Thursday, July 26, 2018

In Chicago, Police Are Not the Problem

Will anyone in Chicago be embarrassed by this? Will any of the perpetually and professionally outraged say, “Gosh, maybe we were too quick to judge”? Will any of them look at the police body camera footage and say, “Yes, the guy had a gun and was trying to pull it out on the officers, so they had to shoot him”?

When Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., nearly four years ago, the fable quickly spread that he had presented no threat, that he had said to the officer, “Hands up, don’t shoot” just before he was mercilessly cut down. Investigators learned this was false within an hour of the shooting, yet the myth of Michael Brown as martyred hero was allowed to persist, and even when it was proven false beyond any doubt by the local investigation and that conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice (headed by Eric Holder, remember), the roots of the myth had grown so deep that, sadly, there are many who still believe it.

Despite the myth’s foundation on a lie, riots and protests continued for months in Ferguson and throughout the St. Louis area, with similar protests occurring across the country. Those protesters, I said at the time, were deluded fools, and I pointed out that a march in downtown St. Louis passed along a route that took them within a block of the scenes of two recent murders, both of which had claimed the lives of black victims. In St. Louis, it seemed, the only black lives that mattered were those taken by the police.

Which brings us to recent events in Chicago, where foolish delusion appears to have reached new heights (or lows, if you prefer). On Saturday, Chicago police officers on foot patrol in the South Shore neighborhood approached Harith Augustus, whom they suspected was carrying a gun. What happened next followed a script that has been repeated over and over, with only the details changing from one incident to the next. Augustus refused the officers’ commands and ran away while trying to pull the gun out of a holster. To protect himself and his partners, an officer shot and killed him.

And what then followed also conformed to a familiar script: Protesters gathered at the shooting scene and pelted the police with various projectiles, including bottles filled with urine. “He was unarmed,” they said. “He was a nice guy . . . He didn’t bother anybody . . . He was a good father,” and on and on and on.

In the initial absence of reliable information there is always speculation about what happened, with people of a certain mindset ready to believe even the most phantasmagorical tales about how the police may have transgressed. So, yes, people have the right to protest no matter how uninformed they might be on the issue, but they don’t have the right to do it violently.

But, even after being informed, even after being offered irrefutable evidence that Augustus was indeed armed and attempting to draw the pistol he was carrying, even after seeing the video which shows exactly what happened and how close one or more of those officers came to being shot, when you still take to the streets and call the shooting “murder,” it is not the least bit unfair to call you, yes, a deluded fool.

On Sunday, police released body camera footage captured by the shooting officer. The video, which was released without audio, shows the shooting officer and three others approach Augustus on the sidewalk outside the Jeffrey Big Market at 2016 E. 71st Street (Google street-view image is here). Absent the audio we don’t yet know what was said, but it’s clear that the officers were attempting to detain Augustus and had focused on what he had in his right waistband. The officers surrounded Augustus and tried to grab him, but he pulled away and walked quickly backward toward the street. As he did so his T-shirt was raised to reveal a holstered pistol on his right side and two extra ammunition magazines on his left. He turned to run into the street while reaching for the pistol, but it appeared he wasn’t able to draw the gun before he fell mortally wounded in the street. We haven’t yet been told where the police rounds struck Augustus, but it’s possible one or more of them hit him in the back. If this turns out to be the case, does it make it a “bad” shooting?

Of course not. An officer presented with a deadly threat, as Augustus plainly was, has no obligation to wait until that threat is facing him before defending himself. As the video shows, Augustus turned toward the officers in an instant while still trying to draw his gun. Had he not already been shot, he may have pulled it out and shot one or more officers.

And yet, as if none of this were now widely known, there were more protests Monday evening. Indeed, even in the face of clear evidence, there are those who insist the video shows Augustus was complying with the officers. “You can see [in the video] that he has what looks like a wallet in his hand,” said Maria Hernandez of Black Lives Matter Chicago. “He was trying to comply and he was shot in the middle of complying. Roughed up and shot,”

Maybe Hernandez was watching some other video, but it’s plain that’s not what was depicted in the one released by Chicago police on Sunday.

But again, to Hernandez and her fellow travelers in the grievance industry, it’s not all black lives that matter, only those lost to the police, no matter how justifiably those lives may have been taken. The Chicago Tribune informs us that in 2017 there were seven murders within a few blocks of where Augustus was killed, and that so far this year there have been two more. There have been seven non-fatal shootings in the same area in just the last 30 days. I searched in vain on the Internet for news on protests over even one of these crimes.

And now Harith Augustus will be placed on his pedestal alongside Michael Brown and all the other “victims of police violence,” and as people march in his name and pretend he didn’t bring on his own demise, violence on the streets of Chicago will continue as always while people ask why the police aren’t doing anything about it.

In Chicago, as elsewhere, the police are not the problem.


Who Knew? A Bad Marriage Can Damage Health

It should be obvious that a bad marriage can damage your health and that it is especially bad for men but here is the latest:

Psychologists monitored 373 couples over 16 years and found that couples who disagree often have poorer health – especially for men.
A bad marriage with frequent conflicts could have a serious detrimental impact on your health, according to psychologists.

The researchers at the universities of Nevada and Michigan monitored 373 heterosexual couples to investigate whether disagreeing about multiple topics – such as children, money, in-laws and leisure activities – had negative health implications.

“We followed married couples over the first 16 years of marriage and compared the subjective health of wives and husbands who reported a greater number of conflict topics to those who reported fewer,” said Rosie Shrout, who presented the preliminary results at the International Association for Relationship Research conference in Colorado.

The researchers found that marital conflict negatively affected health for both husbands and wives, although there was a greater impact of conflict on men than women. Couples who agreed with each other more experienced health benefits early on in their relationships, but this protective effect wore off in the later years of marriage....

“It’s not the act of walking down the aisle or signing a marriage licence that is beneficial for health – it’s what spouses do for each other throughout the marriage.”

The study also looked at the number of marital conflicts and the health impacts this had on wives and husbands individually. Whereas for wives the specific number of disagreement topics was unrelated to their health, the decline in husbands’ health was driven by the number of disagreement topics.

It is hard not to have disagreements with someone in a marriage who tends to be disagreeable and defensive and externally blames others. Women are taught now to blame men for everything and in a relationship, this can often lead to stress and health problems. It is best to stay away from "woke" women in relationships or those who externally blame others.


Fighting for Faith

The House of Representatives passed an appropriations bill on a narrow vote of 217 to 199. Tucked inside that bill is legislation that effectively guts the Johnson Amendment, thereby allowing pastors to speak freely from the pulpit about public policy without fear of the IRS.

To give you some idea of why this legislation is necessary, just consider what happened recently to Catholic bishops in Texas.

They were sued by abortionists challenging a state law requiring that abortionists respectfully dispose of the bodies of aborted babies. The Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops had offered to provide “free or low-cost burials.”

In their legal challenge to the law, the abortionists demanded all the bishops’ documents and communications regarding abortion, miscarriages, the law, and any communications with Texas officials and legislators in the past two years. Incredibly, a left-wing judge ordered the bishops to comply.

Thankfully, a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2 to 1 that the lower-court judge had violated the First Amendment rights of the Texas bishops. Judge Jim Ho wrote, “It is hard to imagine a better example of how far we have strayed from the text and original understanding of the Constitution than this case.”

This isn’t the first time religious leaders in Texas have been threatened by leftist politicians and activists for speaking out on matters of faith and public policy.

My friends, there is no question that religious freedom is under fire from the Left.

Thankfully, President Trump and his Senate allies are making tremendous progress appointing conservative judges to the courts. In fact, they have set a record. But there are still many more vacancies to fill.

We must expand our majority in the Senate this year in order to confirm Trump’s judges and defend religious liberty!


The figures that lay bare the African gang crisis in Victoria: Sudanese-born people are 57 times more likely to commit a robbery than Australians and 33 times more likely to riot

Sudanese-born people in Victoria are far more likely to be charged with aggravated robbery and riot and affray than their Australian-born counterparts, according to recent crime figures.

Victorian Crime Statistics Agency figures to the end of March reveal they are 57 times more likely to be charged with aggravated robbery and 33 times more likely charged with riot and affray than Australians ,The Australian reported.

Sudanese-born offenders ­accounted for 8.5 per cent of ­aggravated robbery offences and 6.9 per cent of riot and affray ­offences in the year to March - despite only accounting for 0.15 per cent of the state's population.

The highly politicised debate regarding African crime has reignited in recent days following the alleged stabbing murder of Melbourne woman, Laa Chol, who was at a party gatecrashed by African-Australian men early Saturday.

Federal Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton declared Victoria has a major law and order problem following the teenage girl's death, accusing Premier Daniel Andrews of failing to acknowledge the issue of Sudanese gangs.

Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Minister Alan Tudge also entered the debate, claiming the shocking crime levels in Victoria were not seen in Sudanese communities in NSW and Queensland.

'Basically the crime data is kept by country of origin, and what it shows is that typically the Australian-born commit most of the crime, naturally, because three-quarters of Victoria are Australian-born,' Mr Tudge told Sky News.

'But often now, Sudanese-born is No 2 or No 3, despite them being a tiny proportion of the population, so there clearly is an issue going on there, and the Victorian public know this.'

Mr Andrews was reluctant to respond to Dutton's comments on Monday. 'In relation to the very tragic death of Laa Chol, I don't think her family will be getting much comfort from this sort of discussion,' he told ABC Radio. 'I don't think her family, I think they deserve fundamentally better than what they've been given these last 12 or 24 hours.'  

But the head of police taskforce set up to investigate violent gang crime in Melbourne slammed Mr Dutton for suggesting the stabbing death of a young woman was related to the city's problem with South Sudanese gangs.

Commander Stuart Bateson said the death of Ms Chol, 19, had nothing to do with violent gangs or ethnicity. 'This is not to do with warring factions,' he said. 'The suggestion that Laa Chol, the victim, was a member of a gang just not true.'

3AW's Neil Mitchell agreed, saying that politics needed to be 'taken out of it' and said 'What Peter Dutton has said overnight is just wrong.'

Waleed Aly launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over his views on African gang violence in an eight minute segment on The Project last Thursday.

He admitted that while crimes committed by those of African descent were 'over-represented' and 'unacceptable' in some areas, they account for one per cent of crime, compared to 71 per cent of crime committed by Australian-born people.

'I'm not saying that African-Australians don't commit crime. And I'm not denying that victims of those crimes have a right to feel afraid,' Aly said.

'But it's just a fraction of the crime being committed, and to suggest a city is gripped by a fear of African gangs is just untrue.'



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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