No good can come by being belligerent with police

Last week, I shared an article on Google Plus from a police officer advising readers on how to deal with police when you are stopped. Basically, it comes down to this: Be polite, be cooperative, and do not be belligerent.

Even if you feel the stop is unjustified, no good is going to come by being belligerent. If you are dealing with a jerk, the situation can escalate quickly and it will be much more unpleasant than it would otherwise have been. Even when dealing with good cops, acting belligerent and combative can needlessly escalate a situation and lead to violence, when it could have been handled easily and with a minimum of confrontation. We saw this in action in a high-profile drunk-driving arrest in downtown Bloomington a number of years ago.

On the other end, no harm can come by being polite and cooperative. A good cop will appreciate a good attitude and the stop can be handled quickly and with minimal disruption for both parties. Being polite and cooperative might not help when dealing with an authoritarian jerk, but it certainly cannot cause any harm. If the officer misbehaves, file a complaint. If that does not work, make noise publicly, after the fact. Lobby the mayor or local legislative body. In some cases, pro bono legal help might be available, such as from the American Civil Liberties Union or a state affiliate.

Obviously, nothing excuses police brutality, the abuse of authority, or violations of civil rights. Police officers who behave in such ways should be disciplined or fired, and in some cases criminally prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law. Police officers are human beings too, and are tempted by the same wickedness that lives in every human heart. We must aggressively hold abusive police accountable, and governments that employ such officers should face severe and draconian financial penalties as a deterrent. But a little politeness can go a long way.

A note about editorial archives

Because I have moved around a few times (from to WordPress and back, more than once) the blog archives from 2003-2009 (as well as editorials written between 1997 and 2002) are not on

Here they are.

I have not as of yet found a good way to merge the website archives and the blog, while maintaining the functionality of the blog, including the ability to have comments.

Thoughts on Facebook Messenger

Facebook’s messaging app has generated quite a bit of controversy, though many of the concerns about it have been addressed. I had it installed, but I uninstalled it due to one very frustrating feature.

I resisted using Messenger at first because I was annoyed that Facebook is pushing people to use it by breaking the Facebook app. The Facebook app has handled messages for years with no problem, and the only reason to disable that feature of the app is to get people to use the new app. But even that was not enough to make me uninstall it.

No, the reason I uninstalled Messenger is because of the extremely obnoxious dialogue box that asks to turn on push notifications for the app. I generally do not like push notifications, so I do not allow them. With most apps, this is not a problem – the app requests the ability to do push notifications, I decline, and I never worry about it again.

Messenger is different. Every single time you go to the app – whether you are switching back and forth from Facebook or opening the app from the menu – the app asks for permission to use push notifications. It does this every single time. That is incredibly annoying, and makes it more trouble to use Messenger than it is worth.

So if I want to see private messages on my iPod Touch, I will use the mobile website via Safari. As far as I can tell, all of the features of the Facebook app are also available on FB mobile, and private messages actually work on the mobile website. For me personally, it is rapidly becoming more convenient to use the mobile website instead of app.

This was a bad marketing decision by Facebook. It will be interesting to see if they backtrack.

Mireille Miller-Young is a terrorist, plain and simple

Earlier this year, a so-called “professor” physically attacked a teenage girl and stole her property, because she did not like the political message on the girl’s sign. It is inarguable that Mireille Miller-Young is a thug and a bully, but she is more than that – she is a terrorist. Let’s review Merriam-Webster’s definition of the word terrorism for more:

  • The use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal

The definition fits. She is obviously not morally equal to the ISIS terrorists cutting a bloody swath across Iraq, but there are always degrees of crime. Shoplifting a candy bar is not the same as embezzling ten million dollars, and is not punished the same way. But both actions are stealing, and both perpetrators are thieves. This so-called “professor” did not fly a plane into a building or set fire to someone’s home, but she is still a terrorist.

Some would say that my logic is the same as the “logic” the so-called “professor” used to accuse the teenager of being a terrorist. That is an absurd false equivalency bordering on moral relativism.

The teenage victim engaged in no violence. Miller-Young used violence to censor political speech she disliked and intimidate a teenager and her companion into not engaging in political speech, simply because she is bigger and stronger – which she openly bragged about doing. Her actions were designed to intimidate and censor future protests. The message behind Miller-Young’s thuggery was clear: “If you come on campus with unapproved speech, university ‘professors’ will physically attack you and steal your things.”

Miller-Young’s defenders have whined about the “angry black woman” portrayal, but this is not a racial issue. This is a criminal issue, as well as an issue of free speech and civility. Attempting to deflect the legitimate consequences for her criminal behavior is not only desperate race-baiting, it is racist itself.

As a free society, we must not tolerate this kind of behavior from thugs like Miller-Young. The real issue is that an employee of a state university violently suppressed the free speech of a teenage girl who was peacefully picketing on campus. If we value free speech, this thuggery must be harshly punished.

"We never should have gone into Iraq…"

With the unmitigated disaster currently unfolding in Iraq, we are naturally re-litigating the decision to invade Iraq in 2003 and force Saddam Hussein from power. But if we’re going to have this debate again, the people arguing against the 2003 war need to be honest and take their argument to its logical conclusion. Specifically, people who argue that the 2003 invasion and regime change was a mistake should admit the following premise:

It would be better if Saddam Hussein was still in power.

I include myself in this group. I supported the war in 2003, and I wrote a number of articles defending the invasion and explaining why this was a good idea. I changed my position in 2008, because I realized I was wrong. But am I willing to do what I am asking of war opponents, from Barack Obama on down? Yes. As evil and antagonistic as he was, it would be better if Saddam Hussein was still in power.

This, of course, does not mean that Hussein was a good person. He richly deserved to be executed at the end of 2006, and he was a threat to U.S. national security. He brutally oppressed and murdered his own people. He committed war crimes against the Kurds, against Kuwait, and against the Iranians.

But by throwing Hussein out of power, we took a dictator who was mostly contained by our sanctions and military supervision and threw Iraq into chaos. We fought a years-long insurgency at the cost of thousands of lives. We knew that whenever we left Iraq, there was a risk that the country could degenerate into civil war. Now, we’re seeing a dangerous scenario where the terrorist “army” ISIS has been blocked in its march to Baghdad but is mercilessly slaughtering people, including Christians.

The civil war in Iraq threatens to spread to other parts of the region, and ISIS is so brutal that we actually have a pseudo-ally in Iran also opposing them. Thankfully, this nation did not follow the advice of foolish warmongers like John McCain to help ISIS remove Bashir Assad from power and take over Syria. The thought of ISIS getting their hands on Assad’s chemical weapons stockpile is truly frightening, and one shudders to think how much worse the current humanitarian crisis would be if that had happened.

But yes… it would have been better if Saddam Hussein was still in power. ISIS would not have been able to carve out a portion of Iraq for a caliphate, and we would be able to contain Hussein as we contained him for the dozen years before the invasion. It would not be an ideal situation by any means, but it would be better than what we have today.

Monroe County Democrats fund child abuse with tax money

The civil magistrate exists to protect people from violent criminals and predators. But what are we to do when the government uses public resources to enable violent crime? What are we to do when government is actually enabling violent crime against children in violation of the law?

Last week, Caroline Craddock wrote about a horrific story where a Colorado Planned Parenthood “clinic” allegedly helped a sexual predator continue to brutally rape his stepdaughter by aborting the 13-year-old girl’s baby and then giving her birth control. That, of course, allowed the stepfather to continue to rape the young teenager without the need to worry about her getting pregnant.

Here in Monroe County, the local Democratic Party is joined at the hip with the Planned Parenthood “clinic” in downtown Bloomington. Democrats on the Bloomington City Council have given PP handouts nearly every year since 1999. (PP did not get funding in 2009 or 2012.) The Monroe County Council got into the act in 2009, and then gave handouts to PP in 2010, 2012 and 2013. The most shameful of the handouts was in 2010, when Planned Parenthood bragged in their application that they would be giving birth control to girls as young as 13 years old.

Now, why does a 13 year old girl need birth control? The age of consent in Indiana is 16. Any sexual contact with a child 13 years old or younger is a felony under Indiana law. There are some medical uses of birth control, but let’s not fool ourselves here – the birth control being given to 13 year old girls is being used to prevent pregnancy. In other words, those drugs are being used to cover up felony sexual abuse, and the Monroe County Democratic Party is more than happy to use taxpayer money to cover up felonies.

City Council elections are next year, but county council elections are this November. The candidates in all four districts should answer this question: How can you justify spending tax money to give birth control to 13 year old girls? Are you so gullible or willfully ignorant that you do not see this will be used to enable the crimes of sexual predators, or do you simply not care? What if it were your own daughter?