and, in my year, I found many first-ratenminds whose company I treasured andnwho remain valued fi’iends.nI am puzzled by the claim thatnBritain has nothing comparable to IAS,nsince I have been appointed VisitingnFellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge University,nto pursue research there inn1992. But that does not detract firomnmy admiration for Professor Garlandnand my pleasure in addressing hisnpoints.nTHE NOW FAMOUS VIDEO ofnthe Los Angeles police beating did not,nfor me, evoke the formulaic outragenthat the media intended. Instead,nstrangely, it brought back a flood ofnmemories from my misspent youth, anyear of which was passed as a reporternon the “police beat” of a daily newspapernin a medium-sized city. Every day Inwas in and around the station house,nthe courts, and scenes of crime andndisaster (which, among other things,nhas made me a better historian than if Inhad spent the same time in a library).nIn those days it was not a foregonenconclusion that when there was a differencenof opinion between a law officernand a felon, a reporter wouldnalways side with the felon. I had othernadvantages as well: I was the son of anfire captain who had more than oncenbeen subjected to sniper fire by “civilnrights” activists while trying to keepnneighbors’ houses from burning down.nFor these and other reasons, my liberalneducation had not taken and my sympathiesnwere generally with the cops,nhumanly flawed as they often were.nOne day off duty I saw an incidentnthat crystallized a lifelong determinationnto always give the police thenbenefit of the doubt. I was on my waynfrom lunch, walking across the mainnsquare of Charlotte, literally the busiestnspot in the Carolinas, and throngednwith the noon crowd. A young mannwas coming down the sidewalk towardnme. He was white, about 19, clean-cut,nand neatly dressed. Without warning,nhe began striking people in the facenwith his fist as he passed them.nThe only authority in sight was anOn ‘Vermont’s Secession’nFrank Bryan’s “The Case for Vermont’snSecession” (April 1991) was heartwarmingnto those of us who believe thatnAbraham Lincoln was the midwife tonthe Leviathan that today straddles thenPotomac River, and that the U.S. Constitutionnwas the most important casualtynof the American Civil War.nI wish Mr. Bryan and his sympathizersnthe best of luck in moving towardnCULTURAL REVOLUTIONSnshort, overweight policeman, well intonmiddle age. He ran puffing down thenblock and grappled with the youth,ntrying to restrain him. The officer soonnsaw he was getting the worst of it. Hengave the young man a tap with hisnnightstick—a quite gentle tap undernthe circumstances. That did not do thentrick and was followed by a second.nImagine the reaction of the passersbynwho came upon the scene only atnthe end. They saw a nice-lookingnyoung man lying on the sidewalk withnblood flowing from his head, an unprepossessingnpoliceman hovering overnhim with a club. I noted the oohs andnahs issuing from three very welldressednwomen, of the incorrigiblenupper-middle-class do-gooder type,nwho had just come up. It was clearnwhere their sympathies lay.nFor the policeman, it was a no-win.nSuppose he had not subdued the aggressor?nThe same women would havenbeen screaming at the failure of protection.nFor all I know he was chewed outnthe next day by the chief, who wasnmuch more interested in fitting in atnthe country club than in the welfare ofnhis men. Lesson: our reactions arenoften aesthetic and self-indulgentnwhen they ought to be rational andnethical. Spoiled Americans want tonrule the world and live in prosperitynand safety, but we get in a dudgeonnwhen reminded of the ugly details.nPresident Bush is a cultural type ofnexactly the same cut as the threenwomen, who were undoubtedly thenwives of transplanted Northern corporationnexecutives, eager to believe thenworst of a red-neck Southern cop. Thennnsecession. While I find no fault in hisnreasoning, there are two negative factorsnI don’t believe he has considered. First,nif Vermont secedes, what will it donabout the millions of refugees streamingnin from the remaining 49 states (myselfnincluded)? Second, you will probably allnbe shot.nStill, freedom is such a cheerful andntempting prospect.n—/. Michael BolinskinDevon, PAnPresident avowed that what he saw ofnthe Rodney King tape “sickened” him.nI seem to recall a campaign clip of thenPresident shoulder to shoulder in solidaritynwith the Boston police. Butnmaybe that was only a campaign position,nlike being against taxes and affirmativenaction.nAs far as I know, no one pointed outnthat this fastidious TV viewer hadnrecently given orders by whichn100,000 Iraqis were incinerated ornotherwise had their lives terminated.nMany of them doubtless were veryndecent human beings by comparisonnwith Rodney King. They seem in mostncases merely to have been trying to getnaway, arid not contemplating a felony.nAside from his irrepressible NewnEngland priggishness, which causesnhim to refer all public issues back to hisnprivate emotions, Bush is not thatndifferent from the rest of us. He is anvictim of the moral obtuseness of whatnRichard Weaver called “the spoilednchild mentality” and of the strangenmental disconnections that afflict peoplenwhose idea of the world is formednby publicity and television. Of course,nthe President’s military minions, unlikenthe police, did not have the mediantaping the more unseemly aspects ofntheir mission, which was kept neat andnupbeat for the viewers back home.nIt is axiomatic that we can never —nnever—trust the media to tell thentruth about these things. They willnalways make the police look as bad andnthe criminals as good as possible, suppressingnessential facts and contexts tonserve their agenda. There are still a fewnof us around who remember accuratelynJULY 1991/7n