July 29, 2009

Contempt of Cop v. Contempt of Court

The fairly arbitrary exercise of judges' power to cite, fine, and even imprison for "Contempt of Court" hasn't much been criticized in four decades. The last time I can recall a harsh spotlight being shone on the institution of "contempt of court" was when the antics of the Chicago Seven (Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Mr. Jane Fonda, etc.) at the end of the Sixties overwhelmed the irate judge.

As I've suggested before, "contempt of cop" needs to remain in a legal grey area below the certainties of "contempt of court." Yet, the concept can't be dismissed out of hand. Policemen aren't judges, although they need to share in some of the awful majesty of the law to do what needs to be done effectively and safely. Moreover, they deal with people in much more, uh, exuberant settings than a courtroom, so cops should (and typically do) cut people more slack than judges do.

On the other hand, judges don't really need as wide a variety of ways to enforce order as policemen do, since courthouse procedures are carefully planned around order and safety. For example, the last time I served on a jury, when I arrived early in the courtroom, there would often be a defendant there to see his lawyer make some minor motion, such as asking for a delay in the trial. A high proportion of the seemingly harmless defendants were manacled to the 300 pound defense table.

So, I end up where I started: arresting people for contempt of cop is less defensible than arresting people for contempt of court, but it's by no means ridiculous, either. It's one of those gray areas that the law needs, but can't be too proud of either.

By the way, it's striking how the ambiguous Gatesgate case generates so much more media comment than the similar but unambiguous Fire Department of New York disparate impact discrimination decision in Vulcan Society. You might think that conservatives would jump all over this slur of the FDNY, since everybody loves a fireman. Yet, there's been almost total silence. (Other than one particular outpost ...)

Obviously, the vast majority of media types can't deal with statistics, but the FDNY issue suffers from lack of a partisan angle. Both the Bush and Obama Administrations, the GOP and the Dems, have been on the side of slandering the FDNY, so the media have almost ignored the decision, or meekly accepted it, since it doesn't fit in their partisan framework.

Chris Roach
writes about how the notoriously unfriendliness of semi-militarized modern cops compared to the amiable cops-on-the-beat of Frank Capra movies is, paradoxically, an outgrowth of the anti-authority movement of the 1960s:

In the name of freedom from oppression, however, we got more crime and disorder. The 1970s was the era of the barricaded front door, deserted streets after dark, occasional urban riots, skyrocketing crime, disorder, and the increased use of force in arrests for a very obvious reason: criminals became unused to submitting to authority after a lifetime of disobedience coupled with mixed messages from teachers, the media, and the culture. Force had to supply what once could be commanded by stern words and police presence alone. The cultural radicals mostly isolated themselves from the consequences of their teachings in gated communities, Upper East Side Co-ops, or some Ivory Tower. The working class people grew uncomfortable, and this discomfort culminated in the Nixon victory and the Reagan Revolution. They never bought the liberal line on law and order, not least because they had to pay a dear price for this “liberation.”

A culture of widespread respect for police guarantees greater public safety and allows the police to use less force. They use less force in such a milieu because suspects are habituated to to submit, know that the community would side with the police, and those troublemakers who are willful and disorderly can be detained before things get out of hand. This both teaches them a lesson and serves pour encourger les autres. This is the world that prevailed before the 1960s. It was a safer world with less violence. Police in those days were unironically praised, respected, honored, and given the benefit of the doubt. This culture of respect paid countless dividends, dividends given short shrift by the courts, the media, and now the President of the United States.

I have a feeling this comes down to who watches Cops versus who listens to NPR.

The rate of cop killings has fallen in half since the 1970s, despite crooks being ever more heavily armed. Technology, such as bulletproof vests, have definitely improved, but cops tend to be better trained and more professional now. (The hit kids movie Paul Blart, Mall Cop affectionately satirized this trend.) Cops don't get shot much when making traffic stops anymore because they've worked out exactly how to do it to minimize the crook's incentive to shoot the cop and make a run for the border.

One interesting aspect is that the friendlier police forces of the past also tended to be more corrupt. Much like in the Scouring of the Shire at the end of Lord of the Rings, where the returning hobbits who battled Sarum drive out gangsters who took over the Shire, WWII vets in the late 1940s cleaned up a lot of crooked police forces. For example, vets played the key role in turning the Santa Monica police force from the outrageously corrupt "Bay City" cops of Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe novels into what it is today.

Similarly, WWII vet William H. Parker professionalized the LA Confidential-era LAPD, turning it from a crooked beat-walking force into a mostly honest quasi-militarized car-mounted Thin Blue Line. Parker, like J. Edgar Hoover, was a PR genius, and, for better or worse, police forces have tended to follow the LAPD's lead.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

fyi, James Crowley lied in his police report. There is no reason to believe anything else he said about the incident (if it was revealed that Gates misrepresented facts in this fashion, you damn well know you'd be screaming about it as loud as possible, Steve.)

Anonymous said...

Lawrence Auster also has a good thread about the militarization of the police over at VFR:

http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/013820.html

See the first letter from Philip M.

Anonymous said...

It didn't hurt that billions of federal dollars landed in local police coffers in the name of 'terrism prevention'. Now the police have all the helicopters and tanks they could possibly want and of course the public is feeling a bit put-upon. Using terrorism dollars to send swat teams to bust down doors to arrest potheads is not the best way of building trust between the public and police.

Anonymous said...

I like the fact that you've read LOTR. Small typo though: it's Sauron, not Sarum.

Bill said...

Both contempt of court sentences and contempt of cop arrests are given wide latitude these days.

This is about power, and as we know, power corrupts. So to say that things are better now than they were in the 1940s is kind of difficult for me to believe.

Imagine this:

A guy can be arrested for contempt of cop, and then if he complains in front of the judge he can be charged with contempt of court. So just for being a smartass, he can spend a year in prison.

Sure, nobody likes a smartass, and few will defend that type when they are thrown in jail, but what about when it becomes "contempt of policy?" Then you, too, could go to jail, Steve.

I'm sure you're aware that there are plenty of people out there who would smirk if that happened.

Tom Regan said...

The decline of cop killings is an irony - it has happened not because communities have become safer, but because they've become more dangerous.
Cops now are extremely well drilled on how to avoid trouble and overcome it when it occurs. They have to be, because the trouble is often potentially deadly.
This change has also resulted in cops becoming detached from the community rather than part of it. Petty corruption has been stifled, cops aren't accepting backhanders and contra because they're not on terms with business owners and the like. However the downside is they are more likely to take the 'arrest first and ask questions later' approach similar to Gatesgate than they are to trust instinct in judging whether someone is dangerous or just overwrought.

Anonymous said...

professionalized the LA Confidential-era LAPD, turning it from a crooked beat-walking force into a mostly honest quasi-militarized car-mounted Thin Blue Line.

Very momentary, though. Soon afterwards came the LAPD's descent into Rampart. I wish we had those corrupt friendlies back.

There's always a "goo-goo" stage of liberalism, when it actually *is* meritocratic and individualistic and color-blind. It just doesn't last very long. Unstable equilibrium. I bet you could show that with a good mathematical model.

Dennis said...

Sailer,

OT, but some guy named David Shenk has floated a softball across the plate for you on the Atlantic's website: "The Genius in all of us: The Truth about IQ". Can you smite him intellectually before he becomes the next Malcolm Gladwell?

sabril said...

"despite crooks being ever more heavily armed."

I doubt that this is true. The most devastating weapon easily available to ordinary citizens in the US is a simple 12 gauge shotgun. Which has been easily available for at least 50 years.

I'd be willing to bet serious money that if you looked at the last 10 or 20 cop-killing incidents, the weapons used by the killers have all been available for a long time.

Anyway, I'm no big fan of testosterone charged cops, but I do agree a pretty strong argument can be made that when cops interact with the public, the cops need to be able to maintain control over the situation.

Bret Ludwig said...

Too bad Jim Dougherty has passed on. He'd have set them all straight.

Reactionary said...

Steve-o, you are on a 'conservative public servant' kick.

There is something to this. Middle America wants a strong military, tough cops, brave firemen, and you don't hold Pride parades down Main Street, I don't ask what goes on in your bedroom. You want it different, move to New York City.

Night watchman government: marijuana laws have to be ditched; American exceptionalism has to be ditched. The federal government returns to being an assembly of the States with delegated powers.

It's a nice fantasy to think that Sarah Palin and the GOP are capable of grasping that vision and running with it to victory, but they're not.

Anonymous said...

" The cultural radicals mostly isolated themselves from the consequences of their teachings in gated communities, Upper East Side Co-ops, or some Ivory Tower."

Not only is this still going on, but the wealthy open-immigration cheerleaders have joined them.





Steve,

I wonder how long before there are "White Vulcan Associations of of Firefighters" and "A National Assocaition of White Scholars", and "European-American-Union-of Scientists" and so on?

Every ethnic group has a lobby except the largest and oldest one in the country. Every ethnic group proudly sues when there is "disparate impact" that seemingly disadvantages itself when they finish last in whatever competition out there, wanting big daddy government to take from others (usually whites or asians) to set aside goodies for them. How long can whites sit by and see themselves be legally (and ultimately financially) disadvantaged before circling the wagons and joining the group-advocacy trend themsleves?



BTW---The New Harry Potter movie, just as you sort of hinted at when you reviewed it, is about as subtlely concieved open-immigration-to-Britan-propaganda as one could ever come up with. Special effects aside (explicitly that extremely good opening sequence of the death eaters invading London and destroying that bridge), the movie is pretty much a retread of the same old stuff. I felt like, "If youve seen one of the series, youve seen em' all".

albertosaurus said...

OK this is highly anecdotal but nevertheless I think cops in the last few years have gotten a better public reputation because they have reinstituted the practice of "letting you off with a warning".

I was bitter towards the cops throughout the seventies because when I got pulled over I was always fined. Yes of course I always guilty of speeding or making an improper turn or whatever but I resented that I was never granted summary mercy the way it was depicted in the movies or the way they treated women.

Last year however I cop let me off with a warning and I feel better about all police now. I was coming down the Donner Pass at 105 mph asleep at the wheel.

It worked. I am now careful about driving over one hundred while asleep.

Anonymous said...

I can bet Sgt. Crowley made the last Disorderly Conduct arrest ever to be made by Cambridge PD!

I am a police officer in large, urban, violent market. Our officers cannot make disorderly conduct arrest when the VICTIM is ourselves. They tells us "our peace cannot be breached". Anyone that tells a copper that, has never tried to enforce the law. That person has never faced down 5-1, 10-1 odds on a deserted street. That decision made by our politians and bosses was the first of MANY small cuts that are still open wounds.

Unless you live here, you have no idea just how f-ed up our place is. And the mess is a direct result of the necessary tools of our trade being taken away from us. I will not list all of the tools taken away bec it is important to maintain the "bad-ass" image we worked so hard to get. If you knew the ugly truth, you would see us for what we are: a fang-less, ball-less, three-legged watch dog.

Ask your self, you would want that dog to watch your house?

Would you hire a carpenter that tells you that his boss does not allow him to just a saw?? Would you hire a plumber that tells you his boss will not let him use a wrench?? What if a fireman was not allowed to use a hose anymore?? Those are tools of those trades that are vitally important. The police have tools too, but slowly and surely the pol's are taking them away from us.

More and more I get called to a disturbance and THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO FOR THE VICTIMS. Can you guess how that makes the victim feel? How useless do I feel when they look at me begging me for help, but I have to tell them "sorry. there is nothing I can do for you. you are on your own." **I** should not be the one telling them that. **I** did not fester this situation. The chicken-shit pol's that neutered me should be ones telling them that!

Which direction will society go when the police are totally and completely useless?

Anonymous said...

A culture of widespread respect for police guarantees greater public safety and allows the police to use less force
-------



F-ing A !

Anonymous said...

My town's dept has been getting beat down by the anti-cop crowd for a while now. They have an adage:

"The citizens will get the police they want."

Guess what? Our town has become a murderous free-for-all.

Becareful of what you wish for, you might get it......

Marc B said...

The goal of 1960's radicals, many of whom were nothing more than the Storm Troopers for the Frankfurt School Communists, was to completely destabilize Western Culture. The lack of respect for every tenet of Western/ US Culture was imparted to minorities and self-loathing white liberals whose goal was to expedite the decline of the West under the guise of social justice.

While most would laugh and scoff at old file clips from the 1950's warning of the impending moral degradation that would result if "race music" were to permeate civilized society. Just look at the USA now and compare it to the era prior to the Beatles, and tell me they weren't at least partially correct.

David said...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jul/30/henry-skip-gates-obama-beer

In an utterly predictable move, Gates and Obama reach out to Crowely and attempt to involve him in their sordid distortion. Chances are Gates will try to sell Crowely on the idea that Crowely was actually a victim too (a victim of a culture of racism that pervades the cambridge police dept and determined his response).

He will then offer him a part in the documentary and maybe even an interest. They will 'work together' on it as a means of demonstrating their willingness to overcome their differences. All of this so that Gates won't have to rescind his claim that he was racially targeted.

As the situation develops, it looks more and more as if Gates's charge of racism can only hold if Crowely somehow agrees with him and accepts some sort of abstact bias on his part... because nothing else about the situation points to racism. Crowely may give in to the pressure of the presidency, the smiles of elites and perhaps even money and a chance at the limelight and agree to play Gates's game.

David said...

This is off topic, but there's a headline in today's (July 30) African Sun Times titled- "OBAMA BLASTS REV. WRIGHT" followed by a quote-"I don't know you anymore." followed by "Story coming soon."
curious
http://africansuntimes.com/index.php?/ast/content/view/full/2

Anonymous said...

The faux-cons are doing some hilarious gymnastics trying to spin this one into a civil liberties issue, as one iSteve commenter noticed of the execrable Ed Morrisey, and I'm doing my duty as a blogosphere hellraiser - a signifying monkey, if you will - to whack that nonsense. These pussies are so skeeeeered to criticize a (half) black man that they paint themselves into corners, making themselves sitting ducks (didja want to go for the mixed metaphor hat trick here? - ed) for yahoos like me.

I don't buy it. To the extent that cops are a lot nastier it's because they are dealing with a nastier lot than a generation or two ago - NAMs running wild. How many Crips and Bloods and M-13 type thugs were there in 1963? Very few.

The consequences are that as a white man I'm dealing with a far nastier cop when I am pulled over for speeding than I was when I was a teenager. They're ruining our society, in this and other aspects.

I'm as anti-cop as they come these days, but I quite liked them when I was a teenager; many of my friends' dads were cops and cops would bust our parties every other weekend but there was never a real problem with them in terms of conduct. That's not supposed to be the natural progression, at least for high IQ white guys.

Anonymous said...

Roach of course fails to mention that those same cop hating "cultural radicals" had equal disdain for bourgeois civilians. As the crime rate exploded due to this radical liberalism it concurrently became harder and harder for middle class citizens to defend themselves without facing legal repercussions. In the minds of those radicals the gun owning bourgeois homeowner was the real threat, not the burglar. It never fails to amuse me whenever I hear under-class blacks complain about police harassment. Given their proclivity towards and tolerence of anti-social behavior it seems as if the police are their best friends. How long do you think middle class whites would tolerate being victims if there was no police presence at all? Yes Mr. Roach,those "cultural radicals" hate the police,but guess who they hate even more.

Anonymous said...

"A culture of widespread respect for police guarantees greater public safety and allows the police to use less force."


Reminds me of the old South Africa. Blacks sure had lots of respect for the cops then! When those CASSPIR's appeared in the townships, the "shit started to fly" as they say. Funny that I keep reading about riots in exactly those townships I was patrolling in as a soldier during the "dark days" of Apartheid. I thought the new black Messiah regime in South Africa, ushered in by that ├╝ber-Messiah, Mandela, was going to put a stop to the rioting once and for all. After all, it was because of those evil whites that they were rioting, right? Well, the fact that the NYT (TM:ST) does not report it means it ain't happening. I must be dreaming then. I'll go back to sleep again.

Anonymous said...

From Steve's Taki:

"
Thus, the Obama was highly prudent about exposing himself to the disorganized dangers of the Chicago communities he claimed to organize. He lived within the Green Zone security perimeter (between 39th St. and 64th St.) provided by the University of Chicago’s hard-nosed private police force. A friend writes:

There is a fierce and drastic difference between neighborhoods within and outside the University of Chicago Police boundary. When I was a student there, it was apparent … they were only dimly aware of things like Miranda or the presumption of innocence (for anyone, that is, other than students, faculty, black women, and black men dressed like Barack Obama—geez, I wonder who that leaves?).
"

Do you think this guy wished the coppers stopped the people we all know needs some stopping????

Read the comments. Everyone was "shocked"! So "shocking"! A black kid getting shot and killed IN CHICAGO is not shocking. A black kid getting shot and killed IN PERU is shocking. In Chicago blacks get shot and killed very frequently, but why? The Offender's in the above case were black also. The killers did not live there and they did not go to U of C. Here is a clear example when profiling would have saved a life! The PC thugs had a hand in snuffing out this star.

Mansizedtarget.com said...

That poor kid who got killed at Chicago is the tip of the iceberg. Every year some little Chinese or white girl got raped. Every month a student got mugged at gunpoint or knifepoint. A friend was knocked off his bike with a baseball bat, stabbed, and his wallet was taken.

One thing black students at University of Chicago seemed to do consistently was wear a lot of University of Chicago clothing: sweatshirts, hoodies, hats, etc., so the cops knew who was who.

That said, if you lived in Hyde Park which is about 55% black, just like anywhere else in life, you begin to develop instincts. You can spot the black professionals who live there and quickly distinguish them from hoods and thugs in the nearby neighborhoods. It's a useful skill to develop, just like all profiling is a good skill to develop. You can't run around being scared shitless of half your neighborhood, and you don't need to. Age, clothes, demeanor, grooming, hairstyle, shoes, time of day, gender etc. all go in the mix.

Anonymous said...

I always assumed Bay City was a fictional stand-in for Santa Monica. Why did Chandler give the city a fictitious name? I don't believe he did this with any other SoCal municipalities. Anyway thanks for the confirmation Steve.

Anonymous said...

The consequences are that as a white man I'm dealing with a far nastier cop when I am pulled over for speeding than I was when I was a teenager. They're ruining our society, in this and other aspects.
-------

Obama, while a St Sen in IL, pushed a law to record the race of every person pulled over in IL.

The cops are giving the plaintiff's attys all the ammo they need to sue the crap out of them.

If the cops don't want to get ran thru the mud, they WILL balance their numbers even if it is to just keep them balanced.

Anonymous said...

James Crowley lied in his police report.



You read that on Daily Kos, did you?

Anonymous said...

"they WILL balance their numbers even if it is to just keep them balanced."

Sort of like how the UK banned "white" talk radio "neo-con" Michael Savage (nee Weiner) to, by their own admission, balance out the list lest it contained too many radical Muslims? There's another example.

Note how this was reported in two different publications on different sides of the Atlantic; actually it's Weiner playing it differently for two different crowds:

WND:

Savage: I'm banned because I'm Jewish
'I think we could be accused of duplicity in naming him'

Official correspondence, released under the United Kingdom's Freedom of Information law, reveals that U.S. radio talk-show host Michael Savage's name was placed on a list of people banned from Britain in order to provide "balance" to a "least wanted" list dominated by Muslim extremists, and the decision was made "at the highest level of government," the London Daily Mail reported today.
...
Savage told WND today the Home Office chose him to balance the list of Muslim extremists because he is Jewish.

"The name Dreyfus comes to mind. They have attempted to destroy my reputation to avoid offending those Muslims who want to destroy them! The Warsaw ghetto comes to mind, where some Jews threw other Jews into gestapo hands to live another day," he said.

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=105029

UK's Daily Mail:

US shock jock Savage targeted 'to balance least wanted list'

Mr Savage, who had not even applied for entry to Britain, claimed his name had been 'plucked out of a hat' because he was 'controversial and white'. He has since served a £100,000 libel writ on Ms Smith, who announced his ban on television.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1202169/US-shock-jock-Savage-targeted-balance-wanted-list.html

Anonymous said...

Cops were much more violent back in the old days. They wouldnt hesitate to tune you up with their nightstick if you got out of line. Also getting a beatdown during questioning was pretty commonplace.

Dutch Boy said...

The good old days were also the days of the rubber hose or even the hammer for those too stubborn for the rubber hose treatment (used by the NJ cops on Bruno Richard Hauptmann according to Scott Berg's biography of Lindbergh). The old-timey cops were too busy beating up criminals in the precinct basement or boodling to hastle the rest of us.

Buddhadev said...

Steve,

Will Grigg wrote an interesting blog here that takes basically the diametric opposite view:

http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2009/07/praetorian-presumptions.html

What do you think?

Anonymous said...

What groups like lawyers and dislike cops?

Lets see, Liberal WASPs, Jews, drug users, and the chattering classes in general. Plus of course, the "useful idiots" - libertarians.

BTW, "Marc B" made an interesting point. I used to laugh at those dinosaurs from the 50s talking about "Communistic" rock and roll was. Yet, look at the filth and anti-western message in "rap" and today's music. It looks like the dinosaurs were right.

Truth said...

EXCELLENT article Buddhadev:

Here's an excerpt for those of you that did not read it:

"Any cop can deal with a robbery suspect, but show me the cop who can handle a real American," commented Stamper in a recent interview with the (Boston-based) Christian Science Monitor, quoting policing expert George Thompson. A "real American" is "someone, when you say, `Roll down the window,' says `No,' or who meets you at the threshold at home and says `No, you can't come in. Show me your warrant.'"



For all of the horrors associated with the militarization of law enforcement, there is one ironic benefit: It's becoming easier all the time to recognize the "real Americans" among us. They're the ones writhing at the end of Taser wires, or being dragged away in handcuffs, or bleeding to death on the floor of their homes because they required -- either verbally or through so much as a moment's puzzled non-cooperation -- a modicum of respect for their constitutionally guaranteed rights.

Talk about gratuitous: Henry Gates, seen here under arrest for the purported crime of hurting a police officer's feelings.


Most jurisdictions have what some call "cover laws" -- such as those dealing with "disturbing the peace," "disorderly conduct," or other dubious infractions -- that are applied with malicious creativity by police officers who don't care to be reminded of their servile status.

Anonymous said...

Truth: "police officers who don't care to be reminded of their servile status."

My goodness Truth, you must have had very little contact with law enforcement in your life if you think there's anything "servile" about police officers or their status. They have power over you and me, they know it, and they definitely act like it. You might get amused, patronizing condescension from them if you're lucky.

Mr. Anon said...

"albertosaurus said...

Last year however I cop let me off with a warning and I feel better about all police now. I was coming down the Donner Pass at 105 mph asleep at the wheel."

Seems unlikely to become policy now. With local governments hard up for money, expect deputies and state-troopers to be writing more tickets. In my state they have apparently turned the state troopers loose with instructions that they need to become profit centers.

Anonymous said...

Can you smite him intellectually before he becomes the next Malcolm Gladwell?

LoL-ed twice at this. :)

~Svigor

David said...

Anonymous said

"To the extent that cops are a lot nastier it's because they are dealing with a nastier lot than a generation or two ago - NAMs running wild. How many Crips and Bloods and M-13 type thugs were there in 1963? Very few.

"The consequences are that as a white man I'm dealing with a far nastier cop when I am pulled over for speeding than I was when I was a teenager. They're ruining our society, in this and other aspects.

"I'm as anti-cop as they come these days, but I quite liked them when I was a teenager; many of my friends' dads were cops and cops would bust our parties every other weekend but there was never a real problem with them in terms of conduct."

Well said. That's where I'm coming from.

Diversity is our strength how?

(Egotistical NB: I am not the other "David" in this thread.)

Anonymous said...

In the minds of those radicals the gun owning bourgeois homeowner was the real threat, not the burglar.

Yes. I'm going to wrack my brain to come up with a character from a (non-Western) film who practices with and uses a firearm who is not:

1) a cop/soldier
2) a criminal/villain

~Svigor

David said...

Most crime can't be prevented by main force anyway, unless you're talking mano-a-mano between victim and perp in the moment. Learn to profile, and buy a gun for the sticky moments. The cops mostly write descriptions of crimes after the damage is done, by logical necessity. The Speilberg / Tom Cruise movie about crime-prognosticating test-tube psychics is fiction.

Effective crime prevention is along the lines of the "broken window" theory, and yes, sorry to say, putting up cameras every place and watching / tailing especially suspicious characters.

It is assumed that cops must be effective at all costs. But cops can't solve ALL society's problems. Cops are effective up to a point. If a society is so utterly disintegrated that every Barney Fife is driving a tank and civil liberties are a bad joke, however, then cops are being relied on too heavily to solve more fundamental problems. You can't solve every disfunction with bigger bullets.

Anonymous said...

I guess I've come to regard "libertarian" as an epithet. Because, though I share a lot of their beliefs and concerns, I detest being lumped in with them.

Hating government - and by that I mean from the abstract sense, right down to the DMV employees - on principle means I'm a libertarian now? Urg.

No, I can't accept that. No one who's had to go through enough dealings with state government can possibly regard (most of) those people as anything but a lower form of life.

Try and imagine the flight from reality concomitant with:

a) getting paid with money stolen from people who make an honest living.

b) having an air of righteous authority, even to the point of rationing out shit to the non-obsequious (!).

That's just un-American in my book.

~Svigor

Truth said...

"My goodness Truth, you must have had very little contact with law enforcement in your life if you think there's anything "servile" about police officers or their status."

I didn't write the article.

Duscany said...

You touch on something in the Gates-Crowley controversy that virtually all the media people have ignored. There is a good reason for (1) not arresting disorderly people in their own houses and (2) arresting them quickly and decisively when they are disorderly outside.

Anyone who has ever lived in an urban area knows just how fast a loud and disorderly person can attract a crowd on the streets, especially if he has a racial grevience. Equally true is how fast that crowd can turn into a mob, breaking windows, overturning police cars and setting fires. Police have an obligation to arrest people who are disorderly in public, not to protect their egos, but rather to prevent a mob from forming, which no one can control, and which leads to riots, gunfire and whole streets going up in flames.

Truth said...

"Equally true is how fast that crowd can turn into a mob, breaking windows, overturning police cars and setting fires..."

A lynch mob in a Harvard-owned establishment in Cambridge, MA? And I thought the whole "well how was Crowley supposed to know that Gates didn't have a woman hacked up in the freezer" line was stupid.

No bro, the only way people are going to pull out the pitchforks and torches in Cambridge is if the Eli's conspire with the judges to win the Yale-Harvard Regatta.