Services Rendered (But Not At Gunpoint)

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Most people “get” that their ability to decline a service or product serves as an incentive. The seller of the service or product must convince you that the service or product is worth at least as much as the money they are asking in return. If not, and you decline, then they must try harder to convince you of the merit of what they’re selling. If they can’t convince you (or enough other people) then they go out of business. In a free economy, where willing  buyers transact with sellers who cannot coerce, only services and products that have objective merit – defined by people’s willingness to purchase them – succeed. Products and services that lack merit fail – as defined by people’s lack of interest in paying good money for them.

But most people have difficulty making the intellectual (and philosophical) Great Leap Forward – applying the same reasoning, the same economic discipline, to government.

If, for example, the government really does provide valuable services – as it so often claims – then why is it necessary to force people to purchase these allegedly valuable services? If the services provided by government really do have value, wouldn’t most people eagerly purchase them without coercion?

Consider “law enforcement” vs. peace-keeping.

It is doubtful the current system of “law enforcement” could be maintained on anything other than a coercive basis – because too many “customers” regard it as a service they’d very much like to decline and would decline, if they had any choice in the matter.

What does that tell you about the value of “law enforcement”?

For instance:  The guy down the road who likes to smoke pot on his porch (and maybe grows his own smoke in his backyard) is in no way causing me or anyone else any harm. Thus I have no interest in paying armed thugs to dragoon him in chains off to prison. My neighbor who keeps “unregistered” vehicles on his land, out of sight, hasn’t victimized anyone I’m aware of – and without a victim – that is, a real person actually injured in some objectively real way – can there be a crime? Not in my world. And so I resent being forced at gunpoint to help pay for the armed thugs who spend their days “enforcing” laws  whose transgressors have victimized no one. I would never freely give a single copper penny to Officer 82nd Airborne. He and his kind act not merely without my consent, but with my contempt. That I am forced to help finance their activities is a source of tremendous annoyance. Paraphrasing Jefferson: To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of actions which he disagrees with and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

But how about a peace-keeper?

Not a buzz-cut, black sunglasses-wearing steroid-jacked thug itching to exert his limitless authority under color of “the law.” Rather, a person hired for the sole purpose of intervening when a harm is committed. An actual harm or injury to a real person or persons – as opposed to a violation of “the law.” Nothing more – and nothing less. No harassing people peacefully drinking alcohol (or partaking of anything else) provided they’re peaceful and not impinging on anyone else’s rights. No Gestapo-style “safety” checks. You are free to go about your business – imagine that! Most people’s only interaction with a peace officer would be to say hello – if they felt like saying hello. Most important of all, they’d be free – legally entitled – to say no.

Now that I’d willingly pay for.

Probably you would, too. It’d be nice to know there’s someone patrolling the neighborhood at night, on the lookout for break-ins and so on. And it would be even nicer to know that the peace-keepers’ livelihood depends on your continued willingness to pay their salaries. That in the event they cross the line and you find out they’ve begun pestering peaceable citizens, demanding to see their “papers” or stopping them at random to question/search them, you can cancel your subscription.

The peace-keepers know this, too – and it helps to keep them in line.

It’d never work, you say? In fact it already works. Smaller, rural counties often have an elected sheriff (and deputies) rather than a selected police chief and “professional” police force. The elected sheriff isn’t quite exactly a peace-keeper paid by the voluntary subscriptions of the members of the community – but he’s a lot closer to that ideal than the selected police chief and “professional” police force.  He – the local sheriff – is closer to the community because he’s more directly accountable. If he behaves like an ass – or a tyrant – he can be fired come election time.

Good luck firing a police chief.

The point being, the principle is practical. People who make rational choices when it comes to other products and services are just as likely to make rational choices when it comes to the “services” provided by government. If something has value, if it works, then they will freely buy it. If it does not have value, if it does not work then they will not.

And if it does not have value, if it does not work, then why should anyone be forced to buy it?

This is the question we must ask – and demand an answer to.

And naturally, it is the question government most wishes to avoid answering.

Throw it in the Woods?

 

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eric

Author of "Automotive Atrocities" and "Road Hogs" (MBI). Currently living amongst the Edentulites in rural SW Virginia. 

  196 comments for “Services Rendered (But Not At Gunpoint)

  1. Chris
    April 17, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Policing-by-subscription? Not bad.

    I’d take it farther. EVERY cop would be have to be elected or hired by consent of the policed. Since each potential officer is to be an employee of the Citizens, his personal records should be publicly scrutinized and evaluated.

    Former military? Sorry, you’re ineligible. No offense; the whole mindset thing…
    Political activist? Thanks for playing, the exit is over there.
    Seven trips through the courts for assault? Are you fucking kidding?!

    By the way, it’s nice when one of your ideas (the term Officer 82nd Airborne)is officially used by others. It means the term has merit to others but me. Thanks.

    • April 18, 2012 at 11:40 am

      Pretty good article but my experience with ex-military is better than with cops right out of school.
      I detest cops and the stupid laws they enforce.
      In Florida they passed a non smoking law for under 18 years old so they had to hire anti-smoking cops with cars to give tickets to 17 year old kids – where do they get the money to pay the ticket? Mom and Dad of course!
      Dumn stupid cops and politicians!

      • April 18, 2012 at 12:22 pm

        I agree with Chris on this: The modern military mindset is completely at odds with civilian peace-keeping. A guy who was trained to bark orders at cowing Iraqis is not suited to dealing with you or me as citizens of a (cough) free country.

        The militarization of civilian law enforcement is already completely over the top and out of hand. Even my extremely rural (one stop light) county now has a bulletproofed “response center” and the jack-offs are salivating to get their hands on “911” equipment such as armored vehicles and all the rest of it.

        The average cop I see these days is a very different animal from 20 years ago.

        • Jay
          April 18, 2012 at 6:46 pm

          I don’t mean to troll, but a comment you made really jumped out and kicked me in the teeth. It was “The modern military mindset is completely at odds with civilian peace-keeping. A guy who was trained to bark orders at cowing Iraqis is not suited to dealing with you or me as citizens of a (cough) free country.”

          wouldn’t a more accurate assessment be, A guy who has trained to bark orders at cowing Iragis is not suited to dealing with any citizen of any country?

          And just to tie it back into the article, I am really not happy with the services I am forced to pay for going to killing innocents of any country.

          • April 18, 2012 at 8:37 pm

            Hi Jay,

            Agreed – thanks for the clarification. I, too, have zero interest in serving as a milch cow to help finance thugs barking orders at anyone – Americans or “foreigners.”

      • Chris
        April 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm

        WW,

        While the military mindset is proper for a soldier or Marine, it has no place behind a badge.

        I don’t want the guy with the legal power to kill me drawing his weapon, maybe because his judgment was off due to a tough day or a bitch ex-wife, and then later playing a game of “my word versus a dead guy’s” when his superiors start asking questions.

        There’s a place for “If it moves and it’s not dressed like you, shoot it.” That place is a battlefield, not a traffic stop.

        I have no problem with Police Officers, because I’m Honest & Peaceable and wouldn’t dream of going around causing other people trouble.

        And I absolutely respect military personnel, because they serve a necessary function and put themselves between us and people who want us dead for whatever reason. And there’s just something about Duty, Honor, Country that gets me all choked up.

        But what I strenuously object to is giving roidmonkeys and redneck hotheads a license to kill.

      • Chris
        April 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm

        Oh, one other thing.

        We hear from the civilian disarmament advocate the idea of “Why does anyone NEED a gun when we have police?”

        Oh really? Well, I’ve got my own take on that one:

        “Why does a police officer NEED a machine gun?”

        If civilians can’t play with a piece of hardware, the cops shouldn’t have it either.

    • Scott
      April 18, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      Some of us volunteer Chris. We’re the ones that aren’t allowed to carry guns, which is kind of weird since we’re supposed to be able to carry them when we aren’t in uniform. I wonder how that works exactly? I guess we’re what Eric calls “peace officers”, we direct traffic around accidents, look for you kids when they get lost and help put you in the ambulance when you’ve spent too much time in the sun drinking beer at the spring town music festival. We don’t get paid anything.

      I’m a big Ron Paul supporter, I don’t think I should be thrown out for that. As far as military service goes, that shouldn’t be an instant disqualification IMHO, but hey, it’s your town and you should be able to make any rules you want. Some people who’ve served in the military aren’t “high and tight”, they make fine peace officers. They have EMTs in the Army too ya know! But I get your point.

      I don’t do Law Enforcement myself. I’m Search and Rescue. My dog loves it, which is really the only reason I got into it to start with. I’d encourage anyone out there who likes to hike, loves dogs and wants to help people in their spare time to do it. It’s fun and it can be very rewarding. Sometimes you have a bad day now and again. Last year I had a guy die on me, I still have nightmares about that, but mostly its good. The pay sucks :)

      • Keith Hamburger
        April 18, 2012 at 4:49 pm

        I would discourage anyone from asking an agent of the state to help them find a lost kid, volunteer or not. Once they get involved the chances of your coming into contact with the baby rapers at Child Protective Services, or whatever your local agency is called, goes up exponentially. That’s one system no parent should ever want to be in contact with.

      • Chris
        April 18, 2012 at 5:45 pm

        I have no problem with former service personnel doing S&R.

        It’s the military mindset coupled with powers of arrest that’s the deal-breaker for me.

        • Scott
          April 18, 2012 at 5:54 pm

          I think anyone who’s seen combat should disqualify themselves from civilian service, but that’s just my opinion. In truth, I think most who have would run rather than walk away from a civilian job that involves carrying a weapon and any that don’t may have issues, however again that’s just my opinion.

          I understand your point and I happen to agree.

      • April 18, 2012 at 6:13 pm

        I think I’ve mentioned this here before, but:

        I was interested in volunteering to be a fireman (and would have trained to become an EMT). But they require you to pee in a cup first. Now, I don’t use arbitrarily illegal drugs; not since college, anyhow. But I refuse to be treated like an outpatient drug addict (or felon) in order to volunteer my time.

        • Scott
          April 18, 2012 at 6:52 pm

          I agree completely. I haven’t yet peed in a cup and I never will. I almost quit when someone I work with yelled at me. Actually, I did quit, but my resignation wasn’t accepted :)

          That’s the truly GREAT part about being a volunteer!

      • BelowTheRim
        April 18, 2012 at 6:23 pm

        So do you get paid, or don’t you?

        Make a clear point bc all you just did is muddy your opinion.

        • Scott
          April 18, 2012 at 6:54 pm

          No, I don’t get paid. I’m a volunteer.

          I suppose if I made any money at my day job I could claim a get a tax break, but I don’t. I live on my savings.

      • liberranter
        April 18, 2012 at 10:11 pm

        Scott, the only reason I can think of why auxiliary/volunteer units within local law enforcement aren’t allowed to carry weapons is that the “professionals” see you guys as a direct link to the citizenry, the first line of defense against copthugscum tyranny. I’m sure that the “official” reason they give is that you’re not qualified with weapons and might present a danger to the population (although how any ordinary mundane could be more dangerous than a heavily armed, badged, PTSD-and-‘roid-addled thug, someone who usually isn’t sure of which end of the weapon to fire and who statistically is more dangerous with a weapon than an ordinary citizen, is a real puzzler). In the event that the “regulars” are ordered to implement martial law, with the assistance of the battle-hardened legionnaires back from the far-flung corners of the Empire, they probably look upon you guys as a “fifth column,” citizen saboteurs not to be trusted, especially with weapons (they probably know that you’re likely to be far more qualified and experienced in handling one than they are).

        This might be my conspiratorial nature in overdrive, but it seems to me that the PTB, for whom “law enforcement” is nothing more than a bodyguard corps, want “We the People” as far away from actual “law enforcement” as they can keep us.

        • Chris
          April 19, 2012 at 1:34 am

          Someone once told me that there are two things the average cop can’t do – drive and shoot.

          I’ve seen it myself. If you want a great deal on a nearly new pistol that only shows holster wear, get a police trade-in Beretta.

          Ever seen the average carry-licensed civilian’s range target grouping as compared to the average cop’s? It’s a tennis ball as opposed to a basketball.

          Four cops shot Amadou Diallo 41 times at conversational range and only 19 rounds impacted him. And I’m supposed to call THEM when I have a problem that requires a ballistic solution?

    • Walter Haxton
      April 18, 2012 at 8:15 pm

      Elected gives them an authority they do not need. Do you elect the garbage man. He is hired by the customers. If he does not do the job people stop hiring him and his business goes broke. It is the same for a peace keeper.

  2. Art Thomas
    April 17, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Hi Eric,

    I’m glad to see that you are exploring the logical extension of the libertarian principle of voluntary exchange applied to our relations with those among us who operate the legal system. If we begin with the premise, as you do, that we each own ourselves, then the existence of the state violates that premise, and to argue the state is necessary to protect our liberty is a contradiction. Many Libertarians and Randians argue that pragmatically anarchy or a completely free market legal system will not work and that there has to be a minimal state, minarchy. See Roderick Long for a discussion of these objections: http://www.lewrockwell.com/long/long11.html.

    There are several books that advocate anarchy or private law legal system. Hans-Herman Hoppe’s book, “Democracy: The God That Failed” is one of the best and most current. Very thought provoking. You can read it online(pdf) at Mises.org or buy a hardcopy.
    “The Market for Liberty” by Morris and Linda Tannehill, 1970, is the earliest book in my lifetime that envisions a completely free society, one with out the state.

    • Texas Chris
      April 18, 2012 at 11:01 am

      I would disagree with the premis that self-ownership precludes the state. The coercive statem yes, but a voluntary exchange, as EP states, is fully compatable with libertarianism in general and self-ownership specifically.

      As to the anarchist vs. minarchist debate, I personally believe in a small, voluntary government at a local level, tasked specifically with protecting the local populatino from any and all larger, coercive government.

      Imagine if your city councel took reponsibility for fending off the EPA, the DEA…? Fun stuff.

      • Art Thomas
        April 18, 2012 at 1:15 pm

        All states and the people who run them “earn” their living through legal theft, aka taxation, our wealth, the fruits of our labor taken from us without our consent. That is a violation of self-ownership, is it not?

        The small, local government you envision, to be voluntary, would not be a state but one of possibly several private agencies in business to protect life, property and resolve conflicts. They would be competing for your business by offering you a specific product that you could take or leave.

        • April 18, 2012 at 1:33 pm

          Yup!

          In my theoretical community, I suspect most people would be willing to provide funds for peace-keepers (just as most people in a private development voluntarily support “commons” such as the roads within the private development. Not everyone would, of course. But self-interest would prompt most people to buy in – just as many people already buy into private home security systems. I’m willing to accept a binding legal system that pursues and punishes criminals – by which I mean people who actually physically harm others, or their property, or defraud them, etc. I expect most people would agree with that, too. Those who don’t would not be forced to support it financially – but they would be bound by it, in terms of expecting to be pursued and punished in the event they aggress against the persons or property of others.

          • Mike
            April 18, 2012 at 2:26 pm

            Eric,

            There’s just one hole here I don’t see being filled. Would you not still see a tragedy of the commons scenario even your small community example? I can’t think of anybody who would deny that a peace-keeping service could have value for their community, but if they have the option to not pay for it, would you not see a bunch of people simply freeload off the rest of their community; absorbing the value of the service without paying for it? I mean, if I can get something I want for free, why would I voluntarily pay for it, except to appease my own conscience? The concept logically extends to more than just law enforcement, but also fire safety, roads, and more.

            I feel like there might be a compromise at the home owners association level. Your HOA may force you to pay for those things via your HOA dues, but you are welcome to live in a different community…it’s much more reasonable to say that than to tell people they should find a different country. Of course the use of “force” still upsets me some.

            What is that piece I’m missing?

          • April 18, 2012 at 2:37 pm

            Mike,

            I like your concept a lot: People left free to join the “polis” (or not). No force applied or threatened. But if you wish to live in the community, you agree to (as an example) pay a local sales tax that goes to fund the peacekeepers, courts and so on. That strikes me as both reasonable and practical . One of the things I love about this blog is having so many good (and smart) people to bounce ideas around with.

          • Keith Hamburger
            April 18, 2012 at 2:58 pm

            That “free rider problem” has been completely debunked by, well, internet porn. That industry has thrived while putting enormous amounts of material online for free. A potentially “less offensive” example would be Google which provides the majority of its services for free to all comers while making a profit off of fewer services for which it can charge.

            If the greatest hurdle to eliminating the state is that someone might get a benefit from services provided without paying for them then there is no reason to keep the state. Business models that tolerate, or even embrace, free riders show that isn’t an issue.

          • Art Thomas
            April 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm

            Mike,

            If you don’t pay for peacekeeping services you don’t get those services. There’s no tragedy of the commons as those services are privately owned and are provided to those who contract for them. Think of home owners insurance as an example.

          • Mike
            April 18, 2012 at 3:22 pm

            Keith,

            I think you’ve closed the gap for me. The logical conclusion of what I was thinking would be rampant free-riding, which would inevitably lead to the company providing that service going out of business. But because there would still be a demand for such a service, the free market would necessarily produce a better solution (I think evolution is a pretty good metaphor here) that could remain in business, just as Google and the porn industry have. Thanks!

        • April 19, 2012 at 12:51 am

          I would argue that they do take the fruits of our labor with our consent. If we are not willing to stand up for our freedom the way Washington and Jefferson did, we have consented

          • April 19, 2012 at 1:14 am

            Steve,

            I share the sentiment, but think you’re being a lot unfair. What real choice do we have, as atomized individuals? It’s fine to talk about “standing up” but if you literally fight back or even passively resist, you stand to lose everything and gain nothing. There has to be a critical mass of like-minded people willing to act in concert, or at least, in cooperation.

            Getting people talking about the issues discussed here is a very good start. Remember: Most people have never fully considered the nature of the system they live in (and under). Once they do, some see the light. That’s what we’re trying to do.

            The next steps will take care of themselves.

          • dom
            April 19, 2012 at 1:18 am

            We’ve had/have a few members on here that have stood up for their freedoms. They said they got tired of standing up in jail for it though! Just sayin’

            Eric’s right, it’s an all or nothing deal. At least a many, or nothing. Without that, the few that do will be standing in jail together. Worst case beaten to hell, or dead!

          • Boothe
            April 19, 2012 at 9:09 pm

            @Steve Clemens People who’ve stood up to the system on their own in our day…let’s see here: Bernard Von NotHaus – successful private money entrepreneur; prison time for counterfeiting. Irwin Schiff – researched and wrote prolifically (and most likely correctly) on the U.S. income tax scam; federal prison 13+ years. Joseph Stack – burns his home, leaves a lengthy and highly informative suicide note before flying his plane into the Austin IRS office – Stack dies, leaves his family homeless. Tom Ball – douses himself with gasoline and self immolates on the Keene, N.H. courthouse steps in protest of failure of the rule of law; Ball dies in the most incredibly painful way imaginable. Peter Eric Hendrickson – writes a book on the internal revenue code and what the statutory construction actually means; goes to federal prison for refusing to revise and sign previously filed tax returns leaving his wife and children without their provider. In 1993 an obscure religious group called the Branch Davidians stood up to the Federales outside Waco, Texas; 82 men, women and children (the fed-thugs claimed they were there to save those children BTW) murdered in cold blood. Not to mention Randy Weaver’s late wife Vicki and son Sammy murdered by the fed-thugs, as well as a host of others not mentioned here.

            So…explain your theory of modern day Jeffersonian and Washingtonian resistance to us. I’m sure I’m not the only one here waiting for this revelation with bated breath. Just remember there’s a distinct line between true courage (which of requires persistence, patience and longsuffering) and the “instant gratification” of suicidal foolishness.

    • That One Guy
      April 19, 2012 at 6:50 am

      Libertarianism seems at least to me to refuse to acknowledge the existence of groups outside of state construction, as though the government invented all ugly aspects of the human condition. All of these dandy fantasies of a stateless utopia are well and good, but none of these intellectuals ever spent any time in my census block. It’s split roughly 40% white/40% Hispanic/20% other. There is a growing number of East Africans moving into the area. The requisite mosques have been built. The area became famous on 9/11 for images of Somalians dancing in the streets rejoicing in the righteousness of the spectacle.

      Point is, the state is the only thing that keeps the frictions between these various groups from exploding. On the one hand you have a group that comes from a place where the legal age of consent is 12 living in an area that recoils at the thought of deflowerment before 18. Then you throw in a group in which some believe it’s perfectly moral to mutilate the genitals of their daughters, for example. Then you must consider the white supremacists who think the solution to the whole thing is ethnic cleansing. It appears that morality actually is subjective. Suddenly your free market justice doesn’t look so appealing.

      Yes I know it’s a creation of the state. But if the state vanished in a poof of purple smoke and sparkles tomorrow these realities would still exist. So how do you police this? What do the libertarian theorizers posit is the anarchical solution for such a state of affairs? Should the Somalis practice Shariah next to a new iteration of the Federalis amongst a reborn Schutzstaffel? Will the latter organization hand over a brazen skinhead for Allah’s justice if he were to smear pig blood on the doors of the mosque?

      Libertarians refuse to acknowledge that government is part of the human condition. It’s not going anywhere. It’s a reaction to the reality of force being exerted by one self-interested being against another in order to increase his position. It’s an age-old game that people will always play. In prehistoric times, the Clover-Magnons came up with government as a solution, thinking if they monopolize force under the most moral caveman, it would stay in its box forever and only be brought out for the most noble causes. It was the stupidest idea ever devised by humans, save for anarchy.

      These things we know:

      Government = Force

      Government = Men

      Therefore, Force must = Men.

      Taking government out of the equation and placing force in a free market isn’t going to change the realities of force in the hands of men. One of my favorite arguments in favor of free markets vs. the state is that GE can’t hold a gun to your head and force you to patronize them, while the government can. Well folks, so can ABC Cops, Inc. They have guns and money. What else is the state but those two things, at root? I mean what the hell, isn’t that why we view Blackwater or whatever the hell it’s called these days as a bad thing? Government = force. You can call it the United States Force and the meaning stays the same. It’s foolish to assume voluntary justice systems will stay voluntary for long. You’ve still placed guns in the hands of the morally-empowered with the law behind them. It’s a crappy recipe that isn’t much affected by substituting tax funding for subscription.

      Police force. It’s right there in the name of the organization. This argument in favor of free market cops is in my opinion the coffin nail of libertarianism. It’s a vain effort by ideological absolutists to address a problem for which there is no good answer. Government did not invent force. Men did, just like they invented government. Doing away with government will not do away with force. So how do the adherents to an ideology opposed to nearly every use of force, deal with force? They can’t. You will never escape government. It’s a Peter Pan fantasy.

      Sorry for pissing on the parade; it’s late and I’m cranky. Just my two pennies, which will soon be extinct from the sounds of things. It apparently saves money if we don’t make money. Who would have thought that?

      • Tor Munkov
        April 19, 2012 at 8:41 am

        If you think the age of consent of your neighbor’s children is something that you should vote on or help scientifically determine, then your mind is already a four-leafed fatality.
        Libertarianism doesn’t presume to give you answers. It is a process of negating false and forced answers to the problems and challenges of life.
        Like Eric says, the libertarian question you need to answer is which kind of person are you. One that believes in a process of selecting who will be our keepers, or one who seeks an end or limit to all such processes and freely trading the value you create for as much keeping as you want and can afford.
        Our ancestors didn’t ask the Clover Magnons for permission. They just broke away and developed their own tools, language, technology, and high degree of specialized labor somewhere else independently.

        • April 19, 2012 at 9:24 am

          “A four leafed fatality” –

          Tor, you just made my day!

      • April 19, 2012 at 9:34 am

        TOG,

        But isn’t the reason for the friction you describe caused by government? By – among other things – forced association, including things like laws that require us to do business with people, even those we’d prefer not to? And by laws mandating set asides, special privileges – and, of course, transfer payments and subsides based upon race/ethnicity? And is it not government that created enmity by dumbing-down people (and importing dumbed-down people)? And then by encouraging them to feel entitled and aggrieved?

        It’s government that’s the fundamental corruption.

        Would the Libertarian alternative be utopia? Free of problems, including violence? Of course not. But it would be more free of problems – and violence – than what we have now.

        The more free a country is, the less violent it is.

        PS: The Abdullahs don’t “hate us for our freedoms” or want to establish a “caliphate” here. They despise us because we (the government of the US and its corporate controllers) have spent decades trying to replicate the US corporate wasteland (run by their appointed puppets) in their countries.

        • That One Guy
          April 19, 2012 at 3:26 pm

          Eric and Tor-

          I pointed out as much in my post: age of consent and multicultural friction are creations of the state. My point is that pointing these things out doesn’t make them disappear as problems that a libertarian society would need to deal with. A libertarian society would need to thrive in the wasteland of the former state. It just seems to me that theorizing and what-if-ing rarely address these issues.

          I don’t accept that it’s the state and nothing more that sets groups against one another. Opposing groups of humans have been wiping each other out for tens of thousands of years. Again, like I said, this predates government.

          I never said anything to the effect that I buy into the old canard that the mullahs hate us for our freedoms. You’re putting words in my mouth now. But they are a different culture with a different concept of what is or is not moral. And there is interest among some segments of this population to impose their religious law, and they’re not exactly noted historically for refraining from imposing this law on those around them. This is how vast swaths of the formerly Christian world became believers in Allah, Eric. Remember, government is simply force. Religion can become government.

          I know full well what kind of person I am. I also know that I do not, nor will I ever exist in a vacuum. Neither will any libertarian. It’s the collection of folks around you that determine whether or not you can live free of the state. You guys need a homogenous society to make these ideas work. It’s not negotiable.

      • BrentP
        April 19, 2012 at 1:53 pm

        Government does not stop your neighbors from killing you and taking your stuff. That was one of the important realizations I had that brought me to where I am now. I learned it through experience. I’ve lived right next to neighborhoods that were free-fire zones in the city of Chicago. Part of that experience showed me how government keeping the peace is an illusion at best. Then there have been personal experiences throughout my life (mostly in the government’s schools) where the state failed to protect me as I was told it would. In some cases the state used it as an opportunity to do me harm. I have learned that the state does not and cannot hold society or civilization together. I can see the great harm the institution of government has done to both as well.

        Remember how most governments form. Most governments formed as the result of one criminal gang wiping out the others and declaring itself a government. If your neighborhood would breakdown into warlords fighting each other, what would be the desired goal of that conflict? To impose government of their liking. Now can a state as the dominating gang keep conflict to a minimum, yes. But that isn’t some benefit of the state, the same condition would result no matter which gang rose up to become the state. The conflict is just the transition between institutions of state.

        Libertarianism does not ignore the issue, it sees it for what it is, that the state is simply a dominating gang. Yes, there is problem of some group always trying to impose a state but the idea is for people to understand what government is in the first place. If people understand what it really is and can be cleared of their conditioning the institutional make up society could be altered for the better. It is through this understanding that libertarianism hopes to solve the problem. If people no longer believe in a state, the state will cease to be and no one can impose one. People in mass have to believe in a state. That’s why the state often has cult like qualities. It requires belief, religious like belief, to exist and wield power, to use force. To see the state’s force as the same as that of a street gang breaks the illusion.

        If we can “never escape government” then the human race is doomed. It will never advance to the stars. It will always be stuck on this rock mired in conflict for the benefit of those who operate governments until these conflicts destroy humanity once and for all.

        BTW, the state likes to put people into conflict to make them easier to rule over. It is often the state that works on neighborhoods to create tensions and such. The state benefits from it. Many in the state believe they can create utopia with their force. They can’t. Ever notice that biggest trouble spots in the world have often been the nations artificially created out of the aftermath of the world wars?

        • That One Guy
          April 19, 2012 at 3:57 pm

          …the idea is for people to understand what government is in the first place.

          Government will always be different things to different people, Brent. To some people it’s economic justice. To some people it’s the means by which they live. It’s not that they don’t understand it’s a predatory organization that takes from others to enrich them. They don’t care!

          Morality is subjective. It’s not just because of the state; it’s because people are inherently different. A very large number of people are never going to have a problem with this reality of the state and much of the rest don’t have the cognitive ability to understand the power they lust after will eventually be turned against them.

          Libertarianism is an ideal for high-IQ people with a solid moral center. It’s not for “people” in general. So how do you exclude people who won’t be able to handle the responsibility of self-government, without using force? You cannot. It wouldn’t be long before the adherents to the non-aggression axiom would start using aggression to keep the hordes at bay.

          The essence of true freedom is mobility. A rootless existence is the only hope of the freedom-minded to live a life truly free of allegiance to a state. You can’t live in one place and not expect that the security situation won’t trend negatively through your time there. It always will. Eric asks “how do we deal with the Clovers”? We can’t. There are just too many. Your only hope is to rise above them. You must become a vagabond. The street person is the freest person in the US for this reason. People with means must become international vagabonds if they hope to be free.

          • Don
            April 19, 2012 at 4:46 pm

            Keeping the hords at bay is self-defense, not aggression. It’s defending and protecting one’s rights.

            I’ve always felt that fleeing is nothing more than passing the buck because I didn’t posses either the desire, the intellect or ability to change things.

          • BrentP
            April 19, 2012 at 5:17 pm

            Government is what people are conditioned to believe it is.

            If humanity is stuck using force for everything, if we cannot even go back to a 1970s USA level of violence to keep people inline, let alone reach something better, then humans are a doomed species.

            If violence is the only way. If it must be used. If the eugenics beliefs are correct and some people are just animals who can understand nothing else because they are genetically that way, the species is doomed.

            Everything libertarian should then be cast aside and we should all sign on to what is called ‘the new world order’, or HG Wells’ “Things to Come”, a fully managed technocratic world state. After killing off most people of course.

            That is the solution if we accept that violence is the only way.

            Like I have stated in the past, there isn’t much difference between the libertarians and the new world order sociopaths except the question of violence and control. We are more like each other than we are the clovers. Both groups are more intelligent than the average, both groups are less socially motivated and manipulatable than the average. The difference is how we use our differences from the herd. The libertarian seeks to bring the herd to his level. The new world order sociopath seeks to push the herd lower and use it for his own benefit. The new world order type is control freak. He uses violence. He sees the herd as animals, as livestock that requires violence to be controlled. So what side of the line shall we been on?

            We can either bring the clovers up to our level, and I think we can because I don’t believe its a genetic condition but one of conditioning for control on social, family, and political levels. But if I am wrong, than only the NWO approach makes any sense for saving humanity through killing most of it. If we do neither we might as well just set off all the nukes and let the cockroaches take over.

      • Keith Hamburger
        April 19, 2012 at 2:09 pm

        Statism is the utopian ideal that just the right amount of violence used by just the right people in just the right way can perfect society.

        We who oppose the state know that perfection is not an option. We know there is no utopia. We know there are things that are simply unknowable. We know that it is futile to attempt to “manage” human interactions, whether social or economic.

        Unlike those who advocate for a state we understand that there will be problems that just can’t be “fixed” and that the best we can hope for is to live our lives to the best of our ability and to let others do the same.

        This “anarchist utopia” nonsense is just that, nonsense.

        • Don
          April 19, 2012 at 2:19 pm

          Correct Keith. There is no perfect solution so economically what’s the best solution. Well, the solution that uses the scarce resources at our disposal the most efficiently. Wasting scarce resources benefits no one.

          And that goes for security as well. Security is an economic good that can just as easily be allocated in the market.

          And that, regardless what any gov’t will tell you, is the best we can do and it is the socially optimial solution.

  3. Don
    April 17, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    I’ve been making this argument for YEARS! Just common sense ain’t it? But as you pointed out: the intellectual ability to grasp it just isn’t there in Boobus-Americanus. Boobus will accept the most absurd things when it comes to the gov’t that they would never even consider accepting in any other aspect of their lives.

    It’s like a wall with a switch has been constructed in their minds; it’s almost hypnotic isn’t it? They hear the key word “Government” and the switch is thrown and they are on another side of the wall; in an alternative reality where common sense, reason and logic have no place.

    Very freaky shit. And the best part: when they’re there, they don’t even realize it! How’s that for indocrination?

    • April 17, 2012 at 6:23 pm

      It is freaky – and also, depressing.

      One doesn’t have to be a genius in order to think. To just use your mind; to evaluate a given thing relative to a given concept; to see whether it “adds up” – or not.

      But as you say, most people – a great many of them, anyhow – either never learn to think or don’t want to try.

      Hence, fuuuuuhhhhhhhhttttttball, Sarah Palin and Dancing With The Stars.

  4. Don
    April 17, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    There are plenty of examples of private security forces all over the world and they do compete for work as you say and as they should.

  5. Brad Smith
    April 17, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    You know I just don’t remember being ask to sign their “Social Contract”.

    I always thought that for a contract to be legal there had to be a meeting of the minds.

    • April 17, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      Me too.

      A contract requires consent (usually, knowing consent) to be lawfully (and otherwise) valid.

      • Texas Chris
        April 18, 2012 at 11:03 am

        Valid contracts do not require a gun in the ribs.

        • liberranter
          April 18, 2012 at 10:18 pm

          Indeed not. In fact, under Common Law, proof of coercion by any party is grounds for automatically voiding a contract.

    • Boothe
      April 17, 2012 at 8:09 pm

      Brad I think “Social Contract” breaks down like this: A bunch of nosey busy-bodies get together and decide how you the individual will live, what you can say, what you can put in your body and how much of the fruits of your labor you get to keep; all for the benefit of your “Social” group of course. If you won’t comply they put a “Contract” on your ass and send men with guns to enforce it. Does that about sum it up?

      • Brad Smith
        April 17, 2012 at 9:59 pm

        Yah that about sums it up.

      • Scott
        April 18, 2012 at 6:44 pm

        That’s a perverted contract, but I think it about sums up what we have.

        Our challenge then is to come up with a new contract, one that makes sense. The folks who’ve implemented the contract you describe so well did it in broad daylight, in full sight of the Constitution. Our challenge then is to build a better contract under the same conditions. Who’s up for it?

        The courts can be our friend. We can challenge search without warrant, we can challenge the “individual mandate” and we can do these things peacefully. But we need to do them.

    • Ernie G
      April 18, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      The concept was stated eloquently by Lysander Spooner circa 1870 in an essay titled: No Treason
      The Constitution of No Authority

      It can be read online many places, but here is a link
      http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig4/spooner1.html

      Mr Spooner is a very interesting person, for instance he started his own private mail company and forced the US Post Office to lower its first class mail postage.
      Unfortunately he was forced out of business by the US Gov, they positing that the power to establish a post office in the constitution gave the fed gov a monopoly on mail ( which it does not ).

  6. Blake
    April 17, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Speaking of men with guns enforcing laws that have no victims, the state of Michigan just repealed the helmet law for motorcycles.

    Before we all cheer this seeming increase in liberty, givng people a choice on their definition of safety, there is a catch.

    My, and all my fellow Michiganians auto insurance (mandated of course) premiums are increasing to cover the cost to “society” of those motorcycle riders who might get injured riding without helmets. Yes – our auto insurance is getting hit with a premium increase for the somebody somewhere who someday might get injured by not wearing a helmet on a motorcycle!

    We’ve had a line item on our insurance bills for years already for “uninsured motorists coverage.” About $200 a year.

    Socialism isn’t coming – it is already here. Facism is more like it – being insurance companies are in bed with our overlords nearly as often as banks.

    Yea – WTF???

    • Tinsley Grey Sammons
      April 17, 2012 at 9:50 pm

      Back when I was a young biker of forty, Governor Foster, himself a rider, pressed the legislature into repealing the helmet law. As I watched the Gallopin Gooses burn their helmets in front of their club one older biker kept his. When asked why, he responded saying that, “The law will be back and all you stupid sons-of-bitches will have to spring for another helmet”. Within a couple of years, it returned.

      Why?

      Because a member of the state Legislature had a friend whose skull was cracked in an accident. So, he decided that it was necessary that government protect bikers from themselves. The meddlesome anti-freedom vermin will never let up and they do not give a damn about the Unanimous Declaration.

      I hope that particular legislator is dead by now but unfortunately, like other vermin others will have quickly taken his place.

      Tinsley Grey Sammons

    • Toldev
      April 19, 2012 at 5:41 am

      The state of Michigan has screwy insurance laws anyway. Take no-fault insurance for example. That was supposed to lower motorist’s insurance premiums. It has in fact caused them to double.

      • April 19, 2012 at 9:41 am

        Surprise!

        Treat all parties involved in an accident equally – it’s no one’s fault! – rather than hold the party responsible (and his insurance) liable and what else would the result end up being?

  7. DD
    April 17, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Thoughtful and excellent as always, Eric.

    The weak-minded are in fact put into a trance by their political terrorist owners. Obama was chosen by the Global Counterfeiting (they are NOT “Bankers”!) Terrorist Cartel (GCTC) to put the little people into a trance…that is why it uses a teleprompter and it’s smooth and calculated voice when the cameras are on…these people are MASTER manipulators and the majority of the population is retarded due to their public schools and TV broadcasts…Clover is so stupid that it begs for it’s own slavery!

    What seems common knowledge to those with even half a brain totally escapes the little feebs (Clover/Democracy Parasites) whenever their Political Owners are speaking to them. It goes beyond just “Freaky” and into the realm of total shocking disbelief if you’re a thinking man. The terrorists must be laughing so hard at how easy it is to enslave massman! And they must have SERIOUS contempt and zero respect for their stupid little tax cattle!

    Watch the footage of Obama’s inaugural…It will absolutely disgust you and make you realize that Amerika is just an insane asylum full of retarded and violent 20+ year old children. You got to get out while you’re young.

    • methylamine
      April 18, 2012 at 3:44 am

      I’m thinking hard about getting out–but where?

      Sounds like you’ve made the escape. How’s it going?

  8. Brandonjin
    April 17, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    I like the analogy between a product/service and law enforcement. Oh how I yearn for a free market. :P

  9. Bill
    April 17, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    I am not saying you are wrong, but before you fantasize about small local police forces, or local goverment, when I was growing up if you wanted to start a busness or buying property you had first pay off the elected city council, then the elected mayor. If you did not want to be harrassed for every little thing you did you had to pay off the local, again elected, sheriff each year (not just once). Since the council ran the city with the help of the sheriff they could not be voted out (somebody was always watching when you voted. Or they, through they family, controled or could buy enought votes that being voted out was pretty much out of the question. It finally got so bad that the city finally consoladated a dozen or so small towns into one city. It is still corrupt, but not as bad, i.e. only larger business’s or higher income people have to pay the various fees now. If you think this cannot happen today, somebody I work with had to move about 3 three years ago, because the local sheriff kept harassing people (but if you pay a small fine, you will not have to go to court and since the judge was related to the sheriff, you knew the outcome before you went to trial). Again, he controled enought votes that he was not voted out for 20+ years, but was finally appointed to a higher office where he can make even more money. I am not sure of the answer, but ‘BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR BECAUSE YOU JUST MIGHT GET IT’ and it could be worse than what you have.

    • Tinsley Grey Sammons
      April 18, 2012 at 12:21 am

      Almost sounds like St. Bernard Parish Louisiana. The political incest there is appaling. When I moved there in the late 70s I very quickly learned to be careful what I might say since the person I was talking to just might be related to . . . .

      Government there seemed to be infested with people related to one another. Even after one of them is caught up in criminal or suspected criminal activity his name would simply disappear and then amazingly reapper in Parish government a few years later.

      Much of the Establishment there appears to be a relative (as in kin to) thing. It looks like the de facto confiscation (or clever theft if you prefer) of the quarter billion dollar Meraux Fortune when heirless Joe Meraux died is apparently a success since the feds haven’t come down after several years. The estate should have gone to Meraux’s common law wife of many years but with the help of at least one judge (who is now in prison for involvement in something else) the Sheriff and cronies stole, er, gained control of it.

      tgsam

    • BrentP
      April 18, 2012 at 12:25 am

      Boss Hogg corruption is mocked in american culture. It’s also limited in scope and power.

      The sort of centralized, federalized corruption that is taking over every facet of life today tends to turn out very very very badly in history.

      • methylamine
        April 18, 2012 at 3:47 am

        Precisely. Governments have killed, conservatively, 160 million people in the last 100 years…not including wars.

        A corrupt parish? Move out. Problem solved. With time their tax base erodes to non-viability.

        • Tinsley Grey Sammons
          April 18, 2012 at 11:13 am

          I no longer reside there. That solves MY problem but it does not solve THE problem.

          tgsam

          • Chris
            April 18, 2012 at 3:57 pm

            It might not be possible to solve THE problem directly, as you say, but if enough people solve THEIR problem that might take care of THE problem.

        • Chris
          April 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm

          Methylamine,

          That ability to move out of a jurisdiction filled with crushing tax, legal and regulatory burdens is why the statists want to pack us all into cities and take away our cars.

          They complain about “sprawl.” I say sprawl is a Godsend. I want a big yard to store all my projects and lots of space between me and my neighbors so we can’t annoy each other.

          I want to live among lots of big, wide roads so I can drive my projects without dealing with traffic. I don’t want to live in a big rabbit hutch of an apartment building; the Japanese can keep that business.

          • April 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm

            There are few things in this life more enjoyable (to me) than owning land – which means, not having other people literally all around you at all times. We have about 16 acres (with 100-plus acres of woods behind us). I have my own private running/walking trail. I can target shoot in the back yard. I have ample room for all my vehicles – eight of them, total – and great roads (uncrowded roads) all around.

            In most Western European countries (especially Britain or Germany or France) only a very rich person could live on a spread such as this – and forget about it Japan.

            Naturally, the elite Clovers resent the hell out of this – hence things like Agenda 21.

          • methylamine
            April 18, 2012 at 4:54 pm

            Amen.

            The only decision I have right now is between buying a plot of land somewhere out of reach of “long pork”–that is, migrating Clovers escaping the deathtraps the cities will become…or expatriating entirely.

            Tough decision. I’m not a Casey’s Gulch (Cafayate) candidate; I still have to work for a living. So expatriating will be a huge move, and even moving to the country will involve some compromises to be able to work.

            OTOH with Agenda 21 picking up steam–note, they’re going after organic farms, independent dairies, small hog farmers (Michigan, Google it, it’s atrocious)–it won’t be long before they start seriously “rewilding” and herding people into cities by force.

            The various wetlands prosecutions fall under this rubric, too; though a recent case in Idaho gave the EPA a nice fat black eye, those sumbitches.

            I wonder what the reality will be of the three S’s: Shoot, Shovel, and Shut Up?

          • Scott
            April 19, 2012 at 11:26 pm

            You got my vote.

  10. Brad Smith
    April 17, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Could I buy freedom for me and my family? What would it cost for them to leave me alone? Never tax me again and take no action against me in any way as long as I harm no one? Even in the South they had rules stating how much a slave could pay to buy his own freedom. Now that is a commodity that is truly worth something.

    Seriously, my product is the sweat of my brow and as it stands they own it and not me. Shouldn’t I be allowed to buy my own product? So how much? A million dollars or two, a pound of flesh?

    I feel the same way about my property. What would it cost to make in mine and my familie’s forever?

    • April 18, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      If they decide to take a pound of flesh please notify me immediately. I have got several extra pounds about the middle that I will gladly shed. :)

    • Chris
      April 19, 2012 at 1:40 am

      What would it cost? You’d have to be able to fight the FBI, US Marshals, ATF, Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps to a standstill, that’s what.

      You’d have to be in a position to DICTATE TERMS.

      • Brad Smith
        April 19, 2012 at 8:10 pm

        I agree that they would never let me go no matter how many people I bribed or kissed up to. My point was exactly that, they can’t let even one of us out of their grip no matter what. Others might see a free man and covet that freedom and demand to be free themselves.

        Someday maybe WE will dictate the terms. There sure is no way that I will ever be able to on my own.

        • Chris
          April 20, 2012 at 2:24 am

          The State’s preferred myth of its own inevitability is an eggshell.

          You know what happens to an eggshell as soon as it develops the slightest crack, right?

    • dom
      April 19, 2012 at 1:45 am

      You’d have a better chance of getting enriched uranium, making a nuclear bomb, and turning your spot into Bradnobyl. You’d be deader than shit, but they wouldn’t take your land!

      • Chris
        April 19, 2012 at 1:52 am

        He asked, and I was speaking in theoreticals.

        Seriously, in order to make the government leave you alone, you’d have to be able to defeat them militarily, or have something they wanted so damn badly they’d agree to whatever price you named.

        • BrentP
          April 19, 2012 at 2:02 am

          If you had something the fedgov wanted but couldn’t defeat them militarily, fedgov would just take it.

          • Chris
            April 19, 2012 at 2:07 am

            Yeah, but what if they COULDN’T just take it?

            Something that required YOUR willing cooperation to access?

            That’s my point, you’d have to be able to dictate terms if you wanted to be left alone.

    • Scott
      April 19, 2012 at 11:28 pm

      Brad, I can tell you that the figure is not in the millions. Maybe somewhere in the billions.

  11. L Gore
    April 18, 2012 at 12:18 am

    Greetings,

    We the People have been without a Lawful Congress since March 27, 1861.
    What we have is a “de facto” corporation running the country, convened under the Executive branch by Lincoln April 15, 1861 (EO1).
    And We the People are the “Enemy” (1933) of the “de facto” corporation.

    “Section 5(b) which classified the citizens of the United States as enemies of their government. The Trading With the Enemy Act has now been duly codified, and is now a permanent part of the U.S. Federal Code. And the American people have permanently been classified as enemies of their federal government.” Whatever Happened to America (Jon Christian Ryter)

    The works of
    Mary Elizabeth: Croft (http://www.freedom-school.com/mary_elizabeth_croft.pdf),
    Augustus Blackstone (http://www.supremilated.com/Recon/ErrantSovereignHandbook.pdf ) and
    Nord Davis, Jr. (http://www.freedom-school.com/nord-davis/pardon-me-5.pdf)
    are especially well written regarding this subject. Would love to read your comments on the material.

    Salu,

    L. Gore
    Monroe County, Pa.

    P.S. All that talk about “debt” LIES, LIES, and MORE LIES!!!!
    http://www.wanttoknow.info/banking_finance/cafr_comprehensive_annual_financial_reports

    The following was not written by me, but it sums up the situation.
    ——-

    We call the IRS Regulations a “Code,” because a “Code” is a language always written in such a way that those who do not know the encryption and special meanings of the words, such as “Label”, cannot figure it out in a hundred years…” Pardon Me, but… #5 (Nord Davis. Jr.)

    The District of Columbia (The District) has created adhesion contracts (i.e. birth certificate, drivers license, voter registration, passports, 1040, etc.), and has kept their true purpose a secret. All paper created by “The District” are contracts, they NEED a signature, this makes the signer “liable’ for “The District” debt.

    These “hidden” contracts are what make you “subject to” “The District’ rules and regulations as YOU just signed and made yourself surety http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surety.

    The Federal Reserve is an unconstitutional private company that our public servants (1913) put in charge of creating the country’s currency. The bankers got paid in gold, the public servants got the paper to spend and now didn’t have to go directly to the people.

    When the public servants ran out of gold (1933-Executive Order6102) they started using (and continue to use) “We the People” as collateral. (Research!!).

    The elected officials continue to allow the FED to exist. It makes it easier for them to spend other peoples’ money without being accountable.

    The collection arm of this private company (Federal Reserve) is the IRS. What, you think the bankers would trust the public servants with collection?

    The politicians will NEVER End the Fed! It is their sanctioned creation and useful cover. So what to do?

    Educate Yourself. Stop the transfusion, and DEFUND “The District”.

    Know the difference between “lawful” and “legal”. A population cannot be “ignorant and free”.

    The legal definitions of ‘sui juris’, ‘propria persona’, and “pro se”, and what “District” Contracts you have unwittingly signed.

    The sovereign States created the Federal District via the Constitution. Since the War and Emergency Powers Act of 1933 suspended the Constitution (Research!!) http://www.barefootsworld.net/war_ep.html
    – the states gave “The District” (the created) power over the States (the creator). The States have never reclaimed their sovereignty. http://www.allgov.com/Controversies/ViewNews/Illinois_Tries_to_Opt_Out_of_Federal_Deportation_Program_110511

    Know who you are “at Law”, that Contract Law is the ONLY law of the courts and get out from under “The District”.
    —–

    “Time grows so short for action through knowledge.” Gyeorgos Ceres Hatonn
    “The things that we do are not for ourselves but for all of our relations.” Little Crow

  12. cat writer
    April 18, 2012 at 5:12 am

    Let’s compare the situation in the USA with that in the Czech Republic: The Czechs still have peace officers. I have been told that if a cop crossed the line into thuggery, he would have been ‘handled’. Townsfolk did riot against rogue cops and police forces if necessary, even in Communist times.

    I lost count of how many times I had to pick myself off the ground after hearing such stories. Just who were and are America’s real enemies?

    • April 18, 2012 at 9:53 am

      It’s interesting that Americans (many of them) consider this place “free” when i fact it is among the most controlled and regimented places on earth.

      • Chris
        April 18, 2012 at 1:33 pm

        Free country indeed.

        If this is a free country, why do I have to get a permit to carry a handgun?

        Why do I have to get my car inspected?

        Why do I have to pay income and property taxes?

        Food for thought.

        • April 18, 2012 at 1:51 pm

          Free range tax cattle is more like it. That’s not my invention – but I’m using it because it’s the finest, clearest, most accurate way to describe the reality of our situation.

          We’re allowed to eat what we like – of the food they allow us to buy (and grow or raise). We’re allowed to work in a field/profession we choose – provided we do so according to their rules, under penalty of law.

          We’re allowed the fiction of ownership – of property – but in reality, the government controls it.

          The moment we assert sovereignty – independence – and deny any claim to our persons or property – we are off pasture and declared “criminals.”

          • Chris
            April 18, 2012 at 2:19 pm

            I have no doubt that if you wanted to fight the IRS (for example), I mean really make their enforcement arm earn their paychecks, you’d have to be prepared to ultimately fight the US military.

            If the CONSTITUTION is a mere shred of paper to the statists, you can believe Posse Comitatus means geometrically less to them.

          • Chris
            April 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm

            One more thing.

            After ten years of trying, the United States finally killed Osama bin Laden in 2011.

            My theory is that in desperation, President Obama just told the IRS that bin Laden was a tax evader.

          • April 18, 2012 at 2:38 pm

            That episode reeks to heaven. Notice (as I am sure you did) it just happened to take place as the birf certificate issue was beginning to get some traction?

          • Chris
            April 18, 2012 at 2:47 pm

            I was just cynically commenting on the fact that the IRS is in unrestricted hunter-killer mode these days.

            I suspect there’ll come a day when they regret dehumanizing themselves in the minds of the public.

            This may be a conspiracy theory on my part, but I’ll bet money that the IRS computers have encryption beyond even what the Pentagon routinely plays with.

            Do you have any idea how many people would willingly, even proudly, go to prison for the rest of their lives for crashing the IRS database?

            God, they’d be folk heroes.

    • Tinsley Grey Sammons
      April 18, 2012 at 11:07 am

      Those who profit from unlawful power.

      tgsam

      • Tinsley Grey Sammons
        April 18, 2012 at 11:09 am

        Those who profit from unlawful power are America’s real enemies.

        tgsam

  13. Esp Ghia
    April 18, 2012 at 10:18 am

    From afar, the US looks like a police state. I kid you not. In Australia we have a nanny state – the difference is subtle but it’s just as annoying.

    • April 18, 2012 at 10:26 am

      I’d skip both!

      But yeah, the U.S. is more belligerently authoritarian. Buzz cut cops are everywhere. Over-reaction to everything is common. We also suffer from the sort of braying half-wit nationalism that afflicted NS Germany – right down to talk of the “Homeland” and “enemies of freedom.”

      • Tinsley Grey Sammons
        April 18, 2012 at 11:16 am

        “braying half-wit nationalism”

        Now that’s a BULLSEYE.

        tgsam

      • Boothe
        April 18, 2012 at 5:20 pm

        I couldn’t agree more Eric. American Exceptionalism? The Land of Liberty? Give me a break. The parallels with post WW I Germany are astounding. It just goes to show that regardless of the various “-isms” we use to identify the key players down through the ages, the story of the overarching authoritarion state remains the same. I’m confident that an unpleasant conclusion awaits the USSA as it does any overextended empire.

    • Tinsley Grey Sammons
      April 18, 2012 at 12:39 pm

      From close-up it FEELS like one.

      tgsam

  14. Joe Milligan
    April 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    I was driving south on the NJ turnpike on Monday.
    Two K9 units sped past at about 90, so I decided to tail them for a while under the “I now have a positive example to follow” pretense for traveling at a reasonable speed.

    Started smelling something burning. Two minutes later we passed a truck with “twennies” on it, and one was apparently running flat long enough to get it to catch fire. And it was a rear tire, which is much too close to the tank for my liking.

    First question in my head: “Where the fuck are those cops?” (I still occasionally fantasize that they care.) Nowhere to be seen for now. Nothing I could do (couldn’t get over). Maybe I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt: it’s just possible they got off on exit 3 right before this happened.

    Except that two minutes later we hit a wall of traffic, and I could see them speeding on the left shoulder past everyone with their lights on.

    It is SO FREAKING OBVIOUS what cops are about. I really don’t know why more people don’t see it. You scratched the surface by talking about victims in law – the reality is that they don’t even pretend that that’s what it’s about anymore.

    Unfortunately, once you start down the rabbit hole of suspecting that cops aren’t really all that good for society, you may get to the point of realizing that our entire legal system is anti-victim. Think about it: even in clear-cut cases like murder, there is zero attention paid to the murder victim or his family, beyond what is necessary to secure a conviction and spill more blood.

    • April 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      Yup!

      I have to exercise extreme self-control when I am stopped by a cop for no valid reason. Just the other day, I had to go to the local court to contest a seat belt “offense.” Just to enter the Holy Place I was subjected to a wanding by a very typically unattractive bull-necked, squat female cop. I don’t look like a thug. I’m a guy in my 40s with a fairly short haircut, wearing khaki slacks and a nice shirt. The ugly little bitch discovers I have an iPod in my lower pocket. I’d forgotten it was there. She told me I could not proceed with it in my possession – some idiot rule about “no electronic devices.” I told her – truthfully – that I’d forgotten it was there, that I was not going to use it and could I just proceed? If I looked scruffy – or maybe if I was a teenager – then, ok, I get it. But no dice. “The law is the law.”

      I had to go back to my car several blocks away and leave it. I mouthed, “scumbag thug” at her as I left – which I shouldn’t have, I know. But I did – and she didn’t pursue it. Thankfully. Because I am at or very nearly at the point that I would not passively let them put their hands on me. I know I’d lose – but I’d get a lick or two in, before I did. I’m not a tough guy or looking for trouble. I’m just a guy who’s had it with bullies.

      These pricks (and chicks with pricks) are all about their authoritay. They get off on it, I’m convinced. Convinced, because I know I could not do what they do. I’d feel like such an asshole I’d have to quit after my first day on the job.

      • liberranter
        April 18, 2012 at 10:55 pm

        These pricks (and chicks with pricks) are all about their authoritay. They get off on it, I’m convinced. Convinced, because I know I could not do what they do. I’d feel like such an asshole I’d have to quit after my first day on the job.

        I’m sure it was just a careless slip on your part, Eric, but would you really call what these creatures do a “job?”

        Anyway, yes, it is all about their authoritah, which, undeserved and unwarranted as it is, is the only thing these pathetic tards have going for them. They certainly aren’t capable of holding down real gainful employment, no matter how lowly and unskilled, in the productive private sector. As a matter of fact, I’ve concluded that what little such experience any of them have had in the past was such a catastrophic failure, and probably so traumatic to their deformed, stunted psyches, that they feel nothing but rage and contempt for anyone who isn’t a useless, bottom-feeding slug like they are. The reason the fugly coptardette at the court house gave you a hard time is because you obviously represent a successful, productive, fulfilling life – something she’ll NEVER have. She resents you, and others like you (us), for what you (we) are and will never stop making you (and the rest of us) pay for it. That is what today’s “law enforcement” loser is all about.

        • April 18, 2012 at 11:05 pm

          That’s my assessment also.

          It can’t be a coincidence that certain physical types seem to predominate among these badged goons. Defective females – ugly, unhappy. Defective males – insecure, bullies.

          Not all of them – but more and more…

          I just responded to Carl to that effect. His type of cop (taking him at his word) is becoming a rarity. Chris’ “Officer 82nd Airbone” the new archetype.

  15. Al Sledge
    April 18, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    In your article your question; “– and without a victim – that is, a real person actually injured in some objectively real way – can there be a crime?”, the answer of course is a resounding NO!

    We should all remember this when we are called for jury duty. But in addition we should also remember that we are under no legal obligation to share that belief with the courts. When a judge states “you may not judge the law”, he is lying. HE has no obligation to tell you the truth and will not tell you what your rights really are. Our rights are our responsibility to be aware of, and rights are not GIVEN by the government, but rather by God or the god of nature (however you choose to believe). Please see fija.org for full details.

    We have much more power as humans in the court than we do as voters. This is even more true with voter fraud is rampant. I believe is was Stalin who said; “The voters do not determine the outcome of elections -those who count the votes determine the outcome of elections.” Sadly, more and more cases are bypassing the jury.

    Great article and great comments as usual. But we are still all preaching to the choir.

    • April 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      Thanks, Al!

      I think the tires are staring to bite – at least a little bit. There are many more people posting here, for example. And there are new, liberty-minded web sites and blogs popping up all over.

      The message is getting through!

      • Keith Hamburger
        April 18, 2012 at 3:08 pm

        You really need a share button on here, though.

  16. April 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    One of the major contributing factors to this problem is public education. This is more indoctrination than education, and it effects both the public schools and the private ones as well since the private schools have to follow the same curriculum as the public ones. Apparently, it takes at least twelve years to convince children that government is a force for good, and is absolutely necessary.

    • Bob Robertson
      April 18, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      Agreed. Public school is child abuse. One way to tell is the attacks on people who choose to educate their children themselves. There is no discussion of “results”, no one interviewing the kids themselves. Only vague accusations of “socialization”.

    • Joe Milligan
      April 18, 2012 at 5:11 pm

      Re: public schools…. neither of my children is ever setting foot in a public school. Nor a private school. John Taylor Gatto convinced me. Though I can’t read his books for long in any one sitting. The historical truth behind compulsory public schooling literally makes me ill, and I can’t handle more than a couple pages at a time.

      • liberranter
        April 18, 2012 at 10:59 pm

        Good point about private schools, Joe. As I’m discovering, more and more of them are coming to resemble public schools that just shake you down for money directly.

  17. Chris
    April 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Just an aside.

    Anyone ever watch those police ride-along shows like COPS? Ever notice a few things?

    Like how the officer they’re riding with is some soft-spoken, baby-faced Normal who talks about how much he loves serving the community?

    And never do they go with Officer 82nd Airborne and catch his rant about cuffin’ n’ stuffin’ troublemakers?

    Or the chase shows. Why is it, do you think, that they always show dashcam footage of a worn-out Corolla, caprice, or Caravan trying to get away?

    When was the last time you saw the Indiana State Patrol try to catch a Hayabusa, a hot-rod Trans AM or a built Supra?

    Never do you see cops behaving aggressively for no reason, trying to take down a skilled martial artist or a fleeing driver who really knows what he’s doing.

    • Rich
      April 18, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      Um. Kinda OT, but yeah I really like the shows where someone starts running, & they chase them until the car wrecks in spectacular fashion, maybe taking another vehicle out as well, and of course, it’s all the thug’s fault. And sure, maybe some punk gangbanger stole a car, but what about police discretion? Years ago, admittedly, but it WAS the county (and I hold them in slightly higher regard than our city’s ‘finest’ *sarcasm*) at the time I had a scanner, & I heard a deputy actually break off a wee-hour-of-the-morning chase out in the boonies with unknown suspect that ran, simply because it’d been raining and somebody was going to get hurt and we didn’t HAVE reason to pursue further just ’cause this guy was speeding or whatever & tried to outrun the cop. THAT. Is a Peace Officer. Nowadays, that concept just seems… so unAmerican…. Little wonder the Andy Griffith show just keeps going on forever in reruns, eh? We miss the PEACE OFFICER.

      • Chris
        April 18, 2012 at 8:52 pm

        There have been times when I’ve wanted to run from the cops, but I wasn’t sure enough that I could pull it off, so I pulled over.

        Besides, I’m not going to allow the police to endanger innocent bystanders over some bullshit traffic ticket.

        But considering the way they increasingly conduct themselves during traffic stops, I’m sure fewer and fewer people will decide that cooperation is the best choice, and roll the dice.

        • Rich
          April 20, 2012 at 7:39 pm

          Yeah my esteemed spouse likes to tell me how she’s ditched The Law a time or two, back in the day… I don’t let her drive anymore on long trips. At least, not since I took a nap and my Garmin told on her… yes Dear, it records your SPEED. We do NOT have to get there that quickly.

    • Joe Milligan
      April 18, 2012 at 5:13 pm

      I refer to COPS as “the tackle-the-black-guy-in-his-underwear-out-in-the-street show”.

      • April 18, 2012 at 6:08 pm

        Also: Fascist porn.

  18. April 18, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Why is it no one ever admits government does provide value. Isn’t a limited liability license valuable. If not, why do they exist?

    If they are valuable why not charge for them what they are worth?

    That charge and how to determine their value and the amount to collect is what I call a “Monopoly Tax” and the _Three Steps to Economic Freedom_.

    For details see: http://tinyurl.com/yc7yxp6

    • Chris
      April 18, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      Jack,

      It’s not that government doesn’t provide value. The military protects us from hostile foreigners and yes, we do get roads and fire departments.

      But the general message here is that for every thing The State does right, there are at least 10,000 things it does wrong, either through incompetence or malevolence.

      Or both, which is even better.

      • April 18, 2012 at 4:30 pm

        Yes Chris,

        However, among the things it does wrong is burden productive people with taxes to finance government that could be paid for by appropriately charging for the value government creates. Unfortunately (or not) I know of no method (with a few exceptions) to charge appropriately for fire departments or roads.

        I do, however, know how to appropriately charge for government granted privileges that can be taken or left at the takers prerogative. The trick (if that’s an appropriate description) is to charge in a way that causes the greatest rate of growth in the underlying value of the privilege being paid for.

        And that is not just better, it is best.

        • Keith Hamburger
          April 18, 2012 at 4:47 pm

          “I know of no method” is an argument from ignorance. That because you don’t understand it is not justified to use violence against others.

        • Joe Milligan
          April 18, 2012 at 5:18 pm

          There were perfectly functional private roads criss-crossing the entire US by the mid 19th century. They were quickly installed and well maintained. They encouraged dense population centers and therefore protected the countryside by discouraging sprawl. Fees for use were affordable, and the needs of the users, such as toilets and hot meals, were well accommodated.

          They used rails, not pavement.

        • April 18, 2012 at 6:19 pm

          Hi Jack,

          As some others have mentioned, we have real-world examples of fee-for-service roads (and fire response). Privately owned toll roads work pretty well – and I can’t think of any reason why people ought not to pay for fire response if they want it – just as people pay for life insurance if they want it. The principle’s no different.

          • April 18, 2012 at 7:31 pm

            Yes, there can be a few exceptions to price some of the risks government covers but should not be the first line of defense.

            But, the issue then becomes – can you describe a method to define paying for ALL the costs of government that cannot be rationally priced.

          • April 18, 2012 at 8:33 pm

            I challenge the premise. That is, when you say “all the costs of government,” what do you mean, exactly? Virtually every “cost” of government as it exists now is the result of an illegitimate function – a usurpation of our liberties.

            I see the only legitimate function of government (that is, of organized force) as protecting individual rights; or called by another name, keeping the peace – hence, peacekeepers and law courts (civil and criminal) as well as some sort of national defense.

            How could such be financed? In the same way that we pay for other services we want. It works very well in other areas;it gives us what we want at a competitive price and it has built in safeguards against shoddy service in that we can decline to pay if we are no longer happy with the service.

            It’s time to end the ages-old use of violence as the basis for social organization.

          • Chris
            April 18, 2012 at 8:54 pm

            I want to clarify something here.

            Taxes are NOT the dues that citizens supposedly owe The State for the privilege of being members of a society.

            Taxes are properly understood as the fees citizens pay for government services.

            Shout that from the rooftops.

      • liberranter
        April 18, 2012 at 11:08 pm

        The military protects us from hostile foreigners and yes, we do get roads and fire departments.

        Um, no. The military creates “hostile foreigners,” who otherwise would bear no grudge against us, by invading these foreigners’ countries for no legal or moral reason. For the first nearly one hundred years of this nation’s existence, there WAS NO STANDING ARMY, and thus few or no foreign wars of aggression.

        As for roads and fire departments, the private sector, free of government mandate and supported through voluntary, market-based transactions as Eric describes, will take care of those far better than any government.

        • Chris
          April 19, 2012 at 12:23 am

          Hey, I’ll agree that we as a nation can be quite annoying in various places around the world, but I was referring to the Constitutional duty of the Fedgov to make sure no foreign nation bothers American citizens.

          And yes, there was no standing army for America’s first century. There were also no airplanes, no nuclear weapons, no automobiles and no realtime communications.

          We were surrounded by thousands of miles of ocean, in an age when just GETTING to North America was a giant hassle.

          Those who, for whatever reason, wanted to harm American interests or citizens would’ve faced the equivalent of and expedition just to get here, so we didn’t NEED a standing military.

          And the problem with Communists and Mohammedans is that sooner or later, they get all itchy to go a-conquerin’. It’s in their blood.

          Their imperial aggressions don’t sleep, and somebody’s gotta kill them.

          • Keith Hamburger
            April 19, 2012 at 1:16 am

            Correction, that should have been “protecting Americans IN AMERICA”. When an American chooses to travel or do business in a foreign country it is up to that country to protect them. If they can’t be trusted to take care of their guests then you probably shouldn’t be there.

    • Keith Hamburger
      April 18, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      Half or more of the things the government does, if people were to choose to buy or not buy out of their own pocket, the people wouldn’t purchase. Those things are of no value to those paying for them.

      The other half would cost at least half as much if provided through a competitive business system instead of a violent, coercive monopoly.

      • Chris
        April 18, 2012 at 4:02 pm

        Yeah.

        I’ll be happy to sign an agreement with The State saying that I hereby forever give up my claim to SS benefits and in return, I don’t have to pay SS taxes anymore.

        Or I’ll be able to smoke weed or eat nothing but red meat and bacon, and in return, The State doesn’t have to pay for my medical care or public assistance because I can’t get a job.

        • April 18, 2012 at 6:19 pm

          That’s (implicitly) how it used to be – and ought to be, again!

          • Chris
            April 18, 2012 at 8:11 pm

            I used to be the world’s biggest drug prohibitionists until I actually gave the matter some thought, and The State helped me make up my mind.

            No, I didn’t get busted for wacky-backy or anything else.

            I stopped and thought about how even though I don’t smoke anything (except tires) or even drink alcohol outside of a wedding, the hippie up the street wasn’t bothering me because HE was lighting up.

            But as I said, The State helped me with my decision. I decided that if the choice was between Zippy the Pothead toking his brains out and the SWine Assault Team (SWAT) kicking in his door as if he were the Unabomber, I’ll take Zippy any day of the year.

            He won’t kick my door in.

            I don’t touch the stuff myself, but hey, smoke ‘em if you got ‘em. Just leave me out of it, and we’ll get along just fine.

          • April 18, 2012 at 8:18 pm

            For me, it was application of the principle: When anyone’s rights are threatened, all our rights are threatened.

            As you say, the hippie up the road may be doing something ill-advised, but he’s not causing me (or anyone else) any direct harm. So, just as I expect him to leave me in peace to (for example) own/shoot guns, or eat bacon, or ride fast motorcycles I acknowledge my obligation to extend him the same courtesy. I recognize, moreover, that if I endorse using violence against him, then I can expect him to endorse the same as regards me. We either respect all our rights – or we should expect to have no rights.

  19. Carl
    April 18, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Eric,
    I am now retired from police work and I found your article to be interesting but ill-informed at best. I never took steroids, I occasionally wore sunglasses as most people do when the sun is bright and I certainly wasn’t a thug. I did lock up burglary, robbery and theft suspects which vastly improved the quality of life for honest people. I even shot a few that tried to kill me. I went to anyone’s home that called us to sort out their often ridiculous family and neighbor conflicts.

    I was very limited in my authority by both the state of Ohio and police department policies and procedures I worked for. As for locking up someone sitting on their porch smoking weed? On some very rare occassions I arrested people for minor drug offenses and I did cite people over zoning violations but, and this is a big BUT, only after receiving numerous complaints about these issues from the violators neighbors!! Would you have your local police or sheriff ignore complaints from the people that constantly tell us ” I pay their salary”? Police don’t want to act on minor B.S. anymore than you want them too but are forced into doing something by complaining citizens that deserve some response. If you don’t want your weed smoking neighbor with cars up on blocks bothered then change your local laws. Don’t piss on the police for responding to citizen complaints. Police Departments don’t make laws we just enforce what’s on the books. I wonder how many of the police bashers posting here have the nads to go out and do the job, very few I suspect.

    Should I assume all auto repair businesses are rip-off artists because I’ve see some that are? Please get your facts straight before you opine. Thank you.

    • dom
      April 18, 2012 at 3:31 pm

      Laughable! Who in their right mind makes the effort to become a badged tax collector?

      “I wonder how many of the police bashers posting here have the nads to go out and do the job, very few I suspect.”

      Sorry, I rather earn an honest living!

      • Scott
        April 18, 2012 at 5:18 pm

        I did, and I don’t even get paid for it. In fact, it cost me about $700 to be certified as a wilderness medic, I bought a radio that set me back about $600, a pair of comfortable shoes for around $100, various and sundry items needed to keep my fuzzy butt alive in the woods for 24 hours at an unknown expense, all for the privilege of serving the public.

        Really Dom, Carl has a point; if you want to change stuff, the best way to do it is by doing it yourself. That’s what I figured and I think it’s true. If you don’t like the way the other guy is doing the job, get rid of him and do it yourself. I charge a whole lot less than a career public servant, It’s almost impossible to fire me *because I don’t get paid!”

        Change from within. It works.

      • Carl
        April 18, 2012 at 9:24 pm

        Dom,

        Less than 1% of my police career was spent “collecting taxes” as you call it. I can proudly say I put a lot of effort into being an honest, hard working police officer that locked up the predators in society. Yes Dom, they do exist. There’s many more predators out there than just poor harrassed small time dopers and minor traffic violators. And one day that scum may unfortunately prey on you or someone in your family. If that happens I guarantee you’re going to want one or more of those dishonest badged tax collectors there right away. Frankly Dom if you’ve encountered officers that you think have a bad attitude you may have to look no further than the mirror as to why that officers attitude was bad. I know I certainly encountered my fair share of people like you. I’m very much at peace with the way I made a living. It was honest and productive for society. I hope you can say the same. The golden rule applies to just about any situation Dom. Take care and you keep on making your honest living.

        • Tor Munkov
          April 18, 2012 at 9:40 pm

          I’m glad you are posting, Carl. I want to refute you both as an actual individual, and as a class of men. You claim you were a technically proficient servant, providing a valuable service to grateful taxpaying customers. The only objectors to your efforts, sayeth you (and O82A), are criminals and deadbeats.

          Like any hoodlum, you risk your life to exploit and profit by subjugating your neighbors into paying you tribute because of your geographic monopoly of force.

          Hoodlums don’t become respectable by all wearing matching polyester costumes and big polygon caps.
          There is no difference between the gang sign notices painted on walls and the administrative commands and restrictions of Federal State & Local administrative codes you access through your squad car laptop.

          Your pretense of being a noble Cowboy who lassoes and corrals the bad guys into safety pastures and barns is laughable. You terrorize soccer mom’s using the wrong car seat, you ride around all night spotlighting the poor, the kids, and the elderly to victimize in dark alleys or to enslave into your twisted posses of zombie informants.

          A zoo does not provide services to its animals. It makes a living off them by holding them captive against their will. You were a well trained liar, cager, maintainer, and foister of a disgusting parody of life. There are now no homeowners, only homekeepers. There are no families, only designated domestic keepers. There is no private industry, only resource keepers.

          Services are performed by sellers and buyers in a socialistic or capitalistic system of voluntary value transference. That is not what you did.

          You are below consideration and deserving only of scorn and shunning. I wish that you would consider the truth of Eric’s article, and acknowledge the shameful and damaging shackles you helped construct around everyone, including your own loved ones.

          Both your own, and my children will spend “Most their life, living in a gangster’s paradise.” They will all look on you as a disease, masquerading as a cure, and remember you with regret and disdain.

          Increasingly young children are handcuffed. The near total humiliation of American men is now quickly spreading and becoming commonplace among women, children, and even the Keeper’s themselves.

          Who will be to blame, when a Florida child and his mother get dragged into their local precinct because he was caught playing outside a school day? Who will observe another tot with a squirt gun and drag him and his pleading mother into the garrison? Who will beam with a sly grin while both mother and child are stripped naked and cavity searched for their Keeper’s safety? Who will hand them the bill for their keeping? Who will record their biometrics and secrets in the Keeper’s Digest, and demarcate them as a permanent member of the detainee class, a class without rights or freedoms?

          • Carl
            April 18, 2012 at 10:23 pm

            Holy Crap Tor you must have worn out a thesaurus, dictionary and post graduate literature book to write that post. I’ve had people try and refute what I’ve said but I must say I’ve never been refuted as an individual. First time for everything. Have a nice day and don’t forget to put on your aluminum foil hat.

        • Keith Hamburger
          April 18, 2012 at 10:49 pm

          If someone is breaking into my house or threatening me, my family or my neighbors the only use I will have of the cops is to come collect the bodies. And the only reason I would do that is that I would face worse if they found out what I did without my notifying them.

          As to the cliche (which I know you didn’t say but I’m sure you have) “if you don’t like the cops, next time you’re robbed call a hippy”, well, that’s actually a good idea. If I could just get the insurance company to accept a report from a hippy. It would be safer and more pleasant for me and would accomplish just as much.

        • April 18, 2012 at 11:01 pm

          Hi Carl,

          First, thanks for sharing your perspective. You seem like a good guy – that is, someone who understands the difference between “the law” and right – or wrong.

          I – and probably everyone else here – applaud the work of dealing with criminals – that is, people who violate the rights of others. Thieves, people who commit assault, murder – etc. The problem is that cops also spend a lot of time enforcing “the law” – that is, going after people who’ve trespassed against some code or regulation but who have not caused anyone any harm. The users and growers of arbitrarily illegal “drugs” come to mind. And “speeders” – and, well, you know where I am going with this.

          Guys like you seem to be increasingly scarce in law enforcement – because (I think) the job has become unappealing to good guys, or good guys are weeded out.

          Someone else here already went into this in depth. I, for example, could not succeed as a cop – would probably get fired very quickly – because in good conscience I could not harass my fellow citizens over BS such as seatbelt laws, or participate in probable cause-free “safety” stops, or be a part of jailing people for using or possessing arbitrarily illegal “drugs.” And so on. The system selects for authoritarian thug types, unfortunately. And that’s what I and others here take issue with. Not honorable peace-keeping.

          • Carl
            April 18, 2012 at 11:09 pm

            Eric,

            Thank you for your response. I can certainly agree that there are bad police officers that bully and are useless. I do believe they are in the minority. I am as much a libetarian as most on this forum. I agree that the war on drugs is a losing proposition. Good luck with your site and it was a pleasure talking with you.

          • April 18, 2012 at 11:13 pm

            You bet, Carl – I hope you’ll stick around and continue to post. We’re probably closer to being on the same side than on opposite sides in that we’re both trying to be reasonable and both oppose thuggery and seek a just society. How to get there is the question!

            I personally think it’s a tragedy that peacekeeping (an honorable profession) has degenerated into “law enforcement” – and that as a result, a wide and widening gap is growing between people who are the natural allies of peacekeepers and the (ex) peacekeepers, now “law enforcers.”

          • Keith Hamburger
            April 19, 2012 at 12:42 am

            Carl, if there are so many “good cops”, why are there any “bad cops” at all? Wouldn’t it be a big part of the “good cops” jobs to arrest and prosecute and imprison the “bad cops”?

            Since “good cops” so rarely arrest, prosecute and imprison “bad cops” and often cover for them or hide them behind the “thin blue line” it seems to me that makes the vast majority “bad cops”.

        • April 18, 2012 at 11:08 pm

          Hi again, Carl –

          Just a follow up:

          I live in the very rural country, so if a thug breaks into my home, it’ll be up to me to defend us. The broader point is (as I’m sure you know) the police have no legal obligation to protect any of us. This is the formal, codified ruling of the Supreme Court. The police exist to enforce the laws – good and bad. And we have many bad laws, unfortunately.

        • dom
          April 19, 2012 at 12:51 am

          Carl,

          You very well may be the exception (not arguing that). Yes, you are correct in the fact I have a bad attitude when I get pulled over for midnight reds, middle of nowhere speeding, radar detector violations, road block safety check violations for stickers/paper stuff. Who wouldn’t? I really like the cops who hide at the bottom of hills! Predator hunting and technical foul hunting are a completely different. When the element comes a knocking, calling the man will be the last thing I do. Your reasoning, “look no further than the mirror.” Very nice! So every attitude I encounter in my life is because I have an attitude? Interesting, but I think it’s wrong. If not tax collectors then why so much focus on technical foul citations? Why are court costs applied even when you don’t attend court and prepay? It’s tax collection!

          • Keith Hamburger
            April 19, 2012 at 1:19 am

            Hell, I’ve heard of people being charged “court costs” when their cases are dismissed. The few times I’ve ended up in court (every time I’ve received a ticket that’s not too far away for the appearance) and had my cases dismissed they’ve not tried that one on me. I would have to tell them to lock me up until those costs are considered paid.

        • BrentP
          April 19, 2012 at 1:24 am

          Carl, if someone were to attack me, I don’t think I would call the cops. I think I’d just do the best I could on my own. If I call the cops I could end up being arrested because that’s what the cops do now. They just look for a reason to arrest or ticket someone. It now mirrors the government schools where the victim of violence has just as much or more to fear from “authorities” as the perpetrator.

      • Tor Munkov
        April 18, 2012 at 9:55 pm

        Dom, this is the type of tax gorging tyrant that protects us from the skateboarders, and thousands of other dangerous non-menaces to society, until we are all broker than a Zimbabwe tribesmen forcibly relocated into an urban concrete housing project.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZW0gGKKYMg

        • dom
          April 19, 2012 at 2:01 am

          I think about this a lot. I believe my generation (I’m 35) has been around just long enough to understand and see the very last glimmer of freedom and the generally good in America and its people. I do remember a time when I looked up to people who are there to protect our freedoms. I can’t help but not look up to them anymore though. They only take away now! Maybe I just have a bad attitude. I’ve been told that before.

          • Tor Munkov
            April 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm

            America was a shared psychology, Dom. A clockwork of insoluble living liquidsand hourglasses teeming with individuals who sometimes flowed together and othertimes smashed apart to spill outward and blow away free. We both know we can’t just wish our way back to a better enforced future by strapping everyone down in Rosa Park’s magic yellow propaganda prison buses against our wills. We’re too smart to ride quietly into the militarily elected Kamp Amersfoorts brought to you by Westinghaus and General Electric.
            http://i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/i/tim/2012/04/19/obama-rosa-parks-bus_620x350.jpg
            From a distance, we were once dirtstained, muddy, turbulent, yet beautifully refreshing in our overall meandering, rapiding, waterfalling, sandbarring, and backwatering; towards ever more fertile deltas of separately living and emerging commons of uncountable autonomous individual grains of lifewater and fleshsand.
            Her memory now is just a drooping nightmare of peeling paint memories by Salvador Dali. What few riches and splendor seem to remain are mere drooping caricatures propped up by swindled crutches and bloody holocaust truncheons manned by grinning sociopathic troll fearsculpturers.
            The signal fades of our once loved ancient icons as their fainting beams fade overcast and jam away by repetitive martial bravado shouts, hollow laughing jag tracks, and forced applause storm approvals of ladies and gentlemen long since dead and extinct from the airwaves and landscrums of our freer yesteryears.

    • Chris
      April 18, 2012 at 3:52 pm

      Carl,

      If you are retired, you probably aren’t the type of cop we’re discussing. The wholesale militarization of law enforcement is a recent phenomenon that’s only really existed since the late 80’s.

      I applaud your restraint if you didn’t investigate a residence over ONE complaint, but rather waited until a clear pattern of trouble, evidenced by multiple complaints, arose.

      And I don’t believe anyone here would fault you for shooting someone who attacked you, or for apprehending burglars and muggers. I for one absolutely want you to do those things.

      But when you say things like, “Police Departments don’t make laws we just enforce what’s on the books,” THAT’S the attitude we’re condemning.

      Police have the legal power to harass, threaten and even kill their fellow citizens, and too many of them are comfortable just enforcing the law without thought of whether the law is right or wrong, or if there was actually a Wronged Party.

      If you regularly exercised your judgment without blindly enforcing policy, then I applaud that.

      But increasingly, police don’t do that.

    • Keith Hamburger
      April 18, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      Police today are virtually all felons. If not through acts of comission through acts of ommission. Any police officer who has received a report, or even heard a credible rumor, of another officer committing a crime and failed to treat their brethren the same as they would anyone else is an accomplice and accessory to the crime. Even if only 10% of all cops plant evidence, use excessive force, abuse suspects, perjure themselves on a witness stand to obtain a conviction (that one’s probably greater than 50%) or commit another crime, every police officer that heard about such and failed to investigate and follow through on prosecution, let alone actively covered it up, is as culpable as the person who commited the crime.

      The higher up through the ranks you go the more likely an officer is a criminal. Virtually everyone in a supervisory position and all “internal affairs” have taken an action to protect one of their brethren from prosecution of something they would eagerly prosecute a “mere mundane” for.

      • Chris
        April 18, 2012 at 4:04 pm

        Keith,

        My God! I totally forgot about the Professional Courtesy business!

        Thanks for reminding me.

      • April 18, 2012 at 6:22 pm

        Keith,

        Outstanding point – thank you!

        Most of us have at one time or another witnessed this personally, if on a small scale. For instance, cops “speeding” – that is, driving considerably faster than the posted limit. They do it with impunity. Even to follow a speeding cop is to risk being accosted oneself. And if you point out that you were doing nothing that the speeding cop wasn’t also doing, expect hostility – and perhaps much worse besides.

        • BrentP
          April 19, 2012 at 12:05 am

          I was pulled over for that once Eric. Late at night, waiting at a left turn signal, cop behind me. Green comes on. Turn on to a 40mph posted limit. Cop passes by me close and fast enough to shake my car. (mostly because it was mirror scraping, he was only doing 65-70mph) So I speed up. I am still losing ground to this cop.

          Cop number two pulls me over. Says I was ‘drafting’ the other cop. (who was a full city block or more ahead of me) He runs my papers and tells me the other cop was on a call to the bar up the street. Other cops stop in… so now I got three/four cruisers around me. It’s pretty clear I don’t believe the story. He gives me a verbal warning and that’s the end of it. I decide to see this ‘call’ up the street. No cops anywhere to be found. No call to a bar wraps up that fast. Nor is it less important than little ole me.

    • Art Thomas
      April 18, 2012 at 4:34 pm

      Let’s face it, if you’re going to work for the state, and you don’t want to lose your job you better enforce all those corrupt “laws” that turn peaceful people into “criminals”. In fact I wouldn’t call them laws; they’re the orders of nosey power-hungry people, supported by other nosey power hungry people.

      The state is the criminal by it’s very nature and unfortunately the police are part of the state. I believe a free market legal system would encourage honesty among the various professions of that field and a tendency away from criminalizing victimless acts as that would be too costly for competing private security companies. If we evolve to a stateless society I doubt there’d be much demand for interfering in your fellow man’s life “for his own good” and “for the good of society”.

      And I can dream.

    • BrentP
      April 18, 2012 at 4:36 pm

      Carl, you are retired. Your type of cop I believe went extinct a few years ago. I haven’t see a cop like you describe yourself in the wild since 2004.

      What I have seen and experienced first hand is ‘officer 82nd airborne’. The reason I have video in my car now is because of him.

      As to your challenge of working as a cop, let’s say I could get over leaving the productive class and becoming a member of the parasite class. Let’s also say I could stomach entering the praetorian class. That would be the biggest hurdle because I do far more for this planet on the productive side than I could ever do as cop. But for the sake of argument, lets say I am in the ranks at the lowest level, traffic cop of some suburb.

      I would be fired at my first review. Why? I would refuse to do revenue and papers stops. I’d probably make my performance objectives writing tickets for failure to signal or unsafe lane change and stuff like that, however that would be even more trouble for me as the clovers who get ticketed complain to officers of superior rank.

      As to complaints from clovers about some neighbor? I would ignore much of it since it shouldn’t have anything to do with government. They need to work things out amongst themselves. Bringing a gun into the mix doesn’t really fix anything.

      So no, I probably wouldn’t make it as a cop, just not for the reasons you think but because I don’t ‘just do my job’ like a good little Prussian method educated drone. (US government run schools are based on the Prussian model to make good fungible human resources for government, military, and industry)

      As to assuming a private business will rip me off vs. a bad cop. Well a bad cop can do far worse than just rip me off but in most cases all he will do is rip me off. And yes I find it always best to be on guard with a private business I have no track record with it’s part of the cop’s job description to extract money from me and return nothing.

      • Scott
        April 18, 2012 at 5:40 pm

        “I haven’t see a cop like you describe yourself in the wild since 2004. ”

        I’ll send pictures.

    • Joe Milligan
      April 18, 2012 at 5:27 pm

      Carl, I find your response interesting but ill-informed at best. You need to do some hard thinking on this. We’re not picking a fight here for no reason – we’re basing our statements on experience. If you weren’t that way – kudos. But your type isn’t the norm and hasn’t been for YEARS.
      At this point, even the citizens who still “appreciate” cops are simply still responding to their conditioning. The fact of the matter is they are AFRAID of them. They don’t respect them and they don’t appreciate what they do. They simply know – perhaps only instinctively – that any wrong move when dealing with one can easily end up with a nightstick shampoo. And they know – perhaps only instinctively – that NOTHING will be done about it if the cop was wrong.

      There are only three classes of people in a cop’s eyes: Cops, friends and family of cops, and suspects. And the fact that you’re in the first category makes it fairly impossible for you to understand what’s being discussed here.

      • liberranter
        April 18, 2012 at 11:53 pm

        There are only three classes of people in a cop’s eyes: Cops, friends and family of cops, and suspects. And the fact that you’re in the first category makes it fairly impossible for you to understand what’s being discussed here.

        Well said, Joe. That’s why my response below to Carl’s previous post is so harsh. It is all but IMPOSSIBLE, in my experience, for anyone who has spent a career in “law enforcement” to empathize with the libertarian perspective and to understand why we believe that nearly ALL of what cops do in today’s Amerika is anathema to the role of a “peace officer” who is charged with protecting life, liberty, and property.

        Carl describes himself as being of “libertarian” bent, but if that is really the case, how could he, in good conscience, have spent most of a career enforcing statutes that clearly were not enacted to prevent or deter ACTUAL CRIMES and that were clearly detrimental to the citizenry’s liberty?

        Carl stated that he made minor drug busts “based on complaints by [suspects'] neighbors.” Complaints about what? Where these “drug abusers” actually trespassing, destroying their neighbors’ property, or otherwise causing demonstrable harm to these neighbors? Or were these neighbors just being the typical busybody clovers who didn’t like their neighbors and were looking for a pretext to get them busted, using the illegal and immoral “drug laws” as a means to that end? I’d be willing to bet that it was the latter, in every single such call Carl ever responded to.

        If Carl were REALLY of a “libertarian” persuasion, he would have told these “neighbors” to mind their own goddamned business and to live and let live. He would have seen the hopelessness of trying to be a “peace officer” in today’s “law enforcement” Reich and would have found work in what little remains of the productive private sector, work that best matched his skills in his chosen field. He would have chosen a career path that would not have made him compromise his so-called “libertarian” principles by making him have to play enforcer of arbitrary edicts on behalf of the ruling caste. Of course eschewing the role of “law enforcement officer” would have meant having to take a job in the private sector as a PI, private security guard, or something less remunerative and stable than being a tax sponge.

        Harsh words? You bet. But a spade is still a spade, no matter what deck it’s stacked in and no matter what other suits it tries to itself hide behind.

  20. April 18, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    The article is dead on. The only thing I’d add is that we don’t have coerced state “protection” because the politicians don’t understand these basic rules of economics. We have it because, despite the propaganda, the primary purpose of state mercenaries is NEVER to actually protect people. If it was, it would be done via free exchange, as the article explains. The primary purpose of state mercenaries is always to violently impose the will of the politicians upon the subject classes. The fact that such aggressive thuggery is done under the motto, “to protect and serve,” doesn’t make it true. “Governments” are always thugs and parasites, and have no interest in ever being anything else–like the protectors they PRETEND to be.

    • Tor Munkov
      April 19, 2012 at 2:23 am

      It’s hard to find any upside to these guys, Larken. I’d rather have Paul Blart – Mall Cop tooling around the streets of S.E. DC on a Segway with only a radio to call for backup, because that would force officer racist-handsy to survive by his wits and by getting along like the rest of us.

      If you watch this deaf woodcutter get killed in cold blood by a cop for no reason, and only a few feet from a young female who cried out in indignation “what did you shoot him for, he wasn’t doing anything,” the fact that we jumped the Nazi:Soviet police shark becomes undeniable.

      It takes only a few seconds from a Seattle Cop barking orders at a peaceful older guy minding his own business, to his opening up a blaze of killing gunfire for nothing more than his rage of being a victim of contempt of cop.

      I guess deaf people should be forced to wear sign so that police don’t become threatened when someone doesn’t genuflect in immediate submission to their unconstitutional and immoral bullying.

      • April 19, 2012 at 9:56 am

        Unfortunately, these incidents are far from uncommon.

        But more fundamentally, they could easily involve anyone – you or me – who “resists” the henpecky “law.” Example: I am driving along (not speeding, not doing anything illegal, let alone “unsafe”) when up ahead I see a “safety” roadblock. I resent being subjected to a Getsapo-style “papierien, bitte! probable-cause free stop. So I turn my car around and head the other way. What will happen? The thug scrum will be on me in minutes. I will be assaulted. If I am unlucky – even if I don’t physically resist the assault – they may beat me black and blue or even kill me.

        This kind of thing could (and does) happen to people who are in no way “criminals.” And it’s becoming routine, because it’s implicit in every interaction with “law enforcement.”

  21. stinky
    April 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    There is a point at which the caretaker becomes the master. We have reached that point.

  22. El Gordo
    April 18, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    The idea has merit.

    But really, the idea has been tried. Remember the O.K. Corral? Wild Bill Cody, etc. That is how ‘peace officers’ were hired in the 19th Century. Normally the ‘town leaders’ which, it should be noted may or may not have held a formal office, would hire and fire historical ‘lawmen’.

    Don’t laugh. I am serious. I would argue that it worked brilliantly with some exceptions. The historical exceptions were usually related to the size of the town doing the hiring. The larger and more diffuse the interests of the locality who hired the officer, the less likely they were to be pleased – and likely the harder they were to please.

    A perfect example is my neighborhood. We our population is maybe a thousand. We were located in the County and not formally incorporated.

    But a small city of 200,000 is nearby. And they did what such cities do. They annexed us.

    This past couple of years we’ve had a robbery spree. More than 1 in every four houses was robbed at one point or another while the owners were at work. The City Police deigned to meet with the owners a couple of times. And they were frank enough to admit that they were not going to catch the thieves. And they would not be providing more than a drive-through a couple of times per week.

    Ironically, since the annexation property taxes have risen. They’ve risen ENORMOUSLY – and not just on homes, but cars and any other property the city can easily determine we own. For a modest home here, worth about $150K I pay DOUBLE the property taxes as compared to what I paid in Norfolk, Virginia with a $400K home.

    With our property taxes alone, we could pay three patrolmen, and buy cars, equipment and training for them EASILY for what we’re paying to the City in taxes. Meanwhile what did the City police tell us? “You can have a couple of drive-through patrols per week. It is probably kids stealing and selling to the pawn shops. We’re not going to catch them. If you know your serial numbers and are robbed, then go to the pawn shops to find your property.”

    What else are we getting from the city for all this money?

    Why, not a thing. They don’t even pave the roads. The HOA has to do it.

    Full disclosure: I am a 24-year Army veteran.

    I think you all may have confused the term “militarization” to refer to police attitudes. That is incorrect. It refers to their equipment and training. The attitude has been pure ‘Law Enforcement Officer’ as long as I’ve known them…

    Consider this: There is a greater percentage of Ron Paulians in the military than in any other easily identifiable segment of the population. Most of us are liberty minded. Close-up and personal views of dictators and their secret police will do that. But while in uniform, we have no political rights ourselves as one unfortunate Marine is discovering.

  23. Tor Munkov
    April 18, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    re·fute/riˈfyo͞ot/Verb:

    1.Prove (a statement or theory) to be wrong or false; disprove.
    2.Prove that (someone) is wrong.

    Here is a video I found on YouTube, using my tinfoil internet connection.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=OEoJQpkUNRc

  24. liberranter
    April 18, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Carl belched:

    Holy Crap Tor you must have worn out a thesaurus, dictionary and post graduate literature book to write that post. I’ve had people try and refute what I’ve said but I must say I’ve never been refuted as an individual. First time for everything. Have a nice day and don’t forget to put on your aluminum foil hat.

    Typical, and pathetic. To paraphrase an old maxim: “Once a swine, always a swine.” It NEVER fails that whenever a cop –current, former, or wannabe– is confronted in concise English with incontrovertible evidence of his/her sociopathy, he/she will resort to predictable ad hominem attacks that define the losing side of any debate.

    Tor, I agree with you. I’m glad too that Carl posted here. In fact, I hope other current and former cops/wannabes follow his example. Their responses serve only to confirm how correct are our assessments of them. These responses will differ little from one another, although Carl’s is probably about the most civil and literate that we can expect (I actually wonder if someone didn’t read our comments and write his responses for him. No cop I’ve ever met is capable of reading or writing so much as a simple sentence in coherent English, let alone several paragraphs).

    • Tor Munkov
      April 19, 2012 at 12:02 am

      Thanks Liberanter, and you too Carl.

      Carl, if you click on this link, there’s a video that will come up. If you watch it, shortly after a minute, it shows a pregnant woman tasered on her pregnant belly by an OHIO (Peace, cough) Keeper.

      I accept your take on my writing, Carl, and if that’s all you get from it, then I will work even harder, in addition to my habit of See Something, Record Something. (I can make threats too, like you did to Dom)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPSm9EeqzY0

      Like Brain-Damaged-For-Life Rodney King Once Asked, “Cant we all just get along?”

  25. Alex
    April 19, 2012 at 1:22 am

    You know, at this point, I’d rather the sun just explode and put us all out of our misery, at least we’d take the rats with us. Why so cheerful today?

    Part of Senate Bill 1813, section 31406 ushers in mandatory ‘black box’ recorders be installed in every new passenger vehicle starting with model year 2015.

    Probably GPS transponders in 2016, 2017, eh?

    This is just one small part of the web that binds us all. I came to this country from a former communist country, only to wake up one day, and find that I’m back to where I started and it’s depressing as hell.

    • dom
      April 19, 2012 at 1:33 am

      Oh mang! That is a funny post, I love it.

      “I came to this country from a former communist country, only to wake up one day, and find that I’m back to where I started and it’s depressing as hell.”

      Adapt or die bro. We’re all forced to run faster and tighter circles. Just amazing so many enjoy the run!

  26. Tor Munkov
    April 19, 2012 at 2:08 am

    Maybe this is the place where the Age of Clover comes thankfully to an end.

    What should we do when our loved ones are in mortal danger. Should we believe the Clover propaganda, and stand around on the deck of the Titanic, looking to the authorities for the answers?

    Or should we frantically run about the sinking ship, looking for something to keep those we care about above the deadly frigid waters?

    If you read the inventory of what was on the Titanic, and what it was constructed of, you will see there is no excuse for anyone ending up dead while ruminating about their bad luck or crying about the limited official lifeboats.

    The sailing of the Titanic and the sort of pseudo-men who sailed upon her for purposes of either freedom or luxury, represents a watershed event that marks the beginning of the Age of Clover.

    • Alex
      April 19, 2012 at 2:30 am

      Hey, don’t blame the sinking of the Titanic on bad luck, lousy captains, or icebergs. That ship… boat?, whatever, was stuffed full of opponents to the Fed. Once they died in that ‘accident’ ushering in the Fed became a done deal. Read up on it.

      • Tor Munkov
        April 19, 2012 at 7:38 am

        I hadn’t heard that one, I’m looking into it. I don’t know ships but I do know high net worth people and their general pattern of treachery. The farther from the original entrepreneur patriarch, the worse it gets.
        Millionaires are always suing other millionaires, and building traps for competitors, and plotting downfalls. Some may not stop at manslaughter or even mass manslaughter.
        No matter how treacherous they get, though, they always have a reputation to defend, and unless they are captured into serving some government agenda, they will go to great lengths to portray their handshake or promise as being as good as gold.
        Ships sink. Buildings collapse. Disasters strike. Carnivores create carnage.
        It is fine to benefit from society, but counting on someone else to keep you alive and safe is pure lunacy and pathetic clover wishful blather.
        When the SHTF if you’re heavy, and you’re not biologically my brother, you’ll have no one but yourself to blame when you’re on a Carnival Cruise in Giglio that goes sideways, calling out for the nice cabin boy in a hawaiian shirt. You’ll eat your just desserts for working 900 feet off the ground in the burning Twin Towers with no one to help you but your elevator attendant or janitor.

      • April 19, 2012 at 9:46 am

        I’ve heard this story but have trouble buying it. Capt. Smith steered a more southerly course than usual, in order to avoid the icebergs. I have trouble believing he willfully committed hari kari. Also Thomas Andrews, the Titanic’s designer. The Titanic also had the lawfully prescribed number of lifeboats (based on previous, smaller-sized ships). And, according to what I’ve read, only sank as a result of several very unlikely things happening in sequence: A glancing blow (rather than a direct strike), piercing six water tight compartments. How could that have been arranged?

        On the other hand there’s this business (so I have read) about the lookouts not being issued binoculars (supposedly locked in a safe) and the “mystery ship” just a few miles away that could have rescued probably almost everyone but did not respond to the Titanic’s SOS, etc.

        • Douglas
          April 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm

          As typically happens in these tragedies, a compilation of unlikely events that culminate in catastrophe.
          Still, the failure of the HMS Titanic to safely navigate the Atlantic on its maiden voyage is hardly an indictment of the free enterprise system. It’s a matter of lessons learned. It should be noted that the Titanic’s sister ship, HMS Luisitania, was torpedoed with the loss of 1,195 souls out of 1,959 passengers and crew, and this after the German government had posted warnings in US newspapers that the ship and any like it were at risk of hostile action once it sailed near the UK (into a war zone). It is well-known that this ship was carrying armaments in violation of the commonly observed rules of warfare at the time, and that the ship became a legitimate target for the German Navy.
          A good example of where private enterprise in the travel business results in greater safety is the experience of Southwest Airlines. Herb Kelleher’s accounts of getting the fledging airline going in spite of interference by Texas politicians, including but not limited to (as Limbaugh once described him) the “Sleezer” of the House, Jim Wright, who imposed the so-called Wright Amendment in order to restrict airline activity from other than the then-new DFW airport. SWA accident rate and fatality (one, a boy on the ground killed in the wake of the accident of flight 1248 at Chicago Midway) on a passenger-mile basis, AFAIK, is unequalled for any major airline. Attribute it to good old-fashioned sound management.

          • April 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm

            Yup!

            Also: Titanic’s sister, Olympic, had a long (and safe) career. Titanic wasn’t unsafe – just unlucky. A combination of events that led to disaster.

            A recent example is the Air France Concorde that crashed (and ended civilian SST service). Several things happened – in sequence – to create the “perfect storm.”

            A piece of debris left on the runway…
            Caught by tire during take-off roll, chucked under the wing tank, creating a fuel leak…
            Also cut a wire at the same time, leading to a spark…
            Not enough time to gain altitude/turn around…
            Loss of control, crash – everyone dies.

            Not the aircraft’s fault; certainly not the pilot’s. Just bad luck and a series of unfortunate events.

  27. Will
    April 19, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Eric,

    Your post remided me of an article I read some time ago about San Francisco Special Police. http://sfpatrolspecpolice.com/mission.html
    While maybe not the ideal of private policing, they are a step in that direction, which many would otherwise say is not possible.

  28. Tor Munkov
    April 19, 2012 at 5:47 pm
  29. David Ward
    April 20, 2012 at 1:09 am

    responding to the military mind set statement made earlier. It is my opinion that the military mindset is not what is at work here. It is the killer mind set. Some people “JOIN” the military because they want to kill. They spend years playing gears of war and other murder death kill games that they eventually want to experience the real thing. But, what to do? what to do? Do that in real life and you go to jail. Enter LEO and the Military. hot dawg! i get to kill people and don’t have to worry!

    As an aside, i’m a 59 year old combat vet of the “test the weapons on the viet namese” war. every time i hear someone tell me thank you for your service i get sick knowing i was going to be drafted and most probably get infantry. as it was, i enlisted and flew helicopters in nam. LOL not much better…

    oh one other thing, being in that war made me staunchly anti war. so much so i did everything i could to keep my son out of the military. Thank the ALMIGHTY GOD it worked.

    have a great day everyone!

    • April 20, 2012 at 10:39 am

      Hi David,

      Thanks for your insight on this. I’ve noticed that combat vets tend to be reluctant cheerleaders for war – while chickenhawks of the Billy Kristol- Newt Gingrich variety are typically the most rabidly gung-ho freaks you’ll meet!

      • Douglas
        April 20, 2012 at 11:14 am

        IMO, any “ChickenHawk” like Gringrich, Limbaugh, Nugent, or O’Reilly, those these are all a tad “liberal” for my tastes, ought to be given a healthy dose of STFU when they stump for the “War on Terror” or whatever military jingoism they espouse. It’s another reason, though, that I feel that there should be some form of MANDATORY basis military education and training, but through the State militias, starting in the high school years (including both boys and girls), culminating in an approximately year-long program of “boot camp”. If there HAS to be ANY “socialism” at all, this is where it’d be the most effective…by instilling discipline in youngsters which all too often their irresponsible parental units utterly lack thereof, and making young people subject to UCMJ, can deal with the criminal element early and decisively. Once “graduated” from such a program, those interested in a military career can sign up with Uncle Sam (which ought to be severely reduced to the actual defense needs of the American people instead of being the world’s “policeman” in 123 different countries, therefore, entry would be highly competitive), else, they’d serve as state milita personnel on a part-time basis while furthering their respective educations/trades. We’d have a true CITIZEN army like Switzerland, and with the effective manpower being under the respective several states and NOT the Federales, there’d be a balance against Federal tyranny which hasn’t existed since 1865. Likewise, as Isoroku Yamamoto noted, no foreign enemy would dare fuck with us, noting that there’d be an armed militiaman behind “every blade of grass”.

        • April 20, 2012 at 11:20 am

          That these chickenhawks aren’t laughed off the stage is something I’ll never understand. The effrontery is so startling it’s arguably psychopathic. To these “people,” others are just cardboard cutouts to be used and disposed of as deemed necessary.

          I’d like nothing more than to see Newtie and Ricky (and Billy and all the rest of them) suited up, issued an M-16, and air-dropped into Tehran to “fight fer freedom’….”

    • Brad Smith
      April 20, 2012 at 10:54 am

      I am also a combat vet, US army infantry with multiple deployments. You will not find anyone who is more anti-war than me. If they ever bring back the draft I will be out of here. I will not let my sons be forced into slavery for the war machine.

      • Douglas
        April 20, 2012 at 11:03 am

        Likewise I’m glad that my “three” sons (two I “begat”, one step) haven’t also been processed into the military sausage-grinder. One of my older boys’ friends from HS was badly wounded in Iraq and was never “right” again (good young man, though). He met an unfortunate end recently at the hands of some cretin that he knew (the SOB killed the disabled young Marine vet over some vintage video games that were stolen, mehopes he fries…).

        • Brad Smith
          April 20, 2012 at 11:13 am

          Dang, sorry to hear that. What the hell is wrong with people?

          • Douglas
            April 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm

            In the case of this particular young Marine vet, it may have been “one of those things”. Knowing the physiological and psychological fallout of his combat injuries, though, I wonder if somehow he wasn’t rendered vulnerable. The young fellow did have relationship and coping issues..and yet, he worked (his disability pension was adequate but the young fellow was ambitious), he’d recently become a homeowner, and he himself helped out fellow vets.

            http://www.facebook.com/pages/Michael-Cole/334490333256037?sk=info

            Read and weep. I do still at times when I think of this young fellow and I pray for his family.

          • April 20, 2012 at 3:04 pm

            The whole thing’s just such a sick waste – all around. The kid’s life – all his potential – tossed. Not to mention the lost potential of the people in eyerack and so on…

  30. Ann
    April 20, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    If we really care about this matter, we’ll write our politicians and keep writing and speaking out and voting in every possible forum
    (1) to support existing private policing programs, and
    (2) to develop new programs.

    Private police should be qualified above the level of security guards, and minimally and suitably regulated by an appropriate public commission for client/consumer protection purposes directly related to the public safety, and not to promoting the interests of the police union or big government.

    San Francisco’s City-Chartered Patrol Special Police are a perfect existing national model that needs your support because now as in the past, they are beset by attacks from police-union driven opposition seeking to augment an exorbitant public police officer salary starting at $87,000 for cadets just out of the academy–the highest salary in the nation, I believe. They are also beset by overregulation and selective enforcement according to the tides of police union pressure.

    Please consider their program and sign a petition of support: http://www.glenparksafety.com/forms/letterofsupportform.html

    City leaders in this and other cities should eschew community policing by the public police and stop trying unsuccessfully to teach cops how to learn and do it. They should terminate all programs that allow tired, off-duty cops to compete with and spike their already-high public police salaries in private policing jobs.

    Patrol Specials could and should be used by suitable city agencies needing supplemental policing, such as in our public libraries and on buses beset with the homeless and mentally ill, but in this city, they are almost entirely paid for by non-taxpayer dollars hired by merchants and neighbors alike (see, http://www.glenparksafetly.com)

    For 165 years the Patrol Specials have been the very definition of democratic, participatory, and culture-sensitive policing in this City. They are in the neighborhood and know us and our byways, so when called they come early, they come fast, and they resolve minor incidents with maximum discretion. They act proactively to prevent big and expensive crimes. Clients and folks coming into neighborhoods where they serve, love and appreciate them.

    Our Patrol Specials pay for their own uniforms, weapons, cars and annual training at the SFPD academy and otherwise operate as a private business. If we don’t like them or their service, we give them one month’s notice and they are gone!

    The problem is consumer/taxpayer apathy and unwillingness of local voters, and national leaders, to vote and to speak up to politicians under the influence of police unions, in favor of private policing.

    Lew Rockwell knows about but has not responded to support or publicize the Patrol Specials, although a few (too few) qualified academicians have stepped forward to point to the Patrol Specials as a perfect example of one logical asset to vigorously support in our crime-fighting/prevention arsenal. If you would like more information please contact the officers’ president, Officer Alan Byard at atbyard83@yahoo.com.

    • Tor Munkov
      April 20, 2012 at 9:15 pm

      Hey Ann. I believe we’re mainly capitalists here, not vote aggregators or group campaigners.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqyHnGMGpUg&feature=player_detailpage

      What about writing about this group as a proposed solution to the types of situations that arose in this video you’re in or in the type of neighborhoods where the Trayvon Martin episode occurred.

      I would love to see Municipal police downsized and only deployed to more public infrastructure and industrial areas of a city. The residential and retail areas can use their own money to pay for their own extra patrolling.

  31. John Illinois
    April 21, 2012 at 12:31 am

    I have had some “fun” with local cops. I lived in a 1 cop town about 35 years ago. I got on the wrong side of my neighbors when I built a house, myself, evenings and weekends, including Sunday. I think actually getting it done in 6 months, by myself, got a lot of guys in trouble over projects their wives wanted done, but never happened, but the Sunday thing really did it. To be kind, I am not the most diplomatic guy, nor do I have a real long fuse. I do have a mouth, and a real big nasty vocabulary. While I am not real tall, I am kind of barrel chested–the squat round hillbilly you just do not want to get hold of you.
    The first salvo was when the cop impounded my lawnmower for driving on the street. There were no curbs, when you mow the ditch, sometimes you drive on the street. A week after he impounded my lawnmower, he ticketed me for unmowed grass. Did he catch hell for that–you can bet your bippy he did. I contested the ticket. The judge ate his ass for even having the balls to ticket me. The cop told me in the hall that I was lucky he didn’t arrest me for abuse of an officer. I told him that he was lucky to be alive, because had he tried to do that, I’d have really abused him. I got my lawnmower back. The town had to pay the fees and have it delivered. I even made them pay for some damage to my mower. I was very careful not to violate traffic laws. Just what I needed was to have to fight a radar speeding ticket, or blowing a stop sign, or something like that. Over the next year, I had a few other brouhahas with him.
    Then, it came to a head. I had a 3 car attached garage. Since I had a 51 Pontiac and a 31 Franklin, and a couple 50s Jaguars I kept in the garage; our daily drivers were in the driveway, outside. These were not future projects, the Franklin had been our wedding car, and the Pontiac had just returned from a trip from Grand Rapids, Mi, To San Diego, Cal, and back. Anyone who knows anything about Jaguar XK-120 and 140s, knows that you don’t go far from home without friends, or a trailer. They never actually came up with the ordinance that said that I could not have more vehicles that I had inside storage space for, but one day, he decided that he needed to get a court order to impound “unlicensed vehicles”.
    He had 2 tow trucks, and they showed up when both me , and my wife, were at work. I am, and was, a road warrior. I could get home at noon, or at 10 PM after a day of work. I arrived about 3, and found 2 tow trucks and the cop car in my driveway, and the garage door open. I parked my car such that nothing could leave, went to the cop car, and used his radio to call OFFICER IN TROUBLE, and gave the address. I went directly into the house and called a pal of mine in the State’s Attorney office, and told him what I had done. He beat a lot of the cops to my door, and the cops did show up. They did have a search warrant. It was only for unlicensed vehicles. It did not allow them to enter locked premises. My garage was not only locked, the overhead door was pinned. All 4 cars in my 3 car attached garage happened to be licensed and insured.
    The Kent County Sheriff, himself, showed up, and admitted that there was a serious problem here, and since there was a real serious conflict of interest problem since there was a member of the District Attorney’s office here, we should settle this long before it ever got to court, which was where it would end up, and in the paper, with bad consequences.
    It ended up that the town paid $10,000 to get me off their back; they paid real estate commission to sell my house, plus the difference between what I thought my house was worth, and what I got for it, and the cost of me moving elsewhere. I took the cop out back and showed him why he should do a better job of picking his opponents, and he “resigned” right after he got out of the hospital.
    Your record follows you. I have moved to another county, then to a different state, then moved again. Each time further out into the country. Somehow, I have ended up in a church where the local town cop is a member. Within a month, the cop asked me if I was “this Guy”. I looked at what he had, and said that I was. Both of them told me that they wanted me on their side. They have turned out to be really great pals. I don’t do things that attract attention, nor do I push the limits, so they don’t have to look the other way.

    • ThatOneGuy
      April 21, 2012 at 1:00 am

      That’s just awesome! Good for you, and lucky for you that you weren’t in a place where they just beat you within an inch of your life or give you acute lead poisoning and then “fix the intelligence around the policy,” so to speak, and claim you were uncooperative, or menacing, or “looked like you had a weapon” or some other bullshit like that.

      Around here they shoot you in the back for stopping and turning around like “ordered,” with a folded knife in your hand.

      One Washington coined the term “Borked,” mine gave the world “Birked”:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1VKo6-m27c

      • John Illinois
        April 21, 2012 at 2:22 am

        I have no intention of bragging, because I am sure that it is possible to get the best of me, if you have enough people, and they know what they are doing, and they know what are up against to start with. I’m 67 years old, I just want to be left alone. I don’t do things that are intended to twist someone’s tit. However, if you stand on my toes, you are going to find not just a brick wall, but a reinforced concrete one, with serious fire power behind it. And that is just my bare hands. I live where I don’t see my neighbors,and they don’t see me for a reason. Just leave me alone.
        I want to play with my antique cars, my garden patch, a couple cows and a few pigs, some chickens, just leave ma alone.

      • April 21, 2012 at 10:32 am

        I’ve seen this video before – and every time I see it again I become volcanically angry. The swaggering piece of shit in a uniform murdered that guy – that harmless older guy, doing absolutely nothing – in broad daylight. I’d like to see that swaggering piece of shit dealt with in Longshanks style: Hung, drawn and quartered.

        • That One Guy
          April 23, 2012 at 4:18 am

          I didn’t realize Tor had already posted this video on this thread. A relative of mine is a member of this gang and told me all about how good a kid Birk was, just out of the Army, it’s a hard job and sometimes you have to make snap decisions, blah blah blah.

          He also told me “maybe you fit a description” when two officers who had been casing my apartment building cornered me against my pickup, nearly hitting me with their squad car, and searched me for weapons because another resident of the building had been involved in a gun incident a few days prior.

          And these cops and soldiers can’t understand why I question where their loyalties will fall when TSHTF.

    • April 21, 2012 at 10:44 am

      John, you’ve just made my morning!

      Stories like this one give me hope. And I hope I have balls enough to behave as you did!

    • Scott
      April 23, 2012 at 4:51 am

      “Your record follows you.”

      “No matter where you go, there you are.” — Buckaroo Banzai

      John, I think its hard for most folks in this great country of ours to even believe your story is real. I’m not one of them.

  32. Tor Munkov
    April 21, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    (Free Ramble of Redistribution of the United Stables)

    We the Sheople of the United Stables, in Order to form a sustainable Union, mandate Pasturization, enforce domestic Servility, provide for the common pretense, promote Generals and Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Tyranny to our Herders and their Posterity, to be their mundanes and to establish wealth Redistribution for the United Stables of America.

    • Scott
      April 23, 2012 at 5:04 am

      “and secure the Blessings of Tyranny to our Herders and their Posterity”

      Shouldn’t that be “and their Posteriors”?

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