Bad Strategery In Stumptown Threatens Portland, the President, and Us

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonderandhome.com

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314 Responses

  1. Avatar greginak
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    says:

    This is all grim ominous theater that has almost completely guaranteed downside. Surging cops into cities isnt’ going calm squat nor will it do anything for the typical crime rate. If cops are to be effective in reducing crime they can’t be the para military types who drop in, don’t know the area or people and patrol like it’s Baghdad. That is a big part of the problem with crime is those cities now. Adding more of it won’t help. Nothing good will come of that. At least most, though not all, of the people who should be appalled by it are. Just dropping tinder into a fire and hoping to get some good campaign commercials out of it.

    A separate issue is that the RW media seems to be spinning Portland as something out of mad max movie but without all the cool chase scenes. That doesn’t seem to be reality according intrepid Road Warriors/ OT alums Burt and Tod or any of the other various people in Portland i’ve read.Report

    • Avatar Andrew Donaldson
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      Point of order: If you conducted yourself in Baghdad like some of the officers here you would be in Leavenworth right now still working it off.Report

      • Avatar greginak
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        says:

        I’ve heard that from only a few hundred or so combat vets at this point so that is a strong point.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon
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        says:

        Concur. LE would truly not enjoy being subjected to the UCMJ.Report

      • Avatar veronica d
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        True, but talk to people living under military occupation. Sure, we all love to see the picture of the soldier giving candy to smiling kids, but that stuff is feel good propaganda. The reality is humiliating and stressful.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon
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          says:

          That’s kinda the point. Living under an occupation is bad enough, so leadership really, REALLY frowns upon any actions taken by the troops which make it worse, especially things like abusing the locals in a manner that would inspire them to want your head on a pike.

          And since the brass will not give up a soldier to mob justice, they make damn certain any soldier who does something to bring the mob knocking gets put in the brig PDQ.Report

          • Avatar veronica d
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            says:

            Agreed. But also note, whatever the motives of high command, the troops on the ground are operating under different pressures. To say, “We arrest troops that do this,” doesn’t mean that troops won’t do that. Certainly some militaries may handle this better than others, for all the reasons that some organizations do well while others do not, still, the bare fact of occupation is messy.

            Many of our “tough on crime” type discourse leads inexorably to a “police as an occupying force” situation. The “tough on crime” crowd doesn’t seem to get this. I suspect they don’t want to get it. I think they lack the capacity for delicacy.

            Witness Trump’s childish response to any push back. All he understands is domination and force. Ask any right wing dipshit how to handle drug crime — he’ll say “Send in the troops. Kill them all.”

            Seriously, read any right wing comments section. You’ll hear that again and again.

            I think anyone with a modicum of sociological thinking can see how this will play out.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon
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              says:

              Yes,

              so what is the point of contention with what Andrew said?Report

              • Avatar veronica d
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                Nothing on the face. His statement is true.

                It’s a question of frame. Certainly the military would handle itself better than these idiot cops and feds. That said, the whole notion of an occupation is busted, even if the occupiers are of a better sort.

                So yes, trained US soldiers would make better occupiers, but I’d rather not have any occupiers at all. These are American citizens.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                That brings us back to the whole, “Cops are civilians! Stop letting them get away with pretending they aren’t!”Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter
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              says:

              Many of our “tough on crime” type discourse leads inexorably to a “police as an occupying force” situation. The “tough on crime” crowd doesn’t seem to get this. I suspect they don’t want to get it.

              “Tough on crime” mean “my neighbourhood doesn’t need to deal with these problems because they’re handled in other neighbourhoods. If that creates problems there, well they’re not my problems.”

              That mindset means “doesn’t want to get it” is the tip of the iceberg. We’re very close to “tobacco scientist studying whether tobacco causes health problems”.Report

          • Avatar greginak
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            says:

            One of the odd dynamics that is very different between the cops and military is that the cops and their leaders are all “troops”. In the military there are officers and troops. Cops leaders and union officials all started as front line troops so to speak and worked their way. That would be analogous to all the officers having once been privates. Yeah in a small number of cases that happens but they have to go through all the officer training to get their.Report

    • Avatar George Turner
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      says:

      What makes anyone think that Karl Rove isn’t the one running the protests? Judging by the massive shifts in polling, it would be a genius level move.Report

  2. Avatar Mike Schilling
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    says:

    President Trump has made a real mess for himself here.

    Evergreen tweet.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird
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    I think that dismantling the DHS needs to be on the table.

    Or, at least, completely defunding it until it pulls out.

    Not one cent.Report

  4. Avatar Chip Daniels
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    There is that observation, I think from Eco about how fascists don’t want peace and prosperity, but conflict and eternal war.

    Trump’s base of supporters are like that.
    All the years of being a subculture steeped in “Warrior” this, and tacticool that, of cosplaying the grim gun toting heroes.They model themselves on the worst Hollywood cliches of masculinity and bellicose jingoism.

    Their misogyny and racism fuse together to where they see the residents of urban centers as hostile aliens who need to be suppressed with maximum force.
    Trump and Barr aren’t worried about this being a poor strategery; ATo think so would require them to want to be normal politicians looking for maximum support.

    What they want is to play out, finally, at long last, the epic clash of civilizations with the dark hordes.They are aching for a Flight 93 administration.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq
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      Adding to the horseshoe/circle theory of politics, the most hardcore of the Marxists believed that the world should be in a state of “permanent revolution” because peace and prosperity might lead to people adopting a bourgeois lifestyle and thinking habits. George Orwell noted that the appeal of Fascism and Stalinism over the milder forms of socialism and liberal capitalism was that the former could offer you a grand adventure of sacrifice while the later can not.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels
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        I remember reading about the man who shot John Paul II, and he was one of these aimless young men who became radicalized, but flipped a few times between extreme right and left.

        There is a set of people, mostly young, sometimes older, but always poorly socialized who I think deeply absorb all the wrong lessons from tales of heroic combat.Report

  5. Avatar Oscar Gordon
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    says:

    I have a number of friends on Portland, and none of them report a city out of control.Report

  6. Avatar Pinky
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    I think this article’s mistaken. I don’t think there would be much reaction to a fatal encounter. Some people believe the protesters are in the wrong, and some believe that police violence happens non-stop. Most people, I suspect, are ambivalent. Above all, we’re numbed by the street violence and the daily death stats.Report

  7. Avatar Doctor Jay
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    Sigh. Kent State is burned into my memory.

    I’m not a bold political activist. The only organized political protest I have ever participated in was when all students and faculty of the University of Washington skipped class on the 5th anniversary of the shootings. If they are gonna shoot people like this, they will shoot anyone. I’m not on their side.

    Spiro Agnew said that the students deserved it. Nixon was reelected two years later. There was no blowback to the National Guard, none at all, ever. I hope things are different now.

    I hope things are different this time.Report

  8. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    Donald Trump is finally meeting situations he can not bullshit or bully himself out of with people who he has no power over. Polling out of Texas today indicated that Biden has a one point lead over Trump in Texas. Does this mean Biden will win Texas? No. But the micropolling was interesting. Trump lost among whites with college degrees and among whites between the ages of under the age of 49 by significant numbers. He wins well with white without college degrees and whites over 50.

    This is basically his base at this point. People whom think NYC is just as scary as the bad old days of 1977-1983. He is creating a Republican Party that wants authoritarianism. He is going to try and deliver it and further alienate everyone else.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq
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      I think this sums it all up. Trump wants to win a second term because he fears the consequences of loosing. The only way to achieve a second term at this point is through a combination of outright electoral cheating, terrorizing his political enemies, and ginning up his base to mad froth to get his side out voting in mass. The Portland arrests done by DHS-SS was part of the terrorizing his political enemies part of the strategy or at least a test run of a broader strategy.Report

  9. Avatar Burt Likko
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    1. I drearily think that Pinky and Doctor Jay have a point: a great many people are convinced to the core of their beings that the protestors are in the wrong and law enforcement is in the right. These folks don’t care that the Feds tear-gassed the “wall of moms” and instead are telling themselves that the moms getting tear gassed are really antifa. I’ll let you all google photos of the wall of moms and y’all can decide for yourselves. But the point here is that these folks like the show of force, they like hippie-punching, and they like cops so much they will engage in the most amazing leaps of cognitive dissonance and rank speculation to excuse anything the cops do. There’s no persuading them of anything and it appears that there are a LOT of people like that.

    2. Portland has a long tradition of protest. It is quite obvious to me that something dramatic has to give on the government’s side before people will stop showing up. So this may last until the election. If Trump wins the re-election, then things are much more likely to get as dire here as the OP predicts. Fortunately that seems unlikely at the moment, but it’s still 100 days until the election so I’m counting no chickens just yet. If Trump loses the election, I think the celebration in the streets of that happening will be so great as to break the cycle of protesting.

    3. As I’ve commented on Twitter, for those who follow me there, 99% of Portland is just fine. The biggest problem I’ve had so far today is the gardeners at my condo kept on using gas-powered tools to trim hedges while I’ve been trying to have phone conversations. This isn’t Stalingrad. It’s like any other city where you know the neighborhood to stay away from at night, and everywhere else is just fine. The only difference is, the neighborhood to stay away from is a place to avoid because there are federal law enforcement officers shooting tear gas cannisters around like it was the set of a Michael Bay movie.

    4. The local government here has basically pivoted. Right about two weeks ago, a number of resolutions got through City Hall regarding police procedure and some reshuffling of money from the PPB to other social service organizations happened. In other words, the police were defunded and reformed. Which did not mean “disbanded.” There’s still a lot of protestor demands within the context of “defund the police” still to be addressed, and the police are still a big ol’ political football here. But all that has been totally eclipsed by the arrival of the Feds.

    5. This is, ultimately, about Black Lives Matter. It is, ultimately, about demanding that the police behave lawfully and that justice apply equally to everyone. Don’t forget that. Especially when you hear people throw around words like “anarchists.” Anarchists don’t want there to be a justice system at all. What the protestors want is the opposite of anarchy: they want a justice system that is actually just; they want law enforcement that is actually lawful.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq
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      2. Some people are more orderly than others. They really just don’t like things that break up of what they see as the rhythm of the proper orderly life. Protests, strikes, and other types of mass demonstrations seem like nothing more like chaos to them regardless of the merits of the mass demonstration. There just seem to be many people prone to hate this. Former OTer James Hanley was complaining about libertarians siding with the DHS-SS because they hate leftists more than they love liberty on Facebook.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird
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      says:

      This is, ultimately, about Black Lives Matter.

      That’s how it started.

      It’s not what it’s about now.Report

      • Avatar greginak
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        says:

        Is that official?Report

        • Avatar Jaybird
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          says:

          I’m not sure who would qualify as being an authority who would decide.

          Which is, I suppose, part of the problem.

          Report

          • Avatar greginak
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            says:

            So it’s still about BLM and Floyd ( and all the other victims) for plenty of people then.Report

            • Avatar George Turner
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              says:

              As expected, white women make it all about white women.

              Part of the protesters’ problem is that Portland simply doesn’t have enough blacks. They would be comparable in numbers to the black folks in towns like Hinesville or Houma-Thibodaux, and far fewer than places like South Bend (Hi Mayor Pete!), Opelika, Goldsboro, or Dothan.

              In large part that’s because Oregon didn’t allow black people in the state until until WW-II, and then tried to get rid of them all as soon as the war ended. Currently the progressives are trying to run the blacks out of the Seattle, so the few that are left find themselves standing on a police line guarding the rapidly whitening neighborhood where they grew up, watching their favorite stores get looted by mobs of white BLM activists.

              What Seattle folks need to do is start protesting in black face, like the fake Zulus in old British movies. At the mom’s protest one of the women in the sea of white masked faces was holding a sign saying “I love my black friends!” That about sums it up.Report

              • Avatar Philip H
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                Currently the progressives are trying to run the blacks out of the Seattle, so the few that are left find themselves standing on a police line guarding the rapidly whitening neighborhood where they grew up, watching their favorite stores get looted by mobs of white BLM activists.

                Um no. Just no.

                You may want that outcome but that’s not what’s going on in Seattle. What IS going on is all sorts of people at the lower end of the class/income spectrum are being priced out of living in Seattle proper due to the continued surge of tech in the region. Its a problem affecting whites and blacks equally based almost entirely on earnings. Its a problem that’s been going on for years,been protested for years, and is now subsumed into local Seattle Black Lives Matter protests.

                Part of the protesters’ problem is that Portland simply doesn’t have enough blacks. They would be comparable in numbers to the black folks in towns like Hinesville or Houma-Thibodaux, and far fewer than places like South Bend (Hi Mayor Pete!), Opelika, Goldsboro, or Dothan.

                I have no idea what you were after there, but yes, Portland and Houma have differing racial profiles:

                Race/Ethnicity 80.5% are whites; 2.9% black; 0.9% are American Indian or Alaska Native; 4.9% are Asian, 0.3% are Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, 4.1% are some other race, 3.3% are two or more races. The Hispanic or Latino make up 8% of the total population.

                According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Houma was: White: 64.50% Black or African American: 24.68% Native American: 5.83%Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
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                says:

                Its a problem affecting whites and blacks equally based almost entirely on earnings.

                Well, then, let me just take a big drink of water and see if the demographics of Portland are laid out.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw
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      says:

      I don’t think anyone here doubts the existence of #1 as a group but is catering this group enough to get Trump elected and/or save the GOP from their demographic decline. The answer seems to be know. It is an interesting question whether the situation is different if there was no pandemic and associated recession along with the unrest but that is not our world.Report

    • Avatar North
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      I have been surprised how quickly Antifa seems to be moving into the Nambla territory in our discourse: a fringe group that has had pretty horrible positions in the past and is mostly brought up now days as a right wing bugaboo but doesn’t exist much as boots on the ground or widespread supporters.
      I mean, hell, right wing media claims Antifa is dominating the left but they don’t even have a website; nor do they have any politicians or even a spokesperson.
      They have spokespeople- but those spokespeople generally speak for… one or two people. They have websites, but again those websites represent the views of only … a handful of people. I’m wondering how long it’ll be before Antifa vanishes entirely from everywhere except the right wings imagination.Report

      • Avatar greginak
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        Yeah it’s crazy. Antifa is akin to being fan of punk music. Sure there are common styles, tats, dress, a basic philosophy and ??? Not really much else but it’s spun up to something coherent. At least ACORN was an actual organization.Report

        • Avatar InMD
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          I’ve always assumed them to be the people that even the really crunchy types running the university food co-op think are a little off kilter.Report

    • Avatar Pinky
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      says:

      My point was bigger. I think some people have convinced themselves that the protesters are automatically wrong, and some that the police are automatically wrong. Together they account for maybe 1/4 of the population. I don’t think the numbers will change much after a shooting, though.

      As for your fifth point, is that official? Because I see people explicitly calling for anarchy, waving anarchist flags, and violently attacking law enforcement. I daresay that if the politics were switched and there were as many Nazi symbols and statements among the mass of protesters, it’d be easier for people to recognize the protesters for what they were.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon
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        says:

        I’ve not seen anyone violently attacking LE. I’ve seen LE violently attacking people who have offered no violence to the police other than refusing to move.

        As for flags, they always look good on camera. Thing is, most of the protesters don’t have flags, so the cameras are drawn to the few flags that are there.Report

        • Avatar Pinky
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          says:

          Hundreds of officers have been injured in the demonstrations of the past few months, mostly due to things being thrown at them.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon
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            says:

            These are the same police that are shooting people directly with rubber rifle rounds, launching tear gas directly at people, and making up lies about police officers being poisoned at fast food restaurants?

            The same police who… You know what, the police lie almost constantly to either avoid making themselves look bad, or to garner sympathy when they are in the hot seat. They have zero credibility with me.

            I don’t believe their claims of injuries from rioters. Especially when the police have been caught inflating their numbers with minor injuries that are often the results of simple accidents, blue on blue actions, or when people decide to fight back when they are getting beat up for no justifiable reason.Report

            • Avatar Pinky
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              says:

              “These are the same police that…”

              Probably not all of them.

              “I don’t believe their claims…”

              That puts you in the category of people whose opinions won’t change no matter what happens in Portland.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                Enough of them do it, or cover for it, to make it a systemic issue, so it doesn’t matter if it’s not all of them.

                My opinion can change, as soon as the feds withdraw to the property they have responsibility over and limit themselves to acting solely against those who present a clear and present danger to the property.

                Just like any other CIVILIAN can do.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels
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        says:

        How many criminals and vandals and anarchists were in the mobs of rioters at Tienanmen Square?
        Did you know that many of their banners explicitly called for the overthrow of the government?

        Are you aware that many of the civil rights protesters were actually members of the Communist Party?

        Why is it when Americans look at protests in foreign countries, or back in history, we never seem to see any complexity or have any difficulty accepting the claims of the protesters, but when it is our own, suddenly we see nothing but confusion?Report

        • Avatar Jaybird
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          (Weren’t all of them criminals?)Report

          • Avatar Philip H
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            And so because an authoritarian society decided to stamp out a rebellion the same way authoritarian societies always do, you conclude American protesters must also be criminals needing punishment?

            Wow thats some serious intellectual laziness there dude. Almost George level in fact.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird
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              says:

              No, not at all.

              My position is that the Federal Government has way too much power and there are way too many laws that get enforced by way too many cops.

              But there are folks out there who are fans of government in theory and laws in theory and regulations in theory.

              And breaking a law makes a person a criminal.

              Even if the law is unjust.

              Even if they are, instead, staying true to God’s Law.

              Arguing that they’re not *REALLY* criminals as if “criminal” were a moral state rather than a legal one is part of the problem.

              How many criminals were in the mobs of rioters at Tiananmen Square? What definition of criminal are we using if “all of them” isn’t the right answer?Report

              • Avatar Philip H
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                China criminalized dissent. China criminalized speech. China criminalized organizing for action.

                So far the U.S. has not. The work of federal enforcement officers in Portland is not actually aimed at the few individuals who are committing criminal acts (which is a very small subset of the people there). The are aimed at people doing lawful things. You don’t teargas hundreds of people to stop vandals. You don’t fire riot control munitions indiscriminately into the crowd to stop vandals. you do those things to discourage lawful speech.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
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                says:

                I agree.

                I believe that we, as a society, need to make far more emphasis on the importance of the Ideals behind the First Amendment.

                The right to free speech.
                The right to peacefully assemble.
                The right to go to the government and petition redress for grievances.

                Hell, I think that Police Departments should be severely defunded, Police Unions abolished, and the DHS disbanded.

                But saying that Pot ought to be Legal does not do anything to make someone who buys Pot no longer be a criminal.

                Even if I think the law is stupid and unjust and shouldn’t be a law.

                (But I’m glad we agree that the people there in the square were *TECHNICALLY* criminals, even though we agree that they shouldn’t have been.)Report

        • Avatar Pinky
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          says:

          “Why is it when Americans look at protests in foreign countries, or back in history, we never seem to see any complexity or have any difficulty accepting the claims of the protesters, but when it is our own, suddenly we see nothing but confusion?”

          That’s a weird accusation. I mean, you don’t think there was ambiguity in previous protests? You don’t think that a certain percentage of all rioters are thugs, or mistaken ideologues, or trolls, or whatever? I don’t want to respond to this comment because I’m just not sure if you’re taking this position, or you think I’m taking this position.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko
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      says:

      Several people have asked re point #5: “Is this official”? Is BLM still at the heart of what’s going on?

      Obviously, nothing can possibly be “official” because there’s no centralized authority organizing and guiding the protests. In a broad sense, I’m attempting to summarize and condense what I’m hearing from the myriad of voices. Of course it’s not unanimous and never has been. Portland is also among the whitest of all big cities in America (if not the whitest) so it’s kind of inevitable that most of the people in the crowd are going to be white. I’m not going down the rabbit hole of how it got to be that way, that’s a discussion for another day.

      But since there are a lot of white people out there, a number of white people are going to absorb the blows that the feds are dispensing. And when they do that, our media and our culture are such that they get attention and are thus effectively offered platforms. Here’s how I see them using those platforms when offered: A white history professor got publicly shot in the head and arrested on the night of 22-23 July 2020. Today, she tells of her experiences and concludes by saying “Police brutality against Black people is the real subject of these peaceful protests that have been happening in my city and across the country.” A white Navy vet got beat with a nightstick and pepper sprayed. When interviewed afterwards, he said “It isn’t about me getting beat up. It’s about focusing back on the original intention of all of these protests, which is Black Lives Matter”.

      I wrote yesterday, “What the protestors want is the opposite of anarchy: they want a justice system that is actually just; they want law enforcement that is actually lawful.” I don’t speak for anyone but me. I can’t tell you what you hear when you listen. It’s an opera, not a chorus; many speakers, with different words, all lifting their voices at once. But when I listen to the protestors, in the aggregate, what I hear is a demand for a fair and equal system of justice.

      What seems to have some people all up in arms is, they’re not asking nicely anymore.Report

    • Avatar Doctor Jay
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      And to counter my pessimism – in the long term, the Kent State shootings have been pretty much walked away from by everyone. As will this be.

      I feel pretty confident that 50 years from now, nobody will be arguing Trump’s case. But in the moment? I’m not so sure.

      Trump is beatable. The police can be reformed. There is a lot of support out there for that. But we have to go out and beat him. We have to stay on target and go the distance. This will take focus and determination. We can’t expect him to fold his tent and run away at the first sign of opposition.Report

  10. Avatar Tod Kelly
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    says:

    Good piece, Andrew. The rioters in Portland are a tough nut to crack, and, as you deftly pointed out, there really isn’t a perfect or even a good solution.

    One of the issues happening now is, for months there has been a division of protesters (ties of thousands) and rioters (dozens to scores), and the city has for the most part counted the as different bodies, even if they sometimes take up the same space. It looks like the new plan is (partly) to treat all as if they were the same, and that seems… unwise.

    At the end of the day, we’re seeing a real-time experiment with policing in the wake of the Floyd protests: is the best option to attempt deescalation (and hopefully redirect those protesting & rioting), or is it to encourage escalation until at some point the pain inflicted makes protesters and rioters choose to stop.

    It’s an old, old argument, that goes back long before the founding of this country – one that seems intractable, or at lthe very east so close to intractable that it’s a damn risky dice throw to place so many of your re-election chips on it.

    We’ll see, I guess.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels
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      says:

      What does that say about the public servants who vowed to uphold the Constitution and the principle of the rule of law , that they see “escalation” as an option?

      What does that say about their legitimacy as holders of power, that they refuse to distinguish between criminals and citizens, regarding them both as enemies to be crushed?

      See this is where it isn’t “difficult” for me at all. When a government shrugs off its sworn duty and treats the citizens like subjects of an occupying army, the actions of a few criminals and rioters is irrelevant.
      If Portland were some foreign country I guarantee you no American would be wringing their hands over how difficult and complex the situation was.

      The Justice Department has lost any claim of legitimacy here.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon
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        says:

        Honestly, Justice/DHS hasn’t had any claim of legitimacy for a very long time. The fact that people have tolerated it for this long speaks to our cultural authoritarian streak (left & right).

        Such organs of government should be constantly demonstrating why they deserve to be legitimate, rather than simply assuming legitimacy by dint of being the government.Report

  11. Avatar InMD
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    says:

    We’re officially at the moment where it’s the small group of activists who misread every moment as the day America turns into something it never will be versus the president too clueless and narcissistic to grasp the gravity of his own actions. The former will always be with us and aren’t a real threat. Militarized federal law enforcement conducting police duties are. Not only mayors but governors need to re-assert some principles of federalism here. They can and should make it impossible for the feds to operate until this stops.Report

  12. Avatar Damon
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    says:

    I grew up 2 hours from Portland. It was always weird. I lived in Seattle as well. I know people in Seattle. Even before the hell there people were fleeing the city. It’s only gotten worse.

    Trump needs to do what the mayor of Portland demands…..leave. There is no upside at all to staying. The federal buildings? Let them burn. Walk away. Since the city refused to impose control, they condone the actions of the crowds. The only thing Trump needs to do is be sure that no federal monies come back to Portland for rebuilding. After all, the duly elected representatives, operating with the will of the people, ENDORSED the actions of the protesters. It’d be nice if he sent a bill to the mayor for any damage done to the federal buildings too.Report

    • Avatar Philip H
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      says:

      Except there’s that pesky part of the Constitution where federal appropriations are the responsibility of Congress not the President.Report

      • Avatar Damon
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        He doesn’t have to sign the bill. 🙂
        Or he could hold a press conference and say “i’d sign this but but…portland…..i’d sign it if it excluded portland.

        That might even appeal to his base.Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain
          Ignored
          says:

          Didn’t Congress already do most/all of the next fiscal year (starting Oct 1) budget, and Trump sign it? Because no one wanted a government shut-down running up to the election? Assuming that’s the case, the President’s ability to withhold funds is incredibly limited. With very small exceptions, he can’t spend money unless it’s appropriated and if it’s been appropriated he has to spend it.Report

          • Avatar Philip H
            Ignored
            says:

            Nope. The House is just now doing full committee mark ups for Fiscal Year 2021 and the Senate has thought about sub-committee mark-ups. The House may well be done with its bills mid-August but the Senate has been the lagging body for all of my 18 year federal career.

            With very small exceptions, he can’t spend money unless it’s appropriated and if it’s been appropriated he has to spend it.

            See Wall, Border for his beliefs on this.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain
      Ignored
      says:

      It’s something I’d have to go read the statutes on. I don’t know that Portland PD has any authority or responsibility for the federal court house; it might be exclusively federal protective services. During the protests adjacent to the White House, the District’s police had no authority to touch anyone in the park because it’s exclusively federal.Report

      • Avatar Philip H
        Ignored
        says:

        You are correct. The Federal Protective Service and – in this case – the U.S. Marshals – have the responsibility for federal courthouse security. They usually have mutual aid agreements with local cops, but that doesn’t federalize them. The federal court also probably has open air spaces adjacent to it that are federal property, and those would be their primary jurisdiction as well.

        But outside that foot print its the local cops who have primary jurisdiction, and unless the feds are pursuing federal criminal with probably cause they generally have to ask to operate, or be invited.Report

  13. Avatar Aaron David
    Ignored
    says:

    Can someone tell me how this helps to reduce police violence?

    Rioters have destroyed any moral authority that groups like BLM have created in the wake of George Floyd’s death. How many deaths have occurred due to these riots across the nation?15? 20? The nation was united to deal with this problem, but no, we had to have that spasm of rage and then make excuses for it. A couple of days? OK, I can see that. But 45? This isn’t about that now, and whatever the hell this is is just hardening opinions.

    Whatever momentum that was gained has been destroyed, just like that poor man’s life. Whatever chances of police reform we had are now gone. And guess what? It’s going to take another man’s life to get that going again. Another life snuffed out.

    So, please, what the hell are these riots accomplishing?Report

    • Avatar Slade the Leveller
      Ignored
      says:

      As Tod pointed out above, the number of rioters in Portland are a rounding error compared to the number of legitimate protesters. How does that serve to reduce by any amount the moral authority of the BLM movement?

      I will agree with you that police reform has died a quick death, but that just goes to show you how serious the effort was in the first place.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David
        Ignored
        says:

        Sure, it was a rounding error. So were the people at CHAZ in Seattle and look how that ended. A kid was murdered, but it took another politician who supported it marching on the mayor’s house to put an end to it.

        The IRA was only a few people, and look at how fucked up North Ireland was and for how long. I was in Belfast in the late eighties, and believe me when I say that this whole situation can get a whole lot worse. Both sides are egging each other on at this point. Fuck them both.Report

        • Avatar North
          Ignored
          says:

          So then, by your reasoning, any protest of a large size in automatically invalidated because they will inevitably draw looting assholes who want to take advantage of the chaos/suppressed police presence. And any demonstration small enough to avoid looting is, practically speaking, pointless because it doesn’t represent a large enough segment of the population. So protesting is invariably useless hmm?Report

          • Avatar Aaron David
            Ignored
            says:

            Yes, protests can draw looting assholes. But, if the peaceful protestors allow escalation on their side, turn a blind eye to the destruction caused by people in their midst, and allow that to go on unheeded then no, it stops being about the initial cause, no matter how righteous that was. At this point, the peaceful protesters have allowed so much destruction that any moral authority they might have had to make the changes that could matter, that could save some of those black lives, is gone. Opinions have hardened, goodwill has been destroyed and nothing good came of this.

            A protest does not have to end in violence. And there are countless examples of nonviolent protests of many more people; the Women’s Marches, The Million Man March, various reopening protests in Michigan, New Hampshire, etc.

            Yes, protesting is hard. And one reason it is hard is the loss of control of the message. At this point, all the peaceful protest message has been washed away by a sea of rioting, looting and in a few cases across the county, murder. As far as I am concerned, no one there now, peaceful or otherwise, gives one fuck about black lives. They wanted this.Report

            • Avatar North
              Ignored
              says:

              Your examples of peaceful protests were ones that were either pre-scheduled, non-critical of the police and/or so tiny as to be utterly insignificant.

              I live in Minneapolis. The nights of the big Floyd protests the liquor store across the street from my condominium and the CVS on the ground floor of my condominium got broken into repeatedly. I watched the initial break in at the liquor store from our second-floor windows. It was a group of college age douches, all white and Asian. They didn’t give a damn about George Floyd, obviously; they just wanted free booze. The protests were going on miles away down Lake Street and Franklin Avenue. The protestors could not have done anything to prevent this looting and destruction unless they were capable of prescience and teleportation.

              If you review stories about the destruction you will note that it was wide spread everywhere as opportunistic assholes took advantage of the police being hunkered down due to the protests. Note, also, that it is pretty well documented that the police had no desire to prevent the looting what so ever. The looting, after all, makes their point for them. I won’t get into allegations of the police encouraging destruction as that starts creeping out into speculation.

              So, based on your modification all non-right-wing protests are pointless (and right-wing protests are useless if they object to police behavior)? It’s fortunate for the protestors that the country doesn’t seem to share your very particular opinion on the message efficacy of protests.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                “…all non-right-wing protests are pointless”

                So, the Million Man March and the various woman’s marches are examples of Right-Wing? Those were two that I specifically mentioned. Neither were small, the women’s marches were often recurring and both were non-violent. So thanks for proving my point?

                As I initially said, there was rage and looting going on across the spectrum in the early days, and that is to be expected before opportunists can be spotted and delt with. But after 40-50 nights in Portland, any moral authority that could have been built off of the events has been shattered.

                Moral authority isn’t something that comes in an easy to assemble kit. There is no insert tab A into slot A and viola everyone instantly thinks you are righteous in your desires.
                No, you need to build on it gently, show you are as good or better than can be expected, and maybe even better than that. Even the smallest misstep can destroy everything you have built. Which is what is happening in Portland. Oh, sure, you agree with them, but you already did, so that doesn’t matter. It’s about changing the hearts and minds of those on the fence, of bringing the haters over to your side.

                It doesn’t matter if the protests I mentioned were non-critical of the police (by the way, Million Man March was fairly critical of racist policing, but whatever) Martin Luther King was very critical of policing, and his legacy has lasted. His protests were huge, burning with the fires of righteousness. Right now, the actions from the left are too full of hate to be righteous.Report

              • Avatar North
                Ignored
                says:

                Ok, so you are granting that the general opportunists don’t count which is fine so we’re just left with the Portland stuff. I mean Portlandia is certainly notorious for leftwing kookery and I’m not gonna hold the torch for the Chaz Chuds any day of the week. But if you’re looking at the recurring Portland conflicts and the first thing you, an avowed libertarian, are going to is “Oh those violent mostly white dudes vandalizing federal buildings and clashing with anonymous federal agents scooping civilians off the streets are invalidating the moral authority of the George Floyd protests.” That’s just… well, not exactly funny exactly but fascinating. I don’t remember if it was Jason Kuzniki or James Hanley who bemoaned on Facebook how so many libertarians were selling out for worse than nothing but I definitely see them having a point. It profits a libertarian not at all to sell their ideals for the whole world, but for Trumps nascent secret police?Report

              • Avatar Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                No, the first thing I asked was how this helps getting us anything like Police reform. And, no this does not get us anywhere near that, which was ostensibly the goal. To me, this is simple rage at there being a Republican in the hen-house. I don’t give a shit about Trump, I am indifferent to him. If he has done something illegal, then that needs to be dealt with, but I don’t hate him on principle and have zero time for people who do. I have no time for people who want me to engage in a dialectic, especially one that I disagree with the ground rules on. Thus I have zero time for BLM. I want Police reform. And this puts it farther away in my estimation.

                I have seen zero “secret police” here, only police actions that are around as shitty as the rioters. Again, just because the left says something, I am under zero obligation to agree. If the left want to show me something, I am going to look at it and see if I can spot any holes that let the bullshit in. And right now from the left, it is looking like a colander. All sorts of BS is streaming in.

                And some of that BS is you going on about “Oh those violent mostly white dudes vandalizing federal buildings and clashing with anonymous federal agents scooping civilians off the streets are invalidating the moral authority of the George Floyd protests.” Yes, a whole bunch of opportunistic assholes are using the pretext of Floyd murder as an excuse to LARP the Kreuzberg riots. And in so doing the are shitting on every chance to enact police reform.

                Again, I want police reform, and I think this screws the already shaky chances of that. You can think whatever you like.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck
            Ignored
            says:

            “any protest of a large size in automatically invalidated because they will inevitably draw looting assholes who want to take advantage of the chaos/suppressed police presence.”

            People like you are really big on “encouragment” and “normalization”. (And “stochastic terrorism”, remember that one?)

            Like, “you may not have personally said that this could happen, but you created an environment that suggested it ought to.”Report

            • Avatar North
              Ignored
              says:

              Errr… I don’t think I understand what you’re talking about DD, and I don’t remember stochastic terrorism at all (nor do I know what it means). Maybe you’re thinking of a different North?Report

      • Avatar greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        Cop reform hasn’t died. It’s the natural obstruction of elections and parties. If the D’s win in Nov, then their fed reform proposal will be the starting point for change. At the state and local level their is sputtering change that seems to be on hold until Nov. Not that we are guaranteed anything even if Biden wins, but as they say, elections matter.Report

        • Avatar Slade the Leveller
          Ignored
          says:

          Shoot. Mea culpa. I was thinking of the federal bills, both of which were a bunch of posing anyway. Thanks for sharing these links.

          Really, the biggest reforms any city can carry out would be to remove anything other than pay and benefits from police contracts. Citizens need to reassert their authority over the people to whom they’ve delegated police powers.Report

    • Avatar George Turner
      Ignored
      says:

      I think the protests are the greatest thing evah! I’ve never had so many people changing their minds and start agreeing with me in such a short period of time. This is more fun than the 1968 Democratic convention.

      What we’re seeing is a rapid virtue spiral. The protest groups leaders are raking in tens of millions of dollars, so they’re certainly not going to stop. The local commanders are getting out front and impressing their peers with their boldness and bravery, and certainly getting laid for it, so they’re not going to stop. The rank and file are impressing their Facebook and Twitter friends with their virtue-signalling selfies, so they’re not going to stop. They’re not going to listen to Democrats because anyone who tries to reign them in is obviously a racist fascist class enemy.

      But millions of initial supporters who were just normies, the kind who never show up at a protest with a can of spray paint, a shield, and an incendiary device, are rethinking their worldview. They’re probably going to vote to change their mayor and their entire city council, and they’re probably going to vote Republican for the first time in their lives.

      The protest leaders won’t care, because that will make the country even more “fascist” and they’ll rake in even more donations by having more protests. It’s what gives their lives meaning, and might be their main source of income, and they’re going to milk it for all it’s worth, no matter the consequences.

      One could make a good argument that after the first couple of days, the protests kept on going because the people who organize protests get all their power (and in many cases an income) from organizing and leading protests.

      It doesn’t matter what the protest is about, either. None of them actually care about the issue their supporting or they’d go do some research on it. If it was issue driven the protests wouldn’t be happening in the progressive cities with progressive police, or in overwhelmingly white cities, or in cities were the police have the least amount of power anywhere, such as San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland, where anybody can just shoot up in doorways and poop on the sidewalks. When tourists from normal places visit, they’re taken aback and ask “Don’t you have police? Why doesn’t your city just arrest all these people?” If the issue was real the protests would be happening in those normal places, not progressive Utopias like Portland.

      The people setting fires in those cities might as well be rioting over the Turkish genocide of Armenians. They’re going to produce a list of demand, but the demands are irrelevant, just text on a page or lines on a script. The only purpose the demands serve is that they are negotiating points to establish their power by making someone else agree to them, to gain reputation and credibility, just like some Renaissance duelist feigning an offense and challenging someone, just to gain face by making someone else lose face.

      After the George Floyd video surfaced, the country was in 100% agreement that something had to change. The sale was made and the public’s wallet was out. But the protesters wouldn’t stop with the sales pitch, and by continuing with the sales pitch once the wallet is out, the wallet might go back in the pocket. That’s why good salesmen immediately stop their jabbering and take the money while it’s still on the table. We’re seeing that lesson writ large. The protests have managed to turn 100% support into about 45% support, and the continuing protests will drive that number still lower. And of course Trump is smart enough to keep stoking them, because they’ve turned the 2020 election into a choice between civilization and violent fascist anarchy, and nobody mistakes civilization with looting, rioting, arson, and anarchy.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        Sounds like you’ve been hanging out in hipster coffee houses with Jacob Wohl.Report

      • Avatar Swami
        Ignored
        says:

        Yeah, I pretty much agree with this, George. I think you left out the media spiral of getting more viewers to watch as our nation is torn apart on the nightly news cycle.

        I am not sure Trump will benefit, but it is certainly a possibility.

        I am not and never will be a Republican, but I am so totally grateful that I live in the only large American city with a Republican mayor (San Diego) who is above at least some of this virtue signaling to the noxious woke mob.Report

  14. Avatar Swami
    Ignored
    says:

    Agreed completely. And there are other ways it could get worse. What if the extreme right responds not via institutional channels, but by their own mobs? Right now we have a so-called “good” mob, supported by the media and unofficially by local government. In the vacuum, it is possible those on the right could seek to reclaim the streets. The “good” mob, vandalizing property, would then face off against the evil mob attempting re-establish law and order on their own.

    Perhaps this is too far-fetched.Report

    • Avatar Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      Considering the Right side Mob is people like the Oath Keepers, the 3%ers and the Boogaloo Bois – all who claimed to be arming up against government overreach – and who are NOT pushing back on government over reach, I conclude the Right side mob is letting government fight for them in proxy.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        For the record, I think that you should arm yourself and stop supporting the unions of the people you want the Right Side Mob to get shot by.Report

      • Avatar Damon
        Ignored
        says:

        Actually, they aren’t pushing back to help out a bunch of people they KNOW would turn on them as soon as the help that was offered was no longer needed.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          “Why are the people we’ve been defecting against in our iterated game not collaborating with us?”Report

          • Avatar Stillwater
            Ignored
            says:

            Since the Oath Keepers haven’t ever acted on their stated principles there is no iteration to this game, hence no defections. But what you wrote pretty much makes Philips point, since it implies that the Oath Keepers will only act on their oath in support of political allies, which, as you concede, the protestors aren’t.

            Add: I mean, the defectors in this game, quite obviously, are the people who’ve stated they’ll use force to oppose unconstitutional uses of police power, yet sit idly by while that very thing is happening. They defected before the game even began.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              What was the opinion of the Oath Keepers by those folks during the Obama era?

              Was it “It’s good! We need to keep those folks around, just in case!”?

              If it wasn’t, I’d suggest that the first defection didn’t happen in 2020.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Does “defection” here mean just “we disagree about policy preferences”?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I think that “disagreement” is well within bounds of civil society.

                “We need to start passing laws and have law enforcement enforce those laws up to and including threats of violence for resisting arrest” is defection.

                You should really look into the whole Black Lives Matter movement some more, Chip. They get into the whole “weaponization of laws and law enforcement” thing.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Who was passing laws against what now?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s weird. I can point out that the argument being given by people was something like “We need to do X!”

                And the counter-argument is not “they didn’t advocate for that!” but “they didn’t succeed!”

                Does it not count, if they fail?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                The Oath Keepers are the ones who made an oath. They’re not fulfilling it. QED.

                Add: I also can’t help but notice you’re devolving to a whole lotta “yeah, the Oath Keeprs took an oath they didn’t fulfill, but you gotta understand…..”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                There’s additional parsing of “tyrannous government”.

                “We want to burn down a federal building! The cops aren’t letting us! TYRANNY!”

                “Um… no, we took an oath to fight against tyranny for real… this is, like, regular law enforcement.”

                “No. It’s tyranny. Q.E.D. You’re a hypocrite!”Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Jaybird, I’m just noting that you don’t have a lot of patience for people who do additional parsing, yet here you are leaning right into it.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s more that I don’t have a lot of patience for people who demand additional parsing for their own subtle and nuanced positions while pointing out that the ideological positions of their ideological opponents could fit on a stickynote.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Ahh. “You gotta understand Stillwater.”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                You don’t have to.

                You don’t even have to understand the dynamics.

                But if you want to, you probably need to try to.

                But you don’t need to.

                It’s probably easier if you don’t.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Jaybird, everything you’ve said about this has been *wrong*. I agree: some self-reflection *is* warranted.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                “The Oath Keepers are the ones who made an oath. They’re not fulfilling it. QED.”

                bro, i get that you’re a shitposter, but really you need to sit back and think about whether encouraging armed resistance to government agents is where you want to go with this identityReport

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Or what? You’ll light my country music award on fire?Report

            • Avatar veronica d
              Ignored
              says:

              My take: it was always 100% that groups like the “Oath Keepers” are just larping fascists who used “resist tyranny” language to give plausible cover for the fact they’re larping fascists.

              Saying, “According to the stated beliefs of the groups, they should be resisting the federal thugs in Portland” is true, but it’s also entirely beside the point. Did anyone actually think they would resist authoritarianism? Really? Did you think that?

              Growing up, I spent enough time around gun shows and shooting ranges and among “tree of liberty/blood of patriots” dipshits to recognize these guys instantly. I know what they are. Was it not obvious to everyone else?

              I suppose there is some value in pointing out that they’re full of shit, but so what? What’s next?

              Nothing really. These groups come and go. They tend to meltdown dramatically when the leaders of the group piss off some other members of the group and — well — the drama is both varied and completely idiotic. Which isn’t a surprise. They’re socially maladjusted weirdos desperately searching for meaning and structure and finding it among other socially maladjusted weirdos who read the Turner Diaries one time too many (which in the case of the Turner Diaries is a single time).

              I guess the danger of these groups is they could provide the rump of a brownshirt movement. I think specifically the Proud Boys hoped to be that. With the right leadership, I suppose any of these groups could become that, although it looks as if Trump is more interested in transforming federal law enforcement into that role.

              I wonder if Trump’s desire to expand federal law enforcement will force them to lower standards to the point the average wannabe-militia-larper could qualify?

              Anyway, there is an election coming.Report

              • Avatar Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ve probably met a lot more folks with racist thoughts off the gun range than on..in my daily life. It was pretty open when I worked on the line at the big car assembly plant. Some of the black folk didn’t like white folk. Some of the white folk didn’t like the black folk. A lot of the union guys didn’t like the summer help like me, regardless of race, and some white guys didn’t like the fact that some of the white summer help girls hung out with black folk on breaks and such. Everybody hated management, and that’s the first place i got “reverse racism-ed.”

                Any pool of people is going to have a number of assholes in them, be them racists, sexist, or some other flavor of jerkwad.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          This confirms everything we’ve ever said about them.

          The target of their guns isn’t a tyrannical government in defense of liberty for all.
          They’re pointing their guns at their fellow citizens, demanding we bend the knee to their policy preferences.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            Well, you’d better redouble your efforts to make sure that the people who are shooting you are the only ones allowed to have guns.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              I guess them committing to American ideals of democracy and liberty is just right out of the question.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Maybe you should appeal to the American ideals of democracy and liberty of the cops whose union you support.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Did a union member kill your mom or something?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                If you aren’t willing to take the first step against opposing the people oppressing you, it’s unlikely that you’ll inspire others to help you.

                This isn’t even about how you need to oppose the cops, Chip.

                It’s asking you to stop supporting police unions.

                But you can’t even do that.

                Between asking why more people won’t support you in your opposition to fascism.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                This is a weird response in this context Jaybird. The Oath Keepers are current and ex LEOs, so presumably are very keen on maintaining cop unions and the power they hold. Yet your proposal to Chip is that the way to “inspire” current and ex cops to rise up against totalitarianism is to be anti-cop union.

                I mean, this is some seriously awful stuff here, JB.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think that it’d inspire the current and ex cops, honestly.

                I do think that it’d do a good job of inspiring the Bundy types, though.

                Report

              • Avatar DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                Why the hell are people still arguing about police unions? I thought I actually got through to people about this.

                The problem is, as has always been, governments willing to sign literally any bullshit agreements that police unions put in front of them…as long as it’s not too expensive…eh…actually maybe they’ll sign it anyway, even if is too expensive. But the cost is literally the only possibly concern. No accountability, not rules, nothing.

                This is not a ‘union’ problem. This is ‘local government lets police get away with anything and that lack of oversight is _currently_ done via signing a contract with the union’.

                What happens when police unions are dismantled and the local governments just create policies and regulations that are exactly what they were under the unions? Due to lobbying by, for example, the Police Benevolent Society? Or just the head local law enforcement officer going to the government and saying it’s needed?

                The problem is local governments who have their mouths firmly affixed to the ass of the police, and will continue to give them literally anything they want, up to and including the power to murder people, and this is going to continue to be true _regardless of how the police ask for it_. Until we make the governments stop doing that.

                If the garbage collectors in your city formed a union, and demanded a billion dollars a year in salary, and the city gave it to them…is that a union issue? Do we need to disband grabageman unions? Or is the problem actually the government agreeing to such a ludicrous contract?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I think it’s because the local governments happen to be “progressive”.

                Like, this ain’t a situation where we can tell Minneapolis “STOP VOTING FOR REPUBLICANS!!!”

                The Republicans ain’t the problem.

                The crap that Chicago gets away with? It’s not a situation where we can vote our way out of.

                Get rid of the union.

                (Also, you haven’t gotten through to people about QI either, if you thought that that issue was settled.)Report

              • Avatar DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                I think it’s because the local governments happen to be “progressive”.

                Mmm…pretty sure they just happen to be Democrats.

                I joke, of course, but the reality is, fixing the police as an actual, nation-wide issue, was not actually on the political radar, in any sense, before this year. So…the fact Democrats didn’t do that is not surprising.

                Individual cities sometimes tried, very weakly, some level of reforms, after [insert outrageous police behavior here] but never particularly hard, and the police knew that, and knew all they had to do was mostly wait it out, and maybe get some body cams eventually, which they don’t use, and everything will be normal.

                Everything is not getting back to normal this time. That has become increasingly clear…so clear that a lot of the police have resigned.

                Like, this ain’t a situation where we can tell Minneapolis “STOP VOTING FOR REPUBLICANS!!!”

                No, this is a situation where we tell the Minneapolis government ‘Stop this or the city will continue to be broken’.

                This isn’t the part where we elect people to fix things. Because…people don’t run on that platform. Why is…not really that important. They just don’t. A cynical person might think that it’s pretty easy for the police to make sure they don’t.

                So instead, we demand the existing government do something, via a…well, they’re calling it protest, but it’s really a strike. A strike of ‘people listening to the police’.

                Which is…way more dangerous to the police then I think they understand.

                I’m pretty certain you’ve read some Discworld, right? I might go find the book and quote tomorrow, but it’s getting late. But there’s a situation in them, where Sam Vimes is trying to enforce some law, and senses the people turning on him, and considers how dangerous that is. Because, he thinks, fundamentally, the people outnumber the police, and thus the police really only can function _if the people believe they are in charge_. The second the people stop believing that…the police aren’t in charge.

                Now, this is a simplistic view of a single situation, in a society without guns or cameras or telephones, and in a world with mass media and multiple police forces and Federal authority, it’s not that simple here.

                But…somewhere in a lot of people there’s something that says ‘The police are useful and in charge’. That something has been broken in minority communities for a long time. But…right now, that something is fraying and snapping in a lot of people.

                It’s like…herd immunity. It’s herd compliance…and that sounds insulting, but I don’t mean it to be. I’m saying, to have the police, you have to have most of society go along with them being the police. This, incidentally, how we ended up with areas in inner cities the police will not go…they functionally do not have authority there, despite the fact that they legally they do. It was the same as CHAZ, although they could solve that by running people off.

                But you can’t run people off the country. And we are getting close to the point that herd compliance falls apart, everywhere. And what’s dumber…the police seem determined to rubber-bullet-to-the-face people over that line.Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                I view it more as white elites trying to strip the rule of law from black communities so they can turn rape, robbery, and homicide into some kind of betting sport.

                According to polls, the majority of blacks oppose the idea of taking away or decreasing funding for the police. But white liberals are going to do what they’re going to do, and blacks will lose badly. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.Report

              • Avatar Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                You wanna back this claim up with a citation or three there Skippy?

                According to polls, the majority of blacks oppose the idea of taking away or decreasing funding for the police.

                Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Look man, George “Nat” Turner is rapping the straight dope of life in the hood, dig?

                So don’t be all like The Man and telling a brotha what’s up, cuz he’s hip with the jiggy.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                There’s this thing from Vox, but I don’t know whether they’re unbiased.

                A 2019 Vox poll found that despite being the racial group with the most unfavorable view of the police, most black people still supported hiring more police officers. And more recently, a June 2020 Yahoo News/YouGov survey taken after the killing of George Floyd found that 50 percent of black respondents still said that “we need more cops on the street,” even as 49 percent of black respondents said when they personally see a police officer it makes them feel “less secure.”

                Vox, huh? I hear you ask. “Isn’t that all white dudes?”

                First off, no. Not anymore. You can click a picture of Aaron Ross Coleman’s name in the article and see a picture of him.

                I think that Tupac did a good job of explaining it:

                Personally, I think the issue is one of over-legislation and over-regulation.

                Should Eric Garner have been allowed to sell loosies if he wanted to?

                Personally, I think that smoking is a filthy habit (LORD HOW I MISS IT) and while I don’t think that people ought to smoke, selling loosies qualifies as “de minimus” and should be overlooked by the cops even if there is a regulation somewhere against selling loosies.

                And there is a *LOT* of de minimus crap.

                And the fact that cops are choking people out over de minimus crap undermines the police work that they ought to be doing (like dealing with murders, stabbings, burlaries).

                Instead, nobody trusts the cops.

                But if the cops were trustworthy, it’d be worth having them. Hell, it’d be worth having *MORE* of them.

                Lemme know if the citation to Vox (and the articles that it itself links to) aren’t sufficient citations.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Its almost like black people’s attitudes towards Order/Liberty are as complex as white people’s.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Their (black folks’) attitudes seem *MORE* complex.

                You start talking to white people about regulations and they’ll explain why the regulations against selling loosies need to exist and why it’s good that those regulations are enforced and how the people who don’t agree are folks who merely had a problem with the police doing it instead of private security.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                One thing I have noticed is how white people- both liberal and conservative- have a tendency to project our own desires onto people we don’t understand, like black people.

                Instead of admitting how parochial and limited our vision is, that we really have no idea what it is like to live as a black person in America. So there is a tendency to seize on a singular black person as the Emmisary from Negromerica and accept their viewpoint as universal.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Which is, I suppose, why it’s important to look at things like polling and see what the polling says and, if we’re confused, find someone who can eloquently explain what we’re not understanding when we look at the polling.

                Rather than just saying something like “anecdotes are not data” in response to being given data.Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                A more recent Gallup poll is mentioned The Washington Post. I saw another a few days ago that focused on how fast the pendulum is swinging in favor of police. There was a wide-open window for action, and the riots and protests are slamming it shut.

                Another thing to keep in mind is that the swing is probably much larger than the polls indicate, because these days most people are to afraid to tell a stranger what they really feel if it is in any way politically incorrect.

                Radical extremists almost invariably overshoot the mark, and most of what results is backlash.Report

              • Avatar Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Thanks to you and Jaybird for actually stepping up. Given your spotty track record with citations and all . . .

                part of the issue here is the cry to “defund the police” has been an inartful if forthright call to change what police respond to in almost all cases, not necessarily remove/fire/destroy police organizations. So the polling can show black people wanting to support the police and wanting to defund them. Kind of like white people.

                And @jaybird – Vox skews liberal about as much as the National Review skews conservative. They are, however, in the “Fair Interpretation of the News” box.

                https://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-biased-is-your-news-source-you-probably-wont-agree-with-this-chart-2018-02-28Report

              • Avatar veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ve always found that marketwatch graph interesting. If you look at the bottom left, the “misleading propaganda” and “contains fabricated info” parts, I haven’t heard of any of those publications. I have no idea what the Palmer Report Is. I guess I vaguely recall Occupy Democrats, but I can’t recall ever reading something there. All of the crazy-pants right wing publications — those are well known.

                So what’s up with that? Why was it so hard for the creators of this graph to find notable crazy-pants publications on the left that have similar footprints as the crazy-pants publications on the right?Report

              • Avatar Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ve got Occupy Democrats on my Facebook feed – it’s an amusing read with occasionally well put together memes. I also read the Palmer Report from time to time, but it is in fact a dubious reporting source – unless they link through to the source materials.

                More to the point, much of the left still respects and relies on the MSM, in as much as we haven’t succumbed to the propaganda machine the way the Right has. And those crazy pants right side pubs are just the logical (if unfortunate) conclusion of the Fox approach to news and the right side’s willingness to cling to messages for decades. The left is not nearly so coherent or well organized.Report

              • Avatar veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                If you trust the Market Watch analysis, then shouldn’t you not read those sources? After all, if you’re giving them eyeballs, you’re giving them money.

                If they’re really on the same credibility level as Brietbart — then what the fuck? If they’re peddling lies and conspiracy — then seriously! Geezus fucknuggets.

                We’re supposed to be better than they are. For that to be true, we have to manifestly be better.

                I honestly have no idea if that Market Watch chart is accurate. But still, if we want to be credible, we have to actually be credible.

                I get seriously offended when the left stoops to the same level as the right. It irks me to no end.

                Gaaaaaahhhhh!

                Anyway.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                And the fact that cops are choking people out over de minimus crap undermines the police work that they ought to be doing (like dealing with murders, stabbings, burlaries).

                The police are also shooting people in their beds. And shooting people for things that _should_ be crimes, but probably not _lethal response_ crimes. The idea that we can solve it by giving the police less reason to hassle people is wildly wishful thinking.

                I’ve actually recounted this story several times before here, but I’ll recount it again: I volunteered at a theatre that shows would get out late, and we’d all wander over to a nearby bar, and leave that bar at like 1 in the morning, when it closed.

                Leaving that place, usually a few of us would get pulled over. For literally no reason besides ‘left a bar at closing time’. Normally people, when they stay in a bar until it closes, are really drunk…but not us, because we often didn’t get there until like 11-11:30.

                And, here’s the thing: That town only had four-ish bars. It had our Irish pub one, it had a college bar, it had a sorta generalish bar, and it…I don’t really know what that other one was for. Heavy drinking? (Note all my numbers are vague-ish, because this is something that happened over two decades.)

                Which means…if the cops wanted to stop DUIs, they could have just stood outside four different door (Bars were only allowed to have one entrance due to stupid liquor laws), and followed people to their car, and told them not to get in, they were too drunk. Or even offered them a sobriety test before they got in. It would have almost totally stopped any sort of drunk driving.

                They did not do that. Instead, they waited. I don’t know where they waited for the other bars, but they put two cars about a block away on the only two roads you could leave our bar via due to one-way streets. Again…this took at least two cops.

                This is, I will note, an extremely white area. This wasn’t a racism thing. If it was, they would have concentrated on college bar, where they have had a _chance_ of coming across black people.

                It also wasn’t a law that shouldn’t exist. We obviously need laws against DUIs.

                But they were enforcing the law in a way to justify their own existence…and incidentally, risk people’s lives.

                So what do we do about that?

                My obvious solution: This town literally had one ‘taxi service’ that was very expensive, and…did take drunks home, if they could afford it, and it wasn’t busy, or the guy wasn’t on vacation, or whatever. Maybe…instead of paying people _cop salaries_ to sit in cop cars and pull people over, we pay people _taxi driver_ salaries (which are way less) to drive people home, and other, also lower salaries, to stand outside bars and ‘Hey, I’m calling you someone to drive you home’. And if they refuse and drive off clearly drunk…that’s when they call the one cop sitting at the police station.

                Every single part of that is better. It’s not even a compromise, its even cheaper!Report

              • Avatar DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                Every single part of that is better. It’s not even a compromise, its even cheaper!

                The problem, of course, is that any level of law enforcement spending is justifiable, whereas saying ‘You know, we could stop pretty much 90% of DUIs by providing free transportation for drunk people, and then back to get their car the next day’, is…I don’t know, socialism, I’m sure.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Drunk driving doesn’t strike me as de minimus, but you make a good point that there are solutions to the problems that police are responding to that don’t really qualify as “policing”.

                Taxi service, for example. Heck, even taking people and tossing them into the drunk tank.

                We suffer from over-policing of de minimus stuff and stuff that is best dealt with by other-than-policing and under-policing of crime and the other stuff that people use as arguments for why we need police in the first place.

                Simultaneous under-and-over-policing.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                We suffer from over-policing of de minimus stuff and stuff that is best dealt with by other-than-policing and under-policing of crime and the other stuff that people use as arguments for why we need police in the first place.

                It is because we have decided that we will spend no resources to stop people breaking the law _if_ to do that, we end up, in some manner, helping the people who would be lawbreakers.

                Like…would you pay a person $50 to stop them from _stealing_ $50? Of course not, that’s crazy.

                Well, no, it’s actually not. I mean…stealing $50 costs society way the hell more than $50 in dealing with it (Regardless of whether we catch the guy or not), and on top of it, there’s a guy out fifty dollars, at least for some amount of time.

                This is…almost textbook cognitive dissonance. We just _know_ it can’t be right to…bribe people not to commit crimes, despite the fact that we would,. in every sense, be better off. And…driving really drunk people home for free…well, we already don’t like really drunk people anyway, they’re drinking too much, and why should we _give them stuff_ in exchange for them not committing a crime? That’s almost extortion on their part!

                Suddenly, I’m reminded of homelessness, and how we treat it like a crime even though it’s not. And I wonder if that isn’t, in a way, a reason we don’t do the simplest thing of providing shelters or housing or anything.

                This is because we have all decided that crimes are _moral failings_, instead of just…things people do to survive. And paying people for moral failings, or…to stop them from doing moral failings, is…stupid.

                But they aren’t moral failings. The homeless guy has to illegally sleep in the park, because…he has to sleep. The drunk guy has to get home, that’s where he needs to be, and the only way he can see to do that is drive there. The person robbing the liquor store needs to pay his rent.

                And needs blend into wants…there’s not a sharp dividing line. Someone might technically just _want_ some pot, but…who decides what level of need is need, and what is want?

                I’m not saying all crimes are this, I’m not talking about crimes of deliberate violence, but…a crime exist to solve a specific problem for the person committing the crime! Sometime this problem is idiotic, like ‘Guy bumped into me and now I need to hit him because I have incredibly fragile masculinity’. Or ‘If I kill my wife, I won’t have to split the money int he divorce’.

                But often…the need is both understandable, and solvable, and we could literally just solve it for them, and tada, no crime committed.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Once you start paying the Danegeld, you never get rid of the Dane.

                We have a problem with society where we don’t agree what the point of laws are, what the point of prison is, and what the point of cops are.

                Hell, we don’t agree about what society is for.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                Once you start paying the Danegeld, you never get rid of the Dane.

                As opposed to now, where we…don’t have a problem with crime?

                But anyway: I’m not actually suggesting anyone pay criminals not to commit crime. I am instead suggesting…maybe we don’t put up with large sections of society having such huge problems that they often turn to crime to solve it.

                We all act completely confused as to why someone turns to a life of crime, and it’s like…uh…he probably needed some money, right? And decided crime was the best way to do that? I mean, I’m not a crimologisticagator, but it seem obvious to me.

                Maybe we should…go ask people in the community as to why crime is often the choice of getting some money, instead of other options? Oh, we have asked them? And they all say…it’s because there is extreme poverty with no obvious options or exits, and a system that as branded many of them as criminals before they are even adults?

                Is this actually a mystery here? Are we, as society, really confused at this point?

                Or are we just pretending we are, because we don’t like the obvious conclusion that the only way to stop crime is to do something about poverty…not just for ‘deserving’ people, but everyone?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                There are plenty of types of crime.

                I’d say that drunkenness is probably a crime best dealt with via social controls rather than policing. But when we start discussing policies that would work, suddenly we’re finding ourselves using tax monies to take drunks home after going out drinking until the bars close.

                This is one of those policies that will require buy-in from the general public and I’m pretty sure that there are enough people who see this as something that oughtn’t be subsidized to treat it as a crime that needs to be treated like a crime.

                Yes, even if, in practice, it results in the occasional Rayshard Brooks.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Like…would you pay a person $50 to stop them from _stealing_ $50? Of course not, that’s crazy.

                The reason it’s crazy is because you’re viewing this as a “one off” rather than a lifestyle and rewarding something that shouldn’t be rewarded. https://dilbert.com/strip/1995-11-13

                Suddenly, I’m reminded of homelessness, and how we treat it like a crime even though it’s not. And I wonder if that isn’t, in a way, a reason we don’t do the simplest thing of providing shelters or housing or anything.

                Homelessness can “not be a crime” and still create negative externalities which are.

                A lot of places do “provide shelter” but the demand is greater than the supply and then there are budget issues.

                25% to 45% of the homeless are mentally ill. 35% have substance abuse issues. Many/most of the people not in those groups are homeless for very short periods of time.

                Shelter (and ideally zoning reform) would deal with that last group, we don’t really know what to do about the others. Bottom line is we don’t know how to deal with people who constantly make bad choices.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                The reason it’s crazy is because you’re viewing this as a “one off” rather than a lifestyle and rewarding something that shouldn’t be rewarded.

                Wow, this is…textbook what I was describing. We shouldn’t pay people $50 for saying they have decided not to steal $50, or whatever way you think that would work.

                We should instead make sure we set up society where people _don’t need to steal $50_ in the first place. Which, I repeat, saves us money even if it literally costs $50…in fact, even if costs like $300! Because that’s how much the _theft_ costs us, at minimum…maybe more!

                Homelessness can “not be a crime” and still create negative externalities which are.

                What do you mean, ‘which are’? Negative externalities can’t be crimes. The definition of a ‘negative externalities’ is a harm that someone ‘is allowed to get away with’. If it’s a crime, it’s not a negative externality, it’s just a crime!

                A lot of places do “provide shelter” but the demand is greater than the supply and then there are budget issues.

                WRT the ‘budget issues’: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/homelessness-report-2015_n_6987576

                That’s from a few years ago, talking about the historic amount spend fighting homelessness at the Federal level: 4.5 billion dollars. Which only sounds like a lot for people who don’t pay attention to the size of Federal budgets.

                Or we can look at it at a local level. LA has a problem with homelessness, due to mostly climate. It spend $118 million on it last year. Out of a $10 _billion_ budget, of which $3 billion was the police.

                Shelter (and ideally zoning reform) would deal with that last group, we don’t really know what to do about the others. Bottom line is we don’t know how to deal with people who constantly make bad choices.

                The _actual_ reason people aren’t in homeless shelters is pretty simple:

                1) There simply aren’t enough beds.
                2) The shelters have rules that people find hard to follow, like separating couples, or not allowing people with drug offenses, or even just not allowing drugs there.
                3) Or just the staff doesn’t like them and decides to ban them.

                There are not people who are choosing not to use shelters for no reason. There are people who are choosing not to use shelters because they cannot operate under the rules of the shelters.

                And people are about to jump in and say ‘Why should we let them do drugs in homeless shelters’, and the answer is, still, because that is cheaper than having them do drugs on the street.

                It is not the job of our welfare policies to moralize at people, and that’s _especially_ suspicious when we flatly _refuse_ to moralize via the law at non-poor people.

                I’m suddenly reminded of people with drug convictions being barred from student loans….not from college. If you have a drug conviction and can afford college _by yourself_, feel free to go!Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                We should instead make sure we set up society where people _don’t need to steal $50_ in the first place.

                Thus food stamps, unemployment insurance, welfare, and so on. The problem are…

                1) Voting ourselves free money is so popular that it threatens to break the system.
                2) It’s real easy to incentivize bad behavior.

                Or we can look at it at a local level. LA has a problem with homelessness, due to mostly climate. It spend $118 million on it last year. Out of a $10 _billion_ budget, of which $3 billion was the police.

                So about 1% of the budget. For perspective, homeless are something like 0.1% of the population. Of those about half(?) are “need help right now and won’t be homeless in the future” and the other half are “addiction and/or mental illness problems”.

                There are people who are choosing not to use shelters because they cannot operate under the rules of the shelters.

                If the rules aren’t there for a reason then we should get rid of them. Highly likely however those rules are there to prevent issues the staff and/or other homeless can’t deal with.

                And people are about to jump in and say ‘Why should we let them do drugs in homeless shelters’, and the answer is, still, because that is cheaper than having them do drugs on the street.

                Cheaper for whom by what measurement? If I’m running a homeless shelter then the monetary cost of dealing with drug addiction/dealing/etc issues is probably substantial, with my cheaper alternative of not dealing with it means that bed is filled with someone else who maybe I can keep off the streets.

                There are homeless people we can help pretty cheaply by putting them in a bed for a week or month while they get their life together. The other group is extremely expensive to help, if we can.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                2) It’s real easy to incentivize bad behavior.

                The _less_ we make giant systems of rules that people need to qualify for welfare, the less we will create perverse incentives.

                Did you know to count as disabled, you literally can’t have more than $2000 in the bank? They will just cut off disability.

                Meanwhile, my state will won’t give Medicaid to normal adults…but it will give it to pregnant woman and their children. That’s a fun incentive to produce single parents. (And…sorta sexist, actually.)

                You want to fix bad incentives, set up a system where _everyone_ has enough to survive on, without having nonsensical rules. It’s the nonsensical rules that incentivize bad behavior. So just give everyone a UBI. Give everyone access to mental health facilities.

                If the rules aren’t there for a reason then we should get rid of them. Highly likely however those rules are there to prevent issues the staff and/or other homeless can’t deal with.

                Saying we should get rid of rules that are keeping people out does really not make sense when there not enough beds to start with.

                What I was pointing out that your ‘don’t want to go to a shelter for no reason’ people don’t really exist. The reason people refuse to go to shelters is they have had bad experiences with the rules there and the people running them. Or have been kicked out, because they can’t stop drinking or doing drugs. (And it’s so nice those shelters are all medical experts to help people off their addictions…no, wait.) Or because they have PTSD and scream in the middle of the night. That’s why people refuse to go to shelters. They aren’t stupid or crazy. There’s an actual real reason.

                And these rules and things can exist mostly because…the bed are so limited that restricting who can be in them doesn’t matter…the place will be full regardless.

                Change that fact by opening more beds, and suddenly people can clearly see what is happening, that there are empty beds and people who should be in them. On top of that, shelters could get people who help people, instead of just ‘You can’t come in here with the thing you are addicted to and will get seriously ill if you just stop using’.

                There are homeless people we can help pretty cheaply by putting them in a bed for a week or month while they get their life together. The other group is extremely expensive to help, if we can

                No, the other group is extremely expensive to _fix_.

                Helping them is literally trivially…we just give them somewhere to sleep that isn’t an overpass, and some food.

                We can have the big discussion about how _really_ solve those people’s complicated problems at some other time. But we could just put them somewhere they are not outside, with some food.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                The idea that we can solve it by giving the police less reason to hassle people is wildly wishful thinking.

                How many police murders have happened in Portland? Is that a problem there or is this just a sympathy protest?

                Every single part of that is better. It’s not even a compromise, its even cheaper!

                You’re replacing one cop who isn’t always there with an expensive taxi and four people (one per bar) who always are there.

                I’d guess this is a lot more effective at controlling DUIs from those four bars, but I doubt it’s cheaper.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                How many police murders have happened in Portland? Is that a problem there or is this just a sympathy protest?

                I’m honestly not certain, and I don’t think the protests are really about murder there. Google ‘Portland copwatch’ (I’m avoiding all links so I don’t get stuck in limbo.) There have been a few murders, but all of them at least a decade ago….with, of course, absolutely no repercussions.

                But there’s…a lot of interesting problems with the Portland police. Allegations of white supremacy, for one.

                At this point…the protests aren’t actually against the Portland police anymore, though. They’re…against the Federal troops.

                You’re replacing one cop who isn’t always there with an expensive taxi and four people (one per bar) who always are there.

                I think you misunderstood the layout there. There were often two cop cars, and they were _both for that one bar_, which had two road paths to exit it.

                The other bars presumably had their own cops, also laying in wait to waylay people leaving the bar. Although…they probably just rotated what bars they were covering.

                In fact, the town wouldn’t have to pay ‘for a taxi’, it would just have to _subsidize_ one to the point it was profitable. Hell, they probably could cut some sort of deal with rideshare companies to make sure the town _had_ drivers available consistently weekend nights.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                At this point…the protests aren’t actually against the Portland police anymore, though. They’re…against the Federal troops.

                A rebel without a cause is a rebel without a clue.

                We’re going to hit the point where they’re burning stuff down because people are trying to stop them from burning stuff down.

                In fact, the town wouldn’t have to pay ‘for a taxi’, it would just have to _subsidize_ one to the point it was profitable.

                Local Ordinance: Customers at Bars need to give their credit card number (or leave a deposit) to the bar, the bar needs to call a ride share if need be.

                This is very close to a tax on negative externalities.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                We’re going to hit the point where they’re burning stuff down because people are trying to stop them from burning stuff down.

                Or, to put it another way: We’re going to hit the point where the only point of the Federal unlabeled stormtroopers is to attack the people protesting the Federal unlabeled stormtroopers. In fact, we’re already there.

                The question here is: Who looks worse from this? Which side is actually coming out ahead from this PR battle?

                And to answer that question, we need to look no farther than the Portland government, and how _they_ are responding. They are…not entirely happy with the protestors, but getting _really pissed_ at the Feds. They’ve actually demanded the US government take down some barriers and other stuff.

                https://www.foxnews.com/us/portland-oregon-protests-fencing-courthouse

                The Portland government does not like the war on their street, and _one side of that war are voting locals_, and the other side are not. They pick the local side! It was one thing when it was their own police force and they had to be careful there, but…Feds come in and start stomping everywhere? Yeah, that made it easy.

                And it’s easy to go ‘Well, Trump is aiming for a national benefit, he’s trying to stir up anger at ‘liberal cities’ and whatnot, so even if Portland now hates him, it makes sense’, except…Trump’s an idiot. He can’t stop doubling down on the stuff that his moronic cult likes. The problem is, _his cult is already going to vote for him_. What he should be doing, what any intelligence candidate should be doing, is trying to convince other people to vote.

                On top of that…Trump is going to lose these legal fights. Badly. Federal officers have a right to protect federal property, _period_. They don’t even have the right to manage protests _taking place three feet away_ on non-Federal property…the Federal government has no power to make-up rules for protestors in Oregon, at all. They’re throwing tear gas on _Oregon_ streets. The Federal government does not have the right to tear gas Oregon streets because…[insert any reason]. Literally any reason. They have no reason. They are not allowed to control crowds not on Federal property!

                So…the protestors are, literally, going to win. Like, the Federal forces will have to pack up and go home. Or at least…stay inside their Federal building. In theory they could dart outside and arrest someone for graffiti _on_ the building, in practice, that’s not workable.

                And how’s it going to look to his people when he loses?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                …the only point of the Federal unlabeled stormtroopers is to attack the people protesting the Federal unlabeled stormtroopers. In fact, we’re already there.

                Ignoring that the “protestors” were there before the feds, are the “protestors” starting fires? If yes, then for all of the “No True Scotsman” reasoning, the feds have a legit reason to be there. The people starting fires don’t have a legit reason to do that.

                Another issue is whether all of this goes away if the feds leave. If the answer is “no” (say because the protestors don’t have demands that can be satisfied) then no, we’re not “already there”.

                And to answer that question, we need to look no farther than the Portland government…

                The Democratic Mayor has been put in an impossible situation. If Trump does something useful then Trump will take the credit and possibly the White House. If Trump does something not useful then the Mayor will likely take the blame. We can even combine those two, Trump gets the city to burn and takes the WH.

                You pointing out that he’s not happy with the situation doesn’t surprise or impress.

                What [Trump] should be doing, what any intelligence candidate should be doing, is trying to convince other people to vote.

                He’s betting that the protestors either back down or start setting fires in large numbers.

                On top of that…Trump is going to lose these legal fights. Badly. Federal officers have a right to protect federal property, _period_.

                How long will that “defeat” take? If it’s “months” (after appeals) then Trump could win by losing.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                Ignoring that the “protestors” were there before the feds, are the “protestors” starting fires? If yes, then for all of the “No True Scotsman” reasoning, the feds have a legit reason to be there. The people starting fires don’t have a legit reason to do that.

                There really haven’t been any fires, just plenty of ‘fires’. As in, fires oddly contained within metal wastebaskets or just things burning on concrete floors.

                There have also been some Molotov cocktails thrown at the _brick_ courthouse which is not even slightly going to catch anything on fire. Done by someone who thought it would be ‘cool’, according to him.

                And in case you’re not catching the implications there…the fires are mostly being started by the government as an excuse. And…post no threat to anyone, because, again, big brick building.

                Another issue is whether all of this goes away if the feds leave. If the answer is “no” (say because the protestors don’t have demands that can be satisfied) then no, we’re not “already there”.

                The protestors in Portland had already won _two_ pretty major victory, the cutting of at least $15 million from the police budget by the city, and the state of Oregon had started passing a _bunch_ of bills.

                Yes, there were still people demanding more, but…the protests were winding down, due to victory. I’m sure there would still be some people there months later, but, like…ten of them.

                The protestors there now, the rather large amount of them, have showed up due to the Federal lack-of-authorities pulling into town and literally just assaulting protestors. I don’t know how else to describe it…they actually first showed up on the scene by running out of the building and shooting and pushing them…not demanding they leave, which, of course, they won’t have the legal right to do, but…literally just attacking the crowd.

                The Democratic Mayor has been put in an impossible situation. If Trump does something useful then Trump will take the credit and possibly the White House. If Trump does something not useful then the Mayor will likely take the blame. We can even combine those two, Trump gets the city to burn and takes the WH.

                No. None of that is right. Firstly, Trump isn’t doing anything except demanding ‘Get out there and make the protestors leave’, which…can’t work.

                Second, the mayor’s not taking any blame. He’s pretty firmly staked out his position: It’s Portland vs. the Feds.

                He’s betting that the protestors either back down or start setting fires in large numbers.

                I sorta feel we shouldn’t ascribe thoughts to Trump? Like, he feels however the last person who talked to him made him feel. He’s not, like, some sort of actual calculating entity.

                But, anyway, no one’s starting fires in large numbers. No one’s even starting them in small number. Two idiots talked themselves into throwing Molotovs, and that’s it.

                How long will that “defeat” take? If it’s “months” (after appeals) then Trump could win by losing.

                It’s the state that has sued, so…not long. And, again, Federal forces detaining people without any probably cause, in locations they do not have jurisdictions over, is basically a slam dunk in the courts.

                Trump will probably not ‘lose’ for a while, if we mean, actually lose the lawsuit, just the appeals will take a while.

                But an injunction can happen pretty quickly, and at that point, he loses in the eyes of the public. (Well, except the cult, which will see that as ‘the deep state’.)Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Escalation and Respect Muh Authoriteh! is all they know how to do.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                The other day, I even got into an argument over whether we, as a society, should relax our laws over marijuana.

                You know the response I got?

                “You just want to smoke weed.”

                Not “yes, we as a society should look at that”. Not “no one ever talks about the hidden costs to drug legalization!” Not even “we’ve legalized marijuana in a lot of states and it has obvious downsides and legalizing on a national level will make things worse!”

                But “you just want to smoke weed”.Report

              • Avatar Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                legalize it and tax the hell out of it. Like Colordo.

                https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/revenue/colorado-marijuana-tax-dataReport

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Philip, you’re not going to believe this, but I live in Colorado.Report

              • Avatar Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                I’d believe it. There are a ton of right leaning libertarians in Colorado outside the Denver Metro and Boulder. My agency has a big lab in Boulder and so I’ve spent a lot of time there the last 10 or 11 years.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Maybe that’s what happened, but I’d like to know the context. Maybe they weren’t interested in discussing drug policy with you because they didn’t think it would be enlightening or productive and just wanted you to go away or move on to another topic. As I often say, it isn’t an ad hominem argument unless it purports to be an argument. Without an express or implied “therefore,” an insult or a brush-off is just an insult or a brush-off.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                It was in a discussion of whether the FDA was exceeding its authority. The interesting part of the argument starts here.

                I take the attitude that the FDA is exceeding its rightful authority. I was arguing against someone who was arguing that the FDA was not exceeding its rightful authority.

                (For the record, I still think that the FDA is exceeding its rightful authority.)

                (Additionally, if I were to suggest a policy that we could eliminate *TODAY* and get rid of somewhere around half of the problems between the community and the police, it’d be the War On Drugs.)Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                (Edit: It was about whether the FDA was exceeding its mandate and I used marijuana policy (that it was Schedule 1, to be exact) as an example of its bad policy)Report

              • Avatar CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                I checked the link. I think you linked to the wrong discussion. Or misread it.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Perhaps I should have used the discussion as an example of someone believing that “you just want to smoke pot” as being a good argument to use against people who want to end a particular government policy at the FDA.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Then you’d still be mistaken. But you’ve provided the link and people can read for themselves if they care.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh yeah! That was the argument where you said “Unlike you, Jaybird, I don’t have a bug up my ass about the FDA”.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                So your reading comprehension problem isn’t, er, comprehensive.Report

            • Avatar greginak
              Ignored
              says:

              This may seem like a brilliant retort but it doesn’t address Chip’s comment. But more than that is doesn’t seem to understand that a lot of us evil liberals types are fine with guns for self defense, hunting, etc even though we don’t believe the NRA/pro gun types bs about fighting tyranny. It’s actually really easy to combine those two views.

              And if it isn’t obviously clear the heavily armed cops would light up any of the protests in a second of a gun was fired by a protester. It would be a massacre. Guns, at least for liberal/LW protesters, would be a disaster.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So you’re acknowledging that you’re not willing to die for your cause, but you’re calling right wingers hypocrites for not being willing to die for your cause?

                I’ll repeat my suggestions again:

                Stop supporting the union that represents the cops oppressing you
                Arm yourselfReport

              • Avatar Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                no. We are demanding that people who claimed they’d die for a cause either put some skin in the game or shut the hell up.

                I also don’t know any liberals who actually support police unions specifically – though we do tend to support unions generally.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I also don’t know any liberals who actually support police unions specifically – though we do tend to support unions generally.

                If I dug up some comment threads here, would you be interested in reading them?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                My memory was that the liberals around here support stripping the unions of the power to defend cops in disciplinary proceedings, but leaving them to collectively bargain for wages and benefits.

                So I don’t know why you keep insisting we all “support cop unions”.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                We’ve seen too many examples of Jaybird remembering things that just aren’t so and posting links demonstrating that. There are probably reasons for this, but I lack either the professional or biographical knowledge to weigh in on it.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I would have suggested that Chip explain to Philip that while it might look like someone has a quote of stuff that looks like they were arguing for Police Unions, there might be additional context that shows that that’s not what the people are arguing for anymore.

                (Or others pointing out that they thought that the Police Union problem was “settled”.)Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                Liberals unironically–and angrily!–call for right-wing militia groups to engage in armed resistance against government law-enforcement activity.

                2020, y’all.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Its almost like we are encouraging right wing militias to be American citizens with a common goal of defending democracy regardless of our political differences.Report

              • Avatar Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                too cute by half dude.

                Liberals unironically–and angrily!–call for right-wing militia groups to engage in armed resistance against government law-enforcement activity.

                2020, y’all.

                We are calling them out for their hipocracy. We are calling them out for claiming (most recently) that governors ordering them to stay home for the public good is MORE tyrannical then unidentifiable federal agents grabbing peaceful citizens off the street to suppress free speech. We are calling them cowards.

                Is that unequivocal enough for you? is that so clear you have no doubt about what we are doing? Or do I need to write it out in crayon so you and Jay get it?Report

              • Avatar InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                I dunno Jay. Calling out the Oath Keepers or whoever strikes me as about as strange as being affronted that a third party who has exercised their 1st amendment rights to support their cause is declining to use those rights to support your cause. But I don’t think armed confrontation with federal LEOs is likely to help this situation, and I’m on the (very) pro 2A side. It will only get more innocent people hurt or killed.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                You know, the argument that armed confrontation with federal LEOs is unlikely to help is one I’ve seen liberal-types make for why they don’t want to arm themselves and confront federal LEOs.

                But then I see the question of why more right-wingers aren’t doing this thing that they know won’t help and I get frustrated all over again.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                It frustrates you that we ask right wingers to join in peaceful protest against tyranny?Report

              • Avatar InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think it’s really right wingers though. It’s a specific group or groups whose moment of relevance passed the second there was no longer a Democrat in the White House. This was completely coincidence no doubt, but even so who the hell cares what they think about Portland?Report

              • Avatar veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                I think we need some clarification here. Are we talking about the groups or individuals within the group? Those are very different things.

                Certainly I think every single American should recognize that Trumpism is fascism. Together we should resist it. I welcome anyone and everyone to that cause. Moreover, I think BLM is fighting for justice. Again, I welcome everyone to that cause.

                Come on over folks. It’s nice here. We have cool music and our own “moms brigade.”

                But take a group such as The Oath Keepers.

                No I don’t want those fuckers. Dammit no.

                Former members of that group — sure, awesome, come on board.

                The groups itself — nope on out.

                Why? Because The Oath Keepers are a bunch of paranoid nutters. Their entire ethos is about Obama’s birth certificate and imagined tyranny in the form of FEMA camps (or whatever). They’re right wing loons.

                But couldn’t the group as a whole change?

                I mean, maaaaybe in theory, but not really. Come on. Right wing conspiratorial nuttery is in its DNA. Sure, we can imagine some long term trajectory where that happens, but not on any realistic time scale that matters.

                Understand, groups like these love fascism, at least how it actually manifests here. I’m not talking about the specific outward symbols of European fascism. I’m talking about its underlying dynamic: https://www.pegc.us/archive/Articles/eco_ur-fascism.pdf

                Always keep in mind, Eco’s specific examples were motivated by his experiences with Italian fascism. However, it isn’t too hard to adapt them to an American form.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                “But take a group such as The Oath Keepers.

                No I don’t want those fuckers. Dammit no.

                Former members of that group — sure, awesome, come on board.”

                it’s interesting how you insult people to their face and then turn around and say “but you can hang out with me” and expect them to take you seriously

                it’s sort of like how you might see someone make a great blog post about trans acceptance, and then you go to the blog and the comments section is full of hbd assholes who he just won’t ban, and maybe they don’t say anything bad to you, but, obviously he thinks that sort of thing is okay to sayReport

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Not at all.

                (I thought we were talking about the Oath Keepers, 3%ers, and Boogaloo Bois.)

                But, sure. You should totally call for right wingers to support you in your peaceful protests.Report

              • Avatar veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                Individuals withing the groups? Yes. The groups themselves? No, for the reasons I gave above.Report

          • Avatar Damon
            Ignored
            says:

            Nope. It is foolish to support a group that would turn on you when it no longer needed your help. That’s not a policy disagreement, it’s common sense. Why risk your life supporting someone who’s demonstrated support / and is part of groups that actively want to disarm you?Report

      • Avatar Swami
        Ignored
        says:

        Yes, so far. But if the institutions empowered to do so no longer perform their duties, then is it not possible the right wingers will attempt to fill the vacuum?

        I will go even further… is it the hope of the extreme left that the extreme right does respond in kind? Does that not play into their hand? Imagine the nightly news cycle.

        I wish a pox on both their houses. Oh yeah, we already got that.Report

        • Avatar veronica d
          Ignored
          says:

          But if the institutions empowered to do so no longer perform their duties, then is it not possible the right wingers will attempt to fill the vacuum?

          This is what we call fascist boner thinking. Those dipshits dream of it. A collapse — any collapse, and then the brave patriots step up with their assault weapons, and they finally get all the women too!

          It’s childish larper bullshit, an army of “While you did {cool stuff}, I studied the blade.”Report

        • Avatar Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          is it the hope of the extreme left that the extreme right does respond in kind? Does that not play into their hand?

          What I want is people being honest about their positions and acting accordingly. If you are going to show up and protest government tyranny all strapped up, then show up and protest government tyranny. They showed up to protest government induced inconvenience, and best I can tell that’s not on their list of things they took an alleged oath for.

          I agree with Veronica – they are wanna-be LARP’ers who think their fever dreams of dominance are about to come true, but have no real idea what that means for America, much less them.Report

          • Avatar Swami
            Ignored
            says:

            Agreed. But the left extreme has no clue either.

            Some people are still deluded that this has something to do with whatever it is that is supposed to Matter this week. The extreme left is playing a different game, and the extreme right is quite possibly going to respond.

            The proper response was to demand and enforce peaceful demonstrations from the get go.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon
              Ignored
              says:

              Enforcing peaceful demonstrations also means the police have to be very careful and deliberate regarding where and against whom they employ violence. The optics are so very fecking important, and the police didn’t care about the optics at all. Once they started hitting people who were just marching, they lost the ability to enforce peace.Report

              • Avatar Swami
                Ignored
                says:

                Thus my point. The institution responsible for law and order lost credibility, and society has a gaping vacuum which is risk of being filled with something worse. Much, much worse.

                The media narrative took on an admittedly screwed up policing institution and emasculated it.

                This can end so very badly.Report

  15. Avatar Burt Likko
    Ignored
    says:

    “…[F]ederal agents have confirmed that the beatings will continue until press coverage improves.”

    I wish I’d written that. Credit goes to my fellow California-and-Oregon attorney Athul K. Acharya. Acharya earns props not only for pith, but for succinctly explaining why the Feds have painted themselves into a corner here in Portland.Report

  16. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Good news! Looks like one of the nuts showed up at one of the protests!

    I hope we support the right of all citizens to peacefully carry weapons in times where we’re *NOT* protesting the government.Report

  17. Avatar veronica d
    Ignored
    says:

    Of all the thousands of people protesting, it would be surprising if they found zero guns. That said, the guy carrying the gun was probably an idiot who has no idea how civil disobedience works. Without knowing who they are or why they had a gun, I can’t say more, but as a general rule, don’t bring guns to protests. They don’t help.

    Note that I used the terms “civil disobedience” and “protest.” My comment is meant to be specific to those activities.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon
      Ignored
      says:

      Didn’t we just have a post about how the right to carry a gun isn’t really a right because it’s not respected by cops and it’s a good way to get dead?Report

      • Avatar veronica d
        Ignored
        says:

        I don’t know who argued that. I believe in the right to have firearms, although I’d love to see far fewer firearms and a much more restrained gun culture.

        Not bringing guns to protests or when engaging in civil disobedience is not a rights issue. It’s an issue of effective tactics.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon
          Ignored
          says:

          Sure, but there is also the reality that if you come to a protest armed, and no one else is, you stand a good chance if getting shot.

          Part of the reason the big rallies where all the protesters are armed tend to be peaceful is because the police understand when they are out gunned.Report

      • Avatar George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        People who carry guns are very picky about not committing criminal acts, since committing criminal acts such as rioting, arson, and assaulting police officers, while armed, is vastly vastly worse when it comes to sentencing. As a newly convicted violent felon, they get to forever forfeit their right to bear arms.Report

  18. Avatar George Turner
    Ignored
    says:

    Oregon Live: Portland officials demand Feds remove courthouse fence in bike lane

    “This fence was constructed without permission or permits on public property, and it is both an abuse of public space and a threat to the traveling public,” Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said in the statement.

    But throwing bricks, explosives, and poison gas at Federal agents isn’t a threat? What about giving two officers permanent eye damage with blinding lasers? If this is an example of the abject lack of intelligence in the highest reaches of Portland’s government, they’re in deep deep trouble. Just nuke it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

    Did anyone in charge there manage to graduate from high school? Their commissioner of transportation, Chloe Eudaly, obviously didn’t.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon
      Ignored
      says:

      How about the number of protesters who have been wounded by rubber rifle rounds?

      https://khn.org/news/rubber-bullets-protesters-police-often-violate-own-policies-crowd-control-less-lethal-weapons/

      You just refuse to admit that the cops are the ones who decided to escalate shit because that is all they know how to do these days.Report

      • Avatar George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        What about the black people who show up at these white supremacist protests, get beaten senseless, and have to go to the hospital? What about the black people who get followed home by Antifa so the protesters know which house to attack?

        If they would quit trying to set the Federal property on fire, maybe there wouldn’t need to be federal agents guarding said property, just like they’re not guarding it in the large swaths of the country that aren’t overrun with violent Marxists. For example, I don’t think my local federal courthouse has had a single incident of law enforcement injuring or abusing anyone. In fact, I’m not sure anybody is even there after hours.

        We had an attempted protests back in June, but the police immediately arrested the ringleaders and charged them with inciting a riot, a class A misdemeanor that’s good for a stay in the pokey till this blows over. If a riot actually start they’d have been hit with a felony.

        The leaders of our black community are possibly the ones calling for the arrests, too. They run a tight ship and maintain excellent relations with the police. They enjoy the calm and peace, and have always come down hard on anyone, especially outsiders, trying to stir up trouble.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon
          Ignored
          says:

          So basically you are admitting that the police are just a bunch of out of control thugs. Alrighty then.Report

          • Avatar George Turner
            Ignored
            says:

            Well, maybe the black and Asian ones are, but fortunately there’s massive mobs of angry white people willing to hurl bricks and explosives at them to keep them in their place.Report

  19. Avatar Aaron David
    Ignored
    says:

    For more than an hour on Thursday evening, activist Edreece Phillips, 48, a Black hip-hop artist who’s been protesting for weeks, had been keeping protesters and sightseers off the fence enclosing the federal courthouse. He said he’d talked to federal officials earlier in the day and said they’d agreed that if protesters stayed back, agents would stay inside the courthouse.

    “They don’t come out unless we try to get in,” Phillips said. “All that stuff people are doing is making it so that Black voices are being heard less and less and less.”

    At one point, Phillips warily watched as other protesters drifted closer to the federal building. He then snatched a sign from a young man and stomped on it.

    “I am sick of you doing this,” Phillips yelled to the protester, who was dressed in all black, goggles atop his head and a respirator dangling from his neck. “I have warned you already. I’m sick of it.”

    The young man responded with some quiet words but didn’t move. In reply, Phillips punched the man several times, knocking him to the ground.

    Another protester, Teal Lindseth, 21, then turned on Phillips.

    “Do not come out here to fight!” she screamed at him as a crowd surrounded them. “We can’t afford violence.”

    The night before, small groups of white protesters aligned with Black Lives Matter had thrown water bottles at the federal court building, shot fireworks at the front doors and tried to shake the fence loose.

    “A lot of the people who are doing it are not Black. They throw shit and start shit and run away and yell ‘Black Lives Matter,’ and then go home and take off their clothes. But I can’t take off my black,” Phillips said. “And the more damage they do to this building— well, everyone thinks it’s people of color doing all this and it’s not. “

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/07/24/portland-protests-violence-continues-amid-calls-for-police-reform/5499523002/Report

    • Avatar Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      “A lot of the people who are doing it are not Black. They throw shit and start shit and run away and yell ‘Black Lives Matter,’ and then go home and take off their clothes. But I can’t take off my black,” Phillips said. “And the more damage they do to this building— well, everyone thinks it’s people of color doing all this and it’s not. “

      Many of us have been saying this for weeks across dozens of threads and platforms. Small bands of opportunistic – and generally white – troublemakers are the ones doing this. But law enforcement can’t be arsed to use their tools and training to grab the actual offenders. They prefer – especially the feds – to teargas moms and shoot history professors in the head, and pepper pellet people on their own front porches. The cops don’t want to deescalate. They don’t want to foster peaceful protest. They want to fight.Report

      • Avatar Dark Matter
        Ignored
        says:

        But law enforcement can’t be arsed to use their tools and training to grab the actual offenders.

        The link describes a thousand person crowd and says a small number of people were throwing flaming garbage.

        What is it that you want law enforcement to do in that situation? Reason with the crowd? Rush into the crowd and grab the people who are doing it? Stand back and let them start fires?

        That link also describes a confrontation by a (sane) black BLM activist, who is trying to keep the crowd non-violent, with a white protester who is apparently trying to cross serious lines. “Opportunistic troublemaker” is a good way to describe them but it also sounds like they could also be described as “stupid-supporter”.

        Some of this is “No true Scotsman” reasoning. Real supporters of BLM wouldn’t tarnish the movement with violence and arson, ergo whoever is doing that can’t be a real supporter of BLM.Report

        • Avatar Slade the Leveller
          Ignored
          says:

          What is it that you want law enforcement to do in that situation? … Rush into the crowd and grab the people who are doing it?

          I believe that’s exactly what he’s asking them to do. They’re dressed like Robocop, armed to the teeth, and, apparently, not afraid to use them. What’s to prevent them from moving out en masse and grabbing the offenders? Instead we get trench warfare with tear gas and fireworks. It looks great/terrible on TV, depending on which side you’re on, but is absolutely doing nothing to advance the cause of justice.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater
            Ignored
            says:

            Maybe Dark’s on to something here. If cops are scared to enter a crowd of white people to police illegal acts of violence against property imagine how terrified they must be by the prospect of policing inner city “black on black” gang violence? I mean, you’d have to actually *pay* people to take those kinds of risks…Report

            • Avatar Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              Maybe give them a union…Report

              • Avatar Slade the Leveller
                Ignored
                says:

                Tried that. Hasn’t worked.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                City Manager: OK, we’ll agree to $75K a year base pay, you get to keep revenue collected through asset forfeiture and have immunity from civil suits if you police high-crime neighborhoods consistently with the law.

                Cop Union: Nice try. We’ll take the $75K and other stuff but at that price we won’t agree to constitutional policing, and we won’t agree to police high crime neighborhoods.”

                City Manager: “Fair enough!”Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter
              Ignored
              says:

              “Scared” isn’t the issue. If the police run into the crowd and attack individuals who are starting fires, I think the crowd can’t tell that’s what they’re doing and we instantly have a riot… with individual cops in the middle of that.

              Presumably the crowd goes after them and their fellows back them up, maybe with live ammo (you use live ammo when you’re backing up a fellow cop against someone trying to kill them).

              I’m hard pressed to describe that as “better” than anything which is happening now much less the desired outcome.

              Which brings us back to, if you don’t want the cops tear gassing the crowd in this situation, what do you want? A sniper with a good angle could shoot the guy starting fires… if we’re cool with him potentially shooting the “innocent” protesters who are enabling the firebug(s).

              Are there other options I’m not seeing?Report

              • Avatar Slade the Leveller
                Ignored
                says:

                This comment completely ignores the training aspect. In theory, police are trained to handle situations like this. There’s a fair bit of distance between tear gassing to break up a crowd, and the police re-enacting Day of the Jackal.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                If that was supposed to answer my question “What is it that you want law enforcement to do in that situation?” then I didn’t understand it.

                Are you saying you’re good with tear gassing the crowd in that situation?, because my impression is that you’re not.

                If you’re claiming they can do something other than that, then “training” isn’t a description on what you’re suggesting is the alternative.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                This is a psychology of crowds thing that government gets wrong over and over*.

                The mob is mad about something.

                Step 1) Figure out what the mob is mad about. (police brutality)
                Step 2) Stop doing the thing that makes the mob mad. (rein in the police)
                Step 3) Don’t give the mob something new to be mad about. (deploy federal police who begin inflicting brutality)

                *our leadership gets this wrong because we as a society have a very good track record of confusing ego with confidence and competence. Dealing with an angry mob is something that requires all affected leadership to swallow their damn ego and exhibit some empathy. Our elected leadership is historically bad at that, and Trump is the apex of that.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Agreed with all of this and also agreed that Trump is the opposite of “empathy”.

                Having said that I’m in this weird spot where I dislike indulging in mob appeasement (the history on that is ugly) but I also think the police need reforming.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s not appeasement, it’s diplomacy.

                There are two old quips about diplomacy I like to remember:

                Idealist: Diplomacy is the subtle art of helping somebody get your way.

                Realist: Diplomacy is largely saying ‘Nice Doggie’ until you can find a brick.

                When it comes to angry mobs, it’s a bit of both, in that you have to appease the mob enough for it to stop being angry, then you can start working on addressing the mobs concerns without giving up the farm.

                Trump didn’t even bother saying ‘Nice Doggie’, he went straight to chucking bricks, and he doesn’t have enough bricks.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                When it comes to angry mobs, it’s a bit of both, in that you have to appease the mob enough for it to stop being angry, then you can start working on addressing the mobs concerns without giving up the farm.

                Median angry mob in this country would be a group demanding a (black) criminal be handed over so he can be strung up on a tree.

                Whatever “reasonable” concerns they started with, it’s about power the moment they start killing people and/or starting fires.

                Appease the mob and you’re encouraging a seriously ugly and unacceptable tactic. I’m not inclined to say it’s acceptable just because I agree with where they started.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Median angry mob in this country would be a group demanding a (black) criminal be handed over so he can be strung up on a tree.

                Thing is, the way we deal with that is to make sure the mob doesn’t have a reason to get angry over injustice.

                Right now, we have angry mobs demanding blue criminals be handed over…

                Oh, wait, we aren’t. No one is, actually. They are simply demanding that blue criminals stop finding protection under the law and face trial like proper civilians.Report

              • Avatar greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                Part of the problem is defining citizens with a grievance as “the mob”. They may be unruly or naked or whatever but they are citizens asking their gov for something. Like it or not, agree or not, that is what the good ol US of A is supposed to be about.Report

              • Avatar Slade the Leveller
                Ignored
                says:

                I think everyone understands when it gets to the point it does in the early morning hours in Portland that BLM is the last thing on everyone’s mind. While gas isn’t my preferred solution, I can see the rationale for its use.

                It’s going to look like sh*t, but arresting people they think are perpetrating perceived crimes is what the police are there to do. The courts can sort out who’s right or wrong.

                I’m going on the assumption that police forces have received some training on dealing with unruly crowds short of breaking out snipers.

                That said, I think Oscar makes a good point below. All we have now is a negative feedback loop.Report

              • Avatar JS
                Ignored
                says:

                “t’s going to look like sh*t, but arresting people they think are perpetrating perceived crimes is what the police are there to do. The courts can sort out who’s right or wrong.”

                I believe the precipitating incidents this time around were police “arresting” people….and then never charging them.

                had the police arrested people, had the relevant prosecutors offered charges, had the courts actually had anyone before them — sure.

                But instead, the Feds were simply grabbing people, chucking them in rental vans, taking them to a courthouse and then….letting them go a few hours later. Not even the usual BS charges of ‘resisting arrest’ or the BS excuses of ‘you looked like the suspect’.

                That’s not arresting people — that’s closer to kidnapping.

                And of course the DHS director (acting, of course) came out and state they were pre-emptive arrests and no charges were filed because, of course, they hadn’t done anything. They were just…”arrested”, by Wolf’s own words, for no reason at all other than “being in the area”.

                Like much the Trump administration does, it’s the “for dummies” version of the playbook — instead of putting a few people in the crowd to toss a brick or bottle and give a reason to break up the crowd or arrest them, Trump’s DHS just skipped the boring, complicated “give us a thin excuse that everyone knows is BS” and jumped straight to “arrest”.

                And I’m wondering how much of this stupidity is Trump, and how much is Wolf and how much is Barr.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Have you ever heard the phrase “you can beat the rap, but you can’t beat the ride”?Report

              • Avatar DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s even worse than that. A few people have said they were basically immediately released upon demanding a lawyer. Like, right away.

                That sounds good, but then you start thinking about it. What that really means is even the [unlabeled entities that have decided to do the job of policing] are _completely_ aware that what they were doing was so far outside the bounds of law that they immediately release anyone who vaguely sounded knowledgeable about the law.

                It’s like…well, have you ever gotten a scan Nigerian 419 email that was _obviously_ a scam, and wondered who they were fooling? Well, the scammers don’t do that by accident…they actually only want the extremely gullible people to respond, not the people who are going to figure it out halfway though. So they deliberately don’t bother to craft a plausible email.

                And…that’s what is happening here.

                For the record, the people who don’t ask for a lawyer are given some mysterious thing to sign, and if they sign it, they’re released…and if they don’t sign it, they’re released. Note…the unidentified entities (I am not going to call them police until I know what organization they are.) don’t say you have the right to lawyer before this.

                This is not policing. It’s not even vaguely policing. It’s random intimidation to try to get people to sign some mysterious document they can probably use against them later, and if not, well, at least you’ve made a big scene of bundling someone into a van, and now _other_ people will be scared.

                And, do you guys remember a while back, when I said ICE _was_ fascist? Not any exaggeration, I didn’t mean occasionally fascist like police, but, like a full, literal, completely fascist organization that we basically just ignored because they only bothered ‘illegals’.

                Huh. Turns out that having one of those that the Federal government can use in other places is…mighty handy. Because it turns out…they can just aim them at protestors. And, of course, such an organization has no idea how to behave…because they never have.

                People need to go to prison for this. This is literal kidnapping. And the entire organization needs to be disbanded. This is not even vaguely acceptable in a free society.Report

              • Avatar veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                Exactly. These aren’t random deputies out in the sticks. These are federal officers specifically sent by Trump.

                Long ago we asked people here what would be a bright line that, if Trump crossed it, they would resist. I don’t if anyone gave a clear answer, but think about it. Why is this not a bright line? Because you find the protestors “acceptable targets”?

                Yep. Acceptable targets. Got it. We’ve seen this before.

                There is no way to defend this behavior without defending authoritarianism.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                If the police run into the crowd and attack individuals who are starting fires, I think the crowd can’t tell that’s what they’re doing and we instantly have a riot… with individual cops in the middle of that.

                So instead the cops attack everyone in the crowd as a way to *prevent* a riot? You’re seriously proposing this?

                A sniper with a good angle could shoot the guy starting fires… if we’re cool with him potentially shooting the “innocent” protesters who are enabling the firebug(s).

                YES! Can’t we all agree that cops should murder the folks throwing rocks or molotovs? That’ll stop the protests right quick. Genius!

                Seriously, Dark, where do you come up with this nonsense? People are protesting police abuse and every solution you propose is for the cops to *escalate* their use of violence.Report

              • Avatar veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                They literally can’t conceive of anything besides use of force.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Because they are using the tools of criminal justice on a political problem.

                These aren’t crowds of criminals who are breaking the law. These are political protesters seeking redress of grievances against the government.

                The fact that a few actual criminals infiltrate and break the law doesn’t change that basic fact.

                If the government addressed the grievances, the crowds would melt away leaving the criminals alone to face the police.
                You’ve all seen Captain Adama’s adage about the military confusing the people for enemies?

                This is even worse; The police AND the military both see the crowds of people as criminals to be punished, and enemies to be crushed, not citizens to be negotiated with.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, the central disagreement isn’t so much whether the all protestors are complicit in the destruction of property so therefore criminals (which is just an astoundingly ignorant belief to hold), but whether the protestors – or perhaps more neutrally, the protests – have a legitimate grievance against cops and the criminal justice system. Seems to me that it’s *very easy* to believe a) that destruction of property is a bad thing and also b) that cops (and prosecutors, etc) systematically abuse their authority and power to such a degree that reform is required.

                In fact, given the incarceration rates in the US, I would think *every* liberty-loving conservative in the US would be on board with b). But ALAS! (heavy sigh) that is not the case.Report

              • Avatar Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                its more basic – the President sees the crowds as something he can EXPLOIT to create fear so he will remain in power. SO he sends in people who, as you note, see targets,not citizens.

                And lets not forget the protests were down to a few hundred people until the feds showed up. Now its back to the thousands. So ironically the President is getting what he wants.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, the central disagreement isn’t so much whether all protestors are complicit in the destruction of property so therefore are criminals (which is just an astoundingly ignorant belief to hold), but whether the protestors – or perhaps more neutrally, the protests – are expressing a legitimate grievance against cops and the criminal justice system. Seems to me that it’s *very easy* to believe both these things at the same time: a) that destruction of property is a bad thing to do, and also b) that cops (and prosecutors, etc) systematically abuse their authority and power to such a degree that police reform is required.

                I’d even go a step further: given the incarceration rates in the US alone I would think *every* liberty-loving conservative in the US would be on board with b). But ALAS! (heavy sigh) that is not the case.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Correction: The military never sees a crowd of people as criminals to be punished, because the military does not deal with criminals.

                They deal with enemy’s/targets. There is no assessment of guilt or innocence on the part of the military.

                If soldiers were securing the courthouse, this would be a much different scene.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Because they are using the tools of criminal justice on a political problem.

                Excellent summation.

                These aren’t crowds of criminals who are breaking the law. These are political protesters seeking redress of grievances against the government. The fact that a few actual criminals infiltrate and break the law doesn’t change that basic fact.

                This is claiming no true BLM supporter would be starting fires.

                People can get pissed enough to break the law, that includes BLM supporters. Being a BLM supporter doesn’t make you stupid but stupid people can still support BLM. Ditto highly emotional people who, at that moment, think striking back at “the man” is the “way to send a message”.

                That this is a political problem doesn’t mean that it’s legal for someone in the crowd to burn down buildings. We should expect that most of the people trying to do that are normal in other situations.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                So instead the cops attack everyone in the crowd as a way to *prevent* a riot?

                And your alternative is what?

                The moment even part of the crowd crosses certain lines you already have a riot. All attempts to spin that so it’s not true are “no true Scotsman” or “non-violent crowd if we ignore the violence”.

                Seriously, where do you come up with this stuff?

                I’m pointing out that all of the solutions after we get to that point are ugly. I am doing that because you have put forth NO solutions at all… because all the solutions are ugly.

                We can live with fires being started and buildings being burned down. We can target individuals but that will probably be with deadly force. We can use tear gas on everyone. We can do things which will make the riot much worse.

                Absolutely the authorities shouldn’t be encouraging this situation, much less making it worse, however if anyone in the crowd just wants to see the world burn then we’re there.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                How about the elected officials- y’know, the servants of the people- initiate serious reform efforts and engage in a peaceful dialogue with representatives of the people, and show good faith efforts to address their concerns?

                Or, alternatively, just continue the beatings and hope for the best.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                The alternative for the feds is simple, DO NOT LEAVE federal property.

                The feds can prevent people from crossing a line. Make it very clear where the line is, make it very clear anyone crossing the line will be arrested or driven back with force. If someone tosses a fire bomb, walk over and put it out with a fire extinguisher.

                Let local PD handle rock throwers and such. Or don’t. Let the mob vent it’s spleen for a bit. When nothing happens to get them angry again, they’ll leave, or go find something else to be angry about.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                And your alternative is what?

                For the cops to stop engaging in unjustified violence against the protestors and perform their legitimate functions. Look, you think the number one priority government needs to address is quelling the violence *by any means necessary* (including extrajudicial murder). But that type of reasoning, and those types of actions by the police, are exactly what people are protesting. Cops need to chill the fuck out. You not only think they can’t, but that they shouldn’t. Reasonable people disagree. 🙂Report

          • Avatar George Turner
            Ignored
            says:

            They do wade out in the crowd to make arrests (which makes for hilarious video when a protester realizes that there are consequences to trying to burn down a federal building with people in it), but the police also know that the crowd protects the perpetrators because everybody is in on it, and the crowd just has to slow down the cops a little bit for the perp to make a retreat and an escape. But they’re all on video so they can be rounded up and charged later. Some of the things they done carry a penalty of twenty-five to life.

            Just yesterday a black videographer was stabbed by a white Antifa/BLM protester, who is now in jail on a $250K bond. The protester was also a convicted pedophile, so he’ll be segregated from the regular prison population. The left is currently pro-segregation, so at least he won’t be charged with hypocrisy.Report

  20. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Good news! The Boogaloo Bois have finally started to show up!

    Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      Oh, those are the guys who openly fantasize about killing their fellow Americans in a race war?

      Sure, I’ll take them at face value.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        “Hey, where are the Boogaloo Boys?”

        “Here they are.”

        “Pfeh.”Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine
          Ignored
          says:

          Typical liberal response… “Where are all those damn, “Fuck the feds” guys now?”

          Hey, we’re here to “Fuck the feds” with you guys.

          Um, yeah, we’re gonna need to see your summer reading list first.

          Passive aggressive revolutions are the worst.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          Well looky here.

          Police: Richmond riots instigated by white supremacists disguised as Black Lives Matter

          https://www.wsls.com/news/virginia/2020/07/27/police-richmond-riots-instigated-by-white-supremacists-disguised-as-black-lives-matter/

          Riots in downtown Richmond over the weekend were instigated by white supremacists under the guise of Black Lives Matter, according to law enforcement officials.

          Protesters tore down police tape and pushed forward toward Richmond police headquarters, where they set a city dump truck on fire.

          Police declared the event an “unlawful assembly” and ordered people to leave, later deploying tear gas.

          Six people were arrested. The mayor of Richmond thanked the Black Lives Matter protesters he said tried to stop the white supremacists from spearheading the violence.
          Report

          • Avatar Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            To be perfectly honest, I think that any white people showing up at these protests are suspect. Not that all of them are white supremacists, mind… just that they should stay home until we can figure stuff out.

            The people calling for them to show up at the protests should definitely stop doing that.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              Because white people not acting like assholes is too hard to imagine?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                A white person? Absolutely. White persons are great.

                But put enough of them together and they become White People.

                And, suddenly, you’ve got school districts, monochronic time systems, aggressiveness, and extroversion.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater
              Ignored
              says:

              My guess is that at least half of the folks engaging in violence are right wing hellraisers doing their best to foment conflict.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s fertile soil. Lots of stuff grows in it.

                That said, when I start thinking stuff like “this can’t have been done by my side, it must be enemy action”, it’s a good indicator that something is starting to get messed up.

                Hey, sometimes it *IS* done by enemy action. You can’t trust those people.

                But sometimes it’s not. And thinking it must have been is one heck of a defensive mechanism.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                …it’s a good indicator that something is starting to get messed up.

                No, it’s a recognition of reality, that cynical people do cynical things.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                And you would be right:

                Police: ‘Umbrella Man’ was a white supremacist trying to incite George Floyd rioting
                https://www.startribune.com/police-umbrella-man-was-a-white-supremacist-trying-to-incite-george-floyd-rioting/571932272/Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Stillwater: My guess is that at least half of the folks engaging in violence are right wing hellraisers doing their best to foment conflict.

                Chip: And you would be right: Police: ‘Umbrella Man’ was a white supremacist trying to incite George Floyd rioting

                This isn’t even close to “right”. He threw the first stone. He wasn’t half of the folks engaging in violence.

                There are FAR more idiots than serious racists.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                The other half are left wing idiots who think literally burning it all down is either a good thing, or who are just out there satisfying some psychological need to destroy.

                Luckily both should be treated the same by everyone not burning shit down.Report

  21. Avatar CJColucci
    Ignored
    says:

    More video of what’s going in now, in Trump’s America, so the Trump campaign can show it and tell voters they won’t be safe in Biden’s America.Report

    • Avatar Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      its a darkly amusing circular argument that he wants to say Biden’s America will be hell, by creating hell in his own America.

      I guess I just think too much.Report

  22. Avatar Aaron David
    Ignored
    says:

    It is a Rasmussen poll, so take it with either a pinch of salt or a tablespoon of sugar, your choice:

    Report

  23. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    Take a tense political protest, add several heavily armed and oppositional groups:

    The NFAC, a Black militia that stands for “Not F**king Around Coalition,” announced earlier in the week the group would be coming to Louisville to demand justice for Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman who was fatally shot by police.

    In response to the NFAC’s announcement, the Three Percenters, a far-right militia group, announced later in the week that it will have “boots on the ground” in Louisville.

    Both fulfilled their promise as a few hundred people are toting guns and facing off at Jefferson Street on Saturday, where LMPD officers, in full riot gear, separates the two groups by barricades.

    Wow. What could go wrong?

    Shortly before 1 p.m. Saturday, three people were struck by gunfire when someone’s gun discharged while participating in the NFAC demonstration at Baxter Park.

    https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/2020/07/25/louisville-shooting-accidental-shots-fired-injures-3-nfac-protest/5510892002/

    No Way To Prevent This, Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon
      Ignored
      says:

      There is a perfectly reliable way to prevent a negligent discharge, stop touching your fecking gun!

      Rule 1) Don’t take a gun to a protest.
      Rule 2) If you must take a gun, carefully review the 4 rules one more time.

      Seriously people…Report

      • Avatar Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Get a judge to sign a warrant first and your discharge is automatically *NOT* negligent.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        But of course, we should ask, why bring a gun in the first place?

        If the first rule of firearms is “Never point unless you are willing to shoot, and never shoot unless you are willing to kill”, who were they planning to shoot?

        I suspect that in almost all cases of public displays, the intent isn’t to shoot, the intent is to intimidate and terrorize and accomplish some political objective.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter
          Ignored
          says:

          You are jumping from “bringing a gun” to “pointing a gun” and/or claiming they’re the same thing. They’re not.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            Why bring a gun?
            What threat were they expecting to encounter?

            Not crime, obviously. Not 30-50 feral hogs.

            Why bring the gun, if not to intimidate and threaten?Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter
              Ignored
              says:

              Why bring the gun, if not to intimidate and threaten?

              To attract attention. Same reason you’d bring 85 people to someone’s front lawn.

              There are lots of protests in public spaces, so 85 people there wouldn’t rate much in terms of “news”, so they need to raise the bar. Ditto this other group, bringing guns makes certain groups flip out, these groups often include members of the media.

              The real question is whether or not they crossed any lines here. Society has spent a lot of time deciding on the definition of “intimidate” and “threaten” (thus the difference between having a gun and pointing one), and we give a lot more leeway to groups protesting in public spaces.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon
              Ignored
              says:

              Agree with Dark, having a gun is not a threat to a specific person, pointing one is. Don’t conflate the two.

              That said, there is a message in a protest where the protesters are armed. And that message is directed specifically at the police, that they should be very careful about deciding to get violent with the protest.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Which is what I am saying, that the gun was a prop intended to send an intimidating message, that “We are willing to shoot to kill”.

                But who was the intended recipient of the message?

                Since we had one group that publicly announced their sympathies with BLM, you can make a plausible case that they were sending a message to the police. In fact, their group was called “Not F*cking Around”.

                What message did the second group want to send, and to whom?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh, those guys, The anti-government militia that showed up to support the government forces that will someday be employed to take away their guns?

                Yeah, consistency of principles is a foreign country for some people.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                “Supporting the government forces” is another way of saying “sending a message of intimidation towards their fellow citizens”.

                Which is my point here, that an armed citizenry is as likely to support tyranny as oppose it.Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                How would that be an different from an unarmed citizenry, which is an almost universal feature of tyrannies? In fact, some Harvard historians (all liberals) found a strong correlation between an unarmed populace and genocide. Genocides can’t fly under the radar in armed societies because lots of police gunfire is required and the neighbors notice those things, reporters notice those things, and everybody ends up talking about those things instead of just assuming that all the Jews or some other group are being packed off on vacation.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Have to agree with George, being armed or not has no bearing on support for tyranny.

                What matters is that an armed populace can at least force those who would act on behalf of the tyrants to risk their lives for it.

                Think about it, when was the last time a group of armed protesters got beaten down by the police?

                I know liberals hate that the police treat right wing protesters with kid gloves, but the fact is, at best, if the cops aren’t utter cowards, they at least recognize that discretion is the better part of valor.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Sure, an armed insurrection forces the government to be at least a little more wary.

                But the government then also has the support of the armed pro-government citizens.

                My point here isn’t that arms are worthless. Its that tyranny is very popular, and arming the population heightens the stakes, but does nothing to tilt the balance towards freedom.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                I disagree, simply on the basis of human nature. It’s a question of who has what to lose.

                People are willing to support tyranny when the cost to them is low. Start escalating the stakes and folks lose their taste for it.

                Remember, most of our gun control laws come from a desire for the supporters of tyranny (Jim Crow and later racists) to not have to risk much.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                It seems like this all becomes a self-fulfilling prohecy.

                Where the very gun that should make the tyrant fearful of the citizens, ends up making the citizens fearful of each other.

                And tyranny thrives on a divided, fearful citizenry.

                In this St. Louis case, was the level of freedom and cooperation among citizens increased or eroded by the armed militias?

                Or did it end up making them both fearful, distrusting, and insecure?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                The guns didn’t make the counter-protesters distrustful and fearful, they already were that way long before the initial protesters decided to show up armed.

                Again, and again, you assume the gun is a leading, rather than a lagging, indicator. Guns do not cause insecurity, they are merely an indicator of it.

                This is why I contend police culture is cowardly, because so many of them reach for the gun right away.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                But the government then also has the support of the armed pro-government citizens.

                If I’m interpreting what you say here properly, no, they don’t. Or at the least, when the national guard or regular troops are rolled out to snuff out an insurrection, they don’t want the active support of either side. They want to be able to operate under “any armed civilian is a bad guy,” rather than having to try to sort out the armed civilians.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                This is the case when the government is a neutral, good-faith representative of the people.

                The sort of government which requires an armed response from citizens is one which will encourage the assistance of armed civilian irregulars.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                I think you grossly over-estimate the number of armed civilians this government can rely upon.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                How many would it take, though?Report

              • Avatar InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                With the way your average metropolitan police forces (not to mention national guard units) are equipped? Zero.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I read an interesting take on the paramilitaries being “surged” into cities: the big problem arises when the paramilitaries, which are ostensibly supposed to act unilaterally, team up with local PDs and then coordinate with the National Guard. As it is right now, there’s been some indications that local Portland PD and DHS paramilitaries are cooperating. Yikes!

                Of course, there isn’t anything to worry about since, obviously!, the guardrails will hold….Report

              • Avatar InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                It doesn’t surprise me. There’s a real parallel with the war on drugs. People don’t realize how many federal task forces there are out there that effectively deputize local law enforcement. It muddies up the chain of command and creates real questions of whether those LEOs are still operating under city/county/state authority.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                When people talk about “tyranny” it often has this abstract science fiction air to it, entirely disconnected to actual historical examples. The scenario is often trotted out like tyranny arrives like a bolt out of the blue, where we have a happy free republic then suddenly, a parade of goosestepping soldiers are marching down the street.
                And, the theory goes, were the citizens to rush out with their guns, it would turn the tide!

                Actual historical examples are very different. The fascist governments of the 1930s, various 3rd World regimes throughout the 20th century all show that free societies slide slowly into tyranny, in fits and starts, as the various institutions unravel and stop working.

                One of the classic tactics of insurgent groups is to destroy infrastructure so as to make the citizens feel afraid, always and everywhere.
                And one of the classic counter-insurgency tactics is the use of irregular death squads, armed citizens who operate lawlessly to terrorize the citizens even further.

                Tyranny is the last stop in this journey and becomes inevitable only if the first steps aren’t blocked.

                The first steps aren’t amenable to guns.
                In fact, the first steps towards tyranny are the ones that instill fear and dissension and mutual suspicion among the free citizens.

                Only after they are repeatedly battered and traumatized do they accept the suppression of freedom.

                By the time guns are necessary to effect change, democracy has already been lost.Report

              • Avatar InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                I hear what you’re saying Chip but I think you could make this argument about any civil liberty. The conclusion to draw from that isn’t that none of them matter it’s that maintaining a civil, free society takes hard work that’s never done. It’s that old Ben Franklin quote about ‘a republic, if you can keep it.’Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                …but does nothing to tilt the balance towards freedom.

                Proof?

                The whole “most genocides are the gov vs unarmed citizens” is actually pretty convincing.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Genocides are astonishingly rare and only happen after tyranny has a firm uncontestable grip on the population.

                Ordinary tyrannies are far more common, and almost always follow the same pattern of fear, dissension, confusion and finally violence between citizens before the victory of the forces of tyranny.

                Escalating unarmed conflict to armed conflict is an essential component of this pattern.Report

              • Avatar veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                Funny, I just watched a video about gun control in 1930s Germany. Naturally, the facts are more complex and more interesting than shallow slogans: https://youtu.be/gfHXJRqq-qoReport

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                When they told me that Ordinary Times has commenters who explain that 1930’s Germany is more complex than a lot of people in 2020 seem to think, I scoffed.

                Then I saw it with my own eyes.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                But who was the intended recipient of the message?

                Given the lack of consistency, I would be very careful about assuming you know what the message was and who it was for.

                Everyone is a hero in their own eyes.

                A gun is an extremely powerful symbol; This might have been as simple as them proclaiming themselves powerful. “Join us”. “Don’t riot/burn in our community”.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              Why bring the gun, if not to intimidate and threaten?

              Is this why you were asking where the Oath Keepers were?Report

            • Avatar Philip H
              Ignored
              says:

              Chip – ask that same question of the Oath Keepers, and the Boogaloo Bois and everyone else who openly carried into the Michigan Legislature building a few months ago to “protest” the lockdown orders.

              Frankly I’m glad to see a large number of armed black men in a public space in an open carry state. Its an important and handy reminder that ALL the amendments apply to ALL citizens.Report

  24. Avatar Philip H
    Ignored
    says:

    Putting a pin in this:

    By 1:30 a.m., most people had dispersed from downtown and no police actions had been taken against demonstrators.

    https://www.opb.org/article/2020/07/31/portland-protesters-gather-peacefully-thursday-as-federal-officers-depart/Report

    • Avatar DavidTC
      Ignored
      says:

      Yeah, it’s completely inexplicable. I mean, the sheer number of riots that magically just turn into protests when the authorities step back is…I mean, who can explain anything like that?

      I mean, it keeps happening somehow. Less authorities mean…people just stand around protesting, then leave.

      It’s almost, and I know this sounds completely crazy, but it’s almost as if, hypothetically, in some strange sense, the police are actually not creating order at protests, but are instead creating disorder?

      BTW, it’s weird that everyone is letting the city and the Trump administration pretend this was due to some ‘deal’. Like…we all realized, a few days ago, that this was a strategy of the Trump administration, right? That Trump was just testing here and going to expand to other cities? This very discussion is full of this. We all knew it. Chicago was next!

      And now…nope? Trump just gave up because of a deal?

      No.

      What happened was…someone actually got through to Trump about the legal implications. I’m not sure if it was his advisors, or some of the higher-ups at the ‘police forces’ he decided to use who have watched in horrified anger as their own untrained people have put themselves in legal jeopardy because they did not actually understand, or were misinformed about, the law…but someone managed to cancel this dumbass plan.Report

      • Avatar Philip H
        Ignored
        says:

        What happened was…someone actually got through to Trump about the legal implications. I’m not sure if it was his advisors, or some of the higher-ups at the ‘police forces’ he decided to use who have watched in horrified anger as their own untrained people have put themselves in legal jeopardy because they did not actually understand, or were misinformed about, the law…but someone managed to cancel this dumbass plan.

        Hardly. He got plenty of B roll for his campaign adds depicting chaos expanding under Biden. He didn’t need anything else done. He never wanted law or order. And he is not concerned with the potential legal implications. His history is repleat with not caring about whats legal.Report

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