Home sweet home


I had a somewhat unexpected occasion to spend a few days in France last week, and came home a couple of days before the Ferguson grand jury whitewashed — I use the word advisedly — yet another murderer in a squad car.

France is by no means a paradise, and there are plenty of crazy people there. But I must say that even so, the US looks very bad by comparison.

We are surely the second-craziest(*) people on Earth. And this is an amazingly badly-run country, too.

There is a notion, widespread among Usonians, even those who should know better, that France and Italy are slow, sloppy, inefficient and so on.

I have no idea what this idea is based upon, apart from people repeating what they have heard other people say. But in my experience the food is better, the trains are nicer, the streets are cleaner and the motorists are less demented there, in the bad degenerate Old World, than here in the New. The people are generally better-looking, too, and almost always better-dressed.

Why are we so fucked up? In particular, what’s up with this hobby we have of shooting down unarmed young black men?

Is it that we palefaces still hate black people so much? Or is it that we love cops so much? (Not mutually exclusive, of course).

We’re apt to deploy the term ‘racism’ reflexively, and we’re surely not wrong about that — not entirely wrong, anyway. Though it does seem to me that the beast has evolved in the last fifty years or so. It may in fact now be a different species of beast, though it’s still pretty beastly.

Does the existing order still need racism to prop it up? It’s not clear to me that that’s so. We recently found a handsome brown-skinned chap to command the Death Star for eight years, and the business of America — namely, slaughter — seems to have gone forward very much as usual. Oprah bestrides the book trade — and pity the poor book trade. Eric Holder; what more do I have to say? I don’t need to mention Clarence Thomas, do I?

I wonder whether racism nowadays isn’t a consequence of American inequality rather than a precondition of it. I wonder whether the police are so numerous and well-armed that they have to shoot somebody every so often — after all, it’s why they joined up in the first place — and it’s still just that little bit easier to shoot a young black guy than a young white guy.

If that’s so, then which would be better: persuading the pigs to be equal-opportunity shooters, or making it more difficult for them to shoot anybody at all — by disarming them, say? Or even better, by disarming them, laying them off, and forcing them to find honest employment like the rest of us — or rather, not find honest employment, as the rest of us increasingly cannot?

Thought experiment, of course; it’ll never happen. The American ship of state has its tiller lashed down: we’ll keep piling on the police, building the prisons, shooting the black guys, and so on, until the keel hits the rocks.

Bring on the fucking rocks, I say.

(*) Israelis, of course, take the gold, and have done for some time now.

18 thoughts on “Home sweet home

  1. Is it that we palefaces still hate black people so much? Or is it that we love cops so much? (Not mutually exclusive, of course).

    “We will never forgive you for what we’ve done to you!” I believe this statement was in regard to how the English hate the Irish, who they lorded over for centuries. I think the point was that the Irish were somehow a reminder of the glory days of the empire, before the micks got uppity and gained their independence.

    Perhaps the same idea pertains in the US. When an American stares into the abyss, the abyss stares back with a black face. The empire is faltering, and blacks are a painful reminder of the glory days of the empire when you could exploit them without getting any lip.

  2. If you say “bring on the rocks,” it may be time to become an NRA nut. There does seem to be a strong correlation between black men without guns and white police murdering them–maybe the murder rate could be reduced if we were all vaguely Jeffersonian, armed wherever the twain shall meet.

    Really though. Cops draw their weapons on black people more often–even in a traffic stop, if they tell a white person to get their license, and the white person reaches for the glove box, the cop yawns and waits. If a black person reaches for the glove box, wham! Gun in the side of the head. “Keep your hands where I can see them.”

    Whatever the popular imagery of hip hop, cops may be drawing so often on blacks because they know they’re more likely to get physical resistance in return than bullets. There’s no incentive to be professional: to use command presence, command voice, make sure backup is present at the slightest hint of trouble…instead, they feel that with innocent blacks, they can conduct any encounter with gun out, by themselves.

    By contrast, when they raid a known drug den filled with armed blacks, or even just respond to a domestic violence call involving white trash, they want backup, they’re shotgun out, they’re filming…they clearly do most of this casual, stress-relief murdering when they don’t expect real resistance.

    A nation of armed blacks, including armed black witnesses, would really change this. The pigs have no problem murdering little kids with BB guns, but if Mom watched that happen and had a .38 in the hall closet, we might attain a situation where the black victims got to control the scene afterward, rather than the cops’ forensic buddies.

    That means a lot, because cops finish off their murder victims in order to prevent firsthand testimony. It lets Darren be the only close-up witness to the encounter. If Mom had a dead kid and a dead cop, she could be the one recorded on the 911 call, she could be the one adjusting bodies and planning her story, and she could be the one filling in the gaps in the cop’s behavior when the scene is being first investigated. That kind of narrative control, even without a drop gun, lets cops generate the way these stories get presented.

    Seriously, Mike–it may be time to go NRA.

    • This brown person wholeheartedly agrees. A great movie on this topic is Nuit Noire, 17 octobre 1961. Check it out!

      On the sujet du jour, I do believe that our new militarized culture has increased the cops’ violence considerably. A point of comparison could be the Rodney King beating over 20 years ago. If back then they’d beat the shit out of black people and get away with it, they now shoot to kill them without any consequence. Having Uncle Tom and Timon to induce national pride and pacify dissent doesn’t help either. To Comrade Smith’s point, there are 2 excellent articles on Counterpunch today worth reading. One of them is very badly written and needs serious editing but still well worth reading.

  3. Well, Michael, I was nearly sure this latest outrage would draw you out. I think I’ve got your number, know how you roll.

    Perhaps the story of the killing of 18 year old Michael Brown is not about race, or even about police malpractice. It’s been drummed up as a smoke screen to distract from something more nasty. It has all the earmarks of a typical psyop. A galvanizing, symbolic “cigar” sub-narrative. The always-requisite gotchas that lie at the foundation of any fine conspiracy theory.

    I have always considered myself to be a genuine conspiracy theorist. Did this make me a hipster bearing within my bosom a cryptic, wisdomful Pearl of Great Price? Turns out it didn’t! A new scientific study seems to imply that just over two out of three people are actually conspiracy theorists!:

    Scientific study reveals conspiracy theorists the most sane of all

    Perhaps the deepest conspiracy of all: “Pluralistic ignorance is a situation in which a majority of group members privately reject a norm, but incorrectly assume that most others accept it.”

    So here is the trending theory being promoted by my conspiracy consultancy:

    The story of the killing of 18 year old Michael Brown is not about race, or even about police malpractice. It’s been drummed up as a smoke screen to DISTRACT FROM SOMETHING MORE NASTY.

    It has all the earmarks of a typical psyop. A galvanizing, symbolic “cigar” sub-narrative. The always-requisite gotchas that lie at the foundation of any fine conspiracy theory:

    I gather that the local authorities initially declined to perform an autopsy, so Brown’s family hired a renowned medical examiner, Dr. Michael M. Baden, the former chief medical examiner for New York City (the “private examiner). His opinion was that Brown was shot from a considerable distance away. But he couldn’t be sure because all he was provided was Brown’s naked body, so he could not test for gunpowder traces on the victim’s clothing. (Brown’s family could hire a rather effective attorney yet the kid needed to steal cigars?) See:

    About three months later, an “official examiner”, a quite mysterious Dr. Norfleet, conducted another autopsy. This examiner apparently was granted full access to the Brown’s clothing, the squad car, everything. Upon receipt of the “official examination”, other “independent examiners” then declared that, contrary to the results of the early “private examination” the victim had been shot at very close range, and there had been some sort of “struggle” in the squad car. Apparently they concluded that the unarmed Brown had assaulted the officer despite that this officer unquestionably was armed with a gun.

    Oh, and Brown’s dead body was left in the middle of Canfield Drive for at least four hours after he was shot.

    This all makes perfect sense, apparently.

    • The Saker gives a good explanation for why being a “conspiracy theorist” (oooh, scary crazy people alert!) is a good thing. Along with Roberts’ article it is a must read. The accusation of “conspiracy theorist” has always been an intellectually and morally bankrupt slander thrown at anyone who questions establishment narratives. Sadly, it is one that also has enormous power, despite its rather obvious purpose of silencing critical analysis.


      “1) A “conspiracy theory” is, a priori, a good thing. Why? Because the world is chock full of conspiracies. What is a conspiracy? It is a secret plan of a group of people. Does any of you really believe that with 16+ “intelligence” agencies in the USA there are not thousands of conspiracies hatched every day by tens of thousand of professional people just here, in the USA? Don’t you know that corporations conspire too? What do you think antitrust laws are all about? Do you know that the criminal code is also full of conspiracy crimes? So here is the deal: if you want to understand what happens behind the smokescreen thrown before you by the corporate media and government official you HAVE TO spend most of your time looking into conspiracy theories. Put simply – if you reject conspiracy theories you are blind. Period…

      “Credibility” is an “argument of authority” which assumes that something coming from “A” is credible because it comes from “A”….

      “3) In order to reject a hypothesis we have to first look into it. Unless we develop an 1984-like automatic rejection without analysis capability, there is no way for your to evaluate a thesis without being exposed to it. A hypothesis is just that – a “maybe” or “what if”. If it passes a preliminary stage of acceptance, and if it becomes formalized, it becomes a theory. Then, that theory can be tested, in particular in its ability to predict. Only then can it be proven false.”

  4. Anyone who has spent any significant amount of time traveling overseas knows that the US is a shithole.

    Were it not for all of my family and friends here I’d have gotten out of this shithole a long time ago.

    • Drunkpundit, let me tell you, the so called shithole is a mixed bag. Having gotten out myself, there are more than a few things that I miss about the old country. Don’t get me wrong, Montreal as a city is run a thousand times better than the City by the Bay despite the graft and the wastage. One look at the déneigement operation during the winter and you’d be in awe. The metro and buses run smoothly and the bus drivers are so nice that they even stop when they see someone’s running after the bus. But what about the inexpensive supply of great wine! Yes, AlcoholicsRUs have other priorities! And the old school segregation that would drive you crazy. The Francophones from Europe only hang out with their European homies because Quebecois are not good enough for them. The Quebecois only socialize with fellow Quebecois. The Anglophones only socialize with Anglophones. It’s like the Pittsburgh of the North! And don’t get me started on the tradesmen or landlords. Good luck finding a competent person to fix a leak or a decent landlord who won’t opt for a temporary fix. Yes, this is the best city I’ve ever lived in and collectively, their values are better than ours but it’s no panacea.

  5. Comrade Smith, welcome back! Yes, it’s amazing how well run foreign cities are even though their inhabitants have mastered the “work/life balance” (I believe that’s the politically correct term for lazy!).

  6. The bigger question is why does the mainstream media focus exclusively on police brutality against minorities? Much of the media is incapable of using the phrase “police brutality” without appending the words “against minorities” to it. You would think police brutality against whites doesn’t exist, or for that matter, white people never go to jail, despite a 97 percent conviction rate in Federal Courts. A quick youtube search for the term “police brutality” shows many horrific videos of brutality against whites as well as blacks and Hispanics.

    My first hit on youtube shows clear, unmistakable examples of trigger happy cops using lethal force against people posing no threat to them. The victims are black, Hispanic and white. If you wanted to highlight police brutality, these clear-cut cases are easy to find and would serve the purpose better than Trayvon or Ferguson, where the facts are muddled and opinions could go either way as far as guilt is concerned.


    But if your goal is to incite racial division, murky, ambiguous cases focusing solely on blacks would be the way to go. You want blacks to believe that white society has ordered its minions to kill innocent blacks in the streets, while whites are given the impression that blacks will riot and attack white people whenever a criminal gets shot in self-defense.


    Showing white people being killed by cops is a no-no, because that would give the impression that the cops are the enemy of us all, rather than exclusively an instrument of white oppression against minorities. Whites and minorities might recognize they have a common interest in uniting against their oppressors, and we mustn’t have that.

    This is an old game of course, and if you can get past some of the racism in this piece (it was written in the 1800’s) you can see the similarities between then and now pretty clearly, as well as the only solution, which is unity between whites and minorities.


    “You are kept apart that you may be separately fleeced of your earnings. You are made to hate each other because upon that hatred is rested the keystone of the arch of financial despotism which enslaves you both. You are deceived and blinded that you may not see how this race antagonism perpetuates a monetary system which beggars both.”

  7. the apparent or actual arbitrariness of state power is extremely useful. after the fact the deed can be baptized by legal proceduralism, to attempt to restore the facade that the state is rational & well-intentioned, managed by competent, well-trained professionals.

    leaving the corpse lying in the street for 4 hours? that was not an accident.

    and you just know the forensic evidence was combed by a team straight off the set of CSI, right? there’s a new National Security State tv show and 3 more cop shows and another season of true detective with scary white trash as the “evillest thing in the world.” and lots of zombies. cop shows & zombies.

    Jazz & Justice radio wpfw 89.3 here in babylon on the potomac just said ferguson DA mccullough comes from a long line of cops. Plug for the SMBIVA archives for what these cops & esp. DA’s are all about. bunch of assholes. real reactionaries.

  8. Europe? I was recently in Colombia. Medellin and Bogota have way better public transportation than anything I’ve seen here. Their integrated busses definitely put the Select Bus to shame.

  9. Amurrica is remains a deeply racist country, has been from its founding, and all that has changed are a few somewhat modified rules and regulations, and the window treatments are a bit more attractive. Bring in the rocks indeed.

  10. Great stuff once again MJS!

    Also just wanted to say how much I appreciate Merkin’s comments, keep ’em coming! Can’t possibly respond to every point you make, but they are all food for thought.

  11. I recently heard someone rather eloquently define the problem thusly: There’s no such thing as racism; there’s just the systematic, many-generations plunder of one group by another.

  12. I Rode The Trans Europe Express (TEE) From Roma To Stockholm. No Potholes!

    Outside of the USSA they spent their money on infrastructure, not the “military”! They have Autobahns, fine roads, great vegetables that are delicious. Everything we lack.

    When I came back to a McDonald’s “feast” just out of the airport, it felt like going back into prison after a parole violation.

    Look at YouTubes about crazy Russian road-ragers: The highways are pristine!

    Most American sheeple have not the faintest clue how totally f**kt they are.

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