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By Tom Cushing

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About this blog: The Raucous Caucus shares the southpaw perspectives of this Boomer on the state of the nation, the world, and, sometimes, other stuff. I enjoy crafting it to keep current, and occasionally to rant on some issue I care about deeply...  (More)

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Preserving Disorder

Uploaded: Aug 14, 2014
Chicago's Mayor Malaprop, Richard Daley the Elder, earned a kind of fame in 1968 for announcing "…the policeman isn't there to create disorder. The policeman is there to preserve disorder." That quote came in the midst of a well-publicized Chicago police riot – clearing Grant Park of anti-war protesters during the Democratic Convention. His police force was accused by one US Senator of using "gestapo tactics."

The brutality thus exposed in living color on the evening TV news shocked middle America (if not various of its minority communities) at the time. Looking back on that footage (some of it linked above), however, it all seems rather tame. No tanks or armored vehicles, just a modified pick-up paddy wagon. No shields or body armor, either – even the helmets looked better-suited to an equestrian event than to a combat exercise.

Contrast that scene with the images from last evening in Ferguson MO, suburban St. Louis County. There, police sought to quell a fourth night of protest over the killing of yet another unarmed African American youth. By a police officer. The Ferguson cops were a heavily-armed-and-armored phalanx, using military tactics, and supported by military-grade weaponry and vehicles. Helicopters buzzed overhead. They drove a news team from its position with tear gas and occupied its station. Cops also raided a McDonald's (always an insurrection hotspot, or at least they had WiFi), then arrested, 'cuffed and roughed-up two reporters.

What's happening to us?

The recent killing of teenager Mike Brown in Ferguson is a partisan's dream. Only a few facts are known, leaving readers ample leeway to assume and fill-in facts that suit their preconceptions. Here was a menacing thug, struggling with a peace officer for his weapon. There was a college-bound kid and his buddy, strolling home from a 7/11, profiled, accosted and shot dead for … jay-walking? While black. The situation has not been helped by a police investigation perceived as unduly secretive, biased and slow, and heavy-handed tactics from the predominantly white Force, in a majority black 'burb.

There are a dozen directions for the story-line to jump from here – but not enough is known yet to make most of them worthwhile. What I want to focus on is one thing that IS known – the progressive militarization of police services in this country. It is encapsulated in those divergent images from 1968 to last night, and I am concerned about the implications.

Although US police departments have existed since 1843 and have been armed since the 1850s, the persistent image from the mid-20th century was the cop-on-the-beat. The country was more 'Car 54 Where Are You,' than it was 'NYPD Blue.'

That began to change with funding from President Nixon's War on Drugs in the 1970s. As cops faced a perceived threat of well-armed drug dealers, money began to flow from the feds to fund investments in heavy-duty materiel and SWAT team formation. It reached flood stage in the 1980s with the Military Cooperation with Law Enforcement Agencies Act, became a raging torrent in the name of Homeland Security after 9/11, and continues to this day.

Thus it is that Neenah, WI has its own mine-resistant troop carrier (to address a crime rate 1/5 the national average), South Dakota's 800,000 inhabitants enjoy a $100 million investment in their security (if you were a terrorist, or even a self-respecting bandit, would you target Sioux Falls?), and Richland County SC has a modified tank proudly displayed on its website. Police departments have absorbed almost 900 armored vehicles, 533 aircraft and 94,000(!) machine guns.

Okay, one might reasonably ask, it's for safety – so what's wrong with that? A few things come to mind.

First, it is axiomatic that 'that which is owned gets used' – often unnecessarily. Thus, SWAT teams have been dispatched to bust a string of clip joints in Florida, where the worst offense was barbering without a license. A speak-easy near Yale University was raided and found to condone under-age drinking. Libertarian journalist Radley Balko writes in his book The Rise of the Warrior Cop that SWAT teams are 'mostly used to serve warrants for non-violent crimes.' * Call me old-fashioned, but that's not the American environment I wish to inhabit.

Secondly, as NPR's excellent Steve Inskeep points out in the Ferguson report, clothes do sometimes make the man. He quotes a police chief's rueful observation that when his officers show-up 'soft' in uniforms only, they tend to engage with people. But when they arrive in riot gear, well then, riots often ensue. It's a kind of a perverse Hawthorne Effect, where people act-out according to the evident expectation. As a Ferguson resident explained, when somebody's looking for a fight, that's what he'll get.

In a place like Ferguson, where frustration and passions are already running high, is it a good idea for the authorities to arrive in battle gear? I think not. I also believe it promotes an over-aggressive, shoot-first mentality that loses sight of the relative stakes, and may contribute to unnecessary further carnage. The police in Ferguson were there mostly to protect property, after all. Does that mission justify the tactics used, risking more personal tragedy and foreclosing the very American freedom of protest?

Mike Brown is only the latest unarmed civilian to be killed – closer to home, the toy rifle kid in the North Bay also comes to mind. I can't claim causation, but there's enough smoke to raise the concern. Police work is sometimes gawdawfully difficult, and its subjects are often hostile. But since that is always true, do we really want to make it more so by signaling conflict at the outset? I want military tactics to be a last resort, not the first instinct.

Otherwise the policeman really is preserving – or even fomenting – disorder.

* As an animal welfare guy, I would also note that the collateral damage in too many of these raids is family pets, who don't have to be constitutional scholars to recognize an unreasonable invasion of their homes.

Comments

Posted by Herman Glates, a resident of Danville,
on Aug 15, 2014 at 7:50 am

You sound like Rand Paul. Web Link

You and the Tea Party have something in common???


Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Aug 15, 2014 at 7:53 am

I was also surprised with the armor and the gun torrents.
Typical over kill.

When a police officer gears up with the body armor, heavy weapons, low slung gun on the hip, etc. he no doubt feels larger than life, by way of his appearance creates chaos along with the best of them.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
on Aug 15, 2014 at 8:13 am

It's interesting S-P/HG -- this is an issue on which libertarians and civil liberties-ians find common ground. Imagine that. Neither likes big government abuses. You'll also find Sen. Paul breaking bread with us on privacy/snooping. Good for him. A lot of what's been written about police militarization has come from the Cato Institute.

And here's a RedState blog that reaches a similar conclusion: Web Link

That said, I'm not sure I'd call Rand Paul a TeaPer. Web Link He's a lot more nuanced than the standard-issue Angry Old White Guy/Gal.


Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 15, 2014 at 9:03 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

In the immortal words of John McClane "Welcome to the party pal!".

Libertarians and libertarian-leaning conservatives (whom I consider to be tea party-affiliated) have been talking about police militarization for a long time. It's all tied into runaway government growth and surveillance.

And on Paul's appeal to the TP, off the top of my head I can only think of one policy, immigration, where there is fundamental disagreement. There could be others, but I can't think of any at the moment. The WAPOST link is unpersuasive - and it's mostly admitted in the article - as to his standing with the group.

I'm going to withhold any opinion on what actually happened in Ferguson. I've read that there is grainy video showing the victim robbing the store but I have not seen it, nor have I seen any police evidence. I suspect its been slow to come because of the street violence.


Posted by Herman Glates, a resident of Danville,
on Aug 15, 2014 at 9:44 am

Didn't Rand write, "The Tea Party Goes to Washington" right after the 2010 election? Someone forgot to tell him he wasn't invited to the party.

Concerning police militarization, I think this is one of the few topics on which you and I agree.


Posted by Peter Kluget, a resident of Danville,
on Aug 15, 2014 at 12:13 pm

First, Mr. Glates, I would like to compliment you on your current nom du 'net. It's a name. It has vowels and capitalization. Kudos.

And Dan - yes, it is appropriate to withhold judgment on the initial confrontation, although the fact that an unarmed man was shot to death has a certain lack of ambiguity in itself.

While this might be an opportunity for Herman, Dan, Tom and I to join hands and sing Kumbaya, I have a sneaking suspicion that where you stand might tend to depend on where you sit when it comes to individual instances of police work.

Those on the right seem to be pretty exercised about events like the Branch Davidian siege at Waco; but what do you do about folks like Cliven Bundy who express contempt for legal orders and back it up with a group of heavily armed, self-righteous folks (including the guy who later became the Las Vegas shooter?) How do the police deal with those folks? Do we just let them do whatever they want? At least if Fox News thinks they're just swell folks? Or do we require them to follow the law? If the answer is "They have to follow the law like everyone else" then you get the issue of just how you're going to implement that decision. The Bundy situation is just about money, and I suspect (and hope) it will wind down without further gun involvement, but there are a lot of folks who seem to feel entitled to impose their personal opinion of what's "constitutional" on everyone else. At the point of a gun, if need be. If in the end the police have to deal with those folks to enforce the law, Barney Fife ain't going to get the job done.

On the left, the issues tend to be more associated with individuals, as here, Oscar Grant, etc. But as F. Dan points out, it rarely ends up being the case that the person shot was not engaged in some sort of anti-social activity at the time. Shooting may be overkill (literally) but it's rarely entirely unwarranted. In this instance, if the police don't respond to rioting and looting with overwhelming force, then the individual property owners may feel that it's their right and duty to take matters into their own hands. That probably wouldn't work out so well either.

Now, this isn't a day to day issue here in leafy suburbia. Yes, black men do get stopped by the police in Danville for DWB - at least until the cops figure out that they're locals - but they're probably not going to be shot. And while we have our share of wackos and gun nuts, they're probably going to limit their nuttiness to their immediate families. Riots and looting? Hard to see that, even if the A's win the World Series. But out there in the rough and tumble real world outside the bubble, the issues are tougher. I agree that the availability of quasi-military armament has led to excesses, but do we want to find ourselves in a situation where the police are (literally) outgunned?


Posted by Herman Glates, a resident of Danville,
on Aug 15, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Did anyone else doze off after he started talking about Branch Davidians?

W can be used as a vowel. Web Link

Amateur.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Aug 15, 2014 at 3:53 pm

'PK:' At the risk of taxing S-P/HG's ADHD, I recall reading an article by a traveler on the lawless River Congo. A canoe pulled-up alongside and the occupant brandished a handgun, whereupon the traveler showed his rifle. The canoe melted back into the dusk. I think there's an embedded assumption here that immediate confrontation is inevitable and is won by he who deploys the biggest stick. I'd like to believe the US has not devolved into the Congo.

The Bundy example is a good one, although it should Not be considered typical -- it's a real outlier. I Want the police to have to negotiate that one, instead of going in and shooting up the place because they can. Time was/is on their side; a siege tactic would work, and is a far superior outcome to a massacre. I don't care if Cliven was willing to die for his $million -- it's the wrong outcome in a civilized state (small 's' -- I've lived in Nevada). Negotiation works, And most important it saves lives -- again, military tactics should be a last resort. Ask the family of the Stockton bank hostage. Barney Fife won't do -- but Danny Roman will. (Cf. The Negotiator)

I think the concern for violence over unprotected property is also remote on the probabilities -- esp. when the alternative chosen nearly ensured violence. Most people do not want to die for their stuff -- that's why there's insurance. Stuff can be replaced. People cannot.

Further, that police deployment in Ferguson did not even look like it was designed to defend storefronts or houses -- it was offensive in nature, arrayed against people, and designed to overwhelm the assembled throng. Parking uniformed officers in front of each business establishment would have been defense enough to prevent most looting, had that truly been the goal, as it should have been.

I'll defer addressing the dismissive 'they were probably up to no good anyway' argument until I am certain You actually wrote it.


Posted by Peter Kluget, a resident of Danville,
on Aug 15, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Well, the video of the Ferguson convenience store robbery has been posted now and it generates lots of interesting conundra. First; it doesn't seem like the cop who shot Mr. Brown actually connected him to the robbery which happened a bit earlier. So technically it's irrelevant. On the other hand, if you watch the video of Mr. Brown stealing cigars over the store counter and shoving the diminutive store clerk, one tends to find sympathy with the idea that the police officer who confronted that same young man a few minutes later may not have been dealing with an easily managed situation. It makes me inclined to think that the friend's report of the young man putting his hands over his head before being shot may not be an entirely accurate or complete story of what happened. And if not... well, there are riots anyway. I had a friend get seriously injured in a riot once, when he came to the aid of another man who was being beaten. He could have used some cops in riot gear right around that time. It's not just property that gets damaged in riots. I've been in the middle of riots. There's really surprisingly limited opportunities for negotiation. People just don't seem to be inclined to sit down and talk for some reason.

As to your apparent confusion over my observation that wrongfully shooting robbers is qualitatively different from wrongfully shooting innocent people, let me assure you: I'm a liberal, but that's simply my pragmatic assessment of What Works. I don't feel obligated to take any particular side with respect to any particular issue. Should I be equally outraged at excessive force used on a person who is breaking the law and being noncompliant to the lawful exercise of police authority as I would be if he was not misbehaving? I'm not. Yes - excessive force is wrong. It needs to be addressed. It shouldn't be excused or minimized. It should be taken seriously.

But I'm not going to pretend that I think it's no different than Columbine, Newtown, Santa Barbara, Oak Creek, 101 California or any of the innumerable situations where people who were simply minding their own business were killed.

It's not a matter of "they were probably up to no good anyway" I'm talking about the fact that "they" were ***actually*** up to no good in most instances. It makes a difference. Pretending it doesn't strikes me as foolish.

I believe in the rule of law. But when people feel empowered to ignore the law (and that's why I cite Bundy) then "the law" has to be able to physically enforce its primacy. That's why we have police. I'm not suggesting that the police are above the law - quite the opposite. What I'm saying is that in a conflict where people feel free to ignore the law - such as a riot - the police need to come out on top. I want them to do that with the least collateral damage possible - but I want the police to come out on top. Whether they chose the right way to do that in this instance I don't know - I don't watch TV news so I didn't see the riot or the police response. I'm just suggesting that it's not a simple question.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
on Aug 15, 2014 at 5:20 pm

It IS different, but the difference is trivial when someone ends up dead. And it's worse than trivial when it gives others an excuse to minimize the killing.

Further, the Bundy-type issue is not whether the cops ultimately 'win' -- it's that they do not have to win Immediately. Not factoring time into the analysis eliminates options, and shortchanges civilization. And showing up at the scene in full battle regalia gets everybody's blood up, and dramatically raises the probability of violence. De-escalation needs to be the first order of business, not lockerroom comparisons.


Posted by T-man, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 15, 2014 at 9:58 pm

Military tactics? What are you talking about Cushing? Are to trying to equate military tactics with military equipment? Do you know what is taught in a police academy? Have you ever spent just one night in the booking area of your local county jail to see what we have to deal with? Believe me, you will get a very different perspective on the human race.

Honestly, I thought you were a tad more up on things when it comes law enforcement. You might know how to practice law in a courtroom, but you certainly know nothing about what a law enforcement officer has to deal with on the streets. I tell ya what, since you have already had acting lessons enroute to becoming a lawyer, why not become a role player at the local police academy? There are multiple scenarios a cadet must contend with in order to graduate; and keep in mind, the academy is not the real world. And if you really want to understand a situation involving a shoot, don't shoot scenario, inquire as to how you might accesss a F.A.T.S. (Firearms Training Simulator). See if you can properly make a split decision involving the use of a weapon. It's a wonderful tool that will surprise you in terms of skill and judgment.

And to you Mr. Austin, strapping a gun on my hip does not empower me in any way from an ego perspective, or as you put it, make me feel larger than life. If anything, it can be an incredible liability, the likes of which you will never realize should you be put in a position to take a life. The risk to life and limb alone is only part of the equation. We also have to think about criminal and civil liability every single time we holster our sidearms. Do you?


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
on Aug 16, 2014 at 7:20 am

TMan: thanks for posting. I think your comment stands for the proposition that "Police work is sometimes gawdawfully difficult, and its subjects are often hostile." I don't have to have attended the Academy to know that.

I'd be interested in your further perspectives, which are hinted-at in your comment. How do you learn to maintain the difficult perspective of 'serve and protect' -- avoiding an 'us vs. them' view of your relationship to the civilian population? How do you balance the tension between self-protection and dealing with a potentially dangerous 'situation?' How are you trained to de-escalate potentially riotous individual or group behaviors? How do you learn to keep your head when others have lost theirs?

Your insights from the Academy and ongoing training and experience would be valuable. Thanks.


Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Aug 16, 2014 at 8:17 am

Tman:
Posting with a moniker attests to your unethical demeanor.


Posted by DirkaDirka, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 16, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Mob rule is bad. It is that simple. It is such a common sense issue that it needs no explanation as to why. Ferguson is under mob rule. Masked gangsters running through the street with Molotov cocktails, looting and the rest is unacceptable. Pollyannaish fools trying to make the peace within a mob, getting in the way of law enforcement's attempts to reestablish order, deserve what they get when they get in the way. Collateral damage happens and if people are not prepared for the consequences of getting involved with chaos, no one should feel sorry for them. It was their choice to enter into harm's way.

Hollywood has created an unrealistic perception of police invincibility. Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, I doubt any intelligent individual would not willfully accept the tools to keep one safer under riot conditions. Carrying a Molotov-cocktail, an extremely deadly weapon is a serious crime. Ask yourself what would you do facing a thug carrying a Molotov-cocktail? Wait for him/her to toss it? Thugs hiding in the crowd and anonymously lobbing bricks, rocks, bottles and Molotov-cocktails and yes even shooting at police, this must not stand. How should we arm a few men standing against hundreds? Shall we give them feather dusters and little peace cards to hand out? Perhaps they can hand out flowers. Bullet resistant vests do not protect against fire. Most bullet resistant vests will not stop a round fired from a deer rifle. What happens if one of those young officers gets hit in the leg, or burnt? There is nothing wrong with armored vehicles in unstable environments. The commenter challenges any one critical of this position to put their life in harm's way, like these officers do every day and then comment. There is a famous saying, show up to a fair fight, well you are unprepared.

They best way for a large crown to prove their point is to be like Gandhi, use peaceful civil resistance. The Ferguson mob proved with their actions that the hardware carried by the local police was necessary for obvious reasons, especially given the reports from Friday night's lack of police presence and action. Looting was rampant. Public and police perception would be much different had the first night been peaceful.

Understanding acceptable police procedure is something uniformed civilians have difficulty comprehending. Will mistakes be made? Of course, no one is perfect, especially under the stress of life or death circumstances, even with a tremendous amount of training. Whose life is worth more risk? Only god truly knows the answer to this question, but we ask police administrators to make this call daily, just as doctors have to choose who to work on in a disaster. It's an inherently imperfect process. Yet we expect police to be perfect.

Actual officer to rioter ratio is incredibly lopsided. Ask yourself, if your son or daughter was a police officer, wouldn't you want your kid to have the best available equipment to protect their life and wellbeing? Do you have the testicular fortitude to step up and face a mob without protective gear? It's easy to be an armchair quarterback, but we all know how many people actually have the testicular fortitude to perform under these circumstances, very few. AR15's and armored trucks are far from real world military equipment. Looking at history; there was a time when law enforcement carried Thompson sub machine guns. This is a far less accurate weapon, with the potential for a whole lot of collateral damage. Shot guns with buck shot are just as bad. The AR15 is a superb weapon and affords much greater discretion, but this can be proven later. Most people reading this article have never handled one, or hand any basic firearms training. Do we really need a few cops to die, or be lit up by a Molotov-cocktail to understand this? If your business was in the area and looted, or vandalized, would you not want it protected?

The real problem in Fergusson is poverty and a glorified gangster culture. Some of the people see zero opportunity to succeed, so they decide to get theirs any way they can, regardless of the social contract. Often when hope is lost, morality is lost with it. This is the mob mentality. It is a social problem that needs an investment to correct. It is a generational problem of glorified "gangsterism."

What started out as outrage over a shooting, snowballed into an opportunity for looting gangster anarchists. Cops make mistakes and they are far from perfect. We have laws to deal with mistakes and there are repercussions. It's a really hard job. It's a sad situation. Kids with gangster attitudes get killed all the time here in the USA, mostly by other kids carrying guns. Calmer heads need to prevail and community leadership needs to step up and speak to the right way to behave and implement change.

We have the best system in the world, far from perfect, but perfection is impossible. We are spoiled Country and expect perfection. Ask yourself, have ever seen a cop beat down by a criminal and murdered while a crowd cheered? This is horrifying and it does happen. Try not to judge this officer before all the facts are in. The officer is entitled to due process and not to be judge in the court of public opinion to the point that he is railroaded into a conviction. If he is guilty of a crime and convicted, the court will apply an appropriate measure of justice. The world is watching.

Please try very hard not to judge police procedure without having any knowledge of acceptable procedure under life or death circumstances. Inner cities have become warzones in many parts of the country. Ask a sandbox vet who is now a cop if they felt safer in Iraq, or Chicago, or Detroit and facsimile. You might be surprised by the answer you get. It's not the guns that are a huge problem here. It is the physical nature of hand to hand violence. This is not the movies, the blood is real. Police carry a ton of gear on their person and this weights them down. They are more vulnerable than most understand. Let the facts dictate weather this young officer was in fear for his life, or fear of imminent great bodily harm. This is a job for a grand jury, not a DA acting unilaterally, or under community pressure. Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Fear for one's life weighs heavy on the head, and self-preservation is instinctual, involuntary even with countless hours of training.
So, now that more facts are coming out about this so called pillar of the community kid, what say you now? None of the character issues matter? Gang signs:
youngcons.com/new-photos-of-michael-brown-leaked-paint-a-different-picture-than-what-weve-seen/

One of these signs means, "['just guess'] you, I took mine."
Here he is on video ripping off the store:google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&ei=2dXuU-SCDJL1oATE2YHIDQ&url=Web Link

fox2now.com/2014/08/12/witness-claims-he-saw-what-happened-when-michael-brown-was-shot/
Eyewitness testimony above is pretty damning and not for the cop.

Let the facts come out in a grand jury! Do not suppress anything. Let them all be out there in front of god and everyone. Here we have eyewitness testimony saying the shooting took place during a struggle inside the cruiser. Wow, does this deserve riots and looting? Is this what America has come to? We actually think it is wrong for police to shut this crap down? This commenter thinks this video will be a very import piece of evidence.

One more thing, when a prerp's hands are in the air, old west style, he/she can still be still a threat. Hands with fingers laced behind the head and face down on the ground is procedure.
policeone.com/police-products/duty-gear/restraints/articles/1816808-Be-mindful-of-the-handcuff-rip-tactic-by-violent-offenders/

Cue the usual snide sensors………………………….. [did you mean ''censors,' perhaps? Only one word edited, without loss of its meaning]

Dirka Dirka


Posted by Tom Cushing, a DanvilleSanRamon.com blogger,
on Aug 16, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Tom Cushing is a registered user.

Vitriolic follow-up comment removed. Dirka, I left your first comment up, except for one general purpose profanity, because it expresses an opinion on the topic.

Your follow-up reverted to your prior practice of trollery. It was devoid of anything other than personal attackage, poorly rendered. It contributed nothing, and it's gone.

We can continue this dance, or you can figure out how to separate your hostile, personal animosity from your ideas, and leave the former to be inflicted only on your unfortunate flock.

Call it "suicide by Mod," if you like.


Posted by Sandy Anderson, a resident of Danville,
on Aug 16, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Can't stand the heat, maybe you shouldn't be in the kitchen? Sensor your detractors, that's a great way to cleans your conscience and build reader confidence. Too bad this reader saw it before you took it down. He has got you pegged. Why not take the argument apart? That is if you have any credibility left, which appears doubtful.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a DanvilleSanRamon.com blogger,
on Aug 16, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Tom Cushing is a registered user.

I'll tell you why, Sandy. First, there was no argument to answer, just a bunch of perceived status offenses. I choose not to reply "am not," nor to shoot back -- it generates only heat. Like my daddy said, "son, don't fight a pig. You get his mud on you, and he considers it recreation." Except he didn't say "mud."

Second, I am completely done surrendering space on this blog to trolls who take their anonymity as a license to spew personal invective. They have been tolerated for too long, all over the 'net. If indeed it affects my 'credibility,' so be it.

I do not write this blog because I have to, but because I enjoy expression and advocacy, and the exchange of ideas. And, having put significant effort into turning out a product on which I will put my actual name, and which draws a significant following -- pro-and-con -- in these communities, I really don't have inclination to debate whether I am a supercilious pseudo-intellectual.

I'll take my cue from the click count -- it is a referendum on my blog. If folks stop reading it, there's an answer. If they continue to read it, there's another. So far, the clicks have it.

PS -- it's 'Censor', not 'sensor.' You seem to have the same difficulty that Dirka has with that spelling. Coincidence?


Posted by Georgefromalamo, a resident of Alamo,
on Aug 16, 2014 at 3:21 pm

A community blog looses all credibility when the blogger edits the comments of individual replies, instead of editors at the publication. Even then, it should occur when forum rules have been broken. Talk about Gestapo tactics, different opinions are all just fine, as long as they are yours?

Mr. Cushing is now the opinion police. Why not let readers be the judges? Or, do you think it is beneath them to draw their own conclusions based on comments. Perhaps you should shut down all comments on your blogs? So far, I have seen nothing offensive in either of the posts from dirka, simply opinion, and frankly backed up with a lot of logic and evidence, maybe even experience. Dirka pointed out some obvious disingenuous writing. Supercilious is a superb description after your latest antics. You walked right into it Tom.

You were smug with T-man too and came across as ignorant. This is what happens when one writes an opinion piece without any real knowledge surrounding the subject matter. Dirka is not name calling, he is drawing logical conclusions from your tone.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a DanvilleSanRamon.com blogger,
on Aug 16, 2014 at 3:24 pm

Tom Cushing is a registered user.

Asked and answered.

BTW, my questions to TMan were completely genuine and anything but smug. I want to know how it's done, and I hope he'll respond.


Posted by Edith Peham, a resident of Del Prado,
on Aug 16, 2014 at 5:17 pm

I've read some very unkind things about Tom not only here but on other lines as well. Tom, you or your editors should delete the nasty things they say about you on the Town Foreman line dealing with a new underground parking garage. This is beyond the pail.

No where in the Constitution does it say bloggers can't censor posts. If Tom thinks its necessary to censor a lot of contributors, its his Constitutional Right to do so. Freedom of speech yes but not on blogs. I rest my case.


Posted by Lefty from Louisiana, a resident of Bonde Ranch,
on Aug 16, 2014 at 5:57 pm

I think it's great that Cushing is finally owning up to his Red colors. Leave it to him to observe what has happened in Ferguson and use it as a case to write on police costumes and thus join arms with the folks who fret about us being besieged by black helicopters and drones.

Only a true right-winger like Cushing would observe a cop murdering an unarmed black kid and use it as an opportunity to complain about police militarization.

But of course it is not militarization that murdered the innocent black kid; nor is it militarization that is behind several hundred like incidents that occur across the US on a yearly basis. Those who lynched black males in the South cared not a whit whether they were militarized enough to carry out their heinous undertakings.

The problem is poor training, perpetuated by a culture of racism and its accompanying hatred and fear that permeates all too many criminal justice systems across the US. This particular case, as rarely is the case given the right-wing media echo machine (LA Times prints less than half of cop-related shootings that occur in LA), has potential to bring to the surface the kinds of violent racism that people of color endure on a daily basis. But what does our resident self-acclaimed liberal blogger do? He uses the occasion to talk about the size of a cop's gun.


Posted by retiredleo, a resident of Alamo,
on Aug 16, 2014 at 6:10 pm

As retired administrator and detective, I can attest that T-Man and Dirka are reasonable and Tom's approach is unrealistic at best. Tom, did you do any research on police procedure before you wrote this entry? Officers are all trained in deescalation and to approach with all individuals respect. Reasoning with evil rarely works, we do our best. If a citizen does not respond accordingly, they are detained and we let the court sort it out. T-Man is right, spend an evening in the booking area of a county jail and see what comes through the door. As a lawyer you show very little knowledge of the criminal justice system and how it works in the real world. Have you ever heard of disturbing the peace?

As an animal lover, I feel your pain with the loss of life with any living thing, but no officer should ever have to expose themselves to potential injury, or death from an animal during a forced entry. If probable cause exists for entry and an animal may be violent, then it will gets put down if it presents a threat. Unfortunately, this is the way it has to be. We are a far cry from your utopian wishes.

I think you would benefit from some civilian training to gain some real world perspective. If we did things your way, or at least the way you are implying, a lot of police officers would die in the line of duty.

Take a look at this article to gain some perspective on officer training.
This is a well respected sight for the professional LEO community:
Web Link

As far as not being able to take the heat from detractors when someone publishes inaccurate and unreasonable dogma, in an open forum format, you you are losing in the perception department. Which one is it Tom, is it an open forum, or not? Calling someone a troll for pointing out, as others have put it, a disingenuous and smug tone, is definitely not taking the high road and is nothing short of hypocritical. I think you are smug after reading your blog. Add another person to the mix. Let's see if my post gets deleted. Your photo comes across as smug, yes body language counts. We evaluate it all the time during interviews. Your picture and facial expressions come across as smug and gathering the same thing from your writing is not a stretch at all. So many people do not like the way you come across. Have you ever considered that it might me you?


Posted by Lefty from Louisiana, a resident of Bonde Ranch,
on Aug 16, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Yes, congratulations, Cushing. You see, as RetiredLeo's comments indicate, you've successfully shifted matters away from a single cop murdering of an unarmed black kid to one of one's loyalty to cops-fighting-evil. Note how, in response to your blog comments, not a single mention from RetiredLeo as to the case at hand in Ferguson, not a single mention of the racist sickness that pervades so many of America's police forces. Why? Because neither of you are talking about the tragedy that unfolded and does so every day across America. No, both of you are simply using the tragedy as an occasion to thump your chests.

Hey RetiredLeo, I know a cop's job can be dangerous. I worked as a lumberjack for nearly five years -- a profession in which workers don't get paid nearly what a cop does, and where one is 7 (seven) times more likely to lose one's life, and where when it happens we don't get taxpayer-expenses-paid parades to honor the fallen. Please stop with your t.v.-induced platitudes about cops.


Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 16, 2014 at 6:54 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

As a person Tom regularly insults (he deletes my responses too), I'd have to say this is about the most even-handed topic he's written, and his responses have been pretty fair too.

What are you others seeing that I'm not?

I've been out in the sun all day, I must be losing my mind...


Posted by Lefty from Louisiana, a resident of Bonde Ranch,
on Aug 16, 2014 at 7:02 pm

By the way, RetiredLeo.... I find your analogy of putting down violent animals to "putting down" human beings to be sick. Unfortunately, it is a sick analogy that too many cops across America are comfortable living with. It is sick because, you see, human beings possess the ability to think, speak, and be moved by discourse. Your violent animals aren't capable of that. It is indicative, I think, that in your description of how to confront (suspected violent) human beings, you mention nothing about discourse and/or reason. Like I say, I find that sick. I'm sure many of your fellow LEO's would disagree with me. But outside of an institutional culture of racism, I'm afraid you're not going to earn much sympathy. Try trotting out your analogy with the citizens of Ferguson.... Your comments would be funny if they weren't so sad.


Posted by Eric, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 16, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Militarization, you have got to be kidding me, this is nothing like how we operate in the military. Wow, talk about paranoid. A few M4's and an armored vehicle in the hands of local police and we have the new world order? Modern tools for a modern world this is nothing to freak out about. but this is not Tommy's thesis.

Why do so many people freak out at the sight of a police officer with an M4? It's a much better tool than a shotgun, which is in every squad car. My 87 year old grandma can handle an M4 easily. A shotgun kicks like a mule and has a pattern five inches or greater. A slug has 2488 fps of muzzle velocity with a 1 OZ 50 cal projectile and not very accurate. I grew up hunting deer with these in Ohio. Watch a deer get hit by a slug, it will wake you up to their capability and lethality. An M4's .223 round, is highly accurate, and only 55 grain/.22 caliber and 1495 fps. One is literally a pee shooter compared to the other.

OK, let's go back to the old west and arm them with .30-30 lever guns. 1903 FPS, .30 caliber and not nearly as accurate as the .223. The M4's are the best tool for the job and offer a much higher likelihood of survival after being shot. There is an old saying, no one wants to stand in front of anything 30 cal.. The little black rifle has the potential to carry lots of rounds, but the cops do not spray and pray.

Armored vehicles in the military are usually outfitted with 50 cal guns, this thing in Ferg. is a serious downgrade.

Here is the real thesis. This blog is a thinly veiled attempt to flip the tables in favor of Obama's militarization efforts a la HLS and the rest of the federal agencies. The militarization is not a municipal police phenom. It's a federal agency phenom. Arizona, Tejas and a few other states taking advantage of a few copters and gear, with their boarder problems, who can blame them? There is a need, especially since Obama's gov is not doing their constitutional duty to enforce and follow the laws of the land by protecting the boarders. They have cartels on the other side of the boarder that are ruthless. Nice try Tom, but we see right through you. As others have commented, talk about disingenuous, a typical lawyer trying to skew the facts with smoke and mirrors. This is the same old tune spun by Tom. He has the same pattern every time. He is totally predicable. Start out making it appear like he is not that far off from a conservative standpoint then turning the table with giant assumptions and leaping to a leftist conclusion. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ I come here to watch others take him down, not to read his dribble. The take down is far more entertaining. It's become so sad that Tom has to delete posts from is detractors because he can't take the heat from people that are more reasonable and informed.

A Saul Alinsky want to be, he loves to use Alinksy tactics. We are not drinking your cool-aide Tommy, besides it tastes sour. Agitating: rubbing resentments, fanning hostilities, and searching out controversy, this is Tommy's playbook.

I think Dirka has it right, Ferguson is far more likely to be about poverty and a kid falling to gangster culture, rather than than race issue. I will not speculate of whether the shooting was riotous, or not. But it is not looking to bad for the cop. Let's get the facts and let the courts sort it out. However, the people of Ferguson need to behave themselves. So far, they have done more to hurt to their cause than help. The kid was no angel either, contrary to early reports. There is plenty of evidence to support this.


Posted by Bradely Markowitz, a resident of Blackhawk,
on Aug 16, 2014 at 10:25 pm

Tom, your "click count is not necessarily indicative of success. All clicks are not good clicks, some are "bad clicks" and reflect poorly on the publisher. If a reader is enticed to see the divisive content out of curiosity and then clicks away out of disgust, then its a very bad click. Page/click depth and engagement are far more important.

In the analytics profession, especially when it comes to news sites, we look for where people go first and where they leave from; in other words, their last click. Just saying Tom, you may have more people that come to see you fall. This can hurt ad revenue. Smart advertisers want to see these reports before they buy. How are sales? Do sales go up or down when your blogs hit the the web? Not that the rev. for this little site is all that interesting from a business perspective, but these types of antics usually cost more readers than they gain, especially in a community based pub.

Generally, bloggers that write column style peaces, should not engage in the comments section. Their columns should be good enough to stand on their own. This is advice we give our clients. If you feel your column has caused friction to the point that a response to the readership is necessary, it should come in a column form. What you are doing is unprofessional and bad form for an opinion based journalist. It shows journalistic immaturity and reflects very poorly on the publisher. I wave my consulting fee in the interest of good faith.


Posted by Bradely Markowitz, a resident of Blackhawk,
on Aug 17, 2014 at 12:38 am

Tom, I am so sorry for misspelling "pieces." Bad eyes and large fingers make "IPAD" entry harder for some. I see here that you take spelling errors very seriously and view such mistakes as a sign of inability to produce rational informed thought. Please do not judge me too harshly. Perhaps my heart was in the right place and I produced a Freudian slip, hoping for peace in Ferguson.


Posted by T-man, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 17, 2014 at 1:04 am

@> Mr. Austin, I use to read your investigative reporting in the Pleasanton Patch back when it first went online. I actually enjoyed reading your rumblings about the city of Pleasanton, Skin Cancer, Mary Hayashi and the like. But for the life of me, I just can't wrap my head around your comment: "Posting with a moniker attests to your unethical demeanor." 10-9? I mean, say what?

@>Mr. Cushing, I wish I had the space and time to write the great American novel as to an answer to your questions. I will make you a deal, watch this link involving the police shooting of a suspect. It's not graphic. It does however make you appreciate the split second decision a police officer makes. Watch it very closely. I got it the first time. Watch it and tell me what you think.

Web Link


Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Aug 17, 2014 at 7:20 am

I speak to your not identifying yourself.
You hide behind a moniker.
What have you got to hide?
Is it your demeanor, to be deceitful?
Are you afraid to stand up and be counted?

I support the Pleasanton Police Officers Foundation with my contributions.
I know a lot of police officers. I know them to be tight lipped.
I suspect you are not a police officer.
Are you impersonating a police office here with your commentary?


Posted by WOW, a resident of Avila,
on Aug 17, 2014 at 7:47 am

Two comments.
1. If you register you don't have to use your real name so why all the concern about identity.

2. What a a crock of crap this whole argument is. People riot against Israel but no one protests against ISIS. Where are the riots in Chicago when 10 to 20 kids are killed every week.


Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 17, 2014 at 8:05 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Michael/Tom,

PLEASE get off the anonymous username meme.

Your jobs are to give commentary. You will say things under your name that your employer has paid you to say. And as long as you don't say something that causes real damage, then you will continue in your job for however long your readership warrants.

For the rest of the public, we don't have that luxury. Look at the CEO who was fired for supporting prop 8. Look at the number of tweeters (or whatever they're called) who have said something provocative, yet unrelated to their career, who've been fired by their company or have been attacked. I bet they wished they were anonymous now.

And although SP/HG put it succinctly, I'll add a little more. I've lost good friends who were staunch liberals because I dared speak as a libertarian-leaning conservative. How childish is that? Losing friends over politics?

Your continued harping on usernames is silly and really just amounts to you (and Tom) not wanting pushback, for which he got a lot (I think unjustifiably so) in this topic.

Dan

ps, I am registered, use my real first name and neighborhood and any idiot could figure out who I am. Is that good enough for you?

d


Posted by T-man, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 17, 2014 at 9:16 am

Mr. Austin, I am not going to spare with you over whether or not you think I work in law enforcement. I simply gave my two cents worth of comment regarding your view of the police.

You should re-read your comment and base it on facts instead of innuendo. For instance, you mentioned that the police response in Ferguson was, "...typical overkill." I am not sure if this particular situation required more or less involvement by the police; I wasn't there to witness it, and neither were you. So tell me Mr. Austin, what do you mean by typical overkill?

You also mentioned that you support the Pleasanton Police Officer's Foundation. Well, I'm not sure they would be too happy with the comment you made that "their appearance (police) creates chaos with the best of them." Confusing.


Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Aug 17, 2014 at 10:46 am

"I was also surprised" meaning, having seen the broadcasts.

Typical over kill is:
Military style vehicles with gun turrets, boots on the ground with body armor, low slung gun on the hip, etc., By way of their appearance creates chaos.
The national media, CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX all agree with above comment.
By way of their appearance creates chaos.


Posted by Tom Cushing , a resident of another community,
on Aug 17, 2014 at 11:30 am

Well, that was quite the feeding frenzy. I haven't read it all, although from what I Have read, that hardly disqualifies me from commenting on the blog. Actually, it wasn't really That much of a frenzy -- remarkable from this vantage how so few people can assume so many identities, all for apparent effect.

TMan: I viewed the clip and it certainly goes to the point that 'police work is often difficult' -- the one about which we agree. It doesn't go to any of my questions, however. I remain interested in your thoughts on any one of them. Howsabout a great American short story, at least?

Nuke: the problem is not anonymity, per se (thus I do not care what your real name happens to be) -- it's that it encourages trollery and deceit -- both evident here. The web is overrun with trolls, which severely limits its potential for actual interchange, and drives interested folks away who don't care to tolerate the chest-thumping nonsense. Attaching one's actual name to a comment has an important attribution effect. The troll's professed fear of retribution from others they care about is mostly a make-weight -- and to the extent it's not, it will often be just as well.

To be clear, the posts I feel free to remove are those (including a few of yours) that exclusively or predominantly go after me, instead of my argument. Anyone who has read more than a few of these 170-or-so missives knows that I am more than happy to go round-and-round on topics -- there's ample evidence of that in.every.blog, including this one.

All I expect is for commenters to know the difference between agreeing or disagreeing on the merits, and on the person. Most do, and the few who cannot make the distinction will eventually lose interest in being my personal penpal. A few, like shapeshifting comrade Lefty, above, come back from time-to-time. It seems a perverse pleasure to play the mosquito in the dark, but okay.

Trolls are fond of bleating about 'free speech'(?), 'censorship' and 'credibility' to maintain their access to their playground, but in my experience what they crave is not free expression -- it's free attention. All I'm saying is that, as the host of this private-sector blog, I can't help them in that regard.

Brad-ely: please email me -- I'd be interested in your thoughts on an unrelated matter.


Posted by SRGregg, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 17, 2014 at 1:23 pm

I have never commented here before, but feel compelled after this episode. I agree with T-man, Eric, Retiredleo, Dirka, George and others. Tom writes about things for which he has very little working knowledge all the time. He reads a few periodicals and then references some fancy leftist periodicals in an attempt to establish credibility. As many others have said, mostly Dirka though, he has no original thought, he simply paraphrases and deceptively, all be it cleverly, reorganizes. Eric you did a great job laying it out. Tom, how about showing us a straight forward actual thesis statement on your position, that is not veiled by deceptive tactics? This is something Tom refuses to do.

In defense of others who have called out Tom for these tactics. There is absolutely nothing troll like for pointing out a disingenuous approach to a political position. Furthermore, there is nothing troll like for calling you out for pompous smugness. The proof is in and it is indisputable.

You have no journalistic integrity and ethics when you delete critical statements. Someone here described you a supercilious blogger, though you probably deleted the comment. It is a perfect description.

Intelligent people see through this and these days you regularly get called out. You delve into foreign policy, police tactics and social issues, but it is obvious you have zero educational background in these areas and no real world experience.

This is akin to a lawyer writing a column on how to change a head gasket on a 2009 Honda accord. Have you ever done it? When a poser writes a poorly researched article about this subject matter, a mechanic will see right through it. Hey Tom, you can change a head gasket with a bunch of crescent wrenches, but this is not how reasonable people get the job done. This is how you come across to experienced professionals. You sound authoritative and people with very little knowledge may believe you, but experts, even the mildly informed, will see through the BS.

Do some real research and find out how the military and police really operate. Why not, perhaps part time, enroll in a university with a good international relations program. Your comic book, reader's digest versions of geopolitics are absurd. Military strategy is complicated. Have you ever studied military science? Had any military training? Interviewed an officer, aka Colonel, Major, or even an LT.? Have you studied police procedure? Did you speak to a cop in order to try and understand the police potion before rendering this opinion? This expert knows you have not. It is obvious.

Saul Alinsky tactics, Eric has you pegged. Your brand of blogging has no place in a community publication and is probably why you have so many dedicated detractors. Raucous Caucus, with a title like this, what type of person deletes opinions? Only people who are afraid of readers seeing them. As Markowitz pointed out, your clicks are not the good clicks.


Posted by DirkaDirka, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 17, 2014 at 4:00 pm

SRgregg, awesome post! I love the Accord analogy, very well put. Welcome aboard!
Eric, the Dirkarino nods with respect.

T-Man, Retiredleo, both of your write with a ring of total authenticity and real world perspective and experience, this is obvious.

The longer this issue continues in Ferguson, the more unrealistic Mr. Cushing's opinion appears.

Tom, did you read Bonfires of the Vanities? Wolfe did a fabulous job with his social commentary. Opportunist race-baiters are alive an well. They have stirred things into a total frenzy. It's akin to yelling fire in a crowded theater. This reminds me of the ridiculousness of the scene where the little socialite daughter wheels a wagon containing her issue, for which she is so proud of and gets the praise of all the guests for doing such great work. Simply out of touch elitists, who have lost real-world perspective. The absurdity! We should just let the criminals have their way and collect the insurance? Like the metaphor of praising a little girl for her poop in a wagon, it's absurd.

These shopkeepers have invested their life savings into a small business and are contributing to a community. You won't see Safeway, Sears or other major retailers in these areas. There is a reason, it's too risky and makes little business sense. These small business owners have courage and are taking enormous risk and your cavalier attitude towards their investment is obscenely wrong. It reeks of "silver-spoonism." Turn the other cheek and collect the insurance? Well most of these shopkeepers can not afford the insurance. As other have said and the Dirka too, it is simply utopian nonsense spewed from someone who nothing about the real world conditions in this community.

This drought has been hard on my goats and I have needed to tend them more than usual. Contrary to many peoples guesses, I actually do own goats. By no means does this mean the Dirkarino will bow to Mr. Cushing's petty deleting. It is nice to see other like minded folks taking a stance against your deceptive opinion pieces. Dirka would now go so far as to say that, your blog has had the opposite affect as it intended. You have won zero mind-share and done nothing, but promoted more distaste for your position. I now will exit to my pasture and sit under the oak tree. As I watch the goats roam, a slow breeze will come along and wash away your dribble from my mind. The shop keepers of Ferguson.......? I am sure they would have a ton of love for you.

Dirka Dirka


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Aug 17, 2014 at 4:26 pm

SGregg: You have managed to complain about my qualifications, integrity, originality, methods, writing style and 'tactics.' Whew.

But here's the thing. Having done all that, you haven't devoted one word of your rant to the actual substance of the blog. Not one. Your attack is utterly personal, and conclusory – no evidence. Were the stats wrong? Did those incidents not occur? Do we Need SWAT to serve warrants for non-violent charges? Did I see the news footage wrong? Maybe you think police militarization a good thing? If so, why? Did you really not understand my 'thesis' – really? What's YOUR thesis on the subject – other than that I suck?

It's actually ironic. When I considered how this blog would be received, I expected it to be attacked as derivative. Why? Because since I wrote it, nearly every outlet across the entire political spectrum, from the Cato Institute to the ACLU, has expressed similar concerns about the militarization of the police. So much for originality. But instead, I'm told that I shouldn't have expressed those concerns because my resume does not include the Police Academy. I guess that criticism applies to Senator Paul, Russ Douthat, and every other commentator, from coast to coast – we are legion (try a google search).

Sorry – not impressed. I am pretty certain that you'd prefer that I not write, but the above factors suggest that it's easier to attack the messenger than the message – which is perhaps the real source of your umbrage. I just have to take it as a back-handed compliment. One alternative might be to avoid the blog. I recommend you try it. It may be bad for your blood pressure. Besides, you're a bad click.


Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 17, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Tom,

"the problem is not anonymity, per se (thus I do not care what your real name happens to be) -- it's that it encourages trollery and deceit -- both evident here. The web is overrun with trolls, which severely limits its potential for actual interchange, and drives interested folks away who don't care to tolerate the chest-thumping nonsense."

Buck up, that's life! Either delete everything that is said that offends your delicate sensibilities, or stop complaining and take it. I may not like the childish "nuke" moniker you've affixed to me, and you have deleted my attempts at responding in kind, but it won't stop me responding to your opinions.

And it's funny, but when I gave the other side of the anonymity coin you conveniently didn't provide a response to it. I guess that doesn't fit into your strict communication parameters eh?

Boy, have you boomers changed from the 60's...







Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 17, 2014 at 9:09 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Tom,

And BTW...lest you think I'm one of those who want to see this blog disappear, you couldn't be more wrong.

I really enjoy this blog! <---not being sarcastic!


Posted by Can't Wait for Tomorrow!, a resident of California Reflections,
on Aug 17, 2014 at 11:00 pm

States Dan: "lest you think I'm one of those who want to see this blog disappear, you couldn't be more wrong."

And, really, what higher praise than that could a blogger hope to earn?


Posted by Eric, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 18, 2014 at 2:04 am

Disclaimer:
None of this should be construed as legal advice:

Tom you are quite naive.
Let's cover some basics first. A foundation must be laid..

Facts:
1) Gun laws do not stop criminals from breaking gun laws and they do not deter criminals from breaking gun laws. Criminals will get their hands on whatever weaponry they find necessary to commit their crimes. This is fact. Disprove it! There are miles of evidence to the contrary.
2 )AR15's are here to stay. 3D printing technology has insured that anyone can make one. The programing is in the public domain. Disprove it!
3) We cannot legislature away evil. Murder occurs, yet we have the death penalty. Three strikes laws and our prisons are full.
4) The second amendment is a right, not a privilege, that is why it is in the bill of rights, not bill of privileges and Heller confirmed. Tom can whine about it all he wants, but this is settled.
5) Police need to be able to deal with bad guys who have firepower. If you do not believe this, look at what happened in Stockton a few weeks ago. See 1-4. An AR15 is not all as deadly as a shotgun in many circumstances.
6) As an experience cowboy action shooter, would I feel at a total disadvantage with a lever rifle? In a word no. However, a .30 cal round will go right through walls and dangerous proposition for urban police work. It also makes the AR very well suited for defending the home. A lever gun is more deadly inside of 200 yards, this is fact. FYI, pistol rounds fired from a rifle barrel are very close to .30-30 ballistics. I only bring this up, because a lever gun is the closest alternative to a semi auto sporting rifle.
7) If a 120 lb woman asked me what she would be better off with, a shotgun, or an AR? I would tell her an AR without even needing to think about it, it's such an easy decision. That fact that she needed to ask means AR. This is not hyperbole, or theory, it is fact. Take your wives and daughter to a range. After safety training, have them try an AR for ten rounds. After the AR have them try one round of 12 gauge slug, or buckshot. Unless they are really tough broads, they will put down the shotgun and ask for the AR back. If they are tough, let them finish a few more and then ask them to choose. 99.89 percent will choose the AR. Not only is recoil 100 times lighter, the AR is lighter and much easier to handle.

Fire arms ballistic class recess.
Now let's move on to the next logical question:
Are we that stupid that we need to ask ourselves if police need helicopters, armored vehicles and body armor? Let's be real, responding to potential riots with AR's and armored vehicles is far from overkill. Why? Because of all of the above and them some.

OK, next step, let's look at what really happened in Ferg, based on some autopsy evidence released and some initial statements leaked by the officer's family.

The autopsy reports are in and they are backing up the officer's reports. The contrary to the lies spread by dirt bag criminals:
1) He was not shot in the back

"One of the bullets entered the top of Mr. Brown's skull, suggesting his head was bent forward when it struck him and caused a fatal injury, according to Dr. Michael M. Baden, the former chief medical examiner for the City of New York, who flew to Missouri on Sunday at the family's request to conduct the separate autopsy. It was likely the last of bullets to hit him, he said."

"He was shot three times in the right arm, which suggest he was moving."

This jives with audio recorded at the scene by local news.
From multiple accounts, yes it's hearsay:

"He pulled up ahead of them. And then he got a call-in that there was a strong-arm robbery. And, they gave a description. And, he's looking at them and they got something in their hands and it looks like it could be what, you know those cigars or whatever. So he goes in reverse back to them. Tries to get out of his car. They slam his door shut violently. I think he said Michael did. And, then he opened the car again. He tried to get out. He stands up.
And then Michael just bum-rushes him and shoves him back into his car. Punches him in the face and them Darren grabs for his gun. Michael grabbed for the gun. At one point he got the gun entirely turned against his hip. And he shoves it away. And the gun goes off.
Well, then Michael takes off and gets to be about 35 feet away. And, Darren's first protocol is to pursue. So, he stands up and yells, "Freeze!" Michael and his friend turn around. And Michael taunts him… And then all the sudden he just started bumrushing him. He just started coming at him full speed. And, so he just started shooting. And, he just kept coming. And, so he really thinks he was on something."

Now let's go back over the store video. This is entirely consistent with Michael's modus operandi during the robbery. He liked to rush in with aggressive actions to intimidate people with is size. He was definitely physically intimidating.

Firearms class is now back in session:
Now here is a little tidbit for all you folks that have no working knowledge of ballistics and handguns.
1) Handguns are not very powerful. Big strong men can continue aggression after being shot multiple times from handgun rounds. Often times when angry, or drunk, the aggressor feels nothing for a good 30 seconds. That is a very long time. Google is your friend. Do some searches.
2) It is very hard to hit a moving target with a pistol, especially under stress. I shoot IPSC (google it). I can tell you that under stress, most shots would have significantly spread out and possibly misses. Shots in Brown's arm are consistent with a moving target.
3) Six shots takes less than 3 seconds. This is easily accomplished. Any officer can empty a ten round mag in less than 4 seconds. However, they usually carry 15 round mags. He had nine rounds left, but wait, one went off during a struggle inside the cruiser, so really eight were left.
4) When under threat, how many shots do you take? Answer: You shoot until the threat is eliminated. It is SOP.

Now let's talk about the proximity of a threat and the fact that unarmed does not mean NOT DANGEROUS! How quickly can a large in shape 18 year old close a gap of 25 feet. Answer: Very quickly. High school sophomores on football teams run 40's in 4.3 seconds all the time.
That's why police order assailants to freeze. Failure to comply and making aggressive moves towards an officer with their weapon drawn will often get assailants shot. It is not uncommon for unarmed assailants to get shot and under these circumstances and police officers are rarely charged, or even disciplined under these circumstances. Why? Well it's time for the criminal lawyers to chime in, especially DA's. But i would wager that the reality is that it might be reasonable for an officer to be in fear of great bodily harm, or death under these circumstances. However, that is an over simplification and the rest should really be covered by a qualified attorney, something I am not.

One effective punch landed to the side of the head from a strong man can easily kill. One effective punch can incapacitate an officer to the point that he/she may lose control of their weapon. Tackling an officer with all their gear on can easily cause them to fall backward and hit their head and again incapacitate an officer and as a result they may lose control of their weapon.

So put all this into perspective armchair police quarterbacks coming to conclusions from behind the keyboard. Next time you want to be critical of how a cop uses their gun, you have some real world entry level data to draw from, no pun intended. Better yet, go to a range and try it. After some training, you can rent guns in safe environments. Guns do not make cops supermen and cops are not Lone Ranger clones who can shoot guns out of the bad guy's hands before they draw it. Maybe we can have Joe bring over his double barrel and fire some shots from the balcony. How about trying things out at an indoor range where you can have the target rush you on a pulley wire system. It will be an eye opener, I promise. Now try this with another 20 pounds of gear on. I thought so; your mindset is changing. Like someone else said, you don't change a head gasket using a bunch of crescent wrenches, it's stupid.

If some idiot thinks he has the world's answer in the form of a pressure cooker, you may be real glad your local PD has some good tools. Sadly, this can happen anywhere. Just saying, it's dangerous times. America is still the greatest country in the world,let us not forget why. The constitution, it doesn't need a rewrite. Everything is there to protect freedom, but fredeom is never cheap.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Aug 18, 2014 at 7:47 am

Hallelujah! Thanks, Eric. Your post assumes a load of facts not contained in the blog, or known at the time -- but that often happens as blog discussions proceed. I'm thrilled that it's about anything substantive -- a low bar perhaps, but a milestone for this thread.

Your post deals with both the police response and the underlying shooting that was not in the blog. I'll focus on the former, where a distillation of your argument, I think, is that it's a dangerous world and the police cannot be outgunned. Is that a fair restatement? That is the basic reason that PDs have pursued all the materiel that has been provided by DoD, both by grant and by deep surplus discount.

My response, per the blog, is that possession of those weapons (and SWAT deployments) has had the unhealthy/unintended consequence of their misuse in routine policing. I think that's a problem that needs to be addressed. I'm guessing you don't.

Further, if you lead with those weapons, they can create a self-fulfilling prophesy about the need for them. I think that happened that first night in Ferguson -- it was overkill, in my view. And I think the solution lies far upstream of last week, in terms of building community support for policing. That's not naive, it is just good preventive management of the kind that serves any organization well -- prevention beats cure. You can freeze-frame any situation and claim there was no choice -- I'm saying this is a flow, not a snapshot. Focusing too many resources on 'cure' is a policy mistake, and all that hardware contributes to it, in mostly unintended ways.

I'll also add that most protests draw a small, lunatic fringe of anarchists and opportunists, bent on mayhem like looting and arson. Focusing on them, as opposed to squelching the protest itself, is what I want to see, as well. Presuming it can't be done is, well, naive.

Yes indeed, this is a great country. But when you start using "freedom isn't free" language on the domestic front, you've lost me, and many others, I will reckon -- you are cracking down on the very freedom we Americans cherish. It suggests mentality that concerns me -- it goes beyond the old freedom vs. control dichotomy. And it may concern you, if/as/when you find yourself on the other side in a protest -- or a warrant service.


Posted by Peter Kluget, a resident of Danville,
on Aug 18, 2014 at 8:55 am

Having been among the first to take issue with he gist of the blog post, I've got a few comments here towards what I suspect will be the end of it.

SRGregg - you're no one to talk about pompous smugness. Your post reeked of smug pomposity and little else. Your only "contribution" was your own snarky, long-winded, self-congratulatory opinion, devoid of any contribution of facts or analysis. Yet you had the presumption to lecture a man who stated an opinion backed by reference to facts and a coherent analysis. I disagreed with him, but at least he gave me something to disagree with. You just vented hot air.

Eric, I have one question for you and your encyclopedic obsession with firearms: should your 120 pound woman use a shotgun or an AR to shoot her daughter in a dark garage? Web Link I know shotguns and .44 magnums are the weapons of choice for shooting innocent folks on Halloween. Web Link Web Link But I'm not sure of the exact right armament for shooting one's children in the dark. Which is really best?

As for "what really happened" in Ferguson, I didn't uncritically buy the first story that came out, and I don't uncritically buy the version you've repeated, either. (Among other things, contrary to your detailed scenario, the one consistent statement that the Ferguson police have stuck to was that "Darren" in fact did not associate "Michael" with the convenience store robbery when he stopped him.)

What I see from your post is a guy who is obsessed with guns, and thinks the world is a simple place in which everything is clear and obvious - just like on the pages of a comic book. What the framers of the Constitution put in the Second Amendment "to protect freedom" was a provision intended to ensure that well regulated state militias would continue to exist. That part is stated quite clearly, but the intended result didn't follow. What is left is the right (and I agree that it was included as an individual right, albeit designed to serve a public purpose) divorced from the responsibilities the right was intended to serve.

So don't romanticize your gun obsession. You aren't saving freedom with your personal armory. You're just indulging in a hobby.


Posted by First Poster, a resident of Valley Trails,
on Aug 18, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Tom,

I think you are a great American. The US Constitution gives us the right to bear arms because it also gives us the right to overthrow our government when it does the kinds of atrocious things Obama is doing now.

But our current government wants to deny us those rights. Its on the run, and I daresay it should be. With one hand it tries to take away our guns, and with another it does everything it can to deprive us of our liberty of creating a new government. Like the IRS going after us because we want a new government.

So the government tries to take our guns away. But it builds up its own military arsenal to be used against the people. I'm not talking about times when force has to be used against animals rioting in the streets like we see in Missouri. No, I'm talking about all the times we've seen the government go after U.S. Citizens. Do you think Mr. Clive Bundy feels like he can even leave his house to feed livestock without drones targeting him? How many others of us are targeted the same way? And need I remind everyone of Waco? Cameras, drones, helicopters, and all kinds of sophisticated military perifernalia are directed at the very heart of the American citizenry. Those of us who want to take back what is ours.

Thank you for raising this much needed topic. And thank you for taking your position. We need more speaking the truth to power like you do. God bless you and God bless America.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
on Aug 18, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Well, I think this post from FP (a/k/a Glates, a/k/a S-P?) may demonstrate that it really is a very big tent full of folks who are concerned, for one reason or another, about how government wields power.


Posted by Eric, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 18, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Peter, sure nice try, take apart the argument, you can't. You fail to understand the Heller ruling. Your argument was tried and the court tossed it, so you are absolutely wrong. The court says so. Sorry, but you are a sore looser.

These police forces are not militarized. They are simply dealing with credible and potential threats in prudent matters, disprove it. You have no working knowledge of acceptable police procedure, so you respond with childish emotional unsubstantiated arguments that have no logical merit.

To paraphrase, we should have no firearms experts in society, they are all bad, because firearms are bad. Naive and childish again. You assume an truckload about the reasons for my knowledge. Next, I will go so far as to say you are ignorant. Nothing is worse than an ignorant person rendering an opinion on a serious subject matter. It is irresponsible. You can not come up with a logical argument to disprove my argument, so you attack the reasons for having the knowledge. If this is true, we should have no biochemists, because they can make anthrax, we should have no nuclear physicists, because they can make atomic bombs and so on. They are obsessed because the have knowledge in their fields?

Finally, you fail to understand the purpose of the second amendment, that most sixth graders learn in social studies. You simply want to revise it's purpose. This is a settled matter, too bad.

No one ever said firearm safety isn't serious business. Owning a firearm is an enormous responsibility. Not everyone should own a firearm. I said, people wanting to be critical of how police officers use their weapons should learn a little before rendering an opinion. I stand by this. I didn't say go out an buy one, I said rent one. FYI, if you have ever done this you would know you would learn quite a bit about firearm safety when you rent one.

So utopian emotional arguers, take apart the argument with some facts and logic instead of emotional conjecture. Reading comprehension much? you just can;t do it, because I am right.

Tom,
You do not disprove a thing in my argument when you suggest that FPD leading with these weapons fulfills a prophecy. What are your qualifications when it comes to assessing the potential threat level to officer safety? I think you are arguing that if FPD didn't show up with all the hardware, then none of the rioting would have occurred. One can hardly blame the FPD chief for wanting to protect his officers in a very rough neighborhood. He decided he would rather err on the side of caution for his officers safety. In addition, very little went wrong with his response. When the state run Highway patrol came in they screwed the pooch. They bowed to federal political pressure, then it got worse.

Here's why freedom isn't free. You said it, anarchists/gangsters hop in an exploit the situation. Individuals need to understand that they have a legal duty and social responsibility to immediately disassociate, in other words remove themselves, from crowds when gangsters wreak havoc, otherwise they are part of the problem. Freedom is not cheap, the shop keepers can attest to that. People did not act responsibly, and they continue to repeat the behavior. Some small groups have popped up courageously trying to stop the chaos by standing in harms way, but they are quickly overrun. Collateral damage occurs, it is impossible to avoid completely.

This can be part of the price of freedom and free speech, should one chose to participate under these circumstances. Only in a utopia, does social discourse always occur peacefully.

Dirka has it right, this is a social issue with a gangster culture that hates police and for no good reason other than perhaps their sister, bother, mother, father was locked up for committing a crime. So many of the witness are bad liars, because the forensic facts are catching them in their lies. In addition, they trip over their own lies when interviewed. This is a very unsophisticated community, with a very under educated population. The community needs and deserves investment in order to solve the social problems. Poverty, erosion of the family unit, education, gangster culture, and the lack of community leadership, this is the reason for what's going on in Ferguson. Under these circumstances the police did not respond inappropriately given the resources they had to address the potential threat. This case will be studied by departments and criminologists across the world. In the end, the FPD chief will be vindicated. He is a very reasonable and intelligent good man.

Why don't you tell us how they should have done it Tom? You are critical, but offer zero alternatives backed up with logical reasoning. It's easy to second guess and not provide solutions. I think this and your use of missdirectional editorial tactics are why so many people think you are disingenuous in your approach here. Many have said that militarization on the federal agency front if far more serious an issue and I agree with this argument. Here's a predication, the officer will be vindicated too!

The whole mess will be based on overreaction to righteous acts from law enforcement, due to a wound up population of a bunch of gangsters, that exploited a family tragedy of a son gone bad.







Posted by First Poster (second post), a resident of Valley Trails,
on Aug 18, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Tom. Thank you for your quick turnaround. Its good to have you in our tent. We're all Americans after all. And our values, American values, are one in the same. At base we are all Tea Party Americans. Happy to have you and millions of others be part of our cause.


Posted by Conservator, a resident of Danville,
on Aug 18, 2014 at 1:56 pm

Eric,

I hope you will afford me the following fact which has absolutely no (nil) linkage to your dissertation on firearms rights, utilization and so forth other then clarifying a secondary point you were making.

As an off-hand point, you stated that "...High school sophomores on football teams run 40's in 4.3 seconds all the time." This caught my eye. As but a sampling of what's possible from the human race, at this year's NFL combine (Web Link), only 7 near-superhuman former collegiate athletes cracked the 4.4 threshold. All were 6' or shorter with the lightest coming in at 173 lbs and the heaviest at 202. Frankly, it would be a terrifying sight to witness a 200+ / 6' behemoth accelerate and run that fast.

As one who has had a fair lifetime of experience with youth athletics, I've not seen this kind of exemplary athletic capability amongst typical youthful athletes. Perhaps, you have. It's not for me to say it's impossible just highly improbable in my experiences.


Posted by MattRodriguez, a resident of Walnut Creek,
on Aug 18, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Dirka is awesome! I love his brand of political incorrectness. Ever notice that when he shows up, this place gets interesting? So far Tom, you are losing this one. Your new coalition with the libertarian cadre aside isn't enough given the comments from obviously experienced professionals.

I think it is fun to guess here, but I bet Eric has some hard core real world experience, but is worried about letting too munch information out because he may be still employed as a LEO, or related field. I also think Eric must have been a soldier at some point in his life. He makes a lot of really good points that I would have never considered without his informative background information.

Understanding the tools and technology is an important part of this issue and I am glad he took the time to lay it out. He won me over. He has a very strong practical argument that is hard to counter.

Conservator, you sound like you coach out here. Perhaps it was a typo, 4 and 5 are close on the KB. Kids from the hood are fast. I do not think he was implying that Brown was that fast. But why not do some math anyway. Let's say he was twice as slow. That's still not much time to react and a very dangerous situation. I grew up in East LA. I ran a 5.2 in high school and that's about a second off. I was definitely not the fastest. I was 5' 10" and 170 lbs. and I was a linebacker. I thought i was fast when I was a freshman. I did not play after high school. There were 6 guys faster than me (not by much) and that was in the early 90's. Some of these kids are really fast. They are a handful, but they do exist. J Best ran a 4.35. Anyway, for discussion sake, there is not much time to react inside 20 yards and plenty of room to build up speed for a very hard hit.

I too have had problems using links here, because the site does not let you use more than a few, so some people have given up. I used Google to substantiate his claims before I came out in support of his position. It's not looking too good for people with your point of view coming out on top.
Web Link
Web Link

4.3 is not totally uncommon, but it is very fast. That said, I think it makes Eric's point even better.



Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Aug 18, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Eric: your Us vs. Them (the 'gangstah culture' in code) stereotyping is the first place we diverge. I've been in plenty of demonstrations, and by far the majority of participants are there to protest something they believe is wrong, as part of a very, verry well-established American tradition. And then there are usually a few bottle-tossers. You have lumped the many with the few, and called them all gangstahs. That's just demonstrably wrong, which is the Best thing that can be said for it.

You then claim that it's the demonstrators' responsibility to discipline the few bottle-tossers. That is, upon any kind of experience or reflection, flatly absurd. They do not respond to social pressure, and it puts the peaceful demonstrators in another kind of peril from those few folks who are bent on mayhem. Smart policing would be aimed at isolating and neutralizing those few.

Contrary to your assertion, I've suggested a variety of prevention-based approaches. It starts early, as an Ongoing Process of engaging community leaders with a Force that better reflects the community. When a crisis occurs, you meet with that leadership on their turf and terms, and seek their cooperation in avoiding what has occurred. Your officers show up early, as well, without its heavy artillery, and demonstrate that they are there to protect property, not to control or disperse the demonstration. Easy to say it doesn't work, except it does. Talk works – it just doesn't feed the blood-lusties on either side.

I also agree with the SEATTLE POLICE CHIEF who regretted his role in setting-off the trade riots in his city – HE says that HIS mistake was coming in 'Heavy' at the outset. You are just factually in the high weeds when you say that the first night was not a problem. Did they not show those photos and videos on the outlets you favor?

Just a few thoughts to ponder whilst oiling your weaponry. I don't expect agreement – you'd have to acknowledge the humanity of your fellow Americans for that, which is no fun. It's much easier to demonize the perceived 'foe' and excuse their exclusion from their citizenship rights because they are all the dreaded Them. When the shoe's on the other foot, it's gonna pinch you, hard.


Posted by Conservator, a resident of Danville,
on Aug 18, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Ok, Matt, we will likely receive a well earned admonishment for getting way out of the fairways (my apologies, TC).

However, here's what Jadeveon Clowney posted at the combine which, amongst many factors, radically changed his marginal and effective tax rates (sorry to bring up a sore subject FP/HG/Spc..) by making him the #1 pick of the Texans in this year's draft…4.53 sec (Web Link). Clearly, it takes a freak of an athlete to move this fluidly at 6'5" and 266 lbs.

That stated, perhaps your right that young men such as this just exist in all walks of life and are "not totally uncommon".


Posted by Eric, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm

No substance other than emotion Tom. The business were protected, gangsters and their mob pack got hurt. Too bad that there was collateral damage, but I don't feel sorry for idiots who touch a hot stove when they are warned. That's a win. They could have dispersed and organized peacefully. No police officers were hurt. Some bad guys got rounded up too.

FYI, I was in Seattle when that went down. You love to compare apples and oranges, this is what you do, make giant assumptions with new content backing up your assertions. Were you there, or did you read about it in the news paper? Matt, here is a hint, I was working with my client, the FPS. Google is your friend.

Early prevention, they had no time; naive. I have suggested and agreed with Dirka on the investment side. There is no excuse for the mobs behavior.

US vs Them, hardly, good vs bad, yes. It sure appears like you love to support anarchy when it's a liberal cause. Who brought up Alinsky? That was a good one. It would have been so much worse and it did get worse. Hindsight simply proves you are wrong.

In fact, looking back at your positions, history almost always proves you were wrong. This is the problem with people who are overly naive and idealistic. "Ecrasez l' infume" I went to school too.


Posted by LOL:-), a resident of Diablo,
on Aug 18, 2014 at 4:14 pm

Not looking too good for you this time around Tom. You are getting trounced.


Posted by Peter Kluget, a resident of Danville,
on Aug 18, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Eric, you need to work on your reading comprehension (taking a little time off from patting yourself on the back would give you the opportunity to attend to this.) Everything you said about what you seem to think I wrote in my last post was close to the exact opposite of what I actually said.

That's a pretty impressive feat. I agreed with the holding in Holder. I didn't make the argument you say I made. (I don't agree with all of the dicta written by various justices in Holder; that's a different story, but probably a little subtle for you.) I disputed Tom's take on Ferguson (much to his surprise, I believe) because I generally support the police having and using the amount of force necessary to keep the peace (that was my first post, disagreeing with Tom; don't take my word for it, it's way up there, around post # 6 or so.) In short: everything you criticized me for saying is something you made up which had almost no connection with what I actually said.

But you seem to have missed all that. Instead you set up a series of straw man arguments and positions, said I had supported them, and then spewed a bunch of name calling: "naive" "childish" "irresponsible" "emotional" "utopian". I think your name calling says a lot about you. I especially like it when you throw out a fatuous comment and then demand "Disprove it!" Now ***that*** is childish. Your writing looks a lot like the drumbeat of a guy who spends a lot of time communicating with people who think exactly like he does, comparing notes about how stupid anyone who doesn't think that way is and trading quips about how they are "naive" and "emotional."

This is what I do believe: Not everybody in America should have a gun. Some should, some shouldn't. (We appear to agree about that.) On average, owning a gun lessens most people's safety (and the safety of their family and neighbors) rather than raising it, and those people really shouldn't go out and buy one. I wouldn't encourage them to get an AR instead of a 12 gauge; I'd suggest they buy a dog if they feel afraid.

So who should have guns and and who shouldn't? People with an overweening sense of self-righteousness, a ludicrously romanticized view of their own significance and place in the world, and an inability to accept uncertainty and recognize nuances - that is, people who exhibit the characteristics you and First Poster have both flaunted on this blog - generally shouldn't, in my opinion.

And Tom? First Poster can't be Herman Glates. Note the Waco/Bundy references. Herman is a lot of things but he's got a much better grip on reality than FP. First Poster is someone who apparently thinks he and all his buddies are going to pick up their ARs and overthrow the US Government.

Soon as they finish this beer, that is.


Posted by Father John, a resident of another community,
on Aug 18, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Let us pray.

Dear lord, deliver us from the passions of hormonal young men and their loyal flocks, for whom the world is black-and-white, the decisions seem easy and they revel in their new-found 'wisdom' and presumed influence. Let them practice by holding forth on websites, where at least they can do no damage until they are older, and have gained a sense of subtlety and nuance. Let them beat their chests, spend their bravado and giddily claim their victories in ways that do not harm the rest of us, until such time as they may some day be ready to lead. Lord, you know that's not now.

Amen.


Posted by Herman Glates, a resident of Danville,
on Aug 18, 2014 at 8:21 pm

It wasn't me. I took my kids to Great America today.

Looks like Tom has made some new friends.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Aug 18, 2014 at 8:26 pm

Fewer than it appears.

Sorry Hermster -- when it said 'First Poster' (which you were, above) and contained material one might reasonably conclude is TeaPer parody, I just figured it might be you, goofing on the thread.


Posted by El Mapa, a resident of Dublin,
on Aug 18, 2014 at 9:29 pm

So, when you say "fewer than appears" you mean that if you add up the unmistakably identical snark, style, and name-calling of Cushing and Klu-get one must conclude that these "two" are the same person? Pretty insecure. And, in advance: So are your inevitable denials.

Material can't stand by itself? Whew. Trounced indeed!!!!!!!!


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Aug 18, 2014 at 10:14 pm

Uncanny, ain't it?

But do you really think I'd go and stage a point/counterpoint with myself way up toward the top of the thread? And make an argument as lousy as his was in that exchange, if I had? It's hard enough just maintaining my considerable expertise on all these topics! He's also a big fan of high-speed rail, which I think -- and have written -- is a rat hole.

As I've said before -- I often wish I'd expressed what Kluget writes, but I've not met him, at least to my knowledge. And although I'd be pleased to buy him a beer -- the dressing-down he handed out earlier today was worth a few pints all by itself -- he is unequivocally Not Me. Now, there ARE those who have posted here under multiple IDs, but you wouldn't know about that, would you?

Perhaps if he decides to pen his own blog around here, you'll be convinced by the sheer volume. If not ... oh well. I know of no way to convince you otherwise without breaching assurances of anonymity. If you think of a way we could do it, let me know. 'Til then, it's just another backhanded compliment, so thanks for that.


Posted by El Mapa, a resident of Dublin,
on Aug 18, 2014 at 11:29 pm

It is getting clearer. Lonesome blogger invents various personae. A slow righty always there to kick around. A moderate lib to back him up and give him credibility. A lefty to emphasize that the blogger won't go THAT far. A couple of pseudo baseball cronies, a hapless fellow attorney. And voila!

Anyone else is too difficult to control and so MUST BE CENSORED. What a way to spend one's day!


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
on Aug 19, 2014 at 5:37 am

What a way, indeed. You might even say that one of us is practically obsessed with the goings-on on this blog.

BTW, here's what The National Review, that pinko rag that Bill Buckley published (iirc), had to say about Ferguson on 8/14: Web Link

" ... Confrontational and rowdy protests were met with an inept police response, journalists were arrested, and television crews were tear-gassed. The protests were accompanied by riots, and a Foot Locker and several beauty-supply stores were looted. A convenience store was set afire."

And concluding:

"We do not know precisely what happened in the case of Michael Brown. Finding out will take time. But even if the police officer is found to have acted with textbook probity, the situation suggests that deep reform, from police matters to economic matters, is needed in Ferguson, as in so many similar cities."


Posted by First Poster (who chooses to remain anonymous), a resident of Valley Trails,
on Aug 19, 2014 at 9:38 am

Aren't these posts to be treated as anonymous? I confess I don't know the rules. But I don't understand Mr. Cushing's obsession with who is who. The ongoing conversations here seem more about posters' identities then about the issues.

But back to the issues. I'm glad Mr. Cushing has pointed out that the National Review and himself are on the same page.

Events like this and Clive Bundy, and blogs by Mr. Cushing, the Drudge Report, and Weasel Zippers show that America is beginning to turn rightward in its second thoughts about the oppressive nature of an Obama build up of state imposed tyranny.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Aug 19, 2014 at 10:21 am

This is rich. Your anonymity is assured. But wouldn't you want to know it if somebody was posting under several aliases in the same thread -- particularly if that individual is cheerleading? Please say 'yes,' since you thought it was important enough Last Night to accuse poor Peter Kluget of being me.

Anonymity by itself is not deceptive -- it has other problems around trollery but there is policy here to allow it. But if someone posts under multiple monikers in the same thread -- I'll pick a round number of four, just for grins, then that person has ulterior motivation Beyond anonymity. I won't ban it, and you'll notice that I haven't outed you, per se, but yes -- I do agree with you that it is of-interest to disclose it. It just doesn't happen to be true in Inspector Kluget's case.


Posted by First Poster, a resident of Valley Trails,
on Aug 19, 2014 at 11:04 am

Guarantees? Maybe I'll out you maybe I won't? Wow, Mr. Cushing.

I'd comment more but I've got to be off to work in order to pay for most of the other people in society.

Til later, Mr. Cushing, I think we're agreed, Don't Tread on Us!!! Always have your musket within arms reach and by all means keep your powder dry! God bless.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
on Aug 19, 2014 at 11:15 am

Web Link

Please send My check c/o the Pleasanton Weekly.


Posted by Chicago, a resident of Amador Estates,
on Aug 19, 2014 at 11:22 am

7 murdered in Chicago and 12 wounded this past weekend. This was a slow weekend, usually it is in the teens every weekend. Where are the riots, protests and outrage.


Posted by Alan Richardson, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 19, 2014 at 1:18 pm

Yep, those gun laws are really working! Wait, who's mayor of Chicago? Where is Barry from? Kenya, just kidding. Dirka, Eric, T-Man and a slew of others have shredded TC, LOL. Voltaire quote in a community blog, that's impressive.

TC AKA Kluwget et al, simply up to the same tired old emotionally based brand of utopian socialism and elitest political correctness. Gangster lifestyle, does not warrant inclusion with their definition of cultural and moral relativism. It is a sickness.

Dirka, called it right on the money, community investment.

Dr. Ben Carlson agrees, but Dirka said it well before anyone else!

Fox has done a nice job taking the high road:
Web Link

The longer this thing drags out, the worse TC looks and his little games and trickery are exposed once again.


Posted by Peter Kluget, a resident of Danville,
on Aug 20, 2014 at 8:33 am

And since Eric isn't helping out here, in our ongoing search for just the right weaponry to use in shooting family members, we have another entry, a bedside .22: Web Link

Alan, I always enjoy reading a right wing robot mindlessly repeating what he's been instructed to believe "liberals think" and then monotonously intoning the soundbites he's been instructed to parrot in criticism of that straw man. You are relieved from the heavy lifting of actually thinking about what anyone you label a liberal actually says; you just repeat what you've been told he believes, and apply your cookie-cutter critiques to it, just like Eric did. Whatever you do, don't leave your right wing bubble of lock-step thinkers. The real world is complicated and requires a lot of watching and assessing ambiguous information. You really don't want to do all that heavy lifting. Fox will tell you what to think. All you have to do is obey and repeat.


Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 20, 2014 at 8:49 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

PK - "I always enjoy reading a right wing robot mindlessly repeating what he's been instructed to believe "liberals think" and then monotonously intoning the soundbites he's been instructed to parrot in criticism of that straw man."

Because we left wingers never mindlessly parrot anything! (he says breathlessly):

Web Link

Web Link

You're welcome PK!


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Aug 20, 2014 at 10:27 am

Mr. Kluget can speak for himself, of course, and at least he might not call you Nuke. That said, I think you do not realize that your post says next to nothing in response to his. The 'net is a very big place; it is replete with partisan websites aplenty. And the number of listservs is 'as big as Texas.' None of that is news in the slightest degree, nor did Kluget say that they only exist on the Right.

He said that the loyal flockee Mr. Richardson appeared to be using such information as a poor substitute for independent thought.

Of course, it also doesn't help your post that the first of your links shut down fully four years ago.

That kind of 'pitch discipline' is how you got your nickname. You just beaned the mascot, again.


Posted by Alan Richardson, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 20, 2014 at 11:56 am

Wow, Tom Cushing, you have stooped to a new low! You were thoroughly trounced by a few good people that courageously dared to disagree with you and used unemotional reason, knowledge and experience to make better points. Pompous, supercilious, deceptive, dishonest, Alinsky, the goose is cooked. This is not conjecture, it is fat based on the evidence above. You are always the sad little teenager who has to have the last word, even when the argument is lost. Go ahead; take it, everyone who reads this knows your character now. You will probably delete this too, because you can't take the heat of the kitchen you built.

Absolutely no one has come up with anything that could counter Eric's well thought out response to your deceptive little blog entry. Just like your most recent entry, your little format is incredibly predictable, tired and exposed. This type of vote pandering, in lieu of moral fortitude and character is why my point still stands strong. Gangster lifestyle does not warrant inclusion with their definition of cultural and moral relativism. It is a sickness. The liberal Gov. of MO is an opportunist reverse racism pandering politician, with zero courage to let justice take its course without the race-baiting.

This is supposed to be about the militarization of the police force and Eric laid out some solid background that the weaponry deployed early on was not as militaristic as you implied. No one, absolutely no one, has been able to counter this with facts and logic.

You can try to outdo Roz's blog on gun's, but the fact is she out did you and then some. She has more character in her little finger than you. She had the courage to enter this space first and did it with dignity.

Here is an intellectual body slam for this emotional little illogical argument of yours. You see the facts on our side, so says the supreme court of these United States. Next up Pena vs CID! Oh and let's not forget the real character of your senator Lee, LOL. Sourced and fact checked with notes:

Web Link=
More emotional dribble from Tommy:

The number of privately owned guns in the U.S. is at an all-time high, upwards of 300 million, and now rises by about 10 million per year.1 Meanwhile, the firearm accident death rate has fallen to an all-time low, 0.2 per 100,000 population, down 94% since the all-time high in 1904.2 Since 1930, the annual number of firearm accident deaths has decreased 81%, while the U.S. population has more than doubled and the number of firearms has quintupled. Among children, such deaths have decreased 89% since 1975. Today, the odds are more than a million to one, against a child in the U.S. dying in a firearm accident.

Firearms are involved in 0.5% of accidental deaths nationally, compared to motor vehicles (29%), poisoning (27%), falls (21%), suffocation (5%), drowning (3%), fires (2%), medical mistakes (1.7%), environmental factors (1.3%), and pedal cycles (0.6%). Among children: motor vehicles (34%), suffocation (27%), drowning (17%), fires (7%), environmental factors (2.3%), poisoning (2.2%), falls (1.5%), firearm (1.5), pedal cycles (1.4%), and medical mistakes (1.3%).

Education decreases accidents. Voluntary training has decreased firearms accidents. NRA firearm safety programs are conducted by more than 93,000 NRA Certified Instructors nationwide. Youngsters learn firearm safety in NRA programs offered through civic groups such as the Boy Scouts, Jaycees, and American Legion, and schools.3 NRA's Eddie Eagle GunSafe program teaches children pre-K through 3rd grade that if they see a gun without supervision, they should "STOP! Don't Touch. Leave The Area. Tell An Adult." Since 1988, Eddie has been used by 26,000 schools, civic groups, and law enforcement agencies to reach more than 26 million children.4

The "cars and guns" myth. In the 1990s, gun control supporters claimed that driver licensing and vehicle registration caused motor vehicle accident deaths to decline between 1968 and 1991, and that gun registration and gun owner licensing would reduce gun accidents. However, vehicle registration and driver licensing laws were not imposed to reduce accidents, and did not do so. Most were imposed between the world wars, but motor vehicle accident deaths increased sharply after 1930 and didn't begin declining until 1970. Also, between 1968 and 1991 the motor vehicle accident death rate dropped only 37% with vehicle registration and driver licensing, while the firearm accident death rate dropped 50% without registration and licensing. Gun control supporters want registration and licensing only to acquire records necessary to make confiscation of privately owned firearms achievable in the future. Handgun Control, Inc. (since renamed Brady Campaign) once said that registration was the second step in the group's three-step plan for the confiscation of all handguns.5

Also, the purchase and ownership of arms is a right protected by the federal and most state constitutions,6 whereas driving a car on public roads is a privilege. A license and registration are not required to merely own a vehicle or operate it on private property, only to do so on public roads. Similarly, a license and permit are not typically required to buy or own a gun, or to keep a gun at home, but are usually required when hunting or carrying a gun for protection in public places.

Gun control supporters' "children and teens" deception: In the 1990s and the early part of the 21st century, gun control supporters claimed that firearms (homicides, suicides, and accidents combined) took the lives of a dozen or more "children" daily. To get that figure, they added the number among children (then about 1.7 per day) to the much larger numbers among juveniles (about four per day) and teenage adults (about nine per day), and calling the total "children."7 Having been called on the deception, gun control supporters now cite a single number for "children and teens," adding the number for juveniles and teenage adults (now about 10 per day) to the number for children (about one per day).

The CAP law myth: Also in the 1990s, "gun control" supporters pointed to a study (produced by the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, a group active in the HELP Network) claiming that so-called "Child Access Prevention" (CAP) laws (which make it a crime, under some circumstances, to leave a gun accessible to a child who obtains and misuses it), imposed in 12 states between 1989-1993, decreased firearm accident deaths among children.8 Its flaws: Firearm accident deaths among children began declining in the mid-1970s, not in 1989, when "CAP" laws were first imposed. Also, such accidents had decreased nationwide, not only in "CAP" states. And it failed to note that also in 1989, NRA's Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program was introduced nationwide.



1. See BATFE, "Annual Firearm Manufacturers and Export Reports" (www.atf.gov/statistics).

2. Statistics from 1981 forward are available from the National Center for Health Statistics' "Wisqars" website.

Those prior to 1981 are available from the National Safety Council (www.nsc.org/).

3. For more on NRA training programs, visit www.nrahq.org/ (click "Education and Training") or call 703-267-1500.

4. For more on the Eddie Eagle program, visit www.nrahq.org/safety/eddie/ or call 800-231-0752.

5. Pete Shields, quoted in The New Yorker, "A Reporter At Large: Handguns," July 26, 1976.

6. See Supreme Court ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008). (www.nraila.org/media/PDFs/HellerOpinion.pdf)

7. NRA-ILA "Not 12 Per Day" fact sheet, www.nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?ID=21 .

8. Journal of the American Medical Association, Oct. 1, 1997.

"When the people find they can vote themselves money,
that will herald the end of the republic." Benjamin Franklin


Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 20, 2014 at 7:04 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Tom,

"He said that the loyal flockee Mr. Richardson appeared to be using such information as a poor substitute for independent thought. "

This is as ignorant a statement as you've ever made. Do I really have to use the power of google to show you that PK does the same thing he accuses Richardson? Really?

From PKs own words: "...he's been instructed to parrot in criticism of that straw man." Much like the parroting going on in the two links, eh Tom?

Do you ever tire of be-clowning yourself?

And let's not forget what happened to Nuke in that classic movie: he went on to the big leagues. Judging by your picture, something tells me you couldn't make it to first base.



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