Over-reaction? Missouri Governor Declares State of Emergency, Calls Out National Guard, in Advance of Michael Brown Grand Jury Decision

state of emergency 11-17-14On August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of Saint Louis, an 18-year-old black man, Michael Brown, was shot and killed by a white police officer, Darren Wilson, after a struggle and while Brown was either running away or running back toward Wilson, and either had his arms raised in surrender or did not.

With a grand jury decision on indicting Wilson imminent, Governor Jay Nixon, concerned about violent protests if the grand jury doesn’t indict (some protests over this case have already turned violent), will send National Guard troops to Saint Louis, where according to Saint Louis’s mayor, they will take only a secondary role behind the city’s police department (which of course can change depending on circumstances).

This article, and all articles on this site, are © 2014 by Bill Bickel unless otherwise noted.

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Published in: on November 17, 2014 at 7:09 pm  Comments (3)  

T-Shirts That Won’t Fly

A few years ago, I made my son change out of his Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower t-shirt (that was the name of a band, apparently) before we got to the airport for a cross-country flight, because I could see us getting held up at the security line by some over-zealous TSA agent.

Yes, it would be silly — but what does that have to do with anything?

Which of these shirts would be likely to cause you trouble on the security line? The first one references the popular-at-the-time television program Have Gun Will Travel, and therefore should be as harmless as a Simpsons t-shirt (assuming the TSA agent is an American over the age of 50). The second one references the tv show less obviously, with a more ominous graphic. The third one… I’m trying to decide whether it would be more problematic in a red state or a blue state.

The fourth one, I’m in favor of pulling the guy out of the line just on general principles.

GUNS-1

guns-2

guns-3

guns-4

This article, and all articles on this site, are © 2014 by Bill Bickel unless otherwise noted.

Published in: on September 18, 2014 at 5:09 pm  Comments (15)  

Chris Christie’s ”Bridgegate”: Political Dirty Trick, or a Crime?

christieIn September, New Jersey governor Chris Christie ordered two of the lanes leading through Fort Lee to the George Washington Bridge (a link between NJ and NY) closed, in retaliation for that city’s mayor not supporting his re-election bid.

Or maybe this was a routine closing, which does happen (though almost always after the affected city’s government is notified, so preparations can be made, which didn’t happen in this case).

Or maybe one of the governor’s aides took this step on his behalf, on his own, without consulting the governor.

In any case, chaos did ensue, the chain of responsibility seems to be moving closer to Christie, and the traffic jams were apparently responsible for the death of a woman who suffered cardiac arrest. The full story is here.

This article, and all articles on this site, are © 2014 by Bill Bickel unless otherwise noted.

Published in: on January 9, 2014 at 12:13 pm  Comments (8)