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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Liberals Again Prefer Fantasy to Fact

It almost never fails. In spite of physical evidence and sound eyewitness accounts, today’s liberals refuse to acknowledge what plainly contradicts their preferred meme on any of the favored tenets of liberalism. Whether global warming, marriage, life in the womb, energy, homosexuality, foreign policy, defense policy, immigration, healthcare, or the scene of a crime, liberals all across the U.S. find themselves looking to manufacture “facts” to fit the world in which they wish to live.

“Truth is incontrovertible,” wrote Winston Churchill, “Panic may resent it; ignorance may deride it; malice may distort it; but there it is.” When confronted with a truth that they don’t like, what better describes many modern liberals than panicked, ignorant, and full of malice? Of course, the chaos following the recent grand jury decision out of Ferguson, Missouri is the latest case in point.

Since the death of Michael Brown, how many chants of “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!” have we heard? How many posters and t-shirts have been emblazoned with what we now know was nothing but a lie?

The thousands of pages of grand jury testimony, which included details concerning a significant amount of physical evidence, finally brought to light what really happened on the night police officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown. There’s so much evidence that disputes the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!” narrative that even the likes of the AP has started to question whether Michael Brown was indeed an innocent victim of police brutality.

The mention of Brown with his hands up is found throughout the grand jury documents. According to the AP, the accounts are so widely varying it’s as if witnesses, or alleged witnesses, were describing totally different scenes.

However, the liberal faithful remain just that. Taylor Gruenloh, a 32-year-old protestor from near Ferguson, declared that “Even if you don't find that it's true (Brown was shot with his hands up, surrendering), it's a valid rallying cry.” He adds that. “It's just a metaphor.” So for weeks now, liberals have lectured, looted, and lusted for vengeance based on nothing but a metaphor?

“This is not about one boy getting shot in the street, but about the hundreds just like him who have received the same callous and racially-influenced treatment,” said Oakland demonstrator Gabe Johnson. Hundreds? I’ll bet Mr. Johnson couldn’t name ten, but “hundreds” sounds so much more menacing. Mr. Johnson, and those like him, can justify their angry and misguided efforts with “hundreds.”

As the AP explains, “To some, it doesn't matters whether Brown's hands literally were raised, because his death has come to symbolize a much bigger movement.” As many well know, liberals are always looking for the next “symbol” to promote America as a nation full of racists. Hand-in-hand with this, many liberals are also always on the lookout for the next excuse to protest, “occupy,” riot, burn, pillage, plunder, or any other such activity that doesn’t require innovation, an interview, or a clock to punch.

After Brown’s death, in lieu of looting, it seems at least some under the influence of liberalism gave it the old entrepreneurial try. Reportedly, back in the middle of October, Brown’s paternal grandmother, Pearlie Gordon, along with a few cohorts, attempted to sell Michael Brown merchandise in the parking lot of Red’s BBQ, a Ferguson area barbecue joint. According to police reports (surprise!), shortly after 1 p.m. on October 18, about two dozen individuals were fighting in the parking lot of Red’s.

Apparently, a crowd led by Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, McSpadden’s mother Desureia Harris, and McSpadden’s then boyfriend (now husband) Louis Head, rushed the merchandise stand and assaulted Gordon and others present. One victim ended up in the hospital. The police report stated that McSpadden was heard yelling “get her ass.” McSpadden was also accused of punching Gordon.

Such a display, along with Louis Head’s call to “burn this bitch down,” after the grand jury’s decision was announced, along with the video of Brown robbing the convenience store prior to being shot, certainly does no favors to the “gentle giant” label that was so frequently used to describe Michael Brown. After all, isn’t it at least probable that Brown was somewhat likely to display the same thuggary and brashness exhibited by his matriarchs?

Yet, privileged liberals tell us that it’s Officer Wilson’s account that is unbelievable. Upon reading Wilson’s grand jury testimony, Ezra Klein finds it “unbelievable. Literally.” Just to clarify for those of us less smart than he, Klein expounds on what he means by “unbelievable:” “I mean that in the literal sense of the term: ‘difficult or impossible to believe.’” Got it?

For Klein, it is “difficult to believe” that a 6-foot-4-inch, 300-pound 18-year-old who had just committed a violent robbery, while high on drugs, would dare challenge or attack a police officer who was confronting him. Again, this is in spite of the video inside of the store that shows Brown callously and arrogantly shoving the clerk who dared to request payment for the items that Brown was about to steal from the store.

Adam Howard of MSNBC tells us why he can’t believe Darren Wilson. In spite of the physical evidence and multiple eyewitness accounts, Howard simply refuses to believe that Brown would have charged at Wilson. He laments that too many of us “refuse to see the collective tragedy of [Michael Brown’s, Rodney King’s, et al] stories and instead accept the official line of what took place wholesale.”

What we refuse to do here is to cower to liberalism and ignore the facts. What we refuse to do is coddle criminals while condemning cops. What we refuse to do is to encourage those who would resort to lawlessness in their pursuit of “justice.” And the only “line” being dangled here is that by Howard and his ilk.

As another, wiser, Michael Brown instructs us, what Ferguson (and the rest of the world) needs is not more protests, platitudes, and politics, but redemption.

Copyright 2014, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World


  1. Yes, roll in it, Trevor. I think you missed a spot. (Pointing) there, up behind your right ear, yea, there's a place not covered in right wing propaganda bullshit.

    "Since the death of Michael Brown, how many chants of “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!” have we heard? How many posters and t-shirts have been emblazoned with what we now know was nothing but a lie?"

    The slogan you cite is bigger than the Ferguson story, and you and other conservatives are making a mistake by attempting to link it solely to this case.

    Consider the unjustified police shooting of a 12 year old who was holding a toy pistol. Have you watched that video? The cop car pulled right up to the kid, and he was shot before they put their patrol car in park.

    A mere 3 to 4 seconds ended a child's life because we don't train our policmen to wisely manage the developing situation. What we train them to do instead is use firepower to control the suspect or render him no threat (either shot or dead). Worse still, since most police recruits are ex-military, this inappropriate training only exacerbates the military training they received to "get on a target", kill the target, then "get on" another target. that poor kid was shot and killed quicker than Usamma bin Laden in a Seal Team Six raid.

    I won't say we should just blame the cops. We need to step back and take a look at the big picture. What previous backgrounds and training do our recruits have? Did they just come from a war in Iraq or Afghanistan? Were they rated highly by commanders because of their superior kill rates? What about de-programming police recruits to mitigate undesirable characteristics of military training that might not fit new job duties as peace officers?

    In Ferguson, officer Wilson did what he was trained to do. He confronted the suspect (over what was initially a minor jay-walking infraction) and used his weapon and lethal force to control the suspect. Hindsight suggests this was not the wisest course of action. The developing situation could have been managed differently. The officer had requested backup before he exited his patrol car. If he had remained in his car until backup arrived (which was only seconds after the final fatal shot), the suspect might have been detained alive and the situation resolved peacefully.

    From the moment officer Wilson says Brown closed his car door and reached inside the open window, the best course of action would have been NOT to unholster his sidearm, but instead to put his (still running) car in reverse and back up enough that there would be a safe distance between himself and the unarmed suspect. By unholstering his sidearm and introducing it into the situation, officer Wilson only made the developing situation more dangerous. This has proven to be a mistake of strategy, and the failure was in policy and training.

    Another example: The inappropriate use of SWAT tactics in a drug raid on a home in Habersham County where a child in a crib was seriously injured by a "flash-bang" grenade thrown into a dark house. By now, we all know the suspect was not even there.

    In regards to inappropriate use of SWAT teams and pseudo-military tactics, what is going on is often called "mission creep". SWAT teams have their place and appropriate uses (like a hostage situation), but SWAT tactics have become the favorite tool of law enforcement and are casually used for inappropriate duties like serving warrants and the failed drug raid on that home in Habersham county. If your favorite tool is a hammer, pretty soon every problem looks like a nail. That is a mistake of command policy, and of citizens who shouldn't tolerate it.

    So yea, hands-up, don't shoot. Wake up America.

  2. Yes, there are things that Officer Wilson could have done differently, but the sad fact is that Michael Brown was killed mostly due to the foolish actions of Michael Brown.

    It seems that the 12 year-old was killed because he reached for a toy gun that was indistinguishable from the real thing after being told to raise his hands. The same thing happened in CA last year with one of those air-soft guns that looks like an assault rifle. The officer was not charged.

    In these heat of the moment situations where these officers feel threatened, I'm not sure that better training is going to make much difference. In spite of the liberal narrative, these occurrences are rare. Additionally, the left isn't making this about better training for police officers, as usual, for liberals this is all about race.

  3. Here's my point: These tragic incidents became "heat of the moment" cases primarily because police officers are not trained to properly assess the developing situation upon approach. Instead, police dive headfirst into a situation where just 1 second of observation could have told them the suspect was alone and posed no immediate threat to anyone besides himself. This was the case with the 12 year old child. On the other hand, an appropriate amount of on-site surveillance could have informed the Habersham SWAT team that the suspect of their ill-advised drug raid was NOT actually in the home, but innocent civilians including children WERE in the home.

    This is the point I am trying to make. For a carpenter or a seamstress, the equivalent behavior is termed "measure twice, cut once". For the police in these cases, it would become "observe and understand the situation before you confront a suspect and draw your weapon." -Instead cops are following the tragic and ill advised adage "shoot first then ask questions". They do this KNOWING if things go wrong they can always claim they thought their life or their safety was in danger. This shouldn't be an excuse for a job with inherent and unavoidable dangers like police work. If you want safety, find a new line of work. Sadly many applicants for police work are attracted to the risk, as long as that risk is someone elses.

    My last example is the story of the botched drug raid in Toccoa that took the life of Jonathan Ayers, pastor of a church in Lavonia. Police mistook Ayres as a criminal associate of a second individual he had just driven to the gas station. Ayers was in fact unarmed, and was attempting to flee what he thought was a carjacking. He thought this because the police were operating undercover and were out of uniform. The police shot him in his car, claiming he was trying to run them over. The fact is he was backing away.

    See? Shoot first, then ask questions. -That's the bad operating policy that cost Jonathan Ayers his life. Hands up, don't shoot is better policy. While I agree the political left isn't making this about better police training, the right isn't either. All the right is doing is ramping up their righteous indignation and laying blame, -further dividing the public when their mission should be to restore the public trust. In particular, I recall Rudy Giuliani on FOX News saying ~"we should arrest all of them", -referring to protesters. Giuliani was tossing red meat to the conservative base. As a former prosecutor, he knows perfectly well the limits of arrest powers and the logistical impossibility of arresting 25 to 30 thousand people for "mayhem".

  4. Yes, of course, "shoot first then ask questions" is bad policing policy, and our police are certainly not perfect. Tragic mistakes are sometimes made. However, "shoot first then ask questions" is by no means a pervasive police policy.

  5. So maybe instead -choke out- the suspect (killing him in the process) then ask questions. How's that sound? Another grand jury just returned no indictment against a bunch of cops who killed a black man in New York for selling cigaretts without a license.

    The cops broke their own rules of engagement, using a forbidden choke hold, then repeatedly ignored the suspects pleas that he could not breathe. Suspect died.

    If the old adage that a DA can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwitch, then this is ANOTHER case thrown intentionally by a DA who is "in the bag" for the establishment.

    As for "tragic mistakes", they will happen more often if the public accepts them with the same indifference you and the cops have shown. I offered two local cases in my last comment. I do not wish the next tragic mistake to be someone you know.