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America the Great ... Police State

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Posted on Jul 28, 2009
police car
AP / Nick Ut

By Gore Vidal

(Page 4)

My last view of what looked to me to be parade’s end occurred during a walk in the woods that I took below a Duke University campus building, where I saw a broken bridge over a stream. I turned to what looked to be a local farmer, who realized that I was looking with “suspicious” interest at a vast pile of repair work: bags of cement, etc., and he anticipated my question: “They’re going to rebuild this bridge—it’s something very, very big,” he said. “Why in the middle of the woods?” I asked. “There are no roads here.” He said, “No, there’s a trail, true, it’s not much of a trail.” “So why are they building such a huge bridge,” I wondered, “when they’ve been happy apparently for many years with a very small bridge?” And he said, “Well, we’ve been told by the feds that they fear that there may be civilian insurrections. And they want to be prepared for them, and they need this bridge, no matter how small, to cross the stream in case of an emergency.”

Needless to say, I had no quick rejoinder. But he seemed to want to talk, and so I said, “What was here before?” And he said, “A small bridge which a small pickup truck could go back and forth over.” So I asked, “And who told you that it was in case of civilian problems?” And he said, “Well, everybody told us that and explained the size of it and most people here thought it was better to have a big bridge than no bridge at all, and here we are.”

I went back to the lecture hall at Duke where I’d been speaking, and I chatted about the woods, about the bridge. Nobody seemed to have noticed it. I asked a politically minded professor, and he said, “Well, it’s a problem.” He said, “The government’s getting ready for something; we don’t know what it is, but something’s obviously on their minds that’s disturbing them.” And I said, “Revolution?” “Oh,” he laughed, “this is North Carolina, don’t bother about that, but whatever it is, they’re putting a lot of money into this bridge.”

A year or two later, I took the same walk again. There was a very large bridge of solid cement, and it looked entirely finished. I found another gentleman of the forest, and I said, “Well, can you find much use for this huge and expensive bridge?” He said, “It certainly was expensive, I can tell you that.” He had the happy look of someone who had benefited from the expense. We chatted about the government and what they were up to, and a certain wariness could be heard in our dialogue. We were puzzled; something unexpected had happened, something really unimaginable—a vast work had been constructed for imminent horrors, it would have seemed. I did ask here and there about it, but I was given no answer.

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By Sepharad, July 31, 2009 at 10:14 pm Link to this comment

elisalouisa, Gandhi’s heart was broken with the first Hindu-Moslem bloodletting. He did keep trying till he was murdered by a Hindu extremist, but I think he knew that not only would the partition fail but the bloodshed had a long future.

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By JimBob, July 31, 2009 at 8:35 pm Link to this comment

Ahem, no, actually…let’s NOT accept this!

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By elisalouisa, July 31, 2009 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther:A utopia of property being publicly owned and each person working and being paid according to their ability and needs is not in the foreseeable future. Our media, bent on keeping the population in a state of hypnotic stupor, is too hyped on inconsequential trivia. Just as our bodies are what we take in, so it is with our intellect and even more with the center of our being,  the soul. If there were to be vast destruction in a conflict and little hope, then out of those ashes perhaps a better way could be found.
It has been said that toward the end there was a sadness in Gandhi. Perhaps he foresaw his tragic passing and/or he foresaw that due to a basic flaw in humanity peace would not prevail.

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By John Hanks, July 31, 2009 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All states are police states.  Ask a policeman.

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By Gordy, July 31, 2009 at 4:24 pm Link to this comment

Did you watch the videos? 

I don’t think you see the difference between saying what your point of view is and demonstrating why it is your view.  If you never demonstrate or persuade you’ve just got people saying ‘yes, no, black, white’ at each other forever. 

The way you talk about debate makes physical violence seem sane and to the point.  Don’t you think that even-tempered reason is the only way to reach out and come to a common understanding?  When two factions are at war do they come to a peaceful settlement through shouting and abuse?

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By Folktruther, July 31, 2009 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment

That’s a nice phrase, Gordy, ‘big each other up.’  British I assume.

Where does debate as Total War end?  It doesn’t ever end.  That’s the way people have always solve important problems.  By yelling and screaming, jumping up and down, and holding their breath till they turn blue.  This isn’t done in the learned and mass media because they emphasize trivia to keep one from discussing important matters.

Verbal polemic is a SUBSTITUTE for violence and conercion, not an addition to it. It is a lack of political means that leads to violent means.  As Charlie Brown once said in his comic strip, I didn’t know what to say to this girl I liked, so I hit her.

Learn from this, Gordy.  Than teach your students.

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By Gordy, July 31, 2009 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

FT, no - aggressive name-calling cannot get us anywhere.  Debate-as-combat is a philosophy of Total War, like the Neocons.  Where does it end?  When you have broken and humiliated the last person on Earth who doesn’t see things your way?  If you argue by disparaging the other person, they will just mount a defense, however unreasonable, and become even more entrenched, as will you.  And.. you might actually be wrong!! 

Allow me to be the first to put my hand up and say that I have a lot to learn from this (watch in descending order; three-part vid):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dpk5Z7GIFs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbgxFgAN7_w

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8fbxPAXBPE

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By Sepharad, July 31, 2009 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment

Inherit and Folktruther, sorry for confusion, didn’t miss the apology. Just came to mind that you, Folktruther, may have come across some rantings of the Haredim after some gay Israeli film maker parodied their cerebral doctrinal calisthenics to cast gays as evil, and extrapolated offhandly.

Inherit, yes, now the three of us can have some beer. Good idea. “Where” might be a problem.

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By Night-Gaunt, July 31, 2009 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

By 2046 if the Dominionists have their way we won’t have prisons, just lots of work-slaves. They would be the helots of the corporation they work for or will be dead.

If we don’t succeed in stopping them then it could be the USA as a series of countries and city states and waring factions some in semi-tribal archaism. Or we could totally rework our system and throw the corporatists out and break up the monopolies and evenly distribute the wealth where it was earned but not paid. With that the empire would dissolve away. We could try them and if found guilty then they lose all they have and it goes to the general welfare.

Listen to Thom Hartman‘s interview about his new book. I can’t wait to get it. Relevant to this conversation and several others.

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By stcfarms, July 31, 2009 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

By the year 2046 half of all Americans will be in prison, on parole or
probation. This is not from a science fiction novel, it is taken from the
department of justice figures. Our government has declared war on the
citizens of America. Where will we house all of the cell phone owners,
people that refuse to wear helmets, fat people? These are all groups coming
under pressure from the fed to change. The Declaration of Independence
gaurentees the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This
last right brings into question a number of laws already on the books, laws
against prostitution, gambling, drugs, public drinking, public nudity, not
wearing seat belts the list is endless. Congress has no right to ban
behavior because they find it offensive, they only have the right to ban
behavior that harms others. Fortunately for us congress has chosen to
ignore one major right that is in the Declaration of Independence, the right
to fire their ciminal asses. It clearly states that if the government does
not serve the needs of the people that they have the right to replace it. I
think it is time to do that before we are all in prison.

For those who have not read the Declaration of Independence I have included
the part about our rights.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that
among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure
these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just
powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of
Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People
to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its
foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to
them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

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By Mark A. Adams JD/MBA, July 31, 2009 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

I’m not sure what the last couple of posts by Folktruther have to do with this article about the police state although I do have an idea.  Anyway, I was hoping to dance with a foolish apologist or a shill when I saw that a couple of comments had posted after my last one. 

However, since there was no direct attack, I’ll just comment on how laughable it is to see a bunch of ads about becoming a police officer on an article about abuse of power by the police.  I guess that it makes sense to take advantage of those who may see this article and think, hey, I’ll join the American version of the SS. 

The lure of power is seductive.  After all, where else but in a fascist police state can you beat people, rape victims as well as the accused, take their money and their liberty and get away with it.  By the way, how did that work out for the SS, their families, and their friends in the long run?

Once again, it is happening right here even though your TV ignores virtually all of it and downplays what it cannot ignore.  If you don’t believe me, just take a look at the truth about the horrible crimes that are committed every day by agents of the U.S. government and why they get away with committing horrible crimes.  See Why does the U.S. government torture people? at
http://dailycensored.com/2009/06/24/why-does-the-u-s-government-torture-people/  You’ll learn that the “news” media has kept you in the dark about a serious danger to your family and that according to a couple of U.S. Supreme Court Justices, we are no more than slaves.

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By ardee, July 31, 2009 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment

“I think you are a couple of trolls because you aren’t here to debate and exchange views with those who disagree with you.  You just big each other up and attack those who disagree with you. “

Well Gordy we are all entitled to our opinions arent we? You think FT and I in league, yet we have had some of the most spirited of diagreements found on this board.

I think your refusal to accurately analyze the post of Mr. Moon for the diatribe it was set the tone of my image of you.

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By Night-Gaunt, July 31, 2009 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

The police and military have always been there to protect the rich from the not so rich every time. Many times the poor get police presence not to protect them but to move in a hurt them to protect those who live in Cambridge etc.

In this country there are those groups both racial and by class who have always lived in a police state. A selective one. Only now more of us are being put on the hit list of the police as they are given more power and free hand to do whatever the rich and powerful want them to do. The police state is just being more general now. With the military and police working in tandem now more often than in the past is a danger. It has always been a danger from the very first. More so now than ever are we in deep shit in that area.

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By Folktruther, July 31, 2009 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

Lisalouisa, I hope none of my comments caused the windmills of your mind to churn and turn.  IT sounds uncomfortable.  My aim, let me say,  is not to change your mind, but to transform your soul.  You will recall that this is what James Carroll attempted in CONSTANTINE’S SWORD, when he argued to change the entire power basis of the West’s ideological tradition, making Jews part of the oppressing power structure rather than part of the oppressed.  He didn’t put it that way of course, and no doubt didn’t think of it that way.

religioun is a power ideology, instilling an unhealthy respect for Divine and earthly power.  What is needed at the present time in history is a power ideology for the population, to resist the oppression of the Educated classes. 

The world power ideology for the people in the 20th century was marxism, and this must be generalized in the 21st.  And simplified to make it accessable to the population.  I’m working on it.  It cannot be done without subverting the Western world tradition that has legitimated capitalist Democracy and the predatory imperialism of the White Man.

One of the attributes of simplicity is concision. The concise is the wit of the soul.  My aim is to express everything while saying nothing at all.  this is not as easy as it appears.  But books like Caroll’s is a legacy of the past, and we must write them in the future shorter, to compete effectively with Brittany, Brad and Paris.  This also isn’t easy.  But some inquiring minds may have souls that are not satisfied with knowing what Angilina said to Brad, and they may help formulate the power ideology needed for the 21st century.

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By Folktruther, July 31, 2009 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

My, Gordy, you are sensitive, aren’t you.  I, for one, have no intention whatever of hounding you, or anyone, from any forum.  Undemocratic, you see.  But Gordy, you appear to have a background as a British school teacher and espouse the Bertie Wooster matainance of the decencies of debate.  He, as you may recall, did not mind honest criticism but would not tolerate vulgar abuse.

But, Gordy, this is America where vulgar abuse is a regular feature of internet comment.  G B Shaw said
(he was British you know) if you can’t say something to irritate people you may as well not say it at all, because they won’t pay any attention.  That is because Americans are systematically deluded by the power bullshit in the learned and mass media and must be emotionally aroused to discard it.

Foucault (he was French but what the hell) in TRUTH AND POWER said that texts should be ananlyzed not in terms of their meaning, but as assaults in combat,they’re being attacks in the truth war, a feature of the class war.  He inverted Clausawitz’s dictum and conceived politics as war by other means.  This is the American Way, Gordy, and you are not being singled out.  We attack each other in the same Way.

Because it is not only necessary, Gordy, but fun.  Fun, fun, fun!  Unfortunately you are Educated, and have imbibed the Educated style of the school tradition.  But, lucky for you, it can be unlearned.  I’m sorry its a little startling, but so is reality sometimes.  So relax and enjoy it Gordy, it’s going to hurt a lot.

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By bogi666, July 31, 2009 at 10:45 am Link to this comment

I am soliciting support for a new federal law. Contempt of Abuse by the Government. Any expression or questioning of any/all government officials will be held in Contempt of Abuse of by the Government. The TSA already has this protection, although it is illegal Constitutionally, that quaint old document that went out of favor by Alberto Gonzoalez, Bush’s former attorney Generals. Please comment if you favor this new law, Contempt of Abuse by the Government. thanks

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By Mark A. Adams JD/MBA, July 31, 2009 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

The only lunatics out there are the fools who believe that since they have not seen it on TV it can’t be true and the shills who are helping cover up the truth. 

I’ve got a question for you.  Did pretending that everything is just fine help those who did so in Germany, Italy, Russia, China, Cambodia, etc., avoid becoming victims of despotic regimes?  Even those who just get their “news” and history from TV should know the answer to that question, and only the shills would dispute it.

If you want to see the facts and learn the truth, see the link in my comment below.

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By jmr, July 31, 2009 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

The myth of the American police state—nexus of lunatic left and lunatic right.

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By Mark A. Adams JD/MBA, July 31, 2009 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

Gore Vidal is right!  America has become a police state.  Naturally, the “news” media hasn’t mentioned it, but it’s true.  If you haven’t figured that out yet, you’re just lucky enough not to have been touched by it, but do you think that luck will keep you safe?

If you want to know the truth about the horrible crimes that are committed every day by agents of the U.S. government and why they get away with committing horrible crimes, see this article.  Why does the U.S. government torture people?  at
http://dailycensored.com/2009/06/24/why-does-the-u-s-government-torture-people/  You’ll learn that the “news” media has kept you in the dark about a serious danger to your family and that according to a couple of U.S. Supreme Court Justices, we are no more than slaves.

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By jmr, July 31, 2009 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

Gordy and Moon, you must expect that in the echo chamber you get pounced on for striking a discordant note, i.e. facts and reason.

Of course, in an area of high domestic violence, gang warfare and open drug traffic, you see a high police presence; and if one arrived from outer space, as oblivious of the context as some here, then one might conclude, because of all the blue lights and uniforms, that indeed this was a police state.  Of course, if they landed in Cambridge or Peoria or where I live, they would say, Police?  What police?

In the precincts of the racial demagogues, the police are damned if they do and damned if they don’t:  If they respond, then they are accused of racist intervention; if they don’t respond, then they are accused of racist neglect.  This is the charming world of victimology.

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By bogi666, July 31, 2009 at 6:56 am Link to this comment

Just a word of advice about dealing with the police.Don’t give them an excuse to abuse you. White American males are targeted for racial profiling and are too stupid to know it. Single white males are profiled along the major drug trafficking highways to be stopped by police who just use a traffic infraction as an excuse to stop them. Single white males, so that there are no witnesses to contradict the policemen reason. Usually there are 2 cops who will substantiate each others story. Much profiling is based on class distinction, but racism is used to obscure the truth. Finally, and incident of this type, police invasion of a domicile WOULDN’T HAPPEN in Mexico because the police need a warrant to enter and won’t do so because they have to find a judge and it’s not worth the hassle.

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By Gordy, July 31, 2009 at 6:44 am Link to this comment

Ardee, FT, what is the FUNCTION of these insults?  Do they help make a point or do they just enable you to feel superior and righteous? 

If this simple question of ‘how does Ardee KNOW that the cop was racist’ has already been answered, then please copy-paste.  Could have saved a lot of bother if one of you did this earlier.  If you have not previously addressed this point and still refuse to, even though it is the foundation of all Ardee is saying about how this incident is reflective of wider institutional racism, then you should explain how you decided that I am unworthy of even making a reasoned point to.  Because it’s not like I ACTUALLY SAID ANYTHING RACIST OR OFFENSIVE.  I could just as easily decide for myself that what you have said here is indicative that you are Reptilian Satanic paedophiles and unworthy of anything other than abuse, exclusion and cruelty - it would be no more insane than what you are doing.  Hey everybody, don’t waste your time trying to reason with a couple of Reptilian Satanic paedophiles, just insult them and hound them out of Truthdig!  Burn the heretics! 

I think you are a couple of trolls because you aren’t here to debate and exchange views with those who disagree with you.  You just big each other up and attack those who disagree with you.  That is a toxic contribution to any forum.  How can the world ever be at peace when there’s this prevailing mentality of treating debate as warfare, with allies and enemies?  Is that not antithetical to the quest for truth? 

Elisalouisa, I have schooled teenagers in the art of debate and found them to be generally more reasonable than this - I’m genuinely shocked because I have only recently gotten into regular engagement in internet forums.  I thought I would learn with other people all over the world about important subjects, but only a minority seem capable of putting facts before ego - at least if I read a book I can make up my mind to disagree with the author without receiving torrents of abuse from him.  Have you heard of the Greater Internet Dickhead Theory? 

http://www.pennyarcademerch.com/pat070381.html

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By elisalouisa, July 31, 2009 at 6:24 am Link to this comment

Thank you Dr. Moon as to the police report and Gates following Crowley outside. Thanks also to Folktruther, ITW, Ardee, Gordy and Sepherad for your recent comments which as the song goes, like the windmills of my mind are ever turning, churning? Something like that.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 31, 2009 at 4:57 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, July 31 at 2:48 am #

Lisa, the police serve the Elite, the ruling class.  It’s not a personal matter, but institutional.  I’ve never had a personal problem with police, being white, male, and as you might not have noticed, utterly charming.  A lot of people don’t notice.
***************************************************

That’s just ‘cuz you hide your light under a bushel, (the bushel of crap you toss out all the time, but with SO much elan! smile )

*************************************************
But I, and Ardee, are talking about their historical institutional role in class societies, if I understand him right.
*************************************************

It’s a constant battle to find police who don’t fall into one or both traps of the power of being cops:
1) getting caught up in their power and using it to bully people.  I was in an accident a few years ago and while they were loading me into the ambulance, the cop on site started interrogating me belligerently.  Later, in the ER, the doc actually tossed the prick out while he was working on me, but as soon as he was done, the cop was at it again, with leading questions.  I was in agony because they couldn’t give me anything until they determined if I had nerve or spinal damage (I didn’t—I hurt too much from head to toe).

Cops frequently say “I am the Law”.  That’s wrong—their job is to ENFORCE the Law.

2) Greased palms and “enhancing” their paychecks. Corruption is deadly.

***********************************************
Sepharad, no I never heard of those people, but you and Inherit have never given any indication of bigotry toward gays.  I just wrote the sentence wrong.  I apologized to him and should have apologized to you as well, and now do.
***********************************************

Yes, you did, and you DID actually apologize to Seph as well.  NOW can we 3 have a beer with the President?

***********************************************
Gordy, you are not so much a racist as a dingbat, as I may have mentioned before.  I might throw tomatoes but I don’t exude bile, especially against dingbats. but Ardee looked into the matter and summarized it well initially, and has had to repeat himself so often that he got tired of it.  This is not good.
************************************************

And FT should know, being an expert dingbat himself!

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By ardee, July 31, 2009 at 3:02 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, July 31 at 2:48 am #

Thank you but I fear you waste your time with that one. Gordy reads the pile of dung posted by Moonie and sees only pearls of wisdom, just as he refuses to see the points I attempt to make and posts repetitive and strident requests for what he will only ignore any way. A waste of time, as he is a waste of space.

This nation suffers and our citizenry is at fault.

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By stcfarms, July 30, 2009 at 11:54 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad,

“Having read his memoirs and musings, I gather that his brilliant mind soaked up the best education money could buy so desperately because he knew there was not a lot of loot coming to him and he’d better stockpile what he could against hardtimes. Distinguished family connections, manners and learnedness can garner many dinner invitations and introductions to people both interesting and useful. Perhaps he condemns elitism in this article and elsewhere—yet sometimes displays appalling snobbery in his personal life—because class and money together are so formidable, and he knows it.”


The concept that wealth is pictures of dead leaders printed on linen is moronic, wealth is food, water, energy, freedom et cetera. Class and money do not have value unless you give them value. The cop, the professor and the president are all jerks that work for the empire. The cop protects the empire, the professor is just a tool of the public fool system and the president is Bush lite. The point is that if they are willing to violate the professors rights what do you think that they will do when they attack you? Unless they are willing to call you a slave they cannot prevent you from leaving. The elite will have a lot of fun explaining to the Chinese that their dollars are worthless because their slaves ran away. If they think me a slave they should be aware that my slave name is Spartacus.

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By Folktruther, July 30, 2009 at 11:48 pm Link to this comment

Lisa, the police serve the Elite, the ruling class.  It’s not a personal matter, but institutional.  I’ve never had a personal problem with police, being white, male, and as you might not have noticed, utterly charming.  A lot of people don’t notice.  But I, and Ardee, are talking about their historical institutional role in class societies, if I understand him right.

Sepharad, no I never heard of those people, but you and Inherit have never given any indication of bigotry toward gays.  I just wrote the sentence wrong.  I apologized to him and should have apologized to you as well, and now do.

Gordy, you are not so much a racist as a dingbat, as I may have mentioned before.  I might throw tomatoes but I don’t exude bile, especially against dingbats. but Ardee looked into the matter and summarized it well initially, and has had to repeat himself so often that he got tired of it.  This is not good.

Mozzer- great summary of Vidal’s lifelong position.

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By Mozzer75, July 30, 2009 at 11:17 pm Link to this comment

Clearly, Gore Vidal is trying to make a larger point with this article than a simple commentary on its factual events. If you are at all familiar with him, he has written many essays and articles on the encroachments of the Federal Government upon civil freedoms, esp. about Posse Comitatus (Ruby Ridge & Waco), as well as the Patriot Act. He seeks to make the point here that the police, instead of using their heads (which supposedly contain common sense), they will more than likely fall back on their armed authority (ie, Diallo in NY, where they mistook a cell phone for a gun), or simply abuse it (as in NY and the case of Abner Louima). The idea that bad apples simply need to be rooted out is also ridiculous because coverups abound and testify in and of themselves to the cliche of the “blue wall”. If police want to act like the military, let them enlist; otherwise, they remin civil (emphasis on the “civil”) servants with guns.

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By Mozzer75, July 30, 2009 at 11:16 pm Link to this comment

Clearly, Gore Vidal is trying to make a larger point with this article than a simple commentary on its factual events. If you are at all familiar with him, he has written many essays and articles on the encroachments of the Federal Government upon civil freedoms, esp. about Posse Comitatus (Ruby Ridge & Waco), as well as the Patriot Act. He seeks to make the point here that the police, instead of using their heads (wgich supposedly contain common sense), they will more than likely fall back on their armed authority (ie, Diallo in NY, where they mistook a cell phone for a gun), or simply abuse it (as in NY and the case of Abner Louima). The idea that bad apples simply need to be rooted out is also ridiculous because coverups abound and testify in and of themselves to the cliche of the “blue wall”. If police want to act like the military, let them enlist; otherwise, they remin civil (emphasis on the “civil”) servants with guns.

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By Sepharad, July 30, 2009 at 10:28 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, just came to me, re your July 29 comment (to the effect that Zionists like Inherit and me don’t like Vidal because he is gay), what elusive connection of which you were perhaps thinking: the Haredim. They’re not Zionists but are literalists and also—as their name implies—they are those who “tremble before G-d” and probably found something in the Torah that is hostile to gays, which they would take to mean that they themselves must share that hostility.

Having read his memoirs and musings, I gather that his brilliant mind soaked up the best education money could buy so desperately because he knew there was not a lot of loot coming to him and he’d better stockpile what he could against hardtimes. Distinguished family connections, manners and learnedness can garner many dinner invitations and introductions to people both interesting and useful. Perhaps he condemns elitism in this article and elsewhere—yet sometimes displays appalling snobbery in his personal life—because class and money together are so formidable, and he knows it.

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By jess, July 30, 2009 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The classes that really count are these:

1) People who claim the right to use violence to extort money (ie taxes) and to kill and imprison others.  and

2)  People who don’t claim the right to use violence.

99.99% of all human conflict will end when we stop giving a group of people a monopoly of violence.

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By Dr Moon, July 30, 2009 at 8:58 pm Link to this comment

I’m enjoying the bantering back and forth about who is most arrogant and Elitist; the 58 year old Black Harvard Professor living in a trendy section of Cambridge, who makes a good living teaching young Black minds about how evil White people are to blame for all the ills of the World. Or the young White, polite, professional Police Officer who stood there in silence while the professor made unfounded accusations about racist White police.

I would also like to make one clarification. On at least five occasions in the comments section, it has been said that Officer Crowley arrested Professor Gates “inside his home.” Perhaps you should check the police file as stated by Witnesses. Officer Crowley failing to get Professor Gates ID tuned and exited the home. The Professor then followed Crowley out the front door in full view of his Neighbors ranting and yelling about racist Cops. It was once Gates was outside his home Crowley decided to arrest him for disturbing the peace and resisting arrest.

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By elisalouisa, July 30, 2009 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

Gordy,
Thank you for your comments, I agree with much of what you say.

Since I was also called a racist and even more so, I can tell you that I chose to ignore that particular comment. For one thing, the term is bantered about so frequently that it has lost much of its meaning.  It is now a put down, know your place, agree.
That is oppression.

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By Gordy, July 30, 2009 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, Ardee - now I am a racist!?  Where do you get that from; it’s not like you really justify this judgement (actually: slander) in any way.  I try to be rational and seek clarification where there is a difference but all you want to do is throw tomatoes and spit bile.  What is the point?  You’re only seeing me via words on your screen so it is just too easy to set me up as a straw man, a punching-bag, and project whatever offensive attitudes onto me you need to get your hatred-buzz, eh? 

Actually, I invite any reasonable person out there to find anything I said that could be called racist, if it is to be found.  And FT, just because I disagree with you it doesn’t give you good reason to assume that this is ‘indicative’ of me being in thrall to all forms of authority.  Nothing I said really indicated that - I mean, it’s a ludicrously massive leap for you to make, yet you are as sure of yourself as ever - and no one who actually knows me would describe me that way. 

Ardee, I ask you how you KNOW that the cop was racist, and you evade the question repeatedly because you presumably have no adequate answer, and resort to this kind of innuendo, and throw a tantrum.  You’re apparently only here to shout, not debate or inform anyone.  If I am wrong then please explain to me how you know that the cop was being racist.  I should count how many times that is now that you have failed to answer this simple key question, that any polite rational person should be able to address without acting like a victim. 

Honestly, I am aghast that you would throw around pejoratives like ‘racist’ so cheaply, with so little justification, just to gain a false moral victory and avoid the demand to offer a sound argument.  It’s so low!  I would sue you to pieces for that kind of behaviour in a slightly different setting.  You should try to look at the actual situation in front of your eyes and make sound judgements instead of blethering away to this script you have in your heads where it’s ‘us’ against ‘them’ - that kind of thinking is a kind of mental illness when taken to the extreme.  I’m not kidding - calling someone a racist without justification just because you see them as an enemy, and any dismissive label will suffice as a silver bullet - I call that insanity. 

Will it make any difference to you if I tell you that I volunteered for a magazine promoting the acceptance of refugees and immigrants?  That my best friend is Asian?  Do facts from the real world penetrate your ideological filters at all? 

I don’t know what more I can say, so I’m done.  I don’t like getting drawn into recriminations; it’s a failure on my part but this got me by surprise; it’s mind-boggling.

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By Robert, July 30, 2009 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Racial profiling is not what most people seem to think it is. Racial profiling in the US is more about who is capable of legally defended themselves rather than who is a likely criminal. Racial profiling, is not racial it is fiscal. It is a measure of who can pay for a legal defence and of course a legal counter attack and who can be abused with impunity. Honestly do you think that officer what falsely arrested and abused that person if they had known who they were and the real access to the law hey had. So cop was thinking so poor old man, up to his eyeballs in a mortgage and can’t afford to be seen ‘equally’ by the law ie. US law turns a blind eye on their legal rights making them a safe easy target for ‘legal’ criminal abuse.

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By elisalouisa, July 30, 2009 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, We could go on and on about this.
Perhaps the answer lies in where each of us has felt oppressed. The police have never been a problem with me. It is more the elite that have been oppessive. Even more so now with the richer getting richer. That is not what this country is about, or should I say was about.
However, I shall rethink you comments.

elisa

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By stcfarms, July 30, 2009 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment

jmr,

  You use the word chief only for me, an Indian, for you it does seem to be about race. If the cop had been black and the victim white and yuppy perhaps you would have formed a different opinion of guilt and innocence. Those of us that live outside of the ivory (no pun intended) towers know that it is class warfare. The cop is higher up in the empire than a professor, he would never have treated a senator like that.

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By mike112769, July 30, 2009 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

JMR: It is the same fight.

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By jmr, July 30, 2009 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment

stcfarms, don’t be ridiculous, I don’t say all cops are “so honest and pure”.  And if I cruised a neighborhood where I obviously did not belong, of course I’d be scrutinized.  I expect you’d rather the cops be stupid than do their jobs.

By the way, if I, white and yuppy, found myself on certain turf, cops are the last thing I’d be concerned about, unless it was their absence.  It works both ways, Chief.

Every time a black mugs a white, it’s about race.  But we’re too politically correct to admit it.  After all, jive like yours has always played well to white guilt.

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By Folktruther, July 30, 2009 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment

A police state, lisa, IS a lawless state.  and it is not down the road, it is here.  In the US, increasingly if the powerful do it, it means it is not illegal.  Corwley arrested a man in his own home for ‘creating a disturbance’ and got invited to the White House for it.  Your idea of Elitist arrogance is a snotty attitude, not a man with a gun and the authority to shoot you with it.

And you are typical of a large fraction of Dems and people who voted for Obama.  they do not understand that if that cop did it to Gates, they can do it them.  Because, in your opinion, Gates was lawless and dangerous.  Not the cop, who you support.  To arrest other people in their own homes for being disrespectful.  And that is how oppression survives historically.  People identify with their own oppression and the oppression of other people.

As you do.

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By elisalouisa, July 30, 2009 at 6:21 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther:especially Elisalousia’s defense of the cop arreating Gates in his own home for ‘creating a disturbance’ indicates a racism and identification with oppressive power that is leading the US rapidly to a far more oppressive police state.
*****************************************************************
Folktruther,  I posted my views knowing full well that the reaction would not be positive. As to where I am coming from, I am a Democrat and voted for Obama. I am a fan of Gore Vidal and have enjoyed reading his books with the exception of Myra Breckinridge. Should there be a next time Obama will not get my vote. I may continue to read Vidal but not with the same enthusiasm.
In my experience, it is the elitists such as Gates (“Do you know who I am”) who are oppressive. As elitists gain power and money an oppressive state could be our future, perhaps near future. However one might also contend that a lawless state is down the road. How about both at the same time?

elisa

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By stcfarms, July 30, 2009 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment

jmr,

  If you are so sure that cops are honest and pure you can get in your ragged clothes and drive an old car through a wealthy neighborhood late at night, let me know how that works out for you.

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By truedigger3, July 30, 2009 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Gate is a college professor and is in his fifties. He should have handled the situation better.
It is not smart and it is not wise to tempt fate and “bad mouth and insult a cop”.
Yes, the cop might have been a racist and sadist or
just displayed poor judgement.
Professor Gate should have kept a small problem small
and then he might have had a case in case the cop continued his belligerence and abused his position.

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By jmr, July 30, 2009 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment

Re Vidal and his acolytes and their “police state” rubbish…  A few points of the obvious:

1.  The police are a COERCIVE force.  You need coercive force to keep the peace, which, in the Constitution, is the FIRST duty of government (“domestic tranquility”).  If the fact that we have coercive police instead of hall monitors makes us a police state, then I’m for a police state.

2.  So, UK police don’t have guns.  Most other European cops do, including that left-wing paradise, Sweden.

...which leads to the most important point, for the cadre of sanctimonious America-haters:

3.  The character of the police reflects the populace they patrol, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.  A civil police force reflects a civil populace, a brutal police force reflects a brutal populace.  Cambridge is a civil populace, so it gets a civil police force, including Crowley.  Other populaces, like South Central or Detroit or Bed-Stuy or Chi, where Gates’s behavior is more appropriate, get the cops they deserve.  In fact, they get better cops than they deserve.  Of course the dirt rubs off on many of these cops, but most are heroes, who should get combat pay and accolades, not the disdain of effete snobs like Vidal.

Finally, Vidal is on a self-indulgent tear.  He doubtless is aware that at least half his purple prose is bullshit, and he’s cynically aware that he has a credulous left-wing echo chamber eager to lap it up.

I think the GOP is the anti-Christ, and I voted Obama.  I think that the right, come judgment day, will have a hell of a lot more explaining to do than the left.  That said, the 60s are over, the silly season has passed.  Yet, as evidenced by Vidal and his followers here, the time-warped moonbat left can’t abandon their tired platitudes and knee-jerk dogma and are as shallow and reactionary as the right wing.  Both wings obviously have run out of ideas.

You want to be progressives worthy of the name?  Then campaign hard for UNIVERSAL, MANDATED, SINGLE-PAYER HEALTHCARE, not this bloated, tricked-out mess offered up by Obama.  Campaign hard for JOB TRAINING. (Stop with the “everybody should go to college” bullshit. People need meaningful job skills more than they need refined sensibilities.) Campaign hard for STRONG UNIONS. Campaign hard for REGULATION OF BIG BUSINESS.  Campaign hard for INFRASTRUCTURE repair and investment.  And campaign hard for RAISING TAXES TO PAY FOR THESE. (Make everybody pitch in, but soak the rich and stick it to the super-rich.)

THIS is the class war we should be fighting, not Vidal’s imaginary police state.

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By Folktruther, July 30, 2009 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment

Gordy you’re a dingbat.  But your and especially Elisalousia’s defense of the cop arreating Gates in his own home for ‘creating a disturbance’ indicates a racism and identification with oppressive power that is leading the US rapidly to a far more oppressive police state.

As was detailed on another thread, Crowley lied explicitly on his report, which cops generally do in these kinds of situations. they lie routinely on the witness stand as any defense attorney will tell you.  But your acceptamce of what he says indicates a predisposition to side with oppressive authority that bodes ill for the future.  And there are many like you among pseudo-progressives.

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By ardee, July 30, 2009 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment

Gordy, July 30 at 5:26 pm #

Ardee, I only detected evidence indicative of one stereotypical right-wing view - that the Democrat Party President wants to disarm everyone - in Dr Moon’s last paragraph, so I expect that whatever the record was, it is intact. 
....

You seem to be under the impression that I care what you think, or find, or believe. You seem to find nothing wrong with Moonies sarcasm and vilification yet object to mine. I think you a bit addled by your own prejudices.
You may respond as you wish and to whom you wish, but I will ignore your worthless prattle from this time forward.

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By Sepharad, July 30, 2009 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment

Should note that in another story on this site, Rev. Madison Shockley’s “Obama’s Dangerous Dance with Crowley”, there is different information re the 911 call and either what the dispatcher told Crowley and what Crowley actually said. Story wasn’t that clear on what the dispatcher said to Crowley. But it does suggest at least some racism. If all is as Shockley said.

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By Gordy, July 30, 2009 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment

Ardee, I only detected evidence indicative of one stereotypical right-wing view - that the Democrat Party President wants to disarm everyone - in Dr Moon’s last paragraph, so I expect that whatever the record was, it is intact. 

You seem to confuse debate with stating your prejudices very loudly and vociferously and demonizing anyone who disagrees.  And you still have not explained how you KNOW that the officer was motivated by racism.  Generalizing about racism in the police force doesn’t cut it. 

You need to explain why you think what you think, not just state it with this kind of aggressive conviction.

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By Kesey Seven, July 30, 2009 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment

Dr. Moon,

Your post raises the eternal question:  What is the reading comprehension level of the average doctor from the moon? 

Kesey Seven

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By ardee, July 30, 2009 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

Dr Moon, July 30 at 4:42 pm #

Drivel being where one finds it….

I have never seen more right wing stereotypical nonsense packed into one post before..congratulations, we can now retire the crown.

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By Dr Moon, July 30, 2009 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

I don’t think I’ve heard this much drivel pour from the mind of a pseudo intellectual in my 52 years of being on this earth. While not being in awe of the police like many of their groupies and having bumped into that blue line on several occasions, I can hardly understand your complete disdain and animosity towards a profession whose job it is to work next to the lowest segments of society, day in and day out.

As far as the Gates incident is concerned, I have a difficult time understanding how you or anyone else could find fault with Officer Crowley’s actions. Perhaps you’ve been hitting that crack pipe for too long. Had Officer Crowley been questioning a heroin dealing pimp, he wouldn’t have been so surprised at the mans reaction, but he was after all asking to speak with the great Henry Louis Gates Jr. or as you refer to as a “distinguished Scholar”. What type of scholar uses the phrase “yo momma,” refuses to show his ID, and rants and raves calling everyone White racists?

I also find it odd that you have such high expectations of the “nobody” Officer Crowley, would like the president to have asked him “How dare you go after a 58-year-old man who is one of the great scholars of the country and think you can get away with it?” Mr. Vidal I think you’ve forgotten one of the great attributes of America and that is everyone regardless of position or wealth are to be treated equally under the law. Just because Gates is a high paid professor at Harvard doesn’t mean he can get away with acting like a fool, making loud mouth accusations.

I’ve decided that your grudge isn’t against police officers per say, but against America. You hate it that our police have guns and para-military type firearms. You think how much safer and more civilized it would be here if the police were unarmed. I suppose it would be more just if like in the UK, some gang breaks into your home tears up the house and rapes your daughter. And you acting in anger grab a knife and stab one of the gang members protecting your family and property. When the police finally arrive the gang members have left except the wounded one. Upon seeing this, the police arrest you and cart you off to jail for using a deadly weapon. If this is a civil society, I’ll take armed cops.

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By Mark Hillyard, July 30, 2009 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Vital Signs,
Good way to detract from Sotomayor.  Throw up a dumb ass story and let the nomination get set into the back page. 

People get in trouble with police because they are in the wrong.  Think about it!  Do people really want to “hassle” the police?  If they do they are asking for trouble and that’s the way it is.  “I’m bad to the bones!”  I have a nephew who used to ask for it and he got it and always pulled up the “I’m mes’can and they are harrassing me” card.  He is older and wiser now and doesn’t do that anymore.  He is also adopted to my family and from my view was always asking for it.  He had an attitude, got adjusted and is now gainfully employed.

Don’t feed me a junk food dinner.  UN Vital.

Mark Hillyard

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By stcfarms, July 30, 2009 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

Mike,

  As a fireman I operated with cops on a regular basis and as a motorhead I am in close contact with the “bad” elements. I prefer the company of the bad boys to police because they are, oddly enough, more trustworthy. If there is a revolution you will be far better off trusting the bad boys than the cretins ‘sworn’ to protect you. The police exist to protect the powers that be from the rabble (you and me).

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By garth, July 30, 2009 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

stcfarms,
Bon voyage.
I didn’t mean to reference your post for a moral lesson, but since you’ve made a few points, let me respond.

For one thing, retribution and bringing the world back into balance is a reasonable answer to the evil that has been heaped upon the unknowing for the past 400 years.  To rely on Mother Nature for correction, is simply indolent.  Tell that to the indigenous peoples of Bolivia who thew out Bechtel and neo-liberal government that tried to make it illegal to collect rain rain water.  At some point one has to say, this is where I live and I am not moving.
Survival, as an utmost goal, is rather sub-human.  We, after all, are the ones who live on a higher metaphysical plane.
My college roomate and I some 40 years ago had pipe dreams about just such a trip as the one you described.  We never did it.  But now, I choose to stay and take on the ruling class and its massive police force and economic power.

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By Dave, July 30, 2009 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Did those of you who voted for Obama really think for one moment that a very leftwing democrat would undo and deconstruct the liberty crushing laws that were passed by Bush?
Nobody under 25 would have believed that,in fact,those of us who are old enough knew that those encroachments on liberty would be greatly expanded under the willing cover of a press that voted for the man at approximately 90% rates.
If you thought Bush was bad when it came to laws setting the stage for tyranny-and he was terrible,you ‘aint seen nuthin yet!.

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By mike112769, July 30, 2009 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

Rollzone: You have your ratios backward. There’s only about 1 good cop for every dirty, power-hungry cop. The very job of policeman is by its definition a job where you have to be around (mostly) the “bad” elements of society. What kind of a person WANTS to hang out around these kinds of people? No sane person does. Most cops NEED, and are just itching for, an excuse to kick someone’s teeth in; or do you believe we NEED to taser 72 year-old grandmothers?

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By mike112769, July 30, 2009 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

We very definitely do live in a police state. I agree with the author on this. The officer should never have arrested the professor, but why should he not arrest him? He won’t get into trouble for making a bad arrest, or even if he had killed the professor. Anyone who yells at a cop can be arrested. That is unconstitutional. Period. Freedom of speech applies to venting stuff that cops don’t want to hear. We really started turning into a police state when the police were allowed to profit off of their arrests; i.e., getting to keep drug money, impound any property that may be remotely tied to drugs, or anything else they want to do to you in the name of the war on drugs. Once a cop can get away with murder, as in the Oakland subway murder, they feel they can do anything. We are in desperate need of an overhaul to our laws. John Q. Public will not tolerate this for much longer.

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By rollzone, July 30, 2009 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

hello. America: the land of imminent civilian insurrections. let’s look at Police Academy. there exists one officer in the class needing the largest gun. in reality the depiction of how many ignoble policing units willing to gun down the citizenry is the same ratio: one nut in the class. it is the same for the military. insurrections are more correctly labelled coups; as armed personnel do not believe it is correct to obey orders against the weaker people they are sworn to protect. the bigger bridge is for more people to be able to quickly get to safety.

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By stcfarms, July 30, 2009 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

Garth,

We have already abandoned the whole rule of government to the traitors and low lifes, by leaving we will deny them their slaves and income. History shows that every empire that has ever existed has eventually collapsed under it’s own weight and ours will be no different. According to the historical evidence our empire is in it’s final stages and will collapse soon. Add climate change, the exponential rise in population and the collapse of fiat money to the mix and it is clear that the US will never recover.

The system itself is flawed and cannot be repaired, it must be replaced. As an Ojibwe Indian I can assure you that justice does not exist in America. Retribution is pointless as mother nature is poised to punish everyone for our crimes against our environment. Forgiveness is irrelevant, survival should be your only goal now.

Security does not require paranoia and you are correct that clear-headedness is essential. My girlfriend and I are constructing an ocean going, self sufficient floating island that we will take down the Mississippi river to the Amazon delta. If we are right about the coming attractions it will be the place to be, if we are wrong I guess that we will be stuck with a self sufficient tropical island 5 hours from Carnival.

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By garth, July 30, 2009 at 10:08 am Link to this comment

Hear! Hear! Stcfarms.
However, I do have qualms about abandoning the whole rule of government to these traitors, these low-lifes.
Take a day in November to vote against the incumbents.

It seems the dialogue has veered toward the “vanilla’ and personal attacks.  In other words if we disagree let it be about picayune differences and by all means let us use the dialectic of informed intellectuals. 
To hell with them all.  The only question in my mind is justice, retribution, a deadly reckoning.  I’ll have to work on forgiveness.
The want for security in times of peril is understandable, but paranoia instead of clear-headedness is not.
Afghanistan-Iraq-Pakistan versus Health care in the the US for all its citizens; it’s a no-brainer.

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By PoeticJustice, July 30, 2009 at 9:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Vidal,

Thought you might have an interest in this story…

http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/local/460181

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By cosmo9, July 30, 2009 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

Gore, you are off course right that our police in the UK are not armed, however they do still kill people with impunity.  Witness poor Mr Menezes on the London Tube or the newspaper seller trying to get home around their G20 “kettling” tactics.  Britain is very similar to the US in that we too are a police state, mercifully only some of our coppers have guns.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 30, 2009 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, July 30 at 12:52 am #

Yeah, you’re right, Inherit, that didn’t come out the way I meant it.  I didn’t mean that you and Sephaerad didn’t like him because he was gay.  I apologize.
**********************************************

Hey, that’s OK.  I appreciate it.  Now let’s all 3 of us go have a beer with the President! (But not that Bud Lite panther piss!)  smile

The more I read the more I think that race is being used as an excuse for an excess of testosterone on the part of both Sergeant Crowley and Professor Gates.  For whatever reason I think they just got into a pissing contest—and the cop ALWAYS wins those.

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By Gordy, July 30, 2009 at 6:15 am Link to this comment

Ardee, you avoided my simple question - do you know that the officer was being racist?  Are you not making the same kind of assumptions as the racists?

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By elisalouisa, July 30, 2009 at 5:47 am Link to this comment

Due to his experiences with law enforcement and also the experiences of his friends, Gore Vidal has used his power of the pen to unjustly castigate Crosley, the perennial cop who Vidal views as the enemy. The race card is continually mentioned re Crowley/Gates as being part of this issue. What about the cop card where one automatically lines up against law enforcement?

Gates had just returned from a trip to China.? Could jet lag have something to do with his knee jerk reaction? A flight from China can take as much as 24 hrs. Also, as can happens on a trip house keys are not readily available(misplaced) and he asked his driver to force open his door. So, assuming this is correct Gates was indeed “breaking into” his own(Harvard"s) home. Crosley did not have to answer this call because he is not part of Cambridge security but the Boston police force. However Crosley did and upon arrival at the address found the neighbor who called the police waiting outside, confirming to Crosley that the burglar was still inside.  Your life may be on the line in such a situation, so anyone in the house is suspect. ?It has been retold that Gates demanded the badge # and name of the officer because he would be reported. The phrase, “Do you know who I am” and other similar comments were made as to his friends in high places. Crosley asked Gates to step outside because cell phone communication was not as audible in the house. ?It was never confirmed if Gates actually did show his identify. I suspect not, otherwise, why did he say, “Do you know who I am.” ?Well, we all know who Gates is now and we also know his friends in high places, especially one who speaks before knowing the facts.  Incidently,  you can search for Gates’  charity foundation online for further information as to his character (I know this has nothing to do with the situation but please allow me this diversion).
?So considering everything, I weigh in with the cop.

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By ardee, July 30, 2009 at 4:55 am Link to this comment

Gordy, July 30 at 6:58 am #


Ardee, I guess I should have employed more honey and less vinegar but you are the one displaying egotistical blindness here -
...........................

Blindness is where one finds it. I have made as clear as humanly possible my position on this matter. If you choose to ignore it , whatever your reason may be, so be it.

Have a nice day.

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By Gordy, July 30, 2009 at 3:58 am Link to this comment

Ardee, I guess I should have employed more honey and less vinegar but you are the one displaying egotistical blindness here - just answer me this simple question: do you KNOW that the officer was being racist?  Cos that’s the way you’re talking! 

Do you KNOW?

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By ardee, July 30, 2009 at 3:29 am Link to this comment

Gordy, July 29 at 7:51 pm #

Ardee, you have to be kidding me.  We are talking about ONE SPECIFIC INCIDENT here.  What you have said is tantamount to saying that every white policeman will always be racist toward a black citizen.  Blueboy was being perfectly reasonable and you don’t want to hear it - that’s your baggage; don’t try to justify it.

No, YOU are talking about one specific incident here. Those with an actual perspective and knowledge of history are speaking to a much broader subject than are you. To say that I was not there is a petty and stupid comment, were you there, was anyone here? If we confine ourselves to speaking to events we actually witnessed there would be nothing much posted here, try harder please.

You were not there ardee, do not presume to know what ‘really’ happened or what everyone’s motives were just so that you can have an excuse to rant about a pet hate.  You don’t know - understand?  Do you always assume that your hunches and prejudices are correct just because you feel a strong emotion about them?

This is, you might have forgotten, a medium in which opinions are posted, debated, discussed and proven or disproven. You seem under the impression that your own opinion is writ large and others should simply shut up. Sorry, no. If by,“my pet hate” you mean injustice and racism, then yes I believe I have an excuse. What the fuck is your excuse for posting an angry and childish response?

And you ask him his race!?  Are you mental!?  Do you racially profile all white posters as unequipped to even touch any issue that might involve a black person somehow!?  I just don’t get it…

Finally a germ of truth in your rant. Yes , I strongly agree, you don’t get it. I suggest you abstract your ego from this conversation and relearn the history of race in this nation. This incident is not to be abstracted and considered apart from that history, but must be framed by the entire body of knowledge that subjects minorities to unequal treatment by our police and by our society.

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By stcfarms, July 30, 2009 at 12:59 am Link to this comment

The solution to class division is simple, become self sufficient, join the underground economy and abandon the fiat money economy. If we lower class humans refuse to toil for the wealthy then they will have to work or starve. You give them your power when you grovel, you take your power back when you stand up and walk away. Like the German intellectuals of the 1930’s we should be leaving the empire while we still can.

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By Kesey Seven, July 30, 2009 at 12:21 am Link to this comment

Hi Blueboy1938:

I think your point has been iterated a half dozen times before, below, and in Mr. Vidal’s article. Namely: It is arguable that this is not about race but class.  The Harvard professor, highly intelligent and skilled, well paid, personally acquainted with the president was pissed off because he was in his GD house that had a GD broken door and he couldn’t get through the GD door even though he had just tried to pry the MF’er open when along comes this low paid, highly skilled police officer, who knows CPR and hand-to-hand combat, who has been trained to kill expertly, but is not nearly as well educated, does not make as much money and will never make as much money short of an unexpected inheritance or a once in a lifetime Lotto number—this police officer comes along asking for the Harvard professor’s GD ID right in the middle of his MF’ing living room after he just had to pry himself in the backdoor of his own home.  You follow so far? 

Highly educated Harvard professor then attempts to put the lowly educated police officer in his rightful place in the social stratification, thereby disregarding fact that police officer, though indeed of lower social strata and lacking national personal and political connections is indeed ranking person in this encounter and always will be ranking by way of handcuffs, gun, and particular peculiarities of legal system historically recognizing that on the street police officer has the upper hand and you better GD well acknowledge that hand or he will promptly persuade you to acknowledge it by skillfully and expertly employing his baton, handcuffs and whatever means are justified and within arms’ reach to arrest you. 

Which is to say the cop trumped him. 

But not for long. 

As soon as proper legal representatives and political contacts were made, which is to say when the scene segued from street to courtroom to courthouse steps, Harvard professor had upper hand, a hand beyond reach of handcuffs, batons and assorted accoutrements of arrest. 

The media, recognizing its role as the non-violent sociopath pitting Americans against Americans, tossed softball stupidity to President Obama who by essence of his eloquent nature called stupid stupid, dug hole with said stupidity, stepped in hole, handed stupidity to media and asked media to tap him upon his loquacious head with aforementioned stupidity. Which the media did with relish and persistency and accuracy which its trait necessitates.  Bee-bim-bam like that! Right upside the head, bouncing off to police stations across country who recognizing a chance to settle an old score and possibly set stage for future confrontation proceeded to take metaphorical stupidity from non-violent sociopathic mass media and again tap esteemed president upside his symbolic, highly intelligent head. You follow? 

Which pissed him off but he couldn’t say he was pissed off because he’s president and cannot go round saying when he is or is not pissed off, whereupon he trumped them all by inviting police officer and professor for a beer, thereby elevating them both to a stratospheric social platform while at the same self-effacingly presenting the persona of a President of the United States who actually knows what a good beer is, which he probably does not, but hopefully he does. 

I’m just saying. 

The point is the man at the ultimate pinnacle of the social scale is now smoothing things over between a couple guys who are higher up the social echelon faster than they ever expected to be, particularly since the climb started out with both very pissed off and making stupid pissed-off decisions that reverberated up and ultimately pissed off the President of the United States who is now making sure nobody will ever again be pissed off about this kind of BS.

And no one in this story really seems like a bad guy.  They all just seem a little pissed off now and then, like you, me, the media and Gore Vidal.

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By Daelynphor, July 30, 2009 at 12:20 am Link to this comment

I found the article title remarkably perceptive in that none in the race baiting mass media would report this very important angle. However the article itself is a mess, with poor examples and over the top illusory e.g. “They are sort of parasites on the fringe of society and do no particular good for anyone except possibly themselves” which diminish the impact of the article considerably. In an increasingly violent society we need police, corrupt or not.

Real valid examples of the corruption in law enforcement are the most recent exposure of cops framing a motorist after a squad car rear ended her( at msnbc.com). The framing of the motorist was a conspiracy among several cops and even the radio dispatcher. What is notable is how ‘nonchalant’ all the cops were in conspiring to frame the poor motorist, as if they do it routinely..

Another is the recent verdict in the beating of a bartender (female) by a chicago cop (off duty). After beating the woman and also another male earlier in the day, the judge gave the cop “two years probation, anger management classes, a home curfew and 130 hours of community service.” The judge stated “If I believed sentencing Anthony Abbate to prison would stop people from getting drunk and hitting people, I’d give him the maximum sentence,” Judge Fleming said.” Everyone here knows this judge would never apply this to any civilian.

The problem is the ranks of the law enforcement system is filled with ego-maniacal types who have developed a system of self protection. They have people at every level from rookie cops to judges to politicians to talk show host who desire to gain favor with the people in power. Even those who come to law enforcement with good intentions are soon corrupted, they have to or nobody will watch their backs. They can do NO wrong, and they all know they can get away with almost anything (see rodney king verdict). The ego-maniacal bend makes for the ‘kiss my ring’ justice state we have. If it please you ‘me lord’ may i have my life? Did anyone see the seattle cop take down the 13 year girl on youtube? Insane stuff really. The latest threat to justice through the pleasure of ego-maniacal lords, is the use of citizen video taping. Cops hate this - and are arresting people who present cameras whenever possible.

Remember the OJ Simpson case? It wasn’t really about race either.. the ‘dream team’ knew they could eviscerate the LAPD because they routinely bend and break the law during investigations. The dream team really put the LAPD on trial and WON - it was easy for them because they had all the video taped evidence the dumb cops supplied themselves in complete contradiction to their own testimony.

Actually people the ‘problem’ goes way deeper.. It’s human nature.. During the normal course of population dynamics, a population will build up aggressive traits in their collective gene pool. Aggressive, ADD types breed faster, and their traits become more common in the collective gene pool. Consider the Aficanized bees hypothesis: when a critical number of Africanized bees invade a european honey bee hive the bees in the hive will suddenly begin to display the characteristics of an African bee hive population. That is, they will act more aggressively, defend their hive at greater distances from the hive, they will chase the invader for a greater distance etc. etc. The build up of aggression coupled with dwindling natural resources, is the genetic/environmental recipe for what we like to refer to as ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ or personal and collective aggression i.e. WAR. After a serious amount of blood letting, the most aggressive genotypes have been killed off and the collective gene pool returns to a more passive state.

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By Maurice, July 29, 2009 at 10:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There are good cops and Bad, unfortunatley the bad outway the good. I live in a suburb of nashville, TN
where they stop first ask questions later. Me and a friend was going to McDonalds one night I admit I yielded at a stop sign, he stop me called for back search my grandmothers car while his back up pushed me against the car car and held me. Mind you I’m whereing my pajamas and house shoes go figure. Just one example.

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By Sepharad, July 29, 2009 at 10:39 pm Link to this comment

CJ—I’m glad the fact that Crowley/Gates is a class issue is as obvious to you as it was to me. Was beginning to wonder about my own perception.

radson—Things indeed are not well in the land of the free, and the upper echelons from Mr. Vidal sprang are not making it any better. However, Gore Vidal has a bit of genius going for him and uses it to not only entertain but also forward issue he personally cares about. So he’s not all bad (though I suppose he could have spread his money as well as his intellect around a bit more, but it’s a free country).

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By CJ, July 29, 2009 at 10:25 pm Link to this comment

Gore Vidal, the great. Absolutely, it’s about class—as it ever was. Which you get or you don’t. Meanwhile, they made the bridge wider. “Stupidly.” Leave acting serious stupidity to authoritarian authorities. Since should we ever have a class-conscious mind to cross the state we might do so in greater numbers thereby.

Until then, downing of seriously lousy (Bud low-cal, Blue Moon and Red Stripe) beers in the upper-crust interest of distraction.

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By Folktruther, July 29, 2009 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment

Yeah, you’re right, Inherit, that didn’t come out the way I meant it.  I didn’t mean that you and Sephaerad didn’t like him because he was gay.  I apologize.

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By jc, July 29, 2009 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A bridge threatening the establishment, imagine the masses rising up what a concept.  Mr. Vidal what a great job!  I was not there, but it is a three-ring circus now, with Gates insisting an apology from local law enforcement community, and the Pres. speaking his mind, in the end beer/chips at the White-house with Media there for moral support. Cannot wait to see them on face-book.  Caliber of folks crossing into the blue shield are not as bright as they used to be, or they are not receiving training that they used to receive in order to deal with ordinary folks.  They have enough money to law enforcement but their training is not as good as it used to be. 

Today heard 287(g) has even more teeth, law enforcement on steroids even more power and funds appropriated forgot how much.  Prison guards can stop and detain foreigners who are not US citizens.  While every other sector is receiving pink slips, law enforcement is getting larger not because there are 305 million of us.

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By shanen, July 29, 2009 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment

Thanks for the favorable comments, but I don’t see why that’s regarded as such a unique perspective. After all, even in the article Mr Vidal mentions the unarmed British police. The 2nd Amendment eliminates that option for American police just as the Civil War eliminated the Founders’ intentions for the 2nd Amendment.

Actually, I forgot to mention that the most refreshing aspect of Mr Vidal’s article was that he wasn’t wasting time with the racial aspects. I’m not black, but I know plenty about racism, and I’d still get pretty upset if I were accosted by a policeman in my own home. I’d be wondering what I’d done wrong, even if I was pretty sure if I’d done nothing wrong—and Gates just jumped to the wrong conclusion.

America is already #1 for incarceration. If we arrested everyone who jumped to a wrong conclusion, we’d have to offshore the prison system.

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By radson, July 29, 2009 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment

Reading an elders point of view is always intriguing and motivating ,because of the life experiences that they convey.As persons approach the end of the line so to speak ,there often seems to be a certain consolidation of how things once were and how they have changed with regards to the transformations that one has experienced.I agree with Mr. Vidal’s assessment that the MSM has warped the issue
which this discussion entails and that President Obama was mislead in supporting the media in their claim that race is the issue -it is as Mr. Vidal states deeper than that.Part four of the essay is in a sense
a parable wrapped in a riddle which is left for readers to decipher ,but to build a bridge over a river is to imply a chosen direction ,and at the same time offers a mystical foreboding that all is not well in the land of the
free.

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By 2 Sides of The Coin, July 29, 2009 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The problem is Whites assume that NOTHING is racist and Blacks assume that EVERYTHING is racist. Until we see eye to eye and concede that the Police DO HAVE a history of racist behavior towards Black people and continue to promote their violence, hatred and negativity towards Black people and also concede that in this case, while the officer was wrong and Gates’ anger is justified at how he was treated, he may have been treated that way because of his presumption by the officer that Gates was robber and not necessarily was being prejudiced by the fact that Gates is a Black person, we will continue to have these endless and often pointless debates. However, the officer is a mess…how likely is this older man breaking and entering into homes without a facial mask and in that neighborhood? He also did NOT have a weapon and was outnumbered. People on both sides need to stop and think.

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By Blueboy1938, July 29, 2009 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

It is correct that Ms. Whalen did not initially identify the ethnicity of the persons about whom she had called 911.  When asked, she said that possibly one might have been Hispanic (!), according to an AP report filed today.  The officer did not know that he might be dealing with an African American until he saw Professor Gates, by which time the good professor was already screaming at him, apparently, according to what I’ve read.  That makes it pretty obvious that racial profiling had not occurred.  Of course, Professor Gates had no way of knowing what had been reported.  He made an assumption.  He then acted belligerently toward an officer of the law.  If the officer were an African American also, would he have reacted the same?

My previous point was that Professor Gates was in control of the situation to this extent:  His reaction to the officer, white or black, would determine the officer’s reaction to him.  He chose to go ballistic.  Not surprising, really, that the officer had the reaction that he did.  Could the officer have handled it better?  Probably.  Was he out of line?  Probably not, given the circumstances handed him by Professor Gates.

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By mandinka, July 29, 2009 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

Just another left wing nut job writing an article that is sophomoric at best. Rather than write about Louie and his charity scam, the real truth about his integrity is lost. Here’s a guy that has received $100’s of thousands and yet only dispensed $12K. Pocketing the rest or using it to line the pockets of his Harvard buddies. This clown belongs in JAIL and Harvard needs to terminate his housing and his contract

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By Gordy, July 29, 2009 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

Interesting different perspective Shanen, and I think to myself, here is a little realism, but perhaps not enough idealism - presumably we aim for a society that no longer requires such a thug caste..? 

If policemen set a good example, people will be less inclined to harm the state.  As with enforcers, so with leaders - if they are good, the people are more likely to be good. 

In a sense I agree that the US would have to be a superior place in order to produce a superior police force, so there is this kind of inevitability of abuse and brutality and a thug mindset, but standards should be expected and enforced because things would probably worsen without that.  Not that I feel that this Gates example IS AT ALL IMPORTANT AND IS ONLY IN THE NEWS BECAUSE FLIPPIN’ OBAMA MENTIONED IT!!!

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By Sepharad, July 29, 2009 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

shanen, an original take, for sure. As for the destruction of the Second Amendment by the Civil War, it’s not often noted (though I’d call it sad instead of amusing—on most days).

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By shanen, July 29, 2009 at 5:35 pm Link to this comment

While I generally regard Mr Vidal as insightful and even wise, on this one he’s pretty much missed the boat. Armed and aggressive police forces are simply the natural and even inevitable response to an armed and aggressive population—and that is the entire point of the Second Amendment, which was not mentioned in the article and only obliquely in these comments. If we insist that every man (with felons redefined as subhuman) has the right to be armed, then it would be insane for the police to ignore the possibility of being shot at any moment. The devil’s choice: policemen who are insanely uncaring about their own survival or policemen who believe (as I learned in my hitch in the service) “Though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, because I’m the baddest mother in the valley.”

What makes me laugh is that the Second Amendment was revoked a long time ago—by Abe Lincoln. The Civil War was EXACTLY what the founders planned for, and it turned out that the exceedingly well armed militias of the States were NOT able to protect the rights of the States from the federal government. A dreadfully expensive lesson that has been rather misinterpreted ever since. Amusing, no?

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By SteveL, July 29, 2009 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment

Cops act first and come up with the justifications later.

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By Gordy, July 29, 2009 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

Ardee, you have to be kidding me.  We are talking about ONE SPECIFIC INCIDENT here.  What you have said is tantamount to saying that every white policeman will always be racist toward a black citizen.  Blueboy was being perfectly reasonable and you don’t want to hear it - that’s your baggage; don’t try to justify it. 

You were not there ardee, do not presume to know what ‘really’ happened or what everyone’s motives were just so that you can have an excuse to rant about a pet hate.  You don’t know - understand?  Do you always assume that your hunches and prejudices are correct just because you feel a strong emotion about them? 

And you ask him his race!?  Are you mental!?  Do you racially profile all white posters as unequipped to even touch any issue that might involve a black person somehow!?  I just don’t get it…

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By ardee, July 29, 2009 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

“Why did Gates assume that he was the victim of racial profiling? “

You do not note,Blueboy1938, July 29 at 6:50 pm , whether you are white or black. So how does one judge the similarities between the two incidents? Neither do you seem to understand that the treatment of black Americans by police, in general, differs remarkably from the treatment of their white counterparts.

Further, the woman who made the call did not specify a color of those involved, UNTIL she was asked to do so by the 911 operator.

The very best reason for standing up and speaking to this issue is precisely because the Gates incident is not an isolated one at all, but far, far too common among people of color. Frankly I do not care if Professor Gates lost his temper, not when viewed through the prism of racial intolerance by our society in general and our law enforcement community in particular.

But I bet you already know this!

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By Sepharad, July 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment

Blueboy1938—Thanks for your very to-the-point and very civilized post. Kind of a rarity these days.

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By Blueboy1938, July 29, 2009 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

I had left my car parked at an angle across the sidewalk in front of my garage while I went in through the house to remove a board securing the automatic door, which could otherwise be lifted enough for a (small) person to get under the side.  When the door went up, I found myself staring at two police officers who were waiting by the car.

They politely asked me what I was doing.  I explained that I was the owner of the house and the issue with the garage door.  They asked to see my ID.  I complied.  They explained that there had been some break-ins recently, and they were making more patrols and looking into things that looked suspicious.  I thanked them for their effort to keep my neighborhood safe.  They left.

Why did Gates assume that he was the victim of racial profiling?  Even if he were, which there is evidence that he was not, as the woman who reported the men attempting to “break into” Gate’s house did not identify them as African American, why didn’t he just do as he was asked?  Why did he become belligerant?  Had he experienced police prejudice in the past personally?  Had he previous dealings with this officer?

From what I understand so far, there were no prior incidents in Gate’s experience, at least as long as he had lived in Cambridge, to warrant his assumptions.  He was out of line and, although the officer could have taken another approach, perhaps, he appears to have acted within policy.  Hence Vidal’s point that the police policies are subject to institutional “police state” mentality.  I really don’t think that to be the case to the extent that he does.

Assuming that you are being overcharged at the grocery checkout and yelling at the clerk; yelling at a waiter because your soup is cold; yelling at your significant other because there’s too much starch in your collar.  All kinds of situations can be handled in a truculent or agreeable manner.  Besides, the cops have guns.  So why would you want to provoke one?

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By Sepharad, July 29, 2009 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment

jmr, Sgt. Crowley may also have sent for backup because the call-in had been re two men trying to break in, and seeing Professor Gates and no one else, he probably didn’t want to walk in the house risking ambush, so asked Professor Gates to step outside.

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By Marshall, July 29, 2009 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment

By ardee, July 28 at 9:59 pm #

Ardee - i’m only a solitary voice on these boards.

Re Race: No one here knows the full circumstances of the Gates arrest, but i believe that anyone will be arrested for getting up into a cop’s face and yelling at him.  You don’t have to be a minority, wealthy, or even drunk.  Just loud, uncooperative and unwilling to STFU.  We’ve seen it a hundred times on COPS - perp who just won’t close his mouth despite repeated warnings finally gets hauled to the can.  Does this make us a police state?  I say no.  But then i don’t yell at cops, or most anyone for that matter.

As to this rambling Vidal piece, I see little connection to reality and suspect Vidal’s mind is beginning to go which is understandable at his age.

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By TRHS Mr H, July 29, 2009 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The guy clearly has no clue what he is talking about. Yes, the Cambridge case was bad, and the OFFICER who did it was bad, but it what he says here is ridiculous:

“So, we are a weirdly militarized citizenry governed by the worst elements in the United States, and something is bound to blow up, as I have felt for some time now. In my wanderings around the U.S., I talk to people without money, without power, ordinary voters, as well as nowadays, people maimed by war, or time, or life or whatever, and I am convinced more and more that this is a vicious country in which the police are allowed to run amok, absolutely independent of anyone, and that is why from time to time they are allowed to get away with murder. One surprisingly knew that a wrinkle has been discovered in the seamless surface of our troubled state. Policemen are seldom tried for their crimes, or indeed, held responsible for what they do, which disturbs the peace and causes distress among the orderly.”

I realize the guy got injured in the war, so maybe he isn’t oblivious to violent horror, but he is oblivious to the fact that police are at WAR every day, getting injured like him and killed EVERY DAY.
I’d love for that author to be a patrolman on the beat for a year. How quickly he’d change his tune. Maybe from being shot? Maybe from being sneered at, spat on, avoided? Maybe from the constant walking on legal eggshells he has to do with competing demands placed upon him?
Alternately, let him be robbed, beaten and raped for a year without police protection. Apparently he thinks that is preferable, for all police to be under such strict supervision that they cannot effectively do their jobs anymore. Police already have enough supervisors monitoring their actions.
This author needs to quit ‘walking around in the forest’ of fairies he’s from and come to the concrete jungle, or come to WHERE I TEACH, or travel to a real police state. Perhaps then he’d gain a clue.

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By Sepharad, July 29, 2009 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther—Come again? I LIKE (and read) Gore Vidal. If I disdained everyone with whom I had some issues of disagreement, I’d lead a sterile, uninformed life indeed, which I presume is what you are doing given your cultural exclusivity re anyone out of lockstep with you.

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By jmr, July 29, 2009 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment

rylly is typical of the knee-jerk left, who would rather hear themselves talk (like Vidal) than learn.  More police were sent, not because the cop was “scared of an old man with a cane” but because, for whatever reason, the cop did not respond to repeated calls from dispatch. (probably because he couldn’t be heard over Gates’s screaming)

Vidal puts words in the officer’s mouth, and his choir manufacture events, so they can build a strawman for their polemic.  I don’t like the right, but this doesn’t mean the left has a corner on honesty in discourse.

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By Sepharad, July 29, 2009 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment

Inherit—I like Frank Rich too. (To the list of writers I don’t like I’d add William Vollman because he writes such massively long books in difficult prose—think of Joyce’s “Finnegan’s Wake”—and it’s just too hard trying to figure out what he really wants to say.)

Maybe give Updike one more try? His “Early Stories” (c.‘53-75) collection I have is still out in paperback. (There are lots of his novels I haven’t liked, early or late.) Updike’s stories are almost as good as Isaac Babel’s, esp. the “Red Cavalry” collection.

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By Purple Girl, July 29, 2009 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment

Got Trained? Earned a badge?
TOOK AN OATHE???
Punched in? Earning a paycheck?
You’re on the Job baby!
So taking it personal is NOT an Option.
The cop was the only one who was not only discharging the duties and responsiblities of his job, but representing his employers (The Taxpayers).
If he can’t talk down an agitated Unarmed middle aged disabled man, he should be fired. Don’t hand this cop a bullhorn in a hostage crisis, or ‘Jumper’, or a real armed assailant. And if that had been who had really entered the home- would the neighborhood have be The OK Corral at High Noon?
If he can’t de escalate a situation on a minor call, he should not only get out of police work, but avoid firefighting, healthcare, Retail, Resturant, telemarketing…...Pretty much any occupation that could possibly present a annoyed,and frustrated person to contend with.
Because Cops carry guns it is paramount they have people skills and the verbal abilities to manipuate a situation to assure the safest outcome for all.
It was not Gate’s professional aptitude being tested here, it was Crowleys. He Failed.

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By sugarsnap88, July 29, 2009 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

Stupid was the appropriate word.  The police are stupid, and Gates behavior was stupid because, being a Harvard type, he should know how to deal with lesser people.
As for the police, they are simple, uneducated poople who are only doing their job which is to protect the status-quo.  If they were any smarter they would be detectives or have more respectable jobs. 
One night at 11:00 our house was dark, except for a single light in the rear where I was reading.  There was a suspicious knock at the front door and then I saw a car drive off.  I grabbed my rifle and waited by the rear door.  The burglar was lucky that the door was locked.  When he started to leave, I told him to halt.  As he fled I shot at the street causing a rickochet whine.  Neighbors called the police and the entire city police force including their helicopter converged within a minute armed with their steno pads.  When all the note taking had subsided they left leaving me still pumping adrenaline.  A few minutes later it hit me that there should be a car parked nearby with a hot hood, but by then the thief have driven away This is proof that police are uniformly (pun) not very bright  
As for Gates, he should have been wise enough to deal with them in a less provocative manner by feeding their egos and acknowledging their rank (another pun).  Racial issues are irrelevant.

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By bowwowboy, July 29, 2009 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What’s more depressing?: the actions of the cop in this case, whose (deservedly) fragile little ego was crushed by Gates’s not terribly original yo’-mamam’s?
Or the cop’s vociferous defenders, who,, like he, never absorbed the wisdom of the childhood adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” (Talk about internalized oppression: as William Burroughs sid, “A functioning police state doesn’t need police.”) Did the little corporal really need to overcompensate that much for those times he got beaten down in the schoolyard for his lunch money? Rhetorical question.

Words are breath and spit, not brickbats, and it is precisely this distinction that anyone mandated to keep the peace needs to keep in mind.

For the record, while living in Portland, Ore., in the early 70’s , I was once pulled over for driving with a busted tail light and then arrested on the charge of driving with a suspended license.  (The charge was subsequently dropped.) En route to the police station, in the bck seat of the patrol car I cussed out the two arresting officers (who were only doing their job)  in language far more vivid that Professor Gates’s. To their great credit, the cops simply ignored my outburst and I was deposited at the station intact with no additional charge of “disturbing the peaxe” or “resisting arrest.”

In L.A., where I now live and where it seems like a (usually) black or Hispanic person gets shot by the LAPD every week or so, I never would have made it to the station in one piece.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 29, 2009 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, July 29 at 1:32 pm #


Also, surprisingly, he was political honest to an astonishing degree, and disliked oppression. Probably because he was gay. That is why Zionists like Sepharad and Inherit don’t like him, and he is attacked by Aipac, etc.  He has argued hsi whole life against a militarized police state that the US has become.  He is an historical figure in that respect, and in addition to being an artist, is an honerable man.  The US does not have that many celebs that you can say that about.

**********************************************

I swear, Folktruther, you must be drinking from the same tainted bottle as Glenn Beck, who just called Obama a racist and said he didn’t like “White People”? 

Or are you just making up whatever shit you want again, to throw out there like GOPers do? (like calling Sotomayor a racist).

I have NEVER spoken out against Gays—I am an ardent believer that they have the same rights as the rest of us.  Vidal’s homosexuality is, completely, totally and fundamentally NONE OF MY BUSINESS!  He’s honest about it—which is moral, rather than some “Christian” fundie preacher hot for a male prostitute while publicly attacking gays.

Nor did I begin to dislike Vidal as a response to his criticism of Israel.  I’ve always thought he was shallow as an analyst despite being incredibly glib.

Finally, you idiot, Sepharad is an ardent ADMIRER of Gore Vidal and his writing, where I am NOT!

It just amazes me how you just write this shit when the OPPOSITE is true in the very same thread—and it’s so f***in’ obvious!

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By rylly, July 29, 2009 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

It looked like both racial and class in this case. 
This brave officer, had to call in MORE cars and MORE badges because he he was so threatened by this small limping man with a cane inside his own home, he needed back-up!!??  If that doesn’t illustrate Police State, its close enough.
What better way to right a wrong than to compound the wrong all the way to arresting an innocent scholar?  Only it wasn’t just a private affair anymore, everyone knew it and objected…all the way to the office of the President.
I agree with Gore, this was the moment when Obama should have come out with a solid speech on police state run amok and on racial profiling.  He has to do this, why not right now?
What the officer did was expose himself as a racist, a liar, a Police State “enforcer” and a man consumed with power and control,
Vowing NEVER to apologize….

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