Cops aren’t trigger happy … in the rest of the world

A few things to consider:

1114The above is what happens in America. But are the situations the same in the rest of the world?

BvbGmKdIQAAqYSWOK. Maybe that’s an unfair comparison. How about this?

In 2012, 409 people were shot and killed by American police in what were termed justifiable shootings. In that same year, British police officers fired their weapons just once. No one was killed.

In 2013, British police officers fired their weapons all of three times. No one died. According to The Economist, “British citizens are around 100 times less likely to be shot by a police officer than Americans. Between 2010 and 2014, the police force of one small American city — Albuquerque in New Mexico — shot and killed 23 civilians; seven times more than the number of Brits killed by all of England and Wales’s 43 forces during the same period.

Think about that. In 2013, cops in the U.K. fired their guns three times. Last week, in Ferguson, Mo., a cop shot an 18-year-old twice as many times as every cop in Britain fired off a round in 2013. And the Ferguson cop got of six times as many shots in one encounter with an unarmed black teen as every cop in Britain fired in 2012.

One day, someone is going to give a racial breakdown of all of the U.S. shootings. I suspect the above German photo pretty much gives the answer on what to expect.

How Ferguson, Mo., police got out of control

The Ferguson police have been reigned in, for now. The governor sent in the Missouri highway patrol.

But the Ferguson police aren’t finished riling up the populace (via DailyKos):

6:53 AM PT: Via CNN: According to sources, they say they believe Michael Brown is in a video of a convenience store robbery and that a “description of the suspect was given.” Presumably of a young black guy.

7:03 AM PT: A Ferguson police report, after Michael Brown had been shot, calling him a “primary suspect” in the convenience story robbery.

7:07 AM PT: So for six days Ferguson police have claimed that Darren Wilson simply told Michael Brown to “get on the sidewalk.” Is that the usual procedure for dealing with robbery suspects? (Deep sarcasm.)

Just a few thoughts:

1) If the police are saying Michael Brown was a suspect in a robbery, why did they wait more than a week after the shooting to say that. This is a diversion from the shooting. If he was stopped for a robbery, that is the first thing the police would have said.

2) Are more information dribbles out, the latest is that a guy was seen in a videotape shoplifting cigars. If that was Michael Brown, when did shoplifting tobacco become a capital offense.

The family cannot sue this police department enough. A major overhaul is needed. Especially after we see a police department (and I emphasize a police department) turn a community into a war zone.

The first of the Manson murders: Aug. 9, 1969

Another bizarre anniversary today. Forty years ago, Richard Milhous Nixon resigned as president of the United States.

But 45 years ago, the first of a series of crazed murders occurred in California:

Charlie Manson is a psychopath. His followers were insane sheep. Patricia Krenwinkel was a member of the flock. She’s still in jail and as poignant as this interview is, she should stay there for the rest of her life..

If you don’t know what happened that day 45 years ago, the best book about it was “Helter Skelter” by Vincent Bugliosi, the prosecutor of the Manson family,

Here’s how crazy the Manson clan was. They believed a song that Paul McCartney wrote because he wanted to make a really loud song, was, in their reality, and I have to quote Wikipedia on this:

A part of the Beatles’ coded prophecy of an apocalyptic war in which racist and non-racist whites would be manoeuvered into virtually exterminating each other over the treatment of blacks. Upon the war’s conclusion, after black militants would kill off the few whites they would know to have survived, Manson and his companions would emerge from an underground city in which they would have escaped the conflict. As the only remaining whites, they would rule blacks, who, as the vision went, would be incapable of running America. Manson employed “helter skelter” as the term for this sequence of events.

I try to refrain from profanity in my postings, I can’t come up with any other way to describe this: That was some fucked up shit!

President Nixon announces he will resign: Aug. 8, 1974

I was 19 and had just returned to where I was staying after coming from a movie double feature: “The Devil in Miss Jones” and “Deep Throat.”

Which made this a surreal yet appropriate combination, especially since everybody pretty much considered Richard Nixon the Devil, and Deep Throat was the person who led the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein to the truth of Watergate.

What do progressives believe?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) appeared at Netroots Nation Friday and explained it all to you.

Most true Americans believe these things, not the stuff that the Tea Party terrorists stand for, and …

Wait?! Wasn’t that the Incredible Hulk at the end? If we’re gonna fight, and Hulk smash, we will win.

Don’t break the law in Louisiana

On a per capita basis, Louisiana puts more people in jail than anywhere else in the world. For every 100,000 people, the Bayou State puts 1,341 in jail. (Click chart to enlarge)

l9KIi97For that matter, 36 other U.S. states put more people in jail than anywhere else in the world. Which means America is the country with the more people behind bars at 716 per 100,000.

According to the Prison Policy Initiative, the country with the next highest rate: Cuba (which we call a police state) with 510 per 100,000.

Apparently, Americans consider Americans the most lawless people in the world.

Brussels Express: A view from a bike

As one who’s bicycled in Brussels, I found this surprising because riding a bike was pretty convenient as far as I was concerned. I regularly rode from my commune in Boisford in the southeast part of the city by the forest to work near Park Cinquintanaire, on the side away from the European Union buildings. It was pretty much straight bike path the whole way. I never dealt with much traffic, even when I took an alternate route and went down side streets.

But to hear these guys talk, Brussels is a bicyclist’s nightmare.

Obviously, they have never been to the States.

But I do agree with them in one regard. The automobile drivers in Brussels are insane. And their insanity is encouraged by the law.

They have this amazingly stupid traffic rule called “priorité à droite.” That means that if your driving straight down a road a car approaching from the right has the right of way.

Crazy, right? But that’s not the absolutely psychopathic beauty of traffic in Brussels. Not every street has a stoplight or stop signs. In any direction.

The director of the city’s traffic management agency was once asked why that was, and his response was: “traffic signs cost a lot of money!”

So, drivers from sane parts of the world were constantly driving along and getting hit on their right side because “priorité à droits.” That’s why you see so many car accidents in this video. The law encourages them.

But I drove in Brussels for 6 years and never got into a car accident. I had to move to England for that to happen. There, I was going along straight and go hit on the left. Student driver.  My car, which I bought in Brussels, took a beating in England.

And note that the video says Brussels has 4 percent bicycle traffic. Compare that to the U.S.

us-cities-bicycle-commuting-chart.jpg.662x0_q100_crop-scale

Compared to the U.S., Brussels is overrun with bicyclists.