December 3, 2014

Trend watch: under-edited stream-of-consciousness writing by stressed-out liberals.

I don't know if this is a trend, but I encountered 2 examples on the same day, so I want to set up a trend watch.

First, there's a Salon article by Paul Rosenberg that was linked at Real Clear Politics (even though it was the opposite of real clear). Both Meade and I (independently) clicked on the click-bait headline: "Why are these clowns winning? Secrets of the right-wing brain/Bush tanked the country. Now the right's again running the show. Neuroscience explains incompetence of all sides."

The photo at the top is a composite of Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Scott Walker, but these people aren't even named in the article. Why they are "clowns" or why they won is not the topic.

I quickly skimmed, adjudged it junk, and left. But later that day, Meade called attention to it, and I, needing to rest my eyes, said: "Read it to me." And he did. He read the whole, huge thing out loud. It was an endless, meandering screed that seemed like the author's raw notes scribbled as he rifled through various books on academic theories of politics and brain function and talked to some scholar on the telephone. He dumps the full text of the email he sent to the scholar before the interview:
"I see this as connected, because I believe that both liberals and conservatives tend to misunderstand one another in various ways, and that one of those ways is via projecting self-derived assumptions onto the other. These projections both feed into and derive strength from beliefs that their cognitive competencies are all that’s needed to win politically, and that their cognitive incompetencies aren’t incompetencies at all."
There were mistakes — like "as supposed" for "as opposed" —  that made me suspect the author blabbed it into voice-recognition software and no one ever proofread. We were guessing that it wasn't proofread because they had good reason to think no one would actually read all the way through, that the text was intended as more of a visualization to be seen from a distance. Yes, something substantial is getting worked through in a careful, thoughtful, scholarly way.

And that's how you probably would have seen it if you had done what any sensible person would do and not read it. But, as I said, we were not sensible. It was late at night. I was resting my eyes, and Meade got into dramatizing the text in the manner of Professor Irwin Corey. So I heard it all — "meta-analysis integrated findings from 88 sample studies in 12 countries, with 22,818 individual subjects.... the Dunning-Kruger effect, egocentric pattern projection is not a wholly new idea at bottom...  These weren’t controversial or political traits, but commonplace, representative ones—idealistic, perceptive, generous, wordly, resigned, bashful, reserved, prideful, considerate, persistent and dependent... " Bashful???!!!! Wordly?! We had to stop and laugh. Is this almost done? Yeah... the end is in sight...
Obviously, once people have such theories, they are one step closer to sharing them with others, and through sharing, building collective theories—just the sorts of theories that could lead liberals and conservatives to misunderstand one another. We’re still a long way from knowing for certain that this broadly general process underlies what’s happening in our political culture today, but it’s starting to look more and more likely that it is.

While Dunning and others referred to are doing remarkable work to illuminate both the nature and limits of our self-understanding, a nagging question remains: How much does it all matter?  
At least there was a punchline. We got a big laugh here at Meadhouse.

Okay, on to the second example:  Josh Marshall's "Making Sense of Darren Wilson's Story."  Marshall invites us into his mind as he reads the transcript of Wilson's grand jury testimony. Supposedly, Marshall had his uncertainties, but Wilson's testimony made it apparent that Wilson lied.
It's Wilson's description of how the incident began that just does not ring true... 
You can read Marshall's paraphrase of Wilson's description at the link.
Possible? Sure. Anything's possible. But I doubt it.

We all have our intuitive, experience-based sense of what's credible and what's not. 
What's in Marshall's experience that makes him reliably intuitive about this? Or does it not really even matter? Marshall is just a web-writer, writing and writing. You can look at his mind if you are interested in viewing its workings. 
I doubt Michael Brown was going to physically assault an armed police officer in broad daylight, sitting in his SUV, without any apparent provocation or mutually escalation....
Those last 2 words signal that the piece hasn't been reread and edited.
Some point out that Brown had roughed up a convenience store clerk after stealing some cigarillos just a short-time [sic] before the shooting. It's ugly video.... But attacking an armed police officer is not an act which follows clearly at all from stealing from a convenience store. If anything, it would probably make it more likely that he would run, though it's certainly possible it could have the reverse effect. 
Says a man who would never rough up a shopkeeper if he got caught shoplifting. Marshall lets us watch him try to get into the mind of a person he can't understand and then turns the incomprehensibility into a conclusion that Wilson must be lying.
Others point out that Brown had pot in his system... I've seen a lot of people really high on pot. I've seen them do stupid things... I've never seen anyone have what I'd call a violent hallucination when they're stoned. That doesn't mean it's not possible. I know it's possible. But it is not at all common. 
So... he's a bit of a drug expert. And he's seen only nonviolent stoners amongst his own acquaintances.
The type of behavior Wilson describes is what you would expect from someone high on a drug like PCP or an unmedicated schizophrenic with violent tendencies....

Here's what I see as a more plausible scenario....
Marshall speculates for a few sentences, then:
Wilson's version of events simply doesn't sound credible. It's too over-the-top. It sounds like it's out of a movie. 
Writes a man who has perhaps only seen things like this in the movies.
It sounds like the far-fetched version of events you'd tell to explain or justify what was at best a terribly handled situation.

Put it another way, I can see a lot of ways that this could have started.
And it could have been driven by Brown's actions. I just don't buy this maximal account. It's not credible. At best it's gilding the lily and more. 
See how wordy this is, how it's all just thinking-out-loud/welcome-to-my-mind type stuff? It goes on and on like this. Marshall gives us the raw experience of his thoughts, subjecting us in real time to a performance of his mental processes of disbelief.

ADDED: Both Rosenberg and Marshall show us their own mental processes as they attempt to figure out the mental processes of others. It's all very in the mind. And at one point, Rosenberg talks about "the concept of reflexivity, 'the fact that thought is part of the world. That when you’re thinking, it’s not separate from reality, it’s part of reality. And if your understanding of the world is reflected in what you do, then that thought comes into the world through your actions.'" Notice that these 2 writers are thinking about thinking, and — okay — that's part of reality, that's part of the world...

128 comments:

Seeing Red said...

I am getting so tired of the obtuseness. They live in a bubble. They're scared children. They don't want to understand. They are not curious beings.

Brando said...

There is something to the argument that it makes little sense for a guy who just committed a crime to confront the police. It also makes little sense for an unarmed person to try to attack an armed police officer.

That said, it is beyond dispute that Brown was walking in middle of the street when Wilson stopped him--that act of walking in the street was why Wilson first noticed him. And that is also behavior that makes little sense--why draw attention to yourself? But this is what Brown did. The evidence also supports Brown reaching into Wilson's car when the gun went off the first time--again, doesn't make sense, but Brown did it.

Was Brown provoked? Maybe. Maybe the officer said something that pissed him off, maybe he was just scared because he knew he'd ripped off a store and was no longer a juvenile and could go to jail. Maybe he'd had a bad day and was not acting rationally. But it is not unbelievable that Brown did the things Wilson testified to, and ultimately caused his own demise.

Think about the alternative--if Brown never acted in any threatening manner, if Wilson never feared for his own safety, then he cold-bloodedly killed Brown for no reason. Maybe he was a secret racist, maybe he figured Brown was a thug who deserved to die--even though Wilson had nothing like this in his own past and killing a guy in front of witnesses isn't a great idea when you could just haul him in. But that scenario is far less believable than Wilson's account.

Terry said...

Marshall isn't telling you why you should reject Wilson's story. He is telling you why he rejects Wilson's story, which is that Marshall sympathizes with Brown, but not with Wilson.

jr565 said...

But it's in the realm of possibility that the cop just grabbed Brown and tried to pull him into his car just because he's a racist? Where is that evidence in Wilsons's history?
considering Brown just strong armed a shop owner minute before it's well within possibility that he has no problem dealing with people through force and ISNT bound by fear of law or reprisals.

Michael K said...

The political left shares a weakness with Big L Libertarians. They cannot imagine that others behave in ways they never would. We are all just children under the skin.

One recent example is the Southern Poverty Law Center guy who got murdered walking through an area that he shouldn't have. Because black crime is a myth, you see.

Belmont Club has a good piece about Mining Engineers led by Communications Majors . In that case (ours) it is turning out well because the leftists who run the country are so incompetent. Fernandez has a good example here:

I divide my officers into four groups. There are clever, diligent, stupid, and lazy officers. Usually two characteristics are combined. Some are clever and diligent — their place is the General Staff. The next lot are stupid and lazy — they make up 90 percent of every army and are suited to routine duties. Anyone who is both clever and lazy is qualified for the highest leadership duties, because he possesses the intellectual clarity and the composure necessary for difficult decisions. One must beware of anyone who is stupid and diligent — he must not be entrusted with any responsibility because he will always cause only mischief.

Fortunate indeed are we who have rulers that are stupid and lazy.

Big Mike said...

What's in Marshall's experience that makes him reliably intuitive about this?

I dunno. Has he ever been punched in the face a couple times by a 285 pound, 6' 4" young man? Has he ever had a person of that description charge him?

I hope the RNC takes a good, hard look at my own state, the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Southwest corner, home of the UMW, used to be incandescent blue. Now it's solid red. The Democrats have thrown away the union rank and file in favor of the Paul Rosenbergs and Josh Marshalls of the world.

Republicans are no longer the "stupid party." Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi have struggled mightily to wrest that title from the Grand Old Party.

Meade said...

"I was resting my eyes, and Meade got into dramatizing the text"

ACTING! GENIUS! THANK YOU!

Tank said...

The first thing to understand about criminals (like The Robber) is that they do not think they way that YOU think (unless you too are a criminal). The way that you process things mentally is NOT the way they do it.

I learned this long ago doing PD work on Appellate Briefs. I'd go to meet with my client (generally, in jail) to discuss the case. Almost every time I would leave shaking my head at the way they perceived things. I could give some great examples, but, of course, I can't.

I can say that it would not surprise me if some of my clients reacted to being ordered around by some doofy looking white cop by punching him. That would, in fact, be the appropriate response (to them). Impulse control /= a strong point for criminals in general.

Cassandra Lite said...

Meade's reading to Althouse inspired an image of Woodward and Bernstein--rather, Hoffman and Redford. Very exciting.

Marshall's career is built on seeing what he wants to see, imagining what he wants to imagine, and knowing what he needs to know to substantiate his expectation bias. I don't believe I've read anything from him that struck me as a thoughtful investigation leading to a conclusion that hadn't been predetermined.

I'd like to see JM explain why Brown's buddy, also walking in the street, was untouched.

Shanna said...

There is something to the argument that it makes little sense for a guy who just committed a crime to confront the police.

Teenage boys and men do an incredible number of dumb and dangerous things. If they are of a criminal bent, they might do something like this.

If I were walking in the street and a car came, I would try to get out of the way of the car. So would Josh, I'm guessing. So we're not all on the same page from the very start of the encounter and Josh is clearly incapable of understanding that there are people that are not like him, who might do things he thinks are crazy.

PB said...

Just sit back and enjoy the head-exploding, self-loathing from the failure of their ideas and leaders.

According to the Kübler-Ross model (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance), Obama is stuck at the first stage, many are proceeding into the second stage, but it's interesting that a career politician like Chuck Schumer has rapidly proceeded to stage 5.

Mary Beth said...

Lots of words = search engine food.

SteveR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gerry said...

The anarchists and Marxists in Ferguson hate the locals who just want to make a living. They hate the private property owners, all of them. They hate America. They want a revolution.

Now, either one is a loyal comrade, and supports the oppressed brothers in the street, or one calls for respecting the legal system and the facts it discovered. The former position will alienate the majority of America, the latter will cause the liberal lynch mob to appear at your door. So you must create your own reality comprising prejudices and projections that justify the violence, and then you must convince yourself that it is compellingly believable, and that everyone will come to believe in the phony reality.

Yes, it is exhausting. It is no wonder that it produces under-edited drivel.

tim in vermont said...

I love when they bring up the D-K effect as if they have any way of knowing which side of it they are on.

sojerofgod said...

"Journalists" have been doing this since the days of Allen Ginsburg when he published "Howl" and got himself added to every 'A' list cocktail party on the East Coast. Ditto for 'A Clockwork Orange' by whatsizname. 99% of Americans didn't even understand what the name of the book was referring to and I found it unreadable after about 2 pages and pitched it.

the movie was slightly more understandable for having the narration by the protagonist that left most of the slang on the floor. Besides, Malcolm McDowell does do evil well.

Most interesting was Meade's Read.
Perhaps in the future reading aloud will replace television?

traditionalguy said...

A liberal/progressive writer has to please so many readers at once while never admitting there is such a thing called unedited reality.That would be like saying God exists.

Roger Sweeny said...

This made me think of another quickly written piece, at educationrealist. It's interesting in a lot of ways but most relevant here for a portion where he says that teachers have to deal with "refusal to comply" all the time and that, by teachers standards, Wilson handled it terribly. There is some, "to be sure" teacher standards can't be police standards, and finally the statement, "One could say that Michael Brown is dead because he was foolish enough to treat a cop like a teacher."

A commenter who goes by cro and says he is a police officer relates his theory that so many young males who get into scrapes with police have had long experience with the "helping professions" and have learned that they can be verbally abusive and even physically violent with these representatives of the larger society and will not get abuse or violence in return. But it's a different story with cops.

https://educationrealist.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/strategizing-horror/

Ralph Hyatt said...

I grew up in a pretty tough neighborhood. Not drive-by shooting bad, but poor white trash where a lot of the parents had moved there from Appalachia for jobs in the 40s-60s that started disappearing in the 70s.

There were people in that neighborhood who had no problem acting violently towards the police.

Getting a beat down with a baton and then kicking the glass out of a police car after they tossed you in the back was a badge of honor to some of the people I was acquainted with at the time.

It gave you what is now called street cred. You weren't some wuss (not the word that would have been used.) You didn't just meekly submit to the man (also not the the phrase that would be used.)

We are talking about teen-aged boys/men who are full of adrenaline and testosterone with poor impulse control.

So yeah, I can imagine Michael Brown acting that way.

The fact that Josh Marshall can't tells me just how limited and cosseted his life has been.

Brando said...

"Teenage boys and men do an incredible number of dumb and dangerous things. If they are of a criminal bent, they might do something like this."

Oh, I agree--that's sort of my point. People often do things that don't make sense. And Brown did in fact do a number of things that are beyond dispute which make no sense, so it is plausible that he tried to attack an armed cop.

MadisonMan said...

That is a way-too-long article. Paid by the word or, as Mary Beth says, Search Engine Food.

Brando said...

"But it's in the realm of possibility that the cop just grabbed Brown and tried to pull him into his car just because he's a racist?"

You mean you've never hidden your racism until you're 28, and decided to risk your career in law enforcement by trying to beat up a 300 pound guy--who you don't know may be armed--through your car window while you're seated in the driver's seat, then chased and executed him, in front of witnesses, all to advance your secret racist agenda?

Because this is what Marshall can believe.

Nonapod said...

idealistic, perceptive, generous, wordly, resigned, bashful, reserved, prideful, considerate, persistent and dependent...

...bilious, conciliatory, meretricious, batrachian, rapine, eristic, jejune, dialectic, pluvial, hungry, smelly, borish, fribulous, glargulspeltish, zebutitious, megagigagoopaletic, bibbidy bobbiddy booish...

Ralph Hyatt said...

I mean seriously, has he even watched a couple of episodes of cops?

furious_a said...

There is something to the argument that it makes little sense for a guy who just committed a crime to confront the police.

Except for all those perps on Cops who ripped off their shirts so as to, presumably, charge the policemen barechested?

Freeman Hunt said...

I mean seriously, has he even watched a couple of episodes of cops?

Ha! That was my exact thought. COPS is illuminating.

Reality TV finds an educational use!

Michael The Magnificent said...

The Josh Marshalls of the world aren't bothering themselves with thinking through the undisputed irrational acts of Big Mike Brown.

A friend of mine is a cop in the inner city of Milwaukee. There is a whole different set of values that people in the inner city live by. For instance, there is a "this is MY street" attitude that goes on amongst the local street thugs, who often name their gangs after the section of a street they control.

Extreme violence isn't shocking, it's prized for it's alpha status.

That is why a local thug can rob a store and then parade down the middle of the street, making cars swerve around him; Not because he's insane, but because it's his street! It's also why he'd lip off to a cop, and then try to strong-arm the cop off of his territory.

Brando said...

"Except for all those perps on Cops who ripped off their shirts so as to, presumably, charge the policemen barechested?"

Exactly--people often do things that make no sense.

In any event, which is harder to believe--that Brown would have fought with a cop, or that Wilson would have tried to beat up the guy from a sitting position in his own vehicle through the driver's side window, then gunned Brown down in cold blood?

Brando said...

"That is why a local thug can rob a store and then parade down the middle of the street, making cars swerve around him; Not because he's insane, but because it's his street! It's also why he'd lip off to a cop, and then try to strong-arm the cop off of his territory."

I'm wondering what's in Brown's sealed juvenile records. I doubt it was charity events and bake sales.

William said...

Remember that poll of a thousand psychiatrists who felt Goldwater was too mentally unstable to be President. Liberals, especially those in the fields of psychology and sociology, are just too bigoted to understand the mental processes of conservatives. I would tell them that their kind of deranged thinking needs psychiatric intervention, but sadly such a course would only exacerbate the problem.

jr565 said...

Michael you stated it perfectly. Brown was so comfortable with the robbery you can tell he had no fear AND used his size to intimidate. And felt like the streets belonged to him. He could block traffic because the streets were his. Especially after a robbery. No fear at all.

Anonymous said...

The problem with Marshall is he is looking for it to make sense.

This is his mistake. What misleads all of his thinking.

This reminds me of the Prisoner's Dilemma.

We don't always act in the most rational way.

Ralph Hyatt said...

John Marshall is foolish because he doesn't comprehend that what makes an action reasonable is contingent on the values of the person performing the action.

He is provincial because he doesn't understand that other people can have values that he doesn't share.

That is why he most likely believes that all criminality arises from poverty.

After all, only extreme deprivation would drive him to rob a convenience store.

He doesn't understand that to some people its a way to relieve boredom.

Wilbur said...

Ralph Hyatt said:
"We are talking about teen-aged boys/men who are full of adrenaline and testosterone with poor impulse control."

For those of you who watched Beavis and Butthead, just think Todd Ianuzzi.

garage mahal said...

Demonic Mike Brown bulked up and charged Wilson after sustaining two shots to the chest and one to the head, shattering Brown's right eye. Let's face it, it's just plain common sense to believe that. And cops never lie, so why should we doubt Wilson?

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jr565 said...

Brando wrote:
"In any event, which is harder to believe--that Brown would have fought with a cop, or that Wilson would have tried to beat up the guy from a sitting position in his own vehicle through the driver's side window, then gunned Brown down in cold blood?"

also it stretches credulity thwt Wilson could grab 6'5" Browns neck while he's seated in his car, unless Brown was leaning in, or Wilson was hanging out of the window. What is he, stretch Armstrong.
It reminds me of the scene in strangers of the train. The bad guy drops keys or a weapon down a grate and needs to stick his arm in to find the keys, the camera then pans to inside the grate to see his arm fully extended and the thing he's trying to retrieve still feet away. It then closes up on his hand getting closer and closer. But considering how far he was fromthe object at the beginning there's no way he could ever reach it, unless he had the ability to stretch his arms. I saw it in a film class, and everyone watching it started laughing at the sheer implausibility of the scene.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Nonapod said...

...bilious, conciliatory, meretricious, batrachian, rapine, eristic, jejune, dialectic, pluvial, hungry, smelly, borish, fribulous, glargulspeltish, zebutitious, megagigagoopaletic, bibbidy bobbiddy booish...

...thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

Henry said...

Does Josh Marshall know that Ezra Klein already wrote this piece?

What Marshall calls his "intuitive, experience-based sense of what's credible and what's not" Klein calls his "bullshit detector" (credit Klein with the less bullshitty phrasing, at least).

"Every bullshit detector in me went off when I read that passage" writes Klein of Darren Wilson's description of Michael Brown handing Dorian Johnson the stolen cigarillos in the middle of the assault.

Klein calls it "the most unbelievable moment in the narrative."

Here's where the story gets cringe-worthy. Six hours after reviewing Wilson's testimony from the butt-seat of his bullshit detector Klein follows up with a review of Dorian Johnson's testimony. Regarding Johnson, Klein writes: "The idea that Brown stopped punching Wilson just long enough to hand his contraband to his friend struck me, on first read, as beyond belief. But ... Johnson and Wilson agree: there is a moment when Brown turns to Johnson and hands over the stolen cigarillos."

Good God, Ezra Klein, did you take even a minute to digest the fact that Johnson's testimony completely invalidated your judgement? Did you notice that your bullshit detector is bullshit? Why then did you let Josh Marshall borrow it?

As a postscript, Marshall's bullshit detector seems to misfire on the fact that criminal stupidity is hard to understand: "But attacking an armed police officer is not an act which follows clearly at all from stealing from a convenience store."

Criminal stupidity is hard to understand. And yet this whole event requires that something criminally stupid happened. Even if you think that Wilson slammed his car door into Brown and then tried to pull the 300 pound man into his squad car through the drivers' side window, your narrative starts with an act of criminal stupidity. That's why you don't trust your bullshit detector. It already failed.

This reminds me of Chief Sam Dotson's observation about the hammer attack on Zemir Begic to the effect that "none of the suspects appear to have anything in their criminal backgrounds to suggest they would do something of this magnitude."

How could such a thing have happened? What would the bullshit experts say?

Ralph Hyatt said...

"And cops never lie, so why should we doubt Wilson?"

Forensic evidence. What are you, some kinda science denier?

Peter said...

"There is something to the argument that it makes little sense for a guy who just committed a crime to confront the police."

And yet, any behavioral analysis must be colored by the reality of that strong-arm robbery.

Because the robbery fails a rational cost-benefit analysis: one can get real prison time for doing that, and who would risk that for about $50. worth of smokes?

To which one might answer: "A thug. Someone full of thug-entitlement, who was convinced he could do and get away with pretty much anything by right of thug-might, with little likelihood of ever being called to account for anything."

Is there an alternate explanation?

Why would anyone risk a physical confrontation with a cop rather than just mumble-mumble something, put one's head down and promptly walk straight to the nearest sidewalk? Especially if one had just committed a strong-arm robbery.

Biff said...

I've long been struck by the inability of so many to understand that not everyone plays by the same rules, and that rules which are completely incomprehensible to the cocktail party crowd can make perfect sense -- and are adaptive and even encouraged -- in other environments.

Titus said...

Most political blogs (left or right) are bitching about the other side.

I find them boring.

All day, writing and bitching. I would think it would become tiresome.

Titus said...

same with blog commenters-all day bitching about something.

Let's talk about tits or hogs or something, other than endless comments about this politician or party-there not that interesting.

Skeptical Voter said...

The problem with Josh Marshall and Exra Klein--and their failure to understand violence and violent behavior, is that they never had their butts kicked by a second grade girl---which could have happened anytime before these wusses graduated from Junior High. Four feet tall and 65 pounds and seven years old--and she could have handled these two clowns even if they tag teamed her.

Shanna said...

Good God, Ezra Klein, did you take even a minute to digest the fact that Johnson's testimony completely invalidated your judgement? Did you notice that your bullshit detector is bullshit?

None of these people seem to be able to admit even a possibility that they could be wrong about something. Even when literally every shred of evidence disproves it.

Hands up, don't shoot! Autopsy be damned.

Owen said...

I think reading aloud (being read-to aloud) is a great treat and an art that deserves revival. Apparently it also allows Meade to build his (no doubt considerable) range of vocal skills.

It is funny to watch pundits like Ezra Klein and Josh Marshall struggle to deal with facts from outside their bubbles. Like watching puny kids try to do a pull-up. What exactly is so implausible about Wilson's account? Did he punch himself in the face? Did he decide to fire his weapon inside his SUV just for fun? How did he get Michael Brown's blood all over the interior? As for Michael Brown's behavior that attracted his attention: nobody disputes that Brown and his buddy were walking down the center line of the road. In my part of the world, that behavior is (a) dangerous (even on roads that aren't busy) and (b) therefore very rare and (c) therefore a deliberate provocation/means to get attention. It is a fairly safe presumption that these guys were "acting tough" to amuse themselves and build some cred. Wilson was only doing his job when he asked them to move to the sidewalk. Which produced a torrent of profanity from Brown. Can Josh or Ezra fathom that behavior? And why it might push over the next domino in the fatal series?

They are, as I say, amusing. Unfortunately they have wide influence. And as was well said: the greater their effusions, the more food for search engines. Ultimately that's all they care about.

Fen said...

If somdeone is shooting at me and I dont think I can get out of his range before he lands a lethal hit... then yes, its not unreasonable to turn and charge to close the distance into grappling range. Especially if I just kicked his ass in hand-to-hand combat a few mins prior.

OTOH, its also likely Brown was a drugged up enraged idiot.

Regardless, why take Ezra or Garage seriously on this? These are the same morons who confuse a sling keeper with a mount for a grenade launcher and go fuzzy when distinguishing between semi and automatic.

Consider the source.

Fen said...

As for Brown's sealed records - word is that its a 2d degree murder charge with a brick.

What's really pathetic is that every single day in America a Micheal Brown thug runs into a Trayvon Martin thug, and only one survives the encounter. But their lives dont matter because they dont serve as a prop for Leftist identity politics.

dustbunny said...

It's the Russell Brand effect. Brand is quite good at it, but Marshall, Rosenberg and Klein are hopelessly lame.

Matthew Sablan said...

"The first thing to understand about criminals (like The Robber) is that they do not think they way that YOU think (unless you too are a criminal)."

-- Someone asked me once why someone would rob them. I tried explaining it to them.

"He wanted your money."

"But, it wasn't a lot."

"Yes, but he wanted it."

"But, he could have asked."

"You probably would have said no. He wanted the money."

That's the crux of most crime; someone wants something and can think of a simple, direct way to acquire it.

William Chadwick said...

"The political left shares a weakness with Big L Libertarians. They cannot imagine that others behave in ways they never would."

I don't know whether my "L" is upper or lower-case, but I am a libertarian (you know, one of those weirdoes who believe their lives and property belong to them and not to Der Staat), and have known many libertarians; and neither I nor the libertarians I've known (or even just read) suffer from any such weakness. I live an ethic of non-aggression (summarized in that book title, "Don't hurt people, don't steal their stuff"), but am fully aware that many people not only believe in aggressive force, but actively practice it: either by their own direct actions (e.g., muggers, burglars, etc.); or by proxy (i.e., voting for people who will wield the Mailed Fist). We call the latter group "liberals."

Now I certainly wish such people didn't exist, but that doesn't mean I'm not cognizant that they do, and that I have to take what measures I can to protect myself from them.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

"What's really pathetic is that every single day in America a Micheal Brown thug runs into a Trayvon Martin thug, and only one survives the encounter. But their lives dont matter because they dont serve as a prop for Leftist identity politics."

The only thing that I find pathetic is the both don't survive the encounter. The world is a much better place with the Trayvons and Gentle Mike's of the world at room temperature.

furious_a said...

Ezra Klein needs to replace the batteries in in Bullsh*t Detector.

furious_a said...

Let's talk about tits or hogs or something.

Michael Brown had man-boobs, not as pillowy as garage's, vut still...

EMD said...

Stream-of-consciousness writing by stressed out liberals?

Is there any other kind?

EMD said...

"Republicans are no longer the "stupid party."

Oh, c'mon. Give Mitch and the Gang one more chace to prove us wrong.

virgil xenophon said...

I was once in Jefferson County, Ky lock-up on a minor charge (later dropped) and there was a young black in there for boosting some apt or another to support his drug habit and from the conversation it had happened many times before. Yet he seemed to have it all; good-looking, a quick wit, obvious intelligence, etc. I asked him why he didn't get even an entry-level job, because with his potential he would in short order be running and/or owing the place. Came his reply: "I just can't wait for Friday, man."

Says it all..

Matthew Sablan said...

"But attacking an armed police officer is not an act which follows clearly at all from stealing from a convenience store."

-- The thing is, that's the sort of thing that EXACTLY follows it. That's why Wilson was hesitant and called for back up. Because criminals sometimes are desperate, dumb or bigger criminals than you thought.

Henry said...

Regarding the Rosenberg article, perhaps the most comical line falls in the throat-clearing at the third or fourth beginning:

There are obvious conclusions one can draw from the Dunning-Kruger effect: perhaps most important, that none of those obvious conclusions will apply to your own shortcomings, even though those are the ones that ought to concern you most.

But enough with that last bit, let's speculate about those lousy conservatives.

* * *

Interesting that Jonathan Haidt is mentioned once, in passing, and never again. Haidt asserts the unhelpful theory that a) the difference between liberals and conservatives is moral and emotional rather than intellectual and b) conservatives cue off more moral factors than liberals; that is, they overlap with the moral factors that concern liberals, but bring more factors into account (I'm unconvinced by Haidt's arguments on this score, but then I'm not Paul Rosenberg attempting to score points for my side).

Rosenberg can't help himself. He repeatedly translates emotional difference as intellectual difference, with the obvious self-promoting conclusions.

garage mahal said...

Michael Brown had man-boobs, not as pillowy as garage's, vut still...

This website sure attracts a lot of conservative weirdos with a fetish for men's chests.

tim in vermont said...

conservatives’ heightened sensitivity to threat bias. from the first article in an attempt to define conservatism as a psychiatric condition.

And it could have been driven by Brown's actions. I just don't buy this maximal account. It's not credible. At best it's gilding the lily and more. From the second article, where a liberal simply can't understand how Wilson felt threatened.

furious_a said...

Garage, barrel, smoking 🚬 gun:. Let's face it, it's just plain common sense to believe that. And cops never lie, so why should we doubt Wilson?

Especially when Dorian Johnson corroborates Off. Wilson's testimony about the close encounter.

Ralph Hyatt said...

"This website sure attracts a lot of conservative weirdos with a fetish for men's chests."

And homophobic to boot.

Larry Day said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drago said...

Titus: "Let's talk about tits or hogs or something,.."

Start your own blog with those items as your primary topics and lets see how you do.

Alternatively, you might regale us with whatever latest advancement of science has captivated the imagination and love of Lena Dunham.

Drago said...

furious_a:
Garage, barrel, smoking 🚬 gun:. Let's face it, it's just plain common sense to believe that. And cops never lie, so why should we doubt Wilson?

Especially when Dorian Johnson corroborates Off. Wilson's testimony about the close encounter"

A new day and garage performs his standard "Reset" wherein everything learned to date is discarded.

Mike said...

Garage has obviously little experience with firearms. The two shots to the arm were sustained during his initial charge at Officer Wilson. The Big Mike put his head down to charge again. Look at the autopsy and consider the common result of multiple shots where the barrel tends to come to rest a little higher after each shot. Now you can see that the shot to the left chest was not incapacitating, the next one above it went through the jaw (head down, remember?) and into the chest and may have stopped him immediately or soon after, as he went full horizontal by the time Wilson squeezed off the last shot that entered the top of his head.

Why do you always have to distort facts to make your stupid point? Oh that's right. Lefty talking points. My response here is borne out by experience and a look at the evidence. Try it sometime!

garage mahal said...

Especially when Dorian Johnson corroborates Off. Wilson's testimony about the close encounter.

Johnson corroborates Wilson's claim that Brown charged him after getting shot in the head and chest twice? I don't think so. Only one witness claims Brown charged Wilson.

Chris Low said...

As someone who also has experience with pot smokers -- including a drained retirement account to pay for a relative's rehab -- I can tell you that street weed is often cut with junk (grass clippings and the like) and then augmented with something cheap, including PCP. Mr. Marshall and his friends likely do not buy dime bags on the street, but that doesn't mean others don't. Here's an example of the sort of behavior PCP laced pot can lead to: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/12/04/mom-beheaded-toddler-used-pcp/1744847/

Larry Day said...

garage mahal said...
"Demonic Mike Brown bulked up and charged Wilson after sustaining two shots to the chest and one to the head, shattering Brown's right eye. Let's face it, it's just plain common sense to believe that. And cops never lie, so why should we doubt Wilson?"

In light of the known facts, the above comment is either profoundly ignorant or stupid. Maybe both.

tim in vermont said...

I have to agree with garage's last comment. I don't get the personal attacks either. garage provides a lot of "laughing at him not with him" comic relief around here. No need to get nasty. His own words are funny enough.

gerry said...

Demonic Mike Brown bulked up and charged Wilson after sustaining two shots to the chest and one to the head, shattering Brown's right eye. Let's face it, it's just plain common sense to believe that. And cops never lie, so why should we doubt Wilson?

Why Garage is a perfect example of why one can never believe what Progressives say.

tim in vermont said...

See now, garage is coming out with the funny stuff.

Mike said...

"Only one witness claims Brown charged Wilson."

OMG Garage you've gone full retard now. The DA quoted NINE BLACK witnesses alone who said he charged. Nine! And of the 16 witnesses who said "hands up" only eight were there and most of them said Brown had his back to Wilson when shot. So now you're a "magic bullet" guy, huh?

Wilson's 9mm bullets went in a wide arc around the town and came back to strike poor Mike in the chest even though his hands were up. What a weird world you live in Garage.

Anonymous said...

Ezra Klein, Josh Marshall, Garage, they all have no argument. No way to rationalize their emotional appeal to their opinion on this. They just know and therefore, the rest of us ought to know as well.

This is what passes for the Democrat party today. Obamacare? We know it'll be good for you, because we know how people who are rational behave.

Name the Democrat political position and something and you can point to their internal belief system, "People ought to behave the way we think, therefore, this should work."

And gosh darnit, those people never end up behaving the way they predicted. But next time it'll work!

garage mahal said...

The two shots to the arm were sustained during his initial charge at Officer Wilson. The Big Mike put his head down to charge again.

That's not what the official autopsy found. Try again.

tim in vermont said...

Your problem Mike is that you don't realize that police officers are constantly itching to kill people for being black. The miracle is that more college-bound black yoots aren't sent to the morgue on a daily basis by these fascist, racist cops.

Though why they keep insisting such cops are socialist is beyond me.

garage mahal said...

The DA quoted NINE BLACK witnesses alone who said he charged. Nine!

One white witness claimed Brown charged Wilson. Witness #10. Try again.

FWIW, here is Witness #10: "Well I'm gonna take my random drive to Florissant. Need to understand the Black race better so I stop calling Blacks Niggers and Start calling them People."

Anonymous said...

Garage wrote;

Only one witness claims Brown charged Wilson.

This isn't an opinion, it's a fiction. Democrats are entitled to their opinion, but not to their own facts.

This statement is wrong.

Wanna bet we will ever hear Garage admit this line is wrong?

Wanna bet that even if Garage is convinced this information is incorrect, it'll make a dent in his opinion?

mccullough said...

It's one thing not to understand why someone did something. It's another thing not to understand that some people do those things.

garage mahal said...

This statement is wrong.

Prove it.

Anonymous said...

Garage, at least three witnesses described it as a charge.

Feel free to do your own research if you don't believe this source.

blunt head trauma garage mahal said...

This is a bad hire, right?

tim in vermont said...

Google would have quickly shown you that was Witness #40, not #10, garage.

Matthew Sablan said...

Reading this whole series is illuminating.

Anonymous said...

I can hardly blame Garage for his opinion on Officer Wilson.

He believes a fiction, rather than the facts. He think there is only one witness to Brown charging, and he believes that witness is a racist (Because he conflates witness 10 with witness 40).

Garage has been lied to. He hasn't gotten the wrong facts.

If that happened to the rest of us, we'd probably believe what Garage believes too.

He is a victim here, and our job should be to enlighten Garage and help him re-evaluate his opinion based on the truth, rather than a lie.

Then, if Garage stubbornly sticks to his opinion, well, there's no hope for him.

Michael K said...

"And cops never lie, so why should we doubt Wilson?"

It must be lunch time where garage works. He does provide comic relief.

" I am a libertarian (you know, one of those weirdoes who believe their lives and property belong to them and not to Der Staat), and have known many libertarians; and neither I nor the libertarians I've known (or even just read) suffer from any such weakness."

Read some stuff from Cato and see if it still looks reasonable. I'm a libertarian too but Cato is off the wall.

Big L, you see.

Meade said...

garage mahal said...
"FWIW, here is Witness #10: "Well I'm gonna take my random drive to Florissant. Need to understand the Black race better so I stop calling Blacks Niggers and Start calling them People." "

garage,
If you are confusing Witness #10 with Witness #40, will you make a correction?

theribbonguy said...

"Then, if Garage stubbornly sticks to his opinion, well, there's no hope for him."

I'm afraid that train departed long ago.

JAORE said...

All this discussion on whether Ezra Klein or Josh Marshall can understand the mind of a street thug. Hell, these guys can't even fathom that Tea Party members are largely not violent racists.

Big Mike said...

Tom Sowell has it right. There's no difference between Joseph Goebbels repeating lies until people believe in during the 1940's and the hard left commentators of today like Josh Marshall.

Among the things that Josh can't comprehend is that nearly all of today's anti-Semitism is found on the American political left, which is where he makes his home. Perhaps he thinks his editorship of TPM will spare his life when the pogroms come.

tim in vermont said...

As for the original article, as much as I could read, and I will read it all. I think he is struggling with something, the fact that it is "turtles all the way down." Lefties imagine that they are standing on intellectual bedrock. He is dimly perceiving that they are not, then he stumbles away.

All we can do as humans is come up with a set of rules, apply them, and see if we are chosen or not by evolution.

Matthew Sablan said...

Wow, if true. Honestly, though, I was very suspicious of the PBS Chart when they marked N/A for whether or not Wilson said he continually shot Brown while Brown was down. Just looking across the Officer Wilson line, I was skeptical of the original PBS chart; I'm glad to know my bullshit detector works better than Ezra Klein's.

garage mahal said...

If you are confusing Witness #10 with Witness #40, will you make a correction?

Appreciate your concern for correctness, please let this be a trend. Yes it was #40.

Big Mike said...

That's not what the official autopsy found. Try again.

The autopsy is consistent with Officer Wilson's story, and not with a person surrendering and raising his hands. Unless you think Officer Wilson is such a crack shoot that he could ricochet a couple rounds off objects in the environment so that the rounds struck his arms in front? A little simpler to suppose that:

(1) Wilson aimed for center of mass -- because that's what he was trained to do.

(2) Wilson was yanking the trigger -- his shots were going low and left, and they climb because he was squeezing the trigger as fast as he could and not reacquiring his sight picture after recoil -- which suggests in turn that he certainly was very frightened.

(3) Brown's hands were down -- the bullet wounds were on the front of the arm -- which impeaches the testimony of the witnesses who testified that Brown's arms were up in a surrender pose.

This is real science. Not wishful thinking.

Meade said...

"Yes it was #40"

Thank you. Can you explain how you made such an error? Typo? Mis-transcription? Repeating what you got from an unreliable source?

The main thing is, you didn't intentionally try to mislead, right?

gerry said...

From the Washington Post article I linked earlier: "In sum, Witness 10 had a clear view of all the events. He gave testimony that tracked not only Officer Wilson’s testimony, but also the ballistic evidence. He gave a (recorded) statement to the police very shortly after the events. He did not know Michael Brown or Officer Wilson. And, for those who deem this important, he was reportedly an African American."

I added the emphasis because I know Garage would deem it important.

tim in vermont said...

The "Howl" comment would win the thread if he hadn't dissed Anthony Burgess.

Titus said...

Michael Brown had man-boobs, not as pillowy as garage's, vut still...

thanks

Unknown said...

Tank, visit from the grammar police: "I could give some great examples, but, of course, I can't." Somewhere there should be a "may" or some variant.

eric (12/3/14) comment "This reminds me of the Prisoner's Dilemma" I first read as "the President's Dilemma." Still reads OK.

garage mahal, can't quite figure out if you're serious or not; nobody is that stupid.

Biff, I was thinking at lunch today about how civil rights has tuned into pandering in a way that is damaging. Excused behavior is encouraged, and excused behavior is encouraged behavior.

Titus said...


"Alternatively, you might regale us with whatever latest advancement of science has captivated the imagination and love of Lena Dunham."

I have no idea what I said-probably was stoned. I used to smoke pot in my late teens/early twenty's pretty much every weekend. I stopped when I was around 30. Now the husband and I every now and then smoke a doobie. When I was young and high I just ran around with my cock out looking for a mouth (preferably ethnic and dark). Now I watch Netflix and go to bed-much more relaxing than looking for a hungry mouth.

Titus said...

I lied-sometimes when my hubby is on an international trip-which makes phone calls impossible-I may still take a hit of a doob and take a walk with my dog and sling my pussy along the streets-I fairly regularly hit a prize.

garage mahal said...

Thank you. Can you explain how you made such an error? Typo? Mis-transcription? Repeating what you got from an unreliable source?

Let me know why this is so important to you. Is it because McCulloch relied so heavily Witness #10 testimony? I can't remember you ever asking for corrections from any any other commenter. (I'm always happy to correct an error).

Titus said...

One last thing-and then high level strategic meeting.

Do you know my hubby and I don't live together?

We live a block away from each other...totally Woody/Mia.

The reason is he can't be in a house with meat. My reason is I would go insane.

Meade said...

Trying to help you rehab your credibility, garage. If you don't want to explain how you made the error of impeaching witness #10's testimony by misattributing to him a quote purportedly made by witness #40, you don't have to. I just wanted to make sure you had an opportunity to do so. If you wanted to.

garage mahal said...

Trying to help you rehab your credibility, garage

Odd that of all the crackpot theories and thinly veiled racist commenters that post here that you are alarmed by one misattribution that was corrected. Maybe it's your credibility that needs rehabbing.

MayBee said...

Im not certain whether Mike Brown meant to charge at Wilson, or if he meant to surrender. I wish he hadn't been shot. But there's no way you stick your arms in a police car and fight with a cop and then run and the officer is going to be charged. Whether that's right or wrong, everybody knows it's not going to happen.

As for Josh Marshall, there's really nothing about what Mike Brown did that morning that is all that easy to explain, but we can see him in the store video behaving very consistently with someone who would block a cop from getting out of his car and then grappling with him through the window.

There's nothing that makes sense about a cop reaching out his car window and trying to pull a perp in toward the car..

Meade said...

Interestingly enough, if you read that article AA links to (and I have absolutely no expectation anyone will), you'll see that Paul Rosenberg uses the so-called "Dunning-Kruger Effect" to "scientifically" "understand" how conservatives can be such "incompetent" "clowns" when it comes to using reason and critical thinking.

By his standards, you, garage, are a conservative clown.

MayBee said...

The "gentle giant" couldn't get along with his mother and he was kicked out of his grandmother's. Does that make any sense to Josh Marshall?

Meade said...

"Odd that of all the crackpot theories and thinly veiled racist commenters that post here that you are alarmed by one misattribution that was corrected."

People are free to post whatever comments they choose. I've always thought of you as a notch or 2 above crackpots and commenters who pander to racialism.

So I'm a bit surprised at your defensiveness.

Anonymous said...

Garage,

The way I see it, you've been misled. Which sucks, because no one likes being misled and no one likes to be confronted with that fact if they have.

When I was 18 I got my first credit card. Shortly after, I got a phone call (Lived with my parents) someone selling a vacation and a camera and a bunch of other goodies for a steal of a deal. It was around $280.

I thought it was the best deal of my life. I gave them my credit card number and purchased the deal.

About a month later a box was literally thrown onto my parents doorstep. I know it was thrown because I was sitting in the room with the window right by the doorstep, saw the guy walking on my parents lawn, and throw the box. Inside the box was a cheap camera that never worked and some other odds and ends. No vacation. Nothing. I tried calling anyone who would listen to get my money back but there was nothing anyone could do.

I considered it a life lesson.

In this thread you've spread 2 fictions.

One about witness #10, and another about how many people saw the deceased charging at the officer.

You've got a few choices at this point.

You can reassess your position based on the new evidence that you put forward in this thread as supporting your position.

You can insist you had the facts right and therefore, don't need to reassess your opinion.

Or you can revert to snarky comments and be dismissive about the whole thing.

I'd choose carefully how you proceed, because if you ever want to convince anyone on this website in the comments section of anything, you're credibility is important.

Otherwise, why should anyone give what you write any serious thought?

gerry said...

So I'm a bit surprised at your defensiveness.

He got caught.

Big Mike said...

As always, wonderful analysis of the legal issues and at The Volokh Conspiracy.

Also contains a good analysis of why "witness #10" should be regarded as highly credible.

Danno said...

I quit reading when he attributed 9/11 to Dubya. WTF? If anything, 9/11 was a product of prior administrations (namely Slick Willy) not taking care of business with Al Qaeda in the 1990's.

gerry said...

More at the Washington Post that pretty much destroys Dorian Johnson's credibility.

Physical evidence - facts - are very pesky.

Henry said...

Althouse added Notice that these 2 writers are thinking about thinking, and...

...it's such boilerplate thinking. How hard can it be to generate an unreflexive, non-redundant thought?

wildswan said...


Desperately Seeking Lullabies - The Rosenberg article summarized

Republicans are stupid and mean but Democrats are too stupid to know how to say that. And because Democrats don't know how to hypocognate (i.e., are too stupid to say how stupid the Republicans are in a convincing way) the Democrats lost in 2014. But some professors in California have figured it out and when we progressives all know what the California professors know about hypocognating, we will once more drive the Republicans before us.

In our dreams, we think these things.

Drago said...

Titus:"I have no idea what I said-probably was stoned."

Good enough for me.

Thanks.

And don't drive stoned. Not that you do.

Drago said...

garage: "Odd that of all the crackpot theories and thinly veiled racist commenters.."

Why is garage dragging in 9-11/October Surprise Truthers like cookie (and probably himself) as well as Crack?

ken in tx said...

If the idea of a young black male walking down the middle of the street and taunting drivers to go around him is unbelievable to you, you have never lived near a predominantly black community. It is common behavior.

Zach said...

I doubt Michael Brown was going to physically assault an armed police officer in broad daylight, sitting in his SUV, without any apparent provocation or mutually escalation....

But this point is nearly irrefutable from the physical evidence. Brown's DNA was found on the gun and inside the car. There was a wild shot that left a bullet hole on the inside of the car door. There was a second shot that hit Brown on the hand and left powder burns, indicating that his hands were very close to the gun when it went off. Wilson had a bruise on his face, which he could only have sustained at this point in the encounter.

Together, those facts suggest very strongly that there was a struggle with Brown outside the car and Wilson inside, in which Wilson did not have control of his gun, in which Brown's hands were near the gun for at least one shot. I would consider it likely that Brown inflicted a blow on Wilson's face at this point, but this is not absolutely required by the physical evidence.

So the most unbelievable element of the story is actually the one element we must believe in order to account for the evidence: "Michael Brown ... physically assault[ing] an armed police officer in broad daylight, sitting in his SUV"

Provocation and mutual escalation are problematic concepts in the context of a criminal suspect in a fight with a cop. The cop's legal responsibilities certainly provide motivation for violence on the part of the criminal, but that doesn't mean that the cop's actions are illegal, or that the criminal's actions aren't.

Unknown said...

There is a very thorough, point by point explication of Juror 34’s testimony here.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/12/witness-34-tells-it-like-it-was.php

34, agrees with 10 that Brown was advancing on Wilson.

It is so dangerous to our governance that the liberal fraction of our population operates in a media framed bubble of ignorance as Garage exemplifies along with the shallow propagandist discussed above.

It is also dangerous that we are spreading the terrible lies of someone like Brown’s friend who is also clearly a criminal with ill intent. The behind the scenes presence of Black Panthers should give us all the heebie jeebies (Black Panthers that the Bamster and Eric Holder seem to have real regard for).



Mike said...

To add to Unknown's post above, witness #34 is a middle-aged black man who distrusts police in general, but saw much of the confrontation (his car was blocked in by officer Wilson's SUV) and corroborated Wilson's account long before the cop's side of story was made known.

Kenneth Burns said...

I remember when Salon was like a salon.

Hyphenated American said...

There is a whole liberal factory working hard to explain the myth that middle class Americans are stupid and vote for Republicans - even though evil Republicans are working to help only the richest 0.1%.
And yet, when they discuss the behavior of a drugged out thug, they assume for some reason that he would behave rationally.
Is this a complete summary?

Meade said...

I'd say that sums it up fairly well, Hyphenated.

Hyphenated American said...

There are books like "What's wrong with Kansas" and Obama's "clinging to their guns and religion" stuff, the claims that people are stupid and irrational (Gruber and entire liberal establishment), the constant proclamations that people are not smart enough to save for their own retirement (Social Security and Medicare), to choose food and housing, make correct decisions on buying houses or toys without government constantly guiding them... Same people are expected to irrationally, stupidly and evil-like to wrongly stereotype against minorities and hate gays and moslems. Minorities themselves need people of same color teaching them, cause otherwise they would not try to achieve the best for themselves, slavery abolished 150 years still does not allow minorities to keep their families. Oh, and same minorities are expected to burn down convenience stores in their own neighborhood, cause that's what is the most rational thing to do.


And yet, one drugged out 18 year thug, who just robbed a convenience store (with video cameras which identified him) for fun and who was walking in the middle of the road in order to annoy everyone around him (that's one way to be inconspicuous) - well, this guy is supposed to act rationally when he meets a policeman.

Is there some contradiction here? Nah, cannot be. Right?