Attorney General William Barr Declares War On The General Public

from the dangerous-man-in-a-dangerous-position dept

President Donald Trump set the tone for his administration as soon as he took office. Less than a week after his inauguration, he issued this statement:

One of the fundamental rights of every American is to live in a safe community. A Trump Administration will empower our law enforcement officers to do their jobs and keep our streets free of crime and violence. The Trump Administration will be a law and order administration. President Trump will honor our men and women in uniform and will support their mission of protecting the public. The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump Administration will end it.

So far, the administration has failed to end the “dangerous anti-police atmosphere” or turn “living in a safe community” into a fundamental right. Trump may back the blue, but the blue keep making things worse for themselves by refusing to alter their tactics, their “us v. them” attitude, or their routine abuse of the rights of those they’re supposed to be serving.

The former Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, wanted to roll back the clock for law enforcement, replacing the minor alterations of years of DOJ/law enforcement agency consent decrees with old school drug warring that shoots first and never asks questions.

Sessions is out and the new boss is in. Attorney General William Barr has already made it clear he believes tech companies should create encryption backdoors for law enforcement. Now, he’s declaring war on the general public. His speech to a national police union gathering makes it clear the only people who matter are those wearing badges.

According to Barr, police officers are soldiers in a war zone.

[W]hen police officers leave their precincts every morning, there are no crowds on the highway cheering you. And when you come home at the end of the day after a job well done, there are no ticker tape parades.

One reason for this is that law enforcement is fighting a different type of war. We are fighting an unrelenting, never-ending fight against criminal predators in our society. While there are battles won and lost each day, there is never a final resolution – a final victory is never in sight.

It takes a very special kind of courage to wage this kind of fight – a special kind of commitment; a special kind of self-sacrifice.

This mindset already permeates much of law enforcement. Availing themselves of the military’s surplus gear and vehicles, along with repurposed military tech, police officers have treated the neighborhoods they patrol as war zones. Anyone who isn’t a cop is an enemy.

These supposed war zones have been getting safer and safer. There are a few outliers, but crime rates have been falling steadily across the nation for nearly 25 years. But you wouldn’t know that from talking to cops, especially those that already look like soldiers and treat normal warrant service like a military operation.

William Barr wants a police state. He wants it because he’s decided to trust the relentlessly negative propaganda spun by law enforcement, rather than the annual crime reports assembled by his own department. Barr says society is crumbling and it’s up to armed men to restore order.

If people lose the values and moral discipline to control themselves, then government would increasingly have to use external force to keep order, and the community would gradually lose its freedom. This is what James Madison was talking about when he said, “We have staked our future on the ability of each of us to govern ourselves.”

We live in an age now when the institutions we have relied on to inculcate values and self-restraint have been under constant assault for over 50 years. As a result, we see about us increased social pathology: boys growing up without fathers; alienated and angry young men; gangs engaged in the most brutal violence; mass shootings; increasing mental illness and suicide among young people; a drug epidemic inflicting casualties beyond what we would sustain in a major war; growing domestic violence; an increase in sexual assaults and child exploitation.

Gang violence is down because crime rates as a whole have declined for two decades straight. Mass shootings are still a relative anomaly. If there is actually a drug epidemic, it seems ridiculous to assume doubling down on things that haven’t worked for four straight decades will fix it. The police are ill-equipped — perhaps deliberately — to handle interactions with the mentally ill and suicidal. If domestic violence is growing, certainly law enforcement’s participation in the problem isn’t helping. Law enforcement agencies’ inability/unwillingness to take sexual assault cases seriously has certainly contributed to this problem, but even these numbers have fallen, rather than increased.

Everything said here is either a lie or intellectually dishonest. And all of it is being used by Barr to push a narrative where cops are facing overwhelming odds with almost zero support.

Part of the problem is the mouthy citizens who demand officers be held to a higher standard.

Despite the fact that the majority of the American people do support the police, unfortunately, over the past few years, there has been an increasingly vocal minority that regularly attacks the police and advances a narrative that it is the police that are the bad guys rather than the criminals. Whenever there is a confrontation involving the use of force by police, they automatically start screaming for the officers’ scalps, regardless of the facts.

Barr says there’s no problem here, other than the increase in police criticism. He even uses a popular idiom to describe what he views as a minimal issue, truncating it the way cops and their supporters always do to make it self-serving, rather than cautionary.

I am not suggesting there are never abuses. As with all human institutions there are sometimes bad apples; and we will deal with that. But these are very much the exceptions, not the rule. If anything, I continue to be amazed at the professionalism of our police officers in the most extreme circumstances.

Bad apples spoil everything in the barrel. They convert exceptions into rules. And, no, the DOJ will not “deal with that.” Neither will most law enforcement agencies. Under Sessions, the DOJ stopped investigating civil rights abuses by police departments. With the feds out of the picture, local agencies are even less inclined to police their own.

There will be nothing but compliance, if Bill Barr gets his way. There will be no concerns for long-existing rights or the well-being of anyone police interact with. Why? Because cops are apparently owed respect under this DOJ. They no longer need to earn it.

The anti-police narrative is fanning disrespect for the law. In recent years, we have witnessed increasing toleration of the notion that it is somehow okay to resist the police.  

[…]

We need to get back to basics. We need public voices, in the media and elsewhere, to underscore the need to “Comply first, and, if warranted, complain later.” This will make everyone safe – the police, suspects, and the community at large. And those who resist must be prosecuted for that crime. We must have zero tolerance for resisting police. This will save lives.

This is nauseating. This is bootlicker telling a nation it needs to get busy licking boots. This is Barr telling people their rights are a distant second to efficient policing and speedy arrests.

As for your rights, only one of them may improve. According to Barr, your right to a speedy trial will attach immediately if you kill a cop.

We will be proposing legislation providing that in cases of mass murder, or in cases of murder of a law enforcement officer, there will be a timetable for judicial proceedings that will allow imposition of any death sentence without undue delay. Punishment must be swift and certain.

You get one right and you’re presumed guilty until proven innocent.

Finally, Barr wants the American public to view law enforcement officers as gods among men.

One of my messages today is that the American people need to pay close attention to issues of public safety in their communities. As a society we should not take our police officers for granted.

I would like to see the American people gain a renewed appreciation of the noble work done by our police officers in protecting our communities. I would like to see increased recognition that being a police officer is the toughest job in the country, and it is getting tougher. I would like to see a greater commitment to supporting the police.

Barr can’t make this happen. But if he can budge the needle a bit, more Americans will view cops as cops view themselves: powerful arbiters of justice that should never be questioned by those who pay their salaries.

This should not be taken lightly. These remarks to members of a powerful police union may seem a bit like playing it up for the home crowd, but Barr’s record since he took office shows he has little interest in ensuring the Department of Justice actually lives up to its name. He taking an already-skewed perspective held by many in law enforcement and making it worse. And by his very presence, he’s announcing to the nation the DOJ will side with cops in almost every situation, no matter how much abuse they engage in. He has elevated them above the people they serve and that is going to continue to harm the relationship they have with their communities, exacerbating the problems he claims he’s going to eliminate.

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Comments on “Attorney General William Barr Declares War On The General Public”

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108 Comments
Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Dystopia

"Ahhh, yes. Dystopic scenario #8610027. Sometimes known as a ‘Judge Dredd’ scenario."

Not far enough down that particular rabbit hole, I’m afraid. Barr’s rhetoric is actually point for point very reminiscent of the justifications proposed by Erich Honecker of the old DDR when the west challenged him on the Stasi.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Dystopia

"At least the Judges in Megacity 1 were vaguely fair, and being written by Brits, less likely to gun you down for the lulz."

More like "draconian but nigh-incorruptible". Having orphaned children brainwashed through sleep learning and indoctrination for twenty years to become fighting machines unable to even conceive of corruption isn’t really what I’d call "desirable"…

…but I’d still draw the analogy to the far more malign and accurate parallel of the Stasi.

Baron von Robber says:

Ah #12 of the 14 characteristics of fascism.
"12.Obsession with Crime and Punishment
Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations."

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Bring back civil rights investigations

"Whenever there is a confrontation involving the use of force by police, they automatically start screaming for the officers’ scalps, regardless of the facts."

Including, or maybe even especially when the cops are in the wrong, see qualified immunity and good faith exceptions, two examples of court made up pro police rules. (They aren’t actually law as Congress hasn’t acted on them, to their eternal shame).

"We need to get back to basics. We need public voices, in the media and elsewhere, to underscore the need to “Comply first, and, if warranted, complain later.” This will make everyone safe – the police, suspects, and the community at large."

The military knows that one shouldn’t follow illegal orders, cops (and apparently Barr) just don’t care.

When the governments (the various federal, state, municipal) start to take their responsibilities seriously, I think they might find the populace going along with them, after sufficient action by them to control their watch dogs, and some time for that to sink in (that is if they are actually serious about it).

Chris Brand says:

Re: Re: Bring back civil rights investigations

He says that law enforcement being able to bypass encryption does decrease security, but that’s ok because good guys don’t use encryption for anything important (or something like that)
https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2019/08/attorney_genera.html
so you won’t need to unlock your devices – the plan is that they’ll be able to get in anyway.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Bring back civil rights investigations

What law enforcement needs to do is turn around and point their weapons to the people who are destroying America and who have trashed our great country in the eyes of the world and who have called upon war and conflict around the world and sent our sons and daughters and moms and dads off to foreign countries to force dictating policies upon the world and who never act in good faith and who have used law enforcement to steal Liberty from our very minds and oppressed us and fed us bullshit and bad laws and have killed our own leaders and continue to stop at nothing to destroy America and enslave our youth and pollute the skies and pollute our waters and poison our children and dash hope for a future free from tyranny and corrupt officials giving in to all corporate demands and greed and more taxes and God will some day strike them down who put such burdons on the people and don’t lift a finger to help just hurt us every day day in and day out. A swift turnabout is what is really needed from law enforcement. Make America Great again. Get rid of those infiltrating our government for their disloyal agendas.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Bring back civil rights investigations

Do you understand the uses of punctuation? Paragraphs? Sentences? How about logic? Coherent thought? Principles of expressing yourself?

Now, it is difficult to ken what you are saying, but if I do, then what you are suggesting would be a violation of the law. Holding those in charge accountable isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but shooting them isn’t gonna get the rule of law back on track.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Bring back civil rights investigations

Fire a shot? Where is that? I didn’t want to use punctuation. Go get a life if you are that critical of me and let those people off who are in a position of authority in this country and use it not for us but for them. They who continue to lie through their smiling teeth and steal America’s wealth out from underneath our country. Anon anon

Anonymous Coward says:

If people lose the values and moral discipline to control themselves, then government would increasingly have to use external force to keep order, and the community would gradually lose its freedom.

"We are therefore going to pour money into education and social programs, in order to make sure that people learn the values and moral discipline to control themselves."

[Beat]

"Nah, just kidding, we’re using this as an excuse to accelerate the ‘community losing its freedom’ bit for our own purposes."

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The Sentiment Rightly Offered to Police in the United States

Most of those fires are started by morons and negligence. Every night that siren goes off five times waking the whole town up. I think to myself ‘let it burn’ what are we the bucket bragade? Why risk your lives for some idiot who smokes in bed half drunk out of his mind, who will probably cuss you out for flooding his house and saving his kids? But I would never think or say, "fuck the Firefighters."

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The Sentiment Rightly Offered to Police in the United St

Would you prefer the firefighters don’t bother to show up and prevent your house or apartment from catching fire while your neighbor’s burns down? That’s often what they do: Prevent neighbors from also burning as a top priority, put out the ongoing fire as a second priority.

David says:

Here is a scary thought

Gang violence is down because crime rates as a whole have declined for two decades straight. Mass shootings are still a relative anomaly.

There is rather little overlap between those engaged in mass shootings and gang violence. The people engaging in gang violence have a purported enemy other than "society" in general or a particular race or creed.

So we need more gang violence as a safety valve. Fortunately there is the substitute drug of sport team fanship which is slightly less violent.

AricTheRed (profile) says:

Re: Here is a scary thought

David,

It depends on ones definition of "Mass Shooting"

That most often cited in national news appears to recently be "A shooting with four or victims other than the perpetrator(s)." Unfortunately that would indicate that many of these "Mass Shootings" are Domestic violence, like family assassination/suicide, plus "gang violence", & victims of gunfire while the perpetrator(s) are engaged in the pursuit of a different criminal act.

It appears you are thinking of the Mass Shooting where the attacks are the ones that generally get covered in detail in the media, where in general the Perp has little to no intimate connection to the victims, or school & workplace shootings which are still rather rare.

here is an example of a source document with analysis.

https://www.rand.org/research/gun-policy/analysis/essays/mass-shootings.html

from http://www.rand.org
"Summary: There is no standard definition of what constitutes a mass shooting. Media outlets, academic researchers, and law enforcement agencies frequently use different definitions when discussing mass shootings, leading to different assessments of how frequently mass shootings occur and whether they are more common now than they were a decade or two ago."

tom (profile) says:

Its all about the budget. You don’t get law enforcement increases if you say overall crime is going down, violent crime is going down, shooting crime is going down, etc. The moment a govt agency says ‘Mission Accomplished’, their budget gets cut. The moment Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon, NASA’s budget got slashed. When the Cold War was declared won, the defense budget was slashed. Other agencies noticed and learned. Now a mission is never accomplished. The moment the old goals are being achieved, new more expensive goals are set, requiring more money and more people.

bhull242 (profile) says:

“Bad apples”?

I’ve never understood why people defending police say that the bad actors are “a few bad apples.” They seem to be trying to say that the number of bad cops pales in comparison to the number of good cops and is inconsequential, and that having bad actors is inevitable. However, the saying is that “one bad apple spoils the bunch/barrel,” which says nothing about inevitability and implies that any number of bad actors is unacceptable, reflects poorly on the entire organization, and needs to be dealt with swiftly and harshly. I’ve heard it used to justify punishing an entire classroom of children due to the actions of just one or two of them. It makes no sense to reference the saying in this context.

At any rate, many people who protest police aren’t doing so to prevent future wrongdoing, at least not directly, nor are because they necessarily feel that police misconduct is common, but because there appears to be little to no consequences to what “bad apples” exist. In other words, the problem isn’t necessarily that the bad apples are poisoning the institution in and of themselves, or that there are a lot of them, but that they seem to get away with it.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: “Bad apples”?

The problem is that the ‘good’ apples don’t rat out the ‘bad’ apples.

If we were really talking about apples, then it wouldn’t be realistic. But we are talking about people. People with a certain job. The ‘bad’ apples probably stand out as being bad apples. The question remains, why don’t the ‘good’ apples let significant authorities know about the ‘bad’ apples? The answer likely, but not conclusively, lies in the probable retribution, either from those in authority (who may or may not be ‘bad’ apples themselves but are just trying to protect those that serve under them, so long as they don’t make waves, so to speak) or from the ‘bad’ apples themselves.

Getting home for dinner has more connotations than when the shoot first, ask questions later crowd approach an unarmed, unresistant ‘suspect’ whom has not been convicted of anything but doesn’t comply with an illegal order from those in authority, or who think they are ‘the authoritay’.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: “Bad apples”?

"The question remains, why don’t the ‘good’ apples let significant authorities know about the ‘bad’ apples?"

Because even if a police officer has committed murder, sexually abused children, spends his off hours working over random non-white people with truncheon and taser the greatest sin of all is still the one perpetrated by his new partner when that partner reports his ass for all of the above.

The bad apples don’t get caught because the "good" apples will cover the bad ones asses at any cost.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 “Bad apples”?

To some extent, true.

In sweden there was a chief of police not too long ago who was, on the surface, well-known for being a rabid feminist, to the point that his subordinates commonly referred to him as "Captain Dress".

Turned out to be that he’d made good use of having all those levers of access to surveillance results and personal files to run an on-the-side trafficking ring for twelve years.

He was the only one who got caught and for some reason no one else in the police force was ever even suspected, despite it being obvious he would have had to have a lot of help.

There’s a critical problem when the people who have all the real power over investigations and evidence also happen to have a culture of going all out to defend their own, no matter what.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: “Bad apples”?

Look at the rights America have given up because a few bad criminals AND FALSE FLAG OPERATIONS and your comment makes more sense in terms of what those policy makers are doing, who are making laws to punish the whole barrel of American citizens because one in a couple hundred million goes postal.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: I would never purchase police services. Stop forcing me

People are so afraid to be real anymore. They are like monsanto corn fed cattle driving around in their suvs and it is sad this crop of humans today. You get more real people commenting here at Techdirt than you will meet any day of the week, pretty sure.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: I would never purchase police services. Stop forcing

"that you are spending.. how much is that? About two dollars?"

With military weaponry and vehicles at their disposal? That probably cost quite a pretty penny.

"No wonder the cops are searching for cash and forfeiting our money!"

No, the low wages and occasional petty bribery does give the average officer enough to live on. The fringes from civil forfeiture is the real icing on the cake though.

Anonymous Coward says:

Attorney General William Barr Declares War On The General Public

This should read:

Attorney General William Barr Declares was ON CRIMINALS on Behalf of the American Public

You fucking idiots. Criminals. War on Criminals. He’s declaring war on criminals on behalf of honest, hard working, tax paying American Patriots, like me.

How publicly stupid can you be?

That One Guy (profile) says:

All hail the conquering army!

[W]hen police officers leave their precincts every morning, there are no crowds on the highway cheering you. And when you come home at the end of the day after a job well done, there are no ticker tape parades.

There’s nothing impressive about doing your gorram job, and if people aren’t happy to see you maybe it has something to do with how utterly infested with rot and corruption the police have become.

Might as well act surprised that members of the mafia(which differ from the police in that they don’t have badges and basically no other way) don’t travel to the accompanyment of cheering and parades.

If people lose the values and moral discipline to control themselves, then government would increasingly have to use external force to keep order, and the community would gradually lose its freedom.

Swap a few words and that statement becomes much more accurate.

If police lose the values and moral discipline to control themselves, then the public would increasingly have to use external pressure on the government and society to keep order, and the police would gradually lose its special priviledges that they cannot use responsibly.

Despite the fact that the majority of the American people do support the police, unfortunately, over the past few years, there has been an increasingly vocal minority that regularly attacks the police and advances a narrative that it is the police that are the bad guys rather than the criminals.

Probably because in far too many cases the only difference between the groups is who has a badge and who doesn’t, and the police are the bad guys.

Whenever there is a confrontation involving the use of force by police, they automatically start screaming for the officers’ scalps, regardless of the facts.

Likely due to extensive experience showing that if they don’t demand accountability then absolutely none will be applied. That left to their own devices police will almost always protect their own first, no matter what was done.

I am not suggesting there are never abuses. As with all human institutions there are sometimes bad apples; and we will deal with that.

No, no you have not, and no they have not. That’s the problem. The ‘few bad apples’ excuse only works if you remove those apples, but that is very much not happening such that by this point the minority is not the ‘bad apples’ but the small percentage that haven’t been corrupted yet.

But these are very much the exceptions, not the rule.

That might have been true a good many years back, but these days ‘corrupt cop’ is the rule rather than exception.

If anything, I continue to be amazed at the professionalism of our police officers in the most extreme circumstances.

Then you’re either not looking or have abysmally low standards for ‘professionalism*.

The anti-police narrative is fanning disrespect for the law. In recent years, we have witnessed increasing toleration of the notion that it is somehow okay to resist the police.

That ‘anti-police narrative is caused by the police and people like you who give people very good reasons to be ‘anti-police’. However it’s important to make a distinction for clarity and honesty, in that most people in that group aren’t in fact ‘anti-police’, rather they are ‘anti-police corruption‘, or ‘anti-corrupt police’, something you’d think that someone who claims to be concerned about rooting out those ‘few bad apples’ would be all for if they were actually being honest on that point.

As for the idea that people don’t respect the law as much as they used to that can likely also be tied to the police as people see them flaunting if not flat out ignoring it with no penalties. If those tasked with upholding the law can’t be bothered with respecting it why should anyone else?

We need to get back to basics. We need public voices, in the media and elsewhere, to underscore the need to “Comply first, and, if warranted, complain later.” This will make everyone safe – the police, suspects, and the community at large. And those who resist must be prosecuted for that crime.

‘Look, if your rights are being violated just accept it and don’t fight back. After they’ve been violated you can file a complaint with the very people who violated them or a court system that bends over backwards for them, where they will certainly take it very seriously.’

We must have zero tolerance for resisting police. This will save lives.

Tell ya what, the public will consider that as soon as you apply and enforce a ‘zero tolerance’ policy for police abusing their authority, such that a member of the public can justifiably believe that an order from a cop is both legal and reasonable.

Gotta love that ‘it will save lives’ bit on the end though, because you know he’s not talking about police lives there, he just doesn’t have the guts or honesty to admit it.

We will be proposing legislation providing that in cases of mass murder, or in cases of murder of a law enforcement officer, there will be a timetable for judicial proceedings that will allow imposition of any death sentence without undue delay. Punishment must be swift and certain.

Murder by cops on the other hand will be treated the same as always however, which is to say brushed under the rug until the heat dies down, or resulting in a wrist slap if the public is audacious enough to demand that some sort of punishment be handed out.

I would like to see the American people gain a renewed appreciation of the noble work done by our police officers in protecting our communities

Then get to work ensuring that that’s what they’re doing by removing those ‘few bad apples’ you claim to be so very concerned about.

I would like to see increased recognition that being a police officer is the toughest job in the country, and it is getting tougher.

Ah yes, the poor put-upon police, given massive leeway by the courts and people like you, held to basically zero standards, and able to get away with acts(robbery/assault/murder) that would see anyone else thrown in a cell. Truly they face such hardships…

I would like to see a greater commitment to supporting the police.

Then you’d best get started on making it so that people have a reason to support, rather than fear and distrust, police. Respect and support is earned not owed, and right now police in the US have made very clear that they deserve neither.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: All hail the conquering army!

Respect and support is earned not owed, and right now police in the US have made very clear that they deserve neither.

Got your knickers in a knot today, snowflake?

Just because no one respects you does not mean that no one respects the police. An overwhelming majority of Americans respect the police.

Yes, I understand that the criminals and deviants on Techdirt do not support the police. That’s why it’s fun to come hang out here, watching you simultaneously exercising your rights as Americans and bashing the same country that uniquely gives you those rights.

Love it or leave it, that would be my advice. The overwhelming majority of God Fearing Gun Owning Patriotic Law Abiding Americans don’t give half a shit what you think.

Go take your Squad to Get The Fuck Out of America! MAGA. Don’t plan on going to Israel, though – they don’t want you either. I’d recommend Kenya.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: All hail the conquering army!

That’s why it’s fun to come hang out here, watching you simultaneously exercising your rights as Americans and bashing the same country that uniquely gives you those rights.

Nobody here is bashing America. We’re bashing the idiots currently in control who are trying their damnedest to tear down what makes this country America. Most of us love this country and we’re tired of watching the idiot "MAGA" crowd wreck it further.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: All hail the conquering army!

Techdirt could learn a lot from the mafia, just as you point out. The mafia is polite, but persuasive, in their own quiet way.

Techdirt, on the other hand, flails hinder and yon, about this crazy idea and that crazy idea, the above article just one example among many. Not polite at all, bat shit crazy articles that don’t pass the smell test for any moderate voter.

When will you understand that Trump WON the last election, and will WIN the next election, if you continue on your same path?

Manners go a long way, in mafia, in life, and with the American public.

Mafia. Manners. Persuasion. Elections. Trump 2020. Think about it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: All hail the conquering army!

If you’re that confident that Trump is going to win in 2020, then what are you so worried about that you need to defecate on insignificant websites?

Shiva Ayyadurai didn’t invent email. You asked for a lawsuit about it, and the judge awarded you with an official decree that he can’t prove he did. That ship has sailed and no amount of praying to Colorado Mountain Tiger Fairies is going to change that.

Get over yourself.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: As long as he deals with Google

Just when I think you couldn’t up the bar on your own stupidity you prove me wrong. Well done.

If Google is a threat then so is Free Speech. Given that Free Speech is a major tenet of life in America you must then hate America. Perhaps you should leave and find somewhere else to spew your idiocy.

Anonymous Coward says:

This strikes me as completely false interpretation of Maddison:

If people lose the values and moral discipline to control themselves, then government would increasingly have to use external force to keep order, and the community would gradually lose its freedom. This is what James Madison was talking about when he said, “We have staked our future on the ability of each of us to govern ourselves.”

Would some scholar like to show us why?

lucidrenegade (profile) says:

Not much we can do to get get rid of Trump unit the 2020 election, but I love this idea. There a petition for NYC to rename the portion of 5th Ave in front of Trump Tower to "President Barack H. Obama Avenue". If it happened, the new address for Trump Tower would be 725 President Barack H. Obama Avenue, New York, NY 10022. I know it’s silly or even petty, but what better way to hit back at a narcissist like Trump?

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I’m kinda split on that one. On the one hand that would be freakin’ hilarious watching him utterly lose his mind(again) over naming a street after a former president because that street is next to one of his properties.

On the other hand I’ve no doubt he and his cheerleaders would jump all over that to distract from whatever his latest fuck-up was.

Now, if they did it after he was out of office then that second one would go away, at which point I would be all for it.

Thad (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

On the other hand I’ve no doubt he and his cheerleaders would jump all over that to distract from whatever his latest fuck-up was.

And if it weren’t this, it would be something else.

For Christ’s sake, he’s in the news this morning for asking if he could buy Greenland.

Trump and Fox News are never going to be at a loss for things to use as distractions.

Anonymous Coward says:

Chilling at best...

If I had to point to one line which really makes my skin crawl, it would be…

"…We must have zero tolerance for resisting police. This will save lives."

I doubt this. If it gets to a point where police think even a dirty look constitutes "resisting," what’s to stop them from putting one or more bullets through their target on the spot? Perhaps because they "feared for their safety?"

As it turns out, I’ve spent the last 15+ years working for my state’s highway patrol in a civil service capacity (the nearest equivalent in military terms is NCO).

In that entire time, I can count the number of times our officers have had to use deadly force on the fingers of one hand (twice, exactly). In both cases, the officers involved were indeed under imminent threat of taking a bullet themselves.

Nothing made me more proud of the department than when our chief issued a ‘General Order’ memo last year, explaining in no uncertain terms that our department was not the ‘Immigration Patrol,’ and that there were to be NO attempts to determine the immigration status of any suspect detained for any infraction. Further, we were not to allow anyone from ICE to ‘deputize’ us for any reason.

The way Barr is carrying on, it sounds like he might actually look down his nose at our department for not living up to his Gestapo-like standards.

Perhaps he’s the one who needs an extended stay behind ‘barrs.’

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Chilling at best...

He’s not talking about our lives being saved, he’s talking about law enforcement’s lives. Boy if I ever saw someone trying to buddy up before, this guy takes first place. Maybe he’s got a lead foot and is just buttering them up for lieniancy.. but I doubt it. He is sending them out to scour America now. Last step before the door to door no knock search and destroy orders go out.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Anything you say

"Looks to me as if ol’ Trumpy baby is gradually appointing and surrounding himself with "yes" men of like mind. Hmm…..isn’t that what Hitler did?"

Not really. Hitler surrounded himself with a cadre of dysfunctional sociopaths who had exactly one useful talent each and were constitutionally incapable of tying their own shoelaces, let alone navigate a chain of command on their own without screwing up.

…uh, Ok…so it DOES resemble Trump.

dickeyrat says:

As I read this piece, I couldn’t help thinking of the women I’ve known who were regularly abused by their fathers and husbands who wore badges. In not one single case, was any officer prosecuted, or outed in any way, or had any consequence whatsoever, outside of fully getting away with it. And then there’s the obedience required from us lowly citizens by police, in order to adequately march alongside, and "protect" innocent Nazis from rampaging "terrorist" Antifa scum, who could possibly be armed with milkshakes. And no so-called "police reform" programs could possibly be beneficial, when they were proposed under a Negro-Muslim-Socialist President who was born in Kenya. Police are to be honoured and humbly respected by us lowly gutter-bound civilians when they cower away from active mass-shooters such as at Parkland High School. (I mean, for all we know, the gunman might be a fellow Trump-lover!) We must kowtow to, and quietly admire and obey anyone who wears The Badge! After all, this is simply how things are done in a Fascist dictatorship. Your orders are: GET USED TO IT!!

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