Air fresheners shouldn't have caused that arrest!


The Dumbness we're sold in Our Town:  Will we in Our Town ever understand how dumb we've turned out to be?

On Fox, they're told about our dumbness. Will we ourselves ever get clear about this major problem?

We've been dumb for a very long time over here in Our Town. At present, we're thinking about something we read yesterday at Slate. 

Yesterday, it happened at Slate! In an interview about the shooting death of Daunte Wright, this exchange appeared:

QUESTION (4/14/21): The Brooklyn Center police have said Wright was accidentally shot and that the officer thought she had her Taser. How has that been received there?

ANSWER: She was on the force longer than Daunte was alive. So I don’t know how you mistake one for the other. But let’s go back even further. Let’s say she actually thought it was a Taser. Let’s, in some freakish, strange, upside-down, Stranger Things world—let’s give her the benefit of the doubt. Why is she grabbing for that anyway? You’re out in suburban Minnesota. You’ll catch this man if you need to find him. There’s really nowhere to go. You got the license plates. The question is why did she feel the need to go for any weapon. For air fresheners? Why is that even the move? Regardless of what we think if it’s an accident or not, she shouldn’t have had her hand on anything, and you can see the look on the Black officer’s face afterwards in the bodycam. Like, “What the fuck are you doing?” I want to know what he thinks, without the protection of the blue line. So, no, I don’t believe her. I don’t think it was an accident. She’s a 26-year veteran who can’t tell the difference between a Taser and a gun? Then they shouldn’t be a police officer. She surely has no business being the president of the police union in Brooklyn Center either.

The names have been erased to protect the well intentioned. But there you see it, loud and clear. That's the kind of Damn Fool Stupid we're persistently sold in Our Town. More specifically, that's the kind of foolishness they're willing to publish at Slate.

Earth to Slate:

The officers weren't trying to arrest Wright because of his several air fresheners. They were trying to arrest him based on a series of events in which 1) he was accused of armed robbery (stealing $820 at gunpoint from a young woman), followed by 2) a second alleged gun offense in which he successfully fled from arrest, followed by 3) a failure to appear in court on that second gun offense charge, resulting in 4) a warrant for his arrest.

Through some chronology which hasn't been specified yet, those are the events which seem to have produced the attempt to arrest Wright. Once again, he attempted to flee, resulting in the apparent error which produced his death.

For the record, people who are 17-20 years old do lots of stupid things. By normal reckoning, (alleged) armed robbery involves a high level of same.

That said, Slate is the kind of publication which is actually willing to publish the "air fresheners"  line. (For a second such report, see below.)

Our question:

Can a major nation hope to survive in the modern world with a liberal world as dumb, incompetent and delusional as we have turned out to be?

How to speak Our Town's language: The offense for which the warrant was issued was a gun offense. (Remember how we liberals are normally concerned about guns?)

For whatever reason, the offense was listed as a "gross misdemeanor." Presumably, that's a bit of local legalese.

Confronted with this event, pundits know how to speak Our Town's preferred language. If they mention the warrant at all, they tend to avoid mentioning the fact that the offense involved a gun. Also, they drop the word "gross." 

Rolling their eyes as they dumb us all down, they proceed to say that the offense was "just a misdemeanor." After that, they may even cite the air fresheners! Why would anyone care about them?

We've seen these conversations all week. Can a modern nation hope to survive when its tribes are so happily dumb?

Our team is very, very dumb. We've been like this forever. 

UPDATE: Also being promoted at Slate: A second such report is also being promoted at Slate. Sorry, we just saw it:

Other media outlets have noted that, in the broader scheme of police violence, the number of people shot in lieu of being tased is small. But that fundamentally misses the point of why people are so deeply upset about Wright’s death, those who were shot or killed before him, and the ways in which police operate within communities.

Before the Brooklyn Center officer reached for either of her weapons, she chose to stop Daunte Wright in the first place. Traffic stops involving Black motorists are often done for tenuous reasons—Wright was reportedly stopped for an expired registration and an illegally positioned air freshener—and the interactions that follow are amplified by the police...

Why are people deeply upset? Because he was stopped  for air fresheners! Werewolves of London again!

Each of these two reports by Slate cites the demon fresheners. This second report doesn't mention the warrant at all.  (The first report barely does.)

Each report appeared yesterday. Each report is currently posted at the top of Slate's front page. 

Only five reports are positioned that prominently right now as we type. Two of the five are these. 

Can a modern nation expect to survive when its "news orgs" function like this?


  1. It hurts to be called dumb.

    1. "Can a modern nation hope to survive when its tribes are so happily dumb?

      Our team is very, very dumb. We've been like this forever."

      We are not dumb just because Somerby says so. This isn't the worst thing that liberals have been called by conservatives such as Somerby.

    2. You don't convince anyone of anything when you start by calling them dumb.

      Maybe convincing people isn't the purpose of Somerby's daily essays. Maybe his purpose is to label liberals as bad people in order to promote conservative goals. Conservatives don't mind it when Somerby calls us dumb, because he routinely gives them a pass.

    3. Perhaps a wisdom can eventually be born out of the woe of that insult.

    4. How do we get Somerby to have more wisdom so that he will stop calling us dumb?

    5. I don't know. I know that hurts and these issues are important to you. Maybe start by stop calling him an asshole. You'll find a way. There is certainly nothing to be afraid of.

    6. You think Somerby will stop being an asshole if I stop calling him one? I don't think the world works that way.

    7. Do whatever you think is best. The good thing is that there's nothing written here that poses any worry to anything or anyone at all.

    8. Hello everyone, am very happy to share this little awesome testimony about Dr olu a great herbal doctor who help me enlarge my penis size.3.2 cm to 8.3 cm longer with his herbal cream mixture, my girlfriend is now so amazed with the autonomous size of my penis , if you you are also in need of help on how to enlarge your penis to become bigger and stronger I adverse you to contact Dr on his email ( ) you or contact on whatsapp number +2348140654426 because he is one of the best herbal doctor that i can only show you up to, if your penis is 4.2 cm and want to get it reach 9.2 cm within three weeks i Dr olu is also specialized on breast enlargement and boobs enlargement i advise you to contact him for help  

      How can i ever stop saying thank you to Dr  olu    

    9. I am FRED and i want quickly recommend DR NCUBE for a Job well done by
      curing me from the genital herpes disease that have be giving me sleepless night. if you want to contact him, Simply do that via email or
      call/whatsapp +2348155227532
      he also have #herbs for
      He does all types of spell casting including love spell, marriage spell, promotion spell and fortune telling.

  2. Earth-to-Somerby -- it doesn't matter what they were trying to arrest Wright for. They shouldn't have shot him. All of the rest of this response applies, whether they stopped him for air fresheners or warrants.

    Note that they didn't find out about the warrants until after they had pulled him over for whatever other reason they thought they had. They found out about the warrants when they called in his license plate, after they had stopped him (according to CNN).

    Somerby doesn't buy the logic in that Slate Answer. I don't buy Somerby's logic here. What the person writing that Answer says about the black officer's expression, the experience of the office, and her reaching for her taser, all makes much more sense to me than anything Somerby has said.

    Why did she even reach for the taser at all?

    And then Somerby blows right past this point: "Traffic stops involving Black motorists are often done for tenuous reasons"

    This kind of traffic stop constitutes harassment of black motorists. It is being banned in some states, as it should be. Somerby doesn't want to deal with this and has no argument about it, other than to do his Werewolves of London schtick.

    BLM didn't invent this air freshener traffice stop -- it is an excuse used by the police. Somerby pretends that the media is making this up. They aren't. The police are using it to justify their harassment of black drivers, and some of them are getting shot as the result of innocuous behavior that wouldn't cause a white person to be stopped at all. And whenever there is an interaction with police, there is that potential for things to go sideways and a black person to wind up dead.

    But Somerby blames Slate. What an asshole he is!

  3. No one ever asks why people who have problems with the police lead a lifestyle that has warrants or other incidents in their past. Also, no one gets outraged when black people kill black people on a daily basis, which is 90% of the violent deaths from blacks.

    Here in Chicago, there is outrage over the police shooting a 13 year old, even though he was out at 2:30 in the morning with a 21 year old and he fired a gun. His mother, who had reported him missing a couple of days ago, is outraged. Does anybody ever discuss the single parent family culture of people who have interactions with the police? Of course not, because it is always the fault of "systemic racism". People have no responsibility at all for their conduct, it's somebody else's fault.

    1. Being out at 2:30 in the morning is no reason to shoot a black teenager.

      The kid ran away from home. They sometimes do that. It shouldn't be fatal.

      You seem to think that divorce or single family homes only occur among black people. That is untrue. Further, most white people are killed by white people. White kids run away from white homes too. When they do, they have more resources for help.

      Irresponsible behavior happens in all racial and demographic groups. It should not be fatal either.

    2. Holy Kyle Rittenhouse, 3:13.
      Is being a teenager on the street at night a death sentence in Illinois?

  4. "Rolling their eyes as they dumb us all down, they proceed to say that the offense was "just a misdemeanor.""

    We feel that it's not possible to dumb y'all down any more than y'all already are, dear Bob.

    Zombies, dear Bob. Can't get dumber than that.

    1. You were funnier when you pretended you weren't paid by the establishment.

  5. >>> he attempted to flee, resulting in the apparent error which produced his death.

    "Baseball begins in the spring, the season of new life.
    Football begins in the fall, when everything’s dying.
    In baseball you wear a cap.
    In football you wear a helmet.
    In football you receive a penalty.
    In baseball you make an error."
    -- George Carlin

  6. Bob has acquired the same respect form his liberal tribe as the president of the homeowners’ association has around the neighborhood. He proclaims that he’s one of us but we all know him to be a self important blowhard. He is a concern troll, and there is zero transparency as to why a Harvard Graduate would expend this kind of energy pretending to be a member of a group he relishes in calling dumb at every opportunity. If he feels that Fox is justified in calling liberals dumb, why not just post a link to Hannity and get out of the way? At least that is one bombastic a-hole who knows who he is.

    1. Thank you for sharing these opinions. One can tell you care deeply about your country and justice for all.

    2. 1:26

      I feel like lashing out also when faced with public comments with which I disagree. It seems so unfair. Thank you for sharing your feelings. I can feel your intelligence and passion for life in your writing.

  7. Your commentary as usual is a textbook example of the word pithy. Kudos to you for your thoughtful eloquence. Keep up the good work. You provide meaning and context to your environment in the blogosphere..

    1. If there is any question about to whom that was directed, you may take a well deserved bow 4:37.

  8. What is the world coming to when Bob Somerby is to the right of Pat Robertson?

  9. For those who have been insisting that there was no collusion between Trump and Russia to influence the 2016 election:

    1. The Senate Intelligence Report made the same accusation without saying Kilimnik was an intelligence source for the U.S. State Department since 2013. There was certainly no collusion between Trump and Russia and even if there was it would have had no effect at all on the outcome.

      Russia/Trump collusion fable was invented by the Intelligence community and promoted by Clinton to cover for her vast campaign mistakes and monumental defeat. It was meant for suckers like you.

      Good try though.

    2. LOL.
      Russia/ Trump collusion fable was invented by the corporate-owned Right-wing media, to cover-up the white supremacy fetish of the United States. The same white supremacy fetish they insist doesn't exist.

      Good try though.

    3. You'll always lose on the Russia Trump collusion canard. Sorry. That one is a loser. There's tons of other stuff to get Trump on though. So much.

    4. LOL.
      Russia wasn't about Trump. It was about the election of Trump.
      The Russia collusion will never work as a cover-uo for white supremacy
      Police departments blow that cover weekly.

    5. The corporate media is ridiculous. As if anyone would think it would take a foreign power to get Americans to elect a bigot.
      They'll still try, though. Remember the "Never Trumpers"? Talk about an obviously phony media shtick trying to make it look like not ALL Republicans are bigots.
      No one fell for it, because not one of them had the brains to make it look real by stating "Liberals have been correct about Conservatives for more than 4 decades now..."

    6. 10:01,
      The media only went to "Russia collusion" after everyone laughed at their silly "economic anxiety" excuse.

    7. Belief in Russia/Trump collusion is one of the best examples of liberal dumbness described above. Nobody's perfect.

    8. perfect?
      Some even fell for the phony "border crisis", dreamed-up to distract from Biden's bang-up job as Prez.
      Let's face it. People are gullible.

    9. Gullible and dumb. That's the point.

    10. Once you get them to believe in supply-side economics, getting them to believe the country isn't built on white supremacy is kids play.

  10. Five weeks ago my boyfriend broke up with me. It all started when i went to summer camp i was trying to contact him but it was not going through. So when I came back from camp I saw him with a young lady kissing in his bed room, I was frustrated and it gave me a sleepless night. I thought he will come back to apologies but he didn't come for almost three week i was really hurt but i thank Dr.Azuka for all he did i met Dr.Azuka during my search at the internet i decided to contact him on his email he brought my boyfriend back to me just within 48 hours i am really happy. What’s app contact : +44 7520 636249‬