Surveillance Video Emerges of Michael Brown Robbing Ferguson Convenience Store

Well! Finally – some concrete evidence emerges about what happened the day Michael Brown was shot by a Ferguson police officer – his name revealed today to be Darren Wilson – (not the Darren Wilson who is the president  of the Ethical Society of Police, who has been with the St. Louis Police Department since 1996. There was some confusion about that on Facebook, and at least one blogger jumped the gun and reported that it was that Darren Wilson before all the facts were known.)

I’ve refrained from writing about the incident thus far because with only limited information and no evidence to go on, I felt there was little for me to say – other than to comment on the appalling riots and looting that happened in its wake, and the bad actions of a few police officers – something hundreds of other blogs were already commenting on.  Even the disturbing militarization of the police I felt might be somewhat justifiable in an instance of massive civil unrest like this one.  I don’t like to waste everyone’s time being Captain Obvious – “looting is bad!” , “destruction of public property is bad!” “Arresting reporters for no good reason is bad!” So much distressing news – even a potentially positive story – like the one about the decent people who came out to clean up after the riots, was marred by the ugly racial animus that has so poisoned the nation since the “post racial president” was elected: Volunteers Clean Up at Ferguson QuikTrip, Get Yelled At for “Helping the White Man.” Ugh.

Anyway, I don’t know why it took this long for the surveillance video to come out. I think it would have made a huge difference in how the community reacted to the shooting because it sheds important light on the altercation that led to Brown’s death. Brown wasn’t stopped for no good reason – he was stopped by a cop responding to a 911 call because Brown was suspected of robbing a convenience store. The witness to the shooting (whose story never sounded plausible to me) had every reason to lie about the altercation because he was an accomplice to the crime.

Had the surveillance video come out right away, would we have seen the social unrest in Ferguson we’ve been seeing for the past week?

SEE ALSO:

John Hayward, The Conversation: The Ferguson story changes dramatically:

“I think [the robbery and the shooting] are two separate issues,” Captain Johnson said today, as reported by Mediaite.  “People in our country commit crimes every day. I don’t want to mix the two, I’m not going to say that one justifies the other, and I think if we’re going to give answers, we need to not give hints. We need to say it.”

Again, with all due respect, this is sheer nonsense.  Of course it’s hugely relevant that Brown was the suspect in a robbery, and was seen to use physical violence to pull it off.  The story that sparked riots in Ferguson was that gentle, sweet, innocent, wouldn’t-hurt-a-fly Brown was just walking down the street when the cop pulled up and gunned him down for no reason at all.  Brown had his hands up, and was trying to be nice, but the cop blew him away, shot him in the back, emptied God knows how many bullets into him.  We were told over and over that Brown was a great kid, and it was utterly inexplicable that a police officer would confront him at random – well, explicable only by vile racism, that is.

As for whether the police should be “giving hints”… good Lord, Captain Johnson, the police have been tackled and pummeled by the combined force of the entire U.S. media establishment and excoriated for not saying anything about the case.  They were taking heat for their silence less than 24 hours after the shooting.  The police department is currently being made to look like bumbling fools, stormtrooper wannabees who had to be sent to the showers while the state Highway Patrol takes over.  A billion editorial pixels have been spilled on roasting the police merely for being slow to release the name of the officer involved, even though the threat to his safety was palpable.

Ace of Spades HQ: Video of Suspected Strong-Arm Robber Stealing Cigars in QuikTrip Convenience Store

One important point is this: I am getting very tired of the “teenager”meme from the media.

Michael Brown was 6’4″ and 300 pounds. He was, physically, a full-grown man. (Well, maybe he might have grown a bit more to 6’5″, but certainly he was more fully grown than 90% of men on the planet.)

It is time for the media to stop peddling this deliberately misleading descriptor, which they know:

1. Suggests a thin, awkward whelp, as most “teenagers” are. The description suggests child. Whereas an older teenager is in fact usually a full-grown man.

2. Suggests, without actually saying so, that the “teenager” musthave been shot maliciously, because certainly a full-grown cop doesn’t need to resort to deadly force to restrain a “teenager” — again, the image in our heads is of a thin, gawky 14-year-old whose voice is just beginning to change.

These situations are always heavily dependent on facts, and it’s well past time the media began getting the facts right, without resorting to deliberately-misleading carnival-barking and deceptive hype.

The Hill: Police chief rips Obama remarks:

The executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police criticized President Obama Thursday for his remarks about law enforcement in Ferguson, Mo.

“I would contend that discussing police tactics from Martha’s Vineyard is not helpful to ultimately calming the situation,” director Jim Pasco said in an interview with The Hill.

“I think what he has to do as president and as a constitutional lawyer is remember that there is a process in the United States and the process is being followed, for good or for ill, by the police and by the county and by the city and by the prosecutors’ office,” Pasco added.

Posted in Stuff. 1 Comment »

The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results – 08/15/14

watchers081514 (1)Me too, lil’ weasel!

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

“The gun is our only response to [the] Zionist regime. In time we have come to understand that we can obtain our goals only through fighting and armed resistance and no compromise should be made with the enemy.” – Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, speech on February 12, 2012

“The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs… It would have aroused the world and the people of Germany… As it is they succumbed anyway in their millions.”

Louis Fisher, Gandhi’s biographer asked him: “You mean that the Jews should have committed collective suicide?”

Gandhi responded, “Yes, that would have been heroism.” – The Life of Mahatma Gandhi (1950) by Louis Fisher.

“The true cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict is the hatred taught to many Muslims when they are impressionable children — unable to defend themselves from having their lives poisoned with such beliefs.”

“This is the testimony of someone who witnessed it — and who experienced it — personally.” – Dr. Tawfik Hamid, Muslim Apostate in a speech at Pepperdine University, 2008

Close races in both categories this week, a reflection of how good this week’s entries were.

bookworm-3

This week’s winner, Bookworm Room’s fine essay The Morality Of of Israel’s killing Palestinian civilians, recounts a Facebook exchange she had with a ‘Progressive’ about civilian deaths in Gaza versus Israel defending itself or committing national suicide. Being Bookworm, she goes far beyond that into a general discussion of Jihad, but you’ll have to read all of it to marvel at how she ties it all together. Here’s a slice:

I have been engaged in a Facebook exchange with someone who believes that killing civilians is always immoral. This moral stance means that, because Israel is killing civilians more effectively than Hamas, he believes Israel is morally more culpable than Hamas in the current conflict. He therefore cannot support her, and his sympathy for Palestinians outweighs his sympathy for Israelis.

Because his is an argument I hear frequently; because Progressives think their overarching pacifism is virtuous; because this man was invariably polite in expressing his views, appearing more misguided than malevolent; and because there were other people auditing this exchange on Facebook, I took the time to respond at some length his arguments. Although doing so seemed like a somewhat futile effort while the ceasefire held, given that Hamas took up arms again the minute the ceasefire ended, this issue is not going away any time soon.

The man’s core operating principle is that killing civilians is so verboten that he can never approve of a group, party, or nation that commits such acts. I know he felt virtuous when he wrote that, but I tried to get him to see that, in certain circumstances, his pacifism will leave him with more innocent blood on his own hands (morally, speaking) than his own ostensibly high-minded position would.

I asked him to imagine that a large, well-organized, well-funded terrorist group (which we’ll call “Hamas” for short) carries out a series of attacks against a Jewish nation (which, for convenience’s sake, we’ll call “Israel”). The attacks are not as deadly as Hamas would wish, but Hamas plans to continue with the attacks — eventually someone will die — with the culmination being a coordinated attack through Israel which will, if successful, kill upwards of 10,000 Israeli civilians. This man’s moral calculus would mean that the only way for Israel, as a moral nation, to avoid the impermissible immorality of killing innocent civilians in Hamas’s ambit would be for Israel to surrender immediately and, indeed, for it to do so regardless of the seriousness of Hamas’s provocation.

In a perfect world, against an equally moral enemy, this moral purity might work. Of course, in that perfect world, the enemy too would have held itself to this high moral standard — never kill a civilian — and wouldn’t have attacked Israel in the first place. Sadly, though, we do not live in a perfect world.

In an imperfect world, which happens to be the world we inhabit, Israel knows that Hamas’s goal is to slaughter every man, woman, and child in Israel. Israel doesn’t have to go down the primrose path of conspiracy theories and paranoia to reach this conclusion about Hamas’s end game. Instead, Hamas has made the death of Israel’s citizens — all of them — the centerpiece of its charter, it preaches this goal from every political and religious pulpit, it acts upon this goal whenever possible, and it has spent millions of dollars in foreign aid, including money from Israel herself, to plan a terrorist attack intended to kill those 10,000 of Jewish civilians.

Despite this stark reality, the man I’m debating insists that Israel still has only one moral choice: she must refrain from fighting back if that fight means that she might kill even one civilian. Only in that way, he says, can he give Israel his support.

Israel, however, has figured out something that this man, either because he’s blinded by the self-righteousness of his own idealism or because he’s as genocidal as Hamas, refuses to grasp: If Israel takes this allegedly moral high ground and surrenders to Hamas, she will effectively have killed all off all of her own civilians. In other words, no matter what choices Israel makes, the nature of her enemy means that Israel will have the blood of innocents on her hands.

As between those two choices — either kill a few hundred Palestinians civilians or watch 6 million of your own people being brutally slaughtered — a non-suicidal nation will always opt to value its own citizens’ lives first. Moreover, a moral nation, such as Israel, even as it recognizes that civilian deaths are inevitable, fundamentally values life and does everything possible to protect both its own and its enemy’s citizens. Still, Israel recognizes that the nature of war, sadly, is death.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Mark Steyn with a piece that resonates with what’s on many minds this week, You Want Nazis? submitted by The Noisy Room.

We are indeed living in interesting times.

Here are this week’s full results.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this weeks’ Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and weigh in… don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!

 

Yazidi Survivor Claims Muslim Neighbors Joined ISIS Slaughter

CNN reported that an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 people remain on Mount Sinjar, as of yesterday as “a few thousand” more are reportedly moving toward the mountain from their villages.

Thanks to the help of Syrian Kurdish fighters, thousands who have been able to escape the mountain into Kurdish held territory in Syria and eventually back to now safe Kurdistan in Iraq.   CNN calls the Yazidi displacement an “exodus of almost biblical proportions,” as thousands of refuges trudge across a river to escape killers belonging to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.  

One Yazidi man told CNN that after ISIS arrived in his town, his Muslim neighbors actually ratted them out – and helped ISIS kill members of the various minorities.

Entire families carry nothing but the clothes on their backs. Some are barefoot.

Jamal Jamir, a 23-year-old university student from Sinjar, told CNN his family fled to the barren and windswept Mount Sinjar more than a week ago after ISIS captured their town. The group, which calls itself the Islamic State, has been on a rampage, killing members of various minorities, including Yazidis.

Jamir said after ISIS arrived in his town, Arab neighbors of his turned on the minorities and helped ISIS kill. “They join them, and actually they kill us.”

“People you know?” CNN asked.

“Yes,” he responded. “People — our neighbors!”

Jamir’s family was among tens of thousands who flocked to the mountain and desperately waited for airdrops of food and water.

His family escaped to Mount Sinjar on foot and made a marathon 15-hour journey to Syria. After traveling northeast along the border, many families have been crossing a bridge in Faysh Khabur, back into Kurdish-controlled Iraq.

Jamir said two of his young brothers didn’t make it. “What we do?” he said. “Not enough water and dusty. … They died.

“We are poor people. We don’t have any problem with anybody. We need someone (to) help us.”

The Kurdish peshmerga and Iraqi air force have orchestrated helicopter flights to bring necessities to the mountain and lift some people out. One flight crashed Tuesday, killing the pilot and injuring some others on board.

Now, the United States is considering a possible air evacuation, a U.S. official said Wednesday. No decision has yet been made.

Well, take your time, there, Obama. Enjoy your vacation at Martha’s Vineyard while all those people die of thirst and exposure up on the mountain where it gets to 100 degrees or higher. God forbid he take any time off partying and golfing to actually make a decision. 

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said late Wednesday “only a few thousand of the refugees remained stranded — far fewer than first thought — and they appeared to be in relatively good shape, reducing the likelihood of a U.S. rescue mission.”

The optimistic report came after 12 to 20 U.S. military personnel landed on the mountain to assess the situation and evaluate how to best conduct a military evacuation.

Their report is somewhat at odds with the CNN’s 10,000-20,000 number of refuges still up on the mountain.

CNN: An uncertain future:

Descendants of Kurds and followers of an ancient pre-Islamic religion, Yazidis are one of Iraq’s smallest minorities. They have faced persecution for centuries and have a strong sense of community.

When the refugees crossed a river and stepped into Syria, their suffering did not end.

Relief workers provided two plates of chicken to a family of 12. People slept in the open, perhaps using scraps of cardboard for a bed.

Many were too sick and exhausted to walk any farther.

It’s unclear what lies ahead for those who managed to escape ISIS and Mount Sinjar. Some aid groups have teams helping, and the United States is working to help Iraqi leaders organize humanitarian relief. But for now, some Yazidis tell CNN as they re-enter Iraqi territory, they play plan to camp out by the river.

ISIS executes civilians who don’t adhere to its version of Sunni Islam. The group celebrates its own savagery, hoisting severed heads on poles and posting numerous videos online.

CNN’s Nick Walsh reported yesterday, that ISIS has captured approximately 100 Yazidi women and children. Most likely, he says, they’ve been given a time frame in which to convert to Islam. If they choose not to convert, Walsh says, “it is likely they’ll suffer what most infidels in the eyes of ISIS tend to suffer – and that is often some type of brutal punishment, indeed.”

UPDATE:

Via Fox News: Obama says militant siege broken – but Iraq mission not over yet:

Obama seems to be taking most of the credit for allowing the Yazidis to escape.

President Obama announced Thursday that U.S.-led airstrikes have broken the siege by Islamic militants against religious minorities who were trapped on a mountain in northern Iraq — but made clear the U.S. mission in the region is not over yet. 

The president, in brief remarks from Martha’s Vineyard where his family is on vacation, said he expects the specific operation at Mount Sinjar to wind down. He said military planners will be leaving in the coming days, aid drops will stop and a U.S.-led evacuation is likely no longer needed. 

“The situation on the mountain has greatly improved,” Obama said. “We broke the ISIL siege of Mount Sinjar. We helped vulnerable people reach safety.” 

But Obama said U.S. involvement will not come to an end, as militants with the Islamic State — also known as ISIS, or ISIL — continue to brutalize the civilian population in the region, especially minorities like Iraqi Christians and Yazidis. 

Obama said “we will continue airstrikes” where necessary to protect American personnel and facilities in Iraq. 

Only a few days ago, a senior Pentagon official said the US air strikes would have minimal impact on stopping ISIS.

Via The Guardian:

A senior Pentagon planning officer expects the current US air strikes in Iraq to have minimal and fleeting impact on the forces of the Islamic State (Isis) that have overrun much of the country.

“In the immediate areas where we have focused our strikes, we’ve had a very temporary effect and we may have blunted some tactical decisions to move in those directions, further east to Irbil,” Army Lt Gen William Mayville told reporters on Monday, providing a dour view of the “limited strikes” president Barack Obama authorized on Thursday.

“What I expect Isil to do is to look for other things to do, to pick up and move elsewhere. So I in no way want to suggest that we have effectively contained or that we are somehow breaking the momentum of the threat posed by Isil.” Isil is the acronym for Isis favored by the US government.

The air strikes, now in their fourth day and still something less than a concerted air campaign, have bought US-backed Kurdish irregular forces, known as Peshmerga, “time to fortify their defensive positions” outside the regional capital of Irbil, said Mayville, the director of operations for the Pentagon’s Joint Staff, and have slowed Isis’ advance toward the crucial city.

Beyond that, said Mayville, who commanded a brigade during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the strikes “are unlikely to affect Isil’s overall abilities or its operations in other areas of Iraq and Syria”.

SEE ALSO:

Weasel Zippers: ISIS Chopping Off Arms And Legs Of Yazidi Men For Being “Devil Worshippers”…

Posted in Stuff. 3 Comments »

Watcher’s Council Nominations: ‘There’s A Riot Goin’ On’ Edition

ferguson_riots_lg

Because we all know nothing says social justice like breaking into a convenience store and looting it.

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week, MidKnight Review, The Political Commentator, The Pirate’s Cove and The Mellow Jihadiearned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week….

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

Your Sunday Hymn: The King of Love My Shepherd Is

This traditional Irish hymn, “the King of Love My Shepherd is” was sung by Canto Deo Festival Choir  in June of 2012. 

Enjoy:

 

For Breaking Political News, Sourced by Social Media, Try BadBlue

badblue
 This public service announcement comes you via my blog buddy, Doug Ross.

Like you, I spend a lot of time trying to keep up-to-date on the hottest significant news stories. Since we free-thinking folks have to largely bypass vintage media, which have largely become a public relations arm of the Obama administration, it isn’t easy to do. There are thousands of great sites out there, any of which can have a noteworthy news story.I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time to check thousands of websites for breaking news.

Yes, there are some great aggregators out there: Drudge, Twitchy, etc. But all of them rely upon human editors and, most importantly, don’t give smaller blogs and websites much of their attention.

That’s why we created BadBlue News. It’s a very different type of news aggregator because it uses machine learning and automation to achieve massive scalability in assessing news sources and breaking stories. Here’s how it’s different:

1. It uses social network buzz, not a set of human editors, to determine how important a story is.

2. It levels the playing field for smaller websites and blogs by taking into account traffic patterns; that is, a story on a small blog with 15 retweets might be equivalent to a story on Fox News with 1,000 retweets. The traffic patterns and social buzz are both factored in by BadBlue to offer a much wider range of news coverage than any other aggregator.

3. It never sleeps: BadBlue runs 24×7 and never relies upon human editors making decisions.

BadBlue is growing quickly. From September 2013 to January 2014, page views grew by 20 percent, with Google Analytics reporting the average time onsite is a startling 31 minutes!

In this election year, BadBlue can play an important role for advancing the conservative agenda by cutting through the media censors and offering a level playing field for websites and blogs of all sizes.

I’d love for you to come visit and, if you like it, to tell your friends, tweet about it, or like it on Facebook.

2014 will be a big year for liberty and I believe getting the word out on uncensored news stories — bypassing the state-run media — will be critical.

You can find the BadBlue button near the top of my right sidebar right under Larwyn’s links.

Cruz: We Must Put a Stop to Obama’s Amnesty and Give Governors All Options Possible

While other Republicans come up with half-measures and fixes that are no solution to the problem, one man stands alone – way ahead of the pack – because he gets what the president is doing, and isn’t interested in playing the part of willing stooge.

Senator Cruz released the following press release, today:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today introduced the Protect Children and Families Through the Rule of Law Act, which includes measures that would stop President Obama’s amnesty, reform the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Act, and empower governors to utilize the National Guard to address this specific crisis at federal expense, including authority to arrest violators of federal immigration, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and terrorism laws.

“The current situation in the Rio Grande Valley is a humanitarian crisis of this Administration’s making. President Obama set the stage for this crisis by refusing to live up to his most basic responsibility to secure our border, imposing huge human and financial costs on border communities and on immigrants who come here illegally,” Sen. Cruz said. “He has also sent a message to the world that the United States is not serious about enforcing its immigration laws by lawlessly granting amnesty through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program.  To solve this problem, we must put a stop to President Obama’s amnesty and give governors all options possible to mitigate this crisis in light of the federal government’s inaction.”

Sen. Cruz’s bill would specifically:

 

  • Prevent the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) by preventing any taxpayer funds from being used to consider or adjudicate any new or previously denied application under DACA or a similar successor program.
  • The facts demonstrate that DACA is a significant motivating factor for the number of Central American children being handed over to violent criminals and taking the dangerous journey to enter the United States illegally.
  • Yet, President Obama has announced his intention to expand DACA and grant amnesty to even more immigrants who entered the country illegally.  In recent months, he has asked DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to provide him with justifications for more executive actions, and he has promised pro-illegal immigration groups that he will expand DACA to cover 5 to 6 million more immigrants who entered the country illegally.

 

  • Reform the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act so that unaccompanied minors can be expeditiously united with their families back home.
  • Under current law, unaccompanied minors are being released to purported relatives with just a promise to appear later for deportation proceedings. Often they do not appear and, if they do, the removal proceedings can delay reunion to their family back home by years.
  • This bill would protect the safety of these children and ensure their attendance at a new, expedited hearing within seven days of the child’s processing.  This expedited process is designed to protect against human trafficking, preserve due process for those who have a legitimate claim to asylum or other relief, and facilitate expeditious return of those children who are ineligible to stay to their families in the country of origin.

 

  • Take steps to ensure that State and local officials have the resources necessary to protect the people in their communities, enabling them to act on their own to secure the border.
  • This bill would empower governors to utilize the National Guard at federal expense to address the current deluge of unaccompanied minors until the number of such arrivals return to pre-crisis levels.
  • It would also provide the National Guard with authority to arrest violators of federal immigration, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and terrorism laws.

     

     

The Senator talked about his efforts to solve the problem on Hannity, last night:

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