Libertarian Commentary on the News, #14-52B: Police and killing, Killing and police

By Nathan Barton

Killings, including executions, are in the news this week on a large scale.

The repercussions of the NYPD cop killings continue to spread.  Conservative talk show host Bill O’Reilly has called for New York Mayor De Blasio to resign, saying the “far-left” mayor has lost the confidence of the NYPD and “cannot run the city.”  These may be (almost certainly ARE) true statements, but do we want to further elevate the corruption and power of the police is this huge city by making them Pretorians?  Think about that for a bit: this is not a matter of saving the city from the tyranny of a chief executive, but about dethroning someone because he speaks ill of cops, and is a failure at administration.

Of course, the consequences of the killings of Brown and Garner by police ALSO continue to spread across the nation.  This weekend, just days before Christmas, the Mall of America was closed down for hours by 1500 protesters with the usual “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” and “I can’t breath” slogans. Mall of America is the biggest in the nation, of course, so they hoped for more publicity.  But many of the elements of other protests were missing: no looting of stores and no burning of vehicles was reported.  Protesters tried to equate buying Christmas gifts with killing black people, and it just didn’t seem to pan out.

Several news stories point out that a majority of the 119 police killed “in line of duty” so far in 2014 were killed in assaults, but that these deaths are rare compared to the number of citizens (non-criminals) killed by cops each year, estimated at 400 or more a year.  Of course, of those 119 dead, it seems that 15 were “killed by heart attacks” which does exaggerate the numbers, since according to Time Magazine (hardly a right-wing or anti-police publication), police are the fattest profession (closely followed by firefighters and security guards).  I would suspect that many of these heart-attacks are due directly to their poor health and NOT to the stresses of their duty shift and certainly not due to “enemy” action. This ties to the next story.

Now we know:  a research project finds that one significant USSC (Nazgul in chief) ruling is based on faulty assumptions, as an excuse to steal the rights of Americans from them: Abstract: “This note examined the danger of routine police–citizen traffic stops. The United States Supreme Court has assumed that traffic stops are a danger to police and has relied on this assumption in its decisions pertaining to the Fourth Amendment for these stops. To examine the assumption, ten years of national data on traffic stops, police homicides, and assaults were examined. Using the danger ratio developed by Garner and Clemmer [Danger to police in domestic disturbances. Washington DC: National Institute of Justice, 1986] to estimate the risk of police victimization, police homicides and assaults were found to be very infrequent occurrences during traffic encounters. The results of this study cast doubt on the Court’s assumption of danger during the routine police– citizen traffic encounter.” As in so much else in public life, what we thought, “just ain’t so!”

In Pakistan, the regime has announced plans to kill 500 or more convicted Taliban and other death row prisoners, after the Taliban school attack in Peshwar.  The executions began over the weekend with six previously convicted assassin plotters hung after death warrants were signed, to the great joy of many protesters eager for revenge for the deaths of more than 130 students and wounding of many more.

As Mama Liberty pointed out: Seems to me that the miracle of the century is that there is anyone still alive in this region. They must breed like mice.

Nathan:  This kind of rather stupid revenge is not unique to Muslims and Islamic cultures and nations, but is very typical of them.  Of course, the US is part of this as well:  reports are that 1,171 people were killed by US airstrikes in Syria since late September, of which “only” 52 were civilians. These 488 airstrikes will in turn create more reasons for jihadists to go and kill others, and the cycle will continue in Syria as in Pakistah.

Back to Pakistan: This ended a six-year moratorium on executions of convicted terrorists and other criminals, of course, not counting those slain in combat and by air raids on rebel-held areas. Because this is a Muslim nation, there are almost no cries of outrage from Western “peace groups” or Tranzi fronts, of course, although a Pakistani court has stayed the execution of at least seven.

The Sony hack and the business with “The Interview” movie has drawn attention to North Korea once more, and to the way that their government kills their own people through starvation, beatings, imprisonment, and executions.  Go to Youtube and see what I mean.  Which leads to the last story today.

For nine hours in Monday, all FOUR of North Korea’s internet networks went off-line, isolating the country in what was apparently a distributed denial of services (DDOS) attack, in seeming retribution for the Sony hacking – which more and more people are saying was NOT North Korea at all.    Meanwhile, it is claimed that a cyberattack physically damaged a steelworking plant in Germany, as passed on to me by Tim. This is the first time since the Stuxnet attack on Iranian uranium centrifuges that physical damage has been documented due to cyberattacks: apparently an email was sent to the company which was loaded with malware and attacked first the office network and then the plant controls, preventing the regular process of shutting down a furnace, and resulting in significant damage.  This kind of problem was unlikely to have happened in North Korea, in large part because the North Korean systems are so primitive.  And of course, its internet is so bad and lacking, that only a few top government officials who HAVE internet would have noticed.

Mama’s Note: Everyone, especially business and industry (as well as utilities), will have to face the fact that this kind of thing will both continue and increase. Just as with personal safety at home and otherwise, self defense is the answer. Buying and maintaining the cyber security tools and systems necessary to prevent the attacks from doing damage is as important as buying and maintaining home defense systems, alarms, and carrying guns. Those who expect government to protect them will become victims… pretty much guaranteed.

About tpolnathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (christian), Pahasapan, Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer.
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