Libertarian Commentary on the News, 06 November 2015, #15-44D: Cops, Lies, and Statistics

By Nathan Barton

Cops kill: we know that, and all too often they kill for no justifiable reason: certainly not in self-defense. But police, as a profession, have a good many other dark aspects. In the Fifty States, we are told by the Columbus Dispatch that 1,000 police officers have removed over sex charges in a six-year period. “A yearlong investigation by the Associated Press has found about 1,000 officers who lost their licenses in a six-year period for rape, sodomy and other sexual assaults; sex crimes that included possession of child pornography; or sexual misconduct such as propositioning citizens or having on-duty intercourse. The probe at once represents both the most complete examination of such wrongdoing and a sure undercount of the problem, limited by a patchwork of state laws.” What is MOST disturbing about this (besides the “undercount” is that while most of these cops supposedly have been fired, they are NOT in prison, NOT branded as sexual predators, and may even (due to that patchwork quilt of laws) be able to again go back into law enforcement. Sick, huh?

Mama’s Note: Indeed, though I’d be very interesting to learn the numbers per 100,000 of the general population who make the same choices. The problem is the double standard, and the fact that there are so many “laws” that ought not to exist. For example, this being “branded as sexual predators” is completely nuts. A sexual predator needs to be dead, preferably at the hands of his/her intended victim – or their immediate guardians. Keeping lists and trying to get them to report their movements, etc. is ridiculous. All that does is give potential victims a false sense of security. Oh, and job security for those who supposedly track them.

So is this. In Pennsylvania, the female cop who shot and killed prone suspect heads to trial, according to Yahoo! News. “Opening arguments are expected to begin on Tuesday in the murder trial of a Pennsylvania police officer who shot and killed a suspect last February as he lay face down in the snow, immobilized by a Taser charge. The shooting death of David Kassick, 59, by Officer Lisa Mearkle, 37, was captured on the video camera in her Taser, police say. Her lawyers successfully fought release of the video prior to her trial, saying it could taint potential jurors.” No doubt. Somehow guilt seems to get even jurors to vote for conviction. And this would be deserving of a death penalty. She can’t claim fear that the man might overpower her, even if 22 years older than her and a “man” (evil thing, that). He was lying face down AND immobilized in the snow.

And this. Huffington Post reports that the cop, whose death prompted weeks of a man-hunt for three apparently imaginary assailants in Illinois, actually killed himself with two shots to the chest from his own pistol, one into the bulletproof in a carefully-staged suicide. What HuffPo did NOT report is found on CNN, which now reports that the guy had been stealing money from police programs for at least seven years, and was fearful of being exposed for his corruption and embezzlement. Some sources have raised questions about whether it was suicide or an execution, possibly by members of his own police force. Whatever, it shows that the moral condition of these supposed brave and at-risk “defenders” is abysmal and the behavior of too many disgusting and beyond the pale.

Government-run, tax-funded schools are also disgusting and worthy of strong condemnation. Now they are turning on their own, according to USA Today. “A longtime Alabama educator who has won Teacher of the Year honors resigned last week when her ‘frustration boiled over’ with bureaucracy. Informed that she lacked the state qualifications to teach 5th grade, Ann Marie Corgill resigned from Birmingham City Schools, NPR reports. ‘After 21 years of teaching in grades 1-6, I have no answers as to why this is a problem now, so instead of paying more fees, taking more tests, and proving once again that I am qualified to teach, I am resigning,’ she wrote in her resignation letter. Corgill, who was 2014-2015 Alabama Teacher of the Year and a 2015 National Teacher of the Year finalist, this year joined the staff at Oliver Elementary as a 2nd-grade teacher; she was then shifted to teach 5th grade. But roughly a month into her new role, a state education administrator called and said she lacked the certification to continue.”

I suspect that she offended someone and was being punished (jerked around). Government-run “professional” registration and certification programs are very subject to such corruption.

It is a first, and a lot of people are scratching their heads over it. According to the Huntsville Times a medical/recreational marijuana ballot measure was soundly rejected. Since this IS Ohio, questions are being raised regarding the integrity of the vote and the very strong opposition vote, given polls in recent weeks. Supporters of legalization have promised not to give up. My suggestion is that there are much better places to live.

Mama’s Note: The reason for the rejection, and an indication that the people there have been paying attention, is that the measure would have cemented into their state constitution the provision that only a few “approved” farms would be allowed to grow and sell the cannabis. It was a get rich scheme for a very few, and the idea of changing the state constitution for it was just salt in the wound. I’m very glad it was defeated, and I hope the folks in Ohio keep their eyes on the ball and refuse to allow anything like it in the future.

Really? Is THIS an excuse for the war on some drugs, and votes like that in Ohio? CNS News reports that data from DEA reports that drug overdoses kill more Americans than car crashes or firearms. But the statistics are used to lie: the drug overdose deaths include “legal” prescription drug overdoses, and the data is mixed up to intentionally confuse the issue and make false or at least misleading claims that support continuing the war on some drugs.

Mama’s Note: Yes, that certainly colors the whole thing wrong, but there is a deeper truth that almost nobody mentions. Most of those who die and are identified as “overdosed” have a cause of death far, far more complicated than any drug – prescribed or otherwise. Most “overdose” is a result of the person using one or more ADDITIONAL substances, usually alcohol. Other deaths occur because the person has abused their bodies to the point where they have poor or no immune system, poor nutrition, and other chronic health problems. A great many people are simply trying to reduce their pain and depression, and have no way to seek guidance in order to determine a safe and effective way to get relief. Doctors and other health care professionals are not allowed to give anything really adequate to treat these folks, and prohibition makes it difficult for them to find medication that is both safe and effective. Ending the “war” on cannabis alone would eventually safe countless lives.

A few columns ago, I excoriated Sanders for his hypocrisy. I don’t think that MY comments caused him to do this, but it is good he is being a bit more honest. Personal Liberty says, “Bernie Sanders may be busy on the campaign trail, but that isn’t causing him to suffer a motivational syndrome in the Senate. In fact, he’s just introduced an ambitious piece of legislation to end the federal prohibition of marijuana.” Clearly, the guy is more honest and gutsy than any of his Democratic opponents (or for that matter, most of the GOP ones as well). Of course, this won’t go anywhere: Congress has too much invested in the war on some drugs.

The news earlier this week was that Trans-Canada was putting the application for the Keystone XL oil pipeline on hold while they negotiated with the State of Nebraska on the exact route through that state. Now it appears that the squatter living in 1600 PA is going to ignore the Keystone builder’s plea for delay, according to Reuters. “President … wants to rule on the long-pending Keystone XL oil pipeline by the end of his presidency, the White House said on Tuesday, calling a request by the project’s Canadian developer to delay a review ‘unusual.’ … who has increasingly focused on environmental issues as his presidency nears its final year, plans to decide on TransCanada Corp’s pipeline before he leaves office in 2017, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters. The president has increasingly signaled the $8 billion pipeline may not be approved. [He] is concerned the method used to extract oil in Canada would be ‘extraordinarily dirty,’ a description the Canadian government has argued is unfair.” Of course, with super-celebrity Trudeau now in office in Canada, maybe Canada won’t support the project, either. I’ve commented many times over the past few years about the outright lies and bogus claims made by opponents, and this just demonstrates that the fix is definitely on.

Another election result that came as no surprise, but we haven’t seen the end of it, clearly. The LA Times reports that the Houston (so-called) non-discrimination ordinance goes down to defeat in Tuesday’s elections. Notice the way the Times lies and uses highly-biased language in this extract: “Houston voters rejected a controversial measure Tuesday that would have barred discrimination against gays and transgender people in the wake of an 18-month battle that pitted advocates of gay rights against those who believed they were defending religious liberty. The vote had been expected to be close. But with about 30% of precincts reporting, the measure was trailing badly, 62% to 38%, and the Associated Press called the election for foes of the measure. … Opponents say the measure, which they call Proposition 1 or the ‘bathroom ordinance,’ infringes on their religious beliefs and poses a public health risk by allowing transgender women into women’s restrooms.” Tom Knapp’s [editor’s note (from Freedom Net Daily] is good: “This ordinance would have banned employers, landlords and other property owners from deciding how their property is used and for that reason it SHOULD have gone down; “public,” i.e. government, facilities shouldn’t be allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, though.” Tom, of course, subscribes to the bizarre (and warped) idea that you can be whatever sex you feel like today, regardless of DNA or physical attributes (“the plumbing.”) That’s fine, whatever floats his boat – provided it does not aggress against the privacy and freedom from aggression which people deserve whether they are in a “public” facility or not. Of course, we also have to remember that this election was at least in part decided by the highly immoral and illegal attempts by the mayor of Houston to squash the opposition.

Mama’s Note: Of course people can choose their sexuality, and anything else. Function and science facts have little to do with it and there isn’t any way to stop them from making that choice, short of death. It actually has nothing to do with religion either, though many make it so in their own minds. Remember that the segregation and discrimination against blacks was very much based on “physical attributes” just as obvious as the “plumbing.”

There should not BE any government property to start with, but as long as it exists, there should be no discrimination there. Since there always will be, imposed by those with the loudest voices and greatest clout, these arguments will continue. That the homosexual and transgender people are now swinging the loudest voices and the PC club should be no surprise. What I don’t understand is why everyone seems to take it so seriously. We all have a choice, with whom we will associate. Ignore them, don’t dignify their ranting with  rebuttal, and they’d most likely shut up eventually.

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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