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Missouri Governor Exchanges Militarized Police For The Militarized National Guard
The situation in Ferguson, Missouri is spiraling out of control.
In the days following the shooting of an unarmed black man by a Ferguson Police officer, the Ferguson Police Department received criticism for their heavily militarized equipment and aggressive tactics. These actions included arresting reporters and bombarding a news crews with tear gas. In an attempt to restore order, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon brought in the Highway Patrol. Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ronald S. Johnson’s tried to ease tensions by walking amongst the protesters and listening to their grievances. The change in police tactics calmed tensions briefly, but it was not long before looting and property destruction erupted again.
It seemed odd that the Highway Patrol prioritized managing the mostly peaceful protests over defense the private property of Missouri citizens. When looting escalated again, Gov. Nixon responded by instituting a midnight curfew.
Yesterday in The Morning Roar, I discussed how curfews do not mesh with libertarian principles, and the reaction to curfews in Ferguson verifies that curfews are not practically applicable to real life situations. In Ferguson, the curfew served to further inflame the situation and generated more animosity towards the police. This is probably due to the fact that the police continued to prioritize clearing protesters from the streets by the designated time over the defense of property and individual rights.
After the strong-arm techniques of the Ferguson Police Department and the curfew enforced by the Highway Patrol failed to stabilize the town, Gov. Nixon lifted the curfew and called in the Missouri National Guard to take over security in Ferguson.
The entire chain of events – from “militarized” local cops to the deployment of the National Guard – is dripping with irony. First, the local Ferguson police were criticized for being too “militarized,” now the Governor has called in the actual military to patrol the streets.
Did Gov. Nixon not get the memo? The people of Ferguson don’t want their town turned into a war zone!
As any rational person would expect, the news of the National Guard’s deployment has been met with vocal opposition. Monday afternoon a group of protestors tried to storm Gov. Nixon’s St. Louis office in protest to the National Guard being deployed.
From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
The group began marching to Nixon’s satellite office in downtown St. Louis shortly after 3 p.m. after starting out from at Kiener Plaza, saying the activation of the National Guard will escalate the situation. They want the removal of Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson, the arrest of Darren Wilson, the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, as well as the appointment of a special investigator.
“Hey-hey, ho-ho, National Guard has got to go!” the group shouted. An officer told the crowd that Nixon was not inside the building.
Watching from afar it appears that the people of Ferguson (and reporters embedded in the town) are sick of being pushed around. They have watched a parade of law enforcement agencies occupy the town and dictate where they can protest, where they can travel, and what time they can leave their homes. To make matters worse, police officers have continued to meet peaceful citizens with force when it was not justified. The police have ignored the destruction and theft of property when action by the police would have been useful.
In Ferguson, individual rights of the citizens have been violated by every law enforcement agency assigned to the town so far. Property has not been adequately protected by any law enforcement agency thus far. Now with the National Guard running the show, things will probably become more regimented, which will most likely cause tensions to continue to run high.
Rob Schneider Blames Parkinson’s Drug For Robin Williams Death
Comedian Rob Schneider spoke out on Twitter yesterday about the pharmaceutical drug his good friend Robin Williams was taking in order to treat the early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. According to Schneider, one of the side-effects to the drug is suicide.
Schneider, 50, who has been friends with the Mrs. Doubtfire star for the past 20 years since they first met on Saturday Night Live, took to Twitter on Thursday, Aug. 14, to talk Parkinson’s drugs and the role they played in his pal’s death.
“Now that we can talk about it. #RobinWilliams was on a drug treating the symptoms of Parkinson’s. One of the SIDE-EFFECTS IS SUICIDE!” he wrote.
“The Evil pharmaceutical industry ADMITS TO OVER 100,000 people in the USA DIE A YEAR FROM “PRESCRIPTION” DRUGS!! #RobinWilliams.”
Schneider’s outburst was hot on the heels of Williams’ wife Susan Schneider’s revelation that her husband had been suffering from the degenerative neurological disease, although he had not wanted his diagnosis to become public knowledge yet.
At this point, it has not been revealed what drug Williams was taking to combat the early stages of Parkinson’s disease. But this is something we’ll be paying attention to in the coming weeks. The mainstream media largely grants pharmaceutical drugs a pass and minimizes the impact these “legal” drugs have on suicide and violent behavior.
Could Robin Williams death serve as a marker that will raise awareness about “legal” drugs that cause people commit suicide or to act violently?
I don’t know. I’m not a doctor. I’m just asking the question.
Gold Symbolism Abounds On New $100 Bill
I found the following video at Economic Policy Journal. It points out some pretty interesting symbolism on the new $100 bill.
Teaser: Is there a gold bug on the inside at the Treasury Bureau of Engraving and Printing?
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