Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


While I am glad that federal authorities have finally acted in the case of the Malheur felons, I am not happy that Lavoy Finicum was killed.  While he was a crank and potentially used foster children for income, he didn't deserve death.  He deserved a jail cell.

This becomes one of those cases where perspective and proportion are badly needed and will likely be sorely lacking.

Lavoy Finicum is not Tamir Rice or Sandra Bland.  Finicum was actively and brazenly breaking the law.  While the circumstances of his death are not clear, the fact that shots were exchanged makes him and his situation categorically different from Rice or Bland or Michael Brown or Walter Scott or John Crawford.  I have no doubt that the presence of better trained FBI agents as opposed to trigger happy local PD with anger issues had a great deal to do with that.

When Deray McKesson spoke out our school, he distilled the basic message of Black Lives Matter: "We want fewer people killed by cops."  That should be a message that everyone can agree on.  Seven people were arrested, one was killed.  That one death is sad for his family and his friends, and I wish it hadn't happened.

But I am glad that this particular brand of right wing anarchism has finally been confronted by law enforcement.  The Bundy brand of armed defiance of the law can't be allowed to continue.  If this is the first step in ending it, then so be it.

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