Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Yesterday morning, Paul Waldman of the Washington Post wondered why libertarians and limited government conservatives weren’t all over the Ferguson riot suppression, and the police shooting that sparked the whole fracas. He recognized that Reason magazine’s website has covered it, but, he noted, “the politicians and conservative media figures who claim to be the most fervent advocates of individual freedom and to care the most about misuse of government power have been silent.”

One might be tempted to conclude they believe that when somebody’s grandson has to pay taxes on their inheritance, it’s a horrifying injustice that demands redress, but when somebody else’s grandson gets shot walking down the street, that’s just how things go sometimes.

Or maybe one should yield, instead, to the temptation to wait and see what they say when they say it. Rep. Justin Amash tweeted about it later in the day. But Waldman got his licks and innuendo in first.

The whole thing smacks of bad government to me — deadly misgovernment — but I can understand why many folks might want to reserve judgment.

Weighing on the wait-and-comment-later side of this particular debate, it is worth acknowledging that the information so far has been awfully confusing. Especially since the Ferguson government has been cracking down on reporting and video recording, as well as being not very forthcoming about the initial shooting or the autopsy.*

The 24-hour news cycle is bad enough. The 24-hour commentary/reaction cycle is doubly daunting. Forgive me if I don’t have anything profound to say yet. I’m sure, when the facts become clearer, at least I will make my thoughts known.

Isn’t it too early to make comments about comments not made?

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.


* Those are good reasons to be protesting in Ferguson. There are no good reasons for looting Ferguson businesses.

By: Redactor


  1. Jay says:

    I tend to agree- although what I read is the “boy” got into the police car-when the policeman tried top exit his car, and then tried to get the policeman’s gun.



    By the way, when the 6’3″+ 350 pound cigarette dealer was killed by police, you certainly rushed to judgment.——-

  2. twv says:

    Jay, that is the police’s story. The witness stories are at complete variance to the police version. Very suspicious, especially when we put it into the context of the city’s stats for auto stops by the police. A police force of a little over 50 has only three minority cops on staff, while the town itself is majority black. A supermajority of traffic stops are of blacks, though whites, we are told, have been shown more likely to have “contraband” in their cars.

    (As an aside, doesn’t the word “contraband” give you the creeps? This isn’t a police state where we have forbidden objects, is it?)

    Considering the difference in stories between the bystander reports of the Michael Brown shooting, and the police version, the habitual police opposition to being photographed looks less and less defensible, doesn’t it?

  3. Rick says:

    as more of a markets guy than a politics guy, i would say that this is just some prick who wants to attract attention to himself by slinging the first mud and define the fight. glad you’re calling him out.

  4. Lynn Atherton Bloxham says:

    The number of unjustified police beatings and killings makes us more suspicious of these incidents. They have broken trust with people so many times and the natural result is that they have to endure the burden of their repeated use of police state tactics.

  5. Oneeightyone says:

    Your daughter posted this article on another friends page. And reading it, one of the things that came to mind is, you are waiting for the innocence of the victim. This is what you are doing. What exactly are you waiting for? a teenager was shot dead in the street, feet from his grandmothers door, on his knees and with his hands in the air, 10 times. What is there to wait for? That is Injustice. And comments have been made, by eye witnesses, by reporters, by everyone minus the police that are withholding evidence from the public. If your initial reaction to this is “we must wait before we comment” then you aren’t paying attention to what’s happening. Or Don’t Particularly care, and to Jay up there, you automatically made the kid out to be a criminal and somehow that justifies his murder in the street at the hands of a cop? why in the world would you think that this kid was a criminal and therefore deserved to die?

  6. Paul Jacob says:

    This is a specific incident, not a continuation of every other controversy. Yes, this young man is innocent until proven guilty. So is the policeman. Why not wait to let the facts come out.

    As for this young man’s criminal record. I don’t believe he had one, but nonetheless, it’s beside the point. Police aren’t allowed to shoot people even if they do have a criminal record.

    Yes, there has been a militarization of the police and far too many (one would be too many) cases of police abusing folks. And the city of Ferguson’s response deepens my skepticism. But that isn’t enough to convict this policeman, either, until the facts are known.

    We know enough to demand a thorough investigation and prosecution of the guilty. We don’t know enough to determine guilt yet.

  7. Rick says:

    I would just say that most of the people who would be interested in this blog are mostly going to be inclined to believe that the over-militarized police need to be reigned in. That police and government are moving toward fascism by militarization, financial capture and crony/oligarchic rule and the oligarch’s breach of “Rule of Law” in general(No high level exec has gone to jail for the trillions$ in financial fraud that took place in the last decade. Therefore we automatically come down on the side of Brown. However we are only talking about the reporter above and the way he decided to define the moment by HIS rush to judgement. Right?

    In the case of the 350 cigarette dealer, we saw it all on camera. And today, we can hope that somewhere, somebody has a video of exactly what went down in Ferguson and that it will come out very soon. THAT is why we refuse to rush to judgement.

    And i will add that i will pray that the police don’t get their hands on it first because I will be the LAST person to trust them with that kind of evidence in this circumstance.

  8. Rick says:

    And there you have it. They were trying to apprehend him as a robbery suspect:

    Hopefully photos or video of the shooting scene will emerge.

  9. Oneeightyone says:

    Yes rick, but does him being a suspect warrant him being shot 10 times while he is unarmed? The aurora shooter Killed so many people and he was brought in peacefully? this teenager was shot 10 times in the street and left 4 hours to roast in the heat while his parents watched from the sidelines, there is no justification for that. Why is that a turning point over the injustice for you?

  10. Rick says:

    I don’t know all those circumstances yet. I condemn ANY fascist police action but i also believe they have a right to defend themselves. I don’t know what happened and neither do you. Now you have Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and the New Panther Party in St Louis with egg all over their face looking to lynch a cop for trying to apprehend a robbery suspect. They think they know or maybe they are simply political opportunists. So far, and until it all comes out, they just look like opportunists who care more about getting themselves on camera and creating a wave of donations into their own organizations.

    If it turns out that they used excessive force then i and most everybody else will be outraged. Until it is proven though i don’t believe in lynch parties like Shartpton, Jackson & all are conducting.

    You also repeat the “10 shots” story that is completely unclear at this time:

    “Brown was walking down a street with a friend Saturday when, according to police, an officer drove up and attempted to get out of his patrol car. Brown pushed the officer back into the car, then entered the vehicle as the two men struggled over the officer’s gun, according to Jon Belmar, chief of the St. Louis County Police Department.

    During the altercation a shot was fired inside the car, Belmar said. The officer and Brown then got out of the car, and at that point the fatal shooting occurred, Belmar said. Brown was shot “more than just a couple of times,” but it was unclear how many shots were fired, Belmar said.”

    Sounds like a pretty aggressive suspect to me.

  11. Rick says:

    If the above account is correct then i would challenge you, 181, to put yourself in the cops position, being shoved back into the car, the robbery suspect coming inside the car and a fight over your gun breaks out, and you won, how many times might you pull the trigger on an aggressive, 290lb, 6’4″ guy who just tried to do the same to take you out?

    If that account is correct then Brown was totally out of control and got what he deserved.

  12. Oneeightyone says:

    actually rick, if you listened to the news conference the cheif said that the cop that shot brown and quote “DID NOT KNOW THAT BROWN WAS A ROBBERY SUSPECT”. again, he did not know that he was a suspect, and even if he had pushed him back in, when brown was shot, he ws 35 feet away from the car and on his knees with his hands in the air, after he was shot in the head, he was shot 4 more times on the ground. that for you is justified?

  13. Rick says:

    The guy shoved a police officer back into the squad car and then tried to take his gun away.

    Let me give you some advice. Don’t shove a cop back into his squad car and then try to take his gun away from him because he has so much adrenaline flowing that anything is possible. Those are “fight or flight” moments when bad things happen and it appears to me that Brown instigated that moment.

    I think i will wait on the rest of the story.

  14. MoreFreedom says:

    Police should be wearing body cameras when on duty. Good cops would want this, while bad cops don’t. This would protect both honest police from lying criminals, honest citizens from lying police, and help ensure our government is working for us. That Ferguson doesn’t have them, suggests the cops there are crooked.

    Why haven’t our political leaders asked for police body cameras? Their absense of talk on this issue, says they don’t want them. That’s a bad sign.

  15. Paul Jacob says:

    Thank you MoreFreedom for suggesting a great solution to the problem. Not a total solution — life ain;t gonna be perfect — but a good step in the right direction.

  16. Rick says:

    181, You still around?

    “According to the well-placed source, Wilson was coming off another case in the neighborhood on Aug. 9 when he ordered Michael Brown and his friend Dorain Johnson to stop walking in the middle of the road because they were obstructing traffic. However, the confrontation quickly escalated into physical violence, the source said..

    “They ignored him and the officer started to get out of the car to tell them to move,” the source said. “They shoved him right back in, that’s when Michael Brown leans in and starts beating Officer Wilson in the head and the face.

    The source claims that there is “solid proof” that there was a struggle between Brown and Wilson for the policeman’s firearm, resulting in the gun going off – although it still remains unclear at this stage who pulled the trigger. Brown started to walk away according to the account, prompting Wilson to draw his gun and order him to freeze. Brown, the source said, raised his hands in the air, and turned around saying, “What, you’re going to shoot me?”

    At that point, the source told, the 6 foot, 4 inch, 292-pound Brown charged Wilson, prompting the officer to fire at least six shots at him, including the fatal bullet that penetrated the top of Brown’s skull, according to an independent autopsy conducted at the request of Brown’s family.

    Wilson suffered a fractured eye socket in the fracas, ….”

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