City Desk

Our Morning Round-Up: The Day After Average Day

Good morning, City Desk readers. Did y'all enjoy your average day? Check out our average day tag to read yesterday's reporting experiment in full. Now for Freedom Friday:

  • Pete Eyre of Bureaucrash observed the anniversary of Ruby Ridge yesterday, and finished up his eulogy quite nicely: "This post touches on lots of factors but they all come down to one thing: That we, as individuals, should be free to act so long as we don’t initiate force against another. If we continue to stand idly by as our freedoms are usurped it’ll soon be too late. Because, as Thomas Jefferson noted, 'When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.'"
  • Speaking of speaking up: This year's March on the Pentagon takes place on March 21 (which also happens to be the day that Rita's will be giving out free 10 oz. Italian ices!). Participants are meeting up at noon at 23rd St. & Constitution Ave. The theme is the same as last year: "Occupation is a crime!" Dress accordingly.
  • In local news, Michael Perkins of Greater Greater Washington has an insanely thorough breakdown of proposed Metro service cuts. Here's just a taste of the proposed bus cuts: "Eliminate the 60 (Ft. Totten-Petworth) while keeping the 64; the L4 (Connecticut Ave) while keeping the L1 and L2; the N3 (Massachusetts Ave) while keeping the N2, N4, and N6; and the P2 (Anacostia-Eckington) while keeping the P1 and P6. Shorten the 42 bus between McPherson and Metro Center, and the 80 between McPherson and the Kennedy Center."

Have a good weekend, City Desk readers.

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  • Pete Eyre

    Thanks for the love Riggs. And thanks for putting the March on the Pentagon on my radar.

    I definitely agree with the first half of the event's name "From Iraq to Afghanistan to Palestine, Occupation is a Crime" but not the second half of the title "Jobs & Education - Not Wars & Occupation" as that obviously implies not a lessening of the scope of the State but just a shifting of priorities -- of moving taxpayer dollars from one program to another.

    If the folks holding this rally want to help bring about job growth and quality education they'd advocate just as strongly that the government get out of the way and allow entrepreneurs/voluntary interactions/competition to progress unhindered. Just my $0.02.

  • Mike Riggs

    Thanks for commenting, Pete.

    I have my qualms with the event's socialist undertones as well, but it's reassuring to know that there is a freedom so universal that it unites (far) left and (far) right: Freedom from military aggression. (I suspect how to "grow the economy" will continue to wedge idealistic central planners from realists for a bit longer).

    Kudos again on the Ruby Ridge post. I think it's fascinating that the attacks we should fear the most-- those led by police against citizens (Ruby Ridge, Waco, the MOVE bombing in Philadelphia, and the recent seizure of hundreds of children at the YFZ Ranch)-- live a much shorter life in the national conversation than fluke (but nevertheless, deadly) attacks by the likes of Timothy McVeigh and Ted Kaczynski.

    Perhaps it's because the media has a necessary (albeit, flawed) relationship with law enforcement that it can't risk damaging?

  • Dave

    Your comment about the media's necessary yet flawed relationship with the police is very insightful and I think it does explain the short half life these attacks have in the public consciousness.

    But I take issue with your assertion that attacks made by the police against citizens such as the ones you cited are "the attacks that we should fear the most." Why should we fear an attack on a compound of self-selected cultists in a remote area more than we should fear the indiscriminate bombing of a federal building in the heart of a major U.S. city? (Although whether OKC can be described as a major city is certainly debatable.)

  • Mike Riggs


    I argued that the attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was a fluke, a horrible, traumatic, despicable fluke, and I stand by that. For every media-worthy attack committed by citizens against citizens, I can LexNex you 20 police raids in which both innocent civilians or recreational drug users were treated like murderers, their homes ransacked, their animals shot, their lives temporarily turned upside down (and in the case of Ryan Frederick, ruined).

    In 99% of these cases, the police are vindicated. Why? Because they followed the deplorable protocols instituted by local governments for using SWAT/tactical teams.

    In short, police aren't waging war against just "self-selected cultists in a remote area"--though I hope you'll agree that the lives and civil liberties of ruralists are worth just as much as those of big city folk--they're also going after families, individuals, hardworkers, jerkoffs, saints, community servants, drug dealers, teachers, and retirees (though the majority of most of the people above do happen to be people of color).

  • Dave

    You're right; statistically, the average American is much more likely to be affected by police malfeasance than by "citizen against citizen" attack, as you refer to it.

    But in some sense, these CAC attacks are more troubling to the average citizen because they are indiscriminate. Being injured or killed in one of these attacks could happen to anyone at anytime, since the attackers generally target innocents. (OKC bombing, 9/11, Unabomber, et al.)

    Victims of police attacks are different, however.

    Now, before you get into a dander, let me say that I think the "drug war" is reprehensible and has tragic consequences. And let me also say that I agree with you that the protocols for using SWAT/tactical teams are (at times) deplorable.

    But when you purchase/sell/use drugs, you should have at least some awareness that these kinds of outcomes are possible. I'm not saying police are justified for using draconian measures against drug users/sellers/purchasers. But the drug users/sellers/purchasers at least know what they're getting themselves into, unlike the victims of CAC attacks, who typically have no idea that they are being targeted by a madman until it is too late.

    Now, of course, not all victims of the drug war are drug users/purchasers/sellers. Cheye Calvo is the most glaring example of that. But I guess what my rant boils down to is this:

    If I were to buy/purchase/use illegal drugs, I would be aware that some sort of horrific incident involving a police raid could be possible, however unlikely, and I would be willing to live with the consequences of that raid. I would be voluntarily taking that risk.

    But I can't be aware of the risks of a CAC attack, since they are completely random. There is no way to prepare oneself for a CAC attack and there is no way to decrease the odds that one will happen to you. CAC attacks involuntarily pose a risk to myself and, literally, to everyone else on Earth.

    And that is why we should fear them more. The end.

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