Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Bruce St James

Bruce St. James is a radio host on a local radio show in the Phoenix Metro Area.  I understand he is a better movie reviewer than radio host.  He comes across as the typical libertarianesque radio host.  Less government, cops are too heavy handed “Its not a riot until the cops show up” (one of his quotes).   For the most part he is pretty harmless until he opens his mouth and starts spewing misinformation.   Well to be honest some of it is just his opinion but he is so wrong on every topic and it drives me nuts.   I think the first time I heard him was when he was stating that guy who had his nephew dress up in a sheet and a very real looking replica RPG to simulate a Middle Eastern terrorist on a street corner in Phoenix had not broken any laws.  Well the courts seemed to disagree and I am guessing Bruce never read the endangerment statute that he was charged with, but it was his opinion and he as an American is entitled to be ignorant to the laws and even entitled to spew his ignorance for everyone to hear (while getting paid to do it is pretty impressive).  

The next time I heard him he was talking about some shenanigans at the City of Phoenix and pension spiking (which I agree that there is some abuse and much of the spiking practices need to stop) and he made some comment about it going on because police unions pay off the elected officials so they don’t put an end to it.  No empirical data to support his position, just a statement.  Never mind the fact that a police union can only contribute roughly $400 to any given candidate, even if the largest group of unions that are aligned for political donations got together for one candidate gave the full amount each candidate would get a maximum of $10,000.  Now that is not to say a politician is not going to sell their soul for 400 bucks or even ten thousand dollars, but lets’ be realistic.  The city was giving away millions, do you really think a few bucks that can be scrounged together is going to buy off millions of dollars a year of waste?  But just blowing out your ass wild statements without empirical data to support them is much more fun and better for ratings in this market.

A while after that I heard him talking about the war on drugs and how President Obama commuted the sentences for a few people he felt were incarcerated too long for “minor” crimes and such.   One of those was Stephanie George whom Mr. St James described as just getting caught up because her boyfriend stored some drugs and cash at her apartment.  While it is true that her boyfriend claimed to be the owner of said drugs and cash, let’s look at this in a little more detail.  She was not sentenced to a mandatory 25 years because of this single arrest.  She had 3 previous crack cocaine related CONVCITIONS not just arrests.  Keep in mind this was during a time when crack was ravaging US cities and murder rates were skyrocketing.   In the early 90’s when I lived in New York City crack was destroying the city from within.  You could not walk down the street outside of midtown without seeing empty crack vials all over the ground.  In some places it was so bad you would lose your footing on the thousands of empty crack vials on the stairs of the subway and such.  In the early 90’s the murder rate in NYC hovered around 2000 people a year.  Now its closer to 400 a year, a massive reduction.  Cities and states struggled to curb the violence that crack was bringing to our cities.  Thus the mandatory minimums were developed to keep repeat offenders from continuing to dole out their poison and death.   In Ms. Georges case she had the previous three convictions for dealing and using crack cocaine and was found with 1.2 pounds of cocaine ($15,000 value), the equipment to convert powder cocaine to crack.  And $17,000 in cash.  All of which belonged to her ex boyfriend who paid her to care for all of these items and contraband.  So let’s be honest about her culpability, she was an active participant in wholesale distribution of crack cocaine.  Bruce commented that it was not a violent offense which in itself is true and was excessive in sentence.  What most non cops do not realize is that 95% of murders fall in to two categories.  Drug rips and Domestic Violence.  DV murders can be lovers, or any family relationship and drug rips are what the news calls “a drug deal gone bad” , more specifically an armed robbery over drugs or drug money gone bad.  But I digress.  The remaining 5% are for all of the other non drug and DV related, types like road rage, one neighbor kills the other over too much noise (it happens) and the ultra rare random murder.  So yes, her drug crime was not violent per se but the violence that is a byproduct of said drugs is a very real component that Mr. St James left out of his blathering of dribble.    

I really like KTAR but when he is on as soon as he starts talking about anything of merit I am forced to change back to the depths of NPR where I know its slanted because I cannot take the complete reckless disregard for the truth.  There I was driving somewhere channel surfing and I hear them talk about “gang related” issues, well dealing with gang members regularly and having two gang members currently serving prison sentences for threatening to kill me with their gang, I became interested.  It was an NFL member getting kicked out or something for gang activity.  Bruce states that he has quite a bit of experience riding with the gang unit and states from his expert opinion that he was not a gang member but “gang related”  or the correct term “a Gang Associate”  someone who affiliates with known gang members but is not an actual member.  He points out that one of the incidents drawing this attention was the subject making gang signs during a football game.  What????  If Bruce were an expert on gangs he would realize that very bad things happen to “non gang members” flashing real gang signs (acting as if there were a member of the gang) and in fact it is reason for a serious beating.  Anyone who hangs around gang members knows that until they earn the right to be a member (by whatever means is required for that gang) they are not allowed to say they are a member, flash signs or do any such thing without reprisal.   But then again it was his opinion, but at least a few hundred people listen to him and think highly of his opinion.

Now  it brings me to yesterday when I got in the car KTAR was on and I hear them talk about an incident in Chandler where 5 schools are locked down over an armed suspect.  Well again without having all of the facts normally the co-hosts are voices of reason but this time they jumped on the tardwagon and jumped to conclusions with Bruce.  They went on the assumption that Chandler PD locked down the area and five schools because an open carry guy or someone removing a hunting rifle from his car or something.  Bruce drones on and on about how it’s legal get over it and how this is being blown way out of proportion.  Well in their defense the news was vague, but when is the last time you heard the police locking down 5 schools for an open carry guy out trying to prove his point?  Um………Um………Um……..I cant think of one can you?  That is because they don’t!  Hundreds of times a day retarded people call the police because someone is open carrying and how many of those turn into school lock downs and such?  What really happened was a felon with a gun was running through a trailer park pointing the gun at people and later shooting at officers.  Not your typical open carry situation is it?  Should people get over calling the cops on that Bruce, was that an overreaction?  Who overreacted over the situation?  You jumping to conclusions or the people who called or the cops?    

When you tell people to calm down over open carry rifles Just remember this, when it comes to open carry with a rifle Adam Lanza and James Holmes were both legally open carrying rifles right up to the moment they committed the atrocities.   

At one point a while back I heard Bruce tell people not to take his word because he is a moron and we should look things up ourselves.  I had to wonder was he a genius spewing misinformation in an effort to get people to educate themselves or was in fact a moron?   I struggled with this because I did in fact learn more by getting frustrated with him, but then I drew the conclusion that he was right, he was in fact a moron, that thinks so much of his opinion he considers it fact.  I suppose this comes from being a movie critic where his opinion is considered of above average value compared to other people.  So maybe he is just a victim of his other profession.  Regardless, I prefer less windbagedness in my libertarian radio host; I prefer Larry Elder.  Larry makes his points with empirical data to support his position.  And his voice is not as whiney and does not grate on my nerves.  Check out Larry at www.larryelder.com


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