Libertarian Commentary on the News, #14-49E: Bad cops, bad laws

by Nathan Barton

Yesterday, I was looking at racism and welfare (entitlements) and the Home Front.  More today, it seems…

Speaking of welfare queens, how about American cops? Regardless of skin color. “The White House is pushing a multi-million-dollar program to encourage local law enforcement agencies to use body cameras, on the heels of the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. At the same time, the White House is not seeking to pull back federal programs that provide military-style equipment to local law enforcement. The administration revealed details of a White House review after the Fuehrer met with members of his Cabinet about the situation. The president is pushing a three-year, $263 million program to expand training and resources for local police departments — the biggest component would be a $75 million fund during that period to help purchase 50,000 body cameras.”

“Encourage.”  That is ridiculous.  “Encourage” would be having the DoJ write and publish articles on the reasons for having cameras.  No, this is more money with strings to further extend the already massive federalization of local law enforcement.  This is like “encouraging” sobriety by offering to pay for six beers a day if they promise not to buy any more booze than that. Or paying for school lunch programs.  And of course the Fuehrer wants local police both heavily armed AND estranged from the local population, which is what the free military equipment (NOT “military-style”) does.  Despite some advantages to body cameras on cops, what they REALLY do is extend the reach and range of the surveillance state, just as cop-car-cams and street corner cameras and speed-trap and stoplight cameras all do.  The best way to keep an eye on what cops do is for millions of Americans to have and use cameras, especially cameras on phones, and their OWN property security cameras, and ready to record whatever happens.  But of course, that is precisely what hundreds of police agencies are trying to prevent, by striking out at ANY mundane (civilian) that records them, for example, a woman in a parking lot.

Mama’s Note: The logical answer would be for every single individual in the country to be subject to exactly the same laws, with nobody benefiting at the expense of others. I don’t expect that to ever happen, of course, because those who make those “laws” have a vested interest in creating all sorts of privileged characters and scapegoat groups. There wouldn’t be any point to making most of those “laws” otherwise.

Back to race: a New York grand jury refused to indict the cop for killing a guy using a chokehold, and immediately the Fuehrer orders the DoJ to investigate, and of course, protesters swarm the streets of New York to protest. I, like many people, am astonished at how the jury could see the video and find there were no grounds for prosecution, but I have news for the protesters and critics: NYPD is a very equal-opportunity killing machine: black, white, Asian, hispanic: they kill and torture and tase and beat them all.  And blue is thicker than blood, in their eyes. And as people such as Rand Paul and Matt Walsh point out, it is bad laws that give the bad cops a chance to act out and get away with it.

The Pope says it is wrong to equate Islam with violence.  Of course, I am sure (actually, I know) some Muslims that would NOT aggress against someone, not even their own family or friends or fellow Muslims, much less co-workers or occupiers or dhimmi.  But that is NOT the same as saying that Islam is a religion of peace.  He (the Pope) wants Muslim leaders to issue a global condemnation of violence.  He also wants every one of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics to truly tithe (give 10% of their income to the church), and for abortions to stop.  None of these wishes are going to come true, of course.  Actually as I recall, the only modern attempt to assassinate a pope that came really close to succeeding was a Muslim shooting John Paul II.

It probably should not come as a surprise that the Disney Channel “got goofy” over mention of God by a 10-year-old, refusing to let her comment (actually an answer to a question “what is she grateful for?”) be published because she was not being “nice.”  Apparently the Disney channel webmeisters think that “God” is only used for cussing. Or perhaps that belief in God is “not nice” and will corrupt their viewers.

The University of Texas at Austin apparently is missing about 100 brains.  Now, anyone who has met some of the faculty at that institution would think that 100 is a severe under-estimate, but apparently they are talking about pickled brains (well, when you remove the things from their professors, they have to be put someplace, right?).  So, without zombies in the area (they keep the legislators under pretty close tabs, I understand), who is the suspect for stealing these things?  If indeed they were stolen: the university (always an paragon of intelligence) “thinks” that they “might” have been stolen.  But then again, maybe someone transplanted tiny little legs and feet on them, or perhaps the mice in the lab next door have been getting a lot of extra protein…

Mama’s Note: Oh me… my first reaction was to ask just why anyone would CARE after all this time. If someone had really given a darn about it, they wouldn’t have been left for 30 years just sitting around where just anyone could get them. Don’t they have some real problems to deal with? If not, I’ve got one or two they could borrow….

With the President’s recent executive order granting amnesty to 5 million illegal aliens, many have suggested that congressional opponents of the scheme can tackle the order by denying funding for the order. Would that work? The Heritage Foundation, in the article “Can Congress Use Spending Bills to Address President Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration?, reports that Congress could, in fact, use its power of the purse to limit the president’s order.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, a division within the Department of Homeland Security, would manage the president’s order, which allows 5 million illegals to live and work legally in the United States. According to the Heritage Foundation, Congress can use the appropriations process to limit the conditions for which federal money can be used, and it can specify that expenditures are only “legally available” for certain actions.The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services gets most of its funding from fees. However, according to research by the Congressional Research Service, those fee collections are still subject to the appropriations process and any congressional restrictions that might be put on them.

Which American states are the most free? Texas, South Dakota and North Dakota, according to a new report from the Fraser Institute on economic freedom. In fourth place was Virginia, followed by New Hampshire, Louisiana and Nebraska in fifth place, Tennessee in the ninth spot and Indiana, Georgia and Utah tied for tenth. The least free state was Maine, with Vermont and Mississippi not far behind.

To calculate freedom, researchers Dean Stansel, Jose Torra and Fred McMahon analyzed a number of different components, including the size of government, takings and discriminatory taxation, regulation, property rights and the state’s legal system. What does economic freedom translate into? Higher incomes for state residents. As Stansel wrote in the Washington Examiner, Texas, South Dakota and North Dakota had average incomes 20 percent higher than Maine, Vermont and Mississippi. Similarly, the top 10 most free states saw a 3.5 percent growth in employment and 8 percent economic growth, while the 10 least free states saw hardly any employment growth and only 2 percent economic growth. Source: Dean Stansel, Jose Torra and Fred McMahon, “Economic Freedom of North America 2014,” Fraser Institute, December 2, 2014.

Keep in mind that these are “relative” rankings, and NOT based on any objective measure of freedom.  To a lover of liberty, NONE of these states are “free” in large part because the dictates of the FedGov override many of the laws that would otherwise apply OR dictate requirements that otherwise the states would NOT even seek to impose.

A Sedgwick County, Kansas homeowner found a man breaking into and in his house, shot and wounded him, and then tried to chase him down, as he fled.  The guy was found by cops first.  Is this self-defense?  The original shooting certainly was, defending family and home and property.  The second?  I’d say no, but it was pointed out that maybe the homeowner was doing the same thing as we’d expect any deer or elk hunter to do when they only wound an animal: go after it and put it out of its misery.  Or in the case of humans, who are NOT animals (merely) but more, to treat its suffering.  We can never know “Mr. Dudley’s” motive but it is certainly something to reflect on.

Mama’s Note: In the current state of affairs, I’d say it was seriously foolish to follow a fleeing criminal, regardless of what else was going on. Self defense, or defense of others, ONLY involves stopping the immediate threat of death or great bodily injury. Chasing someone down the street doesn’t fit in there anywhere – with or without a gun.


About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (a christian), Pahasapan (resident of the Black Hills), Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer, Evangelist. Successor to Lady Susan (Mama Liberty) at TPOL.
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