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Andrew Donaldson

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 Yonder and Home.

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64 Responses

  1. Avatar DensityDuck
    Ignored
    says:

    So the relief bill doesn’t not go too far enough?Report

  2. Avatar Chip Daniels
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    says:

    LF 7:
    Lets bookmark this for the next riot, when we hear the whinging about why protesters don’t “work within the system”.

    Those who make peaceful change impossible…Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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      says:

      “They had to go to the Capitol to be heard!”Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        Yes, its impossible for white males to be heard without rioting.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          Do you remember writing about the rioters who visited your town when you were discussing with your compatriots about how you’d stand in front of the store but you’re not going to risk your life over it?

          I remember you writing about it.

          Would you like me to find you the comment? I can, if you have no recollection of what you said.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            The fact that you see Jan 6 as related to BLM is bizarre.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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              says:

              I’m just running with “why don’t rioters work within the system”?

              And then your complaints about white males rioting, as opposed to the people who made you have a conversation about whether your life was going to be threatened shortly.

              Do you remember writing about them, by the way?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Well, Chip, tell me about your mother…..Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
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                says:

                This isn’t Freudian analysis. This is more of noticing one of the moves from the playbook that Jussie Smollett used.

                Remember when the cops went to Jussie and said “we found the two guys who assaulted you, do you want to press charges?” and he said “HELL YEAH I DO!” and then they showed him a picture of the two guys that he gave a check to and he *IMMEDIATELY* said “you know what? I would prefer to *NOT* press charges”.

                I guess it’s a reverse of that, though. “We need to be understanding of rioters!” “You mean like the ones at the capitol?” “No, not white males. I mean like the BLM rioters!” “You mean like the ones you wrote about?”

                It has nothing to do with his mother.

                More his memory.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                I think we previously agreed that it’s OK to change the subject whenever we want, though we did have a minor disagreement about whether it is worthwhile to point it out. I was trying your way out for size. Doesn’t seem to have added much value.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                CJ, I wasn’t changing the subject.

                Chip made a statement affirming a principle.
                I pointed out that he didn’t extend this principle to the outgroup.
                He made an assertion that the outgroup was different than the ingroup due to physical traits.
                I pointed out that he wrote about the ingroup also having these physical traits.

                This isn’t changing the subject.
                It’s actually talking about the subject.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I suppose it’s a question of who decides what the subject is. Who is to be master, that is all.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, I’ll let us get back to the original point:

                We should bookmark L7 and go back to it the next time we hear whining about rioters.

                After all, Those who make peaceful change impossible, ellipses.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                The fact that you think the Jan 6 riot is in the same subject as the BLM protests, is what I find bizarre illogic.

                But that is the central core of Trumpism, that white male grievance over loss of status is equal to oppression of people of color.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                What color were the BLM protests in your part of town, again?

                Do you remember talking about noticing the makeup of the rioters?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                You appear to not remember. That’s okay.

                It’s here.

                In the riots in our neighborhood, one of the stores to be smashed and looted was one owned by an immigrant, with a big sign that said “DREAMER OWNED”. The crowd didn’t care and someone’s livelihood was destroyed.

                And the thing is, if you watch the footage of the looting, the looters are all middle class people, driving late model cars. And the stuff they are grabbing? Not essentials, not food, no what they were grabbing were the most petty and silly trifles- cigarettes, candy, the occasional boombox or pair of sneakers.

                A day or so after the riots, I wrote an open letter, printed it and posted it up on the street below our building:

                OPEN LETTER
                TO THOSE WHO ATTACKED OUR NEIGHBORHOOD
                I watched you, young white men who don’t live here
                Who aren’t from our neighborhood
                Driving in here in shiny new cars

                You aren’t in solidarity with the People of DTLA
                You can tell yourself whatever lies you want
                But you attacked our home
                Because you wanted a freaky holiday
                And wanted to play revolutionary for an evening
                Before going back home

                This was after I stood guard in the shattered window of the drugstore at the base of our building, and uneasily faced the mob of people milling around before the cops came back and swept us all from the street.

                As I and the other guard stood there we talked quietly and agreed that if push came to shove we would retreat since “it was only property.”

                I still believe it was the correct decision. I pity that immigrant Dreamer, and all the others who lost jobs and dreams in the riots.

                But, we are in fact a wealthy society. No one is going to starve because of the riots, no one is going to even go hungry. All the merchandise in the store behind me wasn’t worth my life, or the life of any other person.
                It is an outrage when people show such disrespect but we have a monstrous flaming tire fire of disrespect for people’s jobs and livelihoods- this riot was just one more tiny ember on top of it all.

                (Emphasis added)

                This is something that you wrote in the middle of the riots last summer. Before we have the rose-colored glasses given by the benefit of hindsight.

                That’s what you wrote smack dab in the middle.

                Anyway, I’ll let you get back to putting what happened last summer in a different “white male grievance” category. And being confused that other people also aren’t doing that.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                You are making incredible backflips of illogic here by equating white people’s bad behavior to BLM protests.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                That’s the wacky thing about last summer, Chip.

                It was chock full of white people rioting and calling their riots a “BLM protest”.

                Like, people in City A said “City B is having a BLM protest!” while the people in City B were writing open letters and taping them to lightposts to the white dudes who were long gone.

                If I were to criticize the events that happened in City B… would I be protesting a BLM protest? Or would I be protesting white people rioting?

                Because I could pretty easily see someone standing in front of a riot explaining that, hey, this protest is *MOSTLY* peaceful and we shouldn’t lose sight of that.

                We spent last summer doing that. Do you remember?

                Oh, wait. Let’s go back at what you said at 9:57AM today:

                “Lets bookmark this for the next riot, when we hear the whinging about why protesters don’t “work within the system”.”Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                You’re not actually making an argument of any sort here.

                It’s just some jumble of images juxtaposed and somehow supposed to be connected.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Here is the connection, Chip. Here is the comment that ties everything together:

                Lets bookmark this for the next riot, when we hear the whinging about why protesters don’t “work within the system”.

                Those who make peaceful change impossible…

                Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                This, right here, is prejudice. You may not like it when conservatives throw MLK back at you, but right here you’re ignoring identical behaviour on the basis of skin color. And you’re advertising it! ‘How can someone compare rioting blacks with rioting whites? They’re fundamentally different! One group is bad! You can tell by their complexion.’Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                Trumpism in a nutshell.

                White resentment equated with actual oppression.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                The entire history of the Democratic Party in a nutshell.

                “Most Favored Race” status is a good thing if the important people choose the right race.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Just to hammer this down… was the riot that you, personally, witnessed and were moved to write a letter about… was that a riot or was that a movement fighting against actual oppression?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Before you start interrogating people, its polite to make an argument first.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Fair enough.

                If your answer to the question is “I witnessed a bunch of privileged white men who drove in shiny new cars come to my neighborhood and trash it, including the storefront of a store that was owned by an immigrant”, I’d ask why you see me comparing the riot you witnessed to the riot at the Capitol as a bad comparison to make to the point where you’d ask me why I was criticizing BLM protests.

                If, however, you now see the protest you witnessed as part of the BLM police protest movement, why you’d slandered the protest movement at the time as being a bunch of whiny white dudes who were looking for a fun night out.

                And, in either case, I’d point out that your original comment was that we should hold L7 in our back pockets for the next time that there was a riot… and how easily one man’s riot can be spun as another man’s voice of the unheard.

                And, depending on your answer to the question of what you witnessed, I’d ask if you could easily see how flimsy it is to make the case that “oh, *THIS* riot was a good one”.

                Either by pointing out that others classified your riot as part of the BLM protests *OR* by pointing out that you, originally, classified a BLM protest as a bunch of entitled white kids from out of town.

                But I’d need your answer to the question first, to figure out which argument I should apply.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                And if you want to answer something like “at this point, what difference does it make?”, I’d point out that the trial of Derek Chauvin is going on RIGHT NOW. They’re seating jurors.

                One of the jurors seated agreed with the statement that “if George Floyd followed police instructions, he wouldn’t have died”.

                We don’t know which of the two autopsies will be used as evidence: The one that talked about the drugs in Floyd’s system or the one that didn’t.

                The judge re-entered the charge for 3rd Degree Murder into the trial after it being excluded earlier in the process leaving only 2nd Degree and Manslaughter charges…

                The possibility exists that there will be a verdict to the trial that will result in:

                A: White Boys running down to your part of town and breaking stuff all over again
                B: Unheard people letting the world know that they have a voiceReport

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                You haven’t even addressed the first point, which is what logic connects resentful white people rioting to overthrow an election, with my comment about oppressed black people being denied peaceful means to change the law?

                Your introduction of badly behaved white men being present at both protests is an irrelevant distraction that has nothing to do with it.

                You don’t seem to have any point to make here.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not connecting the oppressed black people being denied peaceful means to change the law to the resentful white people rioting to overthrow an election.

                I’m asking you why you’re connecting resentful white people from out of town rioting because they are bored with oppressed black people being denied peaceful means to change the law.

                Because I’m connecting resentful white people rioting to overthrow an election with resentful white people from out of town rioting because they are bored.

                Unless, of course, I read you wrong and you now see the riot that you witnessed and wrote about as actually being a mostly peaceful protest where the voiceless finally decided to make their voices heard.

                You didn’t answer my question, I notice, even though I went to the trouble to lay my argument out.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                “I’m not connecting the oppressed black people being denied peaceful means to change the law to the resentful white people rioting to overthrow an election.”

                Dude- I made a comment about oppressed black people being denied peaceful means to change the law, and you jumped in with a reference to Jan 6.

                If your contention is, “But they both contained misbehaving white people!” then that is a bizarre bit of illogic.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                No. This was your comment:

                Lets bookmark this for the next riot, when we hear the whinging about why protesters don’t “work within the system”.

                Those who make peaceful change impossible…

                Your comment was about the next time that protestors didn’t want to work within the system… because, of course, peaceful change was impossible.

                You want to clarify that you only meant the people you agree with?

                Fair enough.

                Could you answer my question, now?

                I’ll repeat it, if you don’t remember it:

                Just to hammer this down… was the riot that you, personally, witnessed and were moved to write a letter about… was that a riot or was that a movement fighting against actual oppression?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Maybe that’s your confusion.

                I didn’t make a comment about people not wanting to work within the system.

                BLM was about people being denied the ability to work within the system.

                Jan 6 was people who wanted to deny other people the ability to work within the system.Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      Two towns. Same County. Same State. Same Laws. Vastly different outcomes.Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    Lou Ottens, who created the cassette and therefore the mixtape is dead:

    https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/11/arts/music/lou-ottens-dead.amp.html?0p19G%3D0232Report

  4. Avatar LeeEsq
    Ignored
    says:

    Norton Juster, the author of the Phantom Tollboth, died on March 8th. Incidentally, I thought the Phantom Tollboth was written by a British gentile but it turns out the author was a tribesman.Report

  5. Avatar LeeEsq
    Ignored
    says:

    LF6: The issue with monarchy in the modern world is two-fold:

    1. Are the ceremonial parts of politics and statecraft, which range from signing ceremonies to parades to fancy state dinners, still important or can they be dispensed with? The argument for the ceremonial is that people like ceremonies and they are important ways to bring about social cohesion in the body politic and get things done. A diplomatic summit without any food is going to have a lot of very grumpy people trying to do important work. The anti-ceremonial argument is that they are a useless expense that gets in the way of important work,. They also blind people to the truth.

    2. If the ceremonial part of politics and statecraft are still important, who should carry out these functions? An elected official? An apppointed or elected ceremonial figure? Or a trained professional since birth? The rough argument for constitutional monarchy is that royal families are uniquely equipped to carry out the ceremonial parts of politics and statecraft while leaving the important business to elected politicians.Report

    • Avatar CJColucci in reply to LeeEsq
      Ignored
      says:

      I’d like to register a partial dissent from the very concept of an “issue with monarchy in the modern world.” I’m not sure there is one. There are few, if any, real monarchies left in the world. Several countries have vestigial monarchies and no country that doesn’t have a monarchy of either sort looks as if it’s interested in forming one.
      To be sure, the whole idea of hereditary monarchy is foolish — though, long ago, it was a modest improvement over contending warlords squabbling about succession to the throne — but if a country decides that it is willing to devote some modest portion of the national wealth to propping up nostalgia, entertainment, or a tourist attraction, that is an issue purely for the country involved. For the rest of the “modern world,” monarchy should be no more an issue than soap opera — if there is a difference.Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to CJColucci
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        says:

        The answer to your final question: there is no difference.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to CJColucci
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        says:

        Formal monarchies are of course almost nonexistent, but I think there have been quite a few analyses drawing parallels between celebrity worship and monarchy.

        Its not a perfect fit if you are comparing the Windsors to the Kardashians but I think a better fit is between celebrity of performing artists and the celebrity of authoritarians, the way Donald Trump is almost indistinguishable from the Kardashians, with the constant appeal to drama and conflict over essentially nothing.

        Like that Arendt line about how fascists promise their followers not peace, but endless conflict , reality shows are never about resolution, but just endless and pointless battle.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          Royalty and celebrities act as receptors for warm and fuzzy feelings and also as an entertaining source of salacious gossip depending on the audience or the audience’s mood. Its why would had Princess Di the beloved giver of charity and Princess Di the glamorous at the same time.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to CJColucci
        Ignored
        says:

        There are plenty of ideological people who believe that we can not achieve true social equality and democracy unless we get rid of all signs of status. This includes constitutional monarchy even if the monarchs have no power. They are by definition un-modern and need to go.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to LeeEsq
      Ignored
      says:

      Most studies indicate that the UK monarchy is, on net, a financial and economic benefit to the UK, not a burden.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhyYgnhhKFw

      so the ceremony parts are in a way incidental to (but probably necessary for) making money.Report

  6. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Welp. Mayor Ted Wheeler seeks $2 million to bring back uniformed police team to address spike in shootings.

    From the article:

    Days after Portland recorded its 20th homicide, Mayor Ted Wheeler said Thursday he’ll seek $2 million in one-time funding to allow more proactive policing on city streets with greater civilian oversight to try to stem a growing wave of gun violence.

    The mayor made the announcement alongside religious and community leaders, who urged city officials to take immediate action to prevent more people from dying in shootings, particularly young Black and brown people who have been disproportionately affected by the violence.

    All this has happened before.

    All this will happen again.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      We want significant cultural and operational reform, but we don’t want that reform to include any possible negative consequences while it happens.

      So we really don’t want reform.

      ETA: I do have to admit DarkMatter had a point about a lot of this.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Oscar Gordon
        Ignored
        says:

        If I had to guess, I’d say that the obvious move would be “this is why we need gun control!”

        Soon to be followed by “we need door-to-door searches for illegal guns!”

        Soon to be followed by “why are the police killing so many poor people? Defund the police!”

        Soon to be followed by “Mayor Johnson seeks $2 million to bring back uniformed police team to address spike in crime”.Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to Oscar Gordon
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        says:

        Well, the challenge that all of the newly minted reformers last year missed is that this isn’t easy and so we got a bunch of Mencken solutions. That does not preclude the ability to do better if there is a concerted effort in trying to do so without the proverbial tossing of the baby out with the bathwater. I’m as big a critic of all this crazy, militarized policing as anyone but we need cops. Better ones, serving under better policies and accountability, but we have to have them. Anyone who thinks we don’t is stupid. Full stop.

        But yes, I think we can pretty easily see that the head-line grabbing solutions of last year’s racial justice protesters were fundamentally unserious and the outcome Jaybird’s describes is/was inevitable. IMO anyone who has followed the issue for any length of time saw exactly how this would play out.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
          Ignored
          says:

          But even the serious non-sensational reformers are getting hard obstruction.

          Police reform is a bit like gun control in that there is a powerful bloc of voters who really, really like the status quo and will fight viciously against any reform, no matter how tepid or well thought out.Report

          • Avatar InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            Well I think there may be some parallels to gun control but those aren’t them. To the extent there’s a similarity I’d say it’s that advocates of the change are hyper focused on easily shredded non-solutions designed in a lab for the express purpose of not convincing anyone who needs to be convinced.

            Like, I can’t think of a better way to alienate reform sympathetic people than saying ‘oh by the way, you need to tolerate being personally victimized by crime as the price for this new utopian idea that we thought of 5 minutes ago.’ And yet that’s exactly what they did.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
              Ignored
              says:

              No, they flippin’ didn’t.

              I’m talking about people like Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon who I have been following.

              He is a moderate reformer, and even his most mild reforms like eliminating sentencing enhancements and trying juveniles as adults, has sparked a recall effort led by “tough on crime” politicians.

              His reforms are the sort of sensible modest steps that people claim they support (when using them as a weapon against street protests) but when actually faced with their enactment, they explode in rage.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I admittedly can’t speak intelligently as to what’s going on in LA. If there are reasonable reforms being rejected by the citizenry then I suppose the only answer is more outreach, more persuasion. Without knowing the specifics of local government there I would hazard to say that prosecutors trying to do things unilaterally have their work cut out for them. The big battles need to be in state legislatures, though I certainly won’t fault anyone trying to approach the job with a broader perspective towards proportionality and fairness.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Fair enough, but my larger point that affects all cities across the country, is that there is a very large faction of American voters who prefer the status quo of militarized policing, even is they occasionally make noises to the contrary.

                I’d like to think we’re making headway, but it would be an error to think that “if only we had sensible reforms and serious reformers” the pieces would fall into place.

                Police reform starts with the Republican Party representing about 30-40% of the citizenry implacably opposed; Then it also has to contend with police unions, prosecutors, and the various vested interests who feed off the carceral state;

                These groups can fairly be described as “Unpersuadables”. You might pick off a few here and there, but they are pretty much unified in their opposition.

                So then we are left with the Democratic Party constituencies of urban voters, educated voters and some suburban blocs.

                But as we’ve seen, even they can be easily spooked and demagogued with enough WIllie Horton type ads.

                The political landscape of police reform is almost always tilted in favor of the police.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Police reform starts with the Republican Party representing about 30-40% of the citizenry implacably opposed; Then it also has to contend with police unions, prosecutors, and the various vested interests who feed off the carceral state;

                Surely the Progressive states like California and Oregon are able to do something.

                Clinton won California by 30 points! Biden won it by 29!

                Clinton won Oregon by 11 points! Biden won it by *16*!Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, that’s exactly what I said.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Are the elected officials properly elected by the citizenry able to accomplish anything?

                Surely having a 65% to 35% majority would be able to accomplish *SOMETHING*.

                I mean, I’d hate to think that a 2-1 majority would be as hamstrung as a 51-50 majority would be.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I think that’s true but it’s true in the same sense that the system is always tilted towards inertia. We had something like 3 decades of tough on crime policies implemented at every level of government, plus an extra ratcheting up after 9/11. It doesn’t go away overnight and reforming it will necessarily be slow and full of setbacks.

                My opinion and point above was that part of chiseling successfully involves appreciating that not everything in place is totally without basis. The best way to derail momentum for change is to do something ham-fisted that results in hugely visible increases in crime.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s also vitally important to remember that while Blue Flu might be “illegal”, there isn’t really an effective enforcement mechanism. Even if the police are fully funded, if they aren’t feeling up to it, they can most certainly allow an area to fall apart simply by withdrawing their presence, or by not investigating the crimes in that area beyond the most basic effort.

                The duty the police have to their community exists in name only, there is effectively nothing to obligate them to fulfill that duty.

                The Professionalism of the Police is often sorely lacking.Report

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