Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

It’s interesting to watch the left try to figure this out.  Over at Daily Beast, there’s a somewhat bizarre piece about the prosecutor and the legality of Freddie Gray’s knife.

The weapon police described is definitely illegal—so why did Marilyn Mosby say it wasn’t? The answer hinges on a single spring.

So the man goes to jail or goes free, lives or dies, according to whether or not his knife has a spring in it?

Larry Kobilinsky, a professor of forensic science at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, believes Gray’s knife could make or break Mosby’s case.

“I think it makes a lot of difference if the arrest was legal,” Kobilinsky said. “If they took him into custody and had reasonable suspicion that a crime had been committed, then they acted reasonably in restraining him and taking him to jail.”

Furthermore, by saying the arrest was illegal, Mosby has made the case to the public that cops should have never begun what ended with Gray’s death. Cops surely had no right to kill Freddie Gray, but they may have had the right to arrest him. All of that—and what happens next in Baltimore—may now hinge on a single spring.

Freddie Gray had a substantial criminal history, and running when you see the police is something that may draw police attention, but he was arrested and ultimately ended up dead – whether due to trying to injure himself in the back of the police van in order to serve time in a hospital rather than jail, or malfeasance or murder on the cops part – because of a cutting tool that’s been around for thousands of years.

It’s a knife.  Who cares how it opens?

(Also a minor note in the Daily Beast piece – cops do not have a “right” to arrest.  They have an authority to arrest.  A right is intrinsic, God-given or nature-given, and inherent to free men, an authority is derived from the state’s power.)

From KnifeRights:

While it is theoretically possible that without the presence of a knife in his pocket, Gray might have been arrested on some other trumped-up charge, it is clear that the presence of a knife was used as the actual basis for the arrest, and the practice has unfortunately become a common one.

Thousands of law-abiding citizens are regularly harassed and arrested for nothing more than carrying this basic tool, and that is unacceptable. Knife Rights is committed to forging a Sharper Future by passing knife law preemption and removing all restrictions on the lawful carry of knives. Those who misuse any tool (knife or otherwise) in the commission of a crime should be severely punished, but law-abiding citizens who possess knives should be left alone.

If Freddie Gray was out on his streetcorner dealing drugs (and discussion of repeal of drug prohibition is another question), then why wasn’t he arrested for that?  If he was out conspiring with other known criminals to conduct some crime, why wasn’t he arrested for conspiracy for that attempted crime?

When the arrest is “he had an illegal knife”… I’d be curious to know why that knife was illegal?  Also, with the thousands of incomprehensible laws on the books making mens rea for any crime a real stretch, did he know that knife was illegal?

And how is a ban on a sharp piece of metal Constitutional?  And how is a conviction for carrying a sharp piece of metal ever upheld as Constitutional?

Knife laws are often even worse than gun laws, because people just know to avoid certain states when it comes to guns.  People don’t know that some municipality decided to ban carrying of a pocketknife because some pants-wetting progressive statist in the 1950s saw “West Side Story” and decided they needed a way to arrest those ethnic hoodlums.

The left does want to see everyone defenseless, and would agree with draconian Sword Hunts in order to render people defenseless, but for those people who don’t believe in being dominated by an all-powerful state, why would you want anyone chased down, arrested, sent to prison or possibly killed because they have a sharp piece of metal in their pocket that opens with a spring?

Why is Freddie Gray dead over something that’s legal in so many other states?

And why is the left so infuriated over an arrest for knife control laws they support and the resulting death in police custody in a leftist state that has the kinds of leftist knife (and gun) control laws they want to inflict on everyone?  They got the government they wanted to make.  They got the knife from his cold dead hands.

As an addendum, there are a handful of people who are coming around to seeing that the roots and the effects of knife control laws are racist (just like gun control laws).  Despite the story being from inherently biased Bloomberg:

“I don’t see knives posing that big of a danger to the public,” Representative Harold Dutton Jr., who sponsored the bill, said in an interview. “Now that we’re going to let everybody have a gun, I think we ought to set knives free.”

Dutton, a black Democrat from Houston, sees knife laws as a threat to civil rights.

“It is another one of those things that helps establish probable cause for a policeman to stop you,” he said.

Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old Baltimore man whose April death in police custody ignited riots, was arrested after police said they noticed a knife inside his pants.

Guns or knives in this case are just the same – they’re tools and also individual arms for any uses that don’t infringe on someone else’s life, rights, property or person.  Frankly it’s insane that the state’s enforcers could send you to prison for decades for the “crime” of owning them, or that you could end up dead in police custody arrested for a knife that might have had a spring in it, and even more insane that there are people who still support and advocate eliminating the rights of the citizenry to own those tools at all.

The argument is frequently heard that “if those weapons exist in people’s hands they will hurt someone”, which is both absurd and as ridiculous as the “if it saves one child’s life” plea for more tyranny.  Regardless of anything else involved in the case and his past history, Freddie Gray is dead because some hand-wringing leftist demanded he be sacrificed for their world where only the police and the state have weapons – the very institutions that killed Freddie Gray.

Lives only matter to the progressive left when it’s convenient – doesn’t matter the gender, age, creed, background or color they are.

First off, this piece from Salon, that says exactly what it says:

Baltimore’s violent protesters are right: Smashing police cars is a legitimate political strategy
It’s crucial to see non-violence as a tactic, not a philosophy. If it fails to win people over it’s a futile tactic
Benji Hart

As a nation, we fail to comprehend Black political strategy in much the same way we fail to recognize the value of Black life.

We see ghettos and crime and absent parents where we should see communities actively struggling against mental health crises and premeditated economic exploitation. And when we see police cars being smashed and corporate property being destroyed, we should see reasonable responses to generations of extreme state violence, and logical decisions about what kind of actions yield the desired political results.

I’m overwhelmed by the pervasive slandering of protesters in Baltimore this weekend for not remaining peaceful. The bad-apple rhetoric would have us believe that most Baltimore protesters are demonstrating the right way—as is their constitutional right—and only a few are disrupting the peace, giving the movement a bad name.

This spin should be disregarded, first because of the virtual media blackout of any of the action happening on the ground, particularly over the weekend.  Equally, it makes no sense to cite the Constitution in any demonstration for Black civil rights (that document was not written about us, remember?)

Benji’s pretty deep into social justice-socialist revolutionary communist rhetoric here, and it’s only with those red-colored glasses that he finds a world so warped.

To give him credit, he does actually acknowledge the violence in Baltimore as not just “a few bad apples” or “outside agitators”, but rather acknowledges that it is a big part of his community.

Of course, he’s in support of that.

I do not advocate non-violence

Clearly.

The political goals of rioters in Baltimore are not unclear—just as they were not unclear when poor, Black people rioted in Ferguson last fall. When the free market, real estate, the elected government, the legal system have all shown you they are not going to protect you—in fact, that they are the sources of the greatest violence you face—then political action becomes about stopping the machine that is trying to kill you, even if only for a moment, getting the boot off your neck, even if it only allows you a second of air. This is exactly what blocking off streets, disrupting white consumerism, and destroying state property are designed to do.

This is really hardcore social justice socialist revolutionary marxist communist rhetoric.

The political goals are to throw a violent, destructive tantrum.

The free market has a difficult time existing in the cities of the hard left.  Eric Garner, the “black man killed by a police choke hold” in NYC, was killed by positional asphyxia, and was arrested for selling cigarettes.  The socialist nanny state determined to save people from their own habits decided to massively tax cigarettes for the stupid masses’ own good, and when Eric Garner wanted to sell cigarettes for the going price on a free market, the socialist state put him down.

The free market was not one of “the sources of the greatest violence” faced by anyone.

The buildings and homes and businesses in Baltimore or any other riot-plagued city were providing jobs, incomes, and a steady life for people.

That real estate that Benji thinks is one of “the sources of the greatest violence” was something that provided for people.  It was a tiny glint of hope in a neighborhood that didn’t have stability.  It was the free market trying desperately to sneak in and give people there something reliable, stable, and hopeful.

And Benji the communist terrorist wannabe would burn it down because he thinks CVS is the enemy.

The elected government?  Oh, the elected government in Baltimore starts and ends with the hard left.  Mayor Stephanie Rawlins-Blake empathizes with the rioters with her own brand of leftism, so much so that she called the police off so the rioters could destroy people’s homes and businesses.  And of course she’s in favor of giving people who wish to destroy space to do so.

The elected government in Baltimore is, as the quote goes, funded by people who work for a living and elected by people who vote for a living.  There’s no one to blame but the community and their community organizers.

The legal system?  If one were to trust it in Baltimore, it hasn’t been given time to go through the process to determine if there was wrongdoing by the police, which in a system of rule of law requires presuming everyone’s innocent until proven guilty (and they may well be).  But among the things missed in the last week were that Freddie Gray (the man whose spine was severed while in police custody) had an extensive criminal history.  There may well have been much more to his arrest than “looking at the cops wrong” as his lawyers have claimed.  Everyone knows that lawyers for defendants are always trustworthy.

As Alinksy said, all the angels must be on one side and all the demons on the other – can’t give the legal system a chance if it were to do the right thing.

And meanwhile, The Fourth Estate claims to have dug up info suggesting that Freddie Gray had a spinal injury treated the week before his arrest.

If this is true, then it is possible that Gray’s spinal injury resulting from his encounter with the Baltimore Police was not the result of rough-handling or abuse, but rather a freak accident that occurred when Gray should have been at home resting, not selling drugs.

So it could be murder in police custody (it does happen), or it could be an accident, an accident that’s got people like Benji sweating in their Che shirts dreaming of burning down convenience stores.  There’s not even a chance for the legal process to be concluded.  (And of course the legal process is only so slow because of the left dominating the law business both in Baltimore and Maryland government and courts.)

There is no “machine trying to kill you”.  The only “machine” is the hard left Democratic one that exists to perpetuate itself.  It dominates Baltimore, it dominates the discussion in Baltimore, and like the communists blaming the kulaks or people who wear glasses, it’s never the hard left system that people like Benji have instituted that’s the problem, it’s always that someone somewhere has resisted them.

“White consumerism” like the CVS that had a black manager and all black employees (at least in the video above) that Benji hates so much was the only thing helping those communities.  It did not have a boot on their neck.  It’s also only “white consumerism” to a marxist like Benji.

“Corporate property” is property of those who are stockholders in the corporation.  It’s also intrinsically valuable to the employees of the corporation and people in the community, who were crying at the loss of a major store in their community.  “Corporate property” is not white, and is not the enemy, unless you’re a hardcore marxist leftist.  Of course, judging by his writing, Benji is a social justice hardcore revolutionary marxist communist leftist.

Militance is about direct action which defends our communities from violence. It is about responses which meet the political goals of our communities in the moment, and deal with the repercussions as they come. It is about saying no, firmly drawing and holding boundaries, demanding the return of stolen resources. And from Queer Liberation and Black Power to centuries-old movements for Native sovereignty and anti-colonialism, it is how virtually all of our oppressed movements were sparked, and has arguably gained us the only real political victories we’ve had under the rule of empire.

With this kind of crazy true-believer communist, raised in an environment free of actual dangers, with no understanding of what came before or what will come after, there’s not really much you can do.  I did look up the author and find that the only Benji Hart that Google knows is a British actor, so maybe Salon just adopted a new marxist.

Kevin D. Williamson breaks down the riots of Baltimore further, pointing out that Baltimore is an entirely leftist, entirely progressive, entirely Democrat problem:

Yes, Baltimore seems to have some police problems. But let us be clear about whose fecklessness and dishonesty we are talking about here: No Republican, and certainly no conservative, has left so much as a thumbprint on the public institutions of Baltimore in a generation. Baltimore’s police department is, like Detroit’s economy and Atlanta’s schools, the product of the progressive wing of the Democratic party enabled in no small part by black identity politics. This is entirely a left-wing project, and a Democratic-party project.

When will the Left be held to account for the brutality in Baltimore — brutality for which it bears a measure of responsibility on both sides? There aren’t any Republicans out there cheering on the looters, and there aren’t any Republicans exercising real political power over the police or other municipal institutions in Baltimore. Community-organizer — a wretched term — Adam Jackson declared that in Baltimore “the Democrats and the Republicans have both failed.” Really? Which Republicans? Ulysses S. Grant? Unless I’m reading the charts wrong, the Baltimore city council is 100 percent Democratic.

That’s how the rebellion against “corporate property” and “white consumerism” and the “free” market and “real estate” comes about.  When the communists couldn’t find anyone to blame for the bad wheat harvests, it was the kulaks.  Once the kulaks were gone, it was outside influences or people who weren’t sufficiently revolutionary.  The application of leftist policy demands more leftist policy.

It’s never that it’s wrong, of they’ve gone too far – it’s that there’s someone out there somewhere who isn’t part of them, and there’s someone out there somewhere that’s ruining their “perfect” system that never turns out that way.  Everyone else is at fault, everything that goes wrong is someone else’s fault, and if they’re in control of their own future it’s a lie because of cultural history and socioeconomic historic inequalities they’ll never be free of and someone else is really at fault.  There’s always someone else to blame – often out of mad jealousy that the others have something the leftist wants and they want and need it because of their own failures – failures they’ll never see because all they can do is find a fictional cause to their problems in someone else’s lack of problems.  Blame and destroy, and implode.

A is hungry.  B has food.  A is hungry because B has food.  A needs to take B’s food and destroy B, because if B didn’t have food, A and B would be equal, and B will always take food that A should have.  B must be destroyed.  Once B is destroyed and A is hungry again, it must be because of B again and because elements within A now think like B.  A(B) must be destroyed by A.

This is all the left doing itself in.  Problem is that they want to destroy everyone and everything else that’s successful out of mad envy and hatred at their own failure before they go away.

Minor addendum: It’s possible Benji Hart is just an elaborate troll by Salon to see what kind of responses they get from printing stuff the CPUSA would find off-putting.  But it’s difficult to tell.

Also, with the massive political storm and riots, it’s going to be difficult for authorities to go through the process of determining what happened as politics will be saturating the situation.  With Eric Holder’s racist cop-killing DOJ descending on Ferguson, MO, like a biblical plague, they still couldn’t find wrongdoing on the part of Wilson.  I’m much more suspect of Baltimore (as it’s run by Democrats and progressives) than I am of the Ferguson PD, but it’s only going to make things more difficult now, because assuming the Baltimore PD did kill Gray, who’s going to be the Democrat used as a scapegoat and what will they do to try to keep themselves from going down?

She said she didn’t say what she said about giving rioters space to destroy the city.

It’d be laughable if it weren’t so sad.

All day long pundits and politicians have gone on about “policies that have failed communities” without yet recognizing that it’s the hard left policies and ideas that have failed.  Their answer, is of course more hard left policies and ideas – their conclusion is that they haven’t yet gone far enough – rather than that they could be wrong.

How far gone are the policies?  So far gone that rioters are “protesters” and they should be given space to destroy.  MSNBC spent the day talking about “controlled burns” and how they think it was a good thing that the police just let the rioters destroy part of the city.  Given that the crux of the left’s ideological mindset is destruction of everything successful, it’s how they can so easily disconnect from the fact that people are destroying their own communities – that and justifying any act by means of calling it “justice” while they engage in grievance-based violence over perceived slights.  Well, that and the fact that somebody else will be left to pick up the bill after the destruction.

But she didn’t say they were giving those who wish to destroy space to do so… except that she did.

Obama can’t find arugula:

“As long as you can go in some neighborhoods and it is easier for you to buy a firearm than it is for you to buy a book, there are neighborhoods where it is easier for you to buy a handgun and clips than it is for you to buy a fresh vegetable, as long as that’s the case, we’re going to continue to see unnecessary violence.”

Clips.  Heh.

You can buy books all over the place.  You can also buy books online and read them with your Obamaphone.  This isn’t a question of literary accessability, this is a question of people’s choices.  Choices that are “nudged” a certain way by certain politicians.  If those “some neighborhoods” that Obama won’t describe any further started picking up “Capitalism and Freedom” or “Economics In One Lesson” or “The Vision of the Anointed“, he wouldn’t be president.

Also, you can’t buy a gun easier in neighborhoods like that.  It’s much easier to buy a gun at Cabela’s in Sidney, Nebraska than it is to buy from a fence in Detroit, Michigan.  But the neighborhood where it’s truly easier to buy isn’t someplace with rampant violence, because the character of the neighborhood is significantly different.  One is influenced by independent American traditions, the other has been tragically corrupted by leftist socialist dependence and corroded the culture into a self-pitying self-destroying quagmire of misery.

NRO asks “Where have all the air marshals gone?“:

The Transportation Security Administration is experiencing a mass exodus of Federal Air Marshals so severe that it may soon render the marshal service an “agency-in-name-only,” according to current and former marshals.

Agents across the country are looking for any excuse to exit the marshal service, repelled by the agency’s pattern of mistreating and endangering its employees, and its own concerted efforts to thin ranks through a hiring freeze and the closing of field offices. Richard Vasquez, a former marshal who resigned in January 2015, says his Washington, D.C., field office alone lost up to ten marshals per month in the year preceding his departure.

“The numbers are dwindling; now they’re not telling the public this, but that’s the fact,” Vasquez says. “The only people who aren’t trying to leave are people who are past that age-37 range and are meaning to retire.”

No one wants to work for the TSA.  Is anyone really surprised?

Travel every day, never spend time at home, get bureaucratic social justice BS from DC that tells you who you’re supposed to look for and who you’re not?  Not really a surprise that good people leave an agency that’s supposed to be good due to leadership.

Meanwhile, Immigration and Customs Enforcement ranks 313 of 314, Customs and Border Protection 293 of 314.  It’s almost like there are winners and losers in this administration.

A CEO who isn’t lost (yet) talks about lost jobs:

Clifton stated the following on CNBC:

“I think that the number that comes out of BLS [Bureau of Labor Statistics] and the Department of Labor is very, very accurate. I need to make that very, very clear so that I don’t suddenly disappear. I need to make it home tonight.”

After getting that out of the way, Clifton went on to eviscerate the legitimacy of the cheerful spin given to the unemployment data, telling CNBC viewers that the percent of full time jobs in this country as a percent of the adult population “is the worst it’s been in 30 years.”

He’s right, too.

Charts 5 and 6:

2015 bol employment rate Presentation-Employment-Population-Ratio-425x282

2015 bol labor force participation rate Presentation-Labor-Force-Participation-Rate-425x282

The “employment rate” goes up by percentage because the actual number counted as potentially working goes down.

FOX 10 Phoenix, from Legal Insurrection & Jawa Report:

After shooting an unarmed man in a use of force scenario:

“It’s hard to make that call.  It shakes you up.”

Learning has occurred.  Hopefully it will stick with him.

Not really much of a surprise:

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Department of Motor Vehicles expects big crowds on Friday, the first day undocumented immigrants in California can officially apply for a driver’s license.

The DMV has hired more than 1,000 workers and opened four new centers to handle the rush.

The new law allows undocumented immigrants to apply without the fear of being deported, which has long been a concern in the community.

They’re not “undocumented”, they’re illegal.  The “community” is a community of criminals who’ve broken the law and are now being aided by the state of California.

The whole state is in violation of federal immigration statutes 8 USC 1327 and 8 USC 1324.

Today I heard the argument repeated (Bob Beckel on The Five) that illegals should be granted driver’s licenses, because they’re driving illegally anyway, and that way if they just get driver’s licenses, supposedly they’ll get insurance, too.  Thus if you’re a legal US resident or US citizen and you get hit by an illegal alien in traffic, rather than have them be uninsured and have to deal with an uninsured illegal alien driver, they’ll be insured and that will make your life better.

The horrible fallacy in that is that if the law is enforced and they are deported, they won’t be there to hit you with their car in the first place.

It’s also one more trick to allow illegals to vote in US elections by giving them state-issued ID cards.  Of course, places they don’t check ID, they vote already anyway…

The Militarization of “Protesters”

Posted: September 7, 2014 by ShortTimer in Crime, Culture, Government, Leftists, Media
Tags:

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.