Author Archive

Never Forget

Posted: September 11, 2014 by ShortTimer in Jihad, Never Forget, terrorism
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9/11/01
>Never Forget

>Never Forget

>Never Forget

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9/11/12
benghazi blood walls

The Militarization of “Protesters”

Posted: September 7, 2014 by ShortTimer in Crime, Culture, Government, Leftists, Media
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Ferguson’s rioting is now yesterday’s news, except that Eric Holder is going to investigate the crap out of it to get justice immediately, while Fast and Furious is apparently a cold case.  But I think it’s important to bring this up before it’s totally forgotten.

Among the complaints about the Ferguson situation was “the militarization of police”, which is an argument I’m pretty skeptical about.  People seem to pine for a past that didn’t quite exist, demand that cops facing Molotov-throwing rioters still act like Sheriff Andy Taylor, and seem to miss that the reporters aren’t filming the crowds as much as the cops – and missing out on the crowd helps to miss the point.

First off, a quick photo of the “good ol’ days” before the police had rubber bullets and tear gas and sirens and MRAPs and flak jackets and before Tennessee vs Garner (where cops could apprehend by fire) and before Miranda rights:

1964 chester police riotBut if you notice something about the protester (called a rioter in the caption, but it’s easy to give him all benefits of the doubt) – he’s dressed pretty normal.

This is from the Harlem Riot of 1964:

harlem riot 1964 a

In that particular incident, there was protesting, rioting, and looting.  Given the situation at the time, the guy on the ground could be any of those, and the police could be quelling a disturbance where he’d just attacked someone, or they could be racist thugs in uniform beating the crap out of an innocent man for getting “uppity”.

But those guys are also dressed pretty normal for the time.

These people in Ferguson are not:

If you watched more than a couple minutes in, you saw “protesters” wearing helmets and gas masks.  Here’s a screenshot from 1:03 of a “protester” putting on their helmet & gas mask:

ferguson protester helmet and mask

That’s escalating a situation.

Among the handful of people yelling, there are also a dozen people there to record an incident that they are precipitating.  There are agitators there with cameras specifically to instigate – that’s why they brought gas masks and helmets.

ferguson protester helmet 2

The police there were dealing with rioters, looters, and arsonists across the city.  The police are trying to disperse a crowd that started aggressive and is getting worse and they’re using non-lethal crowd control techniques that are being neutralized by some agitating “protesters” who came ready with countermeasures.

You can hear the self-important glee in the voice of the man recording the incident.  He’s one of those folks who gets off on the confrontation, because it puts him at the front lines of what he thinks is important – but it’s a situation he’s working to create so he can applaud himself further.

In his own mind, he’s putting his life, and talent, on the line.

dick thornburg

What’s really going on is he’s just making the situation worse by escalating it.

No one looks at that video (or any of the rest of it that shows the “protesters” in Ferguson) and says “gee, I want that in my neighborhood”, or thinks “well, that sure showed the police that they should review their procedures, policies, and institutional culture that led to the shooting of Michael Brown and the community is concerned that there should be an impartial review of the incident”.

The militarized protester is armored for the confrontation, and armed with the camera to record the confrontation he precipitates in order to show he’s the victim and justify the beliefs he brought in to begin with.

There are as many people recording as there are with their hands up yelling.  They’re brought in by the lure of cameras and the feeling of attention, while that helmeted, gas-masked agitator is using them to prop himself up.

And then of course there are the people throwing firebombs.

ferguson molotov 1

A lot of the actions on the part of “protesters” is contingent on police response being very restrained.  “Restrained!  They teargassed those people!”  Yes, restrained.

Unlike in other nations (like Colombia, above), our policemen do have rules, and are held accountable.

That’s why police in the US work to use crowd control that has the least likelihood of causing permanent harm, while preventing personal and property damage in the community the police are hired by.  They ultimately are supposed to be there to serve and protect – and for every rioter there are several people in their homes who would like to go to the store tomorrow and not find it burned down.

The protester who’s gone out to confront police with a helmet and gas mask is, again, working to negate the police ability to use crowd control that’s relatively harmless.  They want confrontation – whether as an instigator for their own ego purposes as above, or for their own ideological ends.  They want an escalating conflict where their weapon is their camera and where they have a mob to do violence for them, and where they can stay and outlast police tactics until the police have exhausted peaceful options.

Clausewitz’s most famous quote was: “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means.”

For some, escalating their politics to conflict, especially with a police force that is duty-bound to protect its city and maintain order, is a win-win.  If the “protester” militarizes but with the focus on generating a narrative rather than taking ground, he gets his propaganda victory every time the police are forced to act.  He points his camera at the police and not at the broken windows, burned shops, or at the people hiding inside their homes while riots run on their streets.  He ignores the people who can’t get to their homes, can’t get to their workplaces, can’t get to stores for food, can’t go outside without fear of a mob – he ignores those in favor of his own political ends.  He gets a sympathetic national media to report his story while ignoring the people terrorized by his actions and the actions he instigates.  The instability he brings destroys communities and he rewrites the narrative to blame his ideological foes – the police, the business owners and citizens of the city who left – everyone but the person responsible for the violence of the conflict – the militarized protester himself.

It’s asymmetrical warfare and it’s quite effective.

GamerGate and Chivalry

Posted: September 7, 2014 by ShortTimer in Culture, Media, political correctness, Social Justice
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What’s gone on with GamerGate in the last few weeks has been a microcosm of greater culture, and it’s fascinating because it moves so far and so fast.

Let’s begin this with a female indie game developer giving her thoughts on the oppressively PC video game journalism subculture:

Despite (or rather because of) all of the pontificating by left-leaning social justice types in the game industry about oppression, the easiest way for talentless hacks to break into the indie gaming industry is to associate with the sort of hipster liberal types that are getting all the publicity for their oppression. And worse yet, they get in over people with actual skills.  …

Let’s be completely honest: most women don’t play Quake III. Most of those few women like me who actually like first person shooters, grand strategy, space sims, and all those other genres that make up “core” gaming don’t care if they can play as a female protagonist, or if the girls are wearing skimpy outfits, or if you have to rescue the princess. They like the exact same things as men who like those games, and they just want good games, nothing more nothing less. And most of them feel that all this rambling on about representation is distracting from the real issue: big developers and publishers are making shitty games for mass appeal instead of the kind of awesome games we played growing up. When you distract from that to rant about what is literally imaginary misogyny you’re hurting women like me who just want good games.

Now, onto Chivalry, and not that archaic concept of men having different authorities and responsibilities than women, but the game Chivalry: Medieval Warfare.

The GamerGate story has parallels to something that happened a couple years ago to Torn Banner Studios, the small independent company that makes a cathartically violent Chivalry.

There was a very interesting response to Chivalry, and one of the few things I read about it in video game media/reporting (though that’s mostly because I care more if the game’s fun than what some reporter says – and Chivalry is a fun game, though obviously people have different tastes).

A forum member asked for female characters to be included in the game, and the developer said no, because he thought that an already violent game with the addition of female characters would lead to a horrible reaction in the fan community – basically that there would be verbal abuse by hyped-up male players playing a violent game.  He was pretty sure he knew the audience for his kind of game, and saw that as potential trouble.   As written by one of the devs:

This is a tough one, I actually think that adding female characters to a game like this would make it appeal less to females. Which at first sounds strange, but from my experience of the general maturity level of the internet and the unfortunately male dominated FPS market… I don’t think that it would add to the experience for women or men given the actions that would likely occur.

Hopefully that helps you understand why we decided not to go that route… I am totally fine with women fighting, but its the fact that it would probably overall harm the way the community would play the game that has me concerned.

And of course it was picked up by Kotaku as an example of sexism.  Yes, the same horribly biased, social-justice demanding Kotaku that’s been central to GamerGate.  Their article, while short, existed to tell Torn Banner that they were wrong, because sexism or something.  It’s a very short article from two years ago, but one that exists solely to say that a developer is wrong because he won’t put women characters in his game.

Just for reference, this is gameplay from Chivalry (don’t click play if you don’t want to see knights dismembered):

Now, in a game where one teamplay mode has one team literally killing off a village full of defenseless screaming peasants:

Would it really be a good idea to have screaming women involved in that, too?

If women were included, wouldn’t the response be that Chivalry is a game that hates women and literally rends them limb from limb?

Frankly, the developer made a hyperviolent game – one that is wonderfully cathartically fun – and made a decision not to include women in the game because he thought few women would be playing it anyway, and that it would only make things worse for those women who would.  Like the female indie dev said – most women don’t play this kind of “core” game – and if they do, they don’t care about having a female character model, or need to hear a female voice choking on her own blood or watching her head roll down a hill.

We’ve seen in the last few weeks that the point of a lot of video game “journalism” isn’t to rate or review games, it’s to allow smug jackasses to benefit themselves financially and to lord their own moral superiority over the very people they profess to be writing for.  It’s self-congratulatory social justice leftism on a holier-than-thou crusade to tell you, the gamer, that you suck – the same thing we see on a larger scale in society, but less rapid and less visible.

And it’s been going on for a while now.

found on KYM

13 Hours At Benghazi

Posted: September 7, 2014 by ShortTimer in Government, Middle East, Obama administration, terrorism
Tags: ,

HT Jawa Report, via Soopermexican at Right Scoop & Mass Tea Party, from FOX News:

As a reminder, Benghazi has been hushed up since the beginning by the Obama administration, even going so far as to have the CIA was moving personnel and changing names of their people so they couldn’t be found by investigators:

An Intro To GamerGate

Posted: September 6, 2014 by ShortTimer in Corruption, Culture, Media, political correctness, Social Justice
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The short version is that a few weeks ago, a man who was cheated on posted a long, long blog post about how his ex-girlfriend had used him, cheated on him, and all around mistreated him horribly (including raping him by her own definition).

Turns out that woman was a game developer.  And of the five guys she’d cheated on her boyfriend with, it seems a few, if not all of them, were pretty big in the video game journalism world at places like Kotaku (associated with Gawker), and that she used her relationships with them in order to get her games published and get other people crushed.

Add a little bit of social justice to it and the power of journalism directed to demonize anyone who disagreed with her as a sexist misogynist; as well as the ability to crush game events and redirect them to her own financial ends – and that being found to be a common practice in the incestuous world of social justice game journalism and indie game development, and you have the makings of a huge scandal.

InternetAristocrat explains it really well.  Buckle in, it’s a long ride, but it’s a microcosm of the larger culture.  The first video will give you an idea of the genesis of this, the later ones reveal more and more, but are probably the best way to get caught up on the story.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

And the story was recently picked up on by HotAir after Adam “Animal Mother” Baldwin tweeted about it.

I am also immediately reminded of the Christian/Newsome murders, and this mob attack yesterday in Mississippi.  There are a myriad more examples that are conspicuous by their absence from the national debate, as well as the easy punditry of “what would the story be if the races were reversed?”

Militarization of the Police… Or Not

Posted: August 20, 2014 by ShortTimer in Crime, Culture, Government, Media
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The last couple weeks worth of rioting and looting in Ferguson, Missouri over what’s looking less and less like the outright murder of an unarmed teenager and more like a cop who had to defend himself against multiple attacks from a thug who’d just committed a strong-arm robbery has led some punditing pundits to pundificate over the militarization of police.

In the pundit mind, it goes “cops with cargo pants and rifles means militarization of police leads to warrior cop leads to police see people as the enemy to be oppressed leads to police start oppressing people everywhere”.

Rich Lowry at NRO turns around the point that the whole militarization theme has been overblown, and started without any militarization and helmets and rifles and MRAPs at all:

It was ridiculous and wrong for police snipers to train their weapons on peaceful protestors in Ferguson. But, when you get right down to it, the militarization of police has had basically nothing to do with events there, even though the Left and parts of the Right have wanted to make that the main issue.

When Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown, the officer was presumably wearing a typical police uniform and driving a typical police car.

Just so you get a visual of that, and the story from an eyewitness on scene discussing it:

No MRAPs in there, no fatigues, no helmets, no Wiley X goggles.  And the eyewitness’s own description as the body lies in the street is not what the papers and news have been saying for the last couple weeks, either.  None of it has to do with “militarization of the police”.

Lowry continues with this point:

Finally, there’s the argument that the militarized police were inciting the crowd. This wasn’t entirely implausible, although it seemed unlikely because it should be possible for lawful, well-intentioned people to restrain themselves from throwing things at cops whose uniforms and vehicles they don’t like. Sure enough, after a night of calm in the wake of the “demilitarization” of the police response and the insertion of Captain Ron Johnson, the lawlessness started right up again.

Yeah, actually the first part is implausible.

See this crowd:

>Tea Party Tomorrow

That’s the big DC Tea Party protest from a couple years back.  There was no violence there.  They even picked up their trash when they left.  Harry Reid called those people terrorists, though.

See this crowd:

guns across america slc ut

That’s from a guns across America rally in January 2013 in SLC, Utah.  And this one’s from January 2013 in Austin, TX:

guns across america austin tx 2

Lots of folks there.  Folks with guns, even.  Yet there was no looting, no rioting, and no violence.

By contrast, this is what a lot of “protesting” in Ferguson, Missouri looks like:

ferguson quiktrip

Not with signs, but with fire bombs.

ferguson molotov 1

ferguson molotov 2

ferguson molotov 3

The first protests and the last “protest” are not the same.

That’s the reason for the police response that looks like this:

ferguson mrap

Police riot gear and riot equipment may look more military today than in the past, but the “militarization of police” idea is due to media perception that molds public perception, sensationalizing the uncommon, and whipping up a new crisis.

Just for contrast, here’s a cop with a belt-fed machinegun – state of the art in 1918 – and what helped turn the Great War into an industrial slaughter that killed millions.

NYPD-traffic-motorcycle-policeman-Indian-cycle.-May-18-1918I don’t see the cops with the MRAP having any belt-fed weapons.  Instead their weapons are precise, and they have many non-lethal options that don’t consist of batons.  They are also filmed constantly.

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Generally speaking, I have seen cops wearing kevlar vests.  I have seen a handful of law enforcement agents carrying longarms (and those were Border Patrol agents out in the boonies dealing with very different threats, or game wardens who are almost always approaching someone who’s also armed).  I have never seen an MRAP on the streets of the US.  Of course, I also don’t frequent places where looting is a pasttime.

I do know of Marines who went to New Orleans after Katrina to deal with the looters and rioters and anarchy… but I was on the other side of the globe at the time.  And of course I’m familiar with the National Guard having been called in to a lot of civil disturbances.

But the thing is, those are all still rare.

SWAT raids are rare.  They make the news because they’re exciting to the press, and the press principle of “if it bleeds it leads”, but they’re rare.  When I’ve asked people about if they’ve ever seen a SWAT raid in real life, the answer is almost invariably no – or is incredibly rare (unless they’re in law enforcement, but even then the answer still tends towards scarcity.)

Even SWAT raids that go bad are rare.  And the type of 2AM no-knock raid on the drug dealer’s house that gets the wrong address and results in overzealous swat clowns shooting an old man in his bed – are clearly unacceptable and should result in Hammurabic punishments for whoever okayed and participated in the raid.  But their seriousness makes us see them as more common, and no doubt the number of raids gone bad should be zero… but that discussion isn’t any part of what’s going on in Missouri.

Crime is on a downward trend, but political race-baiting and pushing class warfare in a classless society is on an upward trend.

From CBS St. Louis:

Protesters filled the streets after nightfall Monday, and officers trying to enforce tighter restrictions at times used bullhorns to order them to disperse. Police deployed noisemakers and armored vehicles to push demonstrators back. Officers fired tear gas and flash grenades.

One looter who came out of a QuikTrip told The Washington Post that he was proud of what he was doing.

I’m proud of us. We deserve this, and this is what’s supposed to happen when there’s injustice in your community,” DeAndre Smith told The Post. “St. Louis — not going to take this anymore.”

This goes to the heart of the matter – there’s an entitlement mentality where a looter has decided that since the facts aren’t all out there yet about the confrontation between Brown and the cop that by default the cop is wrong, and it’s right to loot local businesses.  Because A did something to B, then C is entitled to terrorize D.

Read that sentence again:

One looter who came out of a QuikTrip told The Washington Post that he was proud of what he was doing.

I’m proud of us. We deserve this, and this is what’s supposed to happen when there’s injustice in your community,” DeAndre Smith told The Post. “St. Louis — not going to take this anymore.”

He “deserves” to loot.  And looting and mayhem is what’s “supposed to happen” when there’s “injustice”.

The owner of that Quiktrip, the employees working at that Quiktrip, the people who shop there are all finding their livelihoods and lives wrecked or harmed or at the very least inconvenienced because he thinks he deserves to steal.  And lest they run to authorities demanding something be done, the reminder that “snitches get stitches” was put on the side of the building.

Number 7 of the Peelian Principles comes to mind:

To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

When a large part of the public has decided that they will reject not just the police, but the concept of law and order, and threaten those who would want actual justice, there is a societal ill that is not caused by cops wearing jungle boots.

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The problem isn’t some perceived militarization of the police – at least not there.  For all the hype of leftists and some libertarians screaming “MRAPs do not belong on our streets” – the answer is that they actually don’t – they don’t belong there any more than the actual military in the form of the National Guard does – but they will be there if the real problem strikes.

The problem is a lack of civilization of the society.