the day of the Kennedy assassination.nFor the first few hours, Cronkite (“thenmost trusted man in America”) was onnthe air reporting that the President hadnbeen shot by right-wing extremists innDallas. The media have no basis fornjudging the merits or proportions of annissue except a liberal Pavlovian response.nOne of the givens of theirnworld is that a criminal who is anmember of a minority group is alwaysnunjustly treated and excusable.nThe media people, far from beingnthe paragons of wisdom and fairnessnthat they portray themselves, are ofnquite mediocre intelligence and dubiousnethics. They are selected by thensame criteria used to choose actors forntoilet paper commercials. Politicians, asndespicable as they are, eventually mustnanswer to rivals, voters, and prosecutors.nThe television news celebritiesncan lie endlessly without any responsibility,nexcept to the few unknown oldnplutocrats who employ them, a systemnof irresponsible monopoly we call freedomnof the press.nMy time on the police beat coincidednwith the arrival of the WarrennCourt’s edicts expanding the rights ofndefendants. The impact was palpablen— demoralization of the cops, debasementnof trials into the dishonest pursuitnof technicalities over justice, and increasedncrime on the streets. There wasna cause-and-effect relationship as clearnand demonstrable as anything in thensocial sphere can be. Suddenly thencops no longer had the discretion toncarry out the most essential part ofntheir job — stopping the criminals beforentheir crimes.nOf course, there were and alwaysnhad been police abuses, but they werennot so widespread and major as tonrequire the Supreme Court to tie thenhands of the officers of the law. Thenrestrictions were purely and simply thenresult of ideology and sentimentality —nthe feeling that crime could be curednby bribing and coddling the criminal.nWe now know beyond doubt what thenfruits of that are, yet we are doomed tonlive with the institutionalized idiocy.nSurely the LAPD does not appearnto best advantage in that tape, andnwhere correction and punishment arencalled for, they should come—afterncareful proceeding and not in an atmospherenof political hysteria, and forndiscipline, not vengeance. But wen8/CHRONICLESnshould give the officers at least as muchnbenefit of doubt and technicalities asnfederal judges and the ACLU bestownon the most heinous offenders. We donnot know and can hardly imagine whatnthose policemen may have gonenthrough in the minutes — not to mentionnthe hours, days, and months —nbefore that videocam was pointed atnthem; nor what were all the experiencesnand dynamics that played into thatnincident.nThe beleaguered policemen mustnsubdue increasingly violent and numerousnlawbreakers, protect the publicnand themselves, and be constitutionalnlawyers, all in the same instant. It is notntoo surprising that they will fall downnon the job or even succumb to a littlenparanoia now and then, especially innthe face of an uncomprehending andnunappreciative public. All we asked ofnSchwarzkopf was to whip a greatlynoutnumbered enemy, with an unlimitednpurse and no real scrutiny. Thousandsnof policemen are asked every daynto do things much more difficult.nWe cannot let the politicians andnmediacrats use a few instances of policenexcess to divert us from the realnissue, as they would like. The real issuenis an ever-escalating war against humanitynby criminals who operate innAmerica today on a scale and with anfreedom unprecedented in human history.nIn the final analysis, we cannsurvive well enough with a RodneynKing roughed up now and then,nthough it ought to be discouraged. Butnwhat remains of Western civilization innthis country cannot survive a half hournwithout officers of the law willing tonrisk life and limb on the front line of anwar far more vital to our welfare thannMr. Bush’s late glorious expeditionnamongst the Infidel. First things first.n—Clyde WilsonnAMERICAN IGNORANCE ofnEuropean politics is as sublime as ever.nAll eyes switch back and forth (as in antennis match) from the Middle East tonEastern Europe, and what goes onnamong the allies who gave us ourncivilization — France, Germany, Italy,nBritain — remains a closed book. OfnEngland we hear occasional tidingsnfrom her expatriate journalists, butneven in this case the news is limited tonthe inner workings of the liberal Toriesnnnwho fought under Mrs. Thatcher’snbanner.nItaly is the most extreme example: ancountry that everyone wants to visitnand no one wants to read about. Lastnfall we informed our readers of thenearly progress made by the Italiannautonomist movement spearheaded bynthe Lega Lombarda. Since then, virtuallynthe only notice in the press hasnbeen David Dinkins’ casual lumpingnof the Lega together with “nationalnfront” groups. The Lega Lombardan(and its umbrella organization thenLega Nord) is actually the opposite ofnmost right-wing movements: its emphasisnis regional and local, as opposednto national; it opposes all forms ofnimperialism; and so far from wanting tonrebuild a fascist state that can make thentrains run on time, the party’s leader,nSenator Umberto Bossi, wants to decentralizenthe Italian state and set up anfederal constitution, on the Swiss model,nwith three republics.nThe press had been predicting thatnthe rapid ascent of the Lega wouldnsoon be stalled as voters got wind of itsntrue objectives, and even up till the daynbefore the local elections in November,nthe Corriere della Sera was publishingnsurvey results that angered illnfor Bossi and his party. Unfortunately,nBossi, who had been predicting victory,nturned out to be a better prognosticatornthan the professionals. One town innLombardia went 31.2 percent for thenLega, and in other communes thenparty’s share went from around 11 tonaround 17 percent of the total. Butneven while eating crow the day after,njournalists pointed to feuds within thenLega’s ranks, and the pros are confidentnthat the autonomist movement isna flash in the pan.nNonetheless, the prominent weeklynEspresso, back in September, devotednan entire section to Bossi’s idea of threenrepublics, and now you can’t pick up annewspaper or magazine without seeingnthe senator’s face or reading of somennew outrageous statement. GiorgionBocca, a prominent commentator fornEspresso, has consistently been advisingnItalians to take Senator Bossi seriously,nand in a January 6 columnnargued that 1991 would be the test.nItalians are so fed up with corruptionnand organized crime that they will benwilling to support the various leaguesnall over Italy. The main thing, Boccan