Tuesday 29 March 2011

Progressives Were Waaaaaay Ahead Of Them, Paul

Paul Harris (US correspondent for the Guardian) has his panties in a bunch over the comedy-gold televised ‘Sheriff Joe and Steve Seagal’ show:
In a post-Jersey Shore world surely nothing could emerge from reality TV that could actually shock?
If the answer was ‘No’, you wouldn’t be writing this, would you?
This week, a bizarre incident unfolded in Phoenix, Arizona, involving 115 roosters, an out-of-control sheriff, several tanks, a Swat team, a suspected cockfighter, a bomb robot and – like a muscular, suntanned cherry on top of the whole pile – faded action star Steven Seagal.
Oooh! Do tell.
Police suspected local man Jesus Sanchez Llovera, 43, of running an illegal cockfighting ring (the huge flock of roosters on his property no doubt being the clinching clue). So they decided to arrest him. While he was at home. Alone. Unarmed. With no police record of owning any weapons.
In other words, they brought in overwhelming force, just in case their original info was wrong.

Why do you find that surprising?
So, instead of pulling up outside Llovera's house and knocking on his door, Arpaio assembled a mini-army of police deputies, two armoured vehicles, a fully-armed Swat team and the bomb robot. They descended on Llovera's house and smashed his windows, knocked down his gate with one of the tanks and arrested him. Seagal, dressed in combat fatigues and sunglasses and sporting a gun on his hip, was riding in one of the police tanks. Seagal's film crew taped the whole thing. No doubt, after heavy editing, it will make for a few dramatic moments of television.
Hey, if you don’t like it, don’t watch it.
The reasons to be stunned and shocked at this barely need describing and should appal anyone of any political background
Translation: ‘It appals me, so it should appal everyone else, too, or they just aren’t human!’.
First off is the cost: across America, cities are slashing policing to the bone to cope with severe budget cuts. Yet, in Arizona, the needs of an ageing action star's reality show resulted in a raid that some lawyers estimate would have cost thousands of dollars.
The Yanks directly elect their lawfolks. If the good people of Arizona think this is a waste of their tax dollars, they’ll be able to do something about it.

If they don’t, well, who are you to complain? You don’t, after all, live there.
Second, it has emerged that Seagal has a contract with the sheriff's department that allows him free reign to go along on any arrests the sheriff makes. In a country notoriously – and often admirably – obsessed with individual freedoms and constitutional rights, why has so much privilege in the realm of law and order been granted to a reality TV star?
Because he’s more than just a tv star – he graduated from a police academy in California and he's a reserve deputy sheriff in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, as one of the commenters points out.

Don’t you do any of that, ummm, research stuff?
Finally, there is the horrific blending of policing and entertainment that this incident represents. The two should be kept utterly apart.
There goes most of Channel Five’s programming then…
Arpaio, for his part, denies staging the whole thing for Seagal and his show. What about Seagal's thoughts? In his low, grumbling monotone, he explained to one local TV reporter the reasoning for his presence on the raid. "Animal cruelty is one of my pet peeves," he said.

That's nice. But keeping idiotic reality TV shows away from the operation of a police force and the administration of justice is one of mine.
Frankly, I fail to see how Seagal and the sheriff could possibly bring law and order and the justice system into any further disrepute, following the last several decades of progressive theories...

And hey, anytime the states get tired of Sheriff Joe (unlikely, which is what really annoys you, eh?), there's a lot of people who'd be just delighted to see him take over here!


Captain Haddock said...

There is little about the Septics which I find either admirable or worthy of respect ..

Sheriff Joe Arpaio being the exception to the rule ..

Apparently, I'm not the only one either .. as he keeps being re-elected ..

He can start work here tomorrow for my money ..

David Gillies said...

I'm partially with him here. The way that police in the US have become a paramilitary force rather than peace officers is very worrying. People do get shot by mistake on both sides (q.v. Cory Maye and Sal Culosi, to name a couple,) and this case does seem like an absurd overreaction.

Anonymous said...

I have seen footage of Seagal teaching Aikido and when he is not 'on' for the cameras, he comes across as a decent guy keen on teaching martial arts.

In fact I think I am going to brake out Under Seige tonight!

blueknight said...

I would have liked to see Sheriff Joe and his deputies sort out the Fortnum and Mason mass trespass.
The one redeeming feature of elected Police chiefs

JuliaM said...

"The way that police in the US have become a paramilitary force rather than peace officers is very worrying."

They are mostly responding to a very real threat, though. The murder rate for police that side of the water would - I hope - not be tolerated here.

"I would have liked to see Sheriff Joe and his deputies sort out the Fortnum and Mason mass trespass."

Me too!

Mr Ecks said...

Sheriff Joe is a scumbag. It is one thing to see real nasty pieces of criminal work getting the well-deserved shit kicked out of them. That could be the very effective punishment without the need for the expensive and morally bankrupt prisons of the world.
Remember tho' that dear Sheriff Joe runs his own mini-concentraition camp many of whose inmates are not thugs and murderers but are people who have ,for example, taken a puff of wacky backy or some other victimless "crime" that political filth don't like them doing.A considerable number of Dear Joe's "guests" will have commited NO crime other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time so as to fitted up by some bluebottle who wanted a "result". Such people are all humiliated and degraded by the Dear Sheriff and his goons.
I suggest you look at the websites of Wendy McIlroy and Radley Balko for an insight into the true corruption and villiany of the Amerikan police state.

Mr Ecks said...

PS Balko has written about the lies US cops peddle about how dangerous their job is. Every year is , it seems , the worse year ever for cop killings . Except they aren't. As in the UK the dangers of being a bluebottle are massively over-exaggerated.The cock-fighting impressrio was prob a nasty piece of work but it did not need a small army to take him down. They routinly use such thug squads to raid the offices of doctors doctors who prescribe vitamins the FDA don't approve of . The last medical hack I heard of being good with a gun was Doc Halliday and he was a dentist(although Shipman was fairly deadly).