Eric Garner

Listen Up, Liberals: Make Everything Illegal, Create More Eric Garners

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Leviathan
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In comparison to the Michael Brown shooting, the death of Eric Garner—and the similar decision not to indict the cop who killed him—has drawn outrage from across the political spectrum. Many conservatives, including Breitbart's John Nolte, The Federalist's Sean Davis, and The Daily Caller's Matt Lewis, agreed with anti-police-brutality libertarians and liberals that Garner's killer should have faced charges. The consensus is that the video evidence definitively established wrongdoing on the part of the officer (unlike the Brown case, which relied on conflicting eyewitness testimony).

But because that's no fun, right and left had to find some way to tear each other apart over this. And so the contention—made by some libertarians and conservatives—that punitive cigarette taxes are a contributing factor in Garner's death has driven many on the left into a fit of rage.

Some background on that contention, courtesy Reason's J.D. Tuccille:

Here we have Garner, a guy allegedly selling loosies—single cigarettes—which are a perfectly legal product. Why is he supposedly selling loosies? Because New York officials inflict on their long-suffering subjects the highest cigarette tax in the country at at $4.35 per pack, plus another $1.50 levied in the city itself. It's not a popular tax, with smuggled smokes making up 60.9 percent of the market. So the powers that be unleash the cops to enhance revenue by tracking down shipments of smuggled cigarettes and, on occasion, putting the occasional small-time street vendor in an illegal chokehold.

On his show last night, Jon Stewart mocked Sen. Rand Paul for making that point. When asked about Garner's death, Paul said: "Some politician put a tax of $5.85 on cigarettes, so they have driven cigarettes underground by making them so expensive, but then some politician also had to direct the police to say, hey, we want you arresting people for selling a loose cigarette."

Stewart's response: "What the fuck are you talking about?"

BuzzFeed's Adam Serwer also criticized the point (though more kindly), in a Twitter argument with Reason's Scott Shackford. "I think 'it's the cigarette tax' is comforting because then we don't have to deal with the racism, which we know isn't getting fixed easily," wrote Serwer.

Media Matters was as nasty as could have been expected, publishing an email update on the matter under the vindictive headline: "Right-Wing Media Parrot Rand Paul's Absurd Assertion That Cigarette Taxes Are To Blame For Eric Garner's Death."

And the most eloquent critic of the cigarette argument, The New Republic's Danny Vinik, wrote:

In other words, Eric Garner is not dead because New York City imposes high cigarette taxes. He's dead because a cop put him in a chokehold, in violation of NYPD rules, and held his head against ground. To their credit, conservatives have widely denounced the grand jury's decision. If they want to argue against cigarette taxes, though, they should make that full argument—including that the law can cause violent confrontations between police and civilians. But pointing to Garner's death as evidence that those taxes are bad policy isn't meaningful. 

Look, police brutality has many underlying causes. One of them is undoubtedly racism; black people are disproportionately arrested and imprisoned. An encounter between a cop and a civilian is more likely to be unpleasant if the civilian is black. In fact, it's more likely to occur in the first place if the civilian is black, because many cops racially profile suspects.

Another cause is the police incentive structure. Police have far more legal protections than non-police. They can get away with so much more. Indeed, while the cop who killed Garner evaded indictment, a civilian who recorded the incident on his phone was indicted on a separate weapons charge.  It's difficult—often impossible—to punish police for bad behavior, which gives the bad apples free rein to abuse people.

You know what's also a cause? Overcriminalization. And that one is on you, supporters of the regulatory super state. When a million things are highly regulated or outright illegal—from cigarettes to sodas of a certain size, unlicensed lemonade stands, raw milk, alcohol (for teens), marijuana, food trucks, taxicab alternatives, and even fishing supplies (in schools)—the unrestrained, often racist police force has a million reasons to pick on people. Punitive cigarette taxes, which disproportionately fall on the backs of the poorest of the poor, contribute to police brutality in the exact same way that the war on drugs does. Liberals readily admit the latter; why is the former any different?

If you want all these things to be illegal, you must want—by the very definition of the word illegal—the police to force people not to have them. Government is a gang of thugs who are paid to push us around. It's their job.

A well-meaning liberal who doesn't want people to smoke but also doesn't want the government to kill them for doing so has plenty of other options, by the way. There are countless organizations and products dedicated to helping people quit cigarettes voluntarily.

But anybody who wants it to be a matter of law must accept that resistance will be met with fines, prison, and death. As Bloomberg View columnist and law professor Stephen L. Carter put it:

It's not just cigarette tax laws that can lead to the death of those the police seek to arrest. It's every law. Libertarians argue that we have far too many laws, and the Garner case offers evidence that they're right.

There are many painful lessons to be drawn from the Garner tragedy, but one of them, sadly, is the same as the advice I give my students on the first day of classes: Don't ever fight to make something illegal unless you're willing to risk the lives of your fellow citizens to get your way.

Any subsequent conversation about ending police brutality should include strategies to combat racism, reforming the criminal justice system and police incentive structure… and taming the maniacal leviathan that is the modern regulatory state.

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276 responses to “Listen Up, Liberals: Make Everything Illegal, Create More Eric Garners

  1. Light the Dunphy Signal!

    http://m.nationalreview.com/co…..ack-dunphy

    1. Jack Dunphy is the nom de cyber of a police officer in Southern California.

      Is that our Dumbphy? I thought he was in Seattle.

      Maybe he moved to be closer to Morgan Fairchild.

      Maybe the name is so popular that cops everywhere are co-opting it.

    2. Could it be the same Dunphy? How could it not be…

    3. Holy christ-fucking shit, the comments on that article are awful!

      After reading the first ten, I had to get up and slam my forehead into the wall a few times, just to try and clear my mind.

      Internet extroverts are the worst kind of people. Excluding us.

    4. don’t put a law on the books if you don’t want the cops to enforce it, and don’t ask them to enforce it if you’re not willing to accept the fact that violence will sometimes occur when people resist that enforcement

      This line is far too rational and well-written to be our Dunphy.

      1. And far too rational for the representatives of REASON, that raise their heads, here.

  2. Stewart’s response: “What the fuck are you talking about?”

    So witty and incisive. The man is a comic genius.

    1. I really didn’t think it was possible for someone to have their head shoved that far up their own ass, but Stewart keeps proving me wrong.

      1. Not surprising. It would require progressives to own some of the police brutality by acknowledging that cops are just enforcing all their stupid laws.

        1. Yeah, as you can see, they go straight for the “oh so you’re blaming TAXES” angle because they know that will immediately distract their clapping seal followers, and will avoid the deeper point, because that might require some self-reflection, which is like electroshock therapy for “progressives”.

          1. They’re in a real bind on this one, so they have to try to ride it off as silly. Think about it, they want to pin the Eric Garner killing on race and they’re the party of class warfare, but Al Sharpton didn’t get choked to death for evading his taxes. Nobody on the left is decrying him for it. So that means this law, and progressivism in general, is an attack on the poor and the Eric Garner killing was more about collecting $5.85 for the State and City than it was about racism.

      2. And the progtards take him as a most serious source of news.

        1. This is true. I have a lefty friend who parrots Stewart and Colbert constantly, as if they are his own observations. The few times I’ve seen one of those shows I’ve gotten to call him on it.

    2. Dear John Stewart,
      How is your lack of reading comprehension an insult to Rand Paul? ……oh, you don’t have a reasoned argument. Then kindly shut the fuck up!
      Thanks,
      Florida Man

    3. Response to Stewart: What the fuck do you not get? Please show me the fucking fallacy in Rand’s analysis, dipshit.

    4. WATCH JOHN STEWART DESTROY RAND PAUL

      -Huffpo

    5. Each time someone tells me Jon Stewart is one of their favorite news sources it reinforces the notion we are doomed.

    6. All 3 of the recent publicized police killings have the same underlying cause: armed enforcers enforcing the non-crimes of A) jay-walking, B) dodging sales taxes, and C) selling arbitrarily banned substances.

  3. This. This is precisely why I have absolutely zero sympathy for any of the victims of this crap. They’re not going to change their voting habits. They’re not going to punish those responsible or incentivize those offering actual solutions.

    The only thing that’s going to happen in any of this is that police departments will get MORE money to spend on ‘non-lethal equipment’ that they won’t actually use, and for ‘deterrence training’ that they won’t pay attention to (not that it would be useful even if they did).

    So expend your outrage, whine and cry like babies, soil your own beds, and 4 or 5 months from now, when you’ve forgotten about it, it can happen again. Enjoy.

    1. Oh, they’ll use the non-lethal equipment alright. They’ll use it to torture people. Like when they use their Tasers people in handcuffs.

    2. So you have no sympathy for people who are murdered by the state because of the way they vote?

      And who exactly are people supposed to vote for that is promising to eliminate petty infractions that give cops excuses for brutality? Or who promise to actually hold cops accountable for killing people?

      1. In the same way I have no sympathy for someone who intentionally runs out into a freeway I have no sympathy for Garner.

        In the same way I have no sympathy for people who repeatedly and routinely ignore all consequences of their actions, I have no sympathy for his family or community.

        Believe me, they will forget about these events much more quickly than I will. They will continue to support (likely very vocally) the same structure that encourages things like this to happen.

        So, yeah, they made their bed, now they can lie in it. Enjoy. It’s utterly wrong, and evil, but apparently it’s what they want, and as such, they will garner no sympathy from me.

        1. Surely all residents of a city must suffer for how 25% of those citizens voted.

          1. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying that’s how it is. And how it’s going to be.

            1. Sure, if you decide to live that way.

              Personally, I believe Garner had the right plan. You want to kill me for not obeying? Fuck you then, do it.

        2. You do realize that even if Garner’s last words had been “bitch I voted for Gary Johnson” it wouldn’t have mattered right?

          Maybe he should have considered the consequences before he left the house as a black man in NYC.

          And you didn’t answer my question.

          1. What, who should they have voted for? The rent is too damn high guy. Then none of this would have happened. Because that’s exactly what I said. If you want to reduce my comments to something that dumb, then more power to you.

            1. Hugh can’t reduce your comments to any dumber than they already are, you fucking mongoloid. Holy shit you’re stupid.

              1. What are you even trying to say? That I should feel bad for Garner, or that his community doesn’t support the power structure that killed him?

            2. You said your lack of sympathy for people murdered by the state is predicated on who they voted for (which Epi correctly pointed out that you don’t know).

              I asked who they could have voted for to make their horrible undeserved deaths sympathetic to you.

              Either you don’t understand that voting doesn’t factor into their deaths because nobody they could have voted for would have removed the economic and social conditions that led to their murder, or there is some other reason for your lack of sympathy.

              1. But that’s not actually what I said.

                I have no sympathy for Garner, because he got belligerent with a cop. That’s most likely a death sentence.

                I have no sympathy for his community, because they (either vocally or tacitly) support the power structure that put that death sentence into place.

                If you want to pretend that I said Garner voted for X so he should die, and that’s all you want to get out of my comments, then arguing is pointless.

                1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

                  Arguing is pointless because you are a disingenuous fuck who lies about what you said. Way to prove that you are exactly what I said you are: an amoral scumbag. But keep amusing us with your antics, it’s fun to watch the court jester caper and cavort.

                  1. Do you read what’s on the screen, or just make up stuff in your head, and pretend that’s what you read?

                    And oh noes, I’m an amoral scumbag! You’ve cut me to the core!

                2. he got belligerent with a cop

                  I saw nothing belligerent in Garner’s actions.

                  1. Pretend you’re an NYC cop and watch it again.

                    1. Getting belligerent (which didnt happen) isn’t a death sentence you statist cocksucker

                      Plus its hard for most here to view it from the POV of a cop because we have morals; guess that isnt a problem for you

        3. Oh good. You made a pun to go with your heaping pile of bullshit.

    3. How the fuck do you know how the “victims of this crap” voted? Are you psychic?

      1. Yes. I’m psychic.

        And they’re not victims, they’re customers. Getting what they’ve paid for.

        1. Good to know you’re an amoral scumbag. We’ll just factor that in going forward.

          If you’re psychic, tell me what I’m thinking now.

          1. “Holy shit I need a drink.”

          2. That’s being telepathic, not psychic.

            Also, how can I feel bad for people getting what they so obviously desired? Why should I? How is that amoral?

            1. Holy fuck, you’re a dumb one, Miss Cleo. Just keep saying the same dumbfuck amoral shit. Dig that hole, scumbag! Dig it!

              1. I’m a scumbag for not feeling bad? OK, I’m a scumbag, now what? You done crying? A guy just jumped out of a building somewhere, you gonna cry because gravity actually pulled him to the ground and killed him?

                1. Oh man, this is stupidity gold. Go man go! You have the chance for retard greatness here!

            2. You’re missing the fucking point. How do you know that Garner, specifically, voted for whoever the dickwad was that implemented cig taxes in NYC?

              1. Where the fuck did I say anything about Garner’s vote, specifically?

                You’re missing the point: the people that are angry are getting the government they want, and have wanted for 50 years.

                1. Oh yeah, move those goalposts! I was wondering, have you ever been checked for an extra chromosome?

                  1. Yeah, your mom checked last night.

                    1. Well, retards are her specialty. I assume you’re a regular.

                2. Where the fuck did I say anything about Garner’s vote, specifically?

                  In the same way I have no sympathy for someone who intentionally runs out into a freeway I have no sympathy for Garner.

                  Right there. See it? I do.

                  1. Well that wasn’t about his voting, and sorry if that was implied. I mean he got belligerent with a cop. There was only one way it was going to go down after that.

                    1. If that’s what you meant, then why isn’t that what you wrote and consistently argued in favor of?

                      Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad you’ve apparently been swayed by the argument that Garner dying isn’t a result of whoever happened to be elected, but you should at least be honest to yourself.

                    2. OK, if I’m honest, I probably shouldn’t have used the word vote. I did say voting habits, in regards to the larger pool of victims and their families and communities. I probably should have known that that was a trigger word for all kinds of intuitive leaps here.

                    3. Ok, so now that the goal posts have moved to: he doesn’t deserve sympathy because he talked back to a cop, or because of the voting habits of his “community” (which is at best group identity politics, at worst racism), what would have been the sympathetic course of action for Garner to take? Should he have shut up and taken it? Wouldn’t that make him a coward? When is the mistreatment enough to voice a little dissent? How, in your twisted little head, does that kind of behavior lead to murder being an acceptable outcome?

                3. “This. This is precisely why I have absolutely zero sympathy for any of the victims of this crap. They’re not going to change their voting habits. They’re not going to punish those responsible or incentivize those offering actual solutions.”

                  That, by the way, is where the fuck you mentioned Garner’s vote. Idiot

            3. Ok jagoff, who did I vote for?

        2. Go back to PoliceOne and gargle some jizz with the rest of the thugs over there.

    4. Fuck off, Tulpa.

    5. “So expend your outrage, whine and cry like babies, soil your own beds, and 4 or 5 months from now, when you’ve forgotten about it, it can happen again. Enjoy.”

      Yeah, like that case in Florida where that cop got off… what was his name again? George Dylan?

    6. Sympathy, or not, they’re not dooming only themselves they’re taking all of us down with them.

  4. The cop put him in a chokehold because he’s black. They were arresting him for selling loose cigarettes.

    Is is that hard for liberals to understand?

    1. You think if Eric Garner were white, all else being the exact same, the outcome would have been different?

      1. Yes. There wouldn’t have been any outrage or media coverage.

        1. I was thinking about this and I realized that it seems like the only reason (or the trigger) that there was mass outrage and media coverage was because of the race angle. All the “solutions” I see put forth by politicians and pundits, though, seem to be pretty general prescriptions for limiting police power and increasing police accountability. So, if people not seeing the forest for the trees is the price to pay for change here, then I can easily live with it.

      2. You think if Eric Garner were white, all else being the exact same, the outcome would have been different?

        I don’t know? Would honky Eric Garner still be a fucking 400 pound diabetic asthmatic?

        1. “all else being the exact same”

          1. Of course. They didn’t put him in a chokehold because he was Black; they put him in a chokehold because they were too fucking lazy to have to deal with chasing a 400 pound diabetic down the street for a half a block before he would have collapsed from an exercise-induced asthma attack.

            1. hey were too fucking lazy to have to deal with chasing a 400 pound diabetic down the street

              Fuck man, that’s a whole new level of lazy. I submit that this discovery is akin to finding the cure for cancer.

            2. They put him in a chokehold because they’re fucking thugs and he said “it stops here” and the chokehold says “no it doesn’t”.

              1. But it actually did stop there.

                1. Is that supposed to be insightful, or are you just a moron?

                  1. If you don’t understand that, then you probably shouldn’t be throwing around words like moron.

              2. Unfortunately, this looks like the most likely explanation. The cops felt like Garner was getting “assey” with them. And they weren’t about to let some “civilian, a perp no less” question their authoritah.

                1. I agree, expect that only 8-year old girls and grown gay men get “sassy”, the cops felt Garner was “uppity”.

                  1. Actually, I meant assey, not sassy.

                    Honestly, I’m not sure uppity is right, even if it does capture the same meaning. I suspect that, if Garner were a poor white, a poor asian or a poor hispanic “giving them lip”, the response would have been roughly the same.

        2. So…you’re asking if they would’ve done it to Chris Christie?

          1. Chris Christie would’ve run out of breath and fell to the ground on his own.

          2. Brilliant!!

      3. In NYC? Definitely. The cops wouldn’t have stopped to harass a white person in NYC; too much risk of that person knowing the right people to make them lose their job.

    2. You lost them after the word black.

  5. Look, the intention of the cigarette tax was to curb smoking and put more money in politicians hands, not to choke people. Therefore its impossible for the real world outcome of cigarette taxes to be that people get choked to death.

    1. See, they had good intentions! What could -possibly- go wrong with trying to get people to quit smoking!?

    2. And they were going to use that tax money for ill-planned and ineffective smoking-prevention efforts.

      A real smoking-prevention program: Free patches, gum and e-cigs for everyone (SLD).

    3. You must be a shill for Big Tobacco. Rand Paul too.

  6. I keep seeing “liberals” left and right saying that Rand Paul is only partly right but then go on to reiterate his entire argument and agree with it, basically pulling a Toobin.

    1. “Pulling a Toobin.” Is that like pulling a Beutler or pulling a Chait?

      1. More like choking a chicken. In writing.

    2. can’t give him too much credit. he might not be “crazy” then.

      1. Well, if you give him credit now, your attack ads come … well, now, won’t be nearly as effective.

      1. Fuck. Well, Drake got it right. Thanks for the backup, man!

  7. The National Review got in on this too.

    “Want to Limit the Use of Police Force? Limit the State”
    http://www.nationalreview.com/…..-c-w-cooke

  8. One of them is undoubtedly racism; black people are disproportionately arrested and imprisoned.

    I’m sorry, but I don’t entirely believe this. At least as a controlling factor. Remember, the Officer in Charge in the case of Eric Garner was a black woman.

    The burden of laws falls disproportionately on those in the margins of our society. Black people are disproportionately represented among those in the margins. It stands to reason, then, that the burden of laws will fall disproportionately on black people.

    1. Look, police brutality has many underlying causes. One of them is undoubtedly racism; black people are disproportionately arrested and imprisoned.

      Robby, this is an absolutely absurd notion. A differential in the number of crimes either committed or convicted doesn’t prove shit. You are using the imbecilic “correlation equals causation”.

      The assumption that crimes should be proportional is collectivist bullshit. Should we assume that laws are sexist against men because of the disproportionate number of male criminals? Laws favor Quakers because so few of them are convicted? Think of the disproportionate number of 100 year old people committing crimes!! Ageism?

      We know that racism plays a part in police brutality because police are individuals and individuals are racist. Should we also assume from these statistics that no black cop has ever brutalized a white person because of their race?

      1. Should we also assume from these statistics that no black cop has ever brutalized a white person because of their race?

        No, I saw that on Youporn once.

      2. More crime happens where there is more poverty, lots of black people live in poverty. THAT is where the correlation lies. It is a socio-economic issue. How hard is that to understand? Poverty breeds misery, where there is misery, there is crime. The right believes that poor people CHOOSE to be poor. They don’t, I assure you.

    2. I wouldn’t fully discount racism. I got a speeding ticket from a black woman cop once while doing exactly the speed limit (I know because I had a truck full of guns and was trying to avoid police attention). Now I can’t be sure if she treated every motorists the way I was treated or if it was because I was a white guy in a pick-up, but her attitude towards me was extremely hostile. The difference between me and a poor person is I kept my temper, took the ticket and hired a lawyer. If I was looking at not making rent because of a BS ticket, I may have been more confrontational and ended up in jail. Unfortunately minorities tend to be over represented in the poor category and whites tend to be over represented in the cop category.

      1. The difference between me and a poor person is I kept my temper, took the ticket and hired a lawyer. If I was looking at not making rent because of a BS ticket, I may have been more confrontational and ended up in jail. Unfortunately minorities tend to be over represented in the cop category.

        But, this kind of makes my point. There mighta, kinda, sorta been racism there may well be a factor. But, its the poor who are more likely to be screwed by excessive laws.

        1. I’m not disagreeing. I’m saying the racial mix of the poor and the racial mix of the police allow a racist streak to have a larger impact. I didn’t mean to imply that racism is responsible for the entire disparate impact on minorities, but I don’t think it is a negligible factor either.

          1. but I don’t think it is a negligible factor either.

            I tend to think it is. Or at least that it’s role as a factor is vastly overrated. My impression is that cops will tend to fuck with anyone they can get away with fucking with. And cops can pretty easily get away with fucking with poor people. The fact that there are a lot of poor minorities will mean there are a lot of minorities fucked with by the cops.

            1. I guess there is no real way to know. I doubt police would answer they fucked with blacks for fun in a survey.

      2. Meh, I’ve had terrible interactions with white cops, great interactions with black cops, and vice versa. It depends on the individual cop and his/her mood that day more than any kind of race angle (it seems to me).

        One of my favorite interactions with a cop was with a young black cop in the middle of nowhere Louisiana. I was speeding (oops) but it was a completely empty highway. I was smoking a roach and the car reeked. Got pulled over. Long story short, no ticket, no search, nothing. I was shitting bricks the whole time, but the cop was cool and told me to slow down and wear my seatbelt.

        1. I can’t say for sure it was a race thing. She didn’t call me a cracker ass cracker or anything. It was more the fact that out of all the cars actually speeding, she chose to pull over an off-road pickup. But the greater point is because of demographics racist white cops can have a bigger impact on prison populations, than racist black cops.

    3. You don’t believe black people can be prejudiced against black people? I know one who is, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that sentiment is fairly common.

  9. If they want to argue against cigarette taxes, though, they should make that full argument?including that the law can cause violent confrontations between police and civilians. But pointing to Garner’s death as evidence that those taxes are bad policy isn’t meaningful.

    So let me get this straight:

    Arguing, in the abstract, that a bad law could potentially lead to disastrous consequences is okay.
    Pointing to a specific disastrous consequence of that bad law is wrong.

    Did I get that right? If so, what the hell does that mean?

    1. But pointing to Garner’s death as evidence that those taxes are bad policy isn’t meaningful.

      Wow, I just read that in your comment.

      “Sure, make the argument that laws against cigg taxes are bad for society, but leave out arguing against all the major negative consequences of laws.”

      I bet they call that “Arguing in good faith” to boot.

    2. It means two things:

      1) Some of the people making this argument think of themselves as good people. They never intended for this to happen so they can’t process it. They are lying to themselves.

      2) The rest of them understand just fine and are lying to everyone else.

    3. You’re not allowed to use a real-world tragedy as an example of bad policy.

      Now, let’s get back to how Sandy Hook proves the need for gun control…

  10. ‘You know,it will cut down on crime,keep families together ,and lead to a better quality of life for everyone. Let’s do it ,let’s ban alcohol!”

    1. I can’t conceive that there will ever possibly be any negative outcome from this. +1!

      1. My name is Al Capone and I approve of this message.

        1. Happy Repeal Day! It’s the anniversary of the singing of the 21st amendment.

          1. Signing.

            See! I’m celebrating already!

          2. Seems like they forgot they needed an Amendment to enact a federal ban on drugs other than alcohol.

  11. Yep. Leave it to a bunch of stupid-ass progressives to create a brand new black market, order their own LEOs to vigorously enforce cracking down on that black market, and then lament the result of those laws and orders.

    1. and then lament the result of those laws and orders.

      That’s the problem. They can’t understand the concept that laws (actions) have consequences; they see this as a failure to obey.

      1. or bad training.

    2. laws and orders

      bong bong

  12. “I think ‘it’s the cigarette tax’ is comforting because then we don’t have to deal with the racism, which we know isn’t getting fixed easily,” wrote Serwer.

    Seems like it would be far harder for the racists to kill black people if the State stops giving them cover to act under the color of law.

    1. State stops giving them cover to act under the color of law.

      What you did there. It has been seen.

    2. But why give the cops less laws to enforce when we can lock all of the racists in death reeducation camps?

  13. OT: Where the fuck is Dunphy to explain to us how this dude was completely justified in his actions?

    1. He has Morgan Fairchild in a choke hold while hanging ten, brah.

      hth.

    2. Either surfing, or power lifting Morgan Fairchild.

  14. If they want to argue against cigarette taxes, though, they should make that full argument?including that the law can cause violent confrontations between police and civilians.

    Isn’t that exactly what they’re doing??

    1. I know. I keep seeing this. I’ve never seen such a blatant example of cognitive dissonance going on.

      1. You want to argue against cigarette taxes are bad because they can lead to violent confrontations between police and civilians? Fine, I’d like to see you try!

        OK. Here is an example of a lethal confrontation (allegedly) caused by someone skirting cigarette taxes.

        What the fuck are you talking about?

        No, what the fuck are you talking about???

        1. Know those times you’re high and someone’s talking to you, but you’ve already made up your mind and you’re just waiting for them to shut the fuck up?

          Oh, you don’t?

          Well this is the result of that happening.

  15. And so the contention?made by some libertarians and conservatives?that punitive cigarette taxes are a contributing factor in Garner’s death has driven many on the left into a fit of rage.

    As I said yesterday, selling untaxed cigarettes is like the worst thing ever to your garden-variety progressive.

    1. selling untaxed cigarettes

      ftfy

    2. I think its pretty important to point out that Mr. Garner was suspected of selling untaxed cigarettes, but no evidence of him being engaged in that activity was found on him to justify that murder.

      1. Sure there is: disobeying.

      2. I keep saying this, and I will keep saying it: I have seen nothing to suggest that he was confronted by the police on this occasion for selling loose cigarettes. I have yet to see any justification for why they tried to detain him in the first place.

        1. Well, I’m sure he was doing SOMETHING that was untaxed. Death to him!

        2. Dude, you can see it in the vid. The cops approached and he was defensive: BOOM, probable cause. Case fucking closed. Nothing to indict on at all!

  16. I’m sure none of this can be true. Just yesterday, I was assured that this was a brilliant opportunity for libertarians and progressives to work together. That, since they recognized that this situation was a problem as much as libertarians did, that discussion about excessive force by the police that focused on anything but race would be a welcome contribution among people with a common goal.

    Or maybe I just misheard.

    1. You can’t work with progressives. They ARE the War on Drugs and this incident proves it.

      1. Their goal is the state. Always has been always will be. Obama ran as an anti war candidate and Warren may do the same, but what they say is utter bullshit. War is the health of the state, and these people will increase the size and power of the state at any cost.

      2. You can not be serious. Please, explain that one. Tell me which progressives are running the war on drugs.

        1. All of them. Tobacco is a drug. Doesn’t it count?

    2. I for one was arguing that it’s a good opportunity to at least try to start a conversation. Maybe not with John Stewart, but with the guy you work with, or that friend on Facebook? It’s worth a try.

      1. I’ve tried it. They don’t want to hear it.

        Jon Stewart is popular with progressives because he tells them what they want to hear. But, it is what they want to hear.

      2. I don’t have any friends on Facebook. I’m not on Facebook.

    3. Bo?

    4. “Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed? We want them 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. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to 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 nor objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.” – Floyd Ferris, Atlas Shrugged

  17. “The police are the public and the public are the police;
    the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.”

    ? Robert Peel

    This is the ethic we should be inculcating in the citizenry.

    As an aside, I HATE hearing cops referring to ‘civilians’.

    My response: “I’m more of a cop than you are a soldier.”

    1. As an aside, I HATE hearing cops referring to ‘civilians’.

      “If you’re not a civilian, then you must be a war criminal.”

  18. On his show last night, Jon Stewart mocked Sen. Rand Paul for making that point. When asked about Garner’s death, Paul said: “Some politician put a tax of $5.85 on cigarettes, so they have driven cigarettes underground by making them so expensive, but then some politician also had to direct the police to say, hey, we want you arresting people for selling a loose cigarette.”

    Stewart’s response: “What the fuck are you talking about?”

    It’s called the WAR ON DRUGS you fucking illiterate howler monkey!

    You know, that War on Drugs, something I’m REPEATEDLY assured that Progressives are all against, and were against before it was cool? Because it had a “disproportionate” affect on blacks? Oh wait, you see that “disproportionate affect” in full force, before your eyes, and then you deny its existence?

    Fuck you, progressives. I hope you all die of ass cancer.

    1. Stewart’s response: “What the fuck are you talking about?”

      That is just Stewart telling his brain dead followers “we have no rational response to Paul’s point so we will pretend it doesn’t exist”.

      Yeah, Jon what is he talking about? What mendacious fascist fuck Stewart is.

      1. I think this may be a case where Jon (despite his so-called intelligence) is just too stupid to add two and two.

  19. Robby, you hit it out of the park with this one. Well done.

    1. Yeah, my respect for Soave grows.

      Advice to Soave: Don’t ever compromise your principles. Don’t let the endless river of lies and hypocrisy jade you.

      1. If I could go back in time, I’d open a bar and serve his 18-year old self a beer on the house.

      2. And don’t succumb to the lure of the cocktail parties.

    2. And, with the Rolling Stone retraction this afternoon, you won the UVA pissing contest with Jezebel too.

      Damn fine week, kid.

      1. Basically this.

        Been really enjoying reading Soave’s posts.

  20. Stewart’s response: “What the fuck are you talking about?”

    Making logical connections between policies and results is hard.

    “Right-Wing Media Parrot Rand Paul’s Absurd Assertion That Cigarette Taxes Are To Blame For Eric Garner’s Death.”

    It’s prohibition mentality/policy combined with aggressive and unaccountable policing. Which I believe was Paul’s implication. (though he seems to be trying to toe a line with “law & order” neo-cons on this one.) Media matters is disingenuous to the extreme.

    Police have far more legal protections than non-police. They can get away with so much more murder.

    Say it with me: UN.ACCOUNTABLE.

    Any subsequent conversation about ending police brutality should include strategies to combat racism

    No. Racism is irrelevant so long as law enforcement is held accountable to the law they ostensibly enforce. I.e. no matter who an officer assaults, there should be repercussions for doing so. This provides incentive to enforce the law fairly the same way a businesses reputation provides incentive for it to not discriminate in service.

  21. In other words, Eric Garner is not dead because New York City imposes high cigarette taxes. He’s dead because a cop put him in a chokehold, in violation of NYPD rules, and held his head against ground

    Ok, retarded, drooling progressives. The next time one of you idiots sniffs about the ‘disproportionate affect’ of the drug war on minorities, I’ll DEMAND you give me concrete examples.

    If you’re able to come up with any, I can just wave them off as “black dude [shot, choked, arrested, run over, beaten] by police– in violation of policy, nothing to see here on the more vast connection with the drug war.”

    HMmm? HMMMMMM? Jesus Progressives are the most mendacious fucks to ever slither out from a broken sewer pipe.

    1. In other words, Eric Garner is not dead because New York City imposes high cigarette taxes. He’s dead because a cop put him in a chokehold, in violation of NYPD rules, and held his head against ground

      How can one possibly read that and not *instantly* ask “Well, why were they detaining him in the first place?”

      1. Cops are totally racists and society itself is irredeemably racist. But it is totally okay to give those racist cops more power to imprison and opress black people.

        This is the level of disengeniousness Progressives operate at.

      2. These progressives are the most… goddamnit my fists are shaking over this shit…

        They’re the biggest disingenuous fucking liars. They will say ANYTHING as long as its in service of state power. ANYTHING.

        No, there’s no problem with the War on Drugs. This was just a racist cop who violated procedure. There’s no issue with Authority. This is racism, straight up. And what cures racism? MORE AUTHORITY, Q.E.D.!

        1. Take heart Paul. I think this case is really starting to hurt them and they know it. As the Jon Stewart snark reveals, they have no answer to this. They are terrified black people are going to start asking why it is that the cops had the ability to arrest Garner in the first place. Progs have no answer to that and just keep yelling “look over there, a racist squirrel”.

        2. They will say ANYTHING as long as its in service of state power.

          They’re a cult for whom the State is the prime mover. How else would you expect them to behave?

        3. I’m glad I’m not the only one getting all worked up today about it. I’ve been arguing all day with a passel of Progs over at bigsoccer.com over this shit and holy fuck.

          I think I finally talked some of them into a position of reasonability, or at least silence, even the one of them who was exchanging some heated PMs with me on it.

          Now I’m trying fight off a couple of cop-fellating conservatives in the same thread.

          Productivity: nil.

      3. That’s what I’d like to know too: why were they? I have to conclude that it was personal. He was marked as somebody that somebody wanted dead. Don’t kid yourself that it was about cigarets.

  22. Lets take the progs at Slate and elsewhere in the media at their word. So, they are outraged that Garner was killed and think the cops were wrong. Okay, good for them. Yet, they are still totally okay with the cops arresting Garner and sending him to prison for the crime of selling a legal product used by millions of people very day.

    If Progs want to believe that Eric Garner is dead because cops are racist, I can’t say they are necessarily wrong. I can’t look into the soul of the cops who killed him. If, however, refuse to believe there is any problem with the laws the cops were enforcing and think the existence of those laws bear no responsibility for Garner’s death, again that is their right. If they choose to do that, however, they forfeit the ability to say a single word about the problem of black incarceration in this country, because they clearly don’t have a problem with it. This case is showing us that Progressives are totally on board with arresting and imprisoning people like Eric Garner as long as the cops who arrest him are humane and not racist.

    1. I think they are totally ignoring the reason for the arrest/stop. it is totally irrelevant to their worldview.

      1. Yeah, I can’t understand how that’s possible.

        I’m not using hyperbole here; I cannot comprehend this concept. I’m trying. My brain goes blank. I can’t even use words to convey my mental state because there’s nothing there to convey.

        How can not just one person, but a whole group of people be this goddamn stupid?

        1. When you have no morality other than might makes right, then government becomes your morality. They have the might, so they must be right.

          Thus questioning legislation is simply not an option. It does not compute. The law is the law. If you don’t like it, then change it. In the mean time, you better obey. Or else.

      2. If you are fine with throwing black people in jail for crimes like selling cigarettes, you necessarily support the mass incarceration of black people. If you didn’t, why do you support the laws that are the cause of that incarceration?

        1. perhaps this is just the result of (largely) living in a consequence free world.

          that or you think that enacting a law is the end of the story. like you snap your fingers, the law is enacted, and there was much rejoicing and .. nothing else happened.

        2. why do you support the laws that are the cause of that incarceration?

          White privilege. It’s about fucking time to use their own tactics against them.

          1. Exactly LynchPin. Like I say below. Progs think cops are racist and that is the problem. No, the problem is their laws are racist.

    2. *slow clap*

    3. Yet, they are still totally okay with the cops arresting Garner and sending him to prison for the crime of selling a legal product used by millions of people very day.

      To be fair, I’ve seen many make the argument that he should have been given a citation or a summons.

      To be fairer, what if he didn’t pay the ticket or show up to court? Now it’s time for the choke hold?

      1. yeah. That is a dodge. What if he can’t afford the fine? What if he just refuses to pay it?

        The citation only means something if it is backed by the threat of jail. Progressives rationalize these laws to themselves by thinking “then he is going to jail for not paying a fine not breaking this law.” And that is just that, a rationalization.

        Ultimately they are fine with sending Garner to jail, because they are utterly intolerant of who he is and are perfectly willing to use the force of law to make him conform to their standards of behavior. Decent people pay their fines and don’t smoke. If Garner can’t do that, send him to prison.

        Again, it is their right to think that way. But I don’t want to hear another fucking word from them about how concerned they are about the poor or black people or how tolerant they are.

      2. How much money do you need to owe the state before they choke hold your ass? If you are a plebe, $5.85. If you’re a media hack government stoog like Al Sharpton, who knows.

    4. Look. The government is us. The people. It is the collective will of the people. Because of that, all laws are just. They represent the collective will of the people. If you don’t like a law, then get it changed. Because if you ignore it, then you deserve to die for ignoring the will of the people. Duh.

    5. Exactly. If cops are going to be racist, despite the best intention of their Progressive and Enlightened political masters in a place like NYC, then surely the only solution is to give police the absolute minimum power and absolute maximum punishment for abusing such power that society can tolerate.

  23. A well-meaning liberal who doesn’t want people to smoke but also doesn’t want the government to kill them for doing so has plenty of other options, by the way.

    The horrible irony here is that by selling loose cigarettes to individuals that would otherwise be inclined to smoke an entire pack at their disposal, Eric Garner was doing exactly this. Anybody that can’t comprehend this simply has no insight into the workings of the mind of a smoker.

  24. I ran into this disconnect last weekend. A beloved (by me) biologist mentioned that the Peoples Republic of Takoma Park had a strict Tree Control regulation.
    I made some snarky remark about Kim Jung Un and trees.
    She assured me that it was well meaning and not somekind of arborial facism.
    Is it voluntary?
    She said, “No, it’s regulations and they are serious about it.”
    So, if I tell the City Arborist [ http://www.takomaparkmd.gov/publicworks/arborist ] to fuck herself with a 3 inch sapling – they won’t, eventually, send men with guns?
    “Of course they would. You acting like somekind of right wing nut and ripe for the killin'”

    1. You might ask her what about if I don’t have the money to keep my trees the way the town tells me? What if I am just kind of a fuck up who doesn’t know the rules and cuts my trees without thinking about the town having a problem with it?

      People like her do well following rules. Other people don’t. Why are people like her so intolerant of that and so nasty and oppressive to people who lack her ability to fit in?

      1. What if I am just kind of a fuck up who doesn’t know the rules and cuts my trees without thinking about the town having a problem with it?

        Quit using me in your posts!

        1. Hey now. I own the copyright to my life, not you.

        2. I just assume that since I paid for them as part of the land I purchased, my discretion would count for much.

    2. Takoma Park in the house! I probably live down the street from you.

      1. how can you stand it?

        1. Cheap rent.

  25. I reject these claims as given, can you prove them? “One of them is undoubtedly racism; black people are disproportionately arrested and imprisoned. An encounter between a cop and a civilian is more likely to be unpleasant if the civilian is black. In fact, it’s more likely to occur in the first place if the civilian is black, because many cops racially profile suspects.”

    1. black people are disproportionately arrested and imprisoned

      Maybe that is because we have a lot of laws that disproportionately affect black people? That is what we need to start telling the Progs; it is not the cops who are racist (though some probably are) it is your laws that are racist.

      1. Many laws, such as the one that originally criminalized marijuana as well as minimum wage, were enacted with active racist intent.

        1. Yes they were. The original Progressive Project was to use government to transform minorities and immigrants into responsible people.

        2. Well, many laws were sold as being overtly racist. Somehow the State and its agents always benefited more than the poorest white people.

        3. “You pay peanuts, you get monkeys!”

    2. The Stop and Frisk stats in NYC prove that they were using racial profiling. And if you think that only happens in NYC, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

    3. What is the dis-proportionality in relation to? The percent of whites/blacks arrested vs the total white/black population?

      What are the number in terms of income brackets? Percent of poor white/blacks arrested vs the total poor white/black population?

  26. You are barking at the lock on your cage.

  27. Stewart’s response: “What the fuck are you talking about?”

    We’re talking about incentives, you ignorant malodorous pustule.

    1. People who value intentions pay no heed to incentives or results.

  28. Stewart’s response: “What the fuck are you talking about?”

    You remember when liberals cared about “root causes”? That’s what I’m talking about.

    I’m also talking about the obvious, here, which is why it probably eludes you: every law, no matter how trivial, is a call for the police to use force on other people for not obeying. I ask you, Jon: do you support the use of force against people who are suspected of selling loose cigarettes? Yes or no. Its a simple question with a monosyllabic answer that I’m sure you can manage to grunt out.

    1. He wouldn’t have to answer, ’cause now he can say he was just being a “comedian”.

    2. You remember when liberals cared about “root causes”?

      Only when those “root causes” are something that can be fixed with more government. The moment they discovered that their beloved government was the cause they forgot what they were doing.

    3. Here are the questions to ask him or people like him.

      1. Things that disproportionally harm minorities are racist, right?

      2. And a disproportionate number of black people are in prison in this country right?

      3. And those black people are in prison for violating laws, right?

      4. So, our laws disproportionately harm black people and are therefore racist, right?

      1. Your mansplaining might as well be in Urdu, John.

        1. They always talk about how there are so many more black people in prison because cops unfairly target them. Okay, suppose cops didn’t do that and went after white people just as hard. Would putting just as many white people in jail as black people be any better?

          Some of them would no doubt say yes. But most of them would give you the Stewart response of “what the fuck are you talking about”. They seem to have a real problem grasping cause and effect. Too many black people are in prison in this country. That is very much true. But it is not like the police are out randomly grabbing black people and throwing them in prison, though I am sure sometimes they do. Every black person in prison is there because the government says they violated a law. So, you can’t talk about the incarceration problem without talking about the law problem that is causing it. That is unless you are a Progressive who can’t grasp cause and effect.

  29. “We’re after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to 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…you create a nation of lawbreakers ? and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Rearden.”

  30. Government is a gang of thugs who are paid to push us around. It’s their job.

    While I completely agree with you on this, I wouldn’t have phrased it that way. This is a teachable moment for libertarians, but it needs to be framed better than “gang of thugs”. Don’t hand the progs any ammunition.

    1. it’s an offshoot of trying to explain that government has its own interests, like any other large organization, and is not “us”.

      1. And again, I agree, but would never use the phrase “government is not us” if I was trying to convince the general public. Remember that the Progs have done a good job of scaring the general public, particularly minorities, about those anti-government nutjobs.

    2. Yeah, I prefer to call them “bullies”.

  31. “…including that the law can cause violent confrontations between police and civilians. But pointing to Garner’s death as evidence that those taxes are bad policy isn’t meaningful. ”

    Wait, what? Did he read what he wrote there? Even when a prog is right at the doorstep, they just can’t go through that door.

    1. They can’t go through the door and admit that laws are at fault or even part of the problem because doing so means admitting that their laws and really the entire Progressive project is nothing but a war against the poor and those who don’t fit their ideal.

      Progs wake up every day utterly convinced of two incomparable things; that they are the forces of tolerance fighting the forces of intolerance and racism and that the purpose of government and laws is to mold and govern people’s behavior towards an ideal. You can’t believe in the second thing and remain tolerant of different cultures and races.

      It is why you really can’t work with Progs, only convert them and then only rarely.

  32. The other thing about this case and about the explosion of public filming of cops is that it shows the public just how ugly law enforcement is. I don’t mean the cops, I mean how ugly of a job it is.

    Most people in this country have no contract with the justice system and thus have no idea what an ugly awful thing it is to go out and grab someone and stick them in a cage. Certainly, it is a job that someone has to do because there are people out there that deserve it. But even if the person deserves it, it is an ugly thing. People don’t realize that and get their views of the criminal justice system from TV and the movies.

    Since they don’t understand what it really means to arrest and imprison someone, they have no problem with making everything a crime. If they understood what making something a crime actually meant, they would be less interested in making everything criminal. Everyone in America ought to have to watch the Garner tape not as a lesson in police brutality. They should have to watch the tape as a lesson in what it looks like when you send police out to enforce laws and imprison people. It isn’t pretty and you better have a good fucking reason for doing it and not just “there ought to be a law”.

    1. I think they also overlook the permanent damage that being arrested and imprisoned can do to a person’s life. Employment prospects, credit, and many things that ordinary folks take for granted are permanently fucked even when you’ve supposedly “paid your debt to society”.

      1. Hell, you don’t even have to be convicted for an arrest to ruin your life.

        1. Nope. Get arrested, not make bail, lose your job and everything you have while you wait for months in jail to go to trial. You are fucked even if you are entirely innocent. That happens to people all of the time.

        2. Not too long ago I had a wrongful arrest from over 45 years ago, one for which all charges were dropped with prejudice, come back to haunt me. It was a moment of utter disbelief coupled with the realization of just how unbelievably completely self-destructive and our society has become.

  33. It’s like all the years of liberals (now progressives) nodding and agreeing that the war on drugs disproportionately affects blacks and other minorities was just bullshit. It was just facade. It didn’t actually mean anything. They’re now confronted with their own complicity– even being the architects of such a system, and now… NOW it’s not a problem. It’s just a few bad actors… and we need more power, more authority and more money to eradicate them.

  34. I imagine that most of these progs have seen the Terminator movies but they don’t seem to have absorbed the lesson. Likewise with Frankenstein and any number of other stories. Creating a monster never goes quite the way you plan it.

    And of course they can’t admit that their plans are at fault.

    1. Very much like that guy at the Grauniad who complained about the ‘anti-government’ message in “Hunger Games”, then proposed using authoritarian tactics to keep kids from reading such ‘right-wing libertarian’ material.

      Totally unable to see that HE is the root of the problem.

  35. This article is a worthy followup to 2chili’s article. Well done, Robby.

  36. If they’re liberals, they wouldn’t want to make everything illegal. We should stick to calling them progressives, a label that many of them are fine with using anyway.

    1. Illiberals/ProREgressives.

  37. While I completely agree with you on this, I wouldn’t have phrased it that way. This is a teachable moment for libertarians, but it needs to be framed better than “gang of thugs”. Don’t hand the progs any ammunition.

    This is Concern Troll Hall of Fame material.

    1. They are a gang of thugs. And in many ways they have to be. As I say above, law enforcement is a nasty, ugly job. Perhaps we might want to be a little bit more circumspect about which people we turn said thugs lose on.

    2. Ya. Why should we fucking sugar coat that shit sandwich now? Make em eat the whole thing. I think a shocking realization of the full implication of “there oughta be a law” is the only way to reach anybody.

  38. more proof jon stewart is a fucking nitwit

  39. I don’t know why I’m surprised liberals still can’t make the connection. They never have been, and really are never going to be able to, and always end up saying stupid things like Stewart.

    What the hell is wrong with me/us that this stil surprises me/us? I have plenty of experience with my family of just talking past them because they flat out lack the basic logic circuits in the brain. You’d think I’d have learned by now, but for some reason when I’m trying to engage people or think about their thoughts I start with the assumption of a rational person, which experience shows me is clearly often not true.

  40. Sorry, the facts of this case don’t support the tax argument. It happened that Garner had a previous record of selling loosies, but that’s not what got the police on him the day of his death.

    1. Furthermore, the ordinance against selling less than a pack of cigarets isn’t mostly even about the taxes. It’s true that you can’t put a tax stamp on an individual cigarette, but who in hir right mind is going to go the trouble of buying untaxed cigarets to sell them loose? A small time operator like that buys packs or cartons locally at retail, already taxed. The prohibition on selling loosies was sold as a way to discourage people (primarily children) from first trying smoking, and also as a way of discouraging people trying to quit smoking from just getting one more cigarette.

      1. The taxes, a inordinate amount of taxes, had been paid on the cigarettes when Garner bought the pack or carton. When the government puts itself into the business of determining what individuals do, or don’t do, with, or to, their own bodies what they’re actually doing is implying the government owns people’s bodies. There are terms for an individual who does not own their own body; slave, serf, chattel, captive…

      2. Sorry, but that doesn’t make the law any less idiotic.

        Second, while it is true that the cops were responding to a call for a fight and not to get Garner for selling loosies, the only reason Garner reacted the way he did and the confrontation occurred was because of his previous dealings with the cops over that issue. Take away the law and this never happens.

        1. Somehow I don’t think so. You think Garner wouldn’t’ve just been involved in some other petty violations?& for all I know already was?

          Think about it: What opp’ty would someone like that have to make a few $ if it weren’t exploiting some illegality? If he tried working a regular job, his disability would be disqualified, so no payments. If it weren’t illegal to sell loosies, people could buy them at the store & would have no reason to meet him on the street for them.

          1. I mean, he could do like the people selling candy on the subway trains, allegedly in some cases for charity. However, that’s illegal too, and even if the subways were privatized, you think the owners would let just anyone sell candy, combs, or DVDs on them?

    2. Another way of looking at it is Garner had a previous record of being capitalist exercising his natural right to participate in a free market place.

      1. He wouldn’t’ve been in that business if it were a free marketplace.

        Look, we don’t know what the world would be like today if some centuries ago the world had been free, and remained so since. That’s part of what The Probability Broach was about. For all we know, Garner would never have been born, because of a zillion things that would’ve been different about that world. Or if he had been born, maybe he’d’ve been of a different race or a different health condition. So it’s silly to speculate.

        What we have is the world as it is. Unfortunately in the world as it is, many of us to some degree owe our livelihoods to a lack of freedom in the market. Some of us work in some capacity related to compliance, or in a field with an illegality or regulatory premium, or in fields whose prices have been bid up due to gov’t spending. Given all that, the details of how that world is policed still matter a lot as regards incidents like this one! Change nothing else but how legal institutions & procedures relate to police, and you wouldn’t have many incidents of big harmless guys being wrestled by the neck to the ground & killed.

    3. It’s not what initially got their attention, but they used his record – which would not exist if not for this unjust law – as a pretext to escalate the confrontation.

      Furthermore, the ordinance against selling less than a pack of cigarets isn’t mostly even about the taxes.

      Doesn’t matter why it’s illegal. All that matters is that it is illegal.

      1. No, they used his record to record something in the record after his death. Why would you believe them?

      2. //Doesn’t matter why it’s illegal. All that matters is that it is illegal.

        ehhh…. I might disagree there.
        The cops killing someone just for violating a law that tries to change people’s behavior under some goody two shoes ideal (stopping smoking) is way worse than if there were a more legitimate reason for a law, like a real tax only meant to raise money, or some real crime.

  41. Hopefully this will also convince a few conservatives that rule of law is not necessarily a good thing because the laws can be immoral. Might be a few less people willing to send teams of gunmen into people’s houses at night to round up “illegal immigrants” and ship them all back (or shoot them in the process).

  42. As one of the critics of this stupid argument said, this is an argument against all laws, not an argument for how to solve police brutality.

    1. Sheesh, this is a case where both my sentiment & the facts are on Tony’s side! WTF happened?!

    2. That is awfully absolutist for someone whose side excels in pathological relativism. But of course here it suits the narrative.

      Who said anything about solving police brutality as an absolute? This is about removing opportunities of police brutality by removing pointless laws which create victimless crimes. Not an argument against all laws.

      In short: What a big strawman you’ve got there, Tony.

  43. Am I missing something here? I can’t watch that fucking video again, so I am going off of 2-month-old memory, but isn’t the only reason we are talking about cigarettes and prohibitive taxes is because that was the excuse the thug police used to justify their attack? Why anyone gives any credibility to that BS is beyond me. If he didn’t have prior contact/cases involving selling loosies, then they would have just used one of the thousands of other bullshit excuses to justify their attack.

    The cops approached him and accosted him. He verbally objected and raised his hands to show he was not a threat and tried to put a little distance between himself and the twerp cop. They didn’t like that, jumped him, and choked or suffocated him to death.

    1. More laws = more opportunities to go after the poor.

      What you want is fewer police.

  44. // this is an argument against all laws

    What? No it isn’t. How the hell is that the conclusion you draw?

    A more logical conclusion, which is what’s actually explained in the article, is that maybe the government shouldn’t be penalizing EVERY LITTLE THING. You know they should stop being nanny statists.

    You try to regulate everything, the Eric Garner case is what you get. If the government just stuck to real crimes, you know, like rape, robbery, assault, etc., there wouldn’t be an issue, since no one gives a shit abut a rapist or a mugger getting beat by the cops.

    1. What makes you think they wouldn’t’ve said, after killing him, that Garner looked like someone they saw on a Wanted poster for rape, robbery, etc.?

  45. This wouldn’t be the 1st time something that turns out to be a horseshit argument has gotten used in favor of reforms toward individual liberty. Remember when the cx between crime & narcotics prohib’n was said to be how much “addicts” had to steal to support their habits, and therefore how much less crime we’d get if the drugs could be supplied to them cheaply? Thos. Szasz was the 1st I remember to make fun of that one; some of the statistics cited in favor of it would’ve had the “addicts” working as fast as Santa Claus on Xmas Eve to steal the amount attributed to them.

    1. Dr. Marks in England proved “how much less crime we’d get if the drugs could be supplied to them cheaply?”

  46. Anytime someone resists arrest, there is the possibility that he will die during the process of resisting arrest–particularly if the person is asthmatic and significantly overweight. So maybe Mr. Garner shouldn’t have resisted arrest. And maybe the cops should’ve just given him a ticket, instead of trying to arrest him. In fact, I’m sure that both are true statements.

    But as long as we’re going to have stupid laws on the books, SOMEONE will be charged with the obligation to try to enforce those stupid laws, and ultimately, when a person violating said stupid laws refuses to cooperate with the police during said enforcement, things could, and often do, break very badly. So it seems to me that part of the solution to the current problem is that we need to stop making things illegal that don’t warrant police having to forcibly arrest people for violating them.

    In this case, someone died, certainly an awful result. But how many people have lived, but nevertheless had their lives ruined, because they disobeyed stupid laws? No protests for them…

    1. First of all, is what he did rightly called “resisting”? All he did was complain vociferously.

      That aside, it’s not like reducing the # of laws would reduce the total # of people who might have an incident like that. The limiting factor is police man-hours, since there’ll always be enough action for them, one way or another. What you might say is that if we had fewer laws, we’d need fewer police, but unless that reduction in force was followed thru on, you would not see the effect you seek.

      Incidents like this are a dumb reason for getting rid of stupid laws. Stupid laws are stupid, period; they need no further justif’n for getting rid of than the fact that complying with them makes the world a worse place.

  47. Wasting your time, Robby Soave. Liberals worship almighty Government. In Government we trust. Glory be to Government.

    Telling liberals Government doesn’t have the answer? Why don’t you just tell conservatives the same about God while you’re at it?

  48. You DO realize that lots of cops enjoy beating the shit out of people, right? To say that this guy died because of cigarette taxes is utterly ludicrous. Just another right wing spin tactic to say “look at what those damn liberals did now, and they say its racism” . The simple fact is this: There are lots of poor people and that makes them easy targets for asshole cops with anger management problems. The fact that racism has systematically kept a boot on the throat of Black America, and is only now BEGINNING to change just might have something to do with the poverty that so many people of color live in. Anyone who doesn’t believe that race IS at least partly an issue here is pretty naive or a racist. Furthermore, anyone that is white and doesn’t admit to knowing LOTS of racist white folks, is either very sheltered or lying. I look forward to reading all of your idiotic replies to this post, proving my point.

    1. The poor are easier to catch and imprison. More laws – more racism.

      We Are Exempt From Your Morality.

    2. Dude, I would hate to be a cop, especially in NY, and deal with the horrible crap most black communities and people do. It’s hard to differentiate the non-aggressive black guy out of the 20 per day they have to deal with.

  49. What struck me about the recent round of racial division in Ferguson and NY was how closely it resembles the Chinese narrative.

    I was listening to NPR a couple years ago and they were talking about how China has no freedom of information yet there is coverage of political corruption, but its always a case of officials at the local level ‘doing it wrong’ and the saintly central planners have to come in and set them right.

    It’s basically an exercise in statist fellating, although it presents itself as govt corruption, just to imply they allow transparency.

    I think this is the future of law enforcement press coverage in the USA. The local meanies are beating negroes like hotcakes, and we hope and pray Obama or Hillary will swoop in and save the day.

    They will continue to prevent solutions because they need emergencies to ‘solve’. They just need that continuous stream of corruption to be disconnected from themselves politically, so the nation/local dichotomy is used.

  50. Certain American police officers have elevated the failure to shut up, grovel, and stop moving ? while undergoing sadistic torture ? to a capital offense.

    We might as well just title them Lords and Ladies and be done with it. Our refusal to indict officers for such deadly malpractice effectively elevates them to the state of nobility, an odious practice forbidden under the American Constitution. Under American custom, all ? including police officers ? should be subject to the same law. Police are tried by entirely different standards than civilians. If anything, police should heed the maxim of Spiderman: with great power comes great responsibility.
    http://papalibertarian.wordpre…..lpractice/

  51. Twas calories that killed Garnder! If only he’d had adhered to the Recommended Calorie Doses, he’d still be alive and would have been able to breath.

  52. Garner was killed by the neo-Puritan streak in today’s “liberal” progressives.

    Nothing liberal about them, of course, except for issues of s^x. That’s it. Tight-laced and Puritanistic everywhere except in bed: how DARE you even think of smoking a cigarette, you evil thing you!

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  54. A psychopathic cop needlessly killed Garner and to blame it on the cigarette tax is very stupid, but I’m not surprised because this Paul is as crazy as his father.

  55. I’m asking any who sympathize with tobacco-dependent citizens both ostracized and “sin taxed” ever more unfairly to “Share” this song anywhere if they like it. (We’ve had it on the internet since 2012.) “If You’re Not Buying Cigarettes then What Kind of Citizen ARE You?”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?…

  56. I’m asking any who sympathize with tobacco dependent citizens who get ostracized (and get “sin taxed” at rates ever more cruel and unusual) to “Share” this song if they like it. (“If You’re Not Buying Cigarettes then What Kind of Citizen ARE You?” We’ve had it posted since 2012.)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpXjVq5Q6S0

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