The Spectacle Blog

Obama, “A More Representative Police Force” & The First 48

By on 11.25.14 | 9:32PM

President Obama has now twice made remarks concerning the grand jury verdict in Ferguson, Missouri. He first made remarks last night at the White House and again earlier this evening during a speech in Chicago concerning immigration.

On both occasions, Obama has spoken about having "more representative police forces". Last night he said, "That means working with law enforcement officials to make sure their ranks are representative of the communities they serve." This evening he said, "We know that when we have a police force that is representative of the communities its serving, that makes a difference."

I know President Obama likes to watch House of Cards. Does he ever watch The First 48?

For the past decade, The First 48 has aired on A&E. It is a behind the scenes look at how various police forces across the U.S. handle homicide investigations from the moment they are summoned to the scene. The term "the first 48" refers to how murders are less likely to be solved if they are not closed within the first 48 hours.

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Prepare for Thanksgiving: How to Head Off Your Liberal Relatives

By on 11.25.14 | 4:30PM

Look, I think the last thing you should talk about at Thanksgiving is politics. There's too much food, too much alcohol, too much football-related disappointment, and generally, far too many relatives you'd rather not see let alone be related to by blood. But in anticipation of the dinner table conversation turning to (what else?) the national healthcare program known as Obamacare, liberal website Think Progress has released a set of talking points designed to silence conservative family members lest they deign to criticize our fearless leader and his signature achievement. 

No, I'm not sure they realize that releasing it this early would give people time to Google appropriate responses, but they also assume that the only person opposed to authoritarian governmental policies is somehow over the age of 120, so make of that what you will. 

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The New Republic Cries Racism in Ferguson

By on 11.25.14 | 3:21PM

Liberals are crying racism concerning the grand jury's verdict in Ferguson. Case in point: Danny Vinik of The New Republic:

The evidence itself—and the entire criminal justice system—have lost credibility in their eyes. Due to years of racist policies, Ferguson residents have lost all faith that the case would be handled fairly.

Who can blame them?

Racist policies? By whom exactly? The city of Ferguson? St. Louis County? The State of Missouri? The Obama Administration? I'm going to need a lot more than a blanket declaration that "racist policies" are responsible for Officer Darren Wilson not being indicted yesterday.

As for the case being handled fairly, many of the Ferguson protesters' idea of fairness is Darren Wilson's head on a stick.

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The Real Victim in Ferguson

By on 11.25.14 | 1:29PM

Nobody else will say it, so I will.

The evidence is clear as spring water. Michael Brown orchestrated the circumstances of his own death. He has no claim on our sympathy. He was not a victim.

Brown attacked and attempted to kill or do great bodily harm to a police officer who stopped him in relation to a robbery Brown had just committed. For his trouble, Brown was shot and killed by the officer who did nothing more or less than his duty. The blame for this unexceptional criminal event and police response should be apportioned thus: Michael Brown, 100 percent — Officer Darren Wilson, 0 percent. 

The demands that the officer be charged with a crime for protecting his own life and doing his job are outrageous. Those who make them should be condemned, not catered to. The incident does not demonstrate that something is wrong with “the system.” It does not demonstrate racism. It demonstrates that committing strong-arm robberies and attacking police officers doing their duty are really bad ideas, and are actions that can, justifiably, get you hurt or killed. So don’t do it.

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A Silver Lining in Ferguson

By on 11.25.14 | 12:55PM

Despite the fire, spraying of bullets, looting and general mayhem last night in Ferguson following the grand jury's decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson, the silver lining in all of this is no one died.

That might not be of much comfort to those who had their property damaged or destroyed, but it could have been much worse.

Of course, last summer there was unrest over a period of 10 days or so. Under the circumstances, I cannot help but wonder if the worst of it is still to come. In which case, this silver lining could soon disappear.

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Convenience Store Michael Brown Allegedly Robbed Was Looted Last Night

By on 11.25.14 | 11:46AM

Last night, I tried to stay off social media, but felt the urge to Tweet about how looting and destroying local businesses does nothing to harm corporations, the police, or the legal system, but it does harm community members who are working hard to put food on the table for themselves.

No matter how you feel about how justice was or was not served last night, it does not justify the wanton destruction of other people's property. It's not even an effective tactic for expressing outrage at the state. As anyone involved in civil disobedience, past and present, knows, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and John Lennon, to name just a couple, police and media understand how to deal with violence. It's non-violence they don't understand.

That said, one of the strangest visuals to come out of last night's riots is this, from Reddit. I can't substantiate the veracity of the photo itself, but according to multiple sources, it appears to be the owner of the market Michael Brown was accused of robbing before he encountered Officer Darren Wilson

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Obama’s Ferguson Comments Don’t Help

By on 11.24.14 | 11:39PM

Naturally, President Obama just had to say something following the decision of the grand jury not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown.

Obama has no credibility when it comes to talking about law enforcement. He permanently lost any credibility he might have had the moment he declared the Cambridge Police Department had "acted stupidly" in the arrest of his friend "Skip" Gates, Jr. a few years back despite admitting he did not have the all the facts before him. 

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No Indictment Against Darren Wilson UPDATED

By on 11.24.14 | 10:01PM

I am watching the announcement by the St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch concerning the decision of the grand jury not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown last August. 

McCulloch is making a very thorough, detailed synopsis of what did and did not happen. He is also handling hostile questioners in the media very effectively, especially to the British journalist who asserted that the Ferguson Police were killing young black men with impunity. While a very large crowd has gathered in Ferguson things are calm so far. Hopefully this calm will prevail. This will be a challenge given the provacateurs in the crowd who seek to further their agendas by causing unrest. I suspect that most of those who seek to cause said unrest do not reside in Ferguson, Missouri. 

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Obama Admin Extends Iran Nuclear Talks to June 2015

By on 11.24.14 | 8:49PM

Today was the deadline for a nuclear agreement with Iran. Well, it's today and there is no nuclear agreement with Iran. But fear not. In its infinite wisdom, the Obama Administration has extended the deadline for an agreement to June 2015

The Obama Administration has given itself seven more months to be deceived, embarrassed and otherwise humiliated by Iran. But the Obama Administration is so desperate to reach agreement with the Mullahs that they will take every bit of deception, embarrassment and humiliation and offer concession upon concession. 

The Iranian regime is more than happy to play along. The more time that passes the greater the likelihood that Iran becomes a nuclear power. Don't be surprised if next June brings yet another seven month extension. 

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Red Sox Add Hanley Ramirez & Pablo Sandoval

By on 11.24.14 | 5:09PM

Two former Dodgers-Giants rivals will be joining forces on the Boston Red Sox in 2015. Hanley Ramirez has signed a four year, $88 million contract with an option for the 2019 season while Pablo Sandoval, a three time World Series winner with the Giants, has signed a five year, $100 million contract with the Sox.

The Red Sox have been pursuing Sandoval, who is affectionately known as Kung Fu Panda, since the Giants won their third World Series in five years. He is a definite upgrade at third base over Will Middlebrooks. In seven seasons in San Francisco, Panda collected 946 hits, batting .294 with 106 HR and 462 RBI. In addition to his three World Series rings, Sandoval is also a two-time NL All-Star. Although he has had weight issues, Sandoval is 28 and is entering the prime of his career.

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