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Pro Libertate Radio 10-23-2010

12/13/19 Sheldon Richman on Trump’s Loyalty to Israel

Sheldon Richman discusses America’s relationship to Israel in the wake of President Trump’s speech to Sheldon Adelson’s Israeli-American Council. Trump has received criticism as being anti-semitic for saying that American Jews, particularly democrats, do not “love Israel enough.” This is odd, says Richman, since usually allegations of anti-semitism are based on people claiming that American Jews might have a special loyalty to Israel. He laments the fact that nobody cares about consistent principle anymore, happy instead to resort to sophistry and persecution if they think it will be convenient to their side’s interests in the short term.

Discussed on the show:

Sheldon Richman is the executive editor of the Libertarian Institute and the author of Coming to Palestine and America’s Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited. Follow him on Twitter @SheldonRichman.

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com; Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott; Washinton Babylon; Liberty Under Attack Publications; Listen and Think Audio; TheBumperSticker.com; and LibertyStickers.com.

Donate to the show through Patreon, PayPal, or Bitcoin: 1Ct2FmcGrAGX56RnDtN9HncYghXfvF2GAh.

The Conservative Attack on Market Freedom

The Conservative Attack on Market Freedom

I haven’t run an empirical study on the number of articles published, but it sure seems like conservatives are writing more articles than usual condemning economic freedom, and the people who advocate for it. This would make some sense in the Age of Trump when the the president has pushed the right’s policy agenda more in the direction of protectionism and runaway federal spending that makes the Obama Administration look almost fiscally responsibly by comparison. The right wing no longer talks about cuts to social spending. Deficit spending is nearing all-time highs.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the conservative media has promoted and published articles, with some regularity in recent years, attacking the idea that consumers and producers ought to be able to buy and sell freely without government interference, regulations, or prohibitions.

Thus, by perusing the recent output of publications like First ThingsThe American Conservative, or The Spectator, it’s not difficult to find numerous articles that have run over the past two years attacking “libertarians,” specifically for the sin of supporting the idea of free markets.1

Many conservatives appear to be taking a page from leftwing Progressives who regularly portray advocates of economic freedom — labeled by anti-market leftists as “neoliberals” — who have adopted “the lie,” of “Homo economicus, or self-maximising man.” which leads the idea’s advocates to places “free-market economics” above all other human values.

In a similar vein, the phrase “market fundamentalism” is also a popular phrase among these critics of market freedom, with the phrase intended essentially as a smear which portrays libertarians as nearly religious zealots in their devotion to their market-based ideology.

Market fundamentalism has been exposed as soulless,” a sub-title from The American Conservative declared in 2018. Meanwhile, Michael Warren Davis at the same publication reminded his readers that “Man is not homo economicus, as the socialists and libertarians suppose…

But, as I’ve shown here at mises.org before, those who invoke the idea of homo economicus as the embodiment of pro-market thinking are either unfamiliar with actual economic theory, or they’re dishonestly using a straw man to attack market advocates. After all, virtually no one at all believes the concept of homo economicus actually describes human behavior, or that it is some sort of ideal for human society. The Austrian-school economists — singled out for special scorn by conservatives Tucker Carlson and Steve Bannon, most certainly never believed it.

But the caricature makes for an easy target, which is perhaps why Patrick Buchanan has returned to that well more than once. He declares in his 1998 book The Great Betrayal that “the Global Economy is rooted in the myth of economic man,” and covers similar ground in his 2002 book The Death of the West when he says pro-market advocates have “succumbed to the heresy of Economism, a mirror-Marxism” which claims “that man is an economic animal….that if we can only get the marginal tax rates right … Paradise … is at hand.”

But old rhetorical habits no doubt die hard, and many conservatives continue to invoke the idea that free-market ideologies rely on a cartoonish view of humans who care more about their stock dividends than their dying mothers.

The homo economicus strategy is a useful tactic, however. It helps to portray pro-market activists is out-of-touch, and devoted to arcane theory, while their opponents care more about real, actual human beings with real problems. The reality, of course, is something quite different. As Ludwig von Mises has shown, we favor economic progress because economic progress means a higher standard of living and all the benefits that come with it — such as a longer, healthier life, and children who live to adulthood. There’s nothing arcane or theoretical about it.

Do Americans Have Too Much Freedom?

Nonetheless, it was difficult to be shocked when Carlson, in his jeremiad against market freedom on his show in January, insisted that if the world is to improve, people “will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You’d have to be a fool to worship it.”

The implication, of course, is that people do worship markets, or in the vocabulary of Carlson, they worship “capitalism.”

In a United States where more than 35 percent of all national income is taxed away by government it’s safe to say that this “worship” of markets is pretty lackadaisical. But the baseless idea that we live in a world of untrammeled hard-core free-market libertarianism continues to hold sway among many on both the left and right.

Moreover, the lack of any real world domination by free-market fanatical ideologues apparently is not a barrier to repeated claims that it is too much market freedom that has allegedly destroyed the American middle class and hollowed out the American economy.

I say “allegedly,” of course, because many conservative claims about the economy come down to empirical questions about the state of the current US economy. Some claims are more convincing than others. But even if we completely accept the narrative that the average American is worse off today than a similar cohort 30 years ago, on what grounds is this to be blamed on too many people having too much freedom to buy and sell what they please?

In reality, of course, governments in the United States collect more revenue as a percentage of economic output than they ever have before. Government spending is at at all time high. The regulatory burden placed on American producers, entrepreneurs, and business owners is enormous and crippling. New federal banking regulations favor large firms while turning away small entrepreneurs.  Meanwhile, the US’s central bank is increasingly activist, inflating the money supply for the sake of Wall Street, thus driving up asset prices and favoring those who already own capital — at the expense of first time homebuyers and middle-income savers.

And yet, we’re to believe that “market fundamentalism” is the problem?

Saving America with Higher Taxes

Much of the time, the solutions to these supposed market-caused problems are indeed troubling.

Much of the anti-market sentiment among conservatives nowadays centers around the need for protectionist tariffs. But that’s not where their anti-market policies end. It would be one thing if these conservatives were arguing for a protective tariff combined with policy that is otherwise laissez-faire. If tariffs were a replacement for the income tax, one could certainly make the case that Americans would benefit over all. After all, tariffs are hardly the worst kind of tax, and tariffs were higher prior to the modern era of “free trade” agreements — without crippling American standards of living. But overall tax rates were substantially lower. Prior to World War One in America, the American tax burden was remarkably low and often only around 60 percent of that found in other Western nations. Firms opened in America and stayed in America because America was a great place to do business. Even with high tariffs, the tax burden was favorable compared to other nations. The regulatory burden was low. There was a gold standard and no central bank.

America didn’t get rich because it had politicians who were guiding, nudging, or protecting the American economy from foreigners. The American economy expanded rapidly thanks to a a growing and hard-working population that made the most of a growing supply of capital. Since the US had such a free economy, it was very attractive to foreign investors. Much of that capital was foreign-owned, but contrary to the theories of the economic nationalists, that wasn’t a problem.

While it’s true many politicians of that era spouted a lot of rhetoric about the need for a nineteenth-century version of Making America Great Again, the US government was simply too weak and decentralized to create anything resembling the national economic policy the conservatives are telling us we now need.

But with today’s protectionist conservatives, creating a modern economy that is more favorable to hard work, investment, and saving, is apparently not a priority. Tucker Carlson, for example, mocks the idea of lowering corporate taxes. He thinks capital is under-taxed. Reading through Daniel McCarthy’s article “A New Conservative Agenda,” one will look in vain for support for an economic policy that seeks to help Americans buy and sell freely, even outside the tariff issue. One finds instead, an agenda that seeks to use the coercive power of the state to forge a “national economy” through government policy that “takes account of the different needs of different walks of life and regions of the country, serving the whole by serving its parts and drawing them ­together.” It’s a grandiose scheme that’s perhaps best be described as “conservative central planning.” Do we read anything about the central bank? About lowering the income tax? There is scoffing about the idea that a tax cut might actually help Americans.

And that appears to be the state of conservative political economy. They want to go back to the protectionist status quo of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. But they appear uninterested about any other aspect of the political economy of that era: a heavily decentralized political system, no payroll taxes, no central bank, and a minimalist regulatory environment.

Ultimately, the conservative attack comes down to insisting that Americans must not be allowed to buy what they want, sell what they want, or trade with whom they want without special government permission. The interests of capital and labor must be “balanced,” we’re told. “The rich” must be taxed more.

But the conservative critique of markets ultimately fails in several ways. It is not true the US economy is too free, or in the thrall of market fundamentalists. It is not true that raising tariffs — while ignoring the crushing tax burden elsewhere — will  have a benign or beneficial effect. It is not true that the answer lies in more of the same — namely, more government power.

Republished with permission from the Ludwig Von Mises Institute.

Pro Libertate Radio 10-23-2010

Strangle the Bastard Child of Prohibition: Abolish the ATF!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Strangle the Bastard Child of Prohibition: Abolish the ATF!


Whatever would we do without helpful people like this goon?


Acting on its unerring instinct for expanding its own power while exacerbating the suffering of its subjects, the federal government, at the request of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and with the approval of President Trump, is planning to deploy a contingent from the entity known as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (commonly called the ATF) to Chicago.  

This will do nothing to abate the problem of violent crime in the Second City, but will provide the agency with continued rationale for its misbegotten existence – which, as it happens, began in that same city decades ago.

The ATF was born as the Bureau of Prohibition – a brief experiment in federal behavior control that was made possible by the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution. Chicago native Elliot Ness, an inveterate self-promoter, headed much-celebrated bootlegging task force that spent six months raiding Al Capone’s breweries, which was in effect a price-support program for one of the gangster’s few morally sound enterprises.

Self-mythologizing fraud Elliot Ness.


Ness and his underlings eventually compiled a 5,000-count bootlegging indictment against Capone, which the US Attorney politely ignored as he filed tax-evasion charges that eventually brought about the gangster’s imprisonment – and enhanced the power of the immeasurably deadlier criminal syndicate called the IRS. 

When the 18th Amendment was repealed, the Prohibition Bureau lost any rationale for its lawful existence – yet rather than being abolished, it was rechristened and given an even more expansive mandate.

Over the past 25 years, the ATF has been consistently mired in misconduct, often of a murderous nature. The April 1993 slaughter of the Branch Davidians in their sanctuary outside Waco, Texas began with an unnecessary ATF armed raid called “Operation Showtime” – which was staged to deflect attention from an internal corruption scandal. More recently the agency was involved in the “Operation Fast and Furious” imbroglio, in which it pressured federally licensed gun dealers to sell weapons to agents of Mexican cartels in a supposed sting operation.

In ways both grand and petty, the ATF has plagued and persecuted its betters. In one telling but long-forgotten episode more than a decade ago, a college student in Georgia found himself surrounded by a thugscrum of ATF chair-moisteners – one of whom planted his knee upon the victim’s neck, placing the full measure of his tax-enhanced girth behind it – because he was seen wearing a ninja costume as part of a campus event. Unfortunately for the victim, that campus was temporarily infested by ATF hirelings who – no doubt between visits to the local brothels – were undergoing “Safe Streets Training.”

The ATF is an appendage of the Leviathan that exists without so much of an echo of a whisper of a hint of constitutional legitimacy, for the sole purpose of providing secure, albeit socially useless, employment for reprobates, criminals, and degenerates. No provision of the US Constitution authorizes any agency of the federal government to regulate alcohol, tobacco, or explosives, and the Second Amendment explicitly forecloses federal infringement of the right to own and carry firearms. This means that the ATF is literally a bastard agency carrying out an illegitimate mission.

The only useful activity for federal legislators consists of repealing existing statutes and abolishing federal agencies. Wisconsin Republican Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, in defiance of all rational expectations for denizens of the political class, has made himself modestly useful by proposing a bill called the ATF Elimination Act that would impose an immediate hiring freeze at the agency and order its administrators to prepare a report on transferring its existing functions to the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and other departments.

“The ATF is a scandal-ridden, largely duplicative agency that has been branded by failure and lacks a clear mission,” declares Representative Sensenbrenner. Abolishing the ATF would be “a logical place to begin draining the swamp and acting in the best interest of the American Taxpayer.”

Regrettably, Sensenbrenner’s bill would merely channel the institutional feculence of the ATF into two other federal agencies that are badly in need of abolition. Agencies of that kind will endure while there are lives to ruin and liberties to infringe — and those on the receiving end of its malign attention are willing to countenance their continued existence.

This week’s Freedom Zealot Podcast: There are two varieties of “Trump Derangement Syndrome” — and both of them are inimical to individual liberty —

Please visit the Libertarian Institute — and share it with your friends!

Dum spiro, pugno!

Content retrieved from: http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2017/02/strangle-bastard-child-of-prohibition.html.

Pro Libertate Radio 10-23-2010

Meet the New “Specially Protected Class”

Monday, February 13, 2017

Meet the New “Specially Protected Class”


Adams Lin literally fainted as he read a court order authorizing federal marshals to confiscate his property. The officers seized his car, his designer clothes, a flat-screen television, golf clubs, computer, and even his treasured Samurai sword.

Unlike countless other Americans who have been pillaged by federal law enforcement officials, Lin was not a victim of the officially sanctioned plunder called civil asset forfeiture. His property was confiscated after Lin’s boss failed to make a $200,000 payment toward the $22.4 million civil damage award granted to a man who was left paralyzed through Lin’s occupational misconduct.

Lin’s boss is Palm Beach County, Florida Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, and he has adamantly refused to make payments to Dontrell Stephens, who was shot by Lin after the panicking deputy mistook the 19-year-old’s cell phone for a gun.

“There’s nothing in the rules of engagement that says we have to put our lives in jeopardy to wait and find out what this is and get killed,” whined Sheriff Bradshaw on the day of the shooting. His department quickly exonerated Lin and promoted him – before the public release of video that proved that the victim had never posed a threat to the deputy.

Rather than complying with the court order, Bradshaw filed an appeal. After the award was upheld last May, Bradshaw appealed again – which triggered an injunction leading to the seizure of property from the deputy who was directly responsible for the unlawful shooting of an innocent teenager. Owing to his service as an asset of the state’s punitive apparatus, Lin was able to get his confiscated property back. His victim, of course, remains paralyzed.
Lin continues to be held in high regard by Bradshaw, which is why the sheriff selected him to be one of seven sergeants from his department assigned to the presidential security detail at the Palm Beach Airport during the president’s recent visit.

This obviously wasn’t a reward for Lin’s exceptional valor. The deputy’s pants-wetting meltdown that led to the near-murder of Stephens, and his fainting spell triggered by enforcement of the court order, demonstrate that he’s hardly Horatius at the bridge in dealing with adversity. It was a gesture of calculated contempt toward those who believe that police officers should be held accountable for personal misconduct, and an assertion of the institutional sense of entitlement that characterizes law enforcement – and that has been reinvigorated by the current occupant of the Oval Office.

Donald Trump has repeatedly described the privileged personalities who constitute the state’s punitive caste as “the most mistreated people” in society. In a recent exercise in self-pity published by the cyber-journal Law Officer, Major Travis Yates of the Tulsa Police Department embellishes Trump’s claim, complaining that law enforcement officers are the victims of what he calls “The New Discrimination in America.”

“We see police officers being assaulted,” insisted Yates. “We see police officers being murdered. And much of it, is just because they wear a uniform.”

Police officers are occasionally assaulted, and on austerely rare occasions murdered on-duty – much less frequently, as it happens, than they were under the reign of the last self-described law-and-order president, Ronald Reagan. Those who lend credence to Yates’s jeremiad, however, would believe that the desecrated bodies of police officers can be found dangling from hanging trees throughout the length and breadth of this hate-intoxicated, ungrateful land.

“From slavery to the KKK to Jim Crow laws, nothing much has changed in this country,” he intones. “We continue to hate and we continue to kill and the only difference now is we are doing it to those in uniform.”

This ambient violence sometimes leads people to shun police officers in restaurants, or call them “vile and hateful names.” A similarly grievous illustration of what he invites the reader to pretend is unconscionable anti-cop bigotry was an executive order by Barack Obama placing modest limits on the transfer of war-fighting materiel from the Pentagon to local police agencies.

Like many others in the self-described Blue Lives Matter movement, Major Yates confuses a chosen occupation – one involving the state-sanctioned exercise of aggressive violence — with an innate characteristic. He also ignores the critical distinctions between hateful and spiteful verbal abuse — on one hand — and the forceful criticism of officials who are, or at least should be, accountable to the public they claim to serve.

Yates does understand the essential nature of the occupation he has chosen. In a previous essay, he complained that citizens who are urging police to rediscover the lost skill of de-escalation in encounters with citizens are demanding that “police stop being police.”

Yeah, they’re just like victims of Jim Crow.


“Follow the commands of a police officer, or risk dying,” Yates snarled, expressing the discretionary power to kill that was not enjoyed or exercised by slaves or those subject to Jim Crow laws.  From his perspective, only aberrant bigotry could motivate those who take issue with the fact that police consider themselves invested with that power, or criticize them when its exercise is manifestly indefensible.

Once clad in the habiliments of the state’s punitive priesthood, police expect and demand deference from Mundanes. Recent studies conducted by a team of cognitive neuroscientists at McMaster University suggest that the mere act of donning the official costume alters the way those thus attired – in this case, students, rather than police officers – view people who are regarded as socially marginal or otherwise “problematic.”

It is incontestable that once an individual swaddles himself in police attire he begins to assess everyone who surrounds him in terms of potential threats to “officer safety.” It is likewise clear that the relatively modest occupational risks of police officers are amplified by the requirement that they enforce measures that are innately illegitimate.

Missouri State Trooper Beau Ryun, to cite a perfectly suitable recent example, was “assaulted” by 22-year-old Jonathan Timmons during a recent traffic stop, and was rescued by the intervention of a motorist named Charles Barney and a 74-year-old woman identified only as “Sandra.” That’s as far as the story will be recounted in most re-tellings: A heroic paladin of public order was viciously attacked, and was rescued by two “civilians,” who have been nominated for “honorary trooper awards.”

Little if any attention will be paid to the prelude of this altercation.

Timmons, a resident of New York State, was not suspected of an actual crime against person or property. He was stopped by Trooper Ryun because of a “lane violation.” If the vehicle had not displayed out-of-state license plates, it’s quite possible that Ryun would have ignored this trivial transgression. Owing to the perverted priorities of prohibition, however, traffic infractions of this kind are coveted, because they provide opportunities for drug arrests and asset forfeiture.

Timmons, unfortunately, was far too cooperative following Ryun’s pretext stop, agreeing to sit in the patrol vehicle while the trooper conducted a consent search. When Ryun reached for the handcuffs, Timmons decided to fight back. His offense was morally indistinguishable from that of an escaped slave who “assaulted” an officer enforcing the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law – Deputy U.S. Marshal James Batchelder, to cite one example.

Batchelder was killed by an abolitionist posse seeking to liberate a man named Anthony Burns, who had been “lawfully” arrested by the marshal for rendition to the Virginia man who claimed to “own” him. Yes, Burns violated the “law” by escaping from involuntary servitude. In similar fashion, Timmons broke the “law” by being in possession of marijuana, and by resisting state-sanctioned abduction by an armed stranger.

Deputy Marshal Batchelder’s name is inscribed on the honor roll of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. Those who compile such rosters do not inquire into the legitimacy of the statutes whose enforcement led to the deaths thus tabulated, or consider whether killing or dying to enforce them is justifiable.

Timmons faces six criminal charges, including felonious assault on a “special victim.” Yes, Missouri is among the SSRs within the American soyuz that formally designate police as a “specially protected class.” Over the past two years, law and order conservatives who otherwise abhor the concept of “hate crimes” have proposed, and sometimes enacted, hate crimes statutes that enhance penalties for crimes against police officers.

In Louisiana, for example, citizens can now be charged with a “hate crime” under that state’s Blue Lives Matter statute, which was signed into law last year. Two bills being reconciled in the Mississippi State Legislature would have the same impact.

House Bill 645, titled the “Back the Badge Act of 2017,” would triple the penalties for committing an act of violence against law enforcement officers or other first responders (who are included in the bill in order to expand its constituency, not because of an outbreak of violence against firefighters or EMTs). A similar measure, Senate Bill 2469, the “Blue, Red, and Med Lives Matter Act,” has passed that chamber of the state Legislature. That bill designates police and other first responders as a specially protected class for the purpose of hate crimes prosecution. Mississippi state law currently doubles penalties for crimes targeting people belonging to specially protected classes.
 

Caesar keeps the Praetorians happy.


The Fraternal Order of Police and other police unions have been agitating for federal “hate crimes” legislation for the benefit of law enforcement, and Donald Trump is eager to oblige them. His recent executive order instructs newly installed Procurator General Jeff Sessions to “pursue appropriate legislation … that will define new Federal crimes, and increase penalties for existing Federal crimes, in order to prevent violence against Federal, State, tribal and local law enforcement officers.”

With three exceptions – piracy, counterfeiting, and treason – “federal crimes” do not exist under the constitutional framework, which likewise does not authorize the federal government to investigate and punish violations of state laws. Self-described constitutionalists once regarded such considerations as important.

Just months ago, the “law and order” constituency was denouncing the President of the United States for seeking to “federalize” law enforcement. Now that same cohort is offering full-throated approval of the president’s eagerness to expand federal involvement in local law enforcement – and to federalize prosecution of people accused of criminal offenses resulting from encounters like the one involving Jonathan Timmons and Trooper Ryun.

After spending Barack Obama’s reign denouncing his regime as the distillate of despotism, right-collectivists are eagerly applauding the enhancement of state power under a president with whom they can identify.

Statists of all varieties remain committed to Lenin’s formula, under which the fundamental political question is “who does what to whom.” The “what” in that equation – the exercise of essentially illimitable state power – remains intact; the “who” and “whom” have simply exchanged places. Somewhere in hell, Lenin is kvelling.

The same Regime that promises border security has been known to vet refugees for the purpose of recruiting terrorists — but what should we expect from a system based on demographic central planning? This week’s Freedom Zealot Podcast:


Please be sure to check out the Libertarian Institute.

Dum spiro, pugno!

Content retrieved from: http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2017/02/meet-new-specially-protected-class.html.

Pro Libertate Radio 10-23-2010

Sheriffs as Slavemasters: Will Inmate Labor Be Used to Build Trump’s Wall?

Friday, January 6, 2017

Sheriffs as Slavemasters: Will Inmate Labor Be Used to Build Trump’s Wall?


“Liberty, if I understand it at all, is a general principle, and the clear right of the subjects within the realm, or of none,” declared British statesman Edmund Burke in an April 3, 1777 message to the Sheriffs of Bristol. “Partial freedom seems to me a most invidious mode of slavery. But, unfortunately, it is the kind of slavery the most easily admitted in times of civil discord: for parties are but too apt to forget their own future safety in their desire of sacrificing their enemies.”

The tyrannical measures that had provoked the American rebellion, wrote Burke, threatened liberty throughout Britain’s dominions. Once imposed in a time of crisis, he explained, they “may be advanced further and further at pleasure, on the same argument of mere expediency.”
Thomas Hodgson is a sheriff of Bristol — in this case, Bristol County, Massachusetts — and a very different kind of “public servant” from those to whom Burke sent his message. Indeed, he seems to embody the preference for authoritarian expediency that Burke condemned, as demonstrated by his suggestion that the federal government should conscript prison labor to build Donald Trump’s proposed border wall.

Punitive poseur: Sheriff Hodgson

“I can think of no other project that would have such a positive impact on our inmates and our country than building this wall,” insisted Hodgson during the swearing-in ceremony for his fourth term. “Aside from learning and perfecting construction skills, the symbolism of these inmates building a wall to prevent crime in their communities around the country, and to preserve jobs and work opportunities for them and other Americans upon release, can be very powerful.”

Hodgson used his inaugural speech to announce an initiative he calls Project N.I.C.E. – National Inmates’ Community Endeavors – through which prison convicts and inmates of county jails would provide what he calls “volunteer” labor for disaster relief and other government public works projects.

“We need to turn this country around and put law and order back in place,” insisted Hodgson. “That’s why today, I am making a formal offer to President-elect Trump that inmates from Bristol County and others from across the nation through Project N.I.C.E. will help build the wall.”

Hodgson’s call for a nation-wide levee en masse of prison labor assumes a steady supply of convicts – and the State excels at making innocent people into criminal offenders.
Contrary to what Trump and his most eager acolytes would have us believe, there is no paucity of “law and order” in American society. The level of violent crime remains at or near an historic low, even as the prison population continues to expand.

Analyzing the available data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, New York Daily News reporter David J. Krajicek contrasted national crime statistics from 2014 – the last year for which they are available – and 1987. His survey found that the overall crime rate at that point in Reagan’s presidency was 612 instances of violence for every 100,000 people; in 2014; it was 365 per 100,000, a 40 percent decline. There were roughly 320,000 fewer violent crimes in 2014 than in 1987; one notable comparison is offered by the fact that there were 20,096 murder cases in 1987, and 14,249 in 2014.

Adjusted for our larger population, there was a fifty percent decline in robbery during the same period, and an overall 48 percent decline in property crime generally.
Similar trends are seen in the number of on-duty police officer deaths: During the Reagan era, the average annual rate of officer fatalities was 189, compared to 135 during the Obama presidency.  Last year, there were 140 on-duty fatalities, a little more than half of which (77) were homicides.

He beat the Clintons, but he won’t rein in the police state.

With the decline in crimes against both property and person, the State has turned to prohibition as a way of feeding its carceral apparatus. In 2015, arrests for marijuana possession outnumbered arrests for all violent crimes. This may be seen as either the final throes of a dying institution – or the beginning of its revival, under anti-marijuana obscurantist Jeff Sessions.

The population from which Hodgson would collect his slave labor force would be – overwhelmingly, if not exclusively — non-violent offenders. Most of those conscripted from county jails would be hapless, economically marginal people incarcerated for petty violations of useless municipal ordinances, including those whose “offense” consisted of such things as failing to manicure their yards to the satisfaction of code enforcement officers.

Indeed, the reason such statutes were enacted to begin with was to provide a steady stream of fine-generated revenue, and a self-sustaining supply of inmate labor. This is documented in Douglas A. Blackmon’s book Slavery by Another Name. Blackmon’s research led him to conclude that municipal ordinances in the post-Emancipation South were designed and enforced with the purpose of producing large pools of inmate labor to be leased to large corporate interests. Other versions of this analysis had been advanced earlier in criminologist Thorsten Sellin’s study Slavery and the Penal System, and David Oshinsky’s book Worse Than Slavery.

Blackmon’s account begins with the story of 22-year-old Green Cottenham, who was arrested for “vagrancy” by the sheriff of Shelby County, Alabama. “Vagrancy” was the stickiest of catch-all charges used to round up anyone unable “to prove at a given moment that he or she [was] employed.”

At the time and place of Cottenham’s arrest, the charge was most frequently used to justify the arrest of young black men, many of whom were itinerant workers seeking gainful employment. Cottenham was quickly convicted following a burlesque of a trial and sentenced to thirty days of hard labor.

In a fashion instantly familiar to most people incarcerated today, Cottenham was unable to pay an array of “fees” that accompanied his spurious incarceration. So the thirty-day sentence was quickly expanded to a full year. Immediately thereafter, Cottenham was “leased” — or, as his parents, both of whom former slaves, would put it, sold — to the Tennessee Coal, Iron, and Railroad Company, a subsidiary of U.S. Steel.

Another tragic case of SYLP syndrome.

One of thousands of black men vended by sheriffs across Alabama, Cottenham was dispatched to work in Slope No. 12, a coal shaft that formed part of the Pratt Mines near Birmingham.

“Imprisoned in what was then the most advanced city of the South, guarded by whipping bosses employed by the most iconic example of the modern corporation emerging in the gilded North, [Cottenham and his co-workers] were slaves in all but name,” observes Blackmon.

Thousands perished from disease, overwork, and accidents, their mortal remains interred in shallow graves not far from where they expired. All of this is seen as an indictment of a barbarous past we have supposedly transcended. But the system described by Blackmon — opportunistic law enforcement feeding non-violent offenders into a penal system hard-welded to government-favored corporations – still exists.

Like Communist China, the American Soyuz has a Laogai (“reform through labor) prison manufacturing system. Working through Unicor, a public-private partnership created during the Great Depression to create “factories with fences,” corporations employ prisoners to manufacture products from designer jeans to computer circuit boards.

The entities that profit from the American Laogai would be eager to participate in Donald Trump’s border wall project, which would be among the largest corporatist undertakings since the New Deal. Law and Order Leninists would be thrilled by the spectacle envisioned by Sheriff Hodgson – until they learn, in the most unpleasant way imaginable, how easily the State can turn harmless people into slaves.

This week’s Freedom Zealot Podcast: Debtor’s prisons are illegal — and ubiquitous in the American Soyuz —


Help free minds from government cages: Visit the Libertarian Institute, and share it with your friends.




Dum spiro, pugno!

Content retrieved from: http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2017/01/sheriffs-as-slavemasters-will-inmate.html.

Pro Libertate Radio 10-23-2010

The Perverse Ingenuity, and Routine Lawlessness, of Law Enforcers

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Perverse Ingenuity, and Routine Lawlessness, of Law Enforcers


Enforcers of drug prohibition can be perversely ingenious in devising methods to subvert due process guarantees. One tactic widely employed by police officers looking for a way to circumvent the Fourth Amendment is to intimidate a subject into giving the officers permission to invade the rights of others – such as residents of an apartment building, or passengers in an automobile. That ruse has been rebuffed in two recent state Supreme Court rulings.

Police officers in Berlin, Connecticut who conducted a warrantless search of an apartment complex using a drug-detecting dog violated the Fourth Amendment, acknowledged a December 22nd ruling from that state’s highest appellate court.

…but they can murder our dogs with impunity, natch.

In May 2012, acting on an anonymous tip, police obtained permission from the owners and managers of an apartment complex to carry out what was called a “canine examination of the common areas of the building.” A drug-detecting dog named Zeusz was deployed in the hallway of each floor of the complex, and allowed to sniff at the bottom of each door. Zeusz displayed what is called a “passive alert” at unit 204, which prompted the officers to obtain a search warrant. This led to the discovery of several marijuana plants.

The Fourth Amendment’s definition of a reasonable search refers to a particular description of “the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized”; this language was designed to forbid the kind of general warrants that were commonly used by British military and customs officials in the years immediately prior to the colonial rebellion. By getting the owners of the apartment complex to authorize a warrantless search – waiving the rights of dozens of people to be secure in their individual domiciles — the Berlin Police behaved less like their British forebears than their antecedents in Communist East Germany.

The trial court threw out the evidence seized in that search as the product of a Fourth Amendment violation. The State of Connecticut appealed the case to the state Supreme Court, which upheld the trial court’s decision. The ruling cited a long string of federal judicial precedents – including a recent ruling in a very similar case from Florida – describing the use of warrantless “canine sniffs” as a violation of common law property rights and the un-enumerated right to personal privacy.

Given that dozens or scores of SWAT raids occur, on average, every day in the American Soyuz, it’s clear that Americans cannot look upon their homes as a refuge from government abuse. They are at even greater risk when exercising their freedom of movement, given the predatory conduct of opportunistic police agencies empowered to seize cash and other property in the name of drug prohibition.

Gerald Cleverly was a passenger in a pickup truck driven by his friend Chris Jones when El Dorado, Kansas Police officer Brent Michael Buckley stopped them for not wearing seat belts. Buckley would later admit that he had executed a pretext stop for the purpose of arranging a “consensual” search of the vehicle and its occupants. Both Jones and Cleverly submitted to a pat-down search – which they were not legally required to do – and nothing was found.

Buckley issued the citation, and then – employing a deceptive tactic taught by police training programs such as Desert Snow – he told the motorist that although he was free to go, the officer wanted to ask “a few more questions” and requested permission to search the truck.

The purpose of what Desert Snow operatives call the “Roadside Conversation” tactic is to elicit potentially incriminating details from drivers who are ignorant of the fact that they have no legal responsibility to tell the officer anything. This also extends the traffic stop beyond its constitutionally permissible limit, allowing the officer to devise an “articulable suspicion” of criminal activity that will supposedly justify a “drug sweep” by a conveniently available K-9 handler. This charade inevitably ends with the dog “alerting” on something “suspicious,” which provides an excuse for a hands-on search of the vehicle.

This script was followed by El Dorado PD officers Buckley and Sam Huming, with the minor adaptation that a K-9 unit wasn’t necessary.

A search of the interior of Jones’s vehicle turned up no evidence of contraband. Since the driver had “consented” on behalf of his passenger, Cleverly was ordered out of the car and subjected to a second pat-down search. He was told that he was not free to leave and forbidden to use his cell phone, which means that he was in police custody, despite the officers’ subsequent claims to the contrary. A search of a cigarette package found a small amount of methamphetamine.

Idaho State Police Road Pirate Justin Klitch in action.

Cleverly was arrested and later found guilty of drug possession and sentenced to eighteen months of probation. The court dismissed a motion to suppress the drug evidence on the grounds that it was produced through a consensual search. The Kansas Supreme Court has now reversed Cleverly’s conviction.

The rights protected by the Fourth Amendment and its state equivalent, wrote the court’s majority, belong to the individual and are “not merely inconvenient technicalities designed to irritate government agents.” Furthermore, “A driver of a vehicle subjected to a traffic stop does not have the authority, as a matter of law, to waive the Fourth Amendment rights of passengers in the stopped vehicle.”

Judicial rulings of this kind, while welcome, have little practical impact on the conduct of police and the prosecutors who eagerly exploit routine police lawlessness. In her June, 2011 UC-Davis Law Review essay “The Police Gamesmanship Dilemma in Criminal Procedure,” Professor Mary D. Fan of the University of Washington School of Law points out that police departments are adept at finding ways to “slide around the rules” and can always develop “tactics that undermine the purpose of rules” established by the judiciary.

It is for this reason that most of the criminal misconduct that occurs on America’s thoroughfares is committed by people engaged in what Fan calls the “competitive enterprise of ferreting out crime” – where “crime” is described as violations of government edicts that have nothing to do with the protection of persons and property.

This week’s Freedom Zealot Podcast: Debtor’s prisons are illegal, yet ubiquitous in the American soyuz

Please be sure to visit the Libertarian Institute — and tell your friends about it.


Dum spiro, pugno!

Content retrieved from: http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2017/01/the-perverse-ingenuity-and-routine.html.

Pro Libertate Radio 10-23-2010

When A Fugitive Dies, “Blue Privilege” Makes All the Difference

Sunday, January 15, 2017

When A Fugitive Dies, “Blue Privilege” Makes All the Difference


Pleasant Grove, Utah resident Ashleigh Holloway Best killed herself in the early hours of May 17, 2016 when she lost control of the stolen 2002 Lincoln Navigator she was driving and plowed it into a tree. The man who was pursuing the thief, Kenneth Lee Drew, was the authorized representative of the vehicle’s lawful owner. On January 11, Drew was sentenced to prisonbecause the thief foolishly killed herself. 

If Drew had been a government-employed law enforcement officer, rather than a private repossession agent, he would likely have received a hazardous duty commendation following Best’s admittedly tragic death. After all, police officers in Utah and elsewhere routinely use lethal force in dealing with citizens who seek to avoid being physically “repossessed” by agents of the state that supposedly owns them. Most of those cases don’t involve people being pursued for actual crimes, such as automobile theft. 
Like too many families, the Bests had been overwhelmed by financial reverses and had fallen behind in their car payments. They reportedly were helping care for ailing relatives, and had only one family vehicle. The desperation that gave rise to Ashleigh’s self-destructive decision is as understandable as her actions were inexcusable. 
By giving pursuit once Best fled with a car she no longer lawfully owned, Drew acted imprudently. It has never been proven that he deliberately forced Best off the road at the end of the chase, which would have been both criminally irresponsible and self-defeating. In addition to the fact that it is perverse to risk killing someone to recover a stolen car, ramming a vehicle one is seeking to repossess makes no economic sense. It’s likely that Drew’s regrettable decision was a product of frustration, rather than malice.

Foolish choice, tragic death: Ashleigh Best.

If he had called the police to report an auto theft, the outcome for Best might well have been identical – but the state operative whose actions led to the fatal crash would be protected by the pernicious legal fiction called “qualified immunity.” That privilege enjoyed by state-licensed plunderers is not extended to private property recovery agents, whose jobs are both unpleasant and frequently dangerous
“There was [sic] lots of mistakes made that night,” insisted Brennan Best, Ashleigh’s widower, after Drew was sentenced. “I don’t think what was done [to Ashleigh] was done on purpose. But I do believe we all need to be accountable for our own actions.”
Drew made a horrible, perhaps unforgivable, mistake. Brennan and Ashleigh Best conspired to commit a crime – theft through fraud.
According to the investigative summary in Drew’s indictment, when he arrived at about midnight to reclaim property for which the Bests were no longer making contractually required payments, Brennan interfered with the repossession and demanded an opportunity to make a new arrangement with the creditor. Drew agreed with that proposal, and began processing the necessary forms. While the repo agent was thus preoccupied, Best covertly instructed his wife to take the automobile to a relative’s home. 
At that point, Mr. Best became an accomplice in grand larceny: At that point, pending completion of a new payment plan, the automobile was the property of the creditor. If Best had been sincere in his offer to Drew, there was no need to abscond with the vehicle. (In fact, if the couple had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, they could have avoided repossession of the Navigator.) 
After Ashleigh climbed into the car and sped off, Brennan, abetted the theft by “trying to place himself in front” of Drew’s tow truck “to prevent it from following the Navigator,” according to the police account. Ashleigh’s conduct suggests that her husband had instructed her to “drive it like you stole it” – which, in fact, was precisely what she had done. 
If her excursion had been innocent, the guilty-minded driver would not have endangered the lives of others by careening through residential streets at speeds of up to seventy miles an hour. Drew acted with culpable recklessness as well – but Brennan Best is criminally liable in the death of his wife, whether or not state functionaries will admit as much. 
Unlike police officers in similar situations, Drew – a private peace officer enforcing a legitimate property rights claim – was not offered “Garrity” protections, which would have meant that his initial statement to police could only be used for disciplinary action, rather than criminal prosecution. Nor was he allowed the luxury of reviewing video records of the incident prior to speaking with investigators, another perk extended to police in Utah and elsewhere. 
Because of this, Drew’s grief-stricken, guilt-ridden disclosures were critically scrutinized by police eager to build a criminal case. If he had been a fellow member of the Punitive Priesthood, Drew’s equivocations and self-contradictions would have been seen as evidence of trauma, rather than proof of criminal intent. 
“I’ve never seen a repo agent be this aggressive,” insisted Pleasant Grove Police Lt. Britt Smith shortly after Drew’s arrest. This is only true to the extent that Smith fails to perceive his costumed comrades as “repo agents” of a sort – because lethally aggressive tactics of the kind Drew allegedly used are quite commonplace. 

Investigators claimed, but have not proved, that Drew forced Best off the road using a variation of a PIT (Precision Immobilization Technique) maneuver. A PIT maneuver is to be used only in situations where deadly force is justified. Yet hyper-aggressive police in Utah employ that tactic frequently; one recent incident of that kind involved a driver suspected of driving while intoxicated. Another episode, interestingly, involved recovery of a stolen car.
Almost six years to the day before the avoidable, largely self-inflicted death of Ashleigh Best, South Jordan Police Officer Jared Nichols used a PIT maneuver in an effort to trap an SUV driven by Wade Pennington in a cul-de-sac. Pennington, who was on probation and had a court hearing scheduled a few days later, was being pursued without cause by Officers Nichols and Brett Lopez. The official story was that they suspected him of theft, but their supervisor, Sgt. Allen Crist, found no evidence to support that suspicion. 
Crist explicitly ordered Nichols not to pursue Pennington, but that order was ignored.
“I’m going to take him out,” Nichols said just a few minutes before trapping Pennington. He and Lopez went “gun-up” to make a felony stop, despite the fact that their target was not suspected of a felony. 
After Nichols t-boned Pennington’s SUV, Lopez emerged with a drawn gun and screamed at the driver to “get on the ground – stay where I can see you.” At roughly the same time, Nichols unloaded on Pennington at point-blank range. Immediately after shooting the victim, Nichols snarled, “Freeze, Wade! I’m going to shoot you. Get down on the f***ing ground!”
Pennington was murdered – no other word is adequate – because he was trying to comply with Lopez’s demands. The officer who murdered him spat out two contradictory commands after firing the deadly shots. 
The last words Pennington heard were a sadistic taunt hurled at him by Lopez: “You’re dead, mother****r!”

Nichols and Lopez were cleared by their department within 72 hours. Despite having the opportunity to refresh their memories by watching dashcam video of the chase and subsequent killing, the officers told stories that were self-contradictory, and contradicted each other. 
Lopez was eventually fired for violating the department’s high-speed chase policy, but never faced criminal prosecution. As a matter of equity, the same punishment would have been appropriate for Kenneth Drew, who violated his company’s policy by pursuing a vehicle he had been sent to repossess. The only other morally suitable option would have been for Lopez and Nichols to serve the same sentence imposed on Drew. 

Officer Nichols not only avoided prosecution, he was promoted. The murder of Wade Pennington was the second time Nichols had slaughtered an unarmed man after immobilizing his vehicle in a parking lot: He had followed almost exactly the same procedure in executing Darren Neil Greuber, who like Pennington was a parolee, in 2007. The investigating officer who had cleared Nichols in the Greuber killing, West Jordan PD Sergeant Michael S. Leary, performed the same right of absolution after Nicholas gunned down Pennington two years later.
As someone not invested with Blue Privilege and buoyed by the financial support of a police union, Drew was maneuvered into pleading guilty to manslaughter as part of a plea bargain in which prosecutors asked for a suspended prison sentence. 
Utah Fourth District Judge Robert Lunnen, a callow, vindictive jurist who had been on the bench for less than a month, discarded that plea agreement, imposing a sentence of one to fifteen years in prison. The obscenely severe sentence, I suspect, reflects the hostility of tax-fattened functionaries toward those who challenge the State’s monopoly on “justice.”

This week’s Freedom Zealot Podcast examines the death of Ashleigh Best, the murder of Wade Pennington, and other examples official privilege:

Please be sure to visit the Libertarian Institute, and share the site with your friends.


Dum spiro, pugno!


Content retrieved from: http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2017/01/when-fugitive-dies-blue-privilege-makes.html.

Pro Libertate Radio 10-23-2010

Don’t Trigger Sheriff Snowflake — Or He May Have You Killed

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Don’t Trigger Sheriff Snowflake — Or He May Have You Killed


Sheriff David Clarke of Wisconsin’s Milwaukee County is the most fragile of precious snowflakes, and one of the most self-enraptured petty tyrants in recent American history. 

While settling in for a January 15 flight from Dallas to Milwaukee, Clarke – attired in Dallas Cowboys fan regalia – was asked by fellow passenger Dan Black if he was, indeed, the sheriff. When Clarke grunted in the affirmative, Black shook his head in well-earned disgust and proceeded to his seat. From behind, Black heard the truculent tax-feeder ask if he had a “problem,” to which the puzzled man shook his head in reply.
When Black disembarked at Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport, he was surrounded by a thugscrum of Clarke’s deputies, who detained and questioned him regarding his views of their boss. Black remained in custody until he was escorted from the airport. 
After Black filed a complaint with the county commission, Clarke published the document on his department’s Facebook page – supplementing it with a threat to assault any other Mundane who gives him a dirty look. 
“Next time he or anyone else pulls this stunt on a plane they may get knocked out,” advised the sheriff’s office. “The sheriff said he does not have to wait for some goof to assault him. He reserves the reasonable right to pre-empt a possible assault.”
A non-verbal gesture of disapproval is sufficient to trigger Sheriff Snowflake, who will summon his armed employees to enforce his safe space. 

Threats of violence like the one made on Clarke’s behalf by his department have been prosecuted under 18 USC 875[c], which makes it a federal felony to threaten to injure someone if that threat is transmitted in “interstate commerce.” 
Since Black is a witness in an active investigation that could lead to criminal charges, threatening him could also be construed as witness intimidation. (Idaho resident Matthew Townsend faced a patently spurious witness intimidation charge for publishing a Facebook post urging a police officer who had arrested him without justification to testify truthfully in a pre-trial hearing.)
Surrendering himself unconditionally to his irrepressible adolescent impulses, the sexagenarian sheriff compounded his felonious behavior with an overt threat to murder his victim. Clarke instructed his subordinates to create a meme of Black containing the caption: “Cheer up, snowflake – if Sheriff Clarke were to really harass you, you wouldn’t be around to whine about it.” 
The Milwaukee County Commission’s ethics board is investigating Black’s complaint – and Clarke, behaving like a generalissimo in a third world junta, has ordered his deputies to obstruct the investigation, claiming that the commission doesn’t have the authority to investigate his office. 
“In an act of political grandstanding, the political witch hunt continues by Democrat politicians and operatives,” pouted Clarke. “This is nothing more than an attempt to harass and bully Sheriff Clarke. This is fake news.” 
Like too many others in his disreputable occupation, Clarke has mastered the art of simultaneously swaggering and simpering. He displays a similarly contradictory nature regarding his concept of “authority” – whence it came, and in whom it resides. 
In chapter nine of his forthcoming ghostwritten book “Cop Under Fire,” Clarke answers a question nobody of consequence ever asked: “Why do I salute the audience when I speak?”
“I’m old school,” Clarke’s ghostwriter says on his behalf. “In our representative democracy, elected officials are not sovereign. You the people are sovereign. In keeping with military custom, it is incumbent on the subordinate officer to salute and render that salute first, to the superior officer. I consider myself the subordinate officer. That’s why I salute my audience, because they are in charge” – at least when that gesture serves the purpose of political stagecraft. 
In every other context, Clarke clearly regards “civilians” as subordinate to the supposed authority of the state’s enforcement caste. 
On page 241 of his book, the sheriff protests that elected officials “who have not been a cop one day in their life” have no right to demand reforms of internal disciplinary procedures. Police officers accused of abusing citizens – even when such abuse results in the clearly unlawful death of a Mundane – can only be sanctioned by superiors within their caste, Clarke insists.
As for Mundanes themselves, in any encounter with a member of the state’s punitive priesthood, they are to consider themselves the property of the officer until and unless he condescends to release them.
“When a law enforcement officer gives you a lawful command, obey it even if you disagree,” Clarke lectures his readers without explaining how a “subordinate” can “lawfully” give commands to a “superior.” “Though cops don’t have the final say, they have the final say in the moment within the law.” 
Those who challenge that arrangement face potentially fatal consequences, he advises, referring to several cases illustrating that point, such as the murder of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann, an individual whose timorousness and ineptitude made him unsuitable for any occupation involving the use of firearms. 
Rice, who was carrying a pellet gun in a state where open carry of actual firearms is legal, was slaughtered by Loehmann two seconds after the officer and his partner pulled up to him in a public park. 
Clarke insists that Rice – who, unlike Loehmann, was “within the law” — was to blame for his own death because he “didn’t think he had to obey the cops when they yelled, `Put your hands up.’” He ignores the fact that Rice didn’t have time to comply, because he simply cannot concede that an officer can ever be at fault in a deadly force incident. 
Clarke is among the most shameless of Donald Trump’s jock-riders, and he blatantly campaigned to be appointed Commissar for Homeland Security prior to the selection of General John Kelly for the post. 

Like Trump, Clarke – who styles himself “The People’s Sheriff” — appears to embrace an idiot child’s version of Rousseau’s “social contract” concept: He sees himself as the embodiment of the “will of the people,” empowered to act in the name of the collective and accountable only to his own infallible insights regarding the collective will. Thus when it appeared last fall that Trump might lose the election, Clarke overtly called for insurrectionary violence – and after his god-emperor prevailed, Clarke has repeatedly called to crush all who oppose his reign – as well as indefinitely detaining up to one million people in Gitmo as suspected terrorists.
In both intellect and temperament, Clarke differs little from millions of other men of a certain age who enjoy juvenile dick-measuring displays and find partisan political conflict more effective than Viagra. What distinguishes him from the wretched likes of Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity (who is busily working his crayons to scribble out a foreword to Clarke’s book) is that Clarke has acknowledged his willingness to murder someone who offends him – and he has the means to make good on such threats.

Listen to this week’s Freedom Zealot Podcast for more on the misadventures of Sheriff Snowflake:

Please check out the Libertarian Institute — and be sure to tell your friends.

Dum Spiro, pugno!

Content retrieved from: http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2017/01/dont-trigger-sheriff-snowflake-or-he.html.

Pro Libertate Radio 10-23-2010

Teaching Kids to Trust the Police is Child Abuse

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Teaching Kids to Trust the Police is Child Abuse


Somebody who would do this to a child should be horsewhipped, at the very least.


Integral to the American concept of liberty is the right to hold the state at bay, which is why children are never too young to be taught to regard government employees with suspicion and defensive hostility. Some conscientious parents in Northampton, Massachusetts acted on that principle by demanding an end to a program intended to habituate public school inmates to the presence of police officers. 
The local police department, acting on an initiative that originated with the International Association of Chiefs of Police, had dispatched officers to the local elementary school each week for an event called “High-Five Friday,” in which officers would exchange friendly greetings with cops who in practically any other context would treat such physical contact as a felonious assault on an officer. Police Chief Jody Kasper explains that she thought “it was a great way to start building relationships with young kids.”
That program was “paused” following complaints from a handful of parents who believe that it is the better part of wisdom to teach their children to avoid contact with the police, rather than seeking it out. In announcing the decision on his Facebook page, the department mentioned that “children of color, undocumented immigrant children or other children who may have had negative encounters with law enforcement” had expressed concerns about the program, which cued up the predictable reactions from the punitive populist faction. 
“Why don’t you toughen up out there in Northampton, all right?” eructated Bill O’Reilly, offering the jocular suggestion – at least, I think he was kidding – that the principal and the school board should be arrested. Minor-league talk radio personality Charlie Brennan insisted that “this is why Donald Trump’s gonna get re-elected – stories like this.” 
A contributor to The New American magazine who serves as that publication’s liaison to the white nationalist subculture snarked that “there’s no more `safe space’ for law-abiding citizens than when the police occupy part of it,” and insisted that no true American could possibly object to having an armed, costumed stranger clothed in “qualified immunity” breathing down his neck. 

“It’s entirely understandable, for instance, that a child hailing from a Third World nation with corrupt police may feel apprehension at the sight of the men in blue,” he patriot-splained. “But not that long ago people would have understood the proper response: You take the student aside and gently explain that the police visiting his school are there as friends.”
“Some might also wonder about the parenting evident here,” he continued in the style of a Soviet commissar tutoring parents about their duty to raise children in the fear and admonition of the state and its human emissaries. “If your child has some irrational cop phobia, do you try and educate and change his mind? Or should you moan and groan and change all of society to accommodate irrationality?” 
The “Caucasian leftists” and “minority” parents who complained about the police outreach program embody the “snowflake spirit of the age,” concludes the TNA contributor, whose otherwise barren rhetorical pantry is well-stocked with clichés. To be fair, this story does expose a rather shocking failure on the part of parents in the community – that is, those who accepted the program with bovine docility, rather than expressing skepticism about it.
If it is “irrational” for parents to teach their children to be leery of police officers, why do police officers and prosecutors cultivate that attitude within their own children? 
Every parent whose children have been sentenced to attend the Regime’s mind-laundry should review the advice offered by Professor James Duane of Regent University Law School in his slender and indispensable book, You Have the Right to Remain Innocent
Over the past several years, Professor Duane has made hundreds of presentations, each of which begins with an invitation to any audience members whose parents were police officers or prosecutors to ask what advice they had been given by their parents. 
“Every time this happens, without exception, [I’ve been told] the same thing: `Years ago, my parents explained to me that if I were ever approached by a law enforcement officer, I was to call them immediately, and they made sure that I would never agree to talk to the police.’ Not once have I ever met the child of a member of law enforcement who had been told anything different.” 
Several news accounts mention the fact that among those who objected to the Northampton police outreach program included “children who may have had negative encounters with law enforcement.”
“Wow, only in grammar school, and they already have a sour relationship with police,” sneers the above-quoted commentator. “Their futures are bright.” 
It is surpassingly easy for children to find themselves detained, shackled, or otherwise abused by police as a result of entirely trivial misconduct. Witness the case of Michael Davis, a five-year-old from California who was arrested, cuffed, and hauled away to jail for “battery on an officer” after he pushed away the hand of an officer who had touched him without consent and kicked the assailant in his knee in an act of righteous self-defense. 
This was a case involving a delicate snowflake who filed a complaint after his feelings were hurt– none other than Lt. Frank Gordo, who lodged a complaint against the mother of his victim, accusing her of “discriminating” against him by taking the story to the media. 
Incidents of this kind are becoming commonplace. Two years ago a misbehaving third-grader in Covington, Kentucky had his arms shackled behind his back at the elbows for fifteen minutes by a sheriff’s deputy. The eight-year-old supposedly attempted to elbow the deputy after going to the bathroom. 
“You don’t get to swing at me like that,” the heroic tax-feeder lectured his captive. “You can do what we’ve asked you to do, or you can suffer the consequences.” 
In 2014, deputies in Greene County, Virginia handcuffed a four-year-old who had been disruptive in class and briefly detained him at the sheriff’s office. The sheriff insists that the deputy “did what he had to do” and claims that the mother was “appreciative of the way he handled the situation,” which if true would be utterly horrifying.  
Until recently, school resource officers in Texas would routinely treat student misbehavior as misdemeanor criminal offenses, issuing citations that could lead to fines and jail time. School officials in Syracuse, Utah have warned that students who are found at the high school during release-time religious instruction would be issued trespassing citations that, once again, can lead to fines and even jail time. The amalgamation of public education and law enforcement has created countless variations on the theme of criminalizing what had once been treated as minor disciplinary matters.
While police can cause problems for students who misbehave, their presence in schools can be even more dangerous to youngsters who are obedient and conscientious. Professor Duane urges parents to teach their school-age children that “you cannot listen to your conscience when faced by a police officer and think I have nothing to hide.” 
Police are trained to lie as an investigative tactic, and rewarded when their lies prove to be instrumental in obtaining convictions. Innocent and well-intentioned children who somehow find themselves on the receiving end of police attention are “sometimes the most likely to be unfairly influenced by deceptive police interrogation tactics, because they tragically assume that, somehow, `truth and justice will prevail’ later even if they falsely admit their guilt,” Duane emphasizes. “You cannot safely trust a single thing police officers say when they are trying to get you to answer their questions…. Even if you are innocent, the police will do whatever it takes to get you to talk if they think you might be guilty.” 
No better illustration of that reality can be found than the case of Idaho Falls resident Chris Tapp, who has spent twenty years in prison for a murder he did not commit. The only evidence against Tapp was a patently false confession extracted from him through the efforts of IFPD Sergeant (and future Idaho Falls mayor) Jared Fuhriman. 
Fuhriman had been a DARE instructor and resource officer at Tapp’s junior high school. Desperate to clear the case, and left without any good leads after DNA evidence had cleared the three young men considered suspects – including Tapp – Fuhriman used his supposed friendship with his victim to lure him into lengthy interrogation sessions that mutated into something akin to psychological torture. Eventually Fuhriman convinced Tapp that unless he confessed to some role in the murder, he would inevitably be sent to the electric chair. 

“Christopher would just keep saying, `Fuhriman is my friend, mom – he wouldn’t put my life in jeopardy, he wouldn’t lead me astray,” his mother, Vera Tapp, told me in a telephone interview. “He was just such a `good old boy’ with Christopher…. You can see it in the videos – `Oh, Christopher, we’re friends, we’re buddies,’ you know, laughing and joking around. And that’s just what he did when [Tapp] was in junior high. He [was] learning people’s trust and how to manipulate people. And that’s what he did – he manipulated Christopher.”
It is a screaming pity that Christopher Tapp wasn’t given the advice that police and prosecutors offer to their own children: Do not, under any circumstances, talk to a law enforcement officer, beyond demanding access to your parents and, if possible, an attorney. 
Given that police and prosecutors tell their own children not to trust law enforcement officers, why shouldn’t parents employed in the productive sector do likewise?

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, acting on an invitation from the late Justice Scalia, insists that the Second Amendment doesn’t protect the right of Mundanes to possess “weapons of war.” If it didn’t, that amendment would be worse than useless, as I explain in this week’s Freedom Zealot Podcast:

Be sure to check out the Libertarian Institute — and share it with your liberty-minded friends.


Dum spiro, pugno!

Content retrieved from: http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2017/02/teaching-kids-to-trust-police-is-child.html.

News Roundup

News Roundup 6/2/20

George Floyd Protests Police officers started a riot in Pittsburg. [Link] A SUV attempted to ram a line of police officers. Two officers were injured. [Link] Police used gas, arrests, and military helicopters to breakup protests in DC. Video from yesterday shows cops...

Blog

Cops Kill Man

A Beloved BBQ Chef Who Fed Police For Free Was Fatally Shot After Louisville Authorities "Returned Fire" At A Crowd Update: Dave DeCamp has the full story here.

Police Provoke Riot in Pittsburgh

I wanted to write down and submit to the Libertarian Institute what I saw today at the protest in downtown Pittsburgh over the George Floyd killing. Some background on me: I am a Libertarian—a minarchist, not an anarchist. I was brought into the movement by the Ron...

Dear Leader Hides in Bunker

Doing his best impression of Bush and Cheney on September 11th, Trump flees in cowardly terror to his underground bunker due to protests and riots outside. As though 1 the protesters had any intention of storming the White House and lynching the president or 2 that...

The Scott Horton Show

5/29/20 Coleen Rowley on the Dangerous Failings of the FBI

Scott talks to Coleen Rowley about the failures in America's intelligence agencies that contributed to the 9/11 attacks, and that continue to plague us today. She reminds us that three FBI agents in three different states tried to pass very specific warnings to their...

Free Man Beyond the Wall

Episode 422: ‘Escape From California’ w/ Vin Armani

86 Minutes PG-13 Vin Armani is back to talk about his move from California to Saipan to avoid growing tyranny in response to CV19 by state governors in the lower 48. He also gives his opinion on Rogan's move to Spotify, whether at this point Agorism can free masses of...

Foreign Policy Focus

FPF #499 – Will Porter on Police Brutality and Looting

On FPF #499, Will Porter returns to the show to cover the ongoing protests, riots, and police brutality. The protests started after a police officer slowly murdered George Floyd, while three other helped and watched. The protesters demanded charges for the officers....

Trump Doubles Down on Ineffective Sanctions

On FPF #498. I discuss Trump's foreign policy strategy of using sanctions to deal with any international issue. Trump has sanctioned several countries, including Russia, China, Iraq, Lebanon, Zimbabwe, and Myanmar. For others - North Korea, Venezuela, and Iran - he...

Judge Rules Biden to Be Named in Ukrainian Criminal Probe

On FPF #497, I discuss the developing story of a Ukrainian judge ruling Joe Biden is to be named in a criminal probe from his time as Vice President. The criminal probe is looking into the firing of former-Ukrainian Prosecutor General Victor Shokin. Biden has...

Announcing a New Arms Race guest Will Porter

Will Porter returns to the show to discuss the US announcing that it plans to spend China and Russia into oblivion in a new arms race. In recent years the US has been working towards a new Cold War. Will explains how the announcement ties with Trump's foreign policy...

Don't Tread on Anyone

No Matter What Happens, the World Only Watches

A police officer pushed his knee into the back of the neck of a man until he died. Murder. But we watched. A mob stomped a store owner into the pavement as he protected his property. Attempted murder. Again, we watched. A gunship blew journalists and then a...

Would Governments Ever Use Bio-Weapons Against Civilians?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxHR18f2A1I The gravest crimes in the State’s lexicon are almost invariably not invasions of private person or property, but dangers to its own contentment, for example, treason, desertion of a soldier to the enemy, failure to register...

Philosophy Professor Responds to Police Brutality

https://youtu.be/ymzUbhQMfTc Do you get extra rights by getting a job with a group called government? Does getting paid to do an immoral action, justify you performing the immoral action under the guise of "I was just doing what I was told to"? To summarize Professor...

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