Alcohol

Virginia's Out of Control Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control

It's time to rein in this abusive state agency.

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Lucky for him, he wasn't selling loosies.

Martese Johnson, a double major at the University of Virginia and a member of the school's honor committee, got turned away from a bar last week. Johnson was not trying to use a fake ID; Trinity Irish Pub in Charlottesville was turning people away because of crowding. Still, agents from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control pulled him aside—and the next thing anyone knew, Johnson was lying on the ground, bleeding from the head.

The story went national in hours, and has revived the sensible suggestion that the State Police take over the ABC's enforcement duties. No wonder: This isn't the first time the ABC has embarrassed itself. Two years ago it made national headlines when plainclothes agents suspected another underage-drinking offense. The agents saw U.Va. student Elizabeth Daly and a friend leaving a grocery store with something that might have been beer. The agents later learned it was water. But that was after they terrorized the two young women by swarming their vehicle, trying to bash the window in with a flashlight and drawing a gun.

Daly spent the night in jail on three felony charges. She sued, won, and eventually got more than $200,000. Yet the ABC's first review of the incident absolved the agents involved of any wrongdoing. After sustained public outrage and another investigation, it said the agents involved had violated policy. The ABC announced some minor changes, such as requiring enforcement personnel to wear outer garments identifying them as ABC special agents. But it ignored larger issues—such as whether paying a half-dozen agents to skulk around a grocery-store parking lot to nab kids buying beer constitutes a reasonable use of public dollars. And whether underage booze purchases are serious enough to warrant a violent response.

While "we cannot undo" what happened, said ABC Board chairman J. Neal Insley at the time, "we can only do our best to learn the lessons from this experience." Judging from Martese Johnson's bloody face, some in the agency haven't learned enough.

Recent episodes—the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, the Rolling Stone story on U.Va.—offer the reminder that jumping to conclusions is dangerous. Initial reports often need later revision. So the investigation Gov. Terry McAuliffe has ordered into Johnson's arrest is a welcome step. It's important to get all the facts straight.

Yet in the past few days nobody, including the ABC, has accused Johnson of being physically aggressive in any way. In fact, the owner of Trinity Irish Pub says Johnson was "cordial and respectful." Nor was New York's Eric Garner being physically aggressive when he was strangled by officers arresting him for selling individual cigarettes—"loosies"—on the street. Garner ended up dead anyway.

Garner died in the midst of an NYPD crackdown on "quality of life" issues, among them the unregulated selling of smokes. Concern over petty crime dovetails with the emphasis on "broken windows" policing, which holds that ignoring small crimes creates an environment conducive to more serious offenses. That's certainly plausible.

But it's also plausible that the increasing regulation of just about everything creates more opportunities for potentially violent citizen encounters with law enforcement. Half a century ago only 5 percent of the workforce needed a government license. Now nearly one in three workers do. Combine that with the militarization of the police and you get a situation like the one in Florida five years ago, when a SWAT team raided barbershops and arrested three dozen people, primarily for barbering without a license.

Regarding cigarettes, there's another issue public officials usually don't mention: revenue. New York's combined state ($4.35) and city ($1.50) levies create a huge incentive to smuggle cigarettes in from other states, such as Virginia—where the cigarette tax is only $1.68 per pack. By one estimate, cigarette trafficking costs New York $600 million in revenue per year. No wonder the city is cracking down. If you're going to sell drugs in America, you need to make sure the government gets its cut of the profit.

Profit also is the principal reason Virginia maintains a state monopoly on the sale of hard liquor. When Gov. Bob McDonnell proposed privatizing the state's package stores, legislators objected primarily on the grounds that doing so might cut into the budget. Whether citizens might benefit rated as a secondary concern.

Some of those who fought McDonnell's privatization plan did so for moral reasons: They worried wider availability would lead to more drunkenness in general, and more alcohol abuse by the young in particular. The latter concern, obviously, is what drove the takedown of Martese Johnson, and you can certainly understand it. After all: We don't want anybody getting hurt, now do we?

NEXT: "Knowledge is power," says Angelina Jolie Pitt with Respect to Genetic Testing

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  1. And whether underage booze purchases are serious enough to warrant a violent response.

    All laws, no matter how trivial, are enforced by violence because that’s government’s only tool. So every law, no matter how trivial, carries a potential death sentence for anyone who resists the enforcers.

    1. Whenever I bring that up and get the “stop being so melodramatic!” response, I tell people to stop paying for their car registration/property tax stickers and, when they get pulled over for the violation, tell the cop to go fuck himself and drive off. Then see what happens.

      1. This.

        “You will be visited by men with guns.”

    2. Since we’re carrying things to their logical conclusions, what are you complaining about? That there are laws at all?

      1. Mmmmmm…that’s some good derp!

      2. That something should only be illegal if beating the shit out of someone is a reasonable reaction to it. It is, for example, unreasonable to handcuff someone and throw them in jail because they put up a political billboard without spending 50 hours worth of time doing campaign finance regulatory paperwork and consulting with an attorney to make sure they haven’t run afoul of any finance laws.

        Do you disagree? I assume so, because you’re an arch-authoritarian.

        1. There are many laws that I consider bad.

          1. We know you do. Unfortunately you don’t consider the *violent enforcement* of those bad laws to be bad itself.

            You’re the sort of person who would oppose slavery but support the slave-catcher.

          2. Do you think my specific example is bad, or do you think it’s morally acceptable to imprison people for engaging in free speech via billboards and commercials because OMG THE KKKORPORATIONS!?!

            Because an awful lot of progressives seem to believe it’s totally okay to jail people for free speech provided that speech required money.

            1. I think this issue is tricky, because I actually am a free speech maximalist, but understand that money decides who gets elected in this country, and that is contrary to the point of democracy and good governance. So the whole system needs to be redesigned to protect both democracy and free speech.

              1. Yeah. Money decides elections when leftists lose, but when they lose after outspending their opponents they complain about something else. Like stupid voters not knowing what’s good for them or something. Principals, not principles.

              2. But the solutions you’ve proposed have always ended up with *less* free speech and *less* democracy wherever they’ve been tried.

                The current campaign funding system may not be perfect (fuck, its *far* from perfect) but, and this is the part you have difficulty understanding, there’s no better alternative.

                1. Almost every democratic country in the world has a better alternative.

                  1. Almost every democratic country in the world has a better alternative.

                    Good. Then vote with your feet. No one will miss you.

                  2. What, like the UK? Canada? France? The places that arrest you for making comments on Twitter?

                    Yeah, there is NO country in the world that is as good as we are on speech, political or otherwise.

                    You don’t like it because your trade-unionist pals and the other comrades can’t dominate the discussion by having the state silence their ideological opponents.

                    1. I mean specifically political campaign systems. I agree that we are probably the best on free speech, and I celebrate that. But we are probably also the worst when it comes to big money influencing policy.

                    2. Yes we are. You should think about WHY big money is spent. WHY corporations are willing to throw that kind of capital away that could be otherwise invested.

                      Oh hell… it’s because congress has the ability to dole out favors (no bid contracts), establish roadblocks for competition (regulation) and create tax loop holes (exemptions). Take away the glut of regulatory powers, eliminate income tax… basically conform to Libertarian ideals and the big money goes away.

                    3. So why doesn’t this happen as much in other countries with the same amount of government or more?

                    4. I don’t give a fuck about other countries, we’re discussing this one.

                      The question was simple. Why are corporations so willing to throw dump trucks full of at public office election campaigns?

                      The answers are simple, and the implications are just as simple.

                      Don’t deflect.

                  3. Almost every democratic country in the world fails to honor freedom of speech and press as well as the U.S. does.

      3. ‘Tony’ fervently believes that 20-year-olds buying beer or a guy selling “loosies” deserve to be violently beaten and/or killed, because “laws”.

        1. Apparently Tony is a closet law and order conservative.

          1. Nothing closeted about it. State violence is central to progressive philosophy.

          2. Trust me, I have many expletive-filled opinions on the many ways law enforcement fucks the little people over.

            Here’s what’s so ironic about the libertarian approach. People are fucked over by their local governments. Most people hardly interact with the feds. People are fucked over by their local cops and courts because cities and states have decided that instead of raising taxes to pay for stuff (and like it or not, roads and schools, etc., have to be kept up), they shake down people sometimes literally for every penny they have over minor infractions.

            So if you want more freedom from government, support higher income taxes.

            1. So if you want more freedom from government, support higher income taxes.

              Holy shit, you can’t even parody this idiot.

              1. I no longer read the posts.

            2. How do higher income taxes help?

              1. As I explained, utopian anarchism aside, states and municipalities just have to pay for things. They’re either going to do it by taxing people’s incomes or they’re going to harass lower-income people over parking tickets and what not, inventing various unfair and unseemly shakedown schemes to fill the coffers. You see it everywhere. That’s where freedom is abused. Yet libertarians, at the behest of their leash-holders, insist on ever-more radically regressive taxation as the way to freedom.

                1. You seem to think that they’d harass lower-income people less if they got more tax revenue from other sources. What makes you think that? There’s always new toys to buy.

                  1. This is extremely important and I wish you guys wouldn’t casually dismiss this reality with bullshit assumptions. The harassment and absurd financial penalties for misdemeanors at the local and state level exist because agencies can’t get by on tax revenue alone, because anti-tax zealots nationwide have prevailed in legislatures (thanks guys). Your baseline philosophy is directly responsible for much of the everyday loss of freedom regular Americans have experienced in recent decades. Really, fuck you all.

                    1. The harassment and absurd financial penalties for misdemeanors at the local and state level exist because agencies can’t get by on tax revenue alone, because anti-tax zealots nationwide have prevailed in legislatures (thanks guys).

                      First of all, citation needed. Second of all, you’re begging the question. You’re the one who wants these agencies to exist in the first place, so the blame falls squarely on you.

                    2. . . . because agencies can’t get by on tax revenue alone, because anti-tax zealots nationwide have prevailed in legislatures (thanks guys).

                      Not because anti-tax zealots have prevailed. Because local governments will not reduce ‘services’ in the face of reduced income.

                      Think of how much more productive your local police force could be in preventing violent/property crime if they weren’t slavering after the druggies. Or if the fire department wasn’t sitting through sixteen hours of mandatory sexual harrasment and diversity training each month.

                      If the local municipalities didn’t keep raising salaries and pension obligations.
                      If they sold rights for road building and maintenance
                      If they didn’t waste money building solar panels on the roof of the police department only to find out that the energy savings break even point comes right at the time the panels will need to be torn down and replaced.
                      Allowed competition in garbage collection.

                  2. What makes you think that?

                    He doesn’t think. He feels. He feels that they’d quit harassing low-income people because he feels that the only reason they harass low-income people is because libertarians stop them from raising taxes. There’s not a single thought in there. Just emotional reactions.

                2. If you will just pay them off first they won’t have to break your kneecaps to get their fair share

                3. They’re either going to do it by taxing people’s incomes or they’re going to harass lower-income people over parking tickets and what not, inventing various unfair and unseemly shakedown schemes to fill the coffers.

                  The town I live in pays for things with property taxes, which makes your statement an emotional false dichotomy. Wow, you sure love your fallacies.

                  1. In fact, in the state I live in, all revenue from tickets and such goes to the state’s general fund. The municipalities don’t see a dime of it. So you have no fucking clue about what you’re spouting off about. No clue at all. Just emotion. Like a child.

                4. fair point about the funding but . .

                  insist on ever-more radically regressive taxation as the way to freedom.

                  No we don’t.

                  We advocate for a flat tax with a minimum income before the tax kicks in. Still progressive, allows for a smaller welfare state (we don’t take money from the poor and then give it right back in ‘benefits’), and greatly reduces the incentive and opportunity for tax avoidance/dodging. Meaning that a greater portion of owed tax is collected.

                  All that is an *incredibly* progressive tax scheme.

                  All you’ve got in that area is ‘raise taxes’ – the ‘eat the rich’ tax code – that encourages those most able to, to evade, dodges, or just plain leave the jurisdiction.

                  Which then leaves the municipality with the only option left – fine, fine, fine the poor who couldn’t leave.

                5. Yet libertarians, at the behest of their leash-holders, insist on ever-more radically regressive taxation as the way to freedom.

                  Is it libertarians who are in love with the VAT? Which regressive taxes do libertarians support?

                  1. The thing libertarians fail to grasp is that, like it or not, government has to pay for some shit, and it will have to do so by whatever means are politically available to them. By your long crusade against mostly income taxes you’ve inadvertently triggered more regressive means of generating revenue. I’m telling you, one of the easiest and most efficient ways to increase actual individual freedom in this country would be to soak the rich. I know you’ll never go for it, but I hope you treat it as food for thought.

                    1. The thing libertarians fail to grasp is that, like it or not, government has to pay for some shit, and it will have to do so by whatever means are politically available to them.

                      Begging the question. The list of things you want government to pay for is a hell of a lot longer than mine.

                      By your long crusade against mostly income taxes you’ve inadvertently triggered more regressive means of generating revenue.

                      By your long crusade against individual liberty and and and all restraints on government power and spending, you’ve intentionally moved from a “soak the rich” philosophy to a “soak everybody” philosophy.

                    2. Fuck man, the rich simply do not have the money to soak.

                      Take it all, and I get what, couple of grand. In a one time payment. Whooooo-hooo, life-changes here I come.

                    3. I’m telling you, one of the easiest and most efficient ways to increase actual individual freedom in this country would be to soak the rich.

                      More economically ignorant derp from an emotional twit who doesn’t understand how capital works, or that wealth is not money.

                    4. I’m telling you, one of the easiest and most efficient ways to increase actual individual freedom in this country would be to soak the rich.

                      Right, soak the rich, and nail their feet to the floor so they can’t leave and take their wealth with them, and make sure they’re still interested in generating enough wealth for you to take to spend on all the things you want, and make sure those nails stay firmly in place…

                    5. You are a moron. Currently the top 10-15% of wage earners in the US account for 70% of the tax revenues collected. I got that data from that bastion of libertarianism known as IRS.gov. So, genius, how much more should they pay? How much more than 70% of all income taxes collected is fair? 80%? 90%? You, sir, are both an asshole and a moron, which is why you’re reviled here. One or the other would be enough reason, but you provide a consistent dose of both.

            3. So if you want more freedom from government, support higher income taxes

              The more they can take the more freedom you have. derp

              1. Don’t try to make sense of it, it’s just irrational feelz all the way down.

            4. Which is why people never die over petty laws in progressive utopias like NY or CA.

            5. How about more freedom from government by cutting the size and power of government?

              1. when our govt quits wasting money, dishing it out to political allies, and making payments to foreign govts and citizens, then our tax dollars will pay for their original intent. until then, fuck you tony

        2. Tony also thinks that if you’re in favor of businesses having free speech rights, you must also be in favor of businesses committing fraud.

          1. Tony doesn’t think anything. He feels. That’s why he is incapable of comprehending arguments based on principle. That requires actual thought.

      4. Nope, only that there seem to a fuckton of laws enforced with over-the-top violence for (at best) petty cirmes – indeed, far more of those types of laws than ones where violent enforcement action is justified.

        Or are you saying that these cops are justified in any way? That pulling a gun on a *potential* (not even confirmed) under-age drinker is at all appropriate?

      5. It’s a principle thing. You wouldn’t understand.

        1. It’s so sad that rather than reassess the logic of your argument you choose to pretend that it’s beyond me (it’s not) so as to escape having to think too hard.

          1. No, Tony. I have just learned from experience that you cannot comprehend arguments based upon principles, so I don’t even try. All you understand is logical fallacies rooted in emotion.

            1. You don’t have arguments, you have slogans. You evidently are incapable of thinking any deeper than the words themselves. “You’re too dumb to understand” is obviously your go-to bullshit copout when you realize you aren’t equipped to actually flesh out what you purport is your argument.

              1. Like I said, Tony. I’ve tried with you and all you understand is emotional fallacies. You cannot comprehend logic based upon principles. That is a fact. So it is a waste of time to do anything other than ridicule you.

                1. Repeating the same 3 slogans over and over is not “trying.” Humor me. Explain how you determine which laws are legitimate and which are not, given that you think it’s a bad thing that law enforcement theoretically implies violent force.

                  1. given that you think it’s a bad thing that law enforcement theoretically implies violent force.

                    Um, no. I never said that I think it’s a bad thing. I recognize it as reality. Government is force. Period. It has no other tools other than force based upon a very real threat of violence. So the question is whether or not something warrants violence. That’s why as a libertarian I would like to see criminal law limited to acts of force or fraud that harm the life, liberty or property of another person. Only when force is justified by an individual should it be justified by the government.

                    Not that I expect you to understand.

                    1. How can I not understand? It’s deliberately simple. The whole point of your philosophy is to conflate simplicity with truth–most likely because you need things to be simple in order to understand them.

                      I too would like to see criminal law limited in the way you describe, but I think I may be better able to imagine ways in which people are harmed, or at least acknowledge that there is no clear standard for all things. Who is being harmed more, the person discriminated against in public accommodations, or the proprietor required to serve all comers? You would default always toward the property owner over the citizen, the manager over the worker, but not for any strictly rational reason. You favor special protections for property that you wouldn’t allow for human beings. You would spend taxpayer dollars and use government force to protect a yacht from being stolen, but you wouldn’t spend a dime to feed a starving child. These priorities do not add up to a pristine, logical philosophy of force and justice. They would be arbitrary if not for the fact that you favor the freedom of the rich and powerful every single time.

                    2. Who is being harmed more, the person discriminated against in public accommodations, or the proprietor required to serve all comers?

                      No one is using force on the person being discriminated against. Saying “No” is not an act of force. So I see no reason why saying “No” warrants a potential for government violence.

                      You would default always toward the property owner over the citizen, the manager over the worker, but not for any strictly rational reason.

                      No rational reason? It’s their property. It’s their business.

                      You would spend taxpayer dollars and use government force to protect a yacht from being stolen, but you wouldn’t spend a dime to feed a starving child.

                      That’s right. Stealing a yacht is an act of force. Unless someone is using force to starve the child, then it doesn’t warrant force of government.

                      They would be arbitrary if not for the fact that you favor the freedom of the rich and powerful every single time.

                      Nothing arbitrary about it. Force is only justified in response to force.

                      Like I said, it’s a waste of time to make a principles argument with you. All you understand is emotions like envy and a childish notion of fairness.

                    3. No one is using force on the person being discriminated against.

                      Unless someone is using force to starve the child, then it doesn’t warrant force of government.

                      This is where we disagree. You define force very specifically, in a way that curiously always favors the powerful over the less powerful. I say being denied equal access to the commerce of your community is to be harmed. I say to be starving while being a member of a society that can easily afford to feed you is to be positively harmed. It should go without saying that losing a yacht is a much lesser harm than starving, yet your definitions force you to prioritize one and completely dismiss the other. It’s absurdities like this that should make you seriously question your assumptions. Reacting to theft is using communal resources and government force same as for anything else. Why it is OK only reactively and not proactively is not required by logic, except the logic of plutocracy.

                    4. Aaaaand…Tony proves sarcasmic’s point about not being able to comprehend logical argument and principles.

                    5. Aaaaand…Tony proves sarcasmic’s point about not being able to comprehend logical argument and principles.

                      Yep. Think I’m going to do some work now.

                    6. You define force very specifically

                      Yeah. I do. So does Webster.

                      force
                      f?rs/
                      noun
                      noun: force

                      1.
                      strength or energy as an attribute of physical action or movement.
                      Physics
                      an influence tending to change the motion of a body or produce motion or stress in a stationary body. The magnitude of such an influence is often calculated by multiplying the mass of the body by its acceleration.
                      2.
                      coercion or compulsion, especially with the use or threat of violence.
                      3.
                      mental or moral strength or power.
                      4.
                      an organized body of military personnel or police.
                      5.
                      Baseball
                      a force-out.

                      verb
                      verb: force; 3rd person present: forces; past tense: forced; past participle: forced; gerund or present participle: forcing

                      1.
                      make a way through or into by physical strength; break open by force.
                      2.
                      make (someone) do something against their will.

                      Nothing in there about hurting your fragile feelings.

                    7. I just want us to pool resources so that we can have nice things like universal education and people not starving. You’re the one supporting only those government programs that involve shooting and imprisoning people.

                    8. I just want us to pool resources so that we can have nice things like universal education and people not starving.

                      When you say “I just want us to pool resources” what you actually mean is I want to coerce my neighbor into giving up some of his resources, and if he refuses, I want him locked in a cage or shot and killed.

                      You’re the one supporting government programs that involve shooting and imprisoning peaceful people.

                    9. You’re the one supporting government programs that involve shooting and imprisoning peaceful people.

                      Slavery and injustice for all.

                    10. I just want us to pool resources so that we can have nice things like universal education and people not starving.

                      Then do it. Find like-minded people who want to voluntarily pool their resources, and go for it.

                      You’re the one supporting only those government programs that involve shooting and imprisoning people.

                      Yes. I only support the use of force in response to force, as in justice. You want government to do things that would otherwise be an injustice if done by individuals.

                      I want liberty and justice for all. You want slavery and injustice for all.

                    11. fuckin A! he went to the well with the starving kid example!

                    12. Tony, if you are so concerned about starving children, then why are you not shouldering the burden of feeding them? Or better yet, teaching people to feed themselves? Treating the poor (and I say this as a former homeless, single mother of three- ages 1, 2 and 3) like stray animals (by giving them a hand out and denying them the ability to care for themselves) just perpetuates the problem. If you want to help the poor, you, Tony, help the poor. Don’t expect government to do because you don’t want to be bothered with deciding for yourself who you want to help. I put myself through college so that I could avoid having to raise children on welfare, because the handouts progressives advocate for actively discourage higher education, or even making above a certain wage. We were denied housing assistance because I would not drop out of university and work at the program (you had to work for the program to get housing help- the work schedule conflicted with the job I had, and classes, so we were homeless until I had enough saved for a deposit). I took the longer view, and now I make 8 times what I made when I started school. YOU, Tony, put your own money where your mouth is instead of expecting government to do it for you.

                    13. The property owner *is* the citizen, the manager *is* the worker.

                      How can you not understand that.

                      Its why we don’t support special privilges for manufacturers over consumers – only a small subset of the population are manufacturers, but we’re *all* (including the manufacturers) consumers.

                      We support the rights of the citizen – which include the managers and property owners – to freely associate.

                      *You* favor one group over another.

                    14. *You* favor one group over another.

                      Yep. For emotional reasons, not anything principled.

                      We favor property owners over thieves because, well, it’s their property.

                      He favors thieves over property owners because of envy and a childish notion of fairness.

                    15. Government program #1: law enforcement to protect the lives and property of humans. Government program #2: a safety net so people don’t starve to death. The taxes to pay for these programs are taken in exactly the same ways. And in fact, only one requires the use of actual physical violence. That’s the one you support. There is no logic here, just a preference for property owners. Why not tell people to pay for their own property rights and use government to feed people? What’s the difference?

                      One difference that seems to crop up is that you’re OK with government force responding to harms that result from human agency. I just don’t see a meaningful distinction in the harm that befalls someone when her food is stolen vs. not having food in the first place. She’s in exactly the same position. Same with a person whose house is blown up by a terrorist vs. someone whose house is blown down by a hurricane. Whether human agency is involved is a matter of criminal justice, but does not fundamentally bear on the legitimate use of collective action. We invent governments to do the things we want to do collectively. Why these have to be restricted only to reacting against crime is not apparent.

                    16. I just don’t see a meaningful distinction in the harm that befalls someone when her food is stolen vs. not having food in the first place.

                      Yes, we know you’re an emotional twit who has no grasp of logic, reason, or arguments from principle.

                      What a waste of time.

                    17. Why not tell people to pay for their own property rights and use government to feed people? What’s the difference?

                      The government cannot simultaneously protect property while giving others a claim to it. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

                    18. You want me to pay taxes so that other people’s property rights are protected. Collective action and government force for a certain public end. You offer no rationale for why there can’t be other public ends addressed in the same way. Only that “force can respond to force.” Well, why can’t it respond to poverty or ignorance? If you’re going to bitch about government force all the time, why are you only OK with the government programs that use actual, nonmetaphorical force?

                    19. Well, why can’t it respond to poverty or ignorance?

                      Would you be justified in forcing someone to feed the hungry or teach the ignorant? No? Then why is it justified for you to have government do it on your behalf?

                      why are you only OK with the government programs that use actual, nonmetaphorical force?

                      Because sometimes actual force is justified. Like in response to force for example.

                    20. OK, Tony. Let’s say you have more food than I do, and I go and steal some of it from you to make things fair. That’s an injustice, right? I’ve stolen from you, and now you rightfully want justice. So you go to the government which sends out agents to drag me into court to get the justice process working.

                      Now let’s say instead of me stealing the food from you, I have government agents do it for me in the name of fairness. That’s still an injustice, isn’t it? Someone stole from you, and now you rightfully want justice. But what can you do? You can’t do anything. The same government agents who are supposed to bring you justice were the ones who committed the injustice.

                      Justice is not always fair. It’s not fair that you have more food than I do, but it’s still unjust for me to steal. For government to make things fair, it must abandon justice. You can’t have both, at least not by force anyway.

                    21. Substitute “food” with “police and courts” and ask yourself the same question. Why is it stealing to pay for one program but not stealing to pay for another?

                    22. My hat is off to you for this masterful troll job, Tony. Hilarious!

                    23. The taxes to pay for these programs are taken in exactly the same ways.

                      Yes, under the threat of violence for those who fail to ‘give’ enough.

                  2. There’s this list of rules for government in the USA. It’s called the Constitution. You should check it out sometimes. Income tax is a major flaw, which should be fixed, if, infact, it was ever ratified by the states.

                    1. 2nd amendment was a major flaw. But God wrote that one, didn’t she?

              2. Pot-kettle

      6. Since we’re carrying things to their logical conclusions, what are you complaining about? That there are laws at all?

        NY Post:

        The NYPD is taking aim at 300 pistol-loving thugs responsible for most of New York’s gun violence, using shooting data to tie them to murders and weapon crimes.
        In a city of more than 8 million people, these few hundred are the targets of a new crime-fighting strategy because they fired a gun, or were shot themselves, three or more times since 2010. (But… But… Gun Control!)
        Three shootings on either side of a gun puts you on the list. Call it “broken people” ?policing.
        The 300 club, composed of street-toughened gang members and drug dealers, has been culled from the larger, so-called “multi-hit list” ? 1,200 individuals linked to more than one shooting.
        Cops have been compiling the list for two years.

        Snark added.
        http://nypost.com/2015/03/22/c…..hose-shot/

        “Compiling” for two years? One might hypothesize that law enforcement resources would be more productively allocated deterring a very few people who shoot other people, rather than cracking down on many people selling loose cigarettes or drinking before they’re 21.

        Wouldn’t it be worth a (sorry) shot?

        1. because they fired a gun, or were shot themselves, three or more times since 2010.

          Hmm… I wonder how many NYPD fall within this…

          1. The 3,000 Club?

    3. This cannot be emphasized enough, even though no matter how many examples of people being beaten, caged, and/or killed for the most trivial things (parking tickets, underage booze, etc.), most people simply refuse to grasp that every time they make something illegal, they are ordering that violence be used to enforce it.

      1. Here in Maine, children under fifteen are required to wear helmets while on bicycles. So a parent could potentially be killed because their child took off their helmet.

        1. Really sarc, why do you hate the children?

          If just one helmet saves one child’s life….

          1. Also, you have to get over the outdated idea that children belong to their parents.

            Government knows best.

    4. You forgot their other tool; pettifoggery. Along it isn’t much. Paired with violence and it brings the whole of society to a grinding halt.

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  2. That dude in the pic needs to stop bleeding on that cop’s sidewalk, or he gonna find out what a REAL beatdown is…

  3. But it ignored larger issues?such as whether paying a half-dozen agents to skulk around a grocery-store parking lot to nab kids buying beer constitutes a reasonable use of public dollars.

    By golly, you’re right! Those agents should be skulking around a *school* parking lot!

    1. Just wake me up when we’re there, ok?

  4. The agents later learned it was water. But that was after they terrorized the two young women by swarming their vehicle, trying to bash the window in with a flashlight, and drawing a gun.

    What would possess someone to think it was ok to kill an underage person who had illegally purchased a beer?

    1. Have you met human beings?

      Its incredibly easy to get people to do stuff like this. Its our default nature. Power attracts.

      1. It’s not MY default nature. Unless what you’re saying is that a pan-galactic culture of zero accountability makes “us” that way, I definitely agree.

        1. *You* may be an outlier, but *we*, taken as a whole, are fucking horrible if we can get away with it and complete monsters if there’s the slightest group encouragement.

        2. It’s not the default setting of a large majority of individuals. However, things change in groups.

          A person is usually kind, caring, intelligent, and thoughtful. People are vile, vicious, petty and stupid.

    2. What would possess someone to think it was ok to kill an underage person who had illegally purchased a beer?

      A huge authoritay boner?

      1. That’s the trick, though.

        You aren’t being assaulted, caged, and/or killed for refusing to pay parking tickets, being suspected of buying beer, etc.

        You are being assaulted, caged and/or killed for failure to obey. The rest is just pretext, the excuse for forcing you into submission.

        This is about submission, nothing else.

    3. It’s not about the beer. It’s about obeying authority.

  5. Just another example of the insanity of a government agency investigating another government agency, or worse, itself. The inevitable conclusion is that nobody did anything wrong, but we need more government to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

    1. Slightly Shorter: I didn’t do anything wrong, but a pay raise would make sure I don’t in the future.

  6. I’m wondering why a licensing agency needs a police force

    1. Same reason park rangers all need to be LEO’s now.

      Money and power.

    2. Same reason NASA needs a SWAT team.

        1. Oh, that’s rich.

    3. Because, say it with me: “FUCK YOU, THAT’S WHY!”

  7. Johnson was handcuffed and leg-shackled for the crime of disobedient negroity.

    Couple more of those runaways and we could have us a coffle going!

    1. “I get no kicks from champagne.”

  8. They worried wider availability would lead to more drunkenness in general

    The more my freedom is infringed, the more I feel the need to drink.

    and more alcohol abuse by the young in particular.

    Yea, it’s best to push these things behind closed doors where those who may actually require assistance will be less inclined to seek it out for fear of prosecution for simply consuming a substance.

    1. Yea, it’s best to push these things behind closed doors where those who may actually require assistance will be less inclined to seek it out for fear of prosecution for simply consuming a substance.

      But, but, but… That’s not the intention!

  9. “A rule not ultimately backed by the threat of violence is merely a suggestion. States rely on laws enforced by men ready to do violence against lawbreakers. Every tax, every code and every licensing requirement demands an escalating progression of penalties that, in the end, must result in the forcible seizure of property or imprisonment by armed men prepared to do violence in the event of resistance or non?compliance. Every time a soccer mom stands up and demands harsher penalties for drunk driving, or selling cigarettes to minors, or owning a pit bull, or not recycling, she is petitioning the state to use force to impose her will. She is no longer asking nicely. The viability of every family law, gun law, zoning law, traffic law, immigration law, import law, export law and financial regulation depends on both the willingness and wherewithal of the group to exact order by force.”

    -Jack Donovan, “Violence is Golden”

  10. not everything can be solved by a gun and violence and why is it these beer police have guns but not body cameras? what kind of priorities with tax dollars do our so called leaders have in mind?

  11. I think it is bull crap that underage drinking is enforced like they enforce it. I also think it is crap that I can serve in the military at the age of 18 and die for my country but I can’t drink! I mean at least allow it on base in a controlled atmosphere. Instead, if you get caught you lose rank and you are put into confinement!

    1. If you don’t like serving in the military and dying for your country at an age when you can’t legally drink, then don’t enlist. Service in the military is optional.

    2. You can thank Saint Reagan for that, as well as asset forfeiture.

  12. It’s a Tony day today, huh? Have fun.

  13. To tony’s point above that we would all be freer if the local govt would just raise income taxes so they wouldn’t fleece the poor with traffic stops

    1. What happens when those with the higher income taxes now on them decide to move? Even more fleecing!!

    2. There are new toys to buy. Tony do you really think the local govt would just stop fleecing people for traffic stops and such? “Well we got the needed revenue so let’s just stop enforcing traffic laws and busting people for drugs!”

    Lol is this guy for real? Does he read before he posts?

  14. Tony can you explain what your dream ofuniversal education would entail? How does it combat the situation where it is primarily a kid/parent thing where they don’t give a Damn and only go cause it is a babysitter and they have too due to the state of course?

    1. Parents not giving a damn is one important argument in favor of universal education. How is it fair to not only force the children of poor parents to have their entire lives hobbled as a result of that poverty, but to also put them in a give-a-damn lottery? When the economy evolved beyond agrarianism, we implemented universal high school to produce both a workforce competent in industry and an opportunity for individuals to make their lives better. Liberals argue that now we must do the same for post-high school education since the economy has evolved even further.

      1. What? Your post makes no sense. Getting parents to care is not solved by universal education

        And how would universal education post high school help people? It would make degrees even more worthless than they are now thus requiring even more schooling. I’m not sure we will have a productive society if everyone has to stay in school until 30 in order to separate themselves. If everyone has a PhD, what do you think happens to value of PhD.

        Post high school education is overrated. It doesn’t necessarily help you in your career especially if it is a field that has nothing to do with degrees.

        What I am sensing is you want even more folks dependent and babied by the state for longer into their lives.

        I got a bachelor’s degree in engineering. 3/4 of it I have no use for in my job. The physics and chem was a repeat of high school. The math classes were valuable. Everything else could have done with out. One year as opposed to 5 would have sufficed and would be just as effective in job now. the value now in a degree is not really the content but seeing that one can stick with something (not quit) and be relatively successful compared to peers.

        You want to cheapen degrees even further while using other people’s money to pay for it. How nice and caring of you!!!!

        1. I don’t care about the market value of a degree, I care about producing an increasingly educated population. Let them invent higher degrees if they want scarcity. My point is that in today’s job market you need a bachelor’s in much the same way you needed a high school diploma in the past. The economy has evolved to require a more educated workforce, that’s all. Making education available universally means we are counteracting the natural tendency of societies to form permanent aristocracies and underclasses. That should be a major goal of our society, as it is a founding principle, and a neat idea too.

          1. So how was going to school for 4 years majoring in music…while only to go work in corporate sales which has nothing to do with music really necessary?

            And your plan will make now bachelor’s degree worthless thus requiring a masters..do you dispute this?

            Are you saying underclasses will cease to exist because of college degrees? Will you be the one to set what the curriculum is? Does government determine what is worthwhile? Does worthless liberal arts degrees make the cut? How do you pay for it?

            If i have 15 degrees, would you say i am the most productive member of society?

            Your problem here is that you assume education check marks = a more productive and learned society. It does not. Keeping people in school longer will hurt the economy because they aren’t putting their skills to work.

            Not familiar with diminishing returns huh?

            1. I am operating under the assumption that one does get educated in school. If that’s not happening, that’s another issue to address. More philosophy courses for business and engineering majors would be a good start. I’m not making bachelors degrees worthless. They are already worth quite a lot, and I’m for making them more available. Call it whatever you want; I’m referring to the education underlying it. If you insist on having a market economy that is continuously becoming more sophisticated, you need more sophisticated people to work in it. It happened at the transition from hunting and gather to agrarian, from agrarian to industrial, and is now happening from industrial to technological. A clear-headed society would figure out how to use some of the vast wealth of this society to prioritize education over banks in tax havens and douchebags’s inheritances. A society fanatically attached to the idea that 99% of the wealth in the hands of 1% is something worth celebrating is what we used to recognize as a society on the precipice of long-term decay.

              1. How would philosophy classes help business and engineering majors…specifically with applications to the real world?

                Value/productivity is not sitting around and trying to convince someone how intelligent you are thanks to classes.

                Yes you are making them more worthless. If everyone has a degree or gets a trophy…do you consider that a special accomplishment?

                If they are worth a lot, why are so many college grads struggling to find a job? Specifically a job that even applies to their major? How does a degree in sociology benefit society?

                Wealth isn’t a zero sum game.

      2. Can you explain what is universal education exactly with more specifics? Would people be forced to go to post hs education? What about athletes? How far would you have universal education go…community, bachelors, masters, phd??

  15. Tony, serious question…but are you happy?

    1. Can’t complain.

      1. Obviously can’t be honest either.

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  17. And whether underage booze purchases are serious enough to warrant a violent response.

    I believe the offense was non-submission to (government) authority. Of course that warrants violence! We have to kill the non-believers.

  18. I get it now. He’s a paid troll. Has to be. No one is like this – this consistently – without getting paid for it. Or it’s an illness.

  19. “Warned you alcohol makes bad things happen.” –ABC PSA

  20. Get them bleeding over a little petty “non-compliance” while they’re young and later in life when ordered to do so they’ll march into the ovens without putting up a fuss.

  21. Take a look at their BIG-ASS MOBILE RESPONSE HQ (Virginia Alcohol Beverage and Water Control, Plans College Tour http://wp.me/p31sf8-1aB)

    Ummm…. why do the wannabe SWAT boys have this fucking waste of Va Taxpayer Funding(TM)?

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