Criminal Justice

FDA Expands Ecstasy Access to Veterans with PTSD

FDA Expands Ecstasy Access to Veterans with PTSD

In 2006, Johnathan Lubecky was deployed to Iraq. While fighting for his country, Johnathan faced constant enemy strikes, one of which resulted in a traumatic brain injury. Exposures to the horrors of war resulted in Johnathan developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Tragically, many soldiers share similar experiences. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs estimates between 11 and 20 percent of veterans serving in the War on Terror develop PTSD. Even for those with no military experience, PTSD is surprisingly common. An estimated 8 percent of the U.S. population (roughly equal in size to the population of Texas) will experience PTSD.

Treating PTSD is challenging, often requiring both medicinal treatment and considerable time spent in therapy. Unfortunately, some patients struggle to relive their traumatic experiences without suffering extreme emotional distress. In these cases, available treatments rarely help.

Many veterans fall into this category.

Read the rest at The Lighthouse.

‘I Was Just Following Orders’

‘I Was Just Following Orders’

“I was just following orders” is the mantra of everyone who has found themselves on the wrong side of history – who is called into account for their actions as an order taker. How is it possible that everyone from corrupt mayors, to murderous tyrants have been able to get so many people to obey them and march in lockstep? When you take into account there are people who are willing to defend them, it’s easy to understand how these organs of the State are allowed to get away with everything from ticketing people for non-violent crimes, to the worst atrocities one could ever imagine. When you have cheerleaders, as athletes do, you are often looked at as a hero. Why else would other people be championing you and your profession? 

From the day they’re born, the overwhelming majority of people are raised in environments that teach them to obey “authority” and never question it.  

A perfect example is unquestioning nationalism. A quote on nationalism by Albert Einstein which he spoke before the rise of Hitler was, “nationalism is an infantile disease, it is the measles of mankind.” That makes sense especially when you consider that people who are unquestioning nationalists are generally taught it from a young age.  

Nationalism doesn’t have to be a negative. To the contrary, many people who identify as such can articulate the difference between having an affection for the people and the society into which they were born, or chose, and their radical distrust of the government they live under. But those who can’t (or won’t) separate the State from their neighbor, have been shown in history to be the ones who either become the order-follower, or blindly worship and make excuses for them. 

The much rarer trait is to see someone raised as a radical individualist. Homeschooling numbers from 1990- 2019 have grown from 275,000 to 2,300,000. Reasons for wanting to keep your children out of government schools can vary. Some of the earliest started out for religious reasons. Today, many people who call themselves libertarians/anarchist/voluntaryists do it because they don’t want their children to grow up in an environment which fosters and actively promotes obedience to the State apparatus.  

Law Enforcement Worship 

From a young age, many parents teach their kids that law enforcement are the good guys and if they ask you a question, you better answer and be respectful. You can be respectful and still understand the nature of the job of the police in this country. They are evidence gatherers. That is their main task since they rarely show up in time to stop a crime. They have rightfully been referred to as “historians.” If a statute has been broken, it is their job to figure out who did it and they do this by detaining or arresting people and asking them questions. 

Any lawyer worth their salt will tell you to never answer questions unless they, or another attorney is present, even if you know you are not guilty. In the must-read book, “You Have the Right to Remain Innocent,” James Duane details by citing case upon case how innocent people have talked their way into losing decades of their lives even though they didn’t commit the crime of which they were convicted. He explains how police can ask you 100 questions, and while you may have answered 98 of them correctly, even proving your innocence, the 2 that you answer in a wishy-washy way can be used to convict you while the other 98 (ones that prove your innocence) will be thrown away and declared inadmissible in court. 

This continues to be a blight on the criminal “justice” system and police officers are aware that this happens. Yet they continue to do their job as they always have with no regard for whether they are contributing to the jailing of an innocent person. They, and their defenders, will often blame it on the prosecutors. Yes, they will pass the buck so to speak. And what is their excuse? It’s just part of the job and we are “just following orders.” “We’re just doing our jobs!” 

Military Members are Beyond Reproach 

At this point in the “War on Terror” it’s impossible to argue that those fighting it are expected to be held up as heroes by the government and general public, even to the point of excusing the worst atrocities and war crimes imaginable. 

Recently, president Trump granted clemency to war criminal, special operations chief Eddie Gallagher. Gallagher, a Navy Seal and platoon leader, is described as, “a “toxic” character who was “OK with killing anything that moved”, according to fellow Iraq veterans who reported his conduct to military investigators.” “In the interviews, conducted by navy investigators looking into Gallagher’s conduct during a tour of duty in Iraq in 2017, fellow platoon members told of a ruthless leader who stabbed a captive to death for no reason then forced his troops to pose for a photograph with the corpse.”  

At his court martial Gallagher was acquitted of murder but lost rank because of the pictures posing with the dead body. “In a lengthy criminal investigation report, the navy detectives laid out other allegations against Gallagher, including shooting a schoolgirl and elderly man from a sniper’s roost. Members of Alpha Platoon’s Seal Team 7 alarmed by their leader’s conduct said they were initially shut down by military chiefs when they first spoke up, and told their own careers would suffer if they continued to talk about it” 

“The guy is freaking evil,” special operator first class Craig Miller, one of the platoon’s most experienced members, told investigators in sometimes tearful testimony. “I think Eddie was proud of it, and that was, like, part of it for him.” 

This is the man Trump gave clemency from any future charges to. And when he did, Gallagher’s defenders came out of the woodwork to defend him from anyone who dared make the claim that this man not only deserves to be locked up, but that his sanity should be called into question. Trump went so far as to hint that he would take Gallagher out on the campaign trail with him. 

Eddie Gallagher was the platoon leader, the one who gave the orders. But he also took them. Testimony shows that these military chiefs did everything they could to protect Gallagher. Even threatening those under his command if they spoke of this. It’s hard to judge from afar whether those men who posed with the dead body wanted to, or they were just following orders and feared retribution. When you see that Gallagher’s bosses actively sought to protect him, is it unreasonable to ask whether Gallagher was “just following orders” when he committed these atrocities? 

As was stated at the start, “order-followers” have found themselves on the wrong side of history when it comes to decency, not to mention liberty. Their defenders are vocal and can rarely be reasoned with. They see people in these positions as heroes and will make any excuse for actions that could be stood right next to the worst atrocities committed by Pol Pot. As we progress into a future where it is clear that the overwhelming majority of people intend to grow the size and scope of government, those who value individual liberty and justice may have to decide whether they will stick it out and attempt to change this culture, or look for alternate solutions lest they wake up in a State in which their every deed and word is under the purview of the unthinking automaton. 

The Louisville Metro Police Department Child Sex Scandal

The Louisville Metro Police Department Child Sex Scandal

Civil libertarians and police corruption watchdogs have much to celebrate these days. The fact that most people are walking around with high definition video cameras in their pockets has done much to shine a light on what these groups have been talking about for decades; that the “occupation” of law enforcement in the United States ceased being about protecting and serving, and has morphed into intimidating and subjugating.  

Whether it be turning a traffic stop for a burned-out brake light into a drug search, or it actually becoming a “head stomping” opportunity for a Gwinnett County sheriff, even people who formerly considered police to be heroes, are starting to question why as individual violent crime is decreasing, police violence is increasing.  Of course, many have become accustomed to these stories as sites such as The Free Thought Project chronicle them daily, but the scandal that has come out of Louisville, Kentucky involving two police officers’ sexual abuse of children in their Explorer Program should sound alarms and question whether policing in its modern form is an anachronism. 

Allegations of Sexually Abusing Children  

Former Louisville Metro Police officers Kenneth Betts and Brandon Wood were accused of criminal charges “in Jefferson Circuit Court stemming from their alleged sexual abuse of teens under their supervision as part of a program for young people interested in law enforcement careers.” The allegations against Betts stretched from his first year in the department, 2006, through 2016. Federally, he was charged with sending pictures of his penis to someone under the age of 16 and attempting to have sex with males and females who were not yet 18. 

In U.S. District Court in Louisville on December 6, 2018, Betts pleaded “guilty to charges of knowingly distributing child pornography, possession of child pornography, transferring obscene material to a minor, enticement and attempted enticement, among other charges.” 

In addition, the State of Kentucky charged Betts with two counts of sodomy involving two alleged victims. The indictment in state court alleged Betts engaged in “deviate sexual intercourse” with one of the victims through the use of “forcible compulsion” over a five-month period in 2007. Betts was also accused of committing sodomy on July 26, 2013 with a minor “he came into contact with as a result” of his position as a police officer. Betts pleaded guilty to these charges on July 8, 2019 and received “five years for two counts of sodomy in the third degree. That sentence is on top of the 16 years he was handed down by a federal judge. The five-year sentences will run concurrent to the time he’ll serve in his federal sentence.” 

Officer Brandon Wood was charged, and pleaded guilty to attempted enticement, United States Attorney Russell M. Coleman said on January 28, 2019. “According to a plea agreement, between 2011 and 2012, Wood attempted to entice John Doe 1, who had not reached 18 years of age, to engage in sexual activity. Wood met Doe through the LMPD Explorer Program during a camp held in Bullitt County – where Wood was a counselor and sworn LMPD officer.” 

“A federal judge sentenced Brandon Wood, 33, to 70 months in prison on a felony attempted enticement charge on May 28, 2019.” 

“When he pleaded guilty in January, Wood reached an agreement with federal prosecutors for a 60-month sentence, but U.S. District Judge David Hale rejected that agreement Tuesday morning saying it was too lenient.” He was sentenced to 70 months in jail.  

Civil suits against the two officers are ongoing. 

The ‘Bombshell’ 

In the case of Kenneth Betts, as if his actions against minors wasn’t enough, in November of 2019, a fellow officer identifying himself as “Darryl,” came forward on a FOX-WDRB podcast to make the claim that he had been raped by Betts.  

“It was almost like a super power came over (Betts),” an accuser, identified only as Darryl in the podcast, told FOX News Reporter Andrew Keiper. “He had a hold of my ear, and he was still exposed in the front of his pants. We’ll just say he, yeah, he forced me, yeah.” 

Darryl describes himself as older and bigger than Betts but he has decided to not pursue a lawsuit. He hopes that by coming forward it will help others to do so. 

The interview took place in the first of a four-part podcast called “Derby City Betrayal.” The series details the investigation into the sexual abuse case against Betts and former LMPD officer Brandon Wood, as well as their subsequent arrests. 

In the same podcast series, one of the victims from the Explorers identified as C.F., now an adult, went into detail about what he experienced: 

“It was on a regular basis. (Betts) would ask for nude photos, ask for me to come over, all sorts of things,” C.F. said. “Some messed up things happened.” 

Considering the depravity involved in this story it’s easy to write it off as an anomaly but that doesn’t answer the question that if these two “bad apples” can find themselves in the same department (and a third officer to help them cover it up as well as a fourth accused of sexual abuse), how rampant is this activity amongst those that are seen as authority figures and our “protectors?” And how many of these go unreported due to fear of reprisal by “good guys” with guns? 

The argument has been made that to hand mortal men the kind of power that comes along with the profession of law enforcement officer will certainly attract those with evil intent. What better way for a sociopath or deviant to hide his crimes than behind a badge? As long as the government holds a monopoly on violence and force expect this to become more rampant, but as the information age progresses, anticipate that these malefactors will be exposed for who they really are. Looking at the damage being currently done by this vocation, we can only hope that people awaken to the realization that they are a danger to us all. 

Law Enforcement Respects The Constitution?

Law Enforcement Respects The Constitution?

With the 2nd Amendment rally scheduled for Richmond, Virginia’s “Lobby Day” now completed, those who warned against “agent provocateurs,” and other possible hazards, get to breathe a sigh of relief and be thankful for being wrong. The narrative that this was going to be an event dominated by “white supremacists” was proven empirically false by photos that came out showing a racially and politically diverse crowd of people who showed up to communicate to the world that they have one thing in common; their belief that the right to own firearms to protect themselves is a universal idea that only seems to be bemoaned by the most loud and obnoxious “coastal elites” on Twitter, as well as those who believe they are the rulers of the people because they won a popularity contest.  

Among the photos that have been circulated from the event is one that shows unidentified law enforcement officers carrying a banner with the American flag on it that includes the words, “We Support the Second Amendment.” To those who closely monitor the State’s enforcement arm, this is a confusing message. The question needs to be asked; do you? 

Virginia’s New Gun Laws 

As was discussed in a previous article, the Virginia senate has passed three gun bills that are now being sent to the house for consideration that would see it become one of the most restrictive states in America when it comes to firearms ownership. 

Bill SB35, which would “allow localities to ban guns from public events, would actually repeal the current law that restricts localities from enforcing ordinances that would prohibit the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carry, storage, or transport of firearms or ammunition.”  

Bill SB69 “amends the current law, only allowing Virginia residents to purchase one handgun a month, or in a 30-day period.”  

Bill SB70 “requires a background check on all private transfers of firearms.” 

If these bills pass the house, and the governor signs them into law (as he has promised he will), will Virginia law enforcement do as their sign claims and support the Second Amendment over their boss’ own mandate? Will they enforce these three bills, the worst of which amounts to a gun registry? 

Why is the Second Amendment a Bridge Too Far? 

Anyone who has spent any time around groups that promote the “American Gun Culture” has heard the claims from not only law enforcement (they are represented mightily), but from their acolytes that police are defenders of the Constitution and would never enforce gun control laws. “They would quit before they took an American citizen’s God-given right to own firearms!” When you point out occasions where law enforcement has not only shown up to take someone’s guns, but killed them in the process, you’re met with everything from excuses about how that was done in a liberal area, to the inevitable back pedaling about how maybe some people shouldn’t be trusted with guns.  

When one points out that they already violate the Constitution by not only trampling over the First Amendment, but especially the Fourth, that’s when the dancing really begins. 

The First Amendment 

The First Amendment to the United States says: 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. 

Article 1, Section 12 of the Virginia Constitution states:  

That the freedoms of speech and of the press are among the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained except by despotic governments; that any citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right; that the General Assembly shall not pass any law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, nor the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for the redress of grievances. 

Both the US and Virginia Constitutions give people the right to “peaceably assemble.” Is that in fact true? According to the ACLU there are conditions upon which one may have to acquire a permit to do just that in Virginia.  

Do we need to get a permit? The need for a permit depends on the type and size of event, as well as the locality in which it will be held. Generally, events requiring a permit include: 1) A march or parade that does not stay on the sidewalk and other events that require blocking traffic or street closure; 2) A large rally requiring the use of sound amplifying devices; or 3) A rally at certain designated parks or plazas. 

Properly understood, a permit is when the State takes a guaranteed “right” away, and sells it back to you by either requiring a fee, or for you to ask permission from them. At this point your “right” has been transformed into a privilege, something you must ask permission for.  

And if you did decide to bypass the “permit” process and declare your rights, who is going to be there to enforce these statutes? No, not the people at the window who take the fee and paperwork you have so dutifully filled out; it will be the law enforcement officer. You will be confronted by a man/woman with a gun and they will stop you from exercising your “rights.” 

Privacy? 

The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution reads: 

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. 

One need only to go to YouTube and search “traffic stop” videos to know that the Fourth Amendment’s right to be secure in your person and possessions is a thing of the past. An individual’s vehicle, which many states have extended “Castle Doctrine” to, can be rifled through after the officer utters the phrase, “I smell marijuana.” It doesn’t matter if they actually do or not, the courts have interpreted privacy out of existence and local and state law enforcement happily use these phrases to gain access to your private spaces. 

The most egregious of these laws is “Civil Asset Forfeiture” in which you do not have to be convicted of a crime, only suspected, and local law enforcement can seize your bank account, home, anything they deem to be part of a criminal “conspiracy” or “drug nexus.” In the event you are found innocent you do not automatically have your property returned to you; you must petition to get it back. 

It was determined that in 2014 that the property taken from individuals by law enforcement was greater than all burglaries by criminals combined that year. And law enforcement uses the seized belongings for their benefit 

 

Many will no doubt applaud Virginia law enforcement for showing up to the January 20th rally to proclaim that they support the Second Amendment. It has been proven that State policy enforcers will enforce gun laws and already do when it comes to the National Firearms Act of 1934, et al. Yet, most fail to consider how they so easily enforce other laws that blatantly violate protected Constitutional rights such as assembly and privacy. One should afford people respect and consideration when it comes to their word but prior action is always a better gauge when taking into account people’s future behavior. 

Virginia Second Amendment Advocates Beware!

Virginia Second Amendment Advocates Beware!

The Virginia senate has passed three gun bills that are now being sent to the house for consideration that would see it become one of the most restrictive states in America when it comes to firearms ownership. A reading of the laws would put Virginia close to New Jersey from a legal standpoint when it comes to the ease at which one will be able to procure property guaranteed by its own state constitution. 

Bill SB35 which would “allow localities to ban guns from public events, actually would repeal the current law that restricts localities from enforcing ordinances that would prohibit the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carry, storage, or transport of firearms or ammunition.” 

Bill SB69 “amends the current law, only allowing Virginia residents to purchase one handgun a month, or in a 30-day period.” 

Bill SB70 “requires a background check on all private transfers of firearms.” 

In response to the three bills that went to the house, the NRA (who has grown out of favor with many pro-2A people in recent years over their non-response to the Philando Castile shooting, but mostly due to their willingness to cave to lawmakers) issued the following statement: 

“Regrettably, Virginia lawmakers approved a series of measures today that will make it harder for law-abiding Virginians to protect themselves, while doing nothing to stop criminals. We are pleased one of the most egregious gun confiscation bills was pulled from consideration. The NRA will continue our work with lawmakers to find solutions that address the root cause of violent crime, rather than punishing honest, hardworking Virginians.” 

The “Boogaloo” Bill Has Been Canceled 

The most controversial of the proposed bills, SB16 “was struck from the record, which included the ban on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, bump stocks and silencers.”  

This is the bill that was seen by most pro-2A activists as an act of aggression by the Governor Northam led, Democratically-controlled, Virginia legislature. In no uncertain terms, Northam let it be known that this bill meant that anyone in possession of any weapon/accessory under the statute’s purview (inevitably the lawmakers could make any weapon/accessory fall under the jurisdiction of this law), would be confiscated by state agents.  

As one might imagine, Virginia gun owners immediately started planning what they would be willing to do to stop this tyranny from happening. Terms such as the “boogaloo” started to be seen everywhere on social media. The term has been taken to mean a second Civil War or another American Revolution. In this context it specifically references gun-grabbers but can easily be tied to either of the previous descriptions. 

With this one bill being eliminated the fight against what essentially creates a gun registry in Virginia continues. 

A Planned Rally and the Governor’s Response 

The Virginia Citizens Defense League is planning a lobbying day and rally for Monday January 20th at the state capitol grounds in Richmond. Gun rights supporters will meet to protest the new laws. 

In response, Governor Northam has declared a “State of Emergency” claiming that “officials” have heard reports of “out-of-state militia groups and hate groups planning to travel from across the country to disrupt our democratic process with acts of violence.” He continued saying, they “are coming to intimidate and to cause harm.” 

“Northam is raising concerns about a reprise of the deadly violence surrounding the white supremacist march in Charlottesville in August 2017. He said state intelligence analysts have identified threats and rhetoric online that mirror the chatter they were picking up around that time.” 

The New York Times reported on Thursday, January 16th, that the FBI arrested three suspected neo-Nazis of purchasing guns with the intention of attending the Richmond rally 

Taking all of this into consideration, Governor Northam banned the carrying of any weapons at the rally. That decision was contested but upheld by a judge. 

This “racist” narrative is to be expected and one that protesters must take into consideration; almost accept as a given. 

White Supremacists, Racists and Radicals 

This is how the protesters will be painted in the press. It won’t matter if half of the activists there are black and Hispanic; the corporate press has reported before on someone carrying an “assault weapon” at an Obama appearance but conveniently omitted a picture revealing that he was African-American.  

No, this will be about “white nationalists” “clinging to their guns and religion,” and that “outdated” Constitution.  

Agent Provocateurs 

Anyone considering going to a rally in which it has already been expressly declared by the state that they are expecting violence has to watch out for the agent provocateur. One need look no further than the Oakland, California protest against police violence where it was revealed that California Highway Patrol had undercover officers amongst the protesters for weeks before their cover was blown. When their ruse was discovered, one of the officers pulled a gun on his “fellow protesters.” 

Another tactic that must be brought up is federal law enforcement’s history of infiltrating  groups and pushing them towards violence. Since 9/11/01 this has been a recurring narrative that has been uncovered yet largely ignored by the corporate press. 

All it will take at the Richmond rally is for one “provocateur” to fire off a couple of rounds and the story concocted by Northam and his friends in the media will take hold and mainstream public support will jump right to the state (which is where their sentiments already lean). 

It cannot be argued that the laws going through the legislature in Virginia are not only against the US Constitution, but against that state’s very own. The impulse to fight back against this tyranny is strong and has garnered support throughout the country. The most noxious bill, SB16, (the one that would have the state trying to confiscate AR-15s), has been trashed due to the public’s outcry, showing the power masses of people speaking out and protesting can still have. In 2016 a bill was getting pushed through the Virginia legislature to remove the religious exemption from vaccines but a vocal group protested and it was scrapped.  

Contrary to popular belief, letting the powers that be know that this isn’t going to work and you have something to say about it often makes them stop in their tracks. Protest at the state capital, do it peacefully. Violence should be the last resort, the one you never want to go to except when nothing else can be done. But remember, a rally like the one planned is a powder-keg, and the powers that be hold all of the cards to paint the people as the villains were something to break out. In the struggle against tyrants be careful that they don’t turn the tables and have the public screaming for your heads as they have done so many times before.  

Black America Before LBJ: How the Welfare State Inadvertently Helped Ruin Black Communities

Black America Before LBJ: How the Welfare State Inadvertently Helped Ruin Black Communities

The dust has settled and the evidence is in: The 1960s Great Society and War on Poverty programs of President Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) have been a colossal and giant failure. One might make the argument that social welfare programs are the moral path for a modern government.

They cannot, however, make the argument that these are in any way effective at alleviating poverty.

“We waged a war on poverty and poverty won.”

Lyndon B. Johnsons Great Society: How LBJs Welfare State Helped Ruin Black CommunitiesIn fact, there is evidence that such aggressive programs might make generational poverty worse. While the notion of a “culture of dependence” is a bit of a cliché in conservative circles, there is evidence that this is indeed the case – that, consciously or not, the welfare state creates a culture where people receive benefits rather than seeking gainful employment or business ownership.

This is not a moral or even a value judgment against the people engaged in such a culture. Again, the claim is not that people “choose to be on welfare,” but simply that social welfare programs incentivize poverty, which has an impact on communities that has nothing to do with individual intent.

We are now over 50 years into the development of the Great Society and the War on Poverty. It is time to take stock in these programs from an objective and evidence-based perspective. When one does that, it is not only clear that the programs have been a failure, but also that they have disproportionately impacted the black community in the United States. The current state of dysfunction in the black community (astronomically high crime rates, very low rates of home ownership and single motherhood as the norm) are not the natural state of the black community in the United States, but closely tied to the role that social welfare programs play. Or as Dr. Thomas Sowell stated:

“If we wanted to be serious about evidence, we might compare where blacks stood a hundred years after the end of slavery with where they stood after 30 years of the liberal welfare state. In other words, we could compare hard evidence on “the legacy of slavery” with hard evidence on the legacy of liberals.”

Here’s a peek into how black America has been a victim of LBJ’s Great Society and War on Poverty.

Defining Terms: What Is the Great Society and the War on Poverty?

Before going further, we must define the terms “Great Society” and “War on Poverty.” These are two overlapping, but somewhat distinct terms that are, in any event, not the same as “welfare” as a whole.

The “War on Poverty” refers to one part of the Great Society, namely the part focused specifically on poverty. When the War on Poverty was started in 1964, the poverty rate in America was 19 percent. Seeing an opportunity to recreate the same New Deal magic that had propelled President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to the White House in four successive elections 30 years earlier, Johnson pushed his War on Poverty.

It’s worth noting that the New Deal has some success to boast in terms of lifting some extremely poor communities, particularly those in the rural South, out of grinding forms of poverty. This was through, for example, mass electrification and other similar campaigns, which radically redefined the experience of the poor in the United States. One can argue about the ethics of redistributive wealth programs, but one cannot argue about whether or not, for example, the electrification of the Tennessee Valley elevated people out of crushing and abject poverty – it did.

There are four primary initiatives of the War on Poverty:

  1. The Economic Opportunity Act: This was the flagship effort of the War on Poverty. It created the Community Action ProgramVolunteers in Service to America (VISTA) and Job Corps.
  2. The Food Stamp Act of 1964This created a food stamp program that remained largely in place until President Bill Clinton “ended welfare as we know it.” At this time, food stamps were open-ended and could, in theory, be a means of feeding a family for life.
  3. Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1964This is known as the most sweeping legislation impacting education passed by the United States Congress. It sought to level an alleged “achievement gap” in public education. It has been reauthorized by both Democratic and Republican presidents under the names Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994No Child Left Behind Act of 2004, and the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015.
  4. Social Security Act of 1965Created both Medicare and Medicaid.

The Economic Opportunity Act, in particular, was insidious in that it gave broad leeway to create programs without Congressional approval or oversight. An example of this is the Head Start program, which is shown to have only extremely limited and short-term effects on the ability of children to succeed in public schools.

The Great Society refers to a far broader set of programs, some of which still exist today, others of which were casualties of both the massive budget for the Vietnam War, LBJ’s other pet project, as well as the passage of time and subsequent Republican administrations. It’s difficult to summarize the Great Society as a whole, precisely because its scope was so broad. Education, health, welfare, culture (the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, for example, is a product of the Great Society), transportation, the environment, housing, labor and rural development were all areas where the Great Society had some hand.

Whereas the New Deal has demonstrably impacted communities with crushing and severe forms of poverty, the Great Society has demonstrably not only not “worked” by any available metric, it has also created a negative impact, most severely felt in the black community in the United States.

This article will make the case that the Great Society is the greatest disaster to befall America’s black community since slavery.

What Were the Goals of the Great Society?

Some discussion of the goals of the Great Society and its historical context are in order. The Great Society was seen by LBJ as nothing less than the completion of the New Deal as pioneered by his predecessor and mentor, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Lyndon B. Johnsons Great Society: How LBJs Welfare State Helped Ruin Black CommunitiesThe thinking was basically this: The New Deal proved that government intervention could have some impact on poverty. As we stated above, there is some truth to this, albeit in a limited sense. The New Deal was able to lift incredibly poor people out of what were effectively Third World conditions in the United States. Because Johnson had at his disposal “the best and the brightest,” he believed that all he needed to do was apply their technocratic acumen to the problem of poverty and it would be solved.

One of the glaring and immediate differences between the New Deal (where it was successful) and the Great Society was the definition of poverty. Poverty, the kind the New Deal was effective at reducing, was largely an objective condition. For example, people without electricity or running water in their homes. For the Great Society programs, however, poverty was largely defined in subjective, albeit quantifiable, terms like educational attainment and income level.

Here’s the problem with defining poverty in those terms: We now live in a world where the overwhelming majority of people who wish to get one can obtain a college degree. All this has done is devalue the college degree and saddle people with both unmarketable skill sets and a high level of nondischargeable debt. A college degree simply doesn’t mean much anymore because anyone who wants one can have one.

Similarly, consider income in real terms – the ability to buy things. The poorest people in America now have access to more computing power in their pocket than NASA used to go to the moon. Cheap consumer goods are plentiful, even for people with very low incomes – part-time minimum wage jobs, for example.

Poverty, defined as “making much less than rich people” or even “struggling to get by” simply means one is at the bottom of the economic ladder. The bottom of the economic ladder will always exist as long as there is one. Grinding, Third-World-style poverty – in the vast overwhelming majority of cases – is a thing of the past. The United Nations puts the percentage of Americans with access to electricity at 100.

A report estimated that 1.6 million Americans lack access to “clean” water, “clean” here being a weasel word that is undefined. Even if we took the 1.6 million figure at face value (which we should not), this means that approximately 0.48 percent of all Americans (i.e., less than half of one percent) do not have access to “clean” water.

In the absence of significant poverty conditions to attack, the “War on Poverty” was largely about hitting a moving target subjectively defined as “having less than some other people.”

Despite the best intentions (to which, it should be noted, “the road to hell is paved with”), the Great Society was bound to fail simply because there were no clear targets. In this sense, the War on Poverty prefigured other government wars on abstract concepts, such as the War on Drugs and the War on Terror.

The failure, of course, is seen by big government advocates as a sign that not enough has been done. Since the War on Poverty began, $15 trillion has been spent, with negligible impact on lifting people out of poverty. For context, the Apollo program cost $25.4 billion, $146.1 billion in 2019 dollars. Put simply, for the cost of the War on Poverty, America could have funded almost seven Apollo programs.

Unlike the War on Poverty, the Apollo program was a resounding and verifiable success.

The Breakdown of the Black Family

“The black family, which had survived centuries of slavery and discrimination, began rapidly disintegrating in the liberal welfare state that subsidized unwed pregnancy and changed welfare from an emergency rescue to a way of life.”

The biggest problem resulting from the Great Society is the breakdown of the black family. This is a sensitive subject, but one that must be broached to fully understand the devastating impact that the Great Society has had on the black community in the United States.

In 1965, when the Great Society began in earnest following the massive electoral landslide reelection of LBJ, the out-of-wedlock birthrate among the black community was 21 percent. By 2017, this figure had risen to a whopping 77 percent. In some cities, this rate is as high as 80 percent, with most of the unwed mothers being teenagers. We have documented extensively in our article on the death of civil society in the United States the negative effects of the single-parent household on child development and outcomes. The black community is now entering its third generation of single parenthood as the norm, something that rose astronomically with the advent of the Great Society.

To provide some historical context, the out-of-wedlock birth rate in the black community was already rising before the Great Society. In 1938, that rate stood at 11 percent. Still, it’s worth noting the difference between the slow and steady increase of 1938 to 1965, and the explosive growth from 1965 until the present day. In any event, black women were more likely to be married than white women as late as 1950. It’s also worth looking at single parenthood over time: In the 1950s, 52 percent of all black children lived with both parents until the age of 17. By the 1980s, that number had plummeted to 6 percent.

In addition to outcomes, there is also a wide divide between the percentage of black families in poverty when there is a father present. Among married black families, the poverty rate is 8 percent. Among black households headed by a single mother, that rate jumps to 37 percent.

And again, while we outline a number of negative consequences resulting from single-parent families, it’s worth pulling one out in relation to the destruction of the black family in America: There is no better predictor of male criminality than being raised in a fatherless home. 70 percent of all juvenile offenders in state reform institutions were raised in fatherless homes. This includes 60 percent of all rapists, 72 percent of all murderers, and 70 percent of long-term inmates.

Black Participation in the Labor Market

There is another statistic that is significant when it comes to evaluating the role of the Great Society in the destruction of the black family and, by extension, black society: participation in the labor market.

This is an important metric for a very simple reason: Few would argue that it’s better to not work than to work. Data provided by every census between 1890 and 1954 shows that black Americans were just as active – and sometimes more – in the labor market than their white counterparts. In 1900, for example, black unemployment was 15 percent lower than white unemployment. In 2017, it was 30 percent higher.

If the conventional narrative on black American poverty and general social dysfunction were correct – that this was caused by the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, and private discrimination – wouldn’t we expect to see a decline in black unemployment rather than the opposite?

Black Business Ownership

Lyndon B. Johnsons Great Society: How LBJs Welfare State Helped Ruin Black CommunitiesOf course, participation in the labor market is not the only metric of economic activity. Another is business ownership. The years between 1900 and 1930 are known as “the Golden Age of Black Entrepreneurship.” By 1920, there were tens of thousands of black businesses in the United States, the overwhelming majority of them very small, single proprietorship. This in no way diminishes the importance of this sector of the black economy. People who had, in many cases, started their lives as slaves were now, even when “poorer” in terms of income, freer than many of their white counterparts who worked for wages.

There was also a social aspect to this period of black entrepreneurship. Black insurance companies and black-owned banks represent the apex of the economic pyramid in the black community. While the black community was comparatively poorer than its white counterparts, money spent by black Americans could stay within the black community. Thus, the black community could enrich itself from the bottom of the ladder all the way up to the top.

This concept was known as “double duty dollars.” The idea is that money spent at black businesses not only purchased goods for the consumer, but also played a role in advancing the black race in America. This, and not government handouts, was seen as the primary means of achieving, if not a perfect equality with whites, a social parity with them.

Another aspect of why black entrepreneurship was so important in the black community was that national businesses tended to ignore the black market entirely. This, however, began to change in the 1950s and, to a much greater extent, by the dawn of the next decade. No one forced national businesses to begin marketing their products to black America. National businesses simply saw that there was an emerging black middle class with money to spend and didn’t want to get cut out of the market.

Today, black business ownership is in a state of “collapse” according to Marketplace.org. This cannot entirely be laid at the foot of the Great Society. For example, the unlikely culprit of integration is one of the reasons that the black business districts began to fall apart. For example, once the biggest burger joint in town would serve black people, there was no reason to go to “the black burger joint” anymore.

Still, it’s impossible to separate the end of the thriving black business districts from the Great Society. These were once centers of the community, in addition to being centers of commerce. Now they are virtually extinct. While other factors are in play, it’s difficult to not notice the overlap between the rise of the welfare state through the Great Society, the overall decline in the black community’s civil society anchored by the black business community, and black business ownership in general.

The Decline in Black Homeownership

Another area where the impact of Great Society policies is seen is in statistics on black homeownership. The black homeownership rate is basically the same today as it was 50 years ago. There was a spike in black homeownership during the Bush years. However, these were largely a function of subprime mortgages being given out to people who couldn’t really afford them.

Few places saw the hand of government on the scale more than housing. One of the final policy initiatives of the Great Society was the Fair Housing Act, which banned discrimination in housing sales (but not in lending practices). This effectively meant an end to “restrictive covenants,” which allowed a homeowner to specify that their house could not be sold to a black family, not just for an individual sale, but in perpetuity.

As a brief aside, this is, as are many other parts of the Great Society, an egregious attack on freedom of association, property rights, and ability to transact and dispose of one’s property in a manner of one’s own choosing.

Which Way Forward for the Black Community

It’s difficult to ignore that black Americans vote overwhelmingly for the Democratic Party, who champion the policies of the Great Society, which have largely destroyed the black family and black civil society. Why is this?

Lyndon B. Johnsons Great Society: How LBJs Welfare State Helped Ruin Black CommunitiesThere are a number of factors in play here. First, the Democratic Party has little incentive to provide innovative solutions for such a loyal voter bloc. Black Americans have voted at over 80 percent for Democratic Party candidates since 1964. In several elections (1964, 2000, 2008 and 2012) they voted over 90 percent for the Democratic Party candidate. The highest share of the black vote received by the Republican Party since 1964 was 15 percent, achieved by Richard Nixon in 1968 and Gerald Ford in 1976. While Donald Trump’s performance among black voters has been touted for its strength, he received only 8 percent of the vote, reversing a trend where the black vote dropped as low as 4 percent in 2008. Despite the much-touted “Blexit,” 2018 saw no significant exodus from the Democratic Party on the part of black voters – a scant 9 percent voted for Republicans.

The flip side of this is that there is not much incentive on the part of Republicans to court black voters. While the Nixon “Southern Strategy” is slightly distorted when presented, the core of this narrative is true – when presented with various strategies for victory, Nixon chose to appeal to northern, union Catholic workers and Southern Protestant conservatives, both of whom were white. This is simple math: A large increase in the black vote doesn’t represent a whole lot of votes, but a minor increase in the white vote moves the needle significantly. The so-called “Sailer strategy,” named after Steve Sailer, exploits this math: Spiking the rural white vote to record levels while effectively ignoring all other voting blocs is what delivered Donald Trump the presidency.

The point here is that neither party is incentivized to offer solutions to black Americans. But black Americans are also not demanding solutions from either political party, as evidenced by the lockstep voting for Democratic Party politicians, despite failing to deliver anything of value in 50 years.

One historical example that might represent a way forward is the National Black Independent Political Party. Formed in 1988, it had virtually no impact on electoral politics. However, its model might represent something of value for black Americans looking to break free of the two-party duopoly and demand actual policy solutions from Washington. The purpose of the NBIPP was not to obtain power in its own right, but rather to form black America into a political voting bloc that could act as kingmaker in elections. This is in the broader tradition of self-reliance in the black community.

Whatever the way forward is, one thing is clear: Social welfare programs ostensibly designed to help the black community have done little more than put the boot of government on the neck of black Americans. Rather than raising up the black community, these programs have acted to – despite whatever their intentions might be – destroy the black family, the black business community, and black social solidarity.

What might “work” depends on what the goal is. However, the evidence is in and the Great Society’s War on Poverty has been a resounding failure.

Black America Before LBJ: How the Welfare State Inadvertently Helped Ruin Black Communities originally appeared in the Resistance Library at Ammo.com.

Eliminating the Horror of Modern Policing

Eliminating the Horror of Modern Policing

If people properly understood the role of police in the American system, they would probably trust anyone standing next to them in the grocery store to have their best interests at heart more than a law enforcement” officer. Theres an important reason for this. According to a Cato study, if you are an American, you are 8X more likely to be killed by a police officer than a terrorist. According to a Reason article, by Dec 9th 2014, police had killed 1,000 people that year. A search couldn’t find stats on unarmed people that police have killed outside of African American groups who keep track of it. The epidemic has reached the point that better data collecting is needed. But, if you just look at the number of unarmed black men (no weapon at all) killed by police in 2015, 104, and compare it to the amount of Americans worldwide in 2014 (including the US)  whose deaths were attributed to terrorism, 32, American police killed over 3X as many unarmed black men in the US as terrorists killed Americans worldwide. Even if you want to say half of them were out of their minds on bath salts thats almost 2X as many unarmed black men killed by police as Americans killed by terrorism all over the globe. 

It is clear why many, including former law enforcement, believe this is such a huge issue. Trillions are being spent to combat terrorism worldwide, yet millions are being funneled to support the bigger threat to us, the imminent one in which uttering the wrong phrase at a traffic stop can change your life forever… and even end it without consequence to the one who steals your most precious possession. Your life, your very existence. 

Those who have had a chance to consume, cover to cover, James Duanes book, You Have the Right to Remain Innocent,” share the same sentiments, mostly anger and despair. The amount of cases he discusses where innocent people lost decades of their lives because they decided to answer a police officers questions is infuriating and sad at the same time. They have a job to do and its not to protect you, it is to gather evidence against you if they suspect youve done something wrong. And the amount of innocent people that gave them just enough information in what they believed was an informal discussion that allowed a flawed and corrupt system to frame a narrative to get their man/woman,” that a jury of people too stupid to get out of jury duty, or ones that know nothing of jury nullification, convicted them on is heartbreaking.  

And then there is the epidemic we’ve seen pop up that really came to the forefront at Waco. The first thing the Federal police did was shoot the dogs. They weren’t guard dogs, they were pets. They were in a pen. Recently a police officer, who was eventually fired even though his police chief said he did “nothing against procedure,” shot a 9-pound dog in the face because his owner wouldn’t come to the road to talk to him. Officer Keenan Wallace, formerly of the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office in Conway Arkansas, did it out of spite.  On July 5th, 2016, The Nation published an article reporting that police nationwide are killing 25 dogs a day. That’s over 9,000 a year. And the courts have ruled they have the right to do this. Why? The system is not your friend and the front-line soldiers are police. 

People who believe this is a grave issue have the ability to fight back against this tyranny by gathering concerned neighbors and implementing a strategy that has proven to drastically reduce the footprint of law enforcement” in their neighborhoods. Some of these youve probably heard of, but a few in particular many have no idea exist, or have existed. 

 Before solutions are presented, history can provide a good deal of context.  

 Colonial Times 

 State law enforcement was not the norm in the original thirteen colonies. Early colonial governments played no active role in apprehending and prosecuting lawbreakers and police departments and prosecutors did not exist as they are known today. Therefore, a crime victim had to serve as policeman and prosecutor who, if he chose to apprehend an offender and initiate prosecution, did so directly and at his own expense. He did not have to rely on government agencies. On the contrary, he could not rely on them even if he wanted to because they either did not exist, or did not perform the function he sought. By the same token, he was obviously not constrained by such agencies to proceed with a prosecution if he chose to withdraw. 

 Public courts were available in most colonial capitals, but distance and poor roads made use of them for many colonists expensive. Thus, government trials could be, and frequently were, simply bypassed in favor of direct bargaining or third-party arbitration or mediation, with restitution to the victim from the offender being the dominant sanction. Again, early Americans held a restitutive theory of justice whereby forced reparations by the criminal to the victim were ordered, but punitive measures taken against the offender to the benefit of the victim were also demanded. 

What would be the benefits of this? One, if you have to take money out of your own pocket to catch someone who has transgressed against you, and there are no police, false allegations would seem to all but disappear except in the case of someone who just has it out for someone; and even in that case, they are probably looking to do violence to the person other than seeking restitution. 

Notice, this isnt about some abstract concept called justice that is carried out by a State” in which they dont care if you are made whole or not. 

Something else to take from this: would neighbors at the time have a stake in making sure this person was caught? Absolutely. The concept of a public protector doesnt exist, so if there is someone going around stealing or damaging property it makes sense that one would want someone caught who had the potential to do the same to them. So, just by putting the word out it would make sense that you would have volunteers joining you in your search.  

Going back to the rank psychopath who may just be seeking vengeance against someone he views as a foe, do you think people who are hearing the story of whatever the accused may or may not have done have a stake in making sure the accusations are accurate? Yes, or they could be the next victim of a false complaint. 

All of this points to something that always makes a community, and especially a tight knit one, open to the ideas of self-policing; and thats self-interest.  

Before real solutions are presented, dont discount the lesson of the previous. With everything mentioned about the colonies, one can see the importance of central power was not deemed important, so how much money could public officials demand. It is clear why they needed to expand their power. Any fines levied would find their way into public coffers and not back to the damaged party. Power as such generates income and one could argue a good free-market security force could demand a high price but that would be voluntary on the consumers part and that should be the goal.  

The ‘Wild, Wild West’ 

What of the widely held perception that the eighteenth-century West was a lawless society dominated by violence, where the strongest and most ruthless ruled by force? It is true that miners, farmers, ranchers, and many other individuals moved westward much more rapidly than government entities could expand the state’s law enforcement system, particularly from 1830 to 1900. But this does not mean that the frontier was lawless. 

Remember who writes the history books. That the West was a wild, violent, and lawless place is not just something that is popularly believed but rejected by researchers. Many simply assume (or assert) that violence was prevalent and then proceed to explain why that should be the case. Is there any real evidence of relatively violent behavior in the West?  

Some historical accounts focus on a particularly notorious event or individual, and these certainly existed. But there appears to be a serious selection bias problem when the entire West is characterized on the basis of the conclusions of such studies. Interestingly, even those studies discover a good deal of social order. When you examine the Texas frontier from 1875–90, for instance, one finds that many kinds of criminal offenses common today were nonexistent. Burglaries and robberies of homes and businesses (except for banks) simply did not occur. Doors were not locked, and hospitality was widespread, indicating that citizens had relatively little fear of invasive violent or property offenses. Shootings did occur, but they typically involved what the citizenry considered to be “fair fights.” Stage and train robberies occurred, but these incidents were isolated from most citizens and caused them little to no concern. 

So again, one must ask whether government, the monopoly on violence, should be in charge of policing. If at a time where the closest “government protector” could be hours away, the crime rate was low. Why is it so high now? Because so much of what is considered a crime is something where there is no injured party. When you see on a charging document, “THE STATE OF….” Vs “so and so”, the damaged party isn’t present. No victim, no crime. Violations of person and property are the only crimes.

 

One would do well to argue that you would want people you are either paying voluntarily to protect you, or people you trust. So, what are a few ways in which that can be done absent government actors. 

To spend time on the concept of the “neighborhood watch” isn’t warranted. Most people are familiar with the concept.  

The Entrepreneur 

There is an example of a good “free market” approach that has been seen in recent decades. Dale Brown, the founder of Detroit Threat Management, started out with the idea that people had to be responsible for their own security. He figured out that policing is not based on protection, but on prosecution. So, if police show up on average less than 5% of the time to stop a crime, what are you to do? Police are historians, they do not work in current events. They are evidence gatherers, and the sooner the masses come to that realization, the better. 

When you start speaking out against modern police techniques, the first response you get, without fail, is, “Well if you get in trouble, call a crackhead!” This is common. And before we proceed further, one thing Dale says that should stick with you is that law enforcement is for people who have broken the law, or CHOSEN to have laws enforced against them. He is saying YOU CHOOSE THIS. 

Dale designed a system in which he was training people, families and groups how to protect themselves from violence. He was doing this in parks, pretty much anywhere he could. An owner of an apartment building let him use an empty space. 

The turn for him was the realization that teaching people to protect themselves was not going to be enough. There were people who just couldn’t do it. He taught pre-emptive techniques like securing your dwelling which is absolutely essential. Something he says which should be considered but most people don’t is that if someone breaks into your home, and you defend it by killing or hurting that person, you’ll probably want to move immediately. People have family and friends, and having them know exactly where you are puts a target on your back. Revenge is very real. So, making sure you secure yourself and your dwelling isn’t an option, it’s essential. Another point he makes is, just because you have a gun, and know how to use it, doesn’t mean anything. Every dead cop had a gun. So, prevention is where you start. Understanding human behavior is more important. Think about the name of his company, Threat Management. It’s about preparation. Getting to the point where you actually have to fight, should be a major outlier. 

It’s easy to see that even though this is about the entrepreneur, or entrepreneurs who may wish to begin an endeavor as such, there is also a lot of info for the individual. In his realization that many people couldn’t protect themselves he decided his strategy needed to evolve. In 1995 he approached, and was hired by building owners to be their security. This was in one of the roughest neighborhoods in Detroit that was rife with rapes, assaults and murders. His goal was easy. If he could make rich people richer (building and land owners having a safer environment to thrive in), he would be paid for his efforts. 

In the beginning he, and those who worked for him, would get part of their pay with “free” housing. As it progressed, he could charge for his service. He now has a huge company, with contracts to privately protect some of the wealthiest and best neighborhoods out there. Mind you, many were not safe to start with, they are ones he cleaned up by letting people know that he was going to make sure they were safe by using all the techniques he found would prevent violence in the first place. 

The Shomrim 

The most realistic example for pushing the government monopoly on violence and force out of the communities’ people live in is the Shomrim society? Shomrim is the Hebrew word for “watcher’ or “guard.” These are probably most famous in NYC although they have groups scattered through America and Britain. Shomrim will “work” with the police, but honestly, it is only because the cops have a monopoly on force. They would prefer to take care of their own, and should be applauded for it because in a truly libertarian society, that is who you’d want looking out for you even more so than any security you may hire.  

The mission statement/message people get when they go to the “Shomrim Crown Heights” webpage: 

Crown Heights Shomrim is a neighborhood patrol organization made up entirely of volunteers whose mission is to help protect the streets of Crown Heights and to give aid to victims of crime. Crown Heights Shomrim is based in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York, a neighborhood comprised of ultra-Orthodox Hassidic Jews of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement alongside a large West Indian and African American population. Founded in the 1960’s Crown Heights Shomrim is the evolution of the Maccabees – a first of its kind volunteer patrol – which was founded by residents of the neighborhood who were frustrated with an understaffed and ineffective police department which allowed residents to fall victims to violent crimes. 

During the infamous anti-Semitic riots in 1991, Shomrim expanded its operations and today is the most veteran, respected and responsible organizations charged with providing residents with a reinforced sense of security. Shomrim works closely with members of the New York City Police Department and other branches of law enforcement as well as emergency rescue personal and many of our volunteers have received training by the NYPD, New York City’s Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Homeland Security. 

If you start to run searches on Showrim groups you will find articles on blogs about how they may push people around and a couple of “mainstream” articles on abuses but that is not what should be focused on. Sure, these kinds of things will happen. But they’re not libertarians. What do they know about the non-aggression principle? Of course, you would want to tailor any group formed to the non-aggression principle. 

Each Shomrim group maintains its own dispatcher and 24-hour hotline, whose number is known throughout the Orthodox Jewish community. Shomrim responds to a wide variety of crimes and cases, including reports of purse snatching, vandalism, car and bicycle thefts, and missing persons. Volunteers patrol the city streets in the wee hours of the morning as a deterrent presence. When they are not on duty, they remain on call, and are often summoned to help other Shomrim groups or other Jewish community rescue organizations such as Hatzalah and Chaverim during large-scale search and rescue operations. 

Shomrim has been effective in apprehending suspects of burglaries, robberies, assault, car thefts, vandalism, domestic violence, nuisance crimes, and antisemitic attacks. In an incident in 2010, four Brooklyn South Shomrim volunteers gave chase to a suspected child predator who drew a gun and shot each of them after they had tackled him to the ground. The shooter was later acquitted of all charges except possessing a gun. Following that incident, the Brooklyn South Shomrim were issued bullet-proof vests by the New York State Senate. 

Shomrim volunteers have occasionally been criticized for using excessive force with suspects, particularly non-Jews. In 1996, a Crown Heights Shomrim volunteer was convicted of assault charges after repeatedly hitting a suspect on the head with a walkie-talkie after the man had been subdued. In 2010 a Baltimore Shomrim volunteer was arrested for allegedly striking a black teenager. He was suspended pending internal investigation, with Shomrim confident that he would be vindicated in court, and was sentenced to three years of probation in 2012. In 2011, two Monsey Shomrim volunteers were charged with misdemeanors in a fracas that erupted after a girl hit a passing van with a water balloon. 

Shomrim volunteers, who are unpaid, are mostly members of the Haredi Jewish communities that they serve; however, around 70 percent of the victims they help are not from the Orthodox Jewish community, usually just local residents from any race or religion. In Brooklyn, Shomrim members, according to their coordinator, are fingerprinted and checked for a criminal record before being allowed to join the patrol.  

Shomrim volunteers – who range from a few dozen to over 100, depending on the group – work on foot or in cars. Generally, members work two to a vehicle that is equipped with a radio and a siren. However, the UK divisions of Shomrim do not have audible or visual warning equipment (blues-and-twos) fitted in their vehicles. Some Brooklyn patrols have marked cars which resemble New York City Police Department (NYPD) vehicles, but most use their own unmarked cars. The patrols may also carry walkie-talkies. They wear identifying jackets and yarmulkes on the job. 

The volunteers, says a coordinator, do not carry guns, batons, pepper spray, or handcuffs, and do not have the authority to make arrests. However, they are trained in how to safely track and detain suspects until police arrive, otherwise known as citizen’s arrest. They have been known to quickly mobilize area residents to block off streets in order to stop suspects. 

Their funding comes from donations mostly, although some have been able to get tax-payer money as, especially in their local communities, they are a large voting bloc. A libertarian-type order would, of course, reject this. 

These groups are known to prevent crime and actually solve a few, including missing persons cases. 

Two examples have been presented to show how to drastically reduce the footprint of government police in any neighborhood. When thinking about publicly-funded law enforcement, it is important to remember a few points: 

 1. They are not protectors; they are there to record history and help prosecutors punish “criminals.”  James Duane’s book, “You Have the Right to Remain Innocent,” is required reading.

2. They are hammers and all they see is a nail. Between shooting unarmed people and executing animals, wouldn’t you rather trust someone you know or are paying directly?

3. In the case of Detroit Threat Management, think of it as a business opportunity. Of course, as in all “free market” endeavors, you will only succeed if you do the job.

Governments, and members of their citizenry who were “just following orders,” killed more than 200 million people last century. It’s time for a better way, a more direct way, a way that if people see it working will seek to choose it over the status quo. It’s time to cast away monopolies who don’t care if the job is done well or efficiently. They certainly don’t care about you or your loved ones. 

Fear is the Liberty Killer

Fear is the Liberty Killer

An overused term that is invoked to describe the United States, the largest government in the history of mankind, is “free country.” Does anyone actually believe that, or is it something to use as a bludgeon against those who seek to change particulars about said leviathan that they deem to be essential; their pet issue? Whether it is the right to own guns with “conservatives” (allegedly protected by a piece of paper), or abortion with the left (same, the Supreme Court decision invoked the 4th Amendment), that phrase, “free country,” is a dagger thrown at anyone who would seek to restrict either. This raises a question; how free are you if you have to point to a document that has been twisted and manipulated into meaning just about anything by 9 priests with lifetime appointments? Many in history have disagreed with the meaning of the 1st Amendment which is written in such a way that a 5-year-old clearly understands it. That is, until they get into a government school that teaches them that what they saw as logical as a youngster, is much more complicated. Especially when you take people’s “safety” into account. 

It is clear to anyone who examines it, that when a new law is passed, government agency created, or there is just an expansion of local, state or federal law enforcement, the reasons given to the public to justify this are ones that are meant to induce only one emotion; fear. Fear is the great liberty killer and a society that has been taught that the government is here to be their protector and provider in all things, allows its unlimited expansion when that emotion is created by those who seek to rule them. This is clear when you break down certain issues. 

Foreign Policy and the ‘War on Terror’ 

When you bring up 9/11 to people you get varied reactions. Emotions such as sadness and rage are most common in this author’s experience. Many times, both are present. The one response you rarely hear is fear. Why? People see that as an emotion to be embarrassed about. When you’re mourning a loss or fuming with anger, everyone sees those as justifiable. No one want to been seen as scared. Especially in a “free country.” 

Don’t be fooled, fear was the reason people accepted the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. It directly led to people’s support for the TSA and the “PATRIOT Act.” Fear is how people justify their elderly parents and grandparents, and young children, being groped and probed by publicly-funded deviants in every airport in the land. It’s all to keep us safe from those terrorists who “hate us for our freedoms.” If that were true, considering how much liberty has been lost, shouldn’t that be a mild dislike by now? Who are you trying to fool? This is about seeing a terrorist at every gate in every airport, and God forbid someone wearing a hijab gets on your plane! 

The ‘War on Drugs’ 

Let’s congratulate “drugs” for winning the “War on Drugs.” And, if we’re honest, the majority of this “war” is about a plant that grows in nature and doesn’t need to be processed to be used. Referring to cannabis as a “drug” is one of the greatest propaganda achievements in the history of tyrannies. Yet, it was sold as an “evil weed” through fear, full stop.  

Harry Anslinger, the father of cannabis prohibition (the term cannabis is being used because “marijuana” was a word invented to sound ethnic, another fear tactic), knew how to manipulate “good Christians,” and the public in general, into being frightened of that “evil weed” that caused people to participate in the most “depraved” of actions. Here are some examples of Anslinger’s work: 

How many murders, suicides, robberies, criminal assaults, holdups, burglaries and deeds of maniacal insanity it causes each year, especially among the young, can only be conjectured…No one knows, when he places a marijuana cigarette to his lips, whether he will become a joyous reveler in a musical heaven, a mad insensate, a calm philosopher, or a murderer… 

Traffic in marijuana is increasing to such an extent that it has come to the be cause for the greatest national concern. This drug is as old as civilization itself. Homer wrote about, as a drug that made men forget their homes, and that turned them into swine. In Persia, a thousand years before Christ, there was a religious and military order founded which was called the Assassins and they derived their name from the drug called hashish which is now known in this country as marijuana. They were noted for their acts of cruelty, and the word “assassin” very aptly describes the drug. 

 This quote may be apocryphal, but is widely credited to him: 

Most marijuana smokers are colored people, jazz musicians, and entertainers. Their satanic music is driven by marijuana, and marijuana smoking by white women makes them want to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and others. It is a drug that causes insanity, criminality, and death — the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind. 

It’s all about fear. Tyrannies have counted on the easily manipulated masses to believe whatever embellishments of the truth, or outright lies, they peddle. From the beginning of the smallest clans to the birth of the modern nation-state, fear of the other, or the unknown, has been used to get individuals to collectivize allowing a small minority to dictate what is in their best interests when it comes to safety. It happened after 9/11 (and it’s only gotten worse), and it continues in the insane “War on Drugs” that is responsible for the “freest country in world” having the most people incarcerated per capita with the next closest country far off in the distance.  

If individuals fail to examine themselves when it comes to the level of fear they’re living with, and how this directly correlates to how much tyranny they’re willing to abide, the term “free country” will become even more of a punchline than it is at the present moment. Unless they are prepared to investigate from where, and how, these feelings of trepidation have come into their lives, they should count on the chains getting tighter, and the leash shortening. The ideas of true liberty can be foreign, even frightening, to those who have never considered them, who’ve been taught that the status quo is the best that can be expected. Doing everything to help the scales to fall from their eyes should be a priority to those who have already enjoyed the experience. 

Who is to Blame for the Dangers of Being a Cop?

Who is to Blame for the Dangers of Being a Cop?

My colleague sent me a blog post of the wife of a cop who was lamenting the dangers that her husband faces in his profession.  I get it, it’s got to be nerve-racking having a loved one with a job where there are serious health and life risks.  But this blog post annoyed me.  It’s not so much that the author bugs me.  What bugs me is the acceptance by the general public that a police officer’s job has to be so dangerous.

I work at an oil refinery.  We have hydrocarbons, acids, hydrogen, etc. flowing through pipes and vessels.  Sometimes they’re at conditions where autoignition will occur if the fluids breach their containment.  We have materials, such as acids, that would cause you to die an absolutely horrible death if you were exposed to enough to them.  We have pressures high enough throughout the refinery that would obliterate you if there were an explosion.  We’ve got machinery that would tear or slice you apart if you got caught in it.

A refinery has innumerable hazards, but my refinery is a safe place to work.  We spend a lot of time and resources identifying hazards, managing risks, and putting safeguards into place.  This happens to the point that I feel safe being around the equipment (I understand how to take care of myself and I also understand what is done to make everything run reliably).

Why would a company do all of this?

It’s because the company values its employees and its equipment and resources.  Even ignoring all of the capital costs of the property, it is extremely expensive to replace people with skills, knowledge, and expertise necessary to successfully operate the refinery.  The company invests a lot into its employees, so there’s a strong incentive for the company to protect its assets.  “It’s just the nature of the work” is simply a terribly unacceptable response to the problem.  And of course, there’s the purely human element of having concern for each other’s well-being.

If my workplace became unsafe, t would be silly for me to blame the things that could hurt me.

If people want to say that the police have a dangerous job, who else is there to blame other than the employer?  The government itself is the enemy of the safety of the police officer.  While it is true that there are emotional appeals within the government to keep cops from getting harmed, they’re expendable enough that the government won’t work all that hard to keep them safe (i.e. abolish stupid laws that cause so much unnecessary contact).

Why wouldn’t the government have an incentive to keep their own police officers safe?  There are two major reasons in my view.  The first is that the government is not under a profit motive.  They’re not truly on the hook to recruit and train new cops if they maim or kill members of their current force.  They have a tax farm: taxpayers are a captive audience for securing funding for any government endeavor.  The government doesn’t need to satisfy the wants and needs of its “customers,” they just need to point a gun at them to get their money.  The second reason is that the job of police officer is simply low skill employment.  To be a cop, it’s more important to eat up their lies and propaganda than to have any sort of skill set.

The police are not special when it comes to any other profession employed by the government.  Soldiers, politicians, teachers, etc. all have a sort of mystique surrounding their jobs.  They’re called “servants” and people love to claim that they don’t do their government jobs for the money.  It makes perfect sense that this would be the propaganda we’re fed about government jobs.  The deception is necessary to make people believe that the jobs the government offers aren’t overpaid, gravely distorted, or flat our unnecessary.

Reprinted from McFloogle.com. 

What if the Police Don’t Identify Themselves?

What if the Police Don’t Identify Themselves?

Anyone who pays attention to cases involving police shootings, especially those that result in a fatality, has noticed that the narrative we first hear coming from the press soon changes. It is no different in the case of Atatiana Jefferson, who was gunned down through a closed window in her home on October 12, after a neighbor called police to report that her front door was ajar at 2AM. Fort Worth police showed up for a “wellness check.” They didn’t bother knocking, instead deciding to pull their guns and lurk around the outside of the house with high-lumen flashlights. Officer Aaron Dean and his partner opened a gate to the backyard, entered, and noticed a silhouette in the window that turned out to be Jefferson. He never identified himself as a police officer, yelled “show me your hands,” and a split second later fired the fatal shot. 

On Monday, 10/14/19, the Fort Worth PD announced that Dean had resigned from the police force before they could terminate his employment. The same day the report came that FWPD had filed murder charges against Dean. He was arrested, and soon after made the $200,000 bond. 

When the arrest warrant affidavit was released to the public, it was alleged that Jefferson’s un-named 8-year-old nephew, who was playing video games with her, claimed that Atatiana had noticed people lurking outside, picked up her gun and pointed it at the window. Granted, until an investigation is done, facts such as these are not expected to come out (not that it exonerates the officer). On Thursday, the 17th, the narrative surrounding the initial call to police was changed from that of a “wellness check,” to one of a “potential burglary.” Once again, anyone who has examined cases as such recognizes that this is often done in officer-involved shootings.  

The subject here should not be what the original intent of the call to law enforcement was made for, but whether a “mundane” has a right to protect their home from a “protected class member,” especially one who failed to identify himself as such. That there are people willing to defend the actions of officer Dean should come as no surprise. But is there a precedent for defending your home from officers who do not announce themselves? 

Ray Rosas 

On February 19, 2015, a Corpus Christi SWAT team led a “no-knock warrant” assault on the home of Ray Rosas. They had a search warrant and were looking to arrest his nephew, Santiago Garcia, who they suspected of selling drugs. Garcia was not in the home at the time. One would think that simple surveillance of the property could’ve informed police of this. Or they could’ve knocked and asked if he was in the dwelling. But no, Rosas suffered the typical, cowboy-type SWAT raid that police, on average do 50,000 times a year. When you compare that to 800 per annum in the 1980s, one should ask, why?  

The team threw a flash-bang grenade into the bedroom of the Rosas home, which was followed by three cops entering without announcing that they were, in fact, law enforcement.  

Rosas, whose home had been shot at in the past during drive-by shootings, believed he was being robbed, so he pulled out his gun and fired 15 times, striking three officers, all of whom survived the shooting. 

Rosas was arrested on attempted capital murder which, if convicted, carried a sentence of life in prison. During the trial, those charges were reduced to three counts of aggravated assault on a “public official.” Prosecutors argued that he should’ve known they were police because he had a surveillance camera outside his home.  

But Rosas had always maintained he did not know they were cops, telling cops as he was being arrested that he did not know they were cops. He also told jailers the same thing that night as they were booking him. 

After almost two years in jail, awaiting, and during his trial, the jury deliberated for only two hours and found him not guilty 

The surveillance camera footage that allegedly captured the raid, was never released to the public. 

How the case of Ray Rosas relates to the shooting death by law enforcement of Atatiana Jefferson should be clear. In Rosas’ case, the police never announced who they were, threw an explosive device into his bedroom, and trespassed into his home. A Texas jury decided that the testimony of police was contradictory, and that Ray was defending his castle from what he thought were criminals.  

In Ft. Worth, the police officers never announced who they were and prowled around the outside of Jefferson’s home with flashlights, entering her fenced-in backyard. At 2 AM, it is not unreasonable to believe that anyone who owns a firearm would’ve done the same. Many on social media have proclaimed they would have done the exact thing that Atatiana did. Yet, there are those who seek to make the inane argument that if Dean is held responsible for this murder, “Who Would Ever be a Cop?” That is a great question ignoring the shooting. 

Using the precedent of the Rosas case, the conviction of Aaron Dean looks to be a slam dunk, although they differ in that the aggressor was unharmed and the peaceful inhabitant was slaughtered. The defense will no doubt rely on the Graham vs. Connor decision. Taking that into consideration, the prosecutor is now the one looking down the barrel.  

WATCH: State Trooper Pulls Gun on Veteran Speeding to Hospital to See His Dying Mother

WATCH: State Trooper Pulls Gun on Veteran Speeding to Hospital to See His Dying Mother

Tempe, AZ — A U.S. Army Reserves Translator was attempting to hurry to the hospital to be with his sick mother when Department of Public Safety (DPS) Trooper Brian Hillenbrand pulled him over. Mike Aldarraji admitted to AZ Family reporters he was weaving in and out of the high-occupancy vehicle lane in an attempt to get to the hospital quicker. However, his issue was with how much time the trooper took to write the ticket.

When Hillenbrand stopped Aldarraji one could say he was in no hurry to release Aldarraji to be on his way to his sick mother. In fact, the traffic stop lasted more than 9 minutes. Quite discontented with the speed at which the ticket was being issued, the Army translator kept getting out of his car, perhaps in an attempt to speed things along.

“I stepped out of my vehicle so I could show him my insurance,” Adarraji said.

“I have an emergency my mother is in the hospital; I have to rush to the hospital,” Adrarrji is heard saying in the DPS video.

“OK. Is she at the hospital now?” said Hillenbrand.

“Correct,” Adarraji responded

“Are you going to treat her, or is she being treated by the doctor?” the officer asked as he walked back to the car to issue the citation.

In some instances, as TFTP has reported, thoughtful troopers would provide an escort for a distraught citizen to get to the hospital to possibly say goodbye to a loved one for one last time. These days it seems, troopers are driven more by ticket quotas and policing for profit than consideration for the feelings of distraught motorists.

The first time Aldarraji got out off his car, Hillenbrand ordered him back inside his car. After the ticket was issued to Aldarraji, the man was insolent, hardly able to contain his emotions. He began cursing at the trooper and then made the poor decision to spit on the officer’s car.

Hillenbrand told him, “When an officer tells you to stay in the car. Get in the car right now. Was I using that same kind of language with you?”

Hillenbrand then lost it, one could say, drew his service pistol, and pointed it at the Army translator’s head, screaming and cursing all the while pushing the man back into his vehicle.

“Get in the car right now. Get in the f–king car right now. You wanna spit on my car you son of a bitch?” the trooper says.

The confrontation ended with the trooper getting back into his vehicle and leaving but not before Aldarraji says the officer injured his wrist. He’s now consulting an attorney to determine if his civil rights have been violated.

DPS claims they investigated the incident and found no wrongdoing with the officer or his actions but AZ Family reporters interviewed former DPS officer Jesse Torres says Hillenbrand should never have pulled out his gun.

Torres claims Hillenbrand would have been prosecuted had that gun gone off accidentally. “What the officer should have done was backed up and headed away,” Torres said.

DPS has determined their trooper will not be disciplined for pulling a gun out on the man and threatening him in the manner he did. In other words it is now up to the courts to determine how much money in the form of taxpayer dollars Aldarraji will receive, if any, for getting the scare of his life.

The type of action displayed by Hillenbrand is not uncommon according to police accountability activists who see it all the time.

As TFTP once reported, a Grand Rapids Michigan police officer pulled his gun out and held five young children at gunpoint because they supposedly fit the description of suspects the police were searching for. It was probably the first time in their young lives anyone ever pointed a gun at them and it was an officer who did it to them for the first time, hopefully their last.

When will modern-day policing and police officers return to treating citizens as the tax-paying customers they are and offer customer service which does not come with the threat of a firearm?

Reprinted with permission from The Free Thought Project.

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