Police Abuse

Bill de Blasio, Progressive Hero, Scourge of the Poor

He backs strict enforcement of petty laws that disproportionately hurt the poor and marginalized.

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Bill de Blasio
New York City Mayor's Office

In the last few weeks, a series of videos purporting to depict police brutality by the members of the New York Police Department (NYPD) have spread on the Internet. The most egregious showed the attempted arrest of Eric Garner for allegedly selling untaxed loose cigarettes. Cops placed Garner in what looked like a chokehold and the 400-pound asthmatic died in police custody. The incident was ruled a homicide by chokehold by the city's medical examiner. In another case, a cop appeared to use a chokehold on a pregnant woman caught  grilling in front of her house. Another showed a cop appearing to head stomp a man police were attempting to arrest because they had seen him with a small amount of marijuana—it was at least the man's eighth arrest.

The substance of these incidents vary on the level and type of brutality while effecting an arrest but share one important trait: each incident began with a police engagement based on crimes that are non-violent in nature. Garner, before cops tried to arrest him, had adamantly denied that he was selling any untaxed cigarettes that day. The pregnant woman appeared only to be trying to cook some food on the sidewalk in front of her house. Marijuana is supposed to be decriminalized in the state of New York.

Yet in a press conference this week New York City's progressive mayor, Democrat Bill de Blasio, insisted the police department would continue to "strictly enforce" such laws as the ones that led to the series of controversial police interactions. "The law is the law," the mayor said. These kinds of laws, however, disproportionately affect the same kind of people—the poor and marginalized—that De Blasio and his ideological fellow-travelers adamantly claim to defend. Absent brutal encounters with police violations of petty laws can lead to thousands of dollars in fines, multiple court appearances, and even jail time. What amounts to a "minor inconvenience" in the eyes of the privileged political class that pushes these laws can have profound negative effects on the lives of normal people. Coupled with the threat of bodily harm or even death during the initial police encounter, such "petty" crimes become anything but for the people the government targets in its enforcement efforts.

The perverse impact is best studied with regards to marijuana. In New York City, young minorities are far more likely to be arrested on minor marijuana charges than white youth. This is fueled by the police department's long-standing practice of tricking people into publicly displaying their marijuana and therefore committing an actionable misdemeanor during stop and frisks. The vast majority of police targets during stop and frisks are young minorities, creating much of the disparity between who uses marijuana and who is arrested for it.

Other petty laws similarly disproportionately affect poor and marginalized people. The sale of untaxed cigarettes, for example, is a significant black market activity in any city that has sufficiently high taxes. The sale of loose cigarettes is predominant in poor communities, where smokers might only be able to afford to purchase one cigarette a time. Many corner stores in urban areas will sell loose cigarettes, though often not to white people for fear that they're actually undercover cops.

Likewise, you're far more likely to grill on a public sidewalk if you live in a home that doesn't include a front yard. You're less likely to have a front yard if you're poorer.

Bill de Blasio does not appear to see it that way. While he based much of his campaign on the idea of combatting income inequality in New York City, it seems his understanding of income inequality is severely limited. It encompasses only the belief that the government ought to force employers to provide higher pay and better benefits, and to force landlords and developers to offer discounts for a few poor people. The mayor doesn't have any interest in the structural issues surrounding income inequality: he has been an aggressive opponent of charter schools even though a decent education is the most cost-effective and efficient way to provide a young person a route out of poverty. He has pushed for developers to offer a portion of their rental units at highly discounted rates—raising the cost of rent for people who cannot take advantage of those discounts, many of whom are also poor or lower middle class.

And his reaction to the very public way his police department has been shown to disrupt the lives of minorities in the pursuit of petty, non-violent, and harmless "crimes"  betrays a shocking lack of empathy for the struggles poor and marginalized people face on a daily basis in their lives. The law may be the law, but the law was made for man, not man for the law.

Demanding that people "correct their behavior," as New York City's police commissioner Bill Bratton said while standing at de Blasio's side at that press conference, and claiming that this was indeed what "democracy" was all about, another Bratton statement, shows a callous disregard for the very transparent role government plays in exacerbating inequality, but could be par for the course for progressives despite their loud protestations otherwise.

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127 responses to “Bill de Blasio, Progressive Hero, Scourge of the Poor

  1. a series of videos purporting to depict police brutality

    I know the lawyers made you add that. But we all know there’s no “purporting” here. They show police brutality straight up, full stop.

    1. Actually, for full CYA, it should be “allegedly purporting”.

      1. Actually, they aren’t “allegedly purporting”. They are “purporting” to depict “alleged” police brutality.

        Sorry. Proofing document templates this morning, so I’ve got my OCD on.

  2. No shock here. You don’t generate revenue by going after people who can hire lawyers, you generate it by going after the people that can’t fight back. Same as it ever was.

    1. Actually, there is another issue here. Yes, the revenue issue exists but Progressives have shown again and again that one of tgeir msin drivex is to prevent the Lower Orders from behaving in any manner outside of accepted Progressive practice. If you let The Common People come up with their own ideas, and social behaviors, they have a disconcerting way of Progressive Utopia for cars with tailfins, or some similar horror.

      1. In this Orwell got it completely wrong. You can’t disregard the proles as ‘animals’ if you want to maintain your grip on power. If anything, you *have* to set up regime to brutalize them or you’ll find yourself on the wrong end of a noose.

        1. Wasn’t Orwell writing before WWII? I’ve thought for some time that the Progressives suffered a major unexpected setback at the end of the war; they had grabbed a lot of power during the War, and had all kinds of plans for The Workers. And in the U.S. The Workers had just had five years of being lined up and numbered off and told them to piss up a rope and headed for Levittown and a cadillac with tail fins.

    2. You don’t generate revenue from fining people too poor to pay, ever. You generate control that way, though.

      1. Power is not a means; it is an end.

        The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

      2. “Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted ? and you create a nation of law-breakers ? and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

  3. the law was made for man The Man, not man for the law.

    FTFY

  4. Question: Do progressive New Yorkers blame Giuliani for everything bad that happens today, like they blame everything bad that happens nationally on President Bush?

    And do they imagine a) that the solution to an out of control police force is voting for the same Democratic machine that runs their municipal unions or b) that voting for Republicans will somehow put Southern Baptists in control of New York City and turn it into Alabama circa 1962?

    Los Angeles and San Francisco have their own dynamics, centered around gay rights, immigration bashing, etc. It’s all wrong, but I understand why it is the way it is. I don’t have the slightest about Chicago and New York.

    What is it that drives voters in Chicago and New York to support the same Democrat machines that have been treating voters like shit there for decade after decade?

    1. Yeah but those Republicans are CRAZY!!

    2. What is it that drives voters in Chicago and New York to support the same Democrat machines

      Ima say … drivers employed by the machines.

      Sorry, Ken — couldn’t resist!

      1. And this is a win

    3. What is it that drives voters in Chicago and New York to support the same Democrat machines that have been treating voters like shit there for decade after decade?

      I do not understand the City voters. It’s a combination of derangement, ignroance and apathy as far as I can tell.

      1. It seems to be like an identity issue again–I vote for Democrats for the same reason I’m Catholic…because I’m Irish?

        …or Italian, or Jewish, or whatever?

        Whatever it is, it’s making Democracy a farce at its most basic level. Democracy assumes that if our leaders treat voters badly, that voters will vote against them in the next election. But that isn’t necessarily so!

        Voters in New York and Chicago seem to be like Moonies. They don’t care if their representatives make them stand in the airport parking lot all day asking strangers for spare change–they’re gonna vote for the Reverend Moon anyway.

        And I’d just really like to understand why they behave that way.

        Is it because they think rednecks are stupid? Is that why? And they think voting for Republicans would make them rednecks?

        1. I think most people are apathetic and don’t vote. But guess who is good at getting people to vote en masse? Unions. Government employees. In NYC, probably 80% of votes tallied come from labor unions and local government.

          1. I know a political machine can have an impact on elections in a big way, but in a city the size of New York, I don’t see how they could they make up more than 5% of the vote. Maybe I’m wrong.

            It seems to me the voters should be able to stand up for themselves in a situation like that.

            Even when it comes to a battered wife, after a while, you start to lose sympathy.

            He beat you up? Take him away, boys! Wait, you bailed him out of jail, took him back, and he beat you again? Okay, take him away again boys! Wait, you bailed him out, and he beat you again? Take him away again boys! Wait, you bailed him out, and took him back again? …and he beat you again?

            …just about every, single election cycle for a hundred years?!

            And it’s not like there’s this burgeoning anti-Democratic Party movement that the machine’s going up against–and I guess that’s at the heart of my question. Why aren’t they all mad as hell at the Democratic Party and the operatives in its machine that are effectively treating the voters like shit.

            If their biggest problem is that they’re basically in a one-party system, then there’s a solution to that. You vote for another party! Why TF aren’t they doing that?

            1. Then it’s a myriad of reasons. Take union organization, self-serving govt employees, team tribalism, apathy, identity politics, etc. and blend them all into a shit-flavored milkshake.

              I’d be curious to see if the affluent suburbs of New Jersey, Connecticut, and Long Island tend to elect more conservative/GOP politicians?

              1. Yeah, and I should say, I don’t really understand why people reelected Barack Obama nationally.

                He’s a shithead.

                But if we understood why people like, say, the people in New York, keep voting for a political machine that’s constantly kicking them in the teeth, maybe we could make some progress nationally, too.

                1. What fraction of voters in New York actually get kicked in the teeth by the political machine? If most people can go about their lives without being personally affected by it, and only reading about it online, then there is little incentive for them to break away from identity politics.

                  1. My understanding is that people will pay an arm and a leg not to have to send their kids to public schools in New York.

                    I heard the rent is too damn high.

                    How about the level of taxation?

                    Meanwhile, the cops seem to be antagonizing minorities–the minorities who overwhelmingly vote Democrat?

                    That’s what I mean by getting kicked in the teeth. Actually, in the case of minorities who being harassed by cops, some of them are literally being kicked in the teeth.

                    1. The way I put it: “This is New York. Stand in line to take your beating.”

                      You know, like you can’t even get fast service to get beaten; you have to line up & wait. And we do. And not get out of line.

                  2. “What fraction of voters in New York actually get kicked in the teeth by the political machine?”

                    How popular was stop and frisk in the African-American community?

                    How many times do they have to vote for Democrats before the city finally scraps that policy?

                    1. Heck, the Raging Grannies (old female folk singers & demonstrators, chiefly known for anti-nuclear, anti-war, and environmental activism) I saw at a party a year ago were mostly in favor of stop & frisk, if it was done without racial profiling. I was at the same annual party 3 days ago, but didn’t get to ask any of them their opinions on city policies under this admin.

              2. It used to be the case that suburbs surrounding NYC often voted Republican. I grew up in Suffolk County, NY. Suffolk and Nassau (LI counties outside NYC) had the highest pluralities in the country for Nixon in 1972. Demographics have changed since then. Many of the white, non-hispanic ethnic, Catholic voters have died off, or they or their kids moved to the Sunbelt. I was “in exile” in the Midwest for 25 years, moving back east (CT) 7 years ago. The Republican Lawn Island political machines (Nassau had Margiotta, Suffolk had Zeidler) are not what they were. The sole (R) House rep has been that hack Peter King for some time.

            2. Even when it comes to a battered wife, after a while, you start to lose sympathy.

              He beat you up? Take him away, boys! Wait, you bailed him out of jail, took him back, and he beat you again? Okay, take him away again boys! Wait, you bailed him out, and he beat you again? Take him away again boys! Wait, you bailed him out, and took him back again? …and he beat you again?

              Please, trigger warning next time Ken. Some of us have beaten our wives so many times that this one hits a bit too close to home.

              1. this one hits a bit too close to home.

                Very well played!

            3. Instead of voting for a different party, they vote for reform Democrats. Of course the reform Democrats become the next machine, etc.

          2. I am a NYC employee and Most city workers I know vote republican, but most city workers also make decent money and move out to the suburbs ASAP and cant vote for the mayor anyway.

            1. That’s interesting.

              And it makes it even harder to understand why the people who live in New York City proper vote the way they do.

              1. To be fair, De Blasio is the first outspoken “progressive” mayor in 20 years. Guiliani may have been an authoritarian but he was no liberal, while Bloomberg was a liberal but no “progressive” (for example, he didn’t take shit from the unions).

        2. And of course Ken goes right for collectivist answers. How unsurprising, and how fucking pathetic.

          1. What are you talking about?

            Would you be surprised if the collectivsts did collectivist things for collectivist reasons?

        3. Minorities vote Democrat.

          1. Then we need to work on that.

            And aren’t they the ones the police are often brutalizing–when no one’s being held accountable?

            Meanwhile, a lot of the voters supporting Democrats in NYC are not minorities.

        4. Is it because they think rednecks are stupid? Is that why? And they think voting for Republicans would make them rednecks?

          New York has had Republican Mayors…two of them…recently. Like one just last year recently.

          Anyway with New York I suspect there is a deep seated belief that prosecuting every offense no matter how minor keeps order and prevents the Chaos and crime of the 70s and 80s.

          1. I thought Bloomberg was a Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Independent, when it was convenient for him to make those changes.

            1. He’s the ‘Victor/Victoria’ of politics.

            2. Then what was the excuse for Lindsay? He eventually switched to Democrat IIRC, as did Bloomberg.

              You have to stop thinking about people as RINOs, and consider that in NYC, that’s what the Republican Party is like. Basically it’s what the Republican Party was like in most of the country when I was a child and the Ripon Society types were in charge: Rockefeller Republicans, Javits Republicans. They tended for a long time to think of Goldwater, Reagan, etc. as a passing anomaly. I think it’s finally sunk in that they’re not, and that’s why the GOP in NYC is disappearing. They did OK when they were an echo, not a choice.

          2. Bloomberg doesn’t count as a republican.

        5. It does basically come down to not being rednecks. For most people voting is a way of signaling what type of person they are, it’s as much about the restaurants they like and TV you watch as their policy preferences. It’s the same on both sides, vote donkey and one can claim to be an urbane sophisticate, vote elephant and one can claim to love the troops. It’s all bullshit but that’s what drives voting for a big chunk of the electorate.

          1. Since it’s a secret ballot, they’re signaling it each to hirself. Only if they’re enrolled in a party is it a public record.

        6. Well, having talked to some voters there, they simply assume that everything bad is due to Republicans, even if the Democrats f*cked it up.

          Many people also just vote with their feet instead of voting at the polls, leaving the cities to the losers.

          Finally, NYC illustrates that it really doesn’t make any difference who you vote for; Republicans are just as bad as Democrats.

      2. It’s very simple. First of all, most people in the city, like people in the country as a whole, see the shitty candidates they have to vote for, and go “none of the above”, and don’t vote. Two, this is enabled by the fact that for the most part, unless you specifically have to interact with the NYPD or the city government in any way for any length of time, you can and do just avoid them and go about your life. There may be 35,000 cops, but that’s still just a drop in the ocean that is NYC. Thirdly, for many people the city offers opportunity, access, or business that is worth staying somewhere were you essentially have to avoid the goons. I mean, you have to avoid mafia goons too, right? And you can’t even vote for them. So obviously people are capable of making their lives work even in a situation where there are goons to avoid.

        I keep seeing these absurd “why do people choose to live in NYC?” questions asked, and they strike me as astoundingly stupid. First of all, millions upon millions of people obviously think it’s worth it. Two, it comes from a deep misunderstanding of what life is like in NYC. It’s so big that people don’t understand that you can pretty much go about your business totally unmolested if you’re careful. It’s so big that even the scumbag control freaks in the government can’t keep track of it. That size delivers its own sort of freedom.

        1. I’m not confused about why people live there.

          I’ve had plenty of friends and family connected to Wall Street. I know why they live there.

          And the restaurants are great, too.

          The question is why they continue to vote for the same political machine they’ve been voting for generations?

          My understanding is that getting into a good public school in NYC is a chore. The police brutality stories keep piling up, and it seems like no one’s being held accountable.

          The reason, I think, Bloomberg and the latest clown focus on banning things like sugary soft drinks and horse drawn carriages is to distract voters away from the important problems they have no intention of doing anything about.

          Asking why people (who understandably choose to live there, despite it mostly being a shithole) keep voting for the same machine is the question. …not why they choose to live there.

          1. Signaling device

            1. Tribalism, as well. My parents voted “X” so I vote “X” because.. “X”. My last GF was a great example of someone that, when questioned with specifics, generally favored the stated positions of the political party that she faithfully voted against. When this was brought to her attention her answer boiled down to “My dad is a lifelong “X” and so I am, too” and an avoidance of any further conversation on the subject.

              1. My wife’s family is notorious for that type of behavior. They’re all from Philadelphia.

                1. My wife was that way, too. Now she’s more radically libertarian than I am. Unfortunately, at least from the standpoint of my utterly irrational optimism about electoral politics, she refuses to vote. She argues that it only encourages the bastards. I can never win an argument with my wife, especially when she’s right.

                2. Ah, philly, where 107% of registered voters voted for obama…

                  1. Or something like that

          2. The question is why they continue to vote for the same political machine they’ve been voting for generations?

            Perhaps because, not in spite of, its propensity for putting the boot into poor people and leaving rich people alone?

            What makes you think the better off NYC residents see the NYPD keeping the poor in their place as a bug, not a feature?

          3. My god you’re stupid. I can’t even believe I’m responding to your stupidity. Did you not read the very first two sentences I wrote?

            1. Epi – regarding NYC, I read somewhere (can’t remember where, exactly) that because of NYC’s size and all the onerous nanny laws, it becomes libertarian at it’s core because most people think the laws and gov are stupid and just ignore it.

              I don’t live there, but it seems like you do/did. Just wondering if there’s any credence to the above claim.

              1. It’s no more libertarian at its core than anywhere else, but yes, some (many) people who live there do exactly as you describe. When I lived there, I certainly did. I just made sure I lived in a grey zone (not physically, but socially) where I never had any reason whatsoever to interact with the cops or the government. I didn’t vote, I ignored laws against carrying weapons and doing drugs and paying taxes, and I did it successfully.

                1. Thank you – and kind of what I figured. I lived/grew up in Michigan, which has its own set of crazy laws (not like NY, but enough to make one sigh). A lot of people just shrugged and ignored the laws and keep an eye on the bubbles when they’re around.

            2. “It’s very simple. First of all, most people in the city, like people in the country as a whole, see the shitty candidates they have to vote for, and go “none of the above”, and don’t vote.”

              Thank you for explaining why voters vote the way they do?

          4. Epi’s argument seems correct. De Blasio won on a record low turnout, 24%. The last time turnout topped 50% was when Giuliani defeated Dinkins in ’93.

            So low overall turnout means those with the most organized base get elected.

            1. Dinkins did everything he could to piss off some of his most important supporters.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C…..2pogrom.22

              1. Maybe so, but pissing off your base doesn’t usually increase turnout.

                1. The whole damn city was his Democrat base, and, yeah, a huge segment of them were pissed off about what he said and what happened in Crown Heights.

          5. “The police brutality stories keep piling up, and it seems like no one’s being held accountable.

            The reason, I think, Bloomberg and the latest clown focus on banning things like sugary soft drinks and horse drawn carriages is to distract voters away from the important problems they have no intention of doing anything about.’

            No, I think that the basic reason is that the mayor (whoever it is) is afraid of the police, when it should be the police afraid of the mayor (whoever it is). This is a depressing thought, I admit. But I think the cops are like a mafia. Generally, they have nothing to fear. The cops run things. Period. How old is that movie, “Serpico”. Has anything changed?

            1. Yeah, I consider the police and their union an important part of the machine. And de Blasio has not intention of biting the hand that feeds him.

              Hence the question, why do people who are upset about this continue to vote for the machine’s candidates?

              If the police union is part of the machine, and the Democrat candidates depend on the machine for support, then voting for a Democrat candidate will never solve problems like no one being held accountable for police brutality.

              1. Ken Shultz|8.2.14 @ 1:44PM|#

                “Hence the question, why do people who are upset about this continue to vote for the machine’s candidates?”

                Two interconnected answers Ken. Tribalism and FREE STUFF.

                I’m kinda certain you already have an opinion about why, but I’ll add mine as well.

          6. “Bill De Blasio, said that “the law is the law” and that the NYPD would continue to strictly enforce petty laws like the ones that led to this pregnant woman’s brutal encounter with police and Garner’s. Bill Bratton, the city’s police commissioner, added that respecting police and correcting your behavior when they engage you is what democracy’s all about.”

            I got that from the link to the story about the pregnant woman being choked. Sounds like some dyed in the wool pinko shit to me. Freedom is slavery etc.

            “The reason, I think, Bloomberg and the latest clown focus on banning things like sugary soft drinks and horse drawn carriages is to distract voters away from the important problems they have no intention of doing anything about.”

            Bingo.

            Fuck NYC voters.

    4. I’ll take a turn at answering.

      Most people don’t actually see the government’s involvement in their life. The subway is a subway, not a government subway. Welfare is welfare, not government. Sales tax is so common as to be just part of the price. Soda size limits are seen as good moral advice and otherwise ignorable.

      So most people have zero incentive to vote. If someone they deal with “suggests” it, like union bosses, parents, etc, they simply vote as told.

    5. “And do they imagine a) that the solution to an out of control police force is voting for the same Democratic machine that runs their municipal unions or b) that voting for Republicans will somehow put Southern Baptists in control of New York City and turn it into Alabama circa 1962?”

      Do they have any awareness that turning NewYork into Alabama circa 1962 might represent an improvement for young men with dark skins?

    6. What is it that drives voters in Chicago and New York to support the same Democrat machines that have been treating voters like shit there for decade after decade?
      —————–
      My guess, which is my answer to every Democrat victory: liberal voters don’t make the connection between their misery and their voting habits, except on the social issues, which trump all.

      Seems like a lot of New Yorkers here have the skinny on how to avoid government-induced misery, but my ex-New York friends say that road and bridge tolls and being forced into lousy schools will keep them out forever. Gotta have $100 in your pocket when you walk out the door in the morning.

      1. road and bridge tolls and being forced into lousy schools will keep them out forever

        Living in NYC is a lot easier without a car or children, I have to admit.

    7. Large voting blocs in the form of teachers, municipal employees, & residential tenants, & then the rest is + feedback: You need a seat at the table to have influence, and the only table is the Democrats’.

    8. Well, a lot of the voters in Chicago are dead…

      -jcr

    9. What is it that drives voters in Chicago and New York to support the same Democrat machines that have been treating voters like shit there for decade after decade?

      Threats.

      One ward started becoming majority Republican voters. Funneling a few more Section 8 housing vouchers into that ward turned things around for the Democrats.

  5. So you’re the head cop charged with enforcing a bunch of stupid, unethical, and racist laws. What do you do?

    A. Enforce the laws like it says in your job title, and be guilty of “just following orders”.

    B. Do not enforce laws that were nevertheless properly passed (according to our system of government), and be guilty of breaking your oath to uphold the law.

    C. Selectively enforce the laws, and be guilty of cronyism, discrimination, and racism.

    Choose wisely.

    1. D. Resign to spend more time with your family.

      1. E. Pull a Serpico/Sliwa. Go rogue, write a tell-all book, then do tons of interviews and wind up with your own radio show.

    2. Join the Oath Keepers.

    3. No matter the answer, lie about what you’re doing, since you control most of the info flow about it. I would do B and claim to be doing A. I might even stage a few show crackdowns with shills.

      1. See On The Steppes of Central Asia by John C. Sproul.

  6. Too bad that when de Blasio campaigned so heavily on ending the NYPD stop-and-frisk program that nobody asked him what he was planning on replacing it with. Now you know. The old stop-and-frisk program doesn’t look so bad compared to the new stop-and-beat-to-death program, does it?

    1. Jerryskids|8.2.14 @ 12:46PM|#
      “Too bad that when de Blasio campaigned so heavily on ending the NYPD stop-and-frisk program that nobody asked him what he was planning on replacing it with”

      The devil you know…

  7. From the previous thread, SusanM posted this link

    http://thinkprogress.org/justi…..ked-woman/

    The NYPD are a bunch of rabid animals. Any contact with them is potentially lethal. Stay clear.

  8. And his reaction to the very public way his police department has been shown to disrupt the lives of minorities in the pursuit of petty, non-violent, and harmless “crimes” betrays a shocking lack of empathy for the struggles poor and marginalized people face on a daily basis in their lives.

    Isn’t “it hurts minorities and the poor most” the same argument as “It’s for teh chilrenz” that we constantly disparage round here?

    If a law is unjust/unfair/bullshit… isn’t it bullshit for EVERYBODY, since everybody must abide by it (except cops and congress)? I mean do the rights of the poor or the children carry more weight than the rights of the rich or adults?

    I suppose if your argument is claiming that these laws originate with the left, the left claims to support the poor and since the laws hurt the poor you could demonstrate hypocrisy. But I don’t think you can say all these bullshit laws originate from the left.

    Bottom line is, it doesn’t matter who these stupid laws hurt the most. All that matters is there are stupid laws giving these nazis an excuse to use the jackboot.

    1. The rights of minorities and the poor are no more important but the enforcement and effects of laws can fall disproportionately on them

      1. The law is not bad because it hurts minorities more. The law is bad because it hurts ANYONE.

        The argument presented is simply a plea to emotion. If it’s wrong when the left does it, it’s wrong when libertarians do it as well.

        1. It’s not an appeal to an emotion but a recognition that the law is enforced unequally against these groups and the effects will be relatively worse on them

          1. It’s no more appeal to emotion than saying regulations hit small business worse than large ones

          2. So, should we:

            a. Enforce the laws equally, and bring the jackboot down on everybody?

            or

            b. Get rid of the ridiculous laws and bring the jackboot down on no one?

            1. Equal enforcement is important at least because it can make those most likely to change them see how ridiculous they are, but I think that laws will disprotionately harm those least able to avoid them and/or impacted them is part of their ridiculousness and immorality

              1. WHO they affect more has NO bearing of the morality of a law.

                In claiming so, you are claiming the rights of one group are more important than the rights of another.

                1. Who matters to the extent the who is more harmed and less able to avoid by the law

              2. Which bozo was it that said the laws against sleeping under the bridges affect both the rich and the poor equally?

            2. (a) leads to (b); how long do you think bad laws will stay in place if they are enforced against politicians and wealthy folks?

        2. But keep in mind that this is in response to Progressive sentimentalist posturing about “the poor”. Pointing out that despite *their* professed concern for the poor that their actions disproportionately impact the poor is merely showing the hypocrisy of the Progressive plea to emotion, not making a new plea to emotion. I think it is entirely appropriate to say, in effect, “why should I listen to you if you claim to care about the poor but your policies disproportionately screw the people you claim to care about?”

          1. I think that progressives are often hypocritical dickbags and/or hopelessly incompetent at imposing their utopian fantasies is generally taken as a given here. Probably just the libertarian in me that blows right by that part and proceeds to the essence of the statist insanity in question. I suppose that it might make a useful idiot or two question their unwavering support for all things blue, but if that’s the point then it would be better placed at HuffPo than Reason. It’s just red meat to me.

        3. Pleas to emotion work. Anything that works is right.

        4. +1 Bastiat.

    2. Francisco – I often wonder if it’s because libertarianism is such a hard sell for most people, especially those accustomed to emotion-based arguments and rhetoric.

      I totally agree with you by the way – I just think it’s PR (not that they don’t care about minorities/poor, but it’s to sell to them). Just a thought.

    3. These specific laws don’t really apply to rich people. You are only concerned with the taxes on a pack of cigarettes enough to seek a black market alternative when you can’t afford them. You only grill on the public sidewalk when you don’t have a yard. Yes, these laws are bullshit for everyone. They hurt poor people because that’s who they target, while the rich liberals who provide the political support for these laws don’t have to deal with them. That’s the point I was trying to make, not that only a law’s effects on the poor should be used to judge it

      1. Ed – agreed – Progressive (regressive?) policies disproportionately hurt the non-wealthy.

        However, Progressive propagandists paint that anyone besides Progs want to eat the poor and sell their children. Without those chokeholds and grotesquely expensive products due to extortion taxes, how would the poor ever eat?

        The Progs (rich, white “liberals”) have found a new way to do what they always liked to do: oppress the serfs.

        1. Maybe we should just refer to them as “AGgressives”.

          -jcr

        1. Francisco – By the by, I agree with you completely – bad laws are bad laws for everyone, not just the poor/minorities.

          Nice handle, by the way 🙂

      2. “Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.” Jonathan Swift

      3. You only grill on the public sidewalk when you don’t have a yard.

        So the cops lied about her having a back yard? That seems an interesting enough story that it should’ve been linked.

      4. It’s almost like people that live under condo associations, and gated communities are trying to apply their rules to the “street”

        1. Addendum. What works in one community does not work in all communities, without a great deal of conflict. IMO.

    4. I can understand paying more attention to violations against individuals who are more lacking in the agency to respond to those violations. Not that they are more deserving in any way, just that they might need a friend, so to speak, where a wealthier person or a connected person might not. That’s not to say that the rich can’t also get steamrolled by a voracious and thuggish government, but, on balance, they have more resources to fight it and a bigger margin to absorb the consequences of at least the petty tyrannies.

      It sucks balls that to get anything done anywhere in relation to individuals’ rights it seems you must prove “Women, Children, the Poor, Minorities Hardest Hit” first. I would say that there is a fine line between helping individuals who are having their rights violated and feeding the above counter-productive narrative. I don’t think that the line is quite being crossed in this piece, but it’s awfully close.

    5. “Isn’t “it hurts minorities and the poor most” the same argument as “It’s for teh chilrenz” that we constantly disparage round here?”

      No, because it’s not an argument for getting rid of those laws (standard libertarian arguments serve that purpose).

      It’s an observation that these laws don’t even achieve what their proponents say they achieve. That is, these laws are justified by saying “well, they may infringe on your liberties and they may not help you, but ‘they help the poor’, so show some compassion to those less well off than you and vote for them”.

      That is, even if, for the sake of argument only, we disregard libertarian principles and adopt the utilitarianism and values of progressives, these laws still don’t work. Therefore, even if you’re a progressive and hold progressive values, you should reject those laws.

  9. So, a self-proclaimed socialist who helped the murderous Sandinistas…all of a sudden shows a willful abandonment of the hoi polloi who elected him to power?

    How is anyone surprised by this? By now, shouldn’t the term “socialist” just be synonymous with “power monger”?

    1. “Socialist” has always meant “power monger”. It’s just a bit harder to pretend otherwise now than it was in the 1930s.

      -jcr

  10. “The law is the law,” the mayor said.

    I think you mean “the legislation is the legislation,” William. Imagine what DeBlasio’s life might have been like if someone had ever loved him enough to give him a Hayek book or two.

  11. Sometimes the voters get the government that they deserve, the fact that they voted for it only adds to the irony.

  12. “the law is the law”

    Except when it comes to immigration.

  13. That’s because the end game is not to help the poor, but to drive them away to some other city becoming someone else’s “problem”.

    1. yep

  14. “correct their behavior,” as New York City’s police commissioner Bill Bratton said while standing at de Blasio’s side at that press conference,”

    What the heck does ‘correct their behavior’ entail?

    Go fuck yourself Bratton.

    1. Bratton. He can eat a bag of dicks.

    2. Do you not believe that culture and behavior has no effect on the outcomes of communities?

  15. Push that charter scam some more! It’s a verbal tic, innit?

  16. Well, New Yorkers voted him in, so now they can deal with it.

  17. Bill de Blasio, Progressive Hero, Scourge of the Poor

    Look, *Progessivism* is for ‘The People”, not ‘the person’.

  18. Sometimes man you jsut have to roll with it.

    http://www.TotalAnon.tk

  19. Progressives are a scourge to humanity.

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