Audiovisual Commentary on the State of Policing in San Francisco

Note to police officers with a propensity to hassle scruffy young skateboarders: Consider that said skateboarders might be filming a video, and be wired up with non-obvious recording tech:

I’ve taken the cop’s side in discussing situations like this before, and I realize there is more to this interaction than we’re seeing here. If the cop had shot and edited this video, it probably would create a completely different impression. Then again, if the cop had been recording this with his own camera, knowing that his superiors were going to review it in case of complaints, I’m guessing he would have handled himself a wee bit differently. Which is kind of the point of laws like the one Obama helped pass in the Illinois state legislature, requiring jailhouse interrogations to be videotaped.

More here from S.F. skateboarder vs. SFPD officer.

84 Responses to “Audiovisual Commentary on the State of Policing in San Francisco”

  1. knarlyknight Says:

    Did that cop just get back from the G20 in Pitts, he seems ultra stressed out.

    My understanding is that police are public servants (emphasis on servants) employed to keep the peace and protect property rights without infringing on the rights of the individuals they serve in our free society (emphasis on free society as opposed to a “police state”. Can we all agree on that at least?

    The officer stated that skateboarding was prohibited in San Francisco, which is FALSE. Cops can’t make up their own bylaws.

    It is stupid on several levels to insult a police officer, but is it illegal to do so in California? Regardless, in this instance the police officer literally asked for it, he asked the kid what his problem was and the kid answered honestly with his heart (it would have been smarter to lie to the cop, as that was what the cop wanted the kid to do). So it is clearly the cop with the problem (he didn’t like the answer.) Maybe the cop was expecting the kid to say: “I’m upset because of the error of my ways, and humbled in your glorious presence.” The cop’s over the top reaction to the kid’s answer appears to be both an abuse of authority and an infringement on free speech. The cop literally asked for the insult.

    I understand the cop’s desire for respect and that he had a clear role in protecting the “grate” which was removed. Strictly speaking though, does he have any proof that the kids removed the grate? I’m sure it appeared that they did with about 99% certainty, but that’s what the cop should have addressed. In a professional manner.

    Respect is earned, it can not be imposed. The police lost an infinite amount of respect here and the officer’s discipline should reflect that.

    This issue is beautifully captured with this encounter with a police officer:

  2. Smith Says:

    “The officer stated that skateboarding was prohibited in San Francisco, which is FALSE. Cops can’t make up their own bylaws.”

    Depends on where you are and what time it is. The laws seem pretty restrictive. The page is from 2003, so it may be out of date. I am honestly too lazy to make sure those laws are current. The location of the incident is not apparent to me from the video.

    I’m having trouble feeling outraged about this one. It reminds me of the finger biting incident in that no one appears particularly sympathetic. If the cop kicked the kid, he deserves to receive some punishment. That being said, while I am not entirely sure I support laws against skateboarding, I still feel no qualms about the kid getting arrested. The manner of the arrest might be objectionable as it is presented, especially if he was kicked, but remember, this is an edited version of events being presented by the skateboarder’s friends. If you want something to get outraged over, search youtube for “taser”. That should get you some much more compelling instances of police going overboard.

    “It is stupid on several levels to insult a police officer, but is it illegal to do so in California?”

    The kid was arrested on the skateboarding charges, from what I can tell from the video, not for insulting a police officer. The insult just lead to the cop refusing to show leniency in charging the kid. Police have some discretion when it comes to getting charged vs getting a warning. Cursing cops is a good way to ensure you do not get off with a warning.

  3. knarlyknight Says:


    I’m not comfortable with cops threatening to break kids arms. You should be outraged.

    The page you provided from 2003 seems to be out of date. Section 7.2.13 of the City’s Transportation Code contains rules for “non-motorized user” (e.g. skateboards) which prohibits skateboards from the business district & nighttime use on roads (there are other rules too, e.g. no headphones, yeild to pedestrians) refer: Whether or not the law is pretty restrictive, my point is that the cop was WRONG to state that skateboarding was not allowed anywhere in SF City or county. The kids upon hearing that Falsehood would be thinking, “WTF? This guy is insane!” so by that single statement the officer totally undermined his own credibility and escalated the situation unecessarily.

    What makes you say the “kid was arrested on skateboarding charges?” (Doesn’t “arrested on skateboarding charges” strike you as an insane statement? It should.)

    Did you watch the “Fish” video posted above? The interaction with the cop starts at about the 2 minute mark I think.

  4. NorthernLite Says:

    As some one who skated for years and was frequently harrased by the police for doing so, I have to admit there was a part of me inside that screamed “yeah!” when the kid said, “you’re being a dick.” That being said, it wasn’t a very smart thing to do. Pick your battles wisely.

    Is there not city-owned skate parks in SF? If not, the kids should use this issue to lobby to get some built. That’s what we did back in the day. You don’t want us skateboarding around town? Provide a place for us then… skaters are citizens who pay taxes too.

  5. knarlyknight Says:

    NL – there’s tons of Skate parks in SF, they were practcally invented there.

    On another level it sort of bugs me that we all agree it is not smart to talk back to a cop. It’s like everyone has agreed that a person abrogates their rights to reasonable treatment if they say something that a cop does not like.

    Also, this wasn’t the typical case of a kid bad mouthing a cop. The kid was sitting there quiet (perhaps he was being a punk before the footage started, but in any event that moment had passed & there is calm.)

    It was the cop who asked the kid what was wrong and the kid didn’t seem to want to answer but the cop insisted and finally the kid said it’s because you’re such a dick. If the cop didn’t want to hear what the kid had to say then he should not have asked. As such, the cop wasn’t just doing his job, or going beyond the call of duty to foster good relations with the community (“what’s the matter kid?”), no – he was using his authority to intimidate when the use of intimidation was utterly inappropriate.

  6. knarlyknight Says:

    “It’s like everyone has agreed that a person abrogates their rights to reasonable treatment if they say something that a cop does not like.”

    That is a police state mentality; not the thoughts of a free people.

  7. knarlyknight Says:

    My mistake, you are certainly not a free people anymore.

    So even when the police rushed the patio, I wasn’t afraid until I realized – after seeing an officer seize and arrest a student who literally had one foot over the threshold – that unlike the police on the Forbes side, these guys didn’t want to herd students into the lobby. They wanted to arrest people.

    It was not until that instant that it crossed my mind that I could be arrested for what I was doing. I didn’t have to worry about it for very long, though, because about a split-second later, I was thrown to the ground and handcuffed.

    The officer who arrested me did not tell me to stop what I was doing. He did not tell me to get inside. He did not say “come with me; you are under arrest.” If he had told me I was under arrest, I’d have put up less fight than the storefront windows along Forbes Avenue. But without saying a word, the officer grabbed me by the arm and forced me down onto the pavement, skinning both my knees but thankfully not my face, and twisted my arm behind my back.

    I remember my primary thought as I was flung on the ground being: I hope he doesn’t start hitting me with a stick. He didn’t, which makes me one of the lucky ones.

    I was marched onto the street corner across the street from the patio, outside the Frick Center for International Studies, where forty-some riot police were detaining twenty-some of my peers, and held there for about an hour, which I spent befriending the two girls next to me – two friends who had picked the wrong night to come home late from a party – and becoming increasingly indignant. It was one thing to be intimately searched by an overcompensating female officer whose first words to me were, “If you have anything that’s going to poke me or prick me you’d better tell me now, because if I get stuck by something your head goes off the wall,” but I have a very special grudge against my arresting officer. He called me “babe” and “dear” as he cut my zipties off (No, officer. I’m sorry, but we cannot be friends.) and, an instant before we were photographed together for documentation purposes, he grinned and said, “Don’t look beat up, or I’ll get in trouble.”

    I fumed. Don’t look beat up? Are you kidding me? Photograph my skinned knees, asshole, because you threw me on the ground! I weigh ninety-nine pounds with my shoes on and I’m wearing a goddamn sundress. I must look awfully dangerous to you with your riot gear and two-hundred pounds of muscle. Me and my depraved, door-opening ways. Tracey Hickey, Renegade Bellhop. The new face of terrorism. What the hell.

    (I did not actually say this, because, despite the stereotype of people who get themselves arrested by riot police during the G20, I am not a moron.)

    And then there was the matter of my dress. I was wearing a strapless dress and cardigan, and in all of the excitement the former had slid down, not far enough to be indecent, but way further than I was comfortable with. “Please,” I said to my arresting officer (can I call him my AO?), “My dress is falling down. I can’t reach it in these things. Can you just button my sweater down?” He didn’t respond. “Excuse me?” I said to the police officer holding Brianna. “Please? It wouldn’t be a problem if you could just button up my sweater…” He too refused to acknowledge me until I was near tears and just on the brink of flashing everyone, whereupon he summoned a female officer who gave my dress a curt upward yank and fastened exactly one button of my sweater. Only when they temporarily cut off my zipties to take my purse from me was I allowed, after plaintively asking permission, to utilize my free hands to button my sweater all the way.

    Sorry guys, it was fun while it lasted but you’ve lost your liberties.

  8. Smith Says:

    “It’s like everyone has agreed that a person abrogates their rights to reasonable treatment if they say something that a cop does not like.”

    This extends beyond cops. Do you really expect reasonable treatment from family, friends, neighbors, strangers, anyone, if you call them a fucking dick? Please try calling people “fucking dicks” in your daily interactions and see how you get treated. I guarantee you that police are not the only ones who will treat you poorly if you take that approach.

    It’s not about accepting a police state, it is about accepting the general guidelines for appropriate social interaction. Freedom of speech guarantees you the right to say what you want, but it does not guarantee that other people will treat you with respect if you act like a fool. Do unto others…

  9. knarlyknight Says:

    You are brilliant to suggest that people abide by appropriate standards of social interaction, but of course I am sure you will make some exceptions for cultural variations (if not then you’d be behaving like a f*****g d**.)

    Are you expecting an argument about the level of language that justifies a reaction involving twisting the fuck out of someones arm and threatening to snap it like a twig? The cop showed how small a man he was by letting that adolescent get under his skin, but that incident has nothing much to do with police state, except that so many of you Americans think that is an appropriate police response to rudeness / disrespect. It ain’t.

    Somehow you seem to have not noticed my post immediately before yours, because the skater kid video does not show a police state, the links I posted do (reposting here now):

    Most all all of the indpendent videos of the G20 show curious college kids mulling about in their summer clothes wondering what’s going to go on here and then getting tear gassed and pushed around by a battalian of heavily armed stormtroopers. You’d expect to see that on the Deathstar, not in America. People in America no longer have the right to freely assemble, G20 shows that they need to have permission.

  10. Smith Says:

    “Somehow you seem to have not noticed my post immediately before yours, because the skater kid video does not show a police state, the links I posted do (reposting here now):”

    Your comment about police states with regard to the quote I cited was made prior to you posting those other links. Was I expected to assume you were actually commenting on something you had not yet posted as opposed to commenting on the video that was being discussed at the time your comment was made? That seems like an odd way to carry on a conversation.

    Sorry, I just don’t buy the “snap your arm” remark as a credible threat. He said it, but I am not convinced he even remotely intended to carry it out. Just seems like something that slipped out in a moment of frustration. I’d be more interested in seeing the alleged kick.

    As I said in my initial comment, there are plenty of videos out there showing cops behaving in an outrageous manner and I am assuming your links are probably examples of them (I can’t watch them right now). However, the one jbc posted is not particularly compelling, and that is the one I have been commenting on.

  11. ethan-p Says:

    This is a really tough one. Could the police officer have been more professional, sure. Was it OK to threaten to break the kid’s arm “like a twig”? Hell no.

    However, the situation was clearly a very difficult one, where multiple bystanders were yelling at the officer, criticizing every way that he was doing his job. The officer didn’t choose to put himself into that situation beyond choosing to be a cop in S.F. It sounds like he came there just to break up the skateboarders and ask them to move along. For whatever reason, the situation escalated, and the pissed-off kid shot his mouth off. Sure, the officer elicited the response, but that doesn’t mean that it was the right thing to say. Contempt-of-cop is not written anywhere in the law books, but it’s real. Is it right? I don’t know. What I do know is that police officers are charged with a tremendously difficult job, and they’re given quite a bit of leeway to make on-the-spot judgments in a world that they’re trained to believe is black-or-white. This situation is one where the officer wanted to do the right thing, and the circumstances escalated to a point where he didn’t have a choice.

    Regarding his physical handling of the teenager, I have mixed feelings about this as well. Adolescents are the most violent and unpredictable population that there are – bar-none. The cop was outnumbered, and had to do what he felt was right to maintain control of the situation.

    Furthermore, the cop was also doing what he had to do in order to protect himself by citing all of the teenagers.

    As a civil libertarian, I am definitely interested in protecting the people against a police state. However, this video is far from showing anything about a police state.

  12. shcb Says:

    I would have changed the headline to the sad state of parenting in SF. That kid’s dad should have kicked his ass all the way to the police station, drug him by the ear in front of the cop and twisted said ear until an apology complete with many “sirs” slid from his mouth.

  13. ethan-p Says:

    SHCB, I agree with you — to an extent.

    The skater culture, while diverse, was one of ambivalence, anti-establishment, and lack of respect for authority (in my day, at least – I’m a bit older and out-of-touch now). This was manifested in a way that is only possibly in a free society. Imagine this happening in a country like Saudi Arabia; those kids would have each been clubbed senselessly rather than just one of them cooling his heels for a night in a jail cell.

    Adolescent rebellion is completely natural, regardless of culture. When the stakes are low, the powers-that-be are more greatly tested. In this situation, the kid clearly felt powerless. As a result, he shot his mouth off to the wrong person. I remember when I was in middle school, I felt powerless in a situation and shot my mouth off in a similar way to a kid who was bigger, older, and stronger than me…and man, did I learn an even harder, more painful, and more humiliating lesson.

    The point is that all of the parenting in the world may not have saved that kid from being a schmuck to the wrong person at the wrong time. Sometimes, lessons have to be learned the hard way, and the tough parenting has to happen after-the-fact. The real question is whether that kid learned a *real* valuable lesson, or walked away with a more solidified understanding that cops are just a bunch of dicks. The reality is that the kid probably walked away thinking the latter, but if my faith in humanity is well-founded, he’ll learn that lesson as he grows up.

  14. shcb Says:

    I agree, these things usually happen when the kid (or adult) is showing off for his friends, he may actually be a decent kid, he just got caught up in the moment.

    I had lots of time on my hands last week sitting in the hospital with my dad so I signed up on facebook, I’ve been catching up with some old classmates and as you can imagine the kids I didn’t like in high school, I still don’t. Some people never grow out of being pricks most do.

  15. ethan-p Says:

    There will always be assholes on this planet. That will never change.

    I’m really sorry to hear that your father is in the hospital. I don’t really keep up with the happenings on – but you’re certainly in my thoughts now. I hope that everything turns out well for you and your family.

  16. shcb Says:

    It turned out well, he has had heart problems for years, and cancer. All his native arteries are completely blocked and two of the three bypasses, they were able to stint one of them .Then blood tests showed internal bleeding and they were afraid his colon cancer was back but in the time it took to get him prepared for a colonoscopy his numbers went back up, the colonoscopy was negative. I think he has been worried about the cancer, knowing he is clear has given him some renewed hope, he was even interested in how his computer works yesterday, something he has never shown. He’s close to 80 and I think he has his sights set on ninety now. Thanks for your concern, I really appreciate it. We’re in good shape now though.

  17. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb – Glad to hear it. Best wishes for your Dad. Take him out for dinner or a walk in the country or something nice soon. It’ll be the right thing…

    ethan, I mostly agree with you. I watched the video again, funny how the memory works, this time the cop seemed a little more restrained than I’d remembered. But the skaters, really, I watched them closely, they did not seem BAD, there wasn’t much of a problem until the cop made things a problem. Maybe would have been respectful had they felt that they were being treated with respect. The cop saying “Your boy looks like he has a headache.” Was rude. It was gloating and patronizing, thinly disguised as concern. Then, no headache? “What’s wrong, just ashamed of yourself?” That was unnecessary and insulting. The kid was probably more ashamed of the cop or of the culture in which cops would be so authoritarian when clearly a more PR adept approach would have produced better results. So much for any goodwill towards authority coming from this exchange, all the kids learned was to fear dickhead cops. That’s not a particularly enlightened lesson unless you live in a police state.

  18. knarlyknight Says:

    you know, I’m going to assume that, given the rough consensus that the cops actions here were inappropriate, I’m going to assume that they were generally atypical of American policing in general. Recognizing of course tat my assumptions” about such things are usully wrong…

    Makes me wonder though, what a good model of police action in encountering this situation would have been. That, I’d truly like to see.

    Whatever that is, it seems that the heavy handed authoritarian “police state” model does not work very well in the long term, even if sometimes it seems to be effective in the short term sometimes. This may seem unrelated to you, my friends, but my gut tells me there are big lessons to be learned in drawing comparisons and contrasting philosophies on how to deal with crime (i.e. SKATEBOARDING MISDEMEANERS) when result like these slap you in the face:

  19. ethan-p Says:

    Knarlyknight – the only thing that pisses me off about the movement to legalize drugs is that it may only gain enough momentum to make drugs legal long after I’ve outgrown that phase ;)

    I’ll have to watch that video again. I’ve had a few run-ins with cops that seemed a little too zealous. More often than not, I tend to give the benefit of the doubt (because it never landed me in the pokey) – but I’ll definitely give it a second look.

    Also remember what JBC said – the skaters edited that video to show one side of the story.

    Anyway, like I said – I’ll give it another look…tomorrow night after I return from work.

  20. knarlyknight Says:


    With respect to JBC, there is no editing except: (a) when the video was turned on – we are left to guess about the initial encounter; (b) after the cop declares “I never threatened anyone!” there is a flashback to the cop’s threat while holding the skater’s arm behind his back: “Resist again and I’ll snap your arm like a twig”; and (c) the subtitles, which seem to be accurate except they drop many of the skater’s interjections of “Dude”.

    I heard on the news today that the jury in the hearing of the Vancouver airport tazering death of Robert Dziekanski has been directed by the judge (no less!) to disregard the four RCMP officers’ statements whenever their testimony seems to be contradicted by the video (i.e. most of their testimony.)

  21. ethan-p Says:

    I watched the video again – I’m not talking about creative editing. It’s where the video starts, and where the single cut is while the officer is walking the skater to the car. What’s not visible is what led up to the incident. I don’t know if the cop was being a nice guy and the kids were making trouble, or perhaps the reality was the converse; that the cop was being an ass, and those were a bunch of good kids. I really don’t know. I don’t have enough information to really be impartial.

    I can tell that the situation became out of control when the officer tried to put the kid in the car…both the cop and the bystanders were acting kind of like idiots. *shrug* Looks like a shitty situation. What I can say is that I’m sure glad that I’m not a police officer. That really is a tough job.

  22. shcb Says:


  23. knarlyknight Says:

    Yes ethan,

    We can agree that we don’t know what happened before the video and after the video, plus we don’t see the “kick” (that was first denied then admitted as being a helpful push to much derision from a bystander “yea that’s what I used to tell my mom when I kicked my brother too!”) so comments on those incidents are drifting into speculation.

    But if I understand your comment correctly though, you seem to be suggesting that crappy behaviour by the skaters before the incident would justify the cop acting so unprofessionally, or that the cop being an ass made it okay for the skater to call him a dick. While bad behaviour by either side might be understood better by knowing the events that led up to it, it does not warrant condoning unprofessional or bad behaviour. (The exception being possibly extreme circumstances, which this clearly is not.) This means that conclusions based on the events as filmed are valid.

    The consensus seems to be that the skater was rude and not street smart otherwise he would not have said anything to upset the delicate sensitivities of a San Fransisco cop, and that the cop was way out of line to threaten breaking the skaters arm and otherwise acted in unnecessary and unprofessional ways.

  24. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb – we are talking about how law enforcement should enforce bylaws – you do realize that your last comment mixes religion into this state function? ;-)

  25. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    “It’s like everyone has agreed that a person abrogates their rights to reasonable treatment if they say something that a cop does not like.”

    That is a police state mentality; not the thoughts of a free people.

    It’s just basic cause-effect. It’s not right, but it’s science. If you don’t do exactly what the cops tell you, you may get your ass kicked. It’s been a fact since there were police. I’m willing to bet this is true everywhere. If you mess with the cops or fail to comply at all, you’re rolling the dice as to whether you’re going to get professional, civic-minded officer or the bully. It’s not like they do heavy personality and psychological health screening on someone entering the police.

    I also have to agree with Smith that our proper reactions as a polite, civic people have a threshold. Ideally we’d should all behave and keep our hands to ourselves, but we don’t. I think we should replace all police with Shaolin monks, but I don’t know where the funding will come from.

    Glad to hear about your dad, shcb.

  26. shcb Says:

    Knarly, that is the nice thing about being agnostic, or at least my version of it, I can still pray because I believe there is something out there, and after everyone offering prayers and my dad turning out as he did it makes you wonder. But since I don’t believe in structured religion I can trash them when I want and as a self centered, greedy Republican I don’t feel the need to give them any of my treasure :-)

    Kind of a funny side story, the only card my dad got while he was in the hospital was from his bank, everyone in the bank signed the card. Only in a small town. He said he had been banking there since 1957, the nurse said she wasn’t even alive in 1957.

    You guys seem to have this subject well at hand, good night boys. We need a woman in the group.

  27. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb, Alriiighty then, I nominate molly:

  28. shcb Says:

    she has my vote, but she’s the only one that gets to use a web cam, the rest of us are too ugly.

  29. NorthernLite Says:

    “Republicans cheered when America failed to land the Olympics and now they are criticizing the President of the United States for receiving the Nobel Peace prize – an award he did not seek but that is nonetheless an honor in which every American can take great pride – unless of course you are the Republican Party. The 2009 version of the Republican Party has no boundaries, has no shame and has proved that they will put politics above patriotism at every turn. It’s no wonder only 20 percent of Americans admit to being Republicans anymore – it’s an embarrassing label to claim.”

  30. shcb Says:

    I haven’t had time to read much about the Nobel prize but I think we are more discusted with the Nobel people than Obama. I read or heard a headline that said the nomination deadline ended two weeks after he took office. If it was rigged and he is a shoe in they could have atleast waited until next year.

  31. enkidu Says:

    Amazing how quickly a wwnj talking point is spread. i just finished listening to Steve Douchey on foxnewts getting his frilly silk bloomers in a twist about this very meme. Only in office two weeks! Hrpmpfffht!

    Yes, maybe he was nominated within a couple weeks of his inauguration. So what? There must have been months afterward where they weighed and watched, listened and hoped. Voting for Obama was a leap of faith that we can do better than McCain and the crazy snowbilly lady. He is committed to a nuclear free planet Earth (yes!) and is trying to engage the Muslim world while disengaging from Iraq. And eventually Talibanistan. Plus he kept us safe longer than bushie did. thx o-man!

    Call it a hope for peace. A decent start, could’ve been better. But after the financial kneecapping of the previous administration, things are doing pretty well actually. DOW will hit 10k next week, business is slowly picking up, new puppy is sleeping thru the night. Not bad o-man, not bad. ;)

  32. shcb Says:

    The prize was supposed to go to Hu Jia, or at least he was the leading candidate. He has done something. This from an AP piece

    The Nobel Peace Prize committee is famous for making grand symbolic gestures aimed at influencing the world agenda, as in 1989 when, in the wake of the Tiananmen massacre, the prize went to the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.

    U.S. President Barack Obama is thought to have been nominated but it’s unclear on what grounds.

    This isn’t a big deal, the Nobel prize has been a joke since they gave it to Arafat. At least Carter was actually committed to peace, he was committed to the point of being a bungling fool, but no one ever questioned his devotion to peace. Note that this is the same Dalai Lama this year’s recipient didn’t have time for.

  33. knarlyknight Says:

    Kissinger getting the Peace Prize in 1973 while the Indochina wars he charted were still ongoing was a far bigger travesty. At least Obama is marginally better than Bush, in that he says he is striving for nuclear disarmament and has returned the world to a sane diplomacy (instead of your juvenile schoolyard bullyshit directed by an unpredictable, dry or not so dry, drunk)… even if Obama’s lack of corrective actions in Iraq and Afghanistan are sorely disappointing.

  34. shcb Says:

    That’s the whole point of this “he’s better than Bush” isn’t a reason to give someone a prize. Chances are I won’t agree on whatever criteria the Nobel people use to make a pick, understood, our priorities are different, I want to make peace with those that reciprocate and defeat those that don’t, I don’t have a problem making peace through war. The Nobel people are more mommy make it stop types, fine. But pick someone that has done something. They only give out one of these things, now someone that has paid the price, not just talked purdy has been denied. Obama’s reputation was hurt by this, and he didn’t ask for it, where he screwed up was in accepting it, that he did have control over. Now his reputation is double hurt.

  35. ethan-p Says:

    OK…I’ll bite. From the analysis that I’ve heard and read, the Nobel Peace Prize can be awarded to either recognize an achievement, or encourage an achievement or body of work. In this case, president Obama was awarded the peace prize for the latter. There is probably a fair amount of F.U. to the Bush Doctrine, too. *shrug*

    Another thing to consider is who is on the Norwegian Nobel Committee (the people who award the peace prize). Former officials from the Labor Party, the Progress Party, and the Socialist Left Party (and a former member of the Conservative Party, too). One does not have to be left-leaning to believe in a multilateral foreign policy, but given who the Nobel committee is – this makes sense.

  36. shcb Says:

    Absolutely, there is no surprise here that the picked him, they hate America and love him for all his apologies, we’re just surprised they were so blatant and didn’t even wait a year.

  37. enkidu Says:

    At least they are throwing accolades at our President instead of shoes.

  38. shcb Says:

    I think it is ok for them to use the prize to encourage an achievement, Knarly’s example of Kissenger is probably a good one, the war was still going on but he was on the verge of ending it. since that is so political and we will immediately get sidetracked, a better example would be if someone were making important breakthroughs in cancer research, now the disease hasn’t been cured yet, and may never be, but the advancements might have been such to warrant the prize.

    If they had waited say two years, let’s say Gitmo is closed and we have drawn down troops in Iraq to oh, 40,000. Republicans could say, he said he was going to withdraw from Iraq and we still have troops there, he said he would close Gitmo and he did but the creeps are now being housed on American soil and it took him a year longer than he said.

    Now those things could all be true, but the Nobel people could say truthfully as well that he had taken us way down the path they envision as the correct road. Then Republicans would look silly and the Nobel people would look like sages. But they didn’t.

  39. knarlyknight Says:

    This rings true:
    The simple fact that he was elected was reason enough for him to be the recipient of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

    Because on that day the murderous actions of the Bush/Cheney years were totally and thoroughly rebuked. One man — a man who opposed the War in Iraq from the beginning — offered to end the insanity. The world has stood by in utter horror for the past eight years as they watched the descendants of Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson light the fuse of our own self-destruction. We flipped off the nations on this planet by abandoning Kyoto and then proceeded to melt eight more years worth of the polar ice caps. We invaded two nations that didn’t attack us, failed to find the real terrorists and, in effect, ignited our own wave of terror. People all over the world wondered if we had gone mad.

    And if all that wasn’t enough, the outgoing Joker presided over the worst global financial collapse since the Great Depression.

    So, yeah, at precisely 11:00pm ET on November 4, 2008, Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. And the 66 million people who voted for him won it, too. By the time he took the stage at midnight ET in the Grant Park Historic Hippie Battlefield in downtown Chicago, billions of people around the globe were already breathing a huge sigh of relief. It was as if, in that instant, one man did bring the promise of peace to the world — and most were ready to go wherever he wanted to go to achieve that end. Never before had the election of one man made every other nation feel like they had won, too. When you’ve got billions of people ready, willing and able to join a cause like this, well, a prize in Oslo is the least that you deserve.

    One other thought. The Peace Prize historically has been given to those who have worked to throw off the yoke of racial discrimination and segregation (Martin Luther King, Jr., Desmond Tutu). I think the Nobel committee, in awarding Obama the prize, was also rewarding the fact that something profound had happened in a nation that was founded on racial genocide, built on racist slavery, and held back for a hundred-plus years by vestiges of hateful bigotry (which can still be found on display at teabagger rallies and daily talk radio). The fact that this one man could cause this seismic historical event to occur — and to do so with such grace and humility, never succumbing to the bait, but still not backing down (yes, he asked to be sworn in as “Barack Hussein Obama”!) — is more than reason enough he should be in Oslo to meet the King on December 10.

  40. knarlyknight Says:

    above post quoted from MM.

  41. shcb Says:

    Oh my God, that is so funny, I’ll have a smile on my face all day. Thanks.

  42. NorthernLite Says:

    America is so divided that they can’t even celebrate receiving this award as a proud nation. The world wants so badly the America that leads by example but also listens to others, the America that inspires other nations through her actions.

    Of course, it’s hard to hold out much hope when you see a country so polarized that they can’t even find a way to provide health care for their citizens.

  43. shcb Says:

    Well, we’ve kind of always been proud of achievements, Henry Ford didn’t lament that he wished he could produce a car his line workers could afford, he went out and did it, then he was celebrated. Thomas Edison didn’t pine away the years hoping for a replacement to the oil lamp, expecting accolades because he was so sensitive to the plight of the whales, he got his crew together, they tried every combination of filament and gas they could think of until the figured it out, then they got their accolades. Chisholm, Powell (all the Powells in our history), Lincoln, Roosevelt, Moffat, Schwarzkopf, and all the many great Americans before and after them would never have accepted an award for something they hadn’t done, they would have laughed, that is America, that is real America. It is just one more example of the liberal mind, it is as important, and sometimes more important to wish than to do. It is the essence of the man, and of those that are enamored with him, he ran and you voted on what he and you hoped he might do, without any history that he would or even could do it. But that matters not when you live in a liberal utopia. So why not give him an award? It may only be utopia for a fleeting moment, we can’t take the chance of missing it.

  44. NorthernLite Says:

    Nice list of achievements. That you would leave electing an African-American as President off that list is quite telling.

  45. NorthernLite Says:

    Did your country always cheer in the past when it lost an Olympic bid? Did it bitch when a fellow countryman won a very prestigious award?

  46. Smith Says:

    “he ran and you voted on what he and you hoped he might do”

    And McCain ran and you voted on what he and you hoped he might do. That’s how elections work when you are not considering an incumbent. I’m not really seeing what that has to do with “the Liberal mind.”

    You seem to think that those who have achieved great things in the past somehow did so without first hoping that they might be successful. Unless Edison stumbled ass-backwards into his inventions, I would imagine there was a point at which he hoped he could solve the problem prior to the point at which he actually did so. Your comment is coming a bit early now. After Obama has actually finished his presidency would be the appropriate time to determine whether he accomplished what he set out to do.

    I think Obama was given the prize as something of a research grant. You don’t fund medical research after the pills have already been manufactured. It seems as though the committee felt the Prize would help Obama accomplish his goals in the same way a grant helps researchers reach theirs. I doubt it will actually help anything, but that is my guess about the committee’s reasoning.

    Got a source for this: “Chisholm, Powell (all the Powells in our history), Lincoln, Roosevelt, Moffat, Schwarzkopf, and all the many great Americans before and after them would never have accepted an award for something they hadn’t done”?

  47. shcb Says:


    With the exception of their first endeavor, all my examples had resumes that would lead one to expect they could do the things they did, so if you said I believe in Powell’s dream of boating down the Colorado or Moffat’s dream of building a tunnel under the Rocky Mountains you could point to past accomplishments and said, they have a better chance of actually accomplishing those goals and dreams than Joe the ditch digger.

    My source for your last paragraph is me.


    I was listing individuals. But electing a half white, half black man isn’t that great of an achievement to me, I guess the race of a man just isn’t that important to me, I’m more interested in his (or her) ideals, ideas, and character.

    I’m sure some cheered when Bush lost some personalized fights, probably right here on these pages. And yes there are always some that bitch when anyone wins an award, kind of goes with the territory, but people aren’t bitching that he won, they are bitching that it was awarded to him without his doing anything, had he done something you would have a better point.

  48. enkidu Says:

    Actually he ran on a pretty broad liberal platform and is doing a decent job of most of the things he said he was going to do. Sure it could be a bit more this and that, less the other thing, but on the whole? Good start.

    Global zero? Great! Shoring up confidence and steering the economy thru the bush great recession? So far so good! Reach out to the rest of the world to repair damage of the dumbya years? Decent start. Shutting down gitmo? please remove stain on old glory faster if possible or practical, it may take several terms (you know, like FDR! ;-).

    I thought it was pretty low of the wwnjs to cheer when the USA didn’t get the Olympics. But this hissy fit about a Nobel prize? wwnjs are like lemmings congratulating themselves on their excellent cliff diving skills.

    NL – on healthcare, I though this was a great snapshot of American healthcare: a four month old baby and family’s ‘insurance’ application is rejected because their baby is too fat! The amazing line (that I haven’t googled yet tbt) is that applicants are routinely denied coverage if their baby is above the 95th percentile regardless (wtf!). Both of my sons were big at birth and off the charts for much of their first year. Nice to know that Adam Smith’s All Giving Invisible Hand is out there protecting insurance company profits by denying coverage to fat babies! Huzzah!

    Happy ending: all the publicity has made the ‘insurance’ co. change their policy, sorta, maybe, at least while the camera is on them, ahem.

  49. Smith Says:

    At one point, they were all “Joe the ditch digger”.

  50. enkidu Says:

    wwnj – funny how you judge someone by their “ideals, ideas, and character.” But then take your usual dump on anyone who voted for Obama’s ideals, ideas, and character. Something about actual accomplishments? Anything to blame them libs!

    You remind me of a conversation I was having with a Swiss computer guru this weekend. He was recounting how for his masters he was studying neural networks and he was required to take some wetwork neurology classes over in the biology campus. He related a story about a study where kittens were raised in environments where they painted black vertical lines on all the white walls. Eventually they introduced a vertical pole in the center of the environment and the cats literally couldn’t see the pole, they would run right into time and time again. Their brains had literally edited out the anything vertical from their perceptions. Sort of like how your steady diet of extremist partisan information has literally modified your brain to not see the truth (if it would in any way be good fer them libs).

  51. NorthernLite Says:

    shcb, I hope you’re just being a smart ass when you say his skin colour is no big deal. Obviously the election of a black president in a country that only 40 years ago treated blacks like… well you know what you did. If you don’t think that’s a historic achievement in your country’s history than I don’t think you’re half the patriot you wish you are.

    Then again, sometimes I forget that you listen to that Limbaugh guy. Listening to drug addicts is almost never a good idea and ca really dumb a person down.

    Enk, yes I read that story this morning (it made the news up here). Like I told shcb and my American cousins on the weekend, there’s more rationing taking place in America’s hc system then there ever will be in ours. Yes, I’ve converted some family members by showing them the facts (gasp!). Stories like that child’s’, and even the term “pre-existing condition”, simply solidify my position.

  52. shcb Says:

    NL, Electing him was historic, I just don’t think it was all that much of an accomplishment. Electing a black president 40 years ago would have been. Electing a woman will be historic, electing someone from whatever state hasn’t had a president (gotta be a few) would be historic, but not much of an accomplishment.

    Smith, there you go again sounding like Enky, my point was that liberals voted for him because of what they hoped someone like him might do because he said he might do it, not because he had done anything that would make someone believe he could actually do it. And now they are giving him an award for his saying he wants to do it, hells bells, give one of those puppies to every politician in the world! Did you see the AP piece today on the Nobel committee defending themselves? They said he had done a lot (kind of what Enky is saying above) he had convinced people all over the world he was going to do something, so now it is official, saying is doing. That was from one of the three that would talk about it, the other two wouldn’t talk.

    I’m going to give all you guys a million bucks each, go buy something expensive, the check’s in the mail. Now can I have my generosity award?

  53. NorthernLite Says:

    I dunno, I still think inspiring billions of people from all over the world that we can do better, we can work together on common challenges, that we can live in peace if we all try hard enough is quite the achievement and very worthy of a peace prize.

    Jealousy can be an ugly thing.

  54. Smith Says:


    If he doesn’t do anything, you’ll whine that he has no accomplishments. If he does something, you’ll whine that he is a socialist/fascist/commie/Nazi. Is there really any point?

  55. shcb Says:

    Sure there is a point, the Nobel people aren’t going to give the award for anything I want, I realize that, but give it to him after he has actually done something, or nothing if that gives the results the Nobel people find important. But wait until you can point to something concrete. If the proper way to end Islamic terrorism is to leave them alone, and the Nobel people think that is important then pull everything Western out and leave them alone (doing nothing). If it works and they suddenly love us, give him the prize. If the proper way is to do a bunch of humanitarian stuff or it is to bomb the hell out of them (doing something) and that works, fine give him the award. Awards like this should be for doing something, I understand some things never really have a conclusion but you should actually be able to point to tangible progress. Sure the Europeans think he’s great but the Arabs haven’t shown they are willing to be peaceful, because he hasn’t done anything, for peace to happen both sides have to come to some sort of agreement.

  56. shcb Says:

    I wasn’t inspired, but I’m not as impressed with talk as I am action. I see him as a flim flam man, all blow and no go, have you seen the Saturday Night Live skit on You Tube yet?

  57. shcb Says:

    An example: South Africa, I don’t agree with Mandella (sp?) politically but he ended apartheid, or was it his wife, whatever, they did something. While I don’t respect him for his views, I respect him for that accomplishment. He deserved the prize, because he accomplished something.

  58. shcb Says:

    Hu Jia has done something he’s been in jail for three years for what he did (and I’m not so sure I agree with his cause), everyone else on the list has done something, they all inspire millions, but they inspire then with their actions and their words.

  59. Smith Says:


    It wouldn’t have mattered if he had magically brought peace to the Mid East, you’d still complain he shouldn’t get the medal.

    “give it to him after he has actually done something, or nothing if that gives the results the Nobel people find important.”

    This is an interesting remark. You complain that he shouldn’t get the medal because he hasn’t done anything. Yet here you are stating that it is ok for the committee to give it to him for doing nothing, if it pleases them to do so.

  60. enkidu Says:

    oo oo I know!

    Obama kept us safe longer than shrub did (today’s date is 10/13/09, that’s more than a month longer than shrubbie and his band of neocon flim flam morans managed before 9/11/01)

    or maybe Obama is actually doing the things he said he was going to do in the campaign? that must really chap your diaper (based on your posts I think you definitely need a Change).

    This President can walk and chew gum at the same time (metaphorically speaking). Unlike the last one who couldn’t breath and eat a pretzel at the same time (literally).

    Funny you should bring up Edison, i just put up a pic of him in the lab with a great quote “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Good motivator for the kids.

  61. shcb Says:

    no!!!!!!!!!!! sometimes doing nothing is better than doing anything. if doing nothing accomplishes the goal then doing nothing was doing something in as much as it had the right outcome. when everyone is yelling “do something”! and the only sane one at the accident says, “no, he might have a back injury” he did the right thing by doing nothing, and that took courage, he deserves the award. this is so frustrating

  62. shcb Says:

    enky, your last paragraph was good, thanks, the rest your normal garbage.

  63. shcb Says:

    You see Smith, you have fallen to the point where you don’t like me personally because of my views, you are no longer debating me. You have fallen to Enky’s level of bigotry (not as low as him just in the same category) you just look for a few key words in my posts and then go off on them, you don’t read what I actually say, most times, sometimes you do. Or you try and trip me up ala Hannity. It is just an observation I’ve made on most everyone here, myself included, since I am aware of it I try and reread things when I feel anger brewing, unless they are senseless ramblings. If the guy took the time to put a little effort into being civil I feel I have the obligation to read what he said, and try and figure out what he meant.

  64. Smith Says:


    Do you really think comments like: “that is America, that is real America. It is just one more example of the liberal mind, it is as important, and sometimes more important to wish than to do.” really deserves serious debate? If that is how you are going to present yourself, why should I waste my time finding serious debate points? Do you think creating your own version of the “liberal mind” and presenting it as a fact is “debating” with anyone? If you are going to behave like Enky, then I am going to respond to you in kind. Don’t post trollish nonsense then cry foul when no one wants to give you the “honest debate” you feel you deserve.

  65. shcb Says:

    No, that is a statement, an observation, my opinion, there really isn’t much to debate there. But that was just one small section of my post. You can call that section trash talk or tweaking the liberal if you want, or you could actually analyze it, many have, it seems fairly accurate, but you don’t have to debate that part if you don’t want. But you took a legitimate point I made and tried to use it as an “I gotcha” when you knew perfectly well what I meant.

  66. Smith Says:

    “But you took a legitimate point I made and tried to use it as an “I gotcha” when you knew perfectly well what I meant.”

    As if you don’t do the same thing all the time. Trolls get trolled.

  67. Smith Says:

    Think of it as “tweaking the conservative if you want”.

  68. enkidu Says:

    Just curious, but why exactly am I a bigot for tweaking the nose of our most vociferous wrong wing nutter? Laughing at someone who spouts nonsense used to be the time honored method of dismissing nutjobs. Now if you spout wwnj nonsense, you get a evening show on fox.

    I don’t insist that everyone use mockery and humor, why should I only use Very Serious Debate to enjoy a bit of tweaking? Oh right, the Very Serious Folk don’t like to have their noses tweaked. ;-)

  69. shcb Says:

    this is like talking to the five year old that just repeats everyting you say

  70. enkidu Says:

    or like arguing with the dining room table

    notice you can’t actually back up or defend your ridiculous claim that I am a bigot
    typical wwnj

  71. shcb Says:

    Well of course I can’t, I can’t see inside your heart, all I can do is read your words, I don’t think you are a racial bigot, your words give me no reason to believe that, but I feel you hate people that have a different political view than you just because they have that view. That makes you a… political bigot? I don’t hate anyone here, or any of my liberal friends because of their views, I think they are wrong, but I don’t hate them, I think you do. And I think you are the only one here that does. Just my opinion.

  72. enkidu Says:

    hate? wtf buddy I am laughing at you
    which makes you even more crazy/hilarious

    I had to look up the definition of bigot just to be sure. You are the one who dismisses others with a casual slur (what is it this week? fascist? commie? pinko commie fag?), who makes death threats (it has been a couple months since the last one, that sure is some Change i can believe in), who watches 5 seconds of a linked video and you ‘know’ the whole thing.

    I actually look at other sources of info than just extremist lefty blogs like (wink) I actually seek out other opinions, other views, facts and figures that can be backed up by non-partisan data (GAO, CBO, BBC, math, science and those damn liberal facts).

    No one cares that you done read you them Federalist papers. Really. With your sub-high school education and your info diet of extremist partisan nut job ‘sources’ you have the gall to call other me a bigot? lol! You should look up the word some time (I’ll help you with the big words). Or just look in the mirror.

    Thanks for the laugh! You are a joke.

  73. shcb Says:

    I think the following applies to you

    Main Entry: big·ot
    Pronunciation: \bi-gət\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: French, hypocrite, bigot
    Date: 1660
    : a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance (my emphasis)

    — big·ot·ed \-gə-təd\ adjective

    — big·ot·ed·ly adverb

    and only the highlighted part below applies to me, you all can be the judge.

    Main Entry: big·ot
    Pronunciation: \bi-gət\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: French, hypocrite, bigot
    Date: 1660
    : a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

    — big·ot·ed \-gə-təd\ adjective

    big·ot·ed·ly adverb

  74. enkidu Says:

    pot, meet kettle
    kettle, pot

    that you are so indignantly, blissfully unaware of the irony of your posts, i leave it to others to enjoy the savor of stupidity that is our loquacious and tenacious wwnj, dear brother shcb

    Tell you what, I’ll show you some respect when you actually earn it by not being such an extremist wwnj. Try not listening to hate radio, not sourcing your ‘debate’ ‘arguments’ from pantload, fox or macho mike. Try constructive criticism rather than reflexively parroting wwnj talking points du jour (a frenchified word what means ‘to-day’). Or try humor and wry observation (works for me! ;-) rather than the preaching of Federalist TK421. sigh… But why attempt to communicate with the fossilized right wing viewpoint: much more fun to just poke you into paroxysms of partisan poltroonery (much more funny).

    Put down the partisanship, you are hurting our country.

  75. Smith Says:

    “Put down the partisanship, you are hurting our country.”

    Yeah, just look how well bipartisanship is working for health care reform.

  76. enkidu Says:

    Well when we all elected President Snow, she said she wanted to make sure no public option would ever pressure insurance companies into, you know, competing.

    Frankly they should either make the Rs filibuster and filibuster and filibuster (explain that to the American people after week 2). Or just push it thru w 51 votes (you aren’t ever going to get Lieberman to vote for it, so just push it thru and getrdone ;-) O-man better get up off his @$$ and pitch for the public option. As an IND voter, this is the defining issue for me and my family (my wife registered as a D)

    We will have some compromised reform, let us just hope it does more good than harm (after the conservadems have finished larding it up for their insurance co buddies, it will be a disaster – more so without a public option)

    Anyone have an opinion on the state-by-state opt-out public option?

  77. Smith Says:

    “let us just hope it does more good than harm”

    This is looking increasingly unlikely.

  78. shcb Says:

    I agree with your second paragraph Enky, they should just vote on it, I think either the Dems don’t think they have the votes (real embarasing if they vote and lose) or they want the cover of bipartisanship, my money is on the later.

    State by state opt out, I hadn’t heard about that but I’m usually in favor of the states taking care of this type of thing, not sure if it would work in this case. In any event, if that is the path to take just turn the whole thing over to the states and take it out of Washington.

    I can see some real problems with legistics, the company HQ is in one state, the plant is in another, the worker lives in a third and divides his time between two other plants or offices. I suppose that happens now so maybe it isn’t a big deal.

  79. knarlyknight Says:

    Is it true that Obama has more US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq combined than Bush ever did, and if so, how does that qualify him for the Peace prize?
    I can’t help thinking that if Bush were in charge when the LA fires raged, he would have sent in te Army or Blackwater (whatever they call themselves now) there would have been riots and everything between Hollywood and Disneyland would have resembled New Orleans after Katrina (except less wet, more charcoal).

    It’s sort of getting boring that there have been no major disasters under Obama, it seemed like every few months of Bush we had a disaster of unprecedented scale to talk about.

  80. shcb Says:

    what are you talking about?

  81. Smith Says:

    What I got out of it was:

    1. US has a lot of troops in the Mid East, so Obama should not get the Peace Prize
    2. Bush was a disaster of unprecedented scale

  82. shcb Says:

    Ok, everyone has an opinion, but wasn’t the beef in New Orleans that he didn’t send in troops fast enough? And now Knarly is saying that if he would have sent them in bigger numbers faster it would have been more of a disaster because people would have rioted, when there weren’t riots in California where there weren’t masses of troops, but there were riots, or at least looting in New Orleans until the troops got there.

    I’m confusing myself, I think it was a late night post on a Saturday night after a few fine Canadian brews.

  83. shcb Says:

    nl, I replied to your sports question below, sorry I missed that, I just haven’t been looking below this thread.

  84. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb, those were just some observations, didn’t necessarily intend them to be coherent. BTW, the biggest beef about police/military in New Orleans was that a key role was to go door to door and confiscate weapons. If you don’t have the right to bear arms in a major crisis like that where normal trappings of civilization have broken down then you really don’t have any right to bear arms at all.

    Is this the looting you meant?
    Confiscating weapons from wealthy home-owners:

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.