Death by a Thousand Cuts

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The latest petty outrage.

[Via Wendy McElroy]

NEXT: Rule of Three Still Holds

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  1. He should have let the DHS guy arrest him and then sued the hell out of him.

  2. I am forever thankful for people like Dwight Scarbrough.

  3. To clarify: I’m not saying Scarborough should have been arrested and sued for his own benefit, but because the situation now, ending with “nothing really happening,” is unlikely to be resolved. If he’d been arrested, and then sued, then the government, court system and possibly even the media would have been forced to take a closer look at what is going on.

  4. When you take the King’s shilling, don’t be surprised when he expects your unquestioning allegiance.

  5. Get in line, stay in line

    submission is patriotism, and don’t you forget it

  6. thank flying spaghetti monster that the Department of Homeland Security is hard at work protecting us from bumper stickers with messages contrary to what the pres wants us to hear. that just lets me know that they’ve stopped all the terrorist cells with bombs, so they’ve nothing better to do than cite public employees for improper bumper stickers

  7. What’s that now, twice in the month of February that we’ve gotten stories about DHS officers trying to “enforce” things that aren’t against the law? No one can be trusted with authority.

  8. Jennifer,
    If Dwight Scarbrough had gotten arrested, what is there to have prevented him from landing in Gitmo?
    Then we would have never learned about it.

    If Scarbrough needs more ideas for signs he might try this:

    The Bill of Rights: VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY HOMELAND SECURITY

  9. I don’t want to post another “what they hell is happening to us” message, like I want to (it’s just too damn depressing), so I will try another tack.
    Assuming that a Democrat gets elected in ’08, what happens? What will the DHS and all these other currently-scary-acting government officials do when a (supposed) liberal is in office? Will we see a different attitude from these people? Will criticizing the (supposed) liberal government be encouraged by these thought monitors? Still cracked down on?
    Thoughts?

  10. When you can’t present a persuasive argument, suppress dissent. Hard to believe we’ve fallen so far and fast.

  11. He would not comment about the incident, saying, “If this is about what I think it’s about, I’m not allowed to say nothing.”

    I find the DHS officer’s use of a double negative very discouraging. What are the qualifications to become a DHS officer?

  12. Matt L-A love of obedience and a desire for power, I imagine.

  13. And a plucky disposition. Or is that a “Fuck-You” disposition? I always get that wrong.

  14. Jennifer, If Dwight Scarbrough had gotten arrested, what is there to have prevented him from landing in Gitmo?

    Sigh.

    Point taken.

    Damn, I hate where this country’s headed.

  15. Assuming that a Democrat gets elected in ’08, what happens? What will the DHS and all these other currently-scary-acting government officials do when a (supposed) liberal is in office?

    Pray to whatever deity you believe in that the next Democratic nominee is one of the last genuine civil libertarians left in the Democratic Party and not, for example, Hillary Clinton.

  16. “Assuming that a Democrat gets elected in ’08, what happens? What will the DHS and all these other currently-scary-acting government officials do when a (supposed) liberal is in office?”

    They’ll switch from harassing people who download porn and speak out against the war to harassing gun owners and people who eat fast food.

  17. Cry me a river. Government employees shouldn’t be campaigning for anything, and certainly not on government property. If it were up to me, government employees wouldn’t even be allowed to vote.

    The idea that his truck doesn’t count as a “sign” is just dumb. The fact that other people, with smaller signs, are not being cited is really irrelevant. At best, the correct answer is to remove those signs/stickers, not to allow this guy to campaign in a government parking lot.

    The reason for this, is that it prevents government government hacks from forcing their employees to campaign. My idea of blocking the vote, is that I just think it’s wrong that “government employee” has become a large voting block that serves no purpose but to campaign for more government spending.

    Now, ask me about voting rights for people on welfare… :-p

  18. Cry me a river. Government employees shouldn’t be campaigning for anything, and certainly not on government property. If it were up to me, government employees wouldn’t even be allowed to vote.

    So government employees are no longer citizens in your eyes, bubba? Maybe they should drive plain white vehicles. 🙂

    Regardless of that, there is no law preventing Mr. Scarborough from having political stickers on his truck and even if there were, it has nothing to do with DHS.

  19. I agree with the guy’s cause in a general way, though I find it far from “frightening” that the government has a law against posting signs of a political nature on federal property — whether it’s on a privately owned car or not. It’s a dumb law for sure, but it’s hardly some draconian attempt to stamp out dissent. This is kind of like getting “In God We Trust” off our money — a marginal issue at best. I’m in the media, and I run into people like this all the time: Publicity whore stumping for some anti-Bush ink. Kind of a big yawner. Next topic, please.

  20. Damn, I hate where this country’s headed.

    This country has been headed this way for a long damned time IMO. I knew it had arrived when someone decided we needed something called THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY.

    As recently as five years ago if you had told me we would ever have an agency with that name I would have told you I hadn’t heard a joke that good since Nixon’s comic opera White House Guards. I mean it’s something out of a Marx Brothers movie. I’ll bet they had one in Freedonia.

    I wish I could find a picture of the White House Guards, they were really funny.

  21. BTW, I work at a newspaper, and we are not allowed to have political bumper stickers on our cars, or political signs posted in our yards.

  22. No need to air it on your bumper when the editorial page will suffice.

  23. How quickly would DHS swooped in had this guy plastered his vehicle with yellow ribbons and “Support Our Troops” signs?

  24. Also see cut #999, as seen on Boing Boing and Marginal Revolution today:

    http://cbs4.com/local/local_story_053001510.html

  25. When you take the King’s shilling, don’t be surprised when he expects your unquestioning allegiance.
    That’s about the size of it.

    Article:
    He is a scientist with a federal agency in Boise…
    He probably prepares reports about ground squirrels, but in any case he’s a welfare recipient and I don’t feel sorry for him.

    Speaking of welfare recipients and Homeland Security, I know a pothead who bamboozled the HS urine tests and now runs around showing off his silly gun whenever possible while at the same time collecting over two grand a month, from the feds, by claiming to be “mentally ill.” That is so K3WL!

  26. …when did policemen go from wearing blue uniforms to black?

    Was it about the same point when they went from referring to ordinary folks as “citizens” to calling them “civilians”?

  27. Want a secure homeland? Then keep your mouth shut.

    The reason for this, is that it prevents government government hacks from forcing their employees to campaign.

    Fucking tard.

  28. Someone should tell good Mr. Scarborough that if this were a fascist state, or even the beginning of one, that he’d either be dead or in a labor camp.

    It would be a lot eassier to think even somewhat seriously about the issues folks like him raise if so many of them didn’t say such stupid things.

  29. One nice thing about being in law school is that I can look such things up at the drop of a hat. Here’s the section cited by the officers:

    41 C.F.R. ? 102-74.415

    Code of Federal Regulations Currentness
    Title 41. Public Contracts and Property Management
    Subtitle C. Federal Property Management Regulations System
    Chapter 102. Federal Management Regulation (Refs & Annos)
    Subchapter C. Real Property (Refs & Annos)
    Part 102-74. Facility Management (Refs & Annos)
    + Subpart C. Conduct on Federal Property
    + Posting and Distributing Materials
    >>? 102-74.415 What is the policy for posting and distributing materials?

    All persons entering in or on Federal property are prohibited from–

    (a) Distributing free samples of tobacco products in or around Federal buildings, as mandated by Section 636 of Public Law 104-52;

    (b) Posting or affixing materials, such as pamphlets, handbills, or flyers, on bulletin boards or elsewhere on GSA-controlled property, except as authorized in ? 102-74.410, or when these displays are conducted as part of authorized Government activities; and

    (c) Distributing materials, such as pamphlets, handbills or flyers, unless conducted as part of authorized Government activities. This prohibition does not apply to public areas of the property as defined in ? 102-71.20 of this chapter. However, any person or organization proposing to distribute materials in a public area under this section must first obtain a permit from the building manager as specified in subpart D of this part. Any such person or organization must distribute materials only in accordance with the provisions of subpart D of this part. Failure to comply with those provisions is a violation of these regulations.

    SOURCE: 64 FR 39084, July 21, 1999; 65 FR 10027, Feb. 25, 2000; 67 FR 76830, Dec. 13, 2002, unless otherwise noted.

    AUTHORITY: 40 U.S.C. 486(c); E.O. 12191, 45 FR 7997, 3 CFR, 1980 Comp., p 138.

    41 C. F. R. ? 102-74.415, 41 CFR ? 102-74.415

    Current through February 1, 2006; 71 FR 5552

  30. 1. You can clearly see that there was no violation under this regulation
    2. Unless you know how to navigate the CFR a bit you couldn’t find it using the citation the officer gave since he kindly forgot to mention the regulation was in subtitle C and subchapter C.
    3. Then again, since he doesn’t know how to read a regulation I should expect him to be able to give a proper pincite.

  31. I think this was actually a sting. If Mr. Scarborough would have buckled under and taken down the signs and thrown them away in a govt trash can, he would have been distributing them and actually been in violation.

    He should have asked the officers if they were really prostitutes, that always worked on Miami Vice for smoking out a sting.

  32. Government stooge gets job that is based on the massive violation of property rights of Americans. Government stooge doesn’t like the executive branch, but sure as hell isn’t going to forgoe his paycheck to stop doing the executive branch’s bidding.

    Sorry, I feel no sympathy for this guy. Just another spoiled government employee who has no problem screwing the rest of the country over, but who suddenly overcomes his aversion to limited government and the constitution when his right to be obnoxious is violated.

    Ever watch Star Wars? Remember when some Imperial officer pisses off Darth Vadar, and get’s his neck crushed? The effect in the film isn’t supposed to be “Look at that poor public servant being abused by his boss”… it is supposed to be “Gee, I guess that guy shouldn’t have decided to become an Imperial officer”.

  33. “…and then they came for the government stooges and no one protested, and then they came for…”

  34. Hmmm, First the Second Amendment is eroded to nothing, now the First Amendment is under assault….Do I see a pattern here?

    He should just offed the nazi’s bastards

    What? Men with badges and guns threatening someone with arrest and imprisonment for having opinions isn’t considered initiation of force? What is he supposed to do, wait for them to pull a trigger?

  35. Government stooge gets job that is based on the massive violation of property rights of Americans

    The article said he is a scientist. How exactly is he violating property rights? Unless you claim that anybody paid out of tax dollars is automatically a property-rights-violating stooge, but then you’d have to say the same thing about the military and most fire departments as well.

  36. 1. You can clearly see that there was no violation under this regulation

    And even if there was, it hardly comes under the jurisdiction of DHS.

    I don’t have that big a problem with the kind of hosekeeping rules that prohibit things like bumper stickers in parking lots (even ones owned by the FedGov). My problem is with this kind if draconian politically motivated bullying.

  37. “hosekeeping rules” should be “housekeeping rules”, dammit.

  38. Quasibill, you’re being bizarre. He’s a scientist, studying the proverbial squirrels, as innocuous, or non-innocuous, as any government employee.

    Feel free to argue that all government employees are dangerous stooges, but that will get you laughed at, justifiably.

  39. “Feel free to argue that all government employees are dangerous stooges, but that will get you laughed at, justifiably”

    Feel free to put words in my mouth, but you will not persuade me that you have a point, justifiably.

  40. The article said he is a scientist. How exactly is he violating property rights? Unless you claim that anybody paid out of tax dollars is automatically a property-rights-violating stooge, but then you’d have to say the same thing about the military and most fire departments as well.

    1. The military is a legit constitutional function of government (Although, yes, I believe the military has gone far beyond what it was intended to do – Defend our borders from foriegn attack – and is now an imperialist force).

    2. There is no National Firefighter Force that is part of the executive branch, that I am aware of. But if there is and I just haven’t been informed, then yes, I am against that. Everywhere I have lived in the United States, the fire department was part of the local municipal government.

    3. Correct me if I am wrong, but studying squirrels isn’t a power granted to the executive branch under the constitution, no? The founding fathers didn’t seem all that concerned with tree-dwelling rodents. Look, if squirrels are all that important to the United States, that we need the government to study them, then the government can pass the “Squirrel Amendment” making squirrel study a legit function of the executive branch under the constitution. But they didn’t do that.

    But I guess you are right. So what that this guys job is based on a complete violate of the constitutional rights of the citizens of the United States. Even though he is violating the constitution of the United States, being of the superior Government Employee Caste, he does deserve constitutional protection. After all, he is superior, otherwise he wouldn’t work for the government!

    But what I don’t get, since the executive branch is entitled to violate the constitution, but is also entitled to demand constitutional rights for themselves, why people are against G. W. Bush using his right to free speech in order to say that he believed there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? And that Iraq was harbouring Al Quieda? I mean, yes I know that you beleive the constitution is garbage, but he IS a government employee, therefor godlike and superior, and so entitled to the privledge of having his constitutional rights protected. He is of the high government class, and so entitled to those rights.

    Sorry, if you want to be part of the U.S. Government Opression Machine, you can’t be suprised when a tiny little oppression comes your way. Live by the sword, die by the sword. (Although, the amount of oppression he has recieved is nothing like the oppression his employeer is dishing out… so he is getting a pretty good deal. Perhaps he would reconsider working for Bush if he was sent to Gitmo for a couple years? Or do government employees think they are only responsible for the tiny, and I mean tiny, slice of work they do?)

  41. why people are against G. W. Bush using his right to free speech in order to say that he believed there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? And that Iraq was harbouring Al Quieda? I mean, yes I know that you beleive the constitution is garbage, but he IS a government employee, therefor godlike and superior, and so entitled to the privledge of having his constitutional rights protected. He is of the high government class, and so entitled to those rights.

    So let me get this straight–you draw no distinction between a low-ranking federal employee having a political bumper sticker on his car and the President of the United States starting a war based on false pretenses?

    You’ve summarized the minarchist position quite well. “Violation of property rights is okay as long as the stolen property is used to support a cause I believe in.”

    You’re starting to sound like those hardcore “taxation is slavery” libertarians, and if you can’t make a distinction between this and more serous human-rights violations, that’s yet another reason why so pathetically few people take libertarianism seriously.

    Despite what some here might believe, there is a HUGE distinction between government employees who use tax dollars to study squirrels versus government employees who use tax dollars to do things like build political-prisoner camps.

  42. I’m suprised the guy knuckled under. Why didn’t he just except the citation and argue it out in court? Can anyone find out what the penatly is for violating the cited statute?

  43. “Despite what some here might believe, there is a HUGE distinction between government employees who use tax dollars to study squirrels versus government employees who use tax dollars to do things like build political-prisoner camps”

    Actually, I agree with you. My point is that, yes, all taxation is a violation of property rights. However, given the current system we find ourselves in, you can’t say that a person who contracts with the government to provide a service for pay is necessarily violating property rights.

    For example, it stands to reason that absent the nearly 50% confiscation of wealth that is current taxation, this scientist “studying squirrels” would find equivalent employment in the private sector that currently doesn’t exist because it has been taxed out of existence. Enough people apparently care about things like bio-diversity and global warming that I think there would be well endowed foundations pursuing such research. Accordingly, I don’t actually think this guy is property rights violator – the politicians who propose this spending, and more importantly, the people who vote for those politicians, are.

    Further, I’ll agree that a person who contracts with the government with express purpose of violating another’s property rights (think drug warrior) IS a foul property rights violator and deserves such a tag.

    In other words, I’m on your side, and I’m pointing out a little of the hypocracy of those who claim to be minarchists when they bash this guy for being a property rights violator.

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