Baltimore: ideology or setup?

Baltimore, Maryland, came close to destroying itself last night (April 27). In 1968 the city ran riot after Martin Luther King died. It still had not recovered fully. These riots will set it back further.

The riots turned a good debate about assault under color of police authority, into an orgy of kleptomania and displaced revenge. But they also show the marks of a setup. If someone set this up, that same someone wants to see middle-class people, especially white people, call for a heavy-handed military or paramilitary response. Those who value their liberty, should not call for any such thing.

The spark for the flames

The spark for the riots came with the arrest of one Freddie Gray. He had a long arrest record and “rap sheet,” especially for drug offenses. But the Baltimore police squad who arrested him, do not seem to have had valid grounds. By all accounts, he looked them in the eye, then ran away. The squad grabbed him and dragged him into a van. He did not walk out of that van. The squad, or another group, had to carry him out. At some time during the trip that van took, someone severed Freddie Gray’s spine with one or more vicious blows. He lapsed into a coma. Seven days later, he died.

Freddie Gray suffered abuse under color of police authority. The squad had no grounds to arrest him. And once they did, they failed in their duty to keep him alive and healthy. And by some accounts, this kind of abuse happens often in Baltimore, from squads other than this one, and specific beats other than the one they were on.

Who takes the blame when police turn mean? Let’s lay the blame with their supervisors. Their supervisors who keep them on these beats longer than they should. After awhile they start to “know” the same “subject” (not suspect) from one run-in after another. They get tired of seeing him. They then take the law into their own hands. But perhaps they should rotate off such beats, so they don’t develop bad habits of thinking. Like thinking and acting like an occupying army, not neighbors trying to keep order.

Baltimore and its bad mayor

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore made the next mistake. Throughout this affair she, and perhaps also Governor Larry Hogan, did not keep order in Baltimore as they should have. In fact, Ms. Rawlings-Blake said something that sounds hard to believe any mayor would say:

I’ve made it very clear that I work with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech. It’s a very delicate balancing act, because, while we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate, and that’s what you saw.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore
Maryor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore. Photo: Edward Kimmel on Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic License

Say what? “We also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance.” A balance between protection and letting people destroy? What kind of mayor strikes that balance? Of course, for eight hours last night, destruction reigned in Baltimore. Even reporters took their lumps, along with business owners who saw looters destroy everything they had spent years to build. So after that, the mayor tried to pretend she did not say the above. She said she actually added the words as a result between the words “also” and “gave” in the above quote. But anyone can play the video. She did not use those words.

Did she intend saying them? We can never know. Did she think people should understand her to say that? Some things you can’t necessarily understand. And if anyone took her words literally, as a license to destroy, she has none to blame but herself.

Governor Hogan has his own problem. He says (de facto) President Obama urged him to restrain his response. In any case he failed to call out the National Guard until today. Far too late. And what does Obama do? Blame police, not only in Baltimore but everywhere. (Though he did at least use the right words to describe what the looters did. “Stealing.” “Arson.”)

Mayor Rawlings-Blake and de facto President Obama have a problem. The Democratic Party today, bases its ideology on kleptomania. So people turn a legitimate grievance into a chance to steal. “Five-fingered discounts!” they gleefully cry. And forget they are stealing from their neighbors.

ISIS hijacks the threads

Activists for the Islamic State already want to fuel the discontent. The Middle East Media Research Institute has this sample of “tweets” from known ISIS accounts. MEMRI describes this as nothing new with ISIS. ISIS loves to fuel race hatred in black people. Why? To use them as their pawns in their own war against Western civilization.

A setup?

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But patriots have more than ISIS to worry about. The Baltimore riots have all the hallmarks of a setup to strike fear into the hearts of better-off people. Consider: law-abiding people, in Baltimore and elsewhere in Maryland, may not carry guns. Naturally they fear crime hitting home. Then they see crime breaking out in an orgy, something literally out of a Hollywood movie. (And who told those people to imitate a horror title?) Then they cry out, “Give us troops! Send in the army! Protect us from these marauding beasts!”

Benjamin Franklin famously said, if you would sell your liberty to buy a little temporary safety, you deserve neither. He urged the people of his day to arm themselves.

Shadow on the Land - ISF flag. Does someone have this in mind for Baltimore?
Flag of the Internal Security Forces, from Shadow on the Land.

In fact, this should remind you of a certain 1967 TV project CNAV reviewed last year: Shadow on the Land. The back story on this project reads like today’s headlines. Riots in the black quarter. Everyone with as much property as an automobile, demanding the authorities guard it. And the authorities guarding it, all right. With a paramilitary force that supersedes the Army. A force wearing gray-green uniforms with red armbands, and flying a blood-red flag. And on those armbands and flag, this device: a double-headed eagle, carrying two lightning bolts in each talon. Overspreading the breast of that eagle: a simple white five-sided shield, bearing three block letters: ISF. For Internal Security Forces.

Did not then-Candidate Barack Obama say we should have a security force at least as powerful as the Army? Imagine such a force marching into Baltimore. Imagine the horror, the anguish. The people react in anger. So this force doubles down. And after Baltimore comes New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and every other big city. But a force like that would not stay in the poor neighborhood. Forces like that never do. Ask anyone who still remembers the Schutzstaffel in Germany.

CNAV also reviewed another project that came out in 1983: Blue Thunder. In it, government agents foment riots in the barrios of Los Angeles. So they can fly in, in the awesome and fearsome helicopter gunship of the title, mowing people down. Thus they satisfy the well-off. The Forces of Law and Order will prevail! But the plan includes flying several helicopter gunships like this one into their particular enclaves.

In each of those projects, an officer having a conscience, foils the plots of his superiors. But we can foil such plots ourselves. Do not plead for a heavy-handed paramilitary response. Many patriots expect Barack Obama to impose martial law on the country, so he can stay in office. If he has such a plan, such a panicked call for an overwhelming police response would play into his hands. Don’t do it. Insist instead on reclaiming your right to keep and bear arms. Consider: if a few business owners had weapons last night, their businesses might still stand today. And if someone looking for a “five-finger discount” had to reckon on whether any given business owner might have a gun, he might not join in such a game. The riots might never have happened. And nobody would even think they might need an Internal Security Force, or a Blue Thunder, to protect them.

Benjamin Franklin’s words apply just as much today as they did when he wrote them. Do not sacrifice essential liberty to buy a little temporary safety. If you do, you will have neither. As he warned.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

constitutional law, crime, judiciary, liberty, media, Middle East, military, politicians, president, war


Terry A. Hurlbut

Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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