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November 07, 2011

Walter Russell Mead on Privilege

I stumbled over a column (I hesitate to call the DenBestian-length and -quality piece a mere blog post) by Walter Russell Mead yesterday on the topic of privilege. Specifically, the collapse of expectations of privilege that is fueling the Occupy movement and various other protests.

He starts with police union privilege:

New Yorkers are getting an uncomfortable look at the ugly realities behind what we like to think of as the country’s bluest, most European and most enlightened city. A series of trials now underway in the Bronx reveal the harsh truth of embedded corruption and contempt for the public at the heart (if that is the right word) of the New York City police union.

A palpably shocked New York Times covered the story last week as union-organized cops hurled their venom and hate at the law they are sworn to uphold:

As 16 police officers were arraigned at State Supreme Court in the Bronx, incensed colleagues organized by their union cursed and taunted prosecutors and investigators, chanting “Down with the D.A.” and “Ray Kelly, hypocrite.”


Together with a string of other recent cases, the Bronx case suggests that a culture of corruption and entitlement has spread through the ranks of the thin blue line. Worse, it is clear that police union officials are the mainstay of the illegal ticket fixing enterprise, so much so that prosecutors considered indicting the union as a corrupt organization under racketeering laws. The police demonstration in the Bronx was apparently orchestrated by the union, which sent text messages to officers urging that they show up to support colleagues involved in ticket fixing. “It’s a courtesy, not a crime,” was the slogan.

Read the whole thing.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 07:19 AM

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