Urban unrest.

OK, I apologize; obviously the Ferguson story is national news now. I’m only wondering why I’m not seeing some pictures on the front pages of the papers I read. Like, say, the one at the top of this story.

I’m no fool. I know that one frame is not a reality, but I’m seeing a lot like this, and it bothers me — militarized police coming on like gangbusters for what are, after all, some protestors. This is what comes of arming police like an army. We’ll see what happens. I’m not optimistic.

Friends, I spent the evening sitting with a friend celebrating her birthday and drinking the fine Pouilly-Fuissé her partner bought for her. It was lovely. I rode my bike home in the dark, and that was even lovelier — the cool night, the blinking taillight, the swooping in and out of street and cul-de-sac. If everyone rode a bike more often, we’d have…well, we’d have healthier people, anyway. The ones who haven’t been run over.

So I’m getting out of here early. Enjoy Thursday, the downslope of the week.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events |

30 responses to “Urban unrest.”

  1. Dexter said on August 14, 2014 at 1:58 am

    Love the mailbox in the Slate photo.

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  2. coozledad said on August 14, 2014 at 7:22 am

    Ferguson shows that the “Libertarian moment” means- white power shitheels, with combat police in close support, and the mainstreaming of ethnic cleansing.
    We can just dispense with the idea that Republicans and that Ayn Rand shite are anything but racists now.

    It struck me recently that giving police forces military gear is one way to make damn sure it winds up in the hands of drug cartels. They are a fucking drug cartel. They have been from the outset of the drug wars.

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  3. coozledad said on August 14, 2014 at 7:24 am

    Let freedom reign:

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  4. Linda said on August 14, 2014 at 7:44 am

    There never was a “libertarian moment.” In fact, one of the advantages of being old is that everything that looks new to other people is remembered for when it happened before. In the 70s, people really thought we were on the verge of the age of Aquarius, when in fact we were on the verge of Reagan. Hippies were overhyped just as they were becoming passe, and everyone was tired of their shit. Which is happening to conservativism and its dope smoking bro, libertarianism.

    And as Coozledad says, the libertarians are showing their asses on this one. They try to get black people to buy into their pet causes of low taxes and regulation, but when we get to the intersection where overweening government muscle affects black people, they are AWOL. This is also an opportunity for the tree of liberty to be refreshed with the blood of some tyrants, a prospect that would seriously make the 2nd amendment crowd crap their knickers.

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  5. alex said on August 14, 2014 at 7:51 am

    The militarization of the police. If I were a conspiracy theorist I’d swear they were gearing up for the new Gilded Age. Wait, no I wouldn’t. Conspiracy theorists are full of shit and this is for real.

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  6. Jeff Borden said on August 14, 2014 at 8:01 am

    I’m in the same camp as the proprietress. I am afraid we are going to see more and more of these clashes between desperate and poor Americans, predominantly of color, and our overamped police departments, who more and more resemble the anti-union Pinkertons of the late 19th and early 20th century. These are scary days, indeed.

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  7. Deborah said on August 14, 2014 at 8:14 am

    I’m continually baffled that there haven’t been more protests and even riots by the poor and downtrodden in this country. Am I alone in thinking this?

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  8. beb said on August 14, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Because nancy writes in the evening then posts the next day she tends to be a day behind on the news cycle. Monday Ferguson was still running somewhat under the radar. By Tuesday it was the unavoidable top news story of the day. And overnight Wednesday it looks like things have seriously gotten out of hand. We’re at the point where we need U.N. Peacekeepers to separate the warring factions. The Deadspin article Sherri linked to yestyerday (“America is no place for Black People”) is dead-on about this situation.

    By the way the Detroit riot of 1967 was provoked by the police department’s STRESS team – 4 man patrol cars that would descend on a place and beat the crap out of the disorderly Blacks there. This is exactly what’s happening in Ferguson. I think the only way out is for the mass resignation of the Ferguson Police Force.

    In other must-read news is Ed Kilgore’s essay on “Constitutional Conservatives” and the whole libertarian thing. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/libertarian-christian-right

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    • nancy said on August 14, 2014 at 8:23 am

      Far be it from me to contradict a lifer, but the STRESS units were formed after the riots. They were a source of bad feeling between cops and citizens, yes, but not until after. Before the riots, though, the Detroit cops were very aggressive, especially with black folks. The ’67 riot was touched off by the raid of an after-hours joint, as we all know.

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  9. Jeff Borden said on August 14, 2014 at 8:20 am

    I’ve wondered the same thing, Deborah. We have kicked the shit out of the poor and the desperate for so very long, maybe they’ve become the equivalent of an abused spouse. They just take it because what else could they do? God help us when the GOP takes the Senate and we have two years of monkey house insanity instead of facing our very real problems.

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  10. brian stouder said on August 14, 2014 at 8:24 am

    And, we recall the free range/free-loader Clive Bundy, and the crew of toothless gun-toters he drew in support, and the relentless drumbeat from Fox News and Shit-for-brains-Sean Hannity (et al), and elected figures – up to and including the President of the United States – stood up and took control (and ownership) of the situation; and it ended peacefully (despite the avid desire for “another Waco” by the shit-for-brains shovel brigade on Fox)

    So regarding Ferguson, Question Number 1 is: where is the Governor of Missouri? Where are their Congressional Representatives? Where is the elected mayor or the elected county officials for Ferguson? Why are we only seeing the sweaty police command structure before the cameras?

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  11. coozledad said on August 14, 2014 at 8:28 am

    There’s been a paucity of coverage of the Moral Mondays protests in NC and elsewhere. It doesn’t suit the Fox News model of television, where you’ve got to have an angry negro to vilify. You can’t show old white people and blacks marching together. It doesn’t sell guns. It doesn’t further the hate.

    What has to happen in Ferguson is for high profile media people to get there and get their heads split open. Jon Stewart. Colbert.

    Bus in some white college students to be gassed and shot. That’ll stop that shit.

    Obama can’t do anything about this. They’ll just call him a nigger and call for his impeachment for “overreach”. It’s above jay Nixon’s pay grade to join a civil war.

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  12. Judybusy said on August 14, 2014 at 9:22 am

    I think one reason more poor people haven’t risen up is that they are too busy surviving, getting the basics met. Throw in shitty schools, drug addiction, mental health issues, and you’ve got a population pretty beat down. Oh, and the active suppression of groups meant to organize them, such as the demise of Acorn. However, I think there is quite a bit of organizing among the immigrant “Dreamers” to ensure access to all the good stuff. Did anyone catch the video in which a couple of them confronted Rand Paul and Steve King? Here ’tis: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/08/05/1319279/-DREAMers-confront-Rand-Paul-and-Steve-King-Watch-their-hilarious-and-offensive-reactions

    Back in the 80’s I canvassed for a local outfit calling for a nuclear weapons freeze. Sometimes we’d go into poor neighborhoods. I never met my fundraising quota there, but had a lot of good conversations about the state of the world.

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  13. Charlotte said on August 14, 2014 at 10:28 am

    JudyBusy — I canvassed for PIRG one summer in grad school when there were no other jobs. We dreaded the middle-class and upper-class neighborhoods. No one gave you squat, wouldn’t come to the door, wouldn’t even talk to you. Poor neighborhoods, folks would give you a buck or two, and yeah, have a lot of good conversations about the state of the world. One guy I chatted with somehow became the model for the Search and Rescue leader in my novel too … couldn’t tell you why. We only had a 10 minute conversation, but he stuck.

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  14. Sue said on August 14, 2014 at 10:48 am

    I’ve been watching the involvement of Anonymous on Ferguson, with a lot of interest. If normal patterns hold, this group will be very effective (Steubenville) before they implode and become their own evil twin. I think they’re already on the cusp of it with their threats to release information on the daughter of the police chief (although they backed off on that).
    Anonymous is under-reported right now, I wish newspapers and tv would pick up on how important this part of the story is. It’s a ‘wave of the future’ thing.

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  15. Little Bird said on August 14, 2014 at 10:56 am

    The whole thing in Ferguson terrifies me. I have a large number of friends in St. Louis and a few if them have to go to Ferguson for their jobs. They say it’s crazy right now. The police in St. Louis have a history of doing the wrong thing. I’m so glad I don’t live there anymore!

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  16. Jeff Borden said on August 14, 2014 at 11:03 am

    There are a lot of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans posting all over the place that they never –never– had the kind of body armor and firepower while at war that the cops in Ferguson are using. Some are posting pictures of themselves next to the Ferguson cops and the veterans are clearly telling the truth.

    Scary shit, man.

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  17. Little Bird said on August 14, 2014 at 11:16 am


    For those of you looking for more photos of the debacle in MO.

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  18. brian stouder said on August 14, 2014 at 11:20 am

    I bet a person would pass out in all that garb, on the desert floor of southern Iraq.

    But these guys probably have an inexhaustible supply cold drinks (of one sort or another) – and air conditioning in their cars (if not their armored vehicles)

    Speaking of those armored vehicles, it is inexcusable that they are routinely aiming their top-mounted automatic weapons at the gathered citizens.

    The damned “tea party” folks ought to pipe up about the potential parallel with the Boston Massacre, if one of those chuckleheads accidently cuts loose on the crowd

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  19. Sue said on August 14, 2014 at 11:30 am


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  20. LAMary said on August 14, 2014 at 11:54 am

    They interviewed a reporter from the WP on NPR this morning. He had been arrested for resisting arrest for not leaving a McDonalds fast enough when the cops ordered him to. He said that cops showing up in military battle gear and armored vehicles definitely got the crowds going. I don’t doubt it.

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  21. brian stouder said on August 14, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Sue – superb link!

    For my money – thread win for Sue!!

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  22. Linda said on August 14, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Cooz, I guess Nixon decided managing a civil war WAS his pay grade:


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  23. coozledad said on August 14, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Linda: Good. I wonder what the DOJ’s review of this shitstorm is going to turn up.

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  24. Jolene said on August 14, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    This was actually Nixon’s second trip to Ferguson. He spoke at an event a couple of days ago, calling for calm and promising transparency, etc. Let’s hope this visit does more good.v

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  25. MichaelG said on August 14, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    One of the most disturbing aspects of this whole Ferguson situation is the mantle of secrecy the police are attempting to draw over the thing and the somewhat successful effort to suppress reporting. I’m not going to repeat all the stories, this (somewhat poorly written) story from Jezebel is a good start:


    I find this news suppression just as disturbing as the militarization of the cops.

    I’ll also say this, if I were the cop who killed Michael Brown, my ass would be on a plane to a place far, far away.

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  26. brian stouder said on August 14, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Well – the governor might oughta’ take ownership of this thing, and order a stand-down of those county thugs, and get amongst the people there, and stand with them.

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  27. Sherri said on August 14, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    What Army vets have to say about Ferguson and the police: https://storify.com/AthertonKD/veterans-on-ferguson

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  28. Jolene said on August 14, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    For people who want to spend a little more time remembering Robin Williams, two links.

    First, a collection of snippets of his appearances as a talk-show guest, which was, for me, his best role.

    Second, a podcast in which Williams is interviewed by Mark Maron, another comedian who has struggled with depression and substance abuse. I’ve only heard snippets of this, but it’s reported to be very good. Have heard other Maron podcasts, and they are always engaging. He goes for the guts of whatever is being discussed.

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  29. Deborah said on August 14, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Amazing change of tone http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/police-captain-walks-ferguson-protesters.

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