Thursday, August 14, 2014

Unnamed Cop/Michael Brown Fight - And Social Norms

A recurring thought I have had, since I first heard about the killing of Michael Brown by an unnamed Ferguson, Missouri cop is:

The confrontation wouldn't have occurred, if the police were not enforcing victimless, petty "crimes."

Others are thinking along the same lines.'s Ed Krayewski penned this gem:
"America's various polities pass laws that demand cops police what used to be understood as harmless (selling loosies) or at-your-own-risk (walking in the street) behavior, these encounters will continue, especially among poor and marginalized communities, whom these laws tend to effect and in whose communities they tend to be more strictly enforced." from "Some Thoughts on Ferguson, Newark, State Violence, Insurrections, and Democracy"
Apparently, Michael Brown and his friend were jaywalking. According to Brown's friend, they were instructed in some manner to get out of the street, then the cop started to drive away. But apparently, the two friends did not move quickly enough, because the cop reversed his car to confront the two about leaving the street.

Now, I'm sure that there are plenty of people out there that think a "young punk" deserves to be slammed to the ground for disrespecting authority. But respect is earned, and it is not by being a petty dictator forcing petty victimless "laws." Respect is learned, when one is respected, and one is taught to respect others - in a respectful way.

As far as I have heard, the two dominant versions of the incident quickly diverged. Brown's friend said that, when the cop had reversed his car back to their position, he swung open his door so swiftly that the door hit the friends rebounding and hit the cop. The "official" version is that the two nonsupercitizens slammed the door against the cop.

The friend claims that the cop pulled Brown into the cop car and threatened to shoot Brown. The "official" version claims that Brown attempted to seize the unnamed cop's gun.

The friend and other witnesses claim that Brown was shot multiple times while he had his hands up. The "official" version obviously claims something else.

I used to be a big proponent of police enforcing petty "laws." I used to be a big "there aught to be a law" kind of guy, and cheered when cops confronted those littering, speeding, or being general assholes.

I loved it when Mayor Rudy Guiliani was clearing the NYC streets of drug dealers and "illegal" gun possessors by enforcing victimless license plate "laws" and other moving "violations." But I also believed at the time that the government should be locking people up for the victimless "crimes" of drug dealing or exercising their 2nd-Amendment-enumerated right. (And yes I know that drug dealers do sell poison, but the Drug War actually encourages more dangerous drugs - look it up.).

It all comes down to this: Should we allow government agents to force victimless "laws" with  violence? Should we allow government agents to lock people up for victimless "crimes," allowing the cops to commit the violent, forceful act of imprisoning the petty nonlaw breaker? There are a myriad way of getting people to abide by social norms without turning those norms into ordinances, statutes, and "laws" that are backed up with the force of government agents.

Oh, yeah. If you believe in the nonaggression principle and freedom in general, then the answer to the last couple of questions is an absolute NO.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Political Affiliation Reduction

A recent post on The Federalists Papers blog featured an app available through iTunes. The app allows you to scan products and determine the political contributions of the products' manufacturers (and I also assume the brands' owners, if they vary from the manufacturers).

My key problem with the app is that it breaks down donations by "Republican," "Democrat," and "Others." My reaction? I want to see a version that breaks down donors by "libertarian" and "Other."

And that led me to think: In the final analysis, your political affiliation only really matters on a one-dimensional scale from "libertarian" to "Other." I like political charts that are multidimensional, but when you parse things too far then you miss the forest for the trees.

And what could possibly be represented by only those the two categories of "libertarian" and "Other?"

small "L" libertarian


Tea Party

I know that there are libertarians that are affiliated with the Republican AND Democrat parties, and there are all shades in between "libertarian" and "Other," so the lists above are just maps NOT the terrain.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

When The Law Breaks The Law

credit: Universal Network News
When policemen break the law, then there isn't any law at all - just a fight for survival.
- Billy Jack, (played by Tom Laughlin) in "Billy Jack"
I saw that quote rephrased today: "When the law breaks the law then there is no law."

There is wisdom in this idea, but it is simplified. It accepts, at least superficially, that laws are good, and that they apply to everyone, including cops. Now I do believe that cops need to have their rights treated the same as other citizens and not be treated as supercitizens, but many of the laws they force are victimless, rights violating, self serving, evil, or collectivist.

But in its simplicity, the requirement that police, politicians, and bureaucrats be held to the same legal standards as other citizens are is gaining popular support. Even if we accept the manufactured (unnatural) laws as they are, then the least we can do is expect those self-styled supercitizens fall under the same blind gaze that the rest if us "enjoy."

Happy friggen day when you see something like this, but it was long time in coming - according to the indictment. If they are innocent, then I hope they get their friggen day in court, but I bet they're guilty of at least a little corruption. Cops get a free ride, when it comes to petty and felonious abuses of fellow citizens' rights, so it either takes a camera, a gaggle of witnesses, or racketeering to snag cops for violating the run-of-the-mill (victimful, natural) laws.

credit: NY Daily News

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Las Vegas Copycatish Shooting - And Reaping What You Sow

I'm not big on collective guilt, and that is an understatement, but when "the police" shit everywhere, then they attract people with a bone to pick (to mix metaphors mercilessly).

Here's my point and prediction, which I was afraid to make for months, for risk of appearing to promote "blowback:" The abusive behavior of police in our country will lead to more fatal attacks on police. People can only put up with so much shit, and I am surprised that more LEOs have not been justifiable killed by their victims or bystanders (while police stole from, assaulted, and murdered fellow citizens), but the pipers call needs a payer, and too many LEOs are tooting their horns begging for blowback.

In no way do I endorse premeditated murder, or political killings. But the madness of cops running around with a false belief in an entitlement to run roughshod over other civilians' rights, "forcing" statutory and ordinance rules, and a false faith in the rule of (manufactured) law will lead to more LEOs deaths - and an even more entrenched bunker mentality among them. And this is even more ironic, because law enforcement is NOT the most dangerous job in America.

Clearly those two beasts in Las Vegas chose an enemy to facilitate their own destruction, but cops are too often making themselves false demigods. They have drank the professional LEO KoolAid that they are separate from other civilians, that they are the sole legitimate practitioners of violence, that they can use violence to force rules for victimless crimes, and that noncompliance with their demands is a crime - to name just a few outrages.

Individual cops do themselves a great service, when they treat others with respect, focus on real crimes, and question others up the chain of command that demand enforcement of victimless "laws."

I want to reiterate my opposition to collective guilt, despite the fact that it is probably true that the sentiment might not be mutual. But cops need to understand that bad eggs and institutional-moral decay with reflect poorly on them - individually.

They aren't all pure as the driven snow when it comes to protecting individual rights, but here are a few organizations that address police violations of rights - and the Constitutionality of police and government actions:

Cop Block
Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA)
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
National Rifle Association (NRA)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Obama Blindly (or Recklessly) Reaps What He Sows

The mounting irony is: If Congress won't act, then the courts and the states will. How's that for Obama reaping what he sows.

Obama's executive orders and drive to implement his agenda is compelling act for the opposite ends. Hows that for irony - and justice?

And once again, Obama sounds like he is on opposite sides of the fence on executive power - and separated by time AND unified by his struggle for relevance. This time Obama has flip-flopped on  immigration - or at least he flip-flopped about his willingness to use his executive power.

Let's see how the courts and the states, and hopefully Congress, react to Obama's renewed willingness to act like a dictator.

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