The Fire this Time

baltimore-burningWith apologies to the late Norman Mailer, I’d like to assert that we are now at that tipping point which he pontificated about some four decades ago. Indeed, we are beyond that. The leaders of our cities believe that the police need to give rioters, thugs, and malcontents “the space to destroy.” The fire is now, it is this time. All the next times will be more of the same.

That probably will be the epitaph of our nation when, thanks to the kakistocracy, it all comes crashing down.

For those two young to remember, after the Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1965, for some strange reason urban ghettos exploded in riots. Gary, Detroit, Watts, Oakland and so many other cities (none in the South incidentally) burned. Entire neighborhoods were destroyed by the very people who lived in them. America was shocked and Congress convened the Kerner Commission, which seriously asserted that it was all because of white racism. Imagine that, after the Supreme Court overturned segregation, after President Eisenhower sent in the National Guard to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, after all of Jim Crow was overturned, ghettos were burning because of “white racism.”

How laughable. This would have made sense if the KKK was torching these cities during one of their infamous midnight rides but it wasn’t white people doing the rioting, looting, and burning. It was the people living there.

Leaving aside the incongruity of fouling your own nest (something no animal does), when after decades of state-sanctioned second citizenship had been overturned, the question remained then as it does now: why?

By what right do people with grievances–imagined or otherwise–cause such mayhem? Has their collective conscience been so dulled that they cannot see what they are doing is an unmitigated evil?

My feeling is that during the “post-racial healing” that represents the Obama Administration, the narrative that there are atrocities perpetrated by whites and/or police against black people has utterly failed. The hoaxes ginned up by Trayvon Martin’s death, the Duke Lacrosse case, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner have all been put to rest and in remarkably quick time. Even as far back as Tawana Brawley, it’s been clear that white-on-black crime is a chimera. (Helpful hint: whenever Al Sharpton shows up with his megaphone, you can pretty much bet the farm that there’s no merit whatsoever to what he’s peddling.)

So when we have a case like Freddy Gray, who was paralyzed during his time in police custody, the pent-up rage of African-Americans seems to find a righteous outlet. After all, as a rule, people don’t paralyze themselves. On the face of it, this looks like a case of police brutality, pure and simple.

The problem is that even here, things aren’t so cut-and-dried.

For one thing, one of the prisoners who was transported in the same van with Gray asserted that he did in fact injure himself while in the police van. Secondly, of the six policemen indicted in his death, three are black themselves. Are we to believe that black cops abuse black prisoners? In most instances of police brutality, it is usually two cops beating the crap out of somebody who is usually shackled to a chair. And both cops are friends who won’t rat on each other. The more cops present, that bond of one-on-one solidarity is loosened to the point of non-existence.

The rest of the story will come out in due time. It may very well be that the police are guilty of second-degree murder. Or it may be that Gray was hopped up on drugs and caused these injuries to himself. In any case, we should avoid a rush to judgment. Stranger things have happened before. And there is nothing wrong with giving The Thin Blue Line the benefit of the doubt. In cities like Baltimore, they are the only thing standing between chaos and some semblance of order.

That does not mean that we cannot judge the system itself. And no, I don’t mean The Man, Mr Charlie, or Jim Crow. Baltimore, like most major American cities East of the Mississippi are bright blue. The list of cities that have been run by liberals for generations–not decades–is a long one. Philadelphia, Detroit, Gary, East St Louis, and Baltimore are the tip of the liberal/progressive iceberg. In Atlanta, the public education system has been run like a crime syndicate and it has failed its charges miserably. And Atlanta hasn’t had a Republican mayor since Reconstruction.

We might as well come out and say it: ever since the 60’s riots, black elected officials have conducted ongoing pogroms against white businesses and neighborhoods, resulting in nothing less than economic devastation. I’ve seen film footage of Detroit: Calcutta looks like a teeming, vibrant metropolis in comparison. This sickness has now spread to some Southern cities as well. Birmingham and Memphis are tottering on the brink. Selma, Alabama, Ground Zero of the Civil Rights movement, is such a hell-hole that there was no theater in that city which could show the recent movie of the same name. (Not that it mattered, it died at the box office.)

Elections matter. But not just elections, culture does as well. John Lindsey was the Republican mayor of New York City back in the 60s and his idiotic liberal policies put that city on its way to ruin long before there was a David Dinkins or Bill DeBlasio. (In retrospect, we may look upon the Giuliani interregnum as a mere blip on that cities road to decline.) The culture of America in general is one of license. Immorality abounds; worse, it’s celebrated and codified into law.

This has had devastating consequences for the urban poor. Consider the bad old days of Jim Crow, when black people had little or no recourse to the law for redress of grievances. The moral code held that there was such a thing as virtue and it was promoted. Despite occupying the bottom rung of the socio-economic ladder, black people accepted these virtues as normative and despite all appearances, the black family survived and black communities thrived. For all its ills, segregation forced the formation of black business, churches, and other institutions.

Worse, even some on the Right are jumping to ridiculous conclusions. Senator Rand Paul for instance, has met with Al Sharpton, a man whose moral authority is non-existent at this point. The purpose of this meeting? To assure Sharpton that our prisons are overfilled because of our supposedly draconian drug laws, which supposedly discriminate against black people. Is he serious? Our prisons are indeed full: America has 5 percent of the world’s population but twenty-five percent of the world’s prisoners. For those who don’t know better, America –all fifty states–only incarcerate the worst of the worst. Nobody goes to prison in America for the first, second, or even third crime committed. Our prisons are teeming with unparalleled numbers, that is true, but that it only because most of our criminal class is hyper-violent. Our welfare system encourages and augments the worst, most dysgenic qualities of the underclass to be propagated from one generation to the next. And our churches and schools are silent on the matter of personal responsibility.

This has all come crashing down however and at this point, it may all be too late. The fire this time is the very real possibility that there is no turning back. That the failures of the inner city, of liberalism in general, are well on their way to making huge swaths of America a Third World hellhole.

And yet our betters constantly exhort us to rule the world, to be The Exceptional Nation. The Neoliberals tell us we must hop NATO up on steroids while the Neocons truckle before Sheldon Adelson in Las Vegas, assuring him that they can hardly wait to go to war on Israel’s behalf. Our Community-organizer-in-chief continues to eviscerate the middle class by allowing millions of foreigners to cross our southern border with impunity, thereby continuing to displace blacks from jobs they used to have a monopoly on.

So, when will it all finally end? It will probably take awhile. I believe it was Samuel Johnson who said that “there was a lot of ruin in a nation.” These United States, being a confederacy of several independent States will be able to absorb a lot of ruin. The Great Retribalization continues apace; indeed it accelerates every time there’s another Baltimore. Some states will tailor their policies in light of these developments. Surprising things can happen: Maryland could turn purple while Pennsylvania turns red. In the meantime the red states will turn redder. But in the end, all we are doing is kicking the can down the road.

Unless and until the worst aspects of the urban underclass is dealt with in a direct but legal fashion, this fire will continue to burn with no end in sight.

About GShep

Comments

  1. Nate Trost says

    I see Mr. Michalopulos made it a whole three sentences this time before his first disingenuous statement. Perhaps we should give him a blue ribbon for managing to make it that far.

  2. Michael James Kinsey says

    When the banks runs start, the blacks will riot, the white guns will come out. The derivatives bubble will burst. This financial panic cannot be prevented.If, the government declares bankruptcy, the USA will be turned into one giant Andersonville Civil War Prison. These seasonal explosions of madness, are meant to temper the people for more dire madness, Not to worry, the mark of the beast, and Basel III banking will come to the rescue.The end of the beginning of the end is at hand. The end of the world starts when the mark appears. It is later than you think.

    • Sean Richardson says

      I grew up in a fundamentalist, Bible-banging church, and we read Hal Lindsey’s “The Late Great Planet Earth” as much as we did the Bible … we were sure that in the 60s and 70s nothing could be worse, “sex, drugs, and rock n roll”, people dying in the rice paddies of Southeast Asia, civil strife and unrest, nuclear brinkmanship, oil embargoes … and then we found that Lindsey’s prediction that the rapture would happen before 1988 was wrong, and all of our doom and gloom was hyperbole. What we’re living through today is nothing compared to the great plagues of Europe and Stalinist death camps. Perhaps we should learn more from the past and worry more about fixing problems than fixating on them?

    • Molon Labe says

      Blacks have guns too. This. Is. Sparta America. Everybody has a gun.

      As well they should. Gun control was first instituted by segregationist whites as a means to maintain the status quo. Limiting access to guns maintained the power of those who already had guns: whites.

  3. Christopher says

    On white racism: I used to think that it was a simple political game of the left used to gin up support from their core constituencies (the right does the same thing). Surely people of common sense and good will can see that the “civil rights movement” is an almost unqualified success – no ideological or causal “racist” has any sway at all in or culture/society. Indeed, they put themselves in real legal jeopardy at the slightest infraction.

    Then, I started running across these sorts of monstrosities:

    http://myocn.net/beyond-ferguson/

    This author, one Presvytera Marilisse Mars, should have some sense of Christian anthropology, freedom, sin, etc. She does not – she is a dialectical materialist (i.e. marxist) through and through, thus she is able to assert that white people are racist by nature, what she calls our “unearned white privilege”.

    This is not an article posted in the deep bowels of academia where causal anti-Christian marxism is the norm – this is posted on an Orthodox outreach site by a Greek Presvytera! One who with a university education and serves as a psychological counselor no less!!

    Talk about your “wolves within”. This sort of thinking is more common than we want to admit, and reveals just how far even folks who should know better (Orthodox and Traditional Christians) can be suckered into false understandings around this issue…

  4. Daniel E Fall says

    Absolute trash George. That was either caffeine or alcohol induced. Which one?

    The reality is police have too much power.

    Read some case law.

    Graham v Connor
    Tennesee v Garner

    The difference today is we all hear about every stretch of police power. A police officer shocks someone with a taser and the person reacts to the taser with a normal reaction and slaps at it and gets 5 rounds in the back. Tennesee v Garner is a mistake and should be legislated.

    What better reality tv than cops killing idiots that run.

    • I don’t think it’s that the police have too much power.

      The police, other elected officials, some of my friends, and many other people LACK SELF-CONTROL. PERIOD.

      Bad cops lack self-control. Drug dealers lack self-control. Fornicators lack self-control. Looters lack self-control. CEO’s lack self-control. Rich bitches lack self-control.

      The “worst aspects of the urban underclass” are the same as the “worst aspects of the human race”. Nothing special about the urban underclass, other than it’s probably much, much harder for them to have hope and break free.

      • Dan Fall says

        Sorry, Alex, but the police have too much power. Read the case law. Tennesee v Garner needs legislation.

        And if you don’t believe there is a power problem in policing, look at the Baltimore case. Not one of those cops questioned any of the others as to the treatment of Gray. That is because the police have their own culture that they do right and others do wrong.

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      The reality is police have too much power.

      In Baltimore? We must have been watching different TV channels during the recent uprising.

    • Rymlianin says

      First, they came for the radicals, but I was not a radical so I did not protest.
      Then they came for the Blacks, but I was not Black, so I did not protest.
      Then they came for the Christians and there was no one left to protest.

  5. annoyed says

    I want you George to be very very careful about what you say about Baltimore. I live there and I can tell you you are wrong in many of the things you said in your article.

    You have an opportunity to ask someone who lives there, I would strongly suggest you do so.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Well, as Will Rogers said: “All I know is what I read in the newspapers.” In this case ABCBSNBCFOXCNN/whatever. I’m sure in your neck of the woods all is blissful. Good to hear. Hope that’s the case. But what has been splashed on the news hardly looks like a kerfuffle.

      If things are so good in the areas we’re talking about, would you consider moving there or perhaps opening a business? I hear real estate is super-cheap in Detroit, East St Louis and Newark.

      • I’m guessing you never read this in the papers.

        The following is excerpted from this Washington Post piece:

        I post it here believing you wouldn’t otherwise make the effort to read it over there. I read nothing in your diatribe above that comes close to what this journalist reported. In what world do you live? I’m guessing it’s not Morgan’s:

        Morgan was featured in my September investigation into the municipal courts system in St. Louis County. He’s a 29-year-old resident of Hazelwood, Missouri. He owns his own small business, a car repair and body shop he’d been saving up to buy since he was a teenager. He has also been arrested more than 20 times. All but two of those arrests were for misdemeanors.

        Morgan saved up for his business by fixing cars in his mother’s driveway. That required him to occasionally park cars on the street. That earned him parking tickets. He paid them when he could, but he occasionally missed deadlines. And that would lead to an arrest warrant.

        All of this also put Morgan on the radar of local police. He’s a tall black man with dreadlocks. That made him easy to spot, and probably easy to profile. His unpaid parking tickets led not just to arrest warrants, but to the occasional suspension of his license. That led to more citations, although like many in the area, Morgan was sometimes pulled over and issued only a ticket for driving on a suspended license, or driving a car that wasn’t registered to him. (Morgan sometimes drove his clients’ cars to test them.) But there was no underlying traffic violation — which raises the question of why the officer pulled Morgan over in the first place, if it wasn’t to profile him. Those citations then led to more arrests.

        When Morgan finally opened his business, the harassment continued. Cops would show up at his garage and cite his employees for operating without a business license. Morgan has a license; his employees didn’t need one. But to get the citations dismissed, Morgan and his employees would have to go to court, which was held once a month, at night. If they missed their court date, they too would be hit with an arrest warrant. Wealthy people can hire an attorney to go in their stead, and to negotiate their way out of a citation. But neither Morgan nor his employees were wealthy. Sometimes, Morgan was given other citations that required the man from whom he rented the space for his garage to come to court to vouch for him. That put strain on the relationship between Morgan and his landlord.

        Of course, this was all part the day-to-day harassment, fining, and arresting of black people in St. Louis County that was well-documented in the Justice Dept. report on Ferguson and in subsequent reports on St. Louis County by advocacy groups and media outlets.

        There were two occasions in which Morgan was arrested for offenses that weren’t misdemeanors. Here’s the first, from my report:

        In 2011, Morgan had to show up for municipal court in Hazelwood to appear for some traffic violations. He had been to the court before, and recalled that on a previous occasion he had been told by a police officer that children weren’t permitted inside. Having just picked his kids up from school, Morgan spotted the girlfriend of a friend in the parking lot and pulled his truck up next to her. He asked her to keep an eye on his kids while he was in court. She agreed.

        As Morgan walked toward the courthouse a police officer asked him the kids in the truck were his. He replied that they were. The officer asked him why he had left them alone. Morgan replied that he hadn’t, and that the woman parked next to him had agreed to watch them. By now, Morgan’s friend had returned, and started to leave.

        “I can’t really blame them,” Morgan says from his home in Hazelwood. “No one around here wants to attract attention. You don’t want a police officer knowing who you are.”

        Morgan pleaded with the police officer to flag down his friends, who he said would vouch for him. He says the officer then threatened to Taser him. Morgan put up his hands. The officer then arrested him for child endangerment. Morgan’s wife had to leave work to come pick up the kids, and Morgan spent the night in jail. He was fined $1,000, though both the fine and the charge were later reduced.

        The incident still upsets Morgan — not even the arrest so much as that his children had to see it. “I’m a good father,” he says. “I own my own business. I provide for my kids. Do you know what it’s like for your own children to see you get arrested? For a cop to say, right in front of them, that he’s arresting you because you’re a bad parent?”

        The other incident involved a local police officer who Morgan says had been harassing him for months. On this occasion, the officer confronted Morgan because he was “trespassing” on a neighbor’s lawn. Morgan responded that he wasn’t trespassing, because the neighbors didn’t mind. Morgan says the cop moved to arrest him, and he lost his cool. He claims he never struck the police officer, but he does admit that he screamed at him. Once he did, he was hit with a Taser and arrested for assaulting a police officer. That charge was later dropped. (The neighbors back Morgan’s account of the entire incident, including his assertion that he never touched the cop.)

        When Morgan told me that final story after about an hour-long interview, I was stunned. But not because Morgan lost his cool with the cop. I was stunned that it had taken him so long to do so. And that even then, he’d manage to restrain himself from physical violence. I’m not sure I’d have been able to say the same.

        Morgan is no one’s definition of a “thug.” He’s a guy who breaks his back to keep up the business that supports his family, despite obstacles that, frankly, most white business owners don’t have to endure. For all he’s been through, he is remarkably composed. He deals with the daily harassment in a remarkably manner-of-fact way. He takes photos of his business and the cars outside it. He records all of his phone conversations and most in-person conversations he has with public officials. He has a laptop filled with nothing but photos, documents, and recordings should he ever need them as evidence. Engaging in such defensive preparations on a daily basis would drive a lot of people insane — or perhaps be an indication that they’re already there. He does it because he has to. As he put it, “You have to struggle just to catch up.”

        I wonder how many people who rioted in Ferguson and Baltimore were carrying the same load Morgan was, but simply lacked his will to withstand it all. I also wonder what would have been said about Morgan if during one of his many arrests he had somehow died in the back of a police van as Freddie Gray did. Certainly we’d hear about all of those arrests. We’d probably hear about how he once abandoned his children in a parking lot. We’d definitely hear that police once had to Tase him, threatened to do so on another occasion, and that he had once been arrested for assaulting a cop.

        People like Morgan put the lie to blaming all of this on “black culture.” Morgan isn’t a drug pusher. He isn’t an absentee father. He isn’t in a gang. He’s a guy trying to do right by his family. Yet people like Morgan also show how the system feeds into the lie. Despite his biography, it would be very easy to portray Morgan as the very stereotype of “black culture” that law-and-order types rail against.

        Here’s how easy it is to stereotype: I did it, too. Just after Morgan finished telling me the story about how he was arrested in front of his kids, I asked him if that affected his visitation rights.

        He asked, “What do you mean by visitation rights?”

        “I mean, do you worry that their mother is going to use that against you, or do you have a good relationship with her?”

        “By the mother, do you mean my wife? She lives here too, with me and the kids.”

        He then laughed. “I have all the visitation I want.”

        Morgan was far more gracious about my blunder than he could have been. I was embarrassed. Mortified, really. I sympathized with Morgan. I felt awful for the crap he endured. And then I profiled him, too.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Boomer, I feel sorry for Mr Morgan. Just like I felt sorry for that poor black woman in Ferguson whose bakery was burned to the ground. Remind me again: who was it that destroyed these cities?

          • Dan Fall says

            George…your clothes are all missing. Put something on already.

            You are really missing the big picture for the black in your eyes. Racism can only be cured by education and I’m sorry, but I know you are too old a dog for any new lessons.

            Now go lay in the corner.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Christopher, I misspoke but only by a little. In most counties of most states, the vast majority of first, second, and even third offenses go unpunished and/or are treated lightly. (Barring of course capital offenses.) But even here, murders are sometimes plead down to manslaughter especially if the perp is a juvenile. That is simply inarguable.

              As for your unfortunate cousin, if she had been drug addicted for several years and was incarcerated upon a second offense, that would be the exception that proved the rule. If her second offense was in fact an actual second offense. My hunch however is that being a long-time drug addict, she violated many laws of which she was convicted of only twice.

              Permit me to explain: I speak as a pharmacist here who in the course of thirty years of practice has turned away dozens of forged prescriptions simply because I got tired of being hauled into court to testify and then waiting for hours on end outside the courtroom only to have some assistant DA come out and tell me that the perp plead to a lesser charge.*

              The point regarding your cousin? Each time a perp presents a fraudulent Rx he is committing a crime. Just like each time a chicken thief robs a chicken. One chicken, one crime. And the crime doesn’t have to be a forged or adulterated piece of paper handed to me, your humble apothecary. It can be some snot-nosed kid coming in to my pharmacy asking me for “UV 100 syringes for my grandmother.” (I’ve heard that one over a thousand times: it’s always their grandmother.) Or Tammy from the trailer-park asking for Sudafed 12.

              It’s really this simple: every time Johnny Juvenile walks in to a pharmacy asking for Sudafed 12 he commits a violation even if he goes away empty-handed. I’ve become so jaded that whenever somebody asks me for a “10cc insulin syringes” I ask them how long their pet water buffalo has been diabetic.

              Hence my assertion that your cousin violated the law dozens (if not hundreds of times). She may have been apprehended only twice. Therefore my assertion that our prisons are bulging to the seems with only the most violent offenders seems closer to the mark, Admittedly, I probably should have said “only the most egregious offenders” as in fact many of our incarcerated are jailed for non-violent crimes. Things like prostitution, public indecency, having non-consensual sexual relations with minors. (Mary Kay LeTourneau spent nine years in prison for raping her thirteen year old student. Was that fair? I’m asking an honest question.)

              As for the War on Drugs, I am more in sympathy with you than you think. Like Prohibition, I think it’s been largely a failure (hence my being in favor of decriminalization of marijuana). However even many of our Prog politicians don’t want to end it for the simple reason than our banking system would collapse. And you ever notice how the Libs like to say we’ve “lost the war on drugs” but never say “we’ve lost the war on poverty”?

              Another reason we won’t see the kakistocracy do away with the war on drugs is because the whole Hip-Hop/drug/thug culture is an elaborate “honey trap” which keeps the ghetto underclass permanently in check. Thanks to the destruction of the black family (again: thank you Liberals) and the loss of a black overclass which kept a lid on the underclass dysfunctionality, that underclass has become basically ungovernable and unemployable. In order to keep them out of white areas, the kakistocracy, via its entertainment industry, sends out the message to young black men that they only outlet for them is drugs. Louis Farrakhan is right on this matter. Violence, in the form of turf wars, keep the majority of black criminality directed inwardly. As such, it is easier to contain and on those few occasions in which it breaks out of the black ghetto, easier to apprehend.

              It’s really quite evil but ingenious nonetheless: it’s OK if blacks (or Latinos) kill each other –and they do, in alarming numbers–but when it becomes interracial, then the hammer of the criminal justice system comes down.

              I also agree with your sentiments regarding the militarization of the police force. That however is a byproduct of the anarchy which reigns among the underclass and a consequence of the increasing centralization of power into a Federal leviathan. Except during Reconstruction, the Federal government recoiled from the thought of making the Armed Forces a constabulary or from encouraging local police forces from acting like a militia.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Racism can only be eradicated by “education”? Really? What have we been pounding in the heads of our school children the past fifty years? Timon of Athens? “The Goldberg Variations”? Or was it “The Rubayat of Omar Khayyam”?

  6. Tim R. Mortiss says

    George, I’ve got some axes to grind, too, and though they are different than yours, they are no less important. But because they have nothing directly to do with my faith, I don’t bring them up here at Monomakhos.

    Do you expect actual cogent responses to this hodgepodge syllabus of laments?

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      I don’t bring them up here at Monomakhos.

      Neither do I. It’s George’s blog site.

  7. annoyed says

    Why would someone dislike my comment? Too inconvenient for some of you paranoid conspiritorial conservatives that you have someone who actually lives in Baltimore that could tell you something that will burst your bubble?

    You guys should be talking about how as the Church should we respond to this. I know I have, along with the lay and clergy in Baltimore.

    Hopefully, we’ll see a FOCUS chapter and or IOCC setting up some sort of long term urban ministry, something the Orthodox Churches in this country have done very little of.

    I guess the rest of you will sit from your comfortable couches and chairs in your home and judge the rest of us.

    How very Orthodox of you!

    • Are you setting up a FOCUS chapter or IOCC in the area? Or is this another case of “Let George do it?” Kudos if you are, but if not, Pot – meet kettle, all on comfortable couches.

      I would be interested in your take, as I am well aware of how the media spins things to fit their narrative. I thought Boomer’s article was enlightening, and likely at least in part true.

      But profiles don’t occur out of thin air. I have spent months preparing the same kind of documentation after suspending a minority that didn’t bother to show up for work several days a week. He had been doing this regularly before a reorganization placed him under my management. And for doing my job, I was put through diversity hell. So I have first hand knowledge of what the entitlement culture has done to the country.

      And having close ties with a number of police, I’d say when many in a group throw bags of feces and urine at you, it might cause you to take a dimmer view of these groups. The people who break my heart are the folks who are law abiding in these areas who will get less police protection because the thugs don’t want it/ won’t allow it. Do you think that new businesses will be queuing up to build in these areas? I don’t.

      But since you live there, tell us that all the rioting was by residents – no one imported as occurred in Ferguson. But I am certainly willing to read your version, or more from Boomer or others.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Very well said. Regarding business formation in blighted areas, I was ready to go into my local Starbucks, ready to be prodded into being asked by some silly, over-educated barista to “talk about race.” I was going to answer: “Yes, by all means, lets. When are you going to open a Starbucks in North Tulsa?”

        Because of the furor which shut down this clearly ridiculous PR scheme almost immediately, I was deprived of getting my licks in. Sigh.

  8. annoyed says

    BTW, I never once said that things are all just fine and wonderful.

    And, some of the reporting from those “esteemed” media outlets where not 100% accurate. But I guess 1st hand accounts of actual residents and participants in the protests don’t mean anything to you.

    I think your response was snide and consdenscending George.

  9. Exchange white for Turk and black for Greek and set the stage in the Republic of Turkey and perhaps you can begin to understand.

    As to the Watts riots. Think about all the effort put into the Civil Rights Movement and the totality of what it was fighting for, and then imagine that what you get in return is a defense of voting rights alone that many whites still think is too far.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Except I don’t ever remember the Greeks rioting in Turkish cities.

      If however, you intend to the formation of sovereign states arising from the ashes of interracial/-ethnic strife, then let’s go continue down that path. There have been some black-separatist movements in America, beginning with the Liberian experiment, continuing on with Marcus Garvey and the Moorish Science Temple. The most enduring one is the Nation of Islam. These have all avidly preached political segregation of the races. The NOI even owns thousands of acres of farmland in Georgia. Why don’t the “aggrieved” of Baltimore set out to the join the NOI, either as adherents or as sympathizers. The NOI could serve as a vanguard of the proletariat so to speak since they have an infrastructure already in place.

      Why not?

      • That you basically just said, “Go back to Africa” should give everyone here a good sense of the seriousness and depth with which the host of this site understands and speaks on the topic of race. Those most in need of shame are typically those least prone to feeling it. You should be ashamed of yourself.

        As to the Greeks not rioting, they were even more cruelly treated and had the option (much availed) to convert to islam and magically become Turks. Are you arguing for less humane treatment of black a la the turkokratia, that blacks be thankful they were treated so well in the U.S. Or are you lamenting their inability to convert to another race following the more common response by history’s Greeks to persecution?

        • George Michalopulos says

          Where to begin? Unlike St Lincoln, I’ve never said blacks should “go back to Africa.” Nor (like him again) do I find the “amalgamation of the races to be repugnant.” Or that blacks would “always inhabit the lesser place” in society.

          So, I don’t know what your beef is. Here is mine however: the wanton violence of people who seem to be permanently aggrieved. And who in their violence destroy innocent lives. There is no justification for this, especially if the Civil War mythology is correct (that white men died so that black men could be free).

          If any people had a right to riot, it was the Christian minority in Turkey. They did not. And given the outright genocide visited upon much of them (the Armenians most of all), they should have.

          If you want to play the victim card I can assure you that African-Americans have had it far better than the Assyrians, Greeks and Armenians. The only way you can prove me wrong is by giving the names and dates of legislation passed by the Turkish government which redressed the inferior status of said minorities.

          I’ll make it easy for you: just give me one. That’s all.

          • Molon Labe says

            The Civil War. White men paid for their slavery of blacks. They did not “die so black men could be free.” I quote that great Republican president, Abraham Lincoln:

            Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

            • George Michalopulos says

              Molon, that’s the exact type of mythology that has been peddled under the rubric of “civil war mythology.” Lincoln for his part did not believe it. His primary focus was to prevent the formation of a break-away republic which possessed free ports, thereby undermining the high tariff walls that the North had erected. It was these high tariffs that financed the entire federal government up to that point. This was openly admitted by most newspapers at the time (cf. Horace Greeley as well as Karl Marx/Friedrich Engels).

              • Molon Labe says

                It borders on slander to say that President Lincoln didn’t mean what he said. You’re basically calling him a liar.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Those words were agitprop. If he really meant them he would have said the absolutely same thing about the thousands of Northern European whites (most all Anglo-Saxon or Scots-Irish) who likewise came to these shores in absolutely appaling conditions and served as slaves during the most productive years of their lives.

                  By 1862/3, Lincoln and several others (notably W T Sherman) had absolutely had it with the Abolitionists. They considered them to be insufferable and an obstacle to preserving the Union. Except for those black men who had served in the Union Army and perhaps 250,000 soon-to-be-freed slaves who could pass literacy tests, Lincoln was actively preparing plans to send the rest to the Caribbean and/or Africa.

                • I can’t speak for others, but I would call him a lot worse things than a liar.

                • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                  Some losers NEVER give up or admit they lost!

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      Exchange white for Turk and black for Greek and set the stage in the Republic of Turkey and perhaps you can begin to understand

      I, for one, would be glad to let Baltimore secede from the country.

      • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

        Good idea, Fr. Patrick. And Baltimore can take the entire state of Maryland with it. Martin O’Malley could be the next President of the Sovereign Nation of Maryland.

        And, while we’re at, a few other states and city-states might consider the same course.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Father Alexander, a good idea. To make things easier to govern, the US really ought to be split up into five. Northeast (with Chicago carved out of Illinois): Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Eastern Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Maryland, Deleware; Washington DC Mid-East: Illinois(w/o Chicago); Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, Kentucky and West Virginia; Plains: North Dakota, S. Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico; West: Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, N. California, S. California, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Nevada; South: Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas.

          just a Friday PM whimsy.

          • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

            That may be slicing the baloney a bit too thinly.

          • Carl Kraeff says

            Contiguous geographical boundaries are not really important in this age of instant communications and easy travel. I think that a better approach would be to split the country into two: The first would be composed of counties that reliably vote Democrat and be called the People’s Republic of America. The second would be composed of counties that vote Republican and simply called The Republic. Each of these two federated states would set their own laws, with national defense delegated to the Republic, as the Democrats could not even put together a company of good soldiers. I envision The Republic to be based on the original US Constitution, with some fine-tuning to ensure that the basic law remains just that and that any changes to it are made through procedures contained therein and not by judicial fiat.

            • Mike Myers says

              A correction: the Republic, and the Plutocracy. Get real. You partisan ideologues are too much. You live in a dream world.

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        You mean they are not, or should not be, under God with His Elect, namely US?

  10. Thomas Barker says

    When watching the media coverage of the Thug Olympics, one can’t help but theorize on the peculiar nature of the contests. My favorite event, not as ancient as, but more violent than the hammer throw is the Police Car Piñata. The hooligans surround the car and smash it to smithereens, a vivid witness to their primitive nature. Often the car is torched as a sort of ghetto version of the Burning Man celebration. Not only is there no attempt made to protect the marked units, but apparently the police officers think that parking and running through the angry crowd is safer than simply driving away. Does that make any sense? And you never see a late model, clean police cruiser. The vehicles always look about 15 years old, worn and faded. I think the Commissioner orders the oldest dozen vehicles from the motor pool and has them parked in the path of the advancing savages. That is how the police department forces the city to purchase new cars.

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      I think the Commissioner orders the oldest dozen vehicles from the motor pool and has them parked in the path of the advancing savages. That is how the police department forces the city to purchase new cars.

      There it is—a perceptive reflection, rendered in clear grammar, and inspired by obvious logic. Thank you!

    • Nate Trost says

      Mr. Barker, was it really necessary to use such violent, dehumanizing language against this nice young man?

      • Thomas Barker says

        The young bull elephant, drunk on testosterone, rampages through the river valley. We have to forgive the deluded feral youths (such as the one in your photo) their peccadilloes. Soon enough he’ll be yoked to a harpie, burping a baby on his shoulder, cursing the electric bill. Nature’s penance poured upon him without stint.

  11. Christopher says

    To assure Sharpton that our prisons are overfilled because of our supposedly draconian drug laws, which supposedly discriminate against black people. Is he serious? Our prisons are indeed full: America has 5 percent of the world’s population but twenty-five percent of the world’s prisoners. For those who don’t know better, America –all fifty states–only incarcerate the worst of the worst. Nobody goes to prison in America for the first, second, or even third crime committed.

    You know George, somehow I missed this. I don’t often disagree with you very often, but you are dead wrong about this. Yes, Sharpton is a waste of time. However, our prisons are filled with people because of the drug war. Your statement about “Nobody goes to prison in America for the first, second, or even third crime committed.” is just plain false, and you will probably want to do a retraction. I can point to my cousin’s case if you wish – she has suffered drug addiction for most of her young life and yes, she went to prison for a second offense. Anyone with even a passing familiarity with “the war on drugs” and “three strikes laws” knows that this statement of yours is false and needs to be retracted.

    Starting about 40 years ago, the “drug war” (which really should be termed “prohibition 2.0) started to change our criminal justices system. 9/11 has really accelerated the process, and now our police force are truly “militarized”. I could site much written by police themselves and of course all the cases where teenagers with BB guns and old men with canes are executed by police because they now have a “shoot first” threat assessment, training and mentality. Unfortunately, our culture seems to be hell bent on downplaying this, and when officers actually do rightly use deadly force (such as in Ferguson) it wants to make hay of it.

    Also, have you done any prison ministry? If not you should. I think you would quickly realize that the poor and dangerous conditions, due in large part to over crowding, are actually “cruel”. There are many reasons why society has decided to treat our prisoners the way we do, but it really is not justified even on a simple “moral” level – let alone on a Christian one.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Christopher, I misspoke but only by a little. In most counties of most states, the vast majority of first, second, and even third offenses go unpunished and/or are treated lightly. (Barring of course capital offenses.) But even here, murders are sometimes plead down to manslaughter especially if the perp is a juvenile. That is simply inarguable.

      As for your unfortunate cousin, if she had been drug addicted for several years and was incarcerated upon a second offense, that would be the exception that proved the rule. If her second offense was in fact an actual second offense. My hunch however is that being a long-time drug addict, she violated many laws of which she was convicted of only twice.

      Permit me to explain: I speak as a pharmacist here who in the course of thirty years of practice has turned away dozens of forged prescriptions simply because I got tired of being hauled into court to testify and then waiting for hours on end outside the courtroom only to have some assistant DA come out and tell me that the perp plead to a lesser charge.*

      The point regarding your cousin? Each time a perp presents a fraudulent Rx he is committing a crime. Just like each time a chicken thief robs a chicken. One chicken, one crime. And the crime doesn’t have to be a forged or adulterated piece of paper handed to me, your humble apothecary. It can be some snot-nosed kid coming in to my pharmacy asking me for “UV 100 syringes for my grandmother.” (I’ve heard that one over a thousand times: it’s always their grandmother.) Or Tammy from the trailer-park asking for Sudafed 12.

      It’s really this simple: every time Johnny Juvenile walks in to a pharmacy asking for Sudafed 12 he commits a violation even if he goes away empty-handed. I’ve become so jaded that whenever somebody asks me for a “10cc insulin syringes” I ask them how long their pet water buffalo has been diabetic.

      Hence my assertion that your cousin violated the law dozens (if not hundreds of times). She may have been apprehended only twice. Therefore my assertion that our prisons are bulging to the seems with only the most violent offenders seems closer to the mark, Admittedly, I probably should have said “only the most egregious offenders” as in fact many of our incarcerated are jailed for non-violent crimes. Things like prostitution, public indecency, having non-consensual sexual relations with minors. (Mary Kay LeTourneau spent nine years in prison for raping her thirteen year old student. Was that fair? I’m asking an honest question.)

      As for the War on Drugs, I am more in sympathy with you than you think. Like Prohibition, I think it’s been largely a failure (hence my being in favor of decriminalization of marijuana). However even many of our Prog politicians don’t want to end it for the simple reason than our banking system would collapse. And you ever notice how the Libs like to say we’ve “lost the war on drugs” but never say “we’ve lost the war on poverty”?

      Another reason we won’t see the kakistocracy do away with the war on drugs is because the whole Hip-Hop/drug/thug culture is an elaborate “honey trap” which keeps the ghetto underclass permanently in check. Thanks to the destruction of the black family (again: thank you Liberals) and the loss of a black overclass which kept a lid on the underclass dysfunctionality, that underclass has become basically ungovernable and unemployable. In order to keep them out of white areas, the kakistocracy, via its entertainment industry, sends out the message to young black men that they only outlet for them is drugs. Louis Farrakhan is right on this matter. Violence, in the form of turf wars, keep the majority of black criminality directed inwardly. As such, it is easier to contain and on those few occasions in which it breaks out of the black ghetto, easier to apprehend.

      It’s really quite evil but ingenious nonetheless: it’s OK if blacks (or Latinos) kill each other –and they do, in alarming numbers–but when it becomes interracial, then the hammer of the criminal justice system comes down.

      I also agree with your sentiments regarding the militarization of the police force. That however is a byproduct of the anarchy which reigns among the underclass and a consequence of the increasing centralization of power into a Federal leviathan. Except during Reconstruction, the Federal government recoiled from the thought of making the Armed Forces a constabulary or from encouraging local police forces from acting like a militia.

      *Forgive me for my cynicism in this regard, but on those 4-5 occasions in which I was subpoened to testify, I either had to take off work (without pay) or if the hearing occurred on my day off, use my precious time off to go sit in some lobby for hours on end. (This was before the day of smart phones when all I could do was twiddle my thumbs.)

      • Daniel E Fall says

        I went fishing with my dad last weekend. We were astounded by the number of half million dollar empty second homes.

        What would Christ have said?

        Trickle down?

    • M. Stankovich says

      California has been under a mandate of the Federal Court of Appeals to reduce overcrowding for more than five years, and drug offenders and non-violent offenders with a low rate of recidivism with adequate supervision (e.g. auto theft, etc.) were the first to be released. There are four levels of security in the CA prison system, and it divides – or segregates – “yards” by security classification. I am told that Level I is for felony DUI and drug offenders, though I personally have never visited a Level I yard. I have worked in every security level of a CA state prison, including administrative segregation (AdSeg, reserved for those who violate the rules and need to be segregated from the general population), SHU (the “supermax” inmates – extremely violent/dangerous, historically violent dangerous, single cell 23 of 24 hours, rec alone in a dog pen, etc.), North Block Death Row (San Quentin, primary death row with 500+ inmates in a 5-tier cellblock), and the “Adjustment center” Death Row “supermax” (San Quentin, high profile (e.g. Richard Ramirez, Scott Peterson) & those too violent or unmanageable on North block. I would note I spent 18 months at Salinas Valley State Prison which has the highest percentage of both those with a sentence of life without the possibility of parole, as well as those with “two strikes,” meaning they are a strike away from life without parole. My point here is that I don’t know anything about Oklahoma or where Christopher is from, but I have been to many of CA state prisons, with full access to an inmate’s confidential criminal records, and they are not filled with non-violent drug offenders swept up in the drug wars. You can take my word that Levels 3 & 4 of CA state prisons – which are a large proportion of the prison population – are bad, bad people who belong there.

      What you are overlooking is that CA state prisons constitute the largest mental health system in the state. While it is a known fact that a certain percentage of inmates at the lower levels of care are malingers, feigning symptoms for benefits (e.g. separate housing away from the mainline), CA state prisons are the largest provider of care to the persistently mentally ill than all of the state hospitals combined. Salinas Valley State Prison has an entire yard – four buildings with three “pods” of thirty cells each – for the persistently mentally ill, in addition to Salinas Valley State Hospital which is on the grounds of the prison. And because of the inadequacy of referral and management sources on the outside (e.g. board-and-care facilities, day hospitlzation, intensive supervision & medication monitoring, SSI assistance, housing, etc.) their recidivism rate is miserable, and the cost to manage them in prison is equally astounding. But you have to ask, if they were not in prison, where would they be? State prisons, nationwide, have become the new state mental hospitals, and like CA, I suspect the persistently mentally ill far outnumber the non-violent drug offenders.

  12. Nicholas says

    George,

    I am pretty in step with you on most things that you post on your website. However, on this particular issue I believe that you are ignoring or have failed to consider a few additional points. Why are there so many minorities of color failing in our school systems and clogging our prisons? In a response to another poster, you seem to posit that black individuals are continually dissatisfied. Yes, many are dissatisfied and some are taking to extreme violence to show their dissatisfaction. Again, the question is, why?

    As a man who grew up in Los Angeles before and after the Rodney King riots, I know first-hand why there is such incredible dissatisfaction. The truth is that the primary starting place for living the American Dream, is education, and it has become a complete joke. There was a time when children could receive a pretty decent public education. I, myself, am the product of the LA city school system. Many teachers actually cared about their students and their profession. Sorry to say this, but it simply doesn’t exist anymore. In my circle of friends, I know of no parents who haven’t thought seriously about private schools or home schooling because of continued encounters with pathetic public school teachers. The public education system in America is now a downright failure. And for blacks especially, there is almost no American dream left. There used to be a lot of jobs in civil service where Black individuals could get some kind of middle-class position, but these are drying up. So with a failing educational system and no safety net such as civil service, where are these people going to find work? The answer is, there is no place of employment for them.

    In the 1950’s and 1960’s, racism was truly alive and well. Then came civil rights, integration, and “we’re all one happy family.” But the real truth is that our government has completely allowed our public education system to be destroyed through lack of funding, lack of reinvestment, racism, lack of any real immigration system, and a complete denial of all these issues. So where as Black Americans may have had some sort of chance at chasing the American Dream 50 years ago, that has pretty much been obliterated. And for the record, Hispanic Americans are a close second. And if you think that this is some kind of exaggeration, just google what the graduation rates are for Blacks and Hispanics in the LA city school district today. Take a look, for example, at the location of the high school in LA whose computer system was so screwed up that students couldn’t get the classes to complete their graduation requirements. And how, exactly, was a poor, uneducated mother or father supposed to help their children fight such a system?

    I admit it, I’m a white American, and I held some racist ideas when I was younger. When I was a kid, I was indoctrinated into believing that Black people just didn’t want to work as hard as White people. But now that I have more than a few grey hairs and have managed to put my kids into college, I realize that the opportunities that were given to me as a kid, barely existed a generation ago and simply don’t exist anymore. Or to be more precise, they exist for a very small percentage of people. Sure, this all sounds like an incredible exaggeration, but it is not. Children today, and for that matter many parents, are being duped that their kids are getting an education that will prepare them for college and ultimately for at least a middle class income. This is a lie.

    I used to believe that many Blacks in particular just didn’t want to get an education, that it was all pretty much cultural. However, having spent a considerable amount of time with many Black people over the years, I have come to realize that the deck has been stacked against many of them most of their lives. They have had the worst schools, the worst teachers, and many decades of racism to contend with. In Los Angeles in particular, many white officers do have strong prejudices against Blacks, calling them such horrific names as “porch monkeys,” “jungle bunnies,” and other disgusting names. Many police officers have no regard for Blacks. Sorry for calling it as it is, but this is the truth. Do you really believe Mark Fuhrman was the only racist officer on the LAPD?

    You mentioned Detroit as an example. Yes, let’s look at Detroit. Where, exactly, are thousands of grossly-undereducated individuals supposed to work? We don’t even have job for marginally-educated people. This is why every major metropolitan city in America is a potential powder keg. We keep ignoring the fundamental 2,000 pound elephant in the room, we have millions of people with no education and no jobs for them to do anymore. The solution should be obvious: a complete overhaul of our educational system that focuses on employment, not just pushing people along from one grade to another. What killed Detroit was an entire nation’s financial melt-down that resulted from corporate greed and gross incompetence within our government system. We allowed people who should never have been given mortgages to buy homes that were never within their financial reach. Feel good politicians allowed banks to basically give mortgages to people with nothing more than a pulse and a name all because it felt good to live the American Dream of owning a home. The fall-out from all of this was that auto industry in Detroit collapsed, and the thousands of individuals with little or no education were there first people who were hit the hardest.

    Why are Blacks rioting and burning their own neighborhoods? It’s actually pretty simple: lack of opportunity. You can say all you want that there is equality in America but this just isn’t so. Perhaps it existed for a short while during the civil rights area, but from my vantage point the world has gotten a lot tougher. With the decline in our US economy, many families have taken severe pay cuts and there is now an almost savagery about getting your kids into college. We have become a society of the have’s and the have-not’s. If you have the means to educate your children and stand up for yourself, your kids have a chance at a decent education. But if you are poor, uneducated, and a minority, God help you, because your government has abandoned you. And for the record I’m a Republican. The Republican party is just as guilty as the Democrats when it comes to the destruction of the public education system in America. In the great words of Pogo, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

    • George Michalopulos says

      A lot here, Nicholas. I’ll address government schooling at this point only because of time constraints.

      Like you, I deplore the level and quality of our educational system 100%. It’s deplorable. Yet why during the “separate but equal” phase of public education (pre-1965) was public education not only attainable for both races but also efficacious? Forced integration was one reason to be sure but we cannot deny the baneful influence of Progs like John L Dewey and others who hollowed out readin’, ‘ritin’ and ‘rithmetic.

      Would the eradication from prayer also have an effect? More later.

    • NIcolas,

      I find a lot to agree with in your post, but would add the following questions.

      Of the cities that suffer the most as you describe, who runs them?

      Why was one of Obama’s first acts to destroy the education lottery opportunities in DC? NEA union anyone?

      When 6 million or more “dreamers” are given unconstitutional legal status, what do you think this will do to the job prospects of the those major metropolitan ‘powder kegs’? Will cheap imported labor help the employment prospects of the black community?

      When Bush was objecting to the mortgages- for- the- penniless program, why was Barney Frank and Pelosi and their ilk castigating him and singing the praises of the program which set in motion the banking collapse?

      The statistics that I have studied indicate that rather than race or poverty, the single indicator of success is two married parents in the home. NOT race. NOT socio- economic level.

      Marriage.

      Between the Great Society and no fault divorce, there is much to answer for in the destruction of our society. And we have yet to see the full fruits of this. Then, as you indicate, we have been betrayed by our leaders.

      Lord have mercy on all of us.

      • Daniel E Fall says

        Bush on mortgages? Get serious.

        He was gifted just under a million dollars by then Ameriquest for the inauguaration party.

        In so, just a year later, a total collapse of the under regulated banking system. They were writing mortgages on napkins. Barney Frank did it! What a hoot.

        Let’s get a little serious-the collapse happened due to the old policy of bankers telling appraisers that magic number to make it work. It had lots more to do with loan origination fees than anyone enjoys admitting, too. Closing cost robbery was fully legal. I refinanced my remodeling project three times in about five years and made bankers very happy. Unlike some, I stayed above water and used the money wisely. Ameriquest used a subsidiary unlawfully to refinance my mortgage; get paid a penalty and three days after closing to sell the loan to guess who… Yup Ameriquest. They got caught in that and sent me a check for a third of what the penalty was a few years later.

        Don’t you dare defend Bush in the mortgage crisis. Follow the money and get back to me. Blaming the poor is the most disingenuous bullshit ever. Bush might have stopped the crash, but the mortgage guys were raking in so much dough; they couldn’t stop.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Mr Fall, no sane man would posit that both parties are innocent regarding the mortgage bubble (or any other bubble caused by national rent-seeking: i.e. the tech bubble and soon the guaranteed student loans bubble [which likely will dwarf the previous two]) but only a truly insane man would ignore the nefarious role of Barney Frank, a low-life degenerate if there ever was one, from his part in this atrocity.

          For all their milquetoastedness, it was not the GOP which pushed for the end of red-lining and the relaxation of mortgage qualifications. (That would mean they’re not racists! But I thought they were!) This began under Carter and was more or less side-lined by Presidents Reagan and Bush, only to be championed again by Clinton. For all his blunders, it was Bush 43 who actually brought Freddie Mac’s and Fannie Mae’s tenuousness to the fore. For this he was roundly beaten back by Barney Frank –a man who, if we had any shame left, should have been thrown out of the Congress for maintaining a gay brothel in his DC apartment.

          How far we have fallen. Just thirty years previously, John Profumo, the UK’s Minister of Defence, was forced to resign from Parliament because he had had an illicit affair with a party girl who had also been keeping time with a Soviet naval attache. Even though no military secrets were spilled, Profumo had the decency to resign his position and retired from public service, spending the rest of his days serving in soup kitchens.

          The damage to the world’s financial system done by miscreants like Frank destroyed millions of lives with the resulting economic downturn.

  13. Christopher says

    George,

    In most counties of most states, the vast majority of first, second, and even third offenses go unpunished and/or are treated lightly.

    This is simply not true. Now, as a general statement, it is not precise enough to really merit a “true” or “false” because it depends on what kind a case you talking about. If you are talking about pedophilia, you would be wrong. If you are talking about certain kinds of property crime, you would be right. If you were talking about other kinds of property crime, you would be wrong. Domestic violence? Most of the time you would be right, except when you were not 🙂

    If her second offense was in fact an actual second offense. My hunch however is that being a long-time drug addict, she violated many laws of which she was convicted of only twice.

    Well, yes – but by this sort of logic you, along with everyone else, also are a felon:

    http://www.amazon.com/Three-Felonies-Day-Target-Innocent/dp/1594035229

    You are also turning a cornerstone of the Anglo-American tradition upside down: You are starting with a presumption of guilt guilt. Thank goodness (God) our system does not work this way! You are jaded (as you admit) by your experience as a pharmacist. As a business manager of a medical practice, I feel your pain. I have am somewhat regularly verbally assaulted by addicts who are demanding scripts, wasted time with local law enforcement/DEA agents, etc.

    As far as our prisons “bulging with the most violent”, again, anyone with a familiarity with the drug war knows this simply is not true. I don’t know what the percentage is, but there has to be a significant non violent component of most states, and certainly federal, prisons simply because of mandatory sentences of the drug war.

    I have a local assistant DA in my church, and a local magistrate judge as a friend – both of them have complained about draconian “mandatory sentencing” laws (which, to be fair, are far more prevalent/inflexible at the Federal level). Both admit the distortion that the “drug war” has brought to the criminal justice system and both would have it changed into something much closer resembling a “libertarian” position.

    I suppose that I would say that despite the inconvenience it brought you, the simple fact is that both society and the addict were better off not being “punished” to the full extant of the law. “punishment” has its place certainly, but is a limited tool when dealing with addiction. At the risk of making my friends sound like big government liberals, they both would instead opt for a large and extensive state supported mental health/addiction rehab infrastructure.

    Finally, I would add that our overriding “principle” when thinking about all this (i.e. “punishment”, addiction, good of society, etc.) is of course Christ Himself. I have only “dabbled” in prison ministry myself, however I would encourage folks to look into any opportunity for such they have in their area. It will, in the very least, add “nuance” to ones “tough on crime” attitude. Perhaps most importantly, it will open your heart to the cruel conditions that are such a part of the American prison system:

    http://clemencyreport.org/freedom-candidate-timothy-tyler/

  14. Rymlianin says

    Time to remind ourselves that the US has the highest percentage of population incarcerated in the world. Assuming a 25% drug conviction rate, and the disproportionate number of minority members convicted( police even admit that they focus on minorities and let whites skate) the results are unsurprising.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      Rymlianin seems to be desperate to get a thread going on how unfair America is to Putin. Sounds like a stringer for “Sputnik” on Facebook!

  15. Tim R. Mortiss says

    Good article in today’s (5/16/15) New York Times about an Orthodox bookstore in Wichita, Kansas, which must be known to some of our regulars here:

    • Michael Bauman says

      Eighth Day Books best bookstore in the world and an Orthodox mission in itself. http://www.eighth day books.com
      Despite what he says.

      By all your books there. If they don’t have it they’ll try to find it. Special orders are more than welcome.

      Please pray for the proprietor. Warren Farha who just came out of the hospital following quadruple bypass. Doing well but still….

      Press the “link” button above and type in your link

  16. Tim R. Mortiss says
  17. Alice Carter says

    Just this week the big banks have been slapped with huge fines because they were running criminal scams, robbing people left and right and functioning just like the Mafia. Thugs, felons! Where were their parents? Seems like white people never learn.