“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Protesters yelled "We saw the tape, we saw the tape."

Please watch this video and describe what you have seen. The boy, Martin Lee Anderson later died and as a result, the State of Florida did away with its boot camp system, awarded the boys parents $5 million and tried seven of the guards for Aggravated Felony Manslaughter. The guards were acquitted. Today 700 protestors marched on the Federal Courthouse. Protesters yelled, ''We saw the tape! We saw the tape!'' Now that you've seen the tape did you see a "rain of blows and kicks"? as an editorial in the Tallahassee Democrat claimed .


  1. 700?

    Watched some of that trial, I'd have voted to aquit, the charges did not fit.

    I'm not sure that the "boot camp" system was all that effective as a rehabilitation program for the young offenders, but the kid was suffering from undiagnosed sickle cell. The stress of running around the track killed him.

    Th ammonia cap to the nose, which the prosecution claimed was cruel, almost saved his life, but didn't

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  3. Man Returns to Oregon After Fleeing Into Idaho Because Oregon Jails Are 'Better'
    10-24-2007 4:07 PM

    ONTARIO, Ore. (Associated Press) -- An Oregon man was been arrested after fleeing police across a Snake River bridge into neighboring Idaho _ only to reverse course near the stateline because he reckoned Oregon jails would be better than those in Idaho.

    Michael Maddox, 42, was arrested earlier this week on suspicion of driving without insurance, failure to follow traffic laws, eluding police and drug possession.

    According to Oregon State Police, Maddox had eluded officers on Sunday by heading eastward in his car into Idaho.

    At that point, he stopped and drove back across the border before surrendering in a Wal-Mart store parking lot.

    An Oregon State Police trooper says Maddox told him he didn't want to go to jail in Idaho.

  4. If you are a criminal, stay out of Idaho.

  5. The young lad had a physical problem no one knew about.

    The "discipline" handed out to the kid was not beyond the pale in camps like these.

    The Officers went scurrying for help when they (and the Nurse) finally realized something was wrong.

    We had a kid die on a force march back in my service days - from an undiagnosed heart problem.

    This is why we call these things tragedies. If the youngster had a proper family life and upbringing, if he never entered a life of crime, etc. - then he would have never been there.

    Everything you do in life is not linked to your behavioral experiences in the formative years. All of us have free will, even at this young age.

    I'm glad the Officers were acquitted.

    This was indeed a tragedy. A kid lost in the system. No, not the "man's" system as Libs would say. I'll bet this kid was lost in his parent's system, probably from the very start.

  6. I have never been a fan of the "boot camp" concept for juvenile delinquents. I use that quaint term on purpose. The boot camp idea goes back to a time where unruly young men would be given an opportunity to straighten out in the military. Yes, it started with basic training, (boot camp), but basic was a stepping stone to the entire military experience. A young recruit had in his community other young men, a couple of years older, who wore a nice looking uniform, a responsible job, authority, respect, and part of something bigger than themselves. None of that is available to these feel good and well intentioned but mostly useless "boot camps."

    What I see on that video is not anything I saw in basic training. Basic training was challenging, tough but was not cruel. It went hand in hand with developing unit cohesion and individual and group development. It was based on physical training, but done by professionals. I did basic in Texas in July and August. A "red flag day" was a stand down from real strenuous training due to excessive heat. A troop down because of heat, received immediate medical attention and not disciplinary action.

    I saw on that video poorly trained pseudo para-military instructors failing to give immediate medical attention to an unfortunate young man. I did not see needless cruelty or criminal activity.

    The boot camp should have been closed and the concept reconsidered.

  7. The young men is these camps remind me of the feral dogs you see wandering third world streets. It is possible that they can change but unlikely.

  8. BTW, the Tallahassee Democrat has been a butt-wipe, fish wrap newspaper for as long as we've know about Moses!

  9. What did I see? I saw guards punching and kicking the boy. I saw them continue to manhandle him even after he was rendered helpless. I saw them treat him with casual and non caring contempt, assuming that he was faking his illness. Their body language was most illuminating. Up until the last few minutes some of them dragged him around like a rag doll while the others looked on totally unmoved. This included the nurse. Finally, near the very end, when he stopped moving, then and only then did they become alert and spring into action. They damn well knew if the kid died they were in big trouble. But what the hell. As one of the readers so vividly pointed out, these kids are like feral dogs, unlikely to change. Besides, the kid was black and we all know how they are. One less future criminal to worry about.