The A word

I found this article to be interesting for three reasons. Updated for further clarification and edification:

A police officer was battling for his life and three more were dead after a parolee with an “extensive criminal history” opened fire at a routine traffic stop and hours later gunned down members of a SWAT team searching for him.

First, notice how the parolee was armed with an “assault” rifle, whatever that’s supposed to mean. I somehow doubt he was armed with an M-16 on full-auto. Second, the SWAT teams aren’t anywhere nearly as invulnerable as they’d like Americans to believe they are; it’s a little tougher taking down an armed criminal who knows you’re after him than killing an elderly woman in her sleep during a no-knock raid in the middle of the night.

And third, there simply aren’t many Americans who have any sympathy for officers getting killed on the job any more. The police have made it very clear over the years that they’re not on my side, your side, or anyone’s side but the politicians. It was just over 20 years ago when NWA first declared “Fuck Tha Police” and now Americans are openly jeering dead police officers. As the picture above indicates, the vast outpouring of public grief over the recently deceased doesn’t exactly rival the death of Diana.

The police have two choices. They can do what they’ve been doing for the last two decades, react angrily, and continue to become more and more militarized and more and more hated by the American people. That’s how the police in the Third World roll, or at least, how they did it before the drug cartels handed them their heads. Literally, in some cases. Or, they can listen to what more and more Americans have been trying to tell them for 20 years and go back to keeping the peace rather than trying to enforce the law. The one thing every policeman has to understand is that hiding their actions behind “the Law” is not and has not ever been acceptable, especially not when law and lawmakers alike have become increasingly corrupt. That excuse didn’t absolve the SS-TV and it won’t absolve American police. The old aphorism is an apt one; you can’t have a police state without police.

It’s pretty simple. If we’re not robbing or murdering anyone, leave us the fuck alone and stay the hell out of our houses, cars, and lives! That’s the American way. And if you can’t manage to do that, then yeah, we probably will smile with a certain amount of grim satisfaction when another member of the Badge Mafia bites the dust.

I understand that most police are simply “doing their job”. But what few policemen understand is that how their job is defined for them by their superiors has radically changed over the last fifty years and has drastically altered the way in which they are regarded by those who would have been considered, fifty years ago, a law-abiding populace.

The myth of objectivity

A former Star & Sickle journalist also views Nicolas Kristoff’s lament for days gone by with a skeptical eye:

I’m not saying this is utter rubbish (how’s that for a left-handed compliment), but I am convinced that the so-called objectivity, nothing-but-the-facts model really doesn’t do the trick, especially when the facts are being chosen, ordered and told by reporters, 80 to 90 percent of whom are liberals.

It’s remarkable that after all this time, there are still only a few journalists such as Eric Black who are capable of recognizing that, in hindsight, maybe they weren’t collectively all that objective after all. I’ve known a fair number of journalists over the years, from NPR stars to wannabees putting in their time at the little local papers, and I can count on one hand the number that didn’t hold completely predictable left-liberal views on every major issue.

It was particularly amusing when I sent in three sample columns when the St. Paul Pioneer Press decided they wanted a new columnist to replace their token conservative who was departing. Keep in mind that at the time, I was not only their video game columnist, but I’d written one or two editorial page pieces on technology issues that no one there had been capable of grasping, such as the Unabomber’s manifesto and, more importantly, was the only columnist at the paper to be nationally syndicated in years. I can’t remember what the third column was, but the first two were explaining how the economics of taxpayer funding for sports stadiums didn’t add up and showing that conceal carry laws never lead to the oft-predicted bloodbaths.

The editor was very uncomfortable in trying to explain that while my writing was good enough for the Tech page, I just “wasn’t right for the Editorial page”. Translation: “your opinions aren’t right for any opinion page over which I have any say”. Needless to say, I was shocked that I didn’t get the slot. I think he seriously thought I was crazy, as opposing taxpayer-funded stadiums is downright heresy to any newspaper editor who depends on filling up his Sports page with news about the local team and selling advertisements to their fans.

I’m not in the least bit bitter about it, but I’m certainly not shedding any tears for the gatekeepers either as the technology-enabled barbarians storm the gates. Nor, I think, is any other right-of-center newspaper reader who had to put up with that faux objectivity for decades. In the news business, you don’t have to tell people what they want to hear, but you really do have to avoid insulting their intelligence. Newspaper readers may read at only a eighth-grade level on average, (or, more likely, that’s just the lowest common denominated target for which editors aim), but even an elementary school child can detect when you’re pulling one over on him if you do it every single freaking day.

This post brought to you courtesy of the Fraters Libertas, who, after yesterday’s post, I doubt I’ll be visiting on NARN anytime soon… I am renegade, Ice…man.