The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Last Convenience Store

I've purposely waited to comment on the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO until at least a few facts were determined with some degree of certainty, and at least a small degree of clarity was achieved. The near-hysterical 24-7 coverage of this tragic event by the main stream media, the rush to judgment by the Left, the incitement by the same group of race-baiters who always show up when white-on-black violence occurs, and the appearance of the federal government in a local crime were all sadly predictable.

As more facts emerge, it appears that the original accusations of an execution style murder of a black "teenager" by an unprovoked white police officer are beginning to unravel. The black teenager is a 6'4" 292 lb. man who was caught on video robbing a convenience store and then according to a number of eyewitnesses, attacked the police officer who then shot him. The white police officer was hospitalized after the incident, according to breaking news reports and suffered an “orbital blowout fracture to the eye socket”—a reasonably severe injury indicating significant impact with someone or some object.

Although emerging facts do not justify a shooting in and of themselves, they certainly fly in the face of claims that this event was an execution-style shooting and that no mitigating circumstances exist.

In recent days, the media and the usual race-baiters continue to fan the flames—rioting and looting ensue. The American Spectator comments on the race baiters:
“No justice, no peace,” scream protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. Implicit in this menacing chant is that the rioting on display there for over a week has been justified. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, among other hucksters, disclaim the violence, even as they stoke it with reckless rhetoric. They aren’t interested in peace but power. Were they truly opposed to the violence, they wouldn’t coin chants that condone it.

“We’re not looters. We’re liberators,” says Sharpton. Liberating society from what? The rule of law? His view of justice is that the law be permanently suspended for the racially aggrieved. A police department can only satisfy his measure of racial progress by going soft on politically favored criminals. Sharpton is a “liberator” who enables looters.
But predictable media hysteria and the re-emergence of race-baiters are not the true story here. Richard Fernandez provides more detail:
Ironically, Michael Brown and the paramilitarized Ferguson Police Department are two sides of the same coin. They are the joint product of the politics of grievance and the growing expansion of government. The taxes that made the mobs dependent also armed the paramilitary police that contain them. You have one government department handing out Obamaphones and another handing out MRAPs to the cops. HHS gives out Obamacare and the IRS enforces it.

A giant bureaucracy tasked with providing all “positive rights” rumbles on, even as progressive politics unleashes more “community organizers” while erecting a giant political machine to meet those same growing expectations. It calls to and answers itself. The result on a community scale is Ferguson. The result on a national scale is Barack Obama.
Fernandez goes on to note that the shopkeeper whose business Michael Brown robbed, and the dozens of shopkeepers whose businesses were destroyed by the looters egged on by the "no justice, no piece" crowd, are but "bit players" in this drama. No one really cares about them. They're just staging for this racially charged drama.

Fernandez comments further:
Marxism has always had a particular hatred for “shopkeepers”; the guys who cook your ham and eggs in the diner or pick up the trash in the morning. It reviles as ridiculous the people who try and get by without being uplifted by noble thoughts of race, class warfare or the Engines of History. Yet the ordinary productive man is who actually makes the world turn; who builds the Obamaphones and who provides the cigars to steal.

The attitude “if you don’t want trouble, just hand me the cigars” is met by its fatal twin: Police Officer: “if you don’t want to get shot…just do what I tell you.“ In this universe there is no room for freedom or behavior based on shared culture. There is no room for individual responsibility or limited government. That went out of style along with the old document called the Constitution that nobody reads anymore. All that is left is an insistent crowd outside of a fortified distribution center.

The Great Society — that pale foreshadowing of the real thing into whose realm we are now beginning to enter — sketched out the draft of paradise. And its vision was a multitude demanding to be given things on one side and a great soulless, armored bureaucracy shoveling it out to them on the other. From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed ... Any government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to shoot you dead in the street, no questions asked. The only difference between socialism and national socialism is a single word.

Many are wondering why the president remains hunkered down in Martha’s Vineyard. Well, what else should he do? The dog caught the car. The greatest tragedy of Ferguson isn’t the bad that’s already happened there. It’s what comes after. When the last convenience store is burned and the last business leaves town, the moral of Ferguson, we will be told by the elites, is that we failed both the mobs and the police; and it will, without any more ado, proceed to give us more of both.
During the presidency of Barack Obama we have been forced to gulp big government from a fire hose. I can only wonder how long it will be before our country drowns.

UPDATE  (8/31/2014):
QuickTrip was a convenience store and gas station that was looted and destroyed in the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. Recently, it announced that it has no plans to rebuild the store and will be leaving the area,