Police Abuse

"The Police Force is Watching the People"

Who watches back?

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Political philosophy — the libertarian philosophy included — can take you only so far. The libertarian philosophy provides grounds for condemning aggression, that is, the initiation of force, and along with some supplemental considerations, it identifies in the abstract what constitutes aggression, victimhood, and self-defense. But the philosophy can't identify the aggressor and victim in particular cases; relevant empirical information is required. Murray Rothbard wrote in For A New Liberty:

If, for example, we see X seizing a watch in the possession of Y we cannot automatically assume that X is aggressing against Y's right of property in the watch; for may not X have been the original, "true" owner of the watch who can therefore be said to be repossessing his own legitimate property? In order to decide, we need a theory of justice in property, a theory that will tell us whether X or Y or indeed someone else is the legitimate owner.

And we cannot apply the theory of justice without empirical information. Between X and Y, who first had legitimate possession of the watch and how was possession procured? No ethical or political theory can answer those empirical questions, yet they are critical to applying the theory in order to determine who was the aggressor and who was the victim.

The same would be true if we observed an unarmed person shot dead in the street and another person nearby holding a smoking gun. To morally judge the situation, we would need more information than that provided by what we could see when first coming on the scene. That would be true even if the man with the gun is a white member of a police force — admittedly, a complicating factor considering what the police spend most of their time doing: enforcing rights-violating legislative decrees — and the dead person is a young black man who had no weapon.

I point out what seems to me obvious only because in the Ferguson, Mo., shooting, some people (libertarians among them) seem tempted to let their ideology do work it is not cut out to do. For example, when I asked on Facebook if anyone had seen a report on the shooter Darren Wilson's height and weight (Michael Brown's stats, six-feet-four, 292 pounds, have been widely reported), one libertarian responded (with sarcasm, I presume), "I'm a bit fuzzy on what the height and weight loophole in the NAP [nonaggression principle] is."

Of course there is no loophole. But that's irrelevant because, again, the NAP — or what I call the nonaggression obligation — cannot rule out a priori that the deceased may have begun the altercation with an act of aggression and that the shooting was an act of self-defense. We need facts to establish any reasonable conclusion, and without them, we are adrift. (Facts, of course, can be hard to come by. Eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable — and not only because people make up stuff. When suddenly subjected to a traumatic event, one's powers of observation can be less than keen. In college, this was vividly demonstrated in a journalism class with the staging of a fight between the teacher and a student. The eyewitnesses' news stories, written immediately after the incident, varied widely.)

All I'm saying here is that even considering the pervasive racism in our society,  the well-documented culture of police abuse, and the enforcement of legislation that violates individual rights — it is still possible, even if unlikely, for a smaller white cop (possibly with bad intent) to shoot an unarmed bigger, heavier black 18-year-old — who had just committed a strong-armed robbery at a convenience store — in self-defense. I don't know enough to say that this is what happened, but I don't think anyone else can be sure things did not happen that way. There are conflicting eyewitness accounts, and the cable-news presentation of those eyewitnesses may not have been complete. To be sure, if legitimate self-defense might have taken place that day in Ferguson, it is also possible that Wilson initiated the altercation by giving arbitrary orders to Brown (as police officers often do to black youth) and fired his gun unnecessarily multiple times, and that Brown justifiably rushed him in self-defense. We must await the facts.

I have no intention of diminishing the systemic threat that black people and members of other minorities face from the police and other authorities every day. The so-called wars on drugs and guns, and the other decrees against victimless acts, provide the police ample scope for persecution and may well attract abusive and racist individuals to law-enforcement jobs. The experience of routine abuse plants a reasonable fear and suspicion in the targeted communities. But unless that culture of abuse justifies the cold-blooded killing of all police officers, even when they are off duty, I don't see how it can automatically tell us who is the aggressor and who is the nonaggressor in any particular incident independent of the facts. I think we have to draw a distinction between a potential threat — which all police represent, to some more than others — and an imminent threat.

Moreover, whatever happened between Wilson and Brown, it cannot justify the military-style reaction of the police and other government personnel in the aftermath. Pointing weapons at and verbally abusing peaceful demonstrators is intolerable. Tear-gassing crowds is outrageous. Curfews treat innocent people like criminal suspects. It's telling that while demonstrators were being manhandled, the police stood by while others robbed stores.

What should happen now in Ferguson and all places where shootings by the police have occurred? In the current context, it is imperative that anytime a police officer shoots someone, a public adversarial proceeding should be held where all the evidence can be presented. It could be a full-blown trial or a hearing to determine if a trial is warranted. But objectivity and transparency must be priorities. The public must see that the police officer is being judged without favor. Not even the hint of a proceeding rigged in favor of the police must be permitted. If this requires an independent investigator or prosecutor, so be it. Here, indeed, is a matter that requires heightened scrutiny.

In the longer term, the way policing is done must be rethought. I can't see how under the current system the nature of the police as an occupying army can be changed. This is especially true where minority communities are concerned. Radical solutions are needed.

People rightly decry the obnoxious militarization of even small-town police departments, but the problem is deeper than that. Police forces abused people — particularly black people — long before the Pentagon started giving cities and towns war materiel. Remember those scenes of dogs and firehoses being turned on peaceful civil-rights marchers? A billy club is low-tech, but it can do — and did — much damage. The system has long cultivated an us-versus-them attitude in the police. It's nothing new, even if the "them" has come to include more people. Police don't even regard themselves as civilians, as I believe they once did. We are the civilians. They are our watchers keeping us in line. Who doesn't do a quick self-survey when a police officer approaches? As Steppenwolf sang in its 1969 hit "Monster": "The police force is watching the people, and the people just can't understand."

I see potential in the approach spelled out by one of my favorite libertarians, Karl Hess, who wrote, also in 1969:

Libertarianism is a people's movement and a liberation movement. It seeks the sort of open, non-coercive society in which the people, the living, free, distinct people may voluntarily associate, dis-associate, and, as they see fit, participate in the decisions affecting their lives. This means a truly free market in everything from ideas to idiosyncrasies. It means people free collectively to organize the resources of their immediate community or individualistically to organize them; it means the freedom to have a community-based and supported judiciary where wanted, none where not, or private arbitration services where that is seen as most desirable. The same with police. The same with schools, hospitals, factories, farms, laboratories, parks, and pensions. Liberty means the right to shape your own institutions.

We have to do something — soon.

This article originally appeared at the Future of Freedom Foundation.

NEXT: 15-Foot Parking Rules Signs Spotted in Culver City, Los Angeles County

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  1. “In the current context, it is imperative that anytime a police officer shoots someone, a public adversarial proceeding should be held where all the evidence can be presented. It could be a full-blown trial or a hearing to determine if a trial is warranted. But objectivity and transparency must be priorities.”

    An adversary “hearing to determining if a trial is warranted” would mean getting rid of the grand jury system. The whole point of a grand jury is that a panel or regular citizens examines evidence against a suspect on a confidential basis, and without having to observe trial-like rules of evidence you have in a trial. The confidentiality is supposed to protect innocent people under investigation from being dragged through the mud by glory-seeking prosecutors. And the flexible rules of evidence mean that a person who needs to be indicted or presented gets indicted or presented as promptly as possible.

    In a controversial case like this, if a grand jury decides not to file charges, they could issue a report laying out the basis for their decision. Beyond that, accountability supposedly is enhanced by the fact that the grand jurors are regular folks drawn from the community where the suspect and victim live.

    1. Even if a grand jury doesn’t act, there is always the possibility of a civil trial, where the evidence will be aired publicly.

      1. And in any event, *any* process which fails to produce a conviction is going to be suspect from the point of view of the “community.”

        1. I hardly envision the demonstrators in Ferguson saying, “well, there will be no charges, but at least there was An Adversary Hearing to Determine If Charges Should be Brought. This addresses my concerns!”

          1. You might be right about that, but I can’t help but think this is exacerbated by factors like the investigation into police shootings being controlled by the police themselves, the DA being the crusading son of a police officer KIA, etc.

            Also, note that in many areas juror pools may not be very representative of the community since they are often based on records like voting registration, and with high and disparate levels if disenfranchisement in many black communities that creates an issue.

          2. They aren’t after justice, they’re after a scalp. Blacks have been rioting and looting since before I was born, and they’ll probably still be at it long after I’m dead. This is just the latest excuse.

            1. “They aren’t after justice, they’re after a scalp. Blacks have been rioting and looting since before I was born, and they’ll probably still be at it long after I’m dead.”

              I’m confused here, are you prejudiced against blacks, native Americans or both?

            2. I’m actually amazed that they riot so rarely, given the shit that government routinely inflicts on them. “Stop and frisk” alone should have resulted in NY city hall being burnt to the ground.

              -jcr

              1. But they don’t burn down city hall. They loot and rob their neighbor’s small business.

                1. Very true. They need rioting lessons. Perhaps they should dump some cops and politicians in the river and tar and feather the rest.

                  1. The respect order goes something like this:

                    1)Family
                    2)Self
                    3)Friends
                    4)Neighbors (including businesses)
                    5)Leadership (community)
                    6)Police

                    The angrymurderviolence list is the exact opposite.

                    1. That’s a very good point, Russian. It is probably related to the fact that black community and family is profoundly tucked up thanks to both historical factors and government.

    2. Unfortunately Grand Jurys are not, at least in Texas, made up of random peope ike an actua jury. the are chosen and often have people within the Justice system sitting on them. Grand Jurys are often comprised of individuals asked to sit on them and aren’t simply people randomy selected from a pool of prospects.

      Also, in a grand jury vs. a trial jury, no exculpatory evidence is ever presented. Only what the prosecutor wants them to see is what they see. Also there is no filter on what the prosecutor is able to present to the grand jury. He/she can use hearsay or a lie detector as evidence as there are no rules of evidence. There is a saying among many involved in the justice system in Texas that a Texas Grand Jury will indict a ham sandwhich if the prosecutor wants it too. That is how and why Rick Perry is now under indictment even though the Grand Jury in this particular case was more random than most. One grand juror is an actual Democrat delegate and was publically active in Democrat election events while sitting on the grand jury. The county where the DA gt the indictment is prbably about 90% Liberal democrats who hate Rick Perry.

      So a open and fair hearing would be necessary to be fair to both sides. Grand Jurys are not open and fair by any means.

      1. For the record Travis County is about 60% democrat, not 90.

        But ya, the Richard Perry indictment is total BS.

      2. The county where the DA gt the indictment is prbably about 90% Liberal democrats who hate Rick Perry.

        Not even close. Travis county election results in 2012:

        Obama: 60.1%
        Romney: 36.2%
        Johnson: 2.7%
        Stein: 0.9%

        The entire state of Hawaii, OTOH, went for Obama by about a 3-1 margin.

  2. “They are our watchers keeping us in line. Who doesn’t do a quick self-survey when a police officer approaches? ”

    Chris Rick has some advice on how not to get your ass kicked:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uj0mtxXEGE8

  3. Heh. “Pervasive racism”. Ok, done reading right there. As a libertarian, you lose my interest when you start harping on “institutional” racism. That way is only a path to progressive madness.

    1. Forget it JWW, it’s Sheldonville.

    2. Yup, government could never engage in pervasive racism in its institutions *cough* Jim Crow *cough*

      1. Except that “institutional racism” (if you believe it exists) is NOT policy or law like Jim Crow was. Are you intentionally conflating the two are you really so ignorant?

        1. Someone’s ignorant here, for example someone who might not be remembering that many aspects of Jim Crow, like the voter tests which were facially neutral laws applicable to no particular race, were applied disparately because of the racism running throughout the institutions that carried them out.

          1. Right. got it.

            Jim Crow (Your phrase) = pervasive racism (Richman’s phrase) = institutional racism (JWW’s phrase).

            There’s no meaningful distinction to be made there.

            Moving the goal posts again, Bo.

            So fucking boring and repetitive.

            1. Do you dispute that many parts of what we call Jim Crow were as I described, conducted via institutional racism?

              No, of course not, you just reach into the bag o internet arguing phrases lazily and toss one out.

              1. Describe “institutionalized racism” in your own words, and list some modern, current examples for context..

                1. Institutionalize racism is when government agencies and policies are facially neutral but operate discriminately. A great example can be found in the agencies and policies fighting the WOD.

                  See, conservatives always complain about the concept, but actual libertarians have put forward the idea quite a lot, especially in the example I’m mentioning here

                  1. “But operate discriminately” is still rather vague. Would affirmative action serve as a better example of institutionalized racism in your mind?

                    1. I think it includes intended and reasonably foreseeable disparate consequences of a policy that are not offset by achieving legitimate policy goals.

                      I would count affirmative action as straight up racist policy (on its face racist).

                  2. See, Bo, that sounds much more like individual racism to me.

                    Like, you have what is an ostensibly neutral system, and you put a racist in charge. That’s not institutionalized racism, that’s just one (or more) assholes ruining what is supposed to be an impartial system.

                    1. That’s where the ‘pervasive’ part comes in.

                      If you set up something like the voter qualification tests that existed in many states under Jim Crow with the complete knowledge that racism pervades the culture and therefore many if not most of the people administering the test will put ‘their thumb on the scale’ in administering it, then that’s institutionalized racism.

                    2. So bo doesn’t know what institutionalized racism is, but spends the thread lecturing on it.

                      anyone surprised?

                    3. You’re king of the sandbox!

              2. You’re a mendacious fucker, Bo.

                Jim Crow was de jure; institutional racism is de facto (again, if you agree that it exists at all).

                JWW expressed discomfort with Richman’s comment because he’s probably not convinced in totality of the existence of institutional racism. Your conflating it with Jim Crow is an attempt to conflate implied or questionable racism with state enforced racist policies thereby implying he’s an idiot.

                So, your complete argument like every other argument you make exists to prop of your own self-worth at the expense of others instead of debating in good faith. This makes you a fucker.

                1. “You’re a mendacious fucker, Bo.”

                  I realize in your obsequiousness you want to appear to be talking tough to the outsider, but you don’t know what you are talking about. Jim Crow was not all ‘de jure’ as the example I first pointed out and you consistently have failed to address demonstrates.

                  You also have no idea of what it means to ‘argue in good faith.’ Someone who does not ‘argue in good faith’ is someone who doesn’t believe what they are arguing but is pretending to.

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_faith

                  As is the usual course I see with you you just reach into the bag o internet phrases you’ve seen others here use, and in your need to fit in you throw it lazily out there without knowing what it refers to.

                  If you really want to see dishonesty, look in the mirror, or rather your posts in this conversation. Take this one:

                  “Jim Crow (Your phrase) = pervasive racism (Richman’s phrase) = institutional racism (JWW’s phrase).”

                  Given that you concede Richman was talking about persuasive racism, then if anyone was moving goalposts it was JWW who moved to ‘institutional racism,’ but you wanted to accuse me of moving the goalposts (of course I gave a concrete historical example of one of these concepts), because, well, you want to be part of the clique and attack the outsider. Talk about boring and repetitive.

        2. Except that “institutional racism” (if you believe it exists) is NOT policy or law like Jim Crow was

          To be fair, it can be argued that a metric fuckload of “institutional racism” still drives current immigration policy. For example, did you know that despite the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 certain aspects of immigration are still based on ethnic quotas? From a Congressional Hearing on the subject, Prof. Ting of Temple University testified that

          Even after the repeal of the discriminatory National Origins Quota System in 1965, vestiges of Asian exclusion remain in our immigration laws. One of those vestiges is the per-country cap of Section 202(a)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which currently obliges qualified immigrants from India, the Philippines and Mexico to wait longer, sometimes significantly longer, for immigrant visas than equally qualified immigrants from all other countries.

          1. The other vestige of Asian exclusion in our immigration law is the Diversity Visa Lottery, from which most Asians, all Mexicans and some other Latin Americans have been excluded from the very first year of Diversity Visas, which in my written testimony I note actually began in 1987. The 14 countries whose nationals were disqualified from the DV Lottery for fiscal year 2004 include China, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea and Vietnam. The other disqualified countries for fiscal year 2004 are Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico and the United Kingdom, except for Northern Ireland.

            1. Would-be immigrants from these 14 countries and other countries in other years have been excluded from the Diversity Visa Lottery solely on the basis of their ethnicity. I find it difficult to justify this current discrimination as a remedy for the adverse impact of the 1965 immigration reform abolishing discriminatory ethnic quotas. When discrimination against women, minorities and the handicapped is ended by law, should able-bodied white males receive a legal remedy because they have been adversely affected by having to compete against others who are finally treated equally? In any area of American law, except immigration law, the explicit discrimination of the Diversity Visa Lottery would fail the constitutional test of strict scrutiny for lack of a compelling governmental purpose. As the Chairman noted, these visas have been called anti-diversity visas since they were created to offset the diversity which would otherwise result from nondiscriminatory immigration.

                1. My understanding of institutional racism is that it is implied but not articulated, meaning you see its affects but it is not stated as policy. And, in fact, policy or law may actively work to counter it – Civil Rights Act, etc.

                  So, law that outright discriminates isn’t “institutional racism” because it’s clearly stated policy.

                  1. According to my definition of it which I poorly understand I’m totally still right!

                    1. nope

          2. Nothing at all wrong with any of that.

            And if there’s any racism, it’s anti-white. How about a moratorium on this immigration business?

        3. Actually, affirmative action laws are policy and they have the effect of devaluing education and even work experience of “protected” classes because a potential employer cannot know if that person got accepted to that school or attained those experiences because he was the best candidate or because he met the quota. So yes. Institutional racism does still exists. And it’s disguised as Civil Rights.

          1. Institutional racism does still exists. And it’s disguised as Civil Rights.

            Excellent point.

      2. I’m just saying that when we fall into arguing that this group is like this and that group is like that, we lose the core essence of libertarianism that individual freedom and individual rights (for everyone) are the most important thing.

        1. The problem is that not everyone thinks in our individualistic ways, and sometimes these people run or influence certain institutions.

      3. I must have missed the part where JWW said institutional racism was impossible.

        1. No, he just said that he loses interest whenever its mentioned (and you rushed to agree, and would like to backtrack now no doubt).

          1. Yes, I’d better hurry up and backtrack before you call me a socon and tell all about projection. That would sure suck.

            1. Why would I call you a socon and tell you about projection when you’re stepping in it in an entirely different area?

          2. My biggest problem with “institutional” racism is that the progressive answer to it is ALWAYS moooooore government (in fact way more government). So excuse me if I don’t want to “solve” institutional racism through an all powerful state.

            1. I doubt Sheldon Richman wants to address it through an all powerful state though.

            2. Right, the ‘solution’ to institutional racism is always strengthening the defacto racist institutions and never weakening or eliminating them.

            3. Institutional racism is racism that comes from the state. And they want the state to solve the problem of institutional racism. It’s like feminists arguing that the way to stop rape it to teach rapists not to rape. In other words, they want the rapists to solve the problem of rape.

              So a consistent theory in left wind ideology is that the only one responsible for solving the problems of the world are those responsible for the problems of the world. For someone not responsible for the problem to try to solve the problem, that’s just victim blaming.

  4. Steppenwolf?

    Try Juvenal:

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    1. Quit with your fancy book lernin, you damn dirty Canadian!

    2. Oh, and I’ve been meaning to ask, do the hippies up in Canada still dress like traditional hippies?

      Or do they wear, like, tie-dye parkas and sandals insulated with synthetic bio-degradable no-kill animal fur?

      1. No.

        They wear suits now.

        Just as an FYI: Steppenwolf is Canadian too. Well three members anyway.

    3. I think shit like this is why some people really, really don’t like Sheldon.

      That and his tendency to eschew standard libertarian vocabulary in tedious ways (the non-aggression obligation, for one, and his refusal to claim capitalism because “it privileges capital” even though he’s a die-hard supporter of markets).

      1. Clarence Carson objects to using Marx’s term “capitalism” for free enterprise, because it does imply rule by capital or its owners.

  5. The more I watch people who comment without facts, the more I’m convinced were Dante alive he’d fit them into the Eight Circle of Hell.

    Smerconish on CNN made a rational plea to allow the facts to come in before commenting. He may have well jerked-off and unloaded on the screen and maybe someone would have noticed. Then again, he works for a network who are masters of the subtle appeal to emotion ploy. Forsample, I saw a picture of Brown plastered on the screen in his graduation garment.

  6. Eighth.

    1. 20 years ago, about 40 bucks.

      1. I wish I had a Way Back Machine.

  7. It’s a fact,with so many vague and meaningless laws a officer can arrest anyone at any time.I see that as a big part of the problem.Government and the people in it are naturally looking to increase their power.How many times have you heard law enforcement needs more ‘tools’?They mean power,enforced with guns.This has created a class of people that can use force as they wish and even if found in the wrong,suffer no punishment.Instead of being held to a high standard due to the power they wield,they have more protections then those they call ‘civilians’

    1. It’s a fact,with so many vague and meaningless laws a officer can arrest anyone at any time.

      Especially with bullshit charges like resisting arrest and disorderly conduct

    2. Hey now, sometimes “more tools” means power enforced by tasers, or night sticks.

  8. Very good article, until…

    I can’t see how under the current system the nature of the police as an occupying army can be changed. This is especially true where minority communities are concerned. Radical solutions are needed.

    …which is a teaser, and seems possibly to be connected to the final 2 paras. (with another para., however, intervening), including the Hess quote. Current system of what? The cx to the out-of-context Hess quote is too tenuous.

  9. with high and disparate levels if disenfranchisement in many black communities

    The vast Right Wing SoCon conspiracy strikes again!

    1. Those evul socons are everywhere, fighting against progressive justice. Why,there even here, infiltrating and corrupting reason. Bo has a secret list of 32 SoCon commenters that he’s investigating as we speak.

      1. VG, you made a similar inaccurate charge last night and u challenged you to back it up. I notice you didn’t though you commented on that same thread all night. Perhaps you think repeating something enough makes it real?

    2. What are you babbling about this morning Brooks? This issue is currently being pressed nationally by Rand Paul.

      1. Who? Rand Paul the “SoCon” phony libertarian?

        1. ?

          What are you babbling about? I’ve always been a big fan of Rand Paul.

          1. I find this surprising, given that you spend much of your day insisting that people who care about the “rights of the unborn” or are tolerant of “religious expression in schools” are awful stains on True Libertarianism and repeatedly insist that they be shunned as unrepresentative of the One True Faith

            Strange that you consistently find people here that share Rand Pauls views so unbearable?

            1. But, you see, GILMORE, he totally doesn’t understand the definition of “libertarian” but he’s still right!!!!! Because definitions don’t matter as long as you believe that thing is what you think it is.

              1. I just don’t get why bo’s soooooo insistent to be taken as a libertarian, like he needs his cred established and agreed upon, and why he absolutely always must be right, to the extent of trolling the board to shut up opposition.

                Sad isn’t strong enough to describe that.

                1. “I just don’t get why bo’s soooooo insistent to be taken as a libertarian, like he needs his cred established and agreed upon”

                  As is often the case my crude friend, you misunderstand. It’s not that I’m insistent to be ‘taken as a libertarian,’ I simply am one, and being one I note what is increasingly obvious and interesting: that many regulars here rather consistently take positions contrary to what groups like the LP or Reason take and have been taking for a long time. I interpret this to mean that it is likely they that are out of step, but if you’d like to argue that the LP and Reason are the confused ones, by all means make that argument (actually you making any actual argument rather than just insults would be novel in itself).

                  And as for sad, I’m not sure what could be sadder than a bunch of people that disagree with Reason hanging out here and posting on Reason all day, except maybe a self appointed troll fighter among them like yourself doing so.

                  1. ” many regulars here rather consistently take positions contrary to what groups like the LP or Reason take and have been taking for a long time”

                    a) so what,

                    and

                    b) why do you make such an issue of this when you apparently have no problem with Rand Paul taking similar positions?

                    Who’s “out of step”?

                    You seem to think ‘libertarian’ means an extremely narrow set of criteria – no one else does, no matter how often you insist on speaking for both “this magazine” as well as the LP, both of which demonstrate far more tolerance for different views than do you.

            2. “given that you spend much of your day insisting that people who care about the “rights of the unborn” or are tolerant of “religious expression in schools” are awful stains on True Libertarianism ”

              If only this had some relation to what I have written here, you may have some kind of point.

              1. LOL

                as though you haven’t spent 100+ posts over the weekend so far excoriating “soCons”

                …then suddenly refuse to square that with your “big Fandom” of Rand Paul – who is both more conservative than this rag (& myself) on abortion, and far more tolerant than you (and others here) on religious freedoms vis a vis schools.

                No one is surprised you’re a hypocrite, its just funny to watch you pretend you’re not.

  10. This makes a lot a lot of sense dude.

    http://www.WentAnon.Tk

  11. All I’m saying here is that even considering the pervasive racism in our society, the well-documented culture of police abuse, and the enforcement of legislation that violates individual rights

    I can’t quite tell, are you being sarcastic here? There is some racism in our society, but it is not the reason African Americans are dying. There is no evidence that police abuse has had any significant increase in decades, it is simply being documented better. And finally, police enforce the laws that are on the books; that’s their job. If those laws violate individual rights, then that’s a matter for voters and SCOTUS.

    What should happen now in Ferguson and all places where shootings by the police have occurred?

    The same thing that should happen everywhere in a free society: people go to the polls and vote, maybe have a recall election; police rules get changed if necessary; people who were wronged sue in court for damages.

    What should not happen is that this is used as an excuse for the federal or state government to interfere in local affairs, create complicated new regulations or laws. What should not happen is that national politicians and various “non profits” use this as career and fund-raising opportunities.

    Nobody has shown any evidence that discrimination, voter suppression, corruption, or any other state/federal-level legal issue has been involved. Until it does, just let people do their job.

    1. And finally, police enforce the laws that are on the books; that’s their job. If those laws violate individual rights, then that’s a matter for voters and SCOTUS.

      Do you know else thought “following orders” was a defense?

      1. If I’ve been following along correctly, then this game is played by not guessing “Nazis.”

        Um… Um… Corrections officers? wait… um…. Nazis? Shit… this game is hard.

        1. Um… Um… Corrections officers? wait… um…. Nazis?

          That would be retarded.

          1. The new DBZ Abridged is out.

            1. Never watched the DBZ ones, just Hellsing. Kind of wish they released them more often than once a year…

  12. Been reading here for a few years, first time in the comments. Found this Organization in a link from Stewart Mills campaign page.

    “The FOP home Lodge for officer Darren Wilson has set up a fund to assist in his defense and to help with his expenses.

    Checks should be made out to: Shield of Hope

    Please mail to:
    FOP Lodge 15
    9620 Lackland Road
    Overland, MO 63114
    Attention: Shield of Hope”

    Puke…

    1. He’s being railroaded, so what’s “puke” about any of that?

      1. I was puking about a local candidate turning out to be a police backer more than anything.

  13. The same thing that should happen everywhere in a free society: people go to the polls and vote, maybe have a recall election; police rules get changed if necessary; people who were wronged sue in court for damages.

    That’s a lovely sentiment, but over time the police have negotiated contracts in collusion with government representatives which disadvantage the citizens whom they are ostensibly serve, and effectively immunize them from any significant consequences for their actions.

    Recalling my county commissioners and the elected sheriff will have no meaningful impact on the conduct of law enforcement.

    It has been pointed out here innumerable times that any successful civil settlements will be put onto the taxpayers and not the guilty parties.

  14. Bo accuses other people of “babbling”.

    That’s so cute.

  15. What we have to do soon is strip police of their legal immunity, both to prosecution and lawsuit, and of their monopoly on the right to prosecute. Give every victim a right to his day in court (and back it up by making it legal to physically resist police if they try to defeat that court accountability, for instance by putting tape over the badge number) and the problem goes away — along with every cop who has the attitude that is the problem.

  16. “…considering the pervasive racism in our society,…”

    Bullshit.

  17. “But unless that culture of abuse justifies the cold-blooded killing of all police officers, even when they are off duty, I don’t see how it can automatically tell us who is the aggressor and who is the nonaggressor in any particular incident independent of the facts.”

    From an anarchist’s POV, a law enforcement officer for the local version of the mafia — government — whose pay comes from robbing non-consenting people via theft (taxation backed by the credible threat of imprisonment), and who is wearing a uniform, is on the job, and is in the act of enforcing laws that no one around them personally consented to — that police officer is in a continual state of violating the NAP.

    The strawman in that statement above by Sheldon is in asserting something that no one else is making — that it is OK under the NAP to cold-bloodedly murder those cops on and off duty.

    It is OK to assume that, under anarchist theory, that those cops are automatically violating your rights while saying that the appropriate response would fall far short of cold-blooded murder in the absence of any specific act that calls for such an extreme act of self-defense.

    1. I believe he chose cold-blooded killing as the most extreme means of dealing with police officers. In other words, he’s positing that there’s a spectrum of ways of dealing with aggressors, and not all aggression deserves to be met with deadly violence (or even direct violence at all).

      So just because there’s a culture of abuse among police or even if the officer aggressed against him doesn’t mean that someone who beats a cop is automatically justified or that the cop wasn’t responding appropriately when he shot him to death.

      As a less incendiary example, if I were walking down the sidewalk and picked an orange off my neighbor’s tree in his front yard, that would constitute aggression for anyone who believes that land can be owned as private property–he paid for and tended the tree, so the oranges are properly his. But if my neighbor came out firing his 12-gauge at me for stealing an orange, that would be an inappropriate & unjust action on his part–the crime I committed isn’t at all commensurate with his use of deadly force. And if I were to draw my own gun and shoot him dead in defense of my life, I’d be in the right to do so even if I were the instigator of the conflict with my minor aggression against his property.

  18. many regulars here rather consistently take positions contrary to what groups like the LP or Reason take and have been taking for a long time. I interpret this to mean that it is likely they that are out of step

    Enforced conformity is the foundation of libertarianism!

    Now we’re getting somewhere.

    1. Bob Barr truly is the conscience of libertarianism. /bo

      1. The heart of libertarianism/classical liberalism is about being in step with what the largest and most well-funded libertarian groups contend.

    2. Rand Paul takes positions contrary to what groups like the LP or Reason take and have been taking for a long time; i claim strong support for him, while simultaneously claiming that anyone with similar views could not possibly qualify as ‘libertarian'”

  19. Not a bad article. Sensible. Sure beats turning on Fox and enduring Huckabee’s slobbery fellation of all cops in general.

  20. All I’m saying here is that even considering the pervasive racism in our society…

    By “racism” you mean affirmative action (which discriminates against white people)? You mean the dropping of civil service standards (to allow for under-qualified blacks to become cops)? You mean black studies programs on campuses (with no corresponding white studies programs)? You mean state mandated “diversity” indoctrination (which promotes a liberal line)? You mean street games like Polar Bear Punching (try googling that one)? You mean the mainstream media fanning a lynch mob mentality against a white cop?

    There are conflicting eyewitness accounts, and the cable-news presentation of those eyewitnesses may not have been complete.

    Why would anyone in their right mind think that cable-news is a reliable source of information? Programming is driven by ratings and sensationalism, not some mythical search for the truth.

  21. I have no intention of diminishing the systemic threat that black people and members of other minorities face from the police and other authorities every day.

    You are aware of the threat that black people pose in the form of criminal violence? Blacks have murder, armed robbery and aggravated assault rates several times those of white people. Blacks engage in criminal gang activities–such as a driveby shootings–at higher rates than white people. And are you familiar with flashmobs which rob stores and assault innocent people? I need not comment on how the recent rioting in Ferguson is a massive violation of the NAP.

    The point is, Mr Richman’s article was a parade of cliches. When you look at the bigger picture of black criminality, you might begin to understand why this shooting occurred.

  22. layering in idiots knee-jerk reactions with the NAP to make a libertarian smear cake…..

    interesting.

    “Libertarianism is a people’s movement and a liberation movement”

    i dont even……

    it’s about the individual and their individual ownership of their body. it’s the foundation of property rights. you have to own your body and the production that it makes.

    i dont understand how libertarianism could ever be described as a “peoples movement”. the whole fucking reason im a libertarian is because im fucking sick of “the people” fucking me in the ass.

    -FFM

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