The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Anarchy in Baltimore

Posted on | April 28, 2015 | 128 Comments

What happened Monday night in Baltimore, the Economist reported, “is perhaps best described not as a riot but as anarchy”:

Though there are police lines, there are few protesters or people fighting the police or hurling stones. Indeed, where the police are lined up, the people standing around are mostly taking photos on their phones. Drive a few blocks in any direction, though, and suddenly it feels lawless. Groups of young men, boys really, wearing bandanas and hoodies, stand on street corners next to derelict buildings, staring at anyone passing, and occasionally throwing projectiles at cars. Young women hurry home carrying bags of stolen loot: food, clothes, and bottles of beer and liquor. On the occasional street here and there cars burn freely. Shops, of which there are not many in this abandoned corner of the inner city, are ravaged, their windows smashed, their shelves picked over. Cars hurtle through red lights at high speed, music blaring, boys leaning out of the windows. And everywhere the intense smell of smoke and the buzz of helicopters overhead.

The Baltimore Sun reports:

As night fell, looters took to Mondawmin Mall and a Save-A-Lot and Rite Aid in Bolton Hill, loading up cars with stolen goods. About 10 fire crews battled a three-alarm fire at a large senior center under construction at Chester and Gay streets, as police officers stood guard with long guns. . . .
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake declared a curfew across the city starting Tuesday and for the next week, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for adults and 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. for children aged 14 and younger. She drew a distinction between peaceful protesters and “thugs” she said engaged in rioting Monday intend on “destroying our city.”
“It’s idiotic to think that by destroying your city, you’re going to make life better for anybody,” Rawlings-Blake said.

(“Idiotic”? Ma’am, these are Democrat voters you’re talking about.)

At Rawlings-Blake’s request, Gov. Larry Hogan signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency and activating the Maryland National Guard. . . .
The governor is sending 500 state troopers to Baltimore and requesting as many as 5,000 officers from neighboring states, he said in a press conference.
“I have not made this decision lightly,” Hogan said. “The National Guard represents a last resort.”

Of course, if the National Guard can’t restore order, President Obama could deploy the 82nd Airborne Division, or maybe order some Predator drone strikes against the rioters, but we probably don’t want think about that “last resort.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates offers intellectual excuses for the rioters:

Rioting broke out on Monday in Baltimore—an angry response to the death of Freddie Gray, a death my native city seems powerless to explain. Gray did not die mysteriously in some back alley but in the custody of the city’s publicly appointed guardians of order. And yet the mayor of that city and the commissioner of that city’s police still have no idea what happened. . . .
The citizens who live in West Baltimore, where the rioting began, intuitively understand this. I grew up across the street from Mondawmin Mall, where today’s riots began. My mother was raised in the same housing project, Gilmor Homes, where Freddie Gray was killed. Everyone I knew who lived in that world regarded the police not with admiration and respect but with fear and caution. People write these feelings off as wholly irrational at their own peril, or their own leisure. The case against the Baltimore police, and the society that superintends them, is easily made . . .

Right. Liberals must blame “society,” despite the fact that the “publicly appointed guardians of order” answer to a “society” (i.e., the citizens of Baltimore) who in 2012 gave 87% of their votes to Barack Obama. Yet it is predictable that, to people whose politics is a simple devotion to (a) electing Democrats and (b) supporting liberal policies, the evidence of failure leaves them angry, confused and hunting for scapegoats. Democrats cannot be blamed, nor can the party’s most loyal constituents be held responsible, and the possibility that liberalism is itself the problem — well, no, thoughts like that never cross the mind of someone like Ta-Nehisi Coates. His worldview is completely fact-proof and immune to the influence of logical deduction.

This is the political gospel of modern liberalism: People who vote 87% Democrat are never to be blamed for anything they do wrong. And really, the liberal asks, isn’t “wrong” kind of a judgmental word when applied to the peace-loving citizens of Baltimore?



  • gothamette

    In your response to me, you wrote, “They’re just so constrained by policy that it has come to the point where they can do more to protect a citizen than to protect themselves.”

    “Constrained by policy” is the exact opposite of “anarchy.”

    If the police are “constrained by policy” then by definition there is no anarchy.

    Thank you government burger, you clarified an important concept, which was previously unclear to me. Before I read your comment I was inclined to agree with the lazy piece of journalism. Now I know better.

    Thanks again!

  • gothamette

    Supply that meaning, genius. Oh well, I just looked it up:

    “a state of disorder due to absence or nonrecognition of authority.”

    Which is NOT what is happening in Baltimore. The rioters recognize authority perfectly well. That authority has decided to allow the rioters to cause mayhem. The moment authority decides to clamp down, they’d scatter like flies. But that won’t happen. This is NOT anarchy.

    “absence of government and absolute freedom of the individual, regarded as a political ideal.”

    And everything that ‘gb’ said would happen, would happen.

    The shop owners would have hired mercenaries, and the mercenaries would have shot the rioters without mercy. But there would have been no riots in the first place.

  • Finrod Felagund

    I admit I stole the idea from Instapundit, who had a lot of fun with that general meme in 2013 and 2014.

  • Art Deco

    I’ll take that personally.

  • Pingback: Watcher’s Council Nominations – Burning Baltimore Edition | Nice Deb()

  • Pingback: Watcher’s Council Nominations – Burning Baltimore Edition |

  • Pingback: Trevor Loudon's New Zeal Blog » Watcher’s Council Nominations – Burning Baltimore Edition()

  • Pingback: The Razor » Blog Archive » Council Submissions: April 29, 2015()

  • JL

    I giggled.

  • alanstorm

    “Gray did not die mysteriously in some back alley but in the custody of the city’s publicly appointed guardians of order, (who have been democrats for the last 5 decades.)


  • Daniel Freeman

    1. I was commenting on your impression of the photo.

    2. Yes, the difference between the police being afraid and the photo giving you that impression is a big one — and I addressed it.

    3. If I contributed nothing, then why did you quote that exact same comment in the thread above? Clearly, even you found my point about policy constraints substantive and interesting.

    I don’t know who peed in your Cheerios, but I’m not interested in arguing for its own sake. If you want to blast me, fine — I’m sure that sometimes I deserve it — but at least have a good, non-self-contradicting reason for it.

    ETA: I appreciate disagreement. Dialogue is the process by which we correct error. People here change my mind all the time, and I look forward to our next conversation being more productive than this one.

  • theoldsargesays

    Well in that case I reckon you won’t mind much if I don’t he same?

  • gothamette

    I quoted you because the quote contradicted the point you were making, below, about anarchy.

    As for the rest of your comments, they don’t merit response.

  • ubik

    Shooting looters is a start.
    Or accept a burned out city.
    Wonder if Starbucks will open some stores in the areas destroyed by fire. Wouldn’t that be a great statement against racism?
    An Apple Store might be a magnet to bring in other businesses.
    Where are you Tim Cook? End racism, open Apple stores, Starbucks and Whole Foods. Maybe a couple of Chipotles to avoid food desertification.
    The horror, the horror, of not having a Chipoltle. It’s in the extended/super extended Apocalypse Now. Trust me.

  • Pingback: Watcher’s Council Nominations – Burning Baltimore Edition |

  • Douglas Stewart

    They told me if I voted for Mitt, it would be another 4 years of Bush Republican policy. Glad that didn’t happen.

  • Finrod Felagund

    Go for it!

  • Finrod Felagund

    Oh look, an idiot leftist troll followed me here from Daily Caller, like mud on your boots.

  • Pingback: Watcher of Weasels » The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results()

  • Wombat_socho

    “The penalty for cowardice, stupidity, and bad posting in the face of the enemy is death by order of the Commissar.”
    “Who defines bad posting, sir?”
    “That would be the Commissar.”
    “Okay then. Glad we got that straight, sir.”

  • Wombat_socho

    It’s more of that “disparate impact” horseshit – if more blacks are being arrested for crime X, then obviously the law is RAAAAACIST. The notion that blacks might be violating the law in larger numbers is just unpossible!

  • Pingback: The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results | Virginia Right!()

  • Pingback: The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results — 05/01/15 |

  • Pingback: The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results – 05/01/15 |

  • Pingback: Trevor Loudon's New Zeal Blog » The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results – 05/01/15()

  • Douglas Stewart

    Sorry Kid, I’m an independent voter since the 1960’s. I decide who wins, not you.

  • Pingback: FMJRA 2.0: For The Northern Lights And The Southern Comfort : The Other McCain()

  • Pingback: Watcher’s Council winners for May 1, 2015()