Christianity. Multiple sufficient causes speed up change.”

    So, then the question becomes: What made the Eastern empire different from the Western?

    They were both Christian. Silver might come in as it is needed to pay the soldiers. But again, the Eastern empire was able to get on while the Western collapsed. Both were involved in interminable border wars (Germanic/Hun/Slavic tribes, Persians).

    In the end, the corn harvest determines the number of people. Next comes trade, aka, security.

  460. @JAD

    “Am I fantasizing that Andrew Bolt was punished for thought crime?”

    Winter

    Could be, but he does not live anywhere near Europe.

    OK then, how about Eric Zemmour?

    You don’t have to punish too many journalists for thought crime to make sure they all sing the same song.

    Observe, they all sing the same tune, and everywhere in the American empire, those that sing out of tune, get punished by the state.

    In America, the state is more furtive about this, being more necessary to maintain the pretense of legitimacy, hence finds indirect ways to deal with journalists that deviate from the official story, but in the muppet states of the American Empire, just plain and simply punishes them by direct exercise of state power.

  461. So, then the question becomes: What made the Eastern empire different from the Western?

    They were both Christian

    Western empire founded on paganism, Eastern empire founded on Christianity.

    Christianity in the west was an inherently subversive antisocial leftist pacific religion until Charles the Hammer fixed it up in the eighth century, making it a reactionary, violent, and valiant religion, in imitation of the Islam from which he had to defend Europe. Christianity in the East was always a direct instrument of the Emperor, with no independence.

  462. You claim our police jails those who express dissent, but you have only your phantasies to back them up.

    In Britain seventy thousand people have been punished for “hate crimes”. The vast majority of these crimes were speech crimes, some were suspected thought crimes, for example calling a horse “gay”, some were face crimes.

  463. Winter, a very large portion of the US prison population consists of mental patients who can’t be involuntarily treated due to a number of legal changes since the 1960s, begun primarily by JFK. Instead of treating unquestionably mentally ill people (such as those with hallucinations or paranoid delusions) who are not capable of unsupervised life on their own, we let them roam free, living on the streets until they run afoul of some law and end up physically injured in interactions with the police and/or incarcerated. A number of these individuals, after release from prison for violent crimes, go on to repeat in minute detail the same acts (such as murdering landlords or girlfriends and their children) that got them put in prison in the first place.

  464. @JAD
    Indeed, The UK is ranked below the USA in the Freedom of Press list. Mostly due to their over extensive libel laws.

    You again have validated the list I quoted.

    And that list tells us there are quite a number of countries where you are better off than in the US: You can say more than in the US and you are much less likely to be jailed on any grounds.

    Obviously, there are countries that have less freedom of the press even than the USA. But even there you will be mostly less likely to end up in jail.

  465. “Winter, a very large portion of the US prison population consists of mental patients who can’t be involuntarily treated due to a number of legal changes since the 1960s, begun primarily by JFK.”

    2% of the male population?

  466. >2% of the male population?

    Yes, that sounds about right.

    I’ve read elsewhere that if you compare the combined figure for incarceration and institutionalization, the U.S. and Europe have almost exactly the same percentage of their populations off the streets. In effect, we have (semi-accidently) chosen to use prisons to hold most of the people who used to be in mental institutions. Europe went in the opposite direction.

  467. Winter:

    You again have validated the list I quoted.

    The list you quotes seems to think that freedom of speech is compatible with huge numbers of people being punished for thoughtcrimes.

  468. it is you who claim we are more likely to be arrested when expressing dissent, say, in The Netherlands, Belgium, Scandinavian countries, or Germany, than in the USA. So, come up with data, not anecdotes.

    Okay, who are the US equivalents of Elizabeth Sabadich-Wolf and Emma West?

  469. @esr
    “I’ve read elsewhere that if you compare the combined figure for incarceration and institutionalization, the U.S. and Europe have almost exactly the same percentage of their populations off the streets.”

    I have a distinct idea that prison is not the best place to house the seriously mentally ill. It also does not seem to be the cheapest option.

    Involuntary institutionalizing in the Netherlands is only possible after a serious crime (it is the only country I feel competent to judge now). Even then, in the Netherlands there are between 100 and 200 such institutionalizings a year on a population of 17 million.

    @JAD
    “The list you quotes seems to think that freedom of speech is compatible with huge numbers of people being punished for thoughtcrimes.”

    The point is that you claim that in all countries, people are more likely to be incarcerated for expressing dissent than in the USA. I have given you a list that ranks countries in this respect that shows there are 29 countries where the press is more free than in the USA.

    When you then seem to be able to present cases from countries which are ranked worse than the USA, I can only conclude that the list is right. And therefore, that you were wrong.

    @Mr Rational
    “Okay, who are the US equivalents of Elizabeth Sabadich-Wolf and Emma West?”

    Look in the list. The UK and Austria are ranked worse than the USA. It is not that the USA is the worst country on earth, just that it is not the best.

    http://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press-2014/press-freedom-rankings#.U1Uv_PldW_E

  470. Sorry, missed a word:

    @JAD
    When you then only seem to be able to present cases from countries which are ranked worse than the USA, I can only conclude that the list is right. And therefore, that you were wrong.

  471. I have a distinct idea that prison is not the best place to house the seriously mentally ill. It also does not seem to be the cheapest option.

    You’re absolutely right. However, in the 1950s, a messiah of mental health (not, never, mental illness) decided that mental illness was all a result of poor environment and that empowering citizens would fix everything. Obviously, the thing to do was open some “community mental-health centers” with completely unaccountable budgets and close all the mental hospitals. JFK got elected and let him do precisely that.

    American Psychosis by Torrey is both enlightening and depressing, as one more account of a Great Society program still pouring gasoline to put out fires.

  472. It’s the sheepdogs that fear because they all know that the majority of casualties will happen in the first few minutes before they can get there. They will always be behind the power curve since the bad guys holds the initiative.

    It’s not *just* the Muslim terrorist, it’s the 20 year old who’s just had a psychotic break, either because they’re fighting the War On Drugs from the Drugs side, or because they’re schizophrenic and it’s just time. It’s the gang members who decide that they’re going to bum rush the jewelry store and shoot their way out.

    The only way they can steal the march on the bad guys is via intel and surveillance and nail them during the planning and prep stages.

    Domestic police do not have this power. The wall between Intelligence and Police (Jamie G. you sack of S*t) prevents the agencies that *do* have this power from communicating it in a timely fashion.

    As far as the CCW crowd goes, well, good luck. If the bad guys don’t shoot you the heavily armed responders probably will unless you hide.

    There are techniques, behaviors and dress that make this at least a little less likely.

    http://blog.suarezinternational.com/2014/08/how-not-to-get-shot-by-police.html
    http://blog.suarezinternational.com/2014/08/counter-fractricide-how-not-to-shoot-a-good-guy.html

  473. Nigel on 2014-08-19 at 09:02:17 said:

    I don’t fear Mr law enforcement nor Mr black helicopter nor Mr microsoft. Or Mr terrorist either for that matter.

    I made a traffic stop on an elderly lady the other day for speeding on U.S. 166 Eastbound at Mile Marker 73 just East of Sedan, KS. I asked for her driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. The lady took out the required information and handed it to me. In with the cards I was somewhat surprised (due to her advanced age) to see she had a conceal carry permit. I looked at her and ask if she had a weapon in her possession at this time.

    She responded that she indeed had a .45 automatic in her glove box. Something — body language, or the way she said it — made me want to ask if she had any other firearms. She did admit to also having a 9mm Glock in her center console. Now I had to ask one more time if that was all. She responded once again that she did have just one more, a .38 special in her purse. I then asked her what was she so afraid of.

    She looked me right in the eye and said, “Not a damn thing!”

    I do prefer someone shoot him with a hellfire over there than a 9mm over here.

    Can I get an AMEN!

    AMEN!

    Thank you.

  474. JAD:

    But if you interview a black male with a degree in computer science, and no other evidence of competence in computer science, chances are he cannot do software programming

    Based on the last 20 years work experience as a Systems Administrator in environments ranging from SV Startups to TS government “research” labs to now working in a Dev/Ops team, if you interview *anyone* with a CS degree and no other evidence of competence, or even less than a LOT of other evidence of competence it is VERY likely he cannot do software development.

    My team (not me) interviewed someone for a contracting role for Perl maintenance/development. Apparently *I* can demonstrate better understanding of the language than he did, and I rather detest perl and only use it because they were unwise enough to build a rather complicated app in it.

  475. William O. B’Livion

    Based on the last 20 years work experience as a Systems Administrator in environments ranging from SV Startups to TS government “research” labs to now working in a Dev/Ops team, if you interview *anyone* with a CS degree and no other evidence of competence, or even less than a LOT of other evidence of competence it is VERY likely he cannot do software development.

    My perception is that a computer science degree has been declining as evidence of competence throughout my entire life, that in recent years this decline has become extraordinarily rapid and severe. I interpret this decline as the result of the continual re-invention of computer science courses to make them more female friendly.

  476. I interpret this decline as the result of the continual re-invention of computer science courses to make them more female friendly.

    Any increase in “female-friendliness” in the CS courses I experienced (2002-2007, undergraduate and MS-level) was a side effect of adaptation to students who just can’t think clearly, and that’s an (intentional) effect of the US educational system, gender-neutral. I felt some soreness in my mental muscles toward the end of algorithmic analysis and starting in the middle of theory comp that indicated that I hadn’t actually had to seriously reason about much in a long time, and the fact that I was able to blow off grad-level theory comp at a respectable university and get the second-highest grade in a class of 30+ suggests that there wasn’t much expectation of undergrad-level theory having stuck.

  477. Milhouse on 2014-08-19 at 19:04:03 said:

    Those who say they are unafraid of terrorists usually support the imposition of Sharia law on non Muslims, making non Muslims second class citizens: For example affirmative action for major Hasan, forbidden to depict the prophet, etc.

    I’ve got to say, I have never come across such people. Never. I’ve only ever heard of their existence on the right-wing blogs I frequent,

    You will find very few people in the west who actively support it when you talk to them, but how do you explain that Canadian and English governments have basically imposed Sharia on people, many of whom moved to those countries to get away from that silly shit.

    I think it’s more that tranzi progressives don’t really get that no, not all cultures are equal. All have practices that are evil, and a few are almost nothing *but* evil.

  478. My perception is that a computer science degree has been declining as evidence of competence throughout my entire life, that in recent years this decline has become extraordinarily rapid and severe. I interpret this decline as the result of the continual re-invention of computer science courses to make them more female friendly.

    If it were only CS/Technical courses I’d be tempted to agree with you.

    But it’s not. It’s basically *all* courses at all levels. We’ve got a significant portion of the students coming out of college who struggle with simple writing tasks.

    I don’t think CS has been dumbed down specifically because of Wimmen folk, but because “everyone needs a college education and Computers are good paying jobs”.

    Progressives tend to get the arrow of causality backwards.

  479. Milhouse:

    More bulldust. Nakoula Nakoula was arrested for violating his parole.

    Oh nonsense. NN was arrested because the First Golfer needed a scapegoat. That he had actually violated his parole was just the excuse. If the LA County Sheriff’s office went after everyone on probation that used an alias, and was dirtbag then they might as well throw up a series of fences around LA County.

    And yeah, the guy IS a dirt bag. But as near as I can tell the first amendment doesn’t yet have a “except for dirtbags and people who embrass the president”.

  480. @William O. B’Livion
    “I don’t think CS has been dumbed down specifically because of Wimmen folk, but because “everyone needs a college education and Computers are good paying jobs”.”

    The worldwide trend is to increase the number years of education of the population. The underlying idea is that more education leads to a more productive workforce.

    In general, this seems to work. See, e.g., China and India. In Europe, this trend leads to and increase in average level of education while at the same time causing some decline in the average level of teaching in university. This is offset by implementing honors programs etc. for the better and more ambitious students.

    Countries like Germany also work hard to improve the level of vocational education. Quite successfully it seems, as the Germans are able to out compete the Chinese in some industrial areas. For instance, the Germans supply the tools and machines the Chinese use to produce their stuff.

    It is a mystery to me how the people in the USA manage to implement this policy in ways that lets them churn out functional illiterates from high school.

    @JAD
    “Progressives tend to get the arrow of causality backwards.”

    No, it works everywhere else. From your comments I gather that the USA is just unable to implement this type of educational policy effectively.

  481. Sorry James A. Donald, error of attribution. The last paragraph should read:

    @William O. B’Livion
    “Progressives tend to get the arrow of causality backwards.”

    No, it works everywhere else. From your comments I gather that the USA is just unable to implement this type of educational policy effectively.

  482. The US *doesn’t* implement vocational ed; because that would require that we recognize that not everyone is the same; and for hysterical raisins Voc Ed is seen as “racist.”

  483. @Ian Argent
    “The US *doesn’t* implement vocational ed; because that would require that we recognize that not everyone is the same; and for hysterical raisins Voc Ed is seen as “racist.””

    This sounds as a lame excuse to me.

    Some sort of vocational training is beneficial for a majority of children. I suspect that not supplying such education has the same (unknown) cause as being unable to teach them proper reading and writing skills (let alone numeracy and science).

    I do not buy it that this cause is some kind of PC “ideology” from the 1970’s. The cause is in society now.

  484. Vocational education programs in the US are rare to the point of non-existence in the US these days; everyone (no matter how appropriately) is assumed to be college-bound, and educated accordingly.

    Winter – you’ve admitted you’re not an american resident. It’s impossible to comprehend how much cultural damage the US has had done to its institutions by the PC backlash in the latter part of the 20th century rising out of the both real and imagined racism of the earlier half. I *despise* both the hard racists/classists of the early 20th century (like that liberal “lion” Woodrow Wilson) for their unthinking relegation of non-WASPs and the “deserving” poor to subhuman status, as well as the culture warriors who used the anti-racist movement that this engendered as a memetic weapon against individualism. The unthinking “useful idiots” who were and are the delivery vehicles for memetic weapons I don’t despise so much as pity.

  485. @Ian Argent
    “Winter – you’ve admitted you’re not an american resident.”

    Indeed. Everything I know is hearsay.

    @Ian Argent
    “It’s impossible to comprehend how much cultural damage the US has had done to its institutions by the PC backlash in the latter part of the 20th century rising out of the both real and imagined racism of the earlier half.”

    I am not convinced. Why did this happen in the USA, and not elsewhere?

    My question is why the US have lamented the decline in quality of their general education for over three decades, but never took any effective action?

    A discussion like this has raged in the UK with respect to elite “private schools” (“public schools” in UK parlance) versus “state-funded schools”. In the UK it was clear that those in power (the elite) did not care for the quality of the state-funded schools because their children were attending private schools. They could even be motivated to keep those who might compete with their children dumb.

    From everything I hear about the USA, a suspicion is rising that something like the UK mechanism might be at work in the US. Those who could improve the quality of the bad schools are not motivated to do so because their own children will attend high quality schools.

    But as you wrote, I am an outsider and this is just inference based on third hand information.

  486. @Winter
    >It is a mystery to me how the people in the USA manage to implement this policy in ways that lets them churn out functional illiterates from high school.

    The situation in High School is primarily due to teachers’ unions who are utterly resistant to change, and frankly seem to run the schools as if the purpose is to provide teachers jobs rather than to provide education to children. However, that is what you would expect from a gigantic public boondoggle like the public school system. I have no idea why or if it works in other countries.

    This is compounded by a couple of significant societal problems. On the one hand there is what President Bush rightly called out as “the soft bigotry of low expectations” though he should have used the word “racism” rather than “bigotry.”.Second the massively high rates of single parent families, usually single mother families, and specifically children who do not have a father involved in their lives. The realities of parents in this situation leave children feral, and school goes way down the list of priorities. Consequently, out of grading on a curve, the mean goes way down too.

    But the situation with comp science in college I think is a little different. I think comp sci is a victim of its own success. In the time that we have had comp sci courses, the power of computers has grown at an astounding rate, and quantitative change leaves inevitably to qualitative change.

    Specifically, we have layered abstraction upon abstraction upon abstraction. There are great benefits to doing so, since these abstractions give us huge leverage. But the consequence is that the further you go back in time the deeper down the abstraction stack we find the teaching of comp sci.

    The consequence of this is that today we turn out kids who can hack out Pacman in Java or write the seven millionth version of factorial for haskell. However, they have not been sufficiently taught how computes work down through those abstractions all the way to the transistors.

    A lot of the time that is fine, but the reality of abstractions is that they leak, and when they do our JVM and jQuery experts have no idea how the cogs turn underneath the covers. They couldn’t tell the garbage collector from a non maskable interrupt.
    Many of you guys learned computers from the bottom up, kids today tend to learn them from the bottom down, and I think they are poorer programmers for having done so.

    I’ll say this about myself. I write a lot of javascript front end code, but I always use a jQuery layer. Honestly, I have no idea how to access the DOM directly in javascript. So if the jquery abstraction leaks, I can get into situation where I really don’t know what is going in.

  487. @Jessica Boxer:

    I’ll say this about myself. I write a lot of javascript front end code, but I always use a jQuery layer. Honestly, I have no idea how to access the DOM directly in javascript. So if the jquery abstraction leaks, I can get into situation where I really don’t know what is going in.

    We all rely on abstractions we don’t fully comprehend. But, the twin facts that you _recognize_ that you don’t comprehend the abstraction and that you have undoubtedly worked at lower layers (and probably even written abstractions yourself that bridge similar layers) mean that you are probably much better prepared to cope with leaky abstractions from jquery than you realize — certainly better prepared than people who have only ever worked at one layer.

    A few weeks ago, I was helping an intern who was scripting up an invocation of a matlab model from within a small Python script that was designed to be run from Jenkins. He had been struggling for awhile before he came and got me, and his problem (from his viewpoint) was that he was always getting a “pass” code from his matlab execution. He demonstrated this to me, and the Python finished up a lot sooner than I would have expected, so my first question was “are you sure this is the process that is running your matlab, or is it spawning another process?”

    Sure enough, a quick google showed that was exactly what was going on, and that there was a matlab command line option to fix it. So, yay! I fixed a matlab problem! even though I know nothing about matlab.

    I’m sure you have similarly fixed jquery problems, because you can control what goes into and view what comes out of it, and can probably construct a mental model of what is going on inside of it that works well enough to be useful.

    Anyway, this could easily segue into why I prefer open source. It’s not just that sometimes the mental models aren’t good enough and we need to look at the code. It’s also that some proprietary vendors have apparently figured out that their shit isn’t really rocket science, so they need to lock it down harder to make it more difficult for people to realize that they could easily clone it. You don’t have this problem with something like Python — want to change what “import” means for your entire program? Go for it!

  488. Why the US and not elsewhere? A possible answer is that the US was the Principle Enemy of the USSR, and we know from primary sources in the old KGB that the KBG employed agents of influence to deliberately inflict memetic (Gramscian) damage on the American culture via the US political left. (We also know the US intelligence apparatus tried to do the same; arguably the US succeeded in that the USSR does not exist as such, whereas the US does, but the pervasive influence of American culture on the world did not and does not depend on deliberate action by the US government via agents of influence).

  489. @Jessica
    “The situation in High School is primarily due to teachers’ unions who are utterly resistant to change, and frankly seem to run the schools as if the purpose is to provide teachers jobs rather than to provide education to children.”

    Why do the parents allow this to happen? That is what mystifies me. This type of thing has happened elsewhere, and it stopped when parents put pressure on the system.

    @Jessica
    “I have no idea why or if it works in other countries.”

    What I tend to see is that people put pressure on the system when it does not work, until it does.

  490. @Jessica
    “I think comp sci is a victim of its own success. In the time that we have had comp sci courses, the power of computers has grown at an astounding rate, and quantitative change leaves inevitably to qualitative change.”

    I cannot translate this situation easily to the universities I know.

    We have two kind of “scientific” studies that would fall into CS: “Artificial Intelligence” and “Informatics”. These are highly abstract and primarily teach “algorithms, data structures, and communication” (I simplify enormously). Then there is a layer of “vocational” studies that teach programming as a “craft”. The differences are not as black and white as I write them here.

    The complaint about the students in these fields at all levels is that they tend to be geared to those who want to “get rich quick” or just “hack around” with little interest in foundational (scientific) questions.

    My personal experiences with these students are limited to AI students. I thought they got a reasonably in-depth instruction on the abstract concepts. They were not specifically trained to be programmers for production work (although they got hired away just as fast). That was not the aim of AI studies. But I know college level studies (bachelor?) that offered such training.

  491. @Winter: the primary issue is that the parents either don’t have time to push on the administrators, or they don’t have the political capital to do so, or both. The teacher’s unions have plenty of political capital to spend on defending their status quo; and the poor don’t have the right of exit. It’s why the teacher’s unions fight charter schools so much, because it theoretically provides the family of modest means an ability to exit the system

  492. @Winter
    > Why do the parents allow this to happen? That is what mystifies me.

    It is the standard problems of democracy. Why do we allow the roads to be dreadful and full of potholes and traffic jams? Why do we put up with the depredations of the TSA? Why do 2/3s of people support capital punishment, yet it is on the decline?

    Simply because the political forces are concentrated, focused and well funded, whereas their opponents are widely dispersed, have other things to do, and have no funding. At its root is rent seeking, the basic principle of the public school, which means that most people don’t have any real alternatives. When you go to the soup kitchen for dinner, you can’t complain that the tablecloths are stained or the waiters impolite.

    My solution, which I have mentioned here before is simply to recognize that even if we stipulate the principle that the benefit of an educated population justifies the state paying for education, does not mean that the state has to provide that education.

    A simple change in the law would fix the school system in America in a few years. Simply change the tax law to give a tax credit of $7,000 for every child of education age, that may be spent on education related expenses, then turn off all funding for public schools. Let the public schools and their unionized teachers compete for that money rather than the current situation where we give the money to the public schools and let the parents compete for the money.

    This change — an adjustment to the federal budget is all that is required — would radically improve American schools overnight, and getting rid of the Federal Department of education would pay for a huge chunk of the cost.

    The current trend is exactly the opposite. The trend is toward more and more centralization of control of education, some obvious examples being the growing budget of the Department of Education, the war on home schooling, charter schools and to a lesser extent private schools, and the Common Core Curriculum where bureaucrats at the DoE even get to choose what goes into little Johnny and little Jenny’s math book. Which is to say, every day parents have less and less control.

    The result is what? For many parents the core issue with their child’s schooling is just the plain physical safety of the child, where schools are full of gangs and thugs. In many city schools in Chicago I would venture to say that without sovereign immunity the public schools could be charged with at least child neglect, and probably child abuse. If the system can’t guarantee that Johnny won’t get a shiv in his neck during geometry, then we might well call the public school system a failure, and think that an alternative should be considered.

  493. @Jessica Boxer:

    > Why do 2/3s of people support capital punishment, yet it is on the decline?

    The number of people who support it is on the decline, too, and is currently around 55%:

    http://www.pewforum.org/2014/03/28/shrinking-majority-of-americans-support-death-penalty/

    Part of the reduction in executions probably has to do with the reduction in violent crime (perhaps due to reduced lead), and part of the reduction in executions and in support may have to do with the dawning realization that some of the evil, lying people out there are police, prosecutors, and judges. People talk about “mistakes” all the time, but that’s usually just a euphemism for significant misconduct.

    Texas, where I live, used to be the undisputed leader in executions, but since they introduced the sentencing option of life without parole in 2005, many juries are choosing that, so that’s another factor. Before 2005, as a juror, you either had to vote to execute the guy, or worry that you’d be feeling guilty if he was ever paroled and did something bad later. Now you have a middle choice, which lets you let him live on the off chance that there were extenuating circumstances, without risking him being released later. Bonus: he might still be alive if any prosecutorial misconduct is uncovered.

    As far as cost goes, I think it’s a wash — the interminable appeals for death row inmates are _expensive_ and mostly paid for by the state.

  494. Don’t forget race, directly and indirectly.

    Directly, our students don’t do too badly compared to other countries, as long as you exclude black students (even better if you exclude schools/districts dominated by black students).

    And indirectly, in that charges of racism tend to shut down debate, sometimes even to the point of removing one side from consideration entirely. And the word “racism” long ago lost any objective meaning…

  495. @Jessica Boxer
    “A simple change in the law would fix the school system in America in a few years. Simply change the tax law to give a tax credit of $7,000 for every child of education age, that may be spent on education related expenses, then turn off all funding for public schools. Let the public schools and their unionized teachers compete for that money rather than the current situation where we give the money to the public schools and let the parents compete for the money.”

    School systems differ in each country. So you can see how things work in practice. I think your ideas have been realized in the Netherlands using chartered schools and completely free choice of schools. Almost every child has a choice of several schools within reasonable distance. Schools are basically free, with some minor costs for extracurricular activities. Costs are rarely more than 200 euros a year per child (somewhat more in high school), more likely 50-100 euros. In most schools these costs are optional (but the child does not get to participate in the activity).

    In the Netherlands, chartered schools are a constitutional right as is free choice of schools (since somewhere in the early 20th century). Government gives national terms for the final exams, but does not regulate how a school gets there, within wide margins. Schools with too few students get closed, whether they are chartered or state-funded.

    The effect is that schools must compete for children. That really works wonders on the motivation of the staff.

    There were some negative effects. During the 1990s, there was a tendency of segregation with lily-white Catholic and Protestant schools. The state-funded schools got the more problematic children from poor neighborhoods and immigrants.

    This was solved by making it less easy for schools to reject applicants, both legally and morally (no school wanted to be outed as bunch of immoral parasites). The other solution was to give extra funds for children that needed more effort. This made these children attractive for all schools.

    All in all, these problems are kept within bounds.

    @Jessica Boxer&Patrick Maupin
    ” Why do 2/3s of people support capital punishment, yet it is on the decline?”

    I read already last century that the support for the death penalty is largely based on a bad legal system that is unable to keep homicidal maniacs off the street. Solve that problem, and the support drops.

    There is also very good historical evidence that it is a very bad idea to let people decide to kill other people by simple majority. This has nearly always been regretted afterward.

  496. @Winter
    Very interesting about Dutch schools. I’d definitely like to know more about how it works and its success rate.

    With respect to killing people who need to be killed, I am in favor of it. However, I recognize that the court and justice system is absolutely appalling. The alternative — putting people in prison is an absolutely terrible way to punish people. It is appropriate for some people, people who can’t be allowed safely into society, either because they are sociopaths or have mental disease, but that is really a tiny fraction of the prison population. And that is especially true in American prisons where the prisoners who need to be in prison the least are subject to the worst punishment, the punishment of “prison justice” that we all snigger about behind our hands. Where people are subject to extreme violence and very widespread rape. And we as a society seem happy to ignore this as if it is a good thing, while not having the stomach to actually impose it judicially. Not that I am advocating such judicial action at all of course.

    Compared to shooting a dangerous psychopath who has done many terrible things, leaving some kid who sold a little weed in a position where it is regularly raped and tortured by his roomate, seems a minor matter indeed. And leaving someone in a position that the only way they can find any measure of self protection is by joining a thuggish gang can hardly be described as rehabilitation.

    (And BTW, I never understood all this stuff about execution by drugs. I have no idea why we do that at all. It is one of those things that sounds really humane, after all that is how we put our pets out of their misery. However, it take a long time in the best of circumstances, so why do we want to torture people like that? Hanging and the guillotine can finish someone off in less than thirty seconds from when they leave their cell till they are in a wooden box. If we are going to kill someone judicially, those seem vastly better options.)

  497. @Jessica
    I will have a look whether I can find some extra information about or school system. It looks a lot like that of Germany. Note that it is in no way “ideal”. But the differences are instructive.

    I never understood the calous way people in the US treat inmates. The US prison system is in no ways ” normal”.

    Anyhow, civilized countries would lock up the criminal insane in an closed assylum. There is absolutely no point in putting them in jail among “normal” prisoners.

    And there is also no reason for the cummunity to set an example that murder can be justified. A message that says “Thou shall not kill, except when it suits me” will get the wrong response.

  498. @Winter
    > “Thou shall not kill, except when it suits me”

    Nobody in the USA says or believes that. They rather say “thou shalt not kill, except when you clearly deserve it.” And believe me, there are certainly some people who deserve it. You read the story of Jessica Lunsford or Channon Christian and her boyfriend and tell me that the perpetrators deserve anything less than a long drop on a short rope.

    As to whether the state is capable of making such a decision — that is a different question.

  499. I’ve decided that I don’t buy one on the central premises of the OP: That police are suicidally crazy if they don’t act based on “26 times more likely. That’s a lot.”

    For someone trying to keep out of trouble, this would make sense. False positives don’t matter so much in that case. But the job of the police is not to stay out of trouble. The job of the police is to distinguish between people going peaceably about their honest business and people who are Up To No Good. In particular, in a place like Ferguson, the duty of the police is to distinguish between young black men going peaceably about their honest business and young black men who are Up To No Good, going after the latter while leaving the former alone.

    Applying “26 times” isn’t going to help a cop make that distinction. If anything it’s going to hinder the cop. In addition, once a cop makes a decision to stop someone, that “26 times” shouldn’t apply. If, after applying the ‘stopped by a cop’ filter, there is still a significant difference between the danger posed by a young black man and a young white man – in either direction – then the cop is doing his job wrong.

    However, it will be a temptation to a lazy or corrupt cop to simply apply “26 times” rather than trying to make the distinctions his duty demands, even if he isn’t racist. Such cops need to be fired. Not branded as “racist” or charged with civil rights violations (unless there is additional evidence pointing in that direction), but just fired, as being unfit for the job.

  500. You will find very few people in the west who actively support it when you talk to them, but how do you explain that Canadian and English governments have basically imposed Sharia on people, many of whom moved to those countries to get away from that silly shit.

    They have done no such thing.

    > More bulldust. Nakoula Nakoula was arrested for violating his parole.

    Oh nonsense. NN was arrested because the First Golfer needed a scapegoat.

    In other words, it had nothing to do with sharia, which was the claim I addressed. Anyone today is free to make a similar video with no legal consequences at all. Neither the president nor any other level of law enforcement will even hear about it.

    That he had actually violated his parole was just the excuse. If the LA County Sheriff’s office went after everyone on probation that used an alias, and was dirtbag then they might as well throw up a series of fences around LA County.

    And yeah, the guy IS a dirt bag. But as near as I can tell the first amendment doesn’t yet have a “except for dirtbags and people who embrass the president”.

    It’s true that if the 0bama administration hadn’t been looking for whoever made the video nobody would ever have identified him, and when they initiated that search they had no idea that the filmmaker had done something illegal, so they had no business looking for him. That search was a clear violation of the first amendment, and constitutes reason #372 why Holder (if not 0bama) should be impeached.

    But once his federal probation officer knew about the violation s/he had little choice but to bring him in. This was not just a vague crossing of a general line on all probationers, but a violation of the specific terms of his parole, which were tailored to the specific offenses he had committed, and was in danger of committing again. He had defrauded people over the internet, under various aliases, and was therefore under specific court order not to use aliases, and not to use the internet. And here he was again, doing business over the internet using a false name. Who financed this video, and what promises were they made, and what did they think they were funding?

    As for Nakoula’s dirtbagness, Walid Shoebat made a somewhat persuasive case (e.g. here) that he is not a Copt at all but an Islamist agent provocateur, who made the video for the specific purpose of providing a pretext for Moslem violence against Jews, Copts, and the USA.

  501. @Winter

    RE: thoughtcrime in Europe.

    There are people who don’t believe the Holocaust happened. In the United States, we point at them and laugh. In some European countries (which include the ones where it happened) they can be fined and/or imprisoned. The rock band KISS can’t even use its logo in Germany because the last two letters look too much like the Schutzstaffel runes for the authorities to permit. (This is a problem despite Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley both being Jewish, and therefore pretty much the last people who would be using SS imagery.)

    In the US, we have written into our constitution’s First Amendment the clear principle that governments may not restrict freedom of speech the way that these other countries do.

  502. The Monster on 2014-08-24 at 21:10:16 said:

    In the US, we have written into our constitution’s First Amendment the clear principle that governments may not restrict freedom of speech the way that these other countries do.

    But in fact the government does restrict freedom of speech, in that if you exercise freedom of speech, and people can find your employer, your employer is likely to be charged with discrimination.

    Thus, for example, the Bank of Beverly Hills was convicted in substantial part for thought crimes that its employees were suspected of committing. They were suspected of lacking faith and enthusiasm for a government policy of issuing mortgages to nams. No one in the financial system is allowed to think bad thoughts about a policy that lost a very large amount of money.

  503. @The Monster
    ” In some European countries (which include the ones where it happened) they can be fined and/or imprisoned. ”

    Indeed. The boundaries are very well defined. The reason is very simple. Historically, these types of speech lead to mass murder and destruction of the land. Experience shows that most (all) of those expressing these types of speech actually are intending to repeat these atrocities (talk to a holocaust denier for some time and you will have a high probability of finding out he wants to finish the job).

    So these are basically filed under “Inciting to commit violence”, which is indeed illegal in large parts of Europe.

    On the balance, this is only a very minor infringement on our rights of freedom of speech. In most countries this is offset by more freedom elsewhere.

    (seriously, not being allowed to deny a well documented atrocity in history is not much of a burden to your freedom in practice)

  504. @Jessica Boxer
    “Very interesting about Dutch schools. I’d definitely like to know more about how it works and its success rate.”

    How it “works”.
    It seems Wikipedia has it all in manageable quantities:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_the_Netherlands

    Success rate:
    There are continuous arguments and laments about quality. Very often about Very Bright and Very Unbright kids being let down by the system.

    In the PISA rankings, we seem to be slipping, but still not very bad:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Programme_for_International_Student_Assessment#2012

    Academia is a peculiar thing. The budget of all our research universities combined is probably less than that of MIT alone. The general ones are all in the global top 200 rankings (Times, Shanghai) and half of these are in the top 100.

    On scientific impact, we seem to be 8th on a world list of H-index (whatever its value). So that seems to work out reasonable well.
    http://www.realclearscience.com/lists/top_10_countries_with_greatest_scientific_impact/8_netherlands.html?state=stop

  505. The boundaries are very well defined. The reason is very simple. Historically, these types of speech lead to mass murder and destruction of the land. Experience shows that most (all) of those expressing these types of speech actually are intending to repeat these atrocities

    Bunkum. For example Bolt was charged for complaining that many of the recipients of handouts for natives were probably one hundred percent white, and in most cases at least sixty three sixty fourths white. Leon was charged for protesting the imposition of Sharia law on non Muslims.

  506. Before we go off in a tangent again, this is all about JAD claiming:
    “That is in part because in the rest of the developed world they can and will directly arrest you for crimethink, for political dissent, while in the US they have to find some indirect way of accomplishing the same outcome while pretending they are doing something else.”

    Note, the claim is that [outside of the USA]:
    in the rest of the developed world they can and will directly arrest you for crimethink

    So, everywhere outside of the USA you are more likely to be arrested for crimethink. My counterargument is a list of countries ranked by the Freedom of the Press:
    http://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press-2014/press-freedom-rankings#.U1Uv_PldW_E

    My point is simply that the USA is not the best place in the world. The counter examples given until now all relate to countries that are ranked worse than the USA in this list.

    @JAD
    “For example Bolt was charged for complaining that many of the recipients of handouts for natives were probably one hundred percent white, and in most cases at least sixty three sixty fourths white.”

    And this use of Australian welfare subsidies are related how to the fact that it is illegal to deny the holocaust in Germany?

    @JAD
    “Leon was charged for protesting the imposition of Sharia law on non Muslims.”

    I have no idea what you are talking about. Please clarify. I do know that no Western country has imposed Sharia Law on its non-Muslim citizens. Few have even considered allowing voluntary mediation using Sharia Law in family matters.

    For more information about the diversity of Sharia Law under Muslims, see:
    http://dare.uva.nl/document/221087

  507. For example Bolt was charged for complaining that many of the recipients of handouts for natives were probably one hundred percent white, and in most cases at least sixty three sixty fourths white.

    Actually Bolt was found guilty mostly because his articles were sloppy about separating statements of fact from comments and frequently and provably incorrect on things that would be commonly understood as statements of fact.

    In particular to your argument above, 9 out of 18 individuals mentioned in Bolt’s articles gave evidence in the case, none of them could even be charitably considered “100% white”. Going back two generations and assuming anyone not described as “aboriginal” was not, the least pure blood of those 9 was 25% aboriginal. On this point, Bolt’s articles selectively detailed relationships that played up the “white” connection while ignoring relationships that supported the “aboriginal” inference. This deficiency, amongst others more specific, blocked an 18D defense (i.e. the freedom of expression defense).

    Sad part is I kind of agree with Bolt’s in-trial description of his beliefs. I do believe that in principle it’s divisive to emphasize racial differences and that there’s no statute or benefit that wouldn’t be just as (if not more) effective by deleting all reference to race and instead describing the specific conditions that the reference to race is being used as a shorthand for. But then sensationalist one-sided bullshit has a way of undermining your own argument i suppose.

  508. For someone trying to keep out of trouble, this would make sense. False positives don’t matter so much in that case. But the job of the police is not to stay out of trouble. The job of the police is to distinguish between people going peaceably about their honest business and people who are Up To No Good. In particular, in a place like Ferguson, the duty of the police is to distinguish between young black men going peaceably about their honest business and young black men who are Up To No Good, going after the latter while leaving the former alone.

    Part of the problem is that looking like you are Up to No Good is now considered fashionable among young black men, even when you’re not, so the police are missing important cues as to who actually is Up to No Good. This is a recent development; in the past, rap stars actually said “I dress to a T” in their lyrics; now actual and aspirant rappers wear their hats backwards and their pants around their knees — sometimes even to formal ceremonies. If someone from the hood starts dressing nice and speaking in neutral Midwestern dialect, they risk being met with “I kent his faither” retribution from their associates in the black community.

    This is sort of a chicken-and-egg problem though: increasingly, blacks feel that the law has failed them, so some of them do not feel the moral duty to behave like law-abiding citizens; just the opposite, they dress and act like thugs as a show of solidarity with their brothers and sisters who have been arrested, jailed, or killed by the system. So the constabulary, less able to distinguish law-abiding blacks from actual thugs, treat them all as potential thugs and start popping off rounds at the slightest untoward movement, perpetuating the cycle of violence.

    Booker T. Washington’s nonconfrontationalism and acquiescence to white norms has been oft criticized, but it got tangible material results for American blacks, so there’s something to be said for it.

  509. @Jeff Read:

    > Booker T. Washington’s nonconfrontationalism and acquiescence…

    Yeah, it may be that Sharpton is learning. Slowly. Some of what he said doesn’t remind me at all of the Sharpton of a few years back. It’s almost like he’s channeling his inner Bill Cosby or something.

    What does God require? We’ve got to be straight up in our community, too. We have to be outraged at a 9-year-old girl killed in Chicago. We have to be outraged by our disrespect for each other. Our disregard for each other. Our killing and shooting and running around gun-toting each other. So that they are justifying trying to come at us because some of us act like the definition of blackness is how low you can go. Blackness has never been about being a gangster or thug. Blackness was no matter how low we was pushed down, we rose up anyhow.

    Blackness was never surrendering our pursuit of excellence. It was when it was against the law to go to some schools, we built black colleges and learned anyhow. When we couldn’t go downtown to church we built our own AME church, and our church of God and Christ. We never surrendered, we never gave up, and now we get to the 21st century, we get to where we got some positions of power. And you decide it ain’t black no more to be successful. Now you wanna be a nigga and call your woman a ho, you lost where you come from.

    We’ve got to clean up our community so we can clean up the United States of America! Rev. Al, you don’t understand what they doin’ to us. I understand. But I understand that nobody gonna help us if we don’t help ourselves. Sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves won’t solve our problems. Sitting around having ghetto pity parties rather than organizing and strategizing and putting our differences aside. Yes, we got young and old. Yes, we got things that we don’t like about each other, but it’s bigger than our egos. It’s bigger than everybody. We need everybody because I’m gonna tell you, I don’t care how much money you got, I don’t care what position you hold. I don’t care how much education you got.

  510. Actually Bolt was found guilty mostly because his articles were sloppy about separating statements of fact from comments and frequently and provably incorrect on things that would be commonly understood as statements of fact.

    Bolt spoke truth, provably correct truth that everyone knows and no one can say, and was forced to retract the truth. Tasmanian “natives” have not one drop of native Tasmanian blood in them, those Australian natives that get the big government money are typically one sixty fourth native.

    To prove what he said, just look at them.

  511. Going back two generations and assuming anyone not described as “aboriginal” was not, the least pure blood of those 9 was 25% aboriginal

    None of them, not one, was within two generations of anyone who claimed to be, or was regarded at the time, as aboriginal. Rather, they today attributed aboriginal identity to ancestors who were never accused of aboriginal identity back in the day, and who, had they been accused of aboriginal identity back in the day, before it became fashionable and highly profitable, would have plausibly denied it, and denied it successfully.

  512. James A. Donald on 2014-08-25 at 19:06:59 said:

    Going back two generations and assuming anyone not described as “aboriginal” was not, the least pure blood of those 9 was 25% aboriginal

    The blackest of them had a great grandmother who was born and raised in an aboriginal community, but moved to a white community because she was white enough to pass. He attributed aboriginal identity to his passing great grandmother because born and raised culturally aboriginal even though capable of passing, and attributed aboriginal identity to his grandmother because born to his passing great grandmother of unknown father.

  513. JonCB on 2014-08-25 at 10:18:18 said:

    none of them could even be charitably considered “100% white”.

    I myself had a long conversation with a professional aboriginal who was on a round the world tour promoting aboriginal culture. He talked a lot of “My people” and claimed extensive land rights in Australia.

    I asked him about his ancestry, and he told me he had an aboriginal mother, which would make him fifty percent aboriginal.

    I found this extremely hard to believe, so I asked him what his mother looked like.

    She looked, he told me, Afghan.

    So, say I, “you mean she looked 100% white.”

    At this he became hostile, angry and defensive. If I understand him correctly, his mother is culturally aboriginal and identifies as aboriginal because she had a black boyfriend, and he is culturally aboriginal because he once spent some time at Redfern railway station, which is railway station in Sydney adjacent to an aboriginal majority area.

    Therefore, fifty percent aboriginal.

  514. James A. Donald: These days even gender is a matter of self-identification.

    Some years back I read a news story about a white boy, born in Johannesburg, immigrated here with his parents (that was the Old Days, when you filled out all the forms and took the Oath). He tried to tell his classmates that he was African-American. They were incensed that he should say such a thing.

  515. Some years back I read a news story about a white boy, born in Johannesburg, immigrated here with his parents (that was the Old Days, when you filled out all the forms and took the Oath). He tried to tell his classmates that he was African-American. They were incensed that he should say such a thing.

    In America, you have to be actually black to get in on the black gravy train.

    It used to be you could merely self identify as native American to get in on the native American gravy train, but today real native Americans are pushing back against that.

    You can still usually self identify as Hispanic with no problems in America, though famously Zimmerman found himself “white”.

    In Australia it is still sufficient to self identify as aboriginal, and because real aboriginals find filling out forms and complying with rules a bit difficult, most of those on the abo gravy train are as white as I am, or nearly so, though there is starting to be some pushback from the real aboriginals against the self identified aboriginals.

  516. None of them, not one, was within two generations of anyone who claimed to be, or was regarded at the time, as aboriginal.

    Which is a nice conceit but each of those 9 that gave evidence at trial testified under oath and went unchallenged in the same court of law as saying each had at the absolute very least one parent and one grandparent. I’m sorry but either Bolt and his lawyers were completely and utterly inept (to the point where Bolt would have to be complicit in the guilty verdict) or you’re completely wrong.

  517. The blackest of them had a great grandmother who was born and raised in an aboriginal community, but moved to a white community because she was white enough to pass.

    Again, factually incorrect.

    Dr Wayne Atkinson and Graham Atkinson both testified that all of their grandparents were of aboriginal descent, and all but one of their great grandparents were of aboriginal descent (which was the great grandfather btw not great grandmother).

  518. Bolt spoke truth, provably correct truth that everyone knows and no one can say, and was forced to retract the truth.

    I’m sure he did speak provably correct truth. Unfortunately he also spoke bullshit that was proven incorrect in a court of law and got hammered for it. Next time he, and you, should do the research.

  519. And btw… really when i say “was proven incorrect” i actually mean “had no actual evidence to back it up”. If he had we would have seen it and he would have skated free.

  520. JonCB

    Dr Wayne Atkinson and Graham Atkinson both testified that all of their grandparents were of aboriginal descent, and all but one of their great grandparents were of aboriginal descent (which was the great grandfather btw not great grandmother).

    And did they testify that people looking at any of these parents and grandparents would have thought them to be aboriginal on sight?

    Their claim is that these parents and grandparents were socially aboriginal – which may well mean that they spent a short time at Redfern railway station.

  521. JonCB on 2014-08-26 at 08:27:33 said:

    And btw… really when i say “was proven incorrect” i actually mean “had no actual evidence to back it up”. If he had we would have seen it and he would have skated free.

    We did see it. Everyone cans see what Bolt can see, just no one is allowed to say it. Those guys just don’t look like aboriginals, nor did they produce evidence that any of their parents, grandparents, or great grandparents looked like aboriginals.

  522. @JAD
    Reality keeps posing problems for you, I see. The Australians are free to spend their tax money the way they like. And they are free to call an aboriginal whomever they like.

    That these people do not qualify according to youir human breeding handbook is your problem, not theirs. Australian laws did qualify them as aboriginal, and these are the laws that count.

  523. The Australians are free to spend their tax money the way they like. And they are free to call an aboriginal whomever they like.

    No they are not free to call an aboriginal whomever they like – because they will, like Bolt, be punished if they notice that most professional aboriginals are sixty three sixty fourths white, and some are one hundred percent white.

  524. Their claim is that these parents and grandparents were socially aboriginal – which may well mean that they spent a short time at Redfern railway station.

    And if Bolt had evidence of that kind, it would have made sense to show it at trial now wouldn’t it?

    We did see it.

    Nope. All we can see is that Bolt, like you, is good at making insinuations and poor at backing them up with hard evidence. As i said, hard evidence would have seen him skate free.

  525. No they are not free to call an aboriginal whomever they like – because they will, like Bolt, be punished if they notice that most professional aboriginals are sixty three sixty fourths white, and some are one hundred percent white.

    Most is a big word, care to back that up with facts?

  526. I don’t think the fact that most of the aboriginal rights gravy is being sucked up by non aboriginals was conscious intent of the government. Rather, it is more like the fact that most arts funding goes to people cannot draw a straight line, most science funding goes to people who do not and indeed cannot do genuine science, and so on and so forth. Every government activity winds up being taken over by the same professional grantsmanship experts.

    Recall Milton Friedman’s words:
    If you spend your own money on yourself, you will spend it carefully, and spend it on things that actually benefit yourself.

    If you spend other peoples money on yourself, you will spend recklessly, but spend it on things that actually benefit yourself

    If you spend your money on other people, you will spend carefully, but spend it on things that do not in fact benefit the supposed recipient

    If you spend other people’s money on other people, you will spend recklessly, and will not benefit the supposed recipient.

    The aboriginal rights gravy train is, predictably, not in fact delivering much gravy to actual aboriginals

    And the laws forbidding racial hatred, predictably, do not punish racial hatred but instead punish noticing where the gravy is going.

  527. John Singleton and Bob Howard, in Rip Van Australia (published in the mid-’70s, and one of the first libertarian books I read) pointed out that if the Department of Aboriginal Affairs were disbanded, and its annual budget divided equally among all Aborigines, they’d each have a high income, and could spend it on whatever services they thought they needed.

  528. if the Department of Aboriginal Affairs were disbanded, and its annual budget divided equally among all Aborigines, they’d each have a high income,

    Libertarian fallacy. If you disbanded the Department of aboriginal affairs, and instead gave each aboriginal a fixed income in proportion to the amount of black blood in him, they would all be rich. This would cure any feeling of guilt Australians have about stealing the land, but almost all the abos would drink themselves to death in short order.

    If, on the other hand, one somewhat furtively attempts to distribute the money in a paternalistic fashion, preventing the aboriginals from doing stupid things with it, pretty much all the money gets sucked up by a small number of professional aboriginals, who strikingly overlap with the people sucking up all the arts, science, and environment money.

  529. >This would cure any feeling of guilt Australians have about stealing the land, but almost all the abos would drink themselves to death in short order.

    Alas, it is so. Not a problem specific to aborigines, either. Pretty much any population that has only collided with alcohol in recent historical time gets it – American Indians, too.

    Even in Europe there’s a north/south gradient in frequency and severity of alcoholism that correlates inversely with how long the population has been selected under alcohol pressure. My Irish ancestors drank more and were worse harmed by it than my French and German ones, and people with southern Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern ancestors have a lower incidence of alcoholism than any others.

  530. The point was that the amount spent per capita was ridiculously high even then, and yet it had done nothing to alleviate Aboriginal poverty. 40 years on, the amount has only risen, and it has still had no positive effect. The country would be better off giving them the money directly and letting them do whatever they like with it, even if that is drinking themselves into an early grave.

    BTW, if the government were really concerned about Aboriginal alcoholism, the best and most cost-effective thing it could do about it would be to fund missionaries among them from some of the teetotalling churches.

  531. Milhouse on 2014-08-27 at 02:40:51 said:

    The point was that the amount spent per capita was ridiculously high even then, and yet it had done nothing to alleviate Aboriginal poverty. 40 years on, the amount has only risen, and it has still had no positive effect

    There are a great many organizations funded by a bunch of different governments to assist aboriginals. From time to time, one of them tries the “let us just give them money and stuff” approach. The results are invariably horrifying. Sometimes they stop what they are doing and do something different. But government and quasi government organizations seldom stop what they are doing because that might be admission of failure and lead to reduction in funding. So instead they set in place entrance criteria, which involve filling out forms, sending mail, receiving mail, having bank accounts, and so on and so forth

    People who are horrified that arduous requirement for voting might disenfranchise the poor, wind up putting in place an arduous obstacle course for those seeking free money on the basis of their aboriginal identity, an obstacle course that many a PhD student would find grievous.

    This, strange to report, have the effect of selecting people who do not, in fact look very aboriginal at all, creating a class of professional aboriginals, some of them lily white, to give these do gooder organizations someone to do good to.

    Having embarked on this course, it eventually comes to pass, that those operating the do gooder organization, and those it does good to, become one and the same, the organization being staffed with administrators and beneficiaries who to all appearances look as if they belong to the same race, social class, and culture as those who dispense arts, environmental, and science grants to each other.

    But it seems to me that this corruption does not cause the failure to benefit actual aboriginals. Rather, the chronic failure to benefit actual aboriginals causes the corruption.

  532. >Even in Europe there’s a north/south gradient in frequency and severity of alcoholism that correlates inversely with how long the population has been selected under alcohol pressur

    Can’t source it, but it is possible that wine is less harmful than whiskey because the taste, circumstances of consumption (with or without food, knock back vs. sip etc. etc.) end up making people consume less alcohol in total.

    Again, can’t source it, but it is also possible that alcohol was introduced to Native Americans, Australian Aboriginals without the culturally evolved customs that moderate its usage. While a Frenchman would think it is barbaric to fill a large beer glass with wine, it is entirely possible that these prejudices not handed over to these people.

    Actually, if only the traditional communal shaming of alcoholics, i.e. laughing at the “town drunk”, was not handed over to these populations, that, alone, means the lack of a very significant moderating mechanism and could in itself explain a lot. Reminds me of my experiences in Ukraine – I got significantly drunker and more often when I was there, because there was just no stigma to it, it was actually seen by people there as having fun and demonstrating manliness, there was not this sense of being way too drunk is ridiculous and clownish, which we have in the wine-oriented regions of Hungary.

  533. On the general topic, there’s apparently been a SJW crusade around game development in the past week or so, with a couple of women with apparently sketchy backgrounds reporting insults and threats that appear to have the most astoundingly coincidental timestamps. There’s now a hysterical parody of one of the “games” in question that I thought worth sharing. Inter alia,

    Remember, anytime you are criticized, either accuse them of being misogynists or create harrassment for yourself.

    Conveniently, there are anonymous imageboards where no one will be able to determine whether or not you’re lying due to no registration and threads expiring!

    Remember, asking for proof or substantial evidence is not only a social construct, but also victim blaming. Repeat after me, the game industry is misogynist. The game industry is misogynist. The game industry is misogynist.

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