Wake-up Call from Ferguson: Stop the Police State

When your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. That is why police arrested two journalists the other day in Ferguson, MO before releasing them without charges. Had the journalists done anything wrong, or committed a crime? No. Were they taunting police, or causing a disruption? No, they were eating at McDonald’s, when it was stormed by a SWAT-like unit of police. Maybe the police were hoping one of the journalists’ hands would leave their view so they could shoot him with impunity. But how stupid must these cops be to think arresting two mainstream reporters would help their image, or improve the situation?

This stomping of First Amendment rights—or just human rights, natural rights against being harassed for normal, non aggressive activity—will only lead more to wake up. I am glad, for the sake of public awareness, some mainstream media personnel are going through what amateur videographers and bloggers go through daily. We are starting to hear whispers: is the public waking up from their dream of a peaceful 1950’s Officer Friendly neighborhood, to find themselves in the cold dark reality of a police state?

“From the beginning of this situation, the police have made conscious decisions to restrict information and images coming from Ferguson,” David Boardman, president of the association, said in the statement. “Of course, these efforts largely have been unsuccessful, as the nation and the world are still seeing for themselves the heinous actions of the police. For every reporter they arrest, every image they block, every citizen they censor, another will still write, photograph and speak.”

“That behavior was wholly unwarranted and an assault on the freedom of the press to cover the news,” Baron said. “The physical risk to Wesley himself is obvious and outrageous. After being placed in a holding cell, he was released with no charges and no explanation. He was denied information about the names and badge numbers of those who arrested him.”

This comes after the Ferguson police attempted to ban low flying aircraft over the city, so that news helicopters could not see what was happening on the ground. Through every step of this recent tragedy, the police have done the wrong thing: becoming violent and militarized, shooting tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters, and suppressing the filming and reporting of the events. There were in fact riots; so why are the police bothering to harass innocent people while they could be stopping looting and actual violence?

Of course the whole situation in Ferguson between rightfully angry protesters and militarized police started when an unarmed black teenager was shot dead by police. The police are now saying he was a “strong-armed robbery” suspect: he allegedly shoplifted and intimidated the clerk. But why does that lead to a death sentence, carried out without judge and jury, by an arresting officer? If the suspect was dangerous, get more officers to subdue him without incident. If the suspect was not dangerous, then why is he dead? Again, the police only know how to do one thing: use force, more and more often excessive force.

Situations everyday are exacerbated by a police presence that looks like it dropped from the sky out of a war zone in the middle east—the training ground for a new generation of police. There are SWAT raids for non-violent crimes, often no-knock raids in which people are accidentally shot, or shot on purpose when they respond how anyone would respond to random unidentified violent people breaking into their homes!

Many of us lowly bloggers have been attempting to raise the red flag about the way police are acting these days. Unfortunately there is an attitude that it is always “the other side” being harassed by the police. And that is another product of the fascism which splintered into both mainstream political parties: one loves the nanny state, one loves the police state. And as a former police state apologist (many moons ago), I see it as my duty to wake people up to the fact that the dog will bite the hand that fed it.

When all you got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Always Research “the other side’s” Claims

The media is biased; everyone knows this, yet somehow people still think they know who lies to them and who doesn’t. The left will use Fox news as the crazy right wing media, and the right will use… well pretty much every other TV media outlet. But how did we get to the point where articles are written that simply brush off things like Benghazi and Solyndra as not news worthy? I just read an article–albeit by a former Clinton employee–that casually mentions how “the right wing” keeps bringing up Benghazi and Solyndra while the mainstream media apparently sees nothing to carry the story about. This insinuates that the mainstream media would carry the story if it were true, and thus suggests that there is no reason to cover these events. Meanwhile a missing aircraft gets 24/7 coverage.

And it does play both ways; I was too young to vote during most of the Bush years, but still I mostly assumed all the protests from the left were unwarranted. Yet today I realize that many good objections were raised about the Patriot Act, the reasons for going to war in the middle east, and the concentration of power in the executive branch. These days I realize that these were not “left wing” stories, but in the divide perpetuated by the media and politicians, it was easy to brush off opposing views as lies from the “other side”. So now with a liberal president, I think many on the left brush off things like Benghazi as the right just making noise, while in fact there was a campaign of lies and cover-ups put forth by the State Department and Executive branch.

As for Solyndra, the loan was not simply a mess up: it was given to an Obama bundler in a manner which was irresponsible and unprecedented. But unless those facts come out, most on the left just assume the story is full of right wing lies. And this has been the strategy of the media and political elites to gain power by dividing the masses. Now it is always “my news source” that is right, and the “other one” cherry picks the data, or ignores actual corruption. It is important to always look into things, try to get different sources, and see if you can triangulate the truth. One quote could be taken out of context, and many media outlets purposely skew things to depict “their side” as right. They also just repeat the name of a bill in congress, and act like it will do exactly what it is purported to do. Analysis is out, whatever the politician says is fact, when we know quite the opposite is almost always the case.

So rather then play into the “us against them” philosophy exploited by politicians, it is better to discuss the differences in opinions, when possible. Sometimes there are people who will not listen, but there are plenty of others who just haven’t heard the facts. If you start discussing these little covered stories and the facts, many people might be surprised to hear them, and then do their own research. But always coming off as calm and collected when discussing regularly divisive issues is certainly a way to get your point considered, more-so than going off the deep end and getting angry.

Piers Morgan Displays His Intellectual Depth

I often make reference to irresponsible media, which cannot be trusted. Often the network stations like CNN are not after the truth, they are after ratings and excitement. People watch reality shows because they like to see people argue, and apparently that is also why they watch the news. Anchors are not after truth, and often conduct interviews in a way that stops real debate, misdirects, and focuses on one position as correct, which was decided before the interview, and no amount of data, facts, or coherent arguments can change that. A recent exchange between Piers Morgan and the Gun Owners of America Executive Director Larry Pratt is a perfect example of how not to act like a professional, legitimate news station. First, check out the interview, if you can last the four minutes without punching the screen of your computer where Piers Morgan’s face is.

Throughout the interview, the only semblance of an argument which Piers Morgan makes is that the murder rate is lower in England and Australia than in the U.S., to which Pratt politely and correctly responds (if you can hear him over Piers yelling) that although the murder rate is lower in those countries, the violent crime rate is higher than in the United states. Otherwise let’s take a look at the arguments employed by Piers Morgan.

23 seconds: Piers Morgan, while interrupting his guest’s point that England and other European countries have massacres just like the United States: “You are talking- You are talking complete and utter nonsense”.

1 minute 24 seconds: Piers Morgan: “You’re an unbelievably stupid man, aren’t you?” This intellectual tid-bit came after the following argument from his guest… or rather punching bag.

Larry Pratt: “Your violent crime rate is higher than ours as is the violent crime rate in Australia. America is not the Wild West that you are depicting. We only have the problem in our cities, and unhappily, in our schools where people like you have been able to get laws put on the books that keep people from being able to defend themselves.

I honestly don’t understand why you would rather have people be victims of a crime than be able to defend themselves. It’s incomprehensible.” I guess Piers Morgan is so smart that he doesn’t have to respond to well thought out, legitimate arguments, even when he invited the person onto his show, presumably to showcase their opinion. He reveals that the guest was not brought on to give insight into the views of pro-gun people, but instead brought on as an attempt to berate and belittle anyone with an opinion that does not match exactly Piers Morgan, and the liberal establishment media.

1 minute 39 seconds: Piers Morgan: “What a ridiculous argument, you have absolutely no coherent argument what-so-ever, you don’t actually give a damn, do you, about the gun murder rate in America”. Did Piers forget that this would be put on youtube, and all people have to do is rewind 15 seconds to see Pratt’s quite clear, extremely coherent argument? It is quite obviously the opposite in fact, that Morgan has absolutely no argument, otherwise he might have used it. What Piers does have, however, is emotion, which he tries to illicit from viewers by quickly moving on from any debate about the actual issue, and claiming his guest lacks empathy, and just doesn’t care about the murder rate. He needs to get his viewers back to hating Pratt, before they can process the logic and reason behind Pratt’s words. Piers thinks, maybe if I say that he has no coherent argument, people will believe me. Unfortunately, he is right. People tend to believe those in the media, even when they are as blatantly biased and dishonest as Piers Morgan.

2 minutes 18 seconds: Piers Morgan, after interrupting his guest frequently to the point where no conversation is possible, and then criticizing him for supposedly not answering the question [Pratt: “You don’t want to hear it, that’s why you keep interrupting me”], Morgan: “I think it’s complete nonsense but I don’t mind hearing it”.

2 minutes 21 seconds: Piers Morgan: “Oh stop being so facetious” to his guest after insulting him and belittling him for 2 minutes.

3 minutes 25 seconds: Piers Morgan: “Yea I know why sales of these things have been soaring over the last few days, it’s down to idiots like you”.

Larry Pratt: “Thank you for you’re high level argument”.

Piers Morgan: “You wouldn’t understand the meaning of high level argument, you are a dangerous man, espousing dangerous nonsense, and you shame your country”.

Larry Pratt: “Disarmament is dangerous, just ask Neville Chamberlain, your role model”.

Unlike Piers, I actually do know why guns sales have been soaring, because people are extremely aware of the need to protect themselves! Duh. What an intelligent station, that CNN news. Oh there I go being sarcastic, just like Morgan’s guest. If this exchange does not convince you all to turn off your television and seek out truthful media, I don’t know what will. It sickens me that this passes for news. It disgusts me that people like Piers Morgan sit there and bully people with legitimate views to contribute, and that someone watching might mistake that circus for information.

As I’ve point out Piers Morgan had no coherent argument throughout the exchange, exactly what he accused Pratt of. I also cannot help but conclude that everything Morgan said about Pratt was really a reflection of what Piers Morgan is. Piers Morgan is simply an unbelievably stupid man, with no coherent argument what-so-ever, who spouts complete nonsense, which people believe, because of idiots like him, and he thinks the highest level argument is “I know you are but what am I”. He is dangerous in the sense that people can turn on the TV and listen to his insanely uninformed views as if they were a legitimate intelligent piece of news. Piers Morgan, and many of his mainstream media colleagues are the ones who should be ashamed.

To see the transcript of the interview, click here.