Thursday, November 08, 2007

In which we respond to comments on tasers...

Okay, I'm pulling this out of the comments to have a look at. In a recent post over at Dawg's Blawg, the issue of police abuse of tasers was brought up, with a pile of video for reference. For the most part the video is pretty convincing that, for some cops at least, there is a tendency to zap first and ask questions later. Tasers are increasingly being deployed as "non-lethal" weapons for subduing unruly citizens. Some argue that they are the safe alternative to the use of firearms. But it just seems a tad too easy to draw a taser and shock someone in instances where there is absolutely no question that a gun would be excessive force.

Now, there aren't a lot of videos floating around of people getting zapped for posing a threat to public safety or the safety of officers. Not much outrage or glamour in a video of appropriate use of force. And while the number of deaths resulting from taser use climbs, an argument can be made that while not non-lethal, they are certainly far less lethal than a 9mm. I'd much rather see someone taken down with a taser than having their brains splashed on the pavement. Police departments take the use of firearms very seriously. Discharging a gun will lead to paperwork, reports and inquiries in most jurisdictions. The same scrutiny doesn't seem to be applied to the taser.

Dr. Dawg's argument was essentially that police and security officers are too damn quick to blast someone with the volts. The flash point in his comments had to do with one Andrew Meyer who was tasered for resisting arrest after making an ass of himself at a speech by John Kerry.

Dawg's piece began,

"The University student in Florida who was Tasered for running over his time at a campus meeting where John Kerry was speaking has bowed to Authority, written apologies to the cops, the university and and the university president, and escaped jail for whatever charges the state of Florida was going to bring against him."

And thus began a kerfuffle with KEvron, who took exception to the framing of the argument. At issue was the excuse for the wire job performed on Meyer. The incident began with Meyer monopolizing a microphone during a Q&A with the senator, refusing to step away when asked and behaving like a complete dick. Security came in and tried to physically remove Meyer from the room, he kicked up a fuss and resisted. For his troubles he received some complimentary voltage. It made for pretty dramatic video. A lot of people were outraged that Meyer was zapped. Some others, including CC and Red Tory, felt that Meyer might have staged his antics for Youtube and got more than he bargained for. In short, Meyer could have avoided the pain by cooperating, or at least not resisting, after acting like a squealing douche. That isn't a very sympathetic argument but it does ring true. Even so, despite being characterized as an authoritarian bully, CC went on to say,

"Did Meyer really deserve to get Tasered for what he did? Probably not. Did the cops over-react? Probably. Am I shedding any tears over Meyer's beatdown at the hands of some of UF's finest? I slept just fine last night, thanks."

Not exactly pacific but if you come here looking for unicorns and kittens, well sometimes there's a kitten but that's just 'cos we like kittens. The essence of CC's point was that the foolish abandonment of common sense led to a situation that needn't have escalated to such a degree. Which brings me to the reason for this post. Framing. In KEvron's estimation, Dr. Dawg perpetrated a fraud or was willfully dishonest in the framing of his piece by stating that Meyer got the volts for "running over his time". But I submit that each and every one of us, regardless of slant, is guilty of framing arguments to suit the desired result. Looking at the totality of the videos on Dawg's post, I agreed that the taser is just too easy a recourse for the lazy and brutish types that occasionally make it through the academy. There is a growing and disturbing body of evidence to support that argument.


I'm not anti-authoritarian. I understand the need for authority and enforcement but I also want to be sure that enforcement is controlled, reasoned and works with a minimum of violence. I've seen the best and worst of authority in action, from hero to monster. We'd all prefer to have heroes around but I'd happily settle for officers that are basically decent folk doing a tough job. I'd also like to see the use of tasers treated with the same level of scrutiny that firearms receive.


kevron said...

"sorry to have to post this here, but dr phrawd has banned me at his blog."


Having gone back to look over the exchange in question, it echoes the larger issue, did KEvron really deserve to get banned for what he wrote? Probably not. Did Dawg over react by banning KEvron? Probably. Now that I've been pulled into the discussion, will I lose any sleep over it? Not a lick. For the record, here's a brief recap of what brought about the ban,


"KEvron says:
"does "honesty" fall under the definition of decency?"
"lol! you're a fraud!"


and following the appearance of the excrement that posts from 'neath a mullet, the ever tainted Patrick Ross, things began to degenerate into flamery. When asked to desist, the Rosshole complied, KEvron did not. Voila, booted. Which brings the issue into this yard as a result of my comment, that began,

"For what it is worth Dawg, I'm on board here."

and to which KEvron responds...

"but you gotta wonder: why does the dr (i'm assuming his title is honorary) present his argument in bad faith ("....Tasered for running over his time at a campus meeting")? seems to me that, in presenting a false account of the events, dr phrawd has effectively established a shaky foundation for his position. what good is that? well, it aids in focusing attention to incidental details (sen kerry's attendance is the only reason the story came to international light) of this particular case rather than honestly address the question of arming police with tasers. in drawing attention away from the basic issue, and toward the details specific to this case, phrawd hopes to apply some "guilt by association". also, phrawd's confabulation puts progressives/liberals/democrats in the indefensible position of having to insist that sparky and his kind should be "tasered for running over his time at a campus meeting", to which, of course, none would ever agree, but that doesn't prevent phrawd from making the accusation none the less (did you catch where i was called indecent for objecting to phrawd's false account?). no, phrawd couldn't care less about tasers; his true intentions are petty and sad."


My question then, is how are the charges of dealing in bad faith, falsity, phrawd and shakiness of foundation in any way convincing? Dr. Dawg has been consistent in his arguments from the day of the incident in question. I don't see how the circumstantial details are of much import, sure it was during a Kerry appearance but the internet got lit up when the guy was tased in a California university library. From what I could see, Dawg's article and examples were overwhelmingly focused on the issue of tasers and their official misuse. Kerry was a detail that set the time and place of a particular incident, no more. I think you are reaching way too far by asserting that Dawg, "puts progressives/liberals/democrats in the indefensible position of having to insist that sparky and his kind should be "tasered for running over his time at a campus meeting". Really, that's just a bunch of doo-doo. Dawg approached the issue from his own consistent point of bias. He feels strongly about the police misuse of tasers and I don't exactly feel too comfie knowing how easily they can be deployed to shut up a loud mouth. Hence my comment,

"The taser is the weapon of convenience for lazy, authoritarian brutes."

"KEvron says:
look: we live in a society that values the rule of law. without enforcement, our laws are meaningless. we, as citizenries, have asked people to enforce our laws and to defend us from criminal elements. this is a very dangerous job, so we provide these people with the necessary equipment, training and guidelines to perform this job. we invest in them the authority to enforce our laws, and we implement methods to try to prevent abuse of this authority. yes, despite our best efforts, authority is often abused (the same can be said of democracy and of capitalism), but the alternative - abolishment of the institution - is unacceptable, so we endure and remain vigilant."


Kev, you're arguing out both sides of your mouth. Yes, we value the rule of law. We also expect and should demand that the people we hire to defend and enforce those laws, also obey them. Yes, their jobs are dangerous and stressful but can you argue that a citizen that fails to behave is a criminal element or a mortal threat? It is the breakdown of the training, guidelines and official oversight that leads to the abuse Dawg decries. Abolition is not the only alternative and you know it. Now *that* is an argument made in bad faith. Neither Dawg not I nor anyone that isn't loopy is seeking to abolish police or the rule of law. And while we're busy enduring the admitted abuses of authority, it is Dawg who is sounding the call for vigilance.

"KEvron says:
weapon of convenience.... should we demand that, in defense of our laws, police should be issued weapons which inconvenience them? is it fair to ask that they further risk their own lives in their mission?"


That's one awful tall pony your riding there Kev. If you want to twist my words and meaning you'll really have to do better than that. At no point has anyone sought to inconvenience or place the lives of police in jeopardy. I don't favour stripping them of tasers. What I do believe is important, is that their use be strictly governed. In any number of cases of abuse, the officers in question use tasers not because they are in any peril but to force compliance. Get on the ground...zap. Get out of the car...zap. Shut up and quit yelling...zap. Go look at the videos that Dawg posted. How many of those officers were in any peril? That senior citizen or the 11 year old kid posed a threat? Get real. We all understand the risks that police take and the world is tilting toward more violence all the time. But tasing has become a tool to punish on the spot and force instant compliance. It is not being used for protection. That is the problem that needs to be addressed.


"KEvron says:
"for lazy, authoritarian brutes".... an unfair assessment, and highly inflamatory rhetoric. their authority comes to them from the citizenry, and their weaponry is issued to them with the consent of the citizenry."


In what way is it unfair to point out an element within the police community that abuses their power, position and weaponry? The authority we grant them comes with the condition that it be used fairly and in compliance with the same laws we hire them to uphold. We give them leave to carry arms with the understanding that they are to be used as a last resort. If they behave otherwise then they are simply being lazy for not working to resolve conflict peacefully. They are being authoritarian, rather than representing authority, by using force to achieve utter compliance and they are brutes when they use brutal violence to achieve ends that could be met by other means. I wouldn't approve of breaking a citizens fingers until they complied at a traffic stop and I don't approve of tasing there either. We employ peace officers to uphold law and keep the peace, not to use violence against the citizenry without just cause.


"KEvron says:
i'm not opposed to antiauthoritarianism; quite the opposite, really. but i prefer to be pragmatic in that pursuit, and that pragmatism begins by being honest with myself."


Might I recommend that you reassess that pragmatic self-honesty. I think your feelings were hurt and you lashed out. Your arguments are as twisted as you accuse Dawg's of being. You set up a line of strawmen to knock down and the over all effect is to irk me a tad. I reserve the right to disagree with anyone but I hope that I am fairer than you've been here. I don't ban anyone, so you are welcome to have your say, but I don't suffer fools easily.

49 comments:

counter-coulter said...

Dawg approached the issue from his own consistent point of bias.

Sorry CC, but it is fallacious to say that because someone has been consistent in their viewpoint, that that viewpoint is somehow an honest or faithful account.

Dr. Dawg mischaracterized the actual events that led to Meyer's tazing to frame it suit his agenda, regardless of the reality of the situation:

Dr.Dawg said...
Amazing. A guy raises a question at a campus meeting, and the fellow in stage says he'll answwer the question. So the fellow at the mike went over his time. And that, according to some people here, means he should be brutalized by five cops, tortured with a high-tech cattle-prod, and stuck in jail.


For one to read Dawg's account, one would think that Meyer waited in line, was asking his question and the police came along and tazed him for running over his question timer. Which would be completely counter-factual to the recorded event.

Dawg started from a false premise in order to argue what he deemed the police's excessive reliance on tazers and KEvron was right to call him out for arguing in bad faith.

counter-coulter said...

Correction:
Reads: Sorry CC, but it is fallacious...

Should Read: Sorry PSA, but it is fallacious...

I didn't notice that you were the one to post this, not CC.

Patrick Ross said...

Hear that? It's the sound of a thousand eyes rolling.

First off, Meyer was standing in line. Anyone who's watched the video knows this.

Secondly, I'm not along among those who would question who is and isn't tained.

Thirdly, and finally, if you don't suffer fools easily, I'd advise you against looking in the mirror any time soon.

counter-coulter said...

Patrick Ross said...
First off, Meyer was standing in line. Anyone who's watched the video knows this.


Not really:

I do not know what warnings or other exchanges transpired between the young man and the police prior to his barging to the front of the line and their intervention.

Stun gun case fuels claims of repression at UF

As the moderator, Jett had told the audience there was no more time for questions, but Meyer grabbed a microphone and hurled questions at Kerry anyway.

It reads to me like Meyer was afraid he wasn't going to get his moment in the sun and pushed things. Things for which he later apologized and agreed that he was out of line:

UF student Meyer apologizes

"At the John Kerry forum, I stepped out of line," Meyer writes in one letter. "There were rules in place to ensure that the forum was run in an orderly fashion, and I did not follow them."

pretty shaved ape said...

Here's my summary of the incident in question, Counter-Coulter. I was not trying to say that Dawg was correct in his recounting of the event, I was merely stating that his attitude on the issue had been consistent, hence my intentional use of the term bias.

"The incident began with Meyer monopolizing a microphone during a Q&A with the senator, refusing to step away when asked and behaving like a complete dick. Security came in and tried to physically remove Meyer from the room, he kicked up a fuss and resisted. For his troubles he received some complimentary voltage."

I made note Dawg's own bias. He has an axe to grind on the issue and calling him on it is fair enough. We all have our biases. I will certainly term my argument in a manner that I think enhances position. That doesn't necessarily make me dishonest. I remember watching the video when the incident occurred and I could have gone either way, the cops attacked a dork for being a dork or the dork incited the incident. Sometimes it comes down to whose bias is closest or most impressive in the moment.

KEvron's comments were quite steeped in their own bias. To have read my comment and determine that I want to encumber police, do away with authority or somehow impede law and order is ridiculous.

Also, I apologize but blogger seems to have fritzed the layout of this particular post. I'll try and go through and get it sorted to make more sensible reading.

And Patrick, you're still a useless goober but at least in the heat of comments you had the good grace, as I noted, to desist from a flamefest when asked. So you get a point. Your response here is inept to the point of sadness. Pitiable. Lose two points. You have no points.

Ti-Guy said...

Actually, Pats is down a billion points from the time he called for outing and physical violence in response to someone exercising a constitutional right.

...and he'll never crawl back from that criminal act.

counter-coulter said...

PSA, thanks for the response. While I believe that you were being honest in your assessment, I do not believe that Dawg was being honest in his, hence my response to your assertion:

But I submit that each and every one of us, regardless of slant, is guilty of framing arguments to suit the desired result.

Which I believe was not a correct one when it came to Dawg's "framing" of the event. It's one thing to frame an incident by focusing on a particular part of it, but it's another to misrepresent the incident entirely and then argue against that misrepresentation -- that would be a classic "strawman" fallacy.

Quite fankly I think that Dawg could find better examples of police's use of excessive force than this Meyer character. Even a lot of the free speech advocates at UF has disassociated themselves with Meyer and he has apologized himself for the antics he pulled.

As to KEvron, I was only pointing to his calling out of Dr. Dawg's false presmise. What he chose to engage in afterwards is his own own affair.

pretty shaved ape said...

Counter Coulter, I hear you and thanks in turn. Dawg's article didn't focus solely on the Meyer incident. In fact there was a long string of videos and Meyer was among them. KEvron went after that one piece, perhaps a hold over from prior discussions, I don't know. I still agree with the larger premise that high voltage weapons are being used too frequently and unnecessarily.

Ti-guy, I defer to your wisdom, Patrick Ross is a twit, a gaping sink hole, a point deficit chasm of unplumbable depth. Well there goes my secret identity. Pats and Werner's gonna hunt me down now too. Lol.

Ti-Guy said...

He's also really doughy...damp and yeasty.

But that's mean, so I won't say it.

Dr.Dawg said...

And the facts? Question period had just been called to an end, Meyer was lined up, ran off at the mouth, and Kerry said he'd answer the question(s) anyway. I've seen this happen a lot, at public meetings, on or off campus, at union meetings, etc., etc. No big deal, right? A guy being a bit of a prima donna at the mike. Not news.

What was news was what followed: a horde of uniforms dragging him away, his not-particularly-violent resistance to this attack on the First Amendment, his being forced to the ground and an electric charge sent through his body. And a cop telling him he would be charged with "inciting a riot." As though the anaesthetized students were about to make a move of any kind--Stanley Milgram, as I've said before, lives large in America. The US, and perhaps Canada, is ripe for...well, the normalization of torture. Waterboarding, anyone? Or how about needles under the fingernails--but sterilized, of course, we aren't savages, after all.

Now I've reviewed the videos of the event quite a few times, and if anyone can point to an inaccuracy in what I've said, rather than simply alleging it, I'd be pleased to discuss it.

As for Kevvie, he came to my place to troll, and he wouldn't go away, so I gave him the heave. He joins the august company of, say half-a-dozen people since I began blogging. That's not a bad record, and indeed I put up with a lot, but Kevvie can find somewhere else to be an idiot--not my place. Ross, as noted, had the good grace to withdraw, and he is, as of this writing, not banned--like 99.999% of the blogosphere.

KEvron said...

"My question then, is how are the charges of dealing in bad faith, falsity, phrawd and shakiness of foundation in any way convincing?"

no, my case wasn't too very convincing as i presented it. phrawd's particular bad faith arguments (a second instance was on rt's blog, where he said "So the fellow at the mike went over his time. And that, according to some people here, means he should be brutalized by five cops, tortured with a high-tech cattle-prod, and stuck in jail". bad faith in three parts: first, there's his false account of the incident. second, his straw man, in which others on the blog condone the events of his false account. third, his selective math; of the four people who had commented prior to his own comment, three and condemned the act. to me, a comment like this simpply smacks of concern sock puppetry (zuzu patels excels at these games). it's these two instances of dishonesty, coupled with his strident defense of them, and his willfully flawed account of events - a strategy which can only undermine his ostensible position - which lead me to question his motives.

"I think you are reaching way too far by asserting that Dawg, 'puts progressives/liberals/democrats in the indefensible position of having to insist that sparky and his kind should be "tasered for running over his time at a campus meeting'"

i'd agree, were it not for the charge of indeceny. clearly, the charge was meant to imply that i condone the actions described in his false account.

"Kev, you're arguing out both sides of your mouth."

am i? let's read how so:

"Yes, we value the rule of law. We also expect and should demand that the people we hire to defend and enforce those laws, also obey them."

you've said essentially the same thing i did. i was hoping to avoid the cliche, but, as abuse and corruption are inescapable, despite our best efforts, we must endure this necessary evil.

(cont.)

KEvron said...

"Abolition is not the only alternative and you know it. Now *that* is an argument made in bad faith. Neither Dawg not I nor anyone that isn't loopy is seeking to abolish police or the rule of law""

not bad faith, but a rhetorical device, which i concluded with the solution "endure and remain vigilant", a point on which i was sure we could all agree. surely you didn't think i meant to suggest that abolishment might be your solution? bad faith, indeed. however, it's inflamtory rhetoric like "jack boots" and "lynching" and "authoritarian brutes" which cause me to question another's respect for, and commitment to, law and order (i'm sure it comes as no surprise to you that there are many who rabidly resent law enforcement).

"If you want to twist my words and meaning you'll really have to do better than that."

lol! then perhaps you'll twist them in a way that makes more sense? i'd gathered that "authoritarian brutes" meant the police, but "convenience" and "lazy"? what do they mean here? seems an arbitrary point of contention, the "convenience" they provide, given the assortment of other weapons at their disposal.

but your subsequent comments ("zap...zap...zap") elaborate your meaning. yes, officers who abuse their taser privileges are baddies. still, "The taser is the weapon of convenience for lazy, authoritarian brutes" is a pretty broad stroke. don't fault me for your lack of articulation.

"What I do believe is important, is that their use be strictly governed."

i believe this, too, but are they not? we have oversight in place, and yet abuse occurs, so it's a given that tasers will also be abused, despite oversight.

"I don't favour stripping them of tasers."

then you must expect instances of abuse.

"Go look at the videos that Dawg posted."

i don't need to; i know abuse occurs. but about those videos: where are the ones showing police officers using tasers in appropriate situations, within dept guidelines? i've got little use for phrawd's selective vision.

"But tasing has become a tool to punish on the spot and force instant compliance."

has it, or is this observation the result of exagerated sensitivity to the device? sure, phrawd has eleven vidoes as evidence, but....

"Get real."

right after i get decent.

"In what way is it unfair to point out an element within the police community that abuses their power, position and weaponry?"

hmmm. i never said it was unfair to do this. sadly, that isn't what you did with your broad stroke.

"I think your feelings were hurt and you lashed out."

lol! you don't know me very well. first, only the people i care about are in a position to hurt my feelings. faceless strangers on the internets like phrawd are an opportunity for a game of grabass, a game which i enjoy. regardless, what would hurt feelings have to do with bringing the discussion to you?

"You set up a line of strawmen to knock down"

i didn't construst a single one.

"the over all effect is to irk me a tad."

lol! welcome to my world!

"I hope that I am fairer than you've been here."

not only do i feel that i've been most fair here, but i feel you've been unfair, both to me and to law enforcement.

"but I don't suffer fools easily."

in failing to call phrawd on his false account, you demonstrate otherwise.

KEvron

KEvron said...

"As for Kevvie, he came to my place to troll"

i was drawn to your blog by your dishonest assessments on rt's blog. i commented in responese to further dishonesty on your blog. not that i care that you banned me (not exactly the algonquin round table, now is it? what with all the lying and hyperbole and such), but your reason for doing so was rather arbitrary (we can fight with you all we want, but not with each other?). i suspect being called on your dishonest account prompted the move more than the given reason: that i said "lol!" to a mewling, doughy, pasty-faced pantload.

fu'ed me faster than fu fu'ed meyer! so much for your commitment to freedom of expression in a private forum. *snort!*

KEvron

KEvron said...

"To have read my comment and determine that I want to encumber police, do away with authority or somehow impede law and order is ridiculous."

more ridiculous is pretneding that rhetoricl devices are meant as anything other than rhetorical devices.

KEvron

KEvron said...

lol! it just occured to me:

"Kevvie can find somewhere else to be an idiot"

ins't this the same asshole who objects to particpants flaming each other on someone else's blog?

wnat a phucking phrawd....

KEvron

KEvron said...

"KEvron's comments were quite steeped in their own bias."

yep. damned facticity.

KEvron

KEvron said...

ooof! something went wrong in my first paragraph. should read:

"....phrawd's particular bad faith arguments (a second instance ....three condemned the act) simply smack of concern sock puppetry...."

you can see why i prefer brevity....

KEvron

Dr.Dawg said...

Could've fooled me. Shrieky little sissy that you are.

Still no facts to counter what I said originally. Just endless whining and flapping. Not on my blog, though. People here starting to see the point?

This comment from a former cop might be of interest.

Ti-Guy said...

Shrieky little sissy that you are.

Hey, now...I had to apologise on your blog for calling one of your tedious commenters "an old queen."

Dr.Dawg said...

What, is "sissy" homophobic or something? I thought it meant "shrieky cry-baby." Please substitute the latter for the former, with my apologies to all.

counter-coulter said...

Dr.Dawg said...
Now I've reviewed the videos of the event quite a few times, and if anyone can point to an inaccuracy in what I've said, rather than simply alleging it, I'd be pleased to discuss it.


Well, you're getting closer to the actual events that occurred which, I might add, are a different account than what you've presented prior (see my and KEvron's posts of your previous statements).

There's not a lot of nuance in the video that requires extensive scrutiny:

* One can plainly see Meyer jumping and thrashing about, being belligerent and getting physical with the officers.

* He receives warnings that he needs to stop physically resisting or he'll be tazed. He doesn't so they taze him -- big surprise.

* Meyer himself admitted that the police did no wrong and that he was in the wrong and violating the rules of the forum.

* The free speech advocates at FU have even distanced themselves from Meyer since they believe he was out of line.

I think that you're betting on the wrong pony here Dawg. (ie. trying to create a free speech martyr where there is none).

Dr.Dawg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ti-Guy said...

I'm still with Dawg on this one, although less on the issue of this case (which involved a multitude of judgement calls) and more on the fact that too many American liberals have been brow-beaten into thinking acting out is unseemly and deserving of harsh consequences...lest one be embarrassed to find oneself associated with moonbats, dirty hippies and intemperate loud-mouths. The lack of solidarity in supporting the confrontations (and confrontations are a fact of life) required to speak truth to power is disheartening, considering how adversaries on the Right don't seem to be at all bothered by such concerns over propriety.

Dr.Dawg said...

Let's take your four points in order (and it is simply not true that my account of the case has changed, see below):

1) Meyer was being hustled off by a crowd of uniforms after going on too long at the mike. I'd be "thrashing about" as well. I don't know your background, but I have a long association with university campuses, and a squad of cops appearing at a campus meeting to drag off someone at the mike would be, no pun intended, something of a shock for everyone.

2) He received warnings, eh? Immobilized, on the ground, held there by four officers, handcuffed. Great police procedure--even if you assent (as you clearly do) to cops being involved in a campus meeting in the first place.

3) Meyer's apology, as I've said before, might as well have been offered in a slack-jawed, glassy-eyed monotone. There is more than a whiff of Winston Smith about it. He was offered a deal--Authority won't trample on him any more if he will simply kiss its boot. The alternative? Being dragged through the courts, at great cost. All this for asking three fucking questions.

4) I keep hearing about this "distancing," without details. At this point, it's simply an assertion. Moreover, it has little or nothing to do with the facts of the case.

The principle of free speech is always decided, one way or another, by the hard cases. Your willingness to accept the actions of violent Authority because Meyer was behaving like a prima donna at the mike indicates how naturalized state violence has become in North American society.

My original take on this event has not changed. Meyer got to the mike immediately after question period had officially ended, but (and this is not unusual in my experience) got to ask his questions anyway, to which Kerry said he would respond. But he ran over time, had the mike turned off (whether for using the word "blowjob" or just for going on too long), and was then attacked by the neo-Gestapo.

I'd remove the "counter" from your nick, just in the interests of political consistency.

counter-coulter said...

Dr.Dawg said...
1) Meyer was being hustled off by a crowd of uniforms after going on too long at the mike.


See, you're doing it again. You're attempting to present it as Meyer just going over his time limit. If you read the transcript from the video you'll see that Meyer is hardly interested in asking Kerry anything. He's basically there to grandstand and go on a rhetorical, political rant. He's asked to stop and doesn't.

2) He received warnings, eh? Immobilized, on the ground, held there by four officers, handcuffed.

Only partially true; he only had one hand handcuffed at the time of the incident. He was hardly "immobilized" and still had opportunity to do harm to the officers.

Great police procedure--even if you assent (as you clearly do) to cops being involved in a campus meeting in the first place.

Yes, I don't have a problem with police being on hand at events to help maintain the peace. Believe it or not, it does help to prevent people from getting hurt. I've never bought the concept that you seem to peddle, that it's somehow OK to go physically challenging police officers based on nothing more than the fact that they are police officers.

3) [...] There is more than a whiff of Winston Smith about it. He was offered a deal--Authority won't trample on him any more if he will simply kiss its boot.

Ah, the conspiracy theories start. Meyer must have been offered some sort of secret deal to maintain his silence. Oh wait...he was already apologetic in the squad car and admitted that his apology was entirely self-prompted.

4) I keep hearing about this "distancing," without details. At this point, it's simply an assertion. Moreover, it has little or nothing to do with the facts of the case.

It's more than an assertion and I never claimed that it was relevant to the facts. I stated that there are those at FU who don't see Meyer as some sort of free speech martyr that you seem to think he is.

[...] Your willingness to accept the notion of violent Authority because Meyer was behaving like a prima donna at the mike indicates how naturalized state violence has become in North American society.

Please to point out where I had "accept[ed] the notion of violent Authority"? And I would hardly go around making general indictments of how "naturalized" anything has become here in the States based on Meyer's idiocy.

My original take on this event has not changed. Meyer got to the mike immediately after question period had officially ended. He ran over time, had the mike turned off (whether for using the word "blowjob" or just for going on too long), and was then attacked by the neo-Gestapo.

Besides being a different characterization than you did in the first part of your post, you really lose people when you throw around hackneyed terms like "neo-Gestapo". A point, I believe that KEvron had alluded to earlier.

I'd remove the "counter" from your nick, just in the interests of consistency.

General presumptiveness aside, you'd be so off the mark here, you have no idea.

Dr.Dawg said...

Since you insist on displaying your stupidity, let me help you.

1) This, from a reference that you yourself provided:

Jett says the student pushed the boundaries of free speech and disrupted the event by ignoring the time limitations UF and Kerry had agreed upon.

Let's hear no more BS from you about my alleged "mischaracterization" of the event in question.

2) Four officers on top of an average-build unarmed university student? And he presented a danger to them? Pull the other one, and, while you're at it, hear what a professional cop has to say about this: http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2007/9/18/10649/5334/740#c740

3)Conspiracy? What conspiracy, you moron? The whole thing is quite public:

http://www.ocala.com/article/20071030/NEWS/71030003

Next time do your own research. I wasted five seconds on this.

4) Your reference doesn't say what you imply at all. People here should consult this for themselves. There is universal condemnation of the cops for the Tasering. One student is quoted as saying that Meyer misbehaved, but no one in the entire article except for the moderator of the event thinks Meyer deserved what he got. Ooh, careless.

But I shouldn't have used the word "neo-Gestapo," admittedly. The Gestapo were far more professional.

Dr.Dawg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr.Dawg said...

In fact, as I review the article again, not even the moderator thought the Tasering was justified. I guess that leaves you, Coulter (and Kevvie, of course).

counter-coulter said...

Dr.Dawg said...
Since you insist on displaying your stupidity, let me help you.


And so the name-calling begins. Thank goodness there are high-minded individuals such as yourself that wouldn't dream of plumbing the depths of social discourse by calling people names.

1) This, from a reference that you yourself provided:

Jett says the student pushed the boundaries of free speech and disrupted the event by ignoring the time limitations UF and Kerry had agreed upon.

Let's hear no more BS from you about my alleged "mischaracterization" of the event in question.


And you'll note that Jett doesn't state that Meyer was disruptive by "going too long at the mike", but rather that he "ignored the time limitations", which is in line with what actually happened with Meyer barging to mike and starting his rant after question period had ended.

2) Four officers on top of an average-build unarmed university student? And he presented a danger to them? Pull the other one, and, while you're at it, hear what a professional cop has to say about this: http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2007/9/18/10649/5334/740#c740

And the Florida Department of Law Enforcement concluded that the officers acted well within state guidelines for the use of force. But I'm sure that's just a case of "cops covering for cops".

3)Conspiracy? What conspiracy, you moron? The whole thing is quite public:
http://www.ocala.com/article/20071030/NEWS/71030003


Yet more name-calling. In all the articles that I had read there was no mention of any deal that had been struck, so obviously I was unaware of said deal. From your cite: Clarification: An earlier report from the Associated Press indicating charges were being dropped did not have information about the agreement,...

Yes, poor Meyer was so righteous and was such the victim that he plea-bargained to avoid jail time.

4) Your reference doesn't say what you imply at all:

From the article: "Andrew Meyer is not a martyr," Newman, 24, said. "He is not a martyr for this cause. He happened to have it happen to him, which got everybody speaking about it, but this is an issue that's been occurring for quite some time."

This goes to my point that I made earlier, that Meyer is not viewed as some sort of martyr, but rather that his incident brings up the issue of police officer's use of force. Here's another article where students who are questioning if Meyer's apology was forced, yet they still disavow his actions.

But I shouldn't have used the word "neo-Gestapo," admittedly. The Gestapo were far more professional.

Again with the Nazis. I see that you're out to seriously discuss the issue and would never stoop so low as make false comparisons of those that aided in the killing of millions of Jews with police officers tazing someone.

Dr.Dawg said...

Poor Coulter. Let me try to help once again.

1) "And you'll note that Jett doesn't state that Meyer was disruptive by "going too long at the mike", but rather that he "ignored the time limitations", which is in line with what actually happened with Meyer barging to mike and starting his rant after question period had ended."

Question period had just ended. If Meyer had simply posed his questions and withdrawn, I doubt that anything would have happened to him. I think it's generally acknowledged that his lengthy rant was what precipitated the police overreaction. Certainly the video shows the officers approaching him, but then standing back--until Meyer went on too long and had the mike cut off.

2) Of course cops never cover for cops. I should have realized that, and just taken their word for everything.

3) So you were "unaware" of this fact, eh? Well, consider yourself more aware now, and thank me properly. And no moving the goal-posts, now: no one has claimed that Meyer was a hero--like most people confronted with brutal state violence, he caved. You would, of course, see this as a triumph of law and order.

4) No red herrings, please. I for one have never seen Meyer as a martyr, just a casualty of state violence. Period.

And stop whining about Hitler. The appropriate comparison is the combination of mindless brutality together with the acquiescence of the onlookers. Nazism ended with the Holocaust. It began with precisely the sort of violent, thuggish activity seen here.

KEvron said...

"the fact that too many American liberals have been brow-beaten into thinking acting out is unseemly and deserving of harsh consequences"

"fact", eh?

KEvron

KEvron said...

"And so the name-calling begins."

quite the mercurial sense of propriety has our phrawd....

KEvron

Dr.Dawg said...

From whining to mere whimpering. Try sucking your thumb.

counter-coulter said...

Dr.Dawg said...
Poor Coulter. Let me try to help once again.


Again, you're way off base with this whole "Coulter" thing. You know absolutely nothing of my political views other than the fact that I disagreed with the way that you characterized the Meyer incident.

You see, this is where the more radical progressives (I consider myself to be a moderate progressive with a touch of libertarian thrown in) tend to lose people. Their opposition is so knee-jerk and fevered that many times they appear just as reactionary and rabid as those on the right (like Coulter, Hannity, Malkin, etc.) that they decry.

Rather than going around accusing all who disagree with you (even on minutia) as somehow being complacent in the "actions of violent authority", maybe you should lay out your case and attempt to engage in honest, civil debate sans the name-calling and condescension.

Question period had just ended. If Meyer had simply posed his questions and withdrawn, I doubt that anything would have happened to him. I think it's generally acknowledged that his lengthy rant was what precipitated the police overreaction. Certainly the video shows the officers approaching him, but then standing back--until Meyer went on too long and had the mike cut off.

If you would have described the event this way to begin with, I believe that you could have saved us all a lot of typing.

And stop whining about Hitler.

I never mentioned Hitler, only Nazis. You are the one who keeps insisting on the drawing the comparison, so who is the one really doing the whining?

KEvron said...

"I consider myself to be a moderate progressive with a touch of libertarian thrown in"

very pragmatic of you!

yeah, radicals at either end of the spectrum tend to go off half-cocked.

DIttoron

counter-coulter said...

KEvron said...
very pragmatic of you!


I'm nothing if not pragmatic. :-)

yeah, radicals at either end of the spectrum tend to go off half-cocked.

I was reminded of a Daily Show segment titled "You're Not Helping!". Where they show a clip of these hapless protesters (Code Pink I believe) dressed in statue of liberty costumes yelling and being removed from Petraeus' hearing.

KEvron said...

in this age of post-rovian politics, one should always consider the possibility of agents provocateurs....

KEvron

Dr.Dawg said...

Two things, then enough is enough.

1) My description of the event, as repeated above, has always been my understanding of it. There appears to be significant reading comprehension problems at work here. Meyer took the mike just as the question period was announced as over. But, by not being immediately silenced by the moderator, and by being listened to by Kerry (who agreed to answer his questions), not to mention the fact that the students remained seated, he was granted de facto an opportunity--the time to pose a question. The cops stood near, got into his space at one point, but did not take him down until HE WENT OVER HIS TIME, that is, the time that was in fact granted to him.

From my own experience of running public meetings, if someone begins to speak at a mike, and I don't shut the mike down after calling him or her to order, they have, been granted, in effect, permission to carry on.

Why you are making such heavy weather of this, Coulter, is beyond me. I've been consistent in my description of the event from the get-go. I feel nibbled to death by ducks here. The fact is, Meyer was in effect granted some time and he went over his time. At that point he was brutalized, and later told he would be charged with "inciting a riot."

2) You are being deliberately obtuse on the Nazi/Hitler thing. The passive acceptance of state authority, coupled with a level of violence that the immediate circumstance does not call for, is the very basis of fascism. It's how fascism got its start, how it was conducted, a hallmark of that politics. Niemoller put the matter well with his famous statement, "First they came for the..."

There were a number of outrageous un unsettling things about this event. a) The presence of the cops by itself, (something that I have never witnessed in years of campus life); b) the takedown, for running over time, c) the fascistic level of violence employed, d) the acquiescence of the crowd. e) the continued actions of the state leading to the forced apology, and f) (here is where you come in, Coulter) the rationalizing of all of this as appropriate because Meyer was a dick.

The normalization of torture and violence is summed up in the fact that even a few self-styled "progressives" found all of this acceptable, normal, OK. And, as my own blogpost made clear, we are not talking about one incident.

So if I got irritated, even angry, I make no apology whatsoever. People should get angry about this sort of thing. They should reflect upon what it means when torture and violence are seen, not only as normal, but as justified. And they should be just as angry when others try to explain it all away with "he got what was coming to him" or whatever.

KEvron said...

"they should be just as angry when others try to explain it all away with "he got what was coming to him" or whatever."

even in cases where he got what was coming to him?

KEvron

KEvron said...

"I feel nibbled to death by ducks here."

aww!

KEvron

Dr.Dawg said...

Why would Kevvie post a self-portrait? But perhaps this is what he looked like right after he was soundly spanked by PSA.

counter-coulter said...

My last stab at this as well.

Dr.Dawg said...
Why you are making such heavy weather of this, Coulter, is beyond me. I've been consistent in my description of the event from the get-go.


Sorry, but you haven't been consistent. There are times where you acknowledge that Meyer was violating the rules, but was allowed to ask a question and then went on a rant and other times you try to make it sound as if Meyer acted properly, but merely "went over his time" -- context my friend, context.

The fact is, Meyer was in effect granted some time and he went over his time. At that point he was brutalized,...

No, it was not "at that point". He was given an opportunity to ask Kerry a question, after a 1:20 he still hadn't asked a question and then proceeded to go on his rant. After his mike was cut the officer approached him to leave. Instead of leaving with the officer he decided to break free and keep ranting, that's when other officers came and that's when Meyer took it upon himself to start physically resisting arrest. Even in the police report the officer said that they had no intention of arresting Meyer and it was only after he became physical with them that he was placed under arrest.

2) You are being deliberately obtuse on the Nazi/Hitler thing.

No, I'm just not buying in to your hyperbole. While I believe that there truly are things happening which cause me great concern as they pertain to my civil liberties, Meyer's tasing is not one of them.

And here's the money quote:

The normalization of torture and violence is summed up in the fact that even a few self-styled "progressives" found all of this acceptable, normal, OK.

Everybody got that? If you don't believe that Meyer's tasing is absolute proof of the decline of western civilization in to the gaping maw of fascism, then you're obviously not a "real" progressive and are in league with those that attempt to normalize torture and violence. I hope you’re listening up CC and RT.

KEvron said...

"If you don't believe that Meyer's tasing is absolute proof of the decline of western civilization in to the gaping maw of fascism, then you're obviously not a "real" progressive and are in league with those that attempt to normalize torture and violence."

it's downright indecent!

KEvron

Ti-Guy said...

"the fact that too many American liberals have been brow-beaten into thinking acting out is unseemly and deserving of harsh consequences"

"fact", eh?


Probably.

Dr.Dawg said...

Jeebus, Coulter, one last try, and then I'll move on to tiddlywinks.

I have never once said or implied that Meyer obeyed all the rules. HE RAN OVER HIS TIME. I've been consistent about this all along. It's what I've said all along. Under the circumstances in which he was speaking, he was doing so under sufferance. The acceptable thing in that circumstance is to be succinct. He wasn't anything of the kind, as we both agree.

Now, try to pay attention, please. Having run over the time that he'd managed to squeeze out of the Chair, he wasn't called to order, or anything civilized like that. He was simply set upon by a gang of cops and brutalized.

It was precisely at the point that he was perceived to have exceeded his time, when the mike was cut, that the pile-on began, culminating in a takedown, handcuffing and Tasering. For (let me repeat this so that you can finally grasp this point) RUNNING OVER HIS TIME.

Now you can moon over the police report as though it's holy writ, but I'm afraid I've read too many of those things to take them seriously. They are inevitably self-serving documents. I would rather believe my lying eyes.

And if a gang of uniformed thugs tried to drag me away from a mike at a campus meeting, I'd resist as well--and sue the officers in civil court, as well as the authorities that placed them on campus. I think I could make out an arguable case that the arrest was in fact unlawful. Indeed, one clue that you have been slow to pick up on was the statement made on-site by a police officer that Meyer would be charged, not with resisting arrest, but with "inciting a riot." That was so plainly, outrageously, patently unreasonable that my mouth waters thinking of the settlement I could win.

The rest of your remarks, including your bizarre restatement of my earlier point, simply reinforce my point about normalization.

KEvron said...

"one last try"

until the next "last try"? *snort!*

KEvron

KEvron said...

woohoo! i'm featured at rosshole's blog!

KEvron

pretty shaved ape said...

what the...
you go to work, do a few things, watch something on dvd and then you pop in to check on stuff and 47 comments. you know what kind of strikes me as odd? regardless of the semantic quibbles of how the incident in question was initiated, i think all of the folks busy barking back and forth would probably agree on the larger issue. unchecked abuse of police power and unwarranted use of potentially lethal force is not good thing. fuckin' lefties, just can't get along with nobody. lol

KEvron said...

"unchecked abuse of police power and unwarranted use of potentially lethal force is not good thing."

now why didn't i think of that?!

KEvron