The Feds Are Still the Jackbooted Thugs We Were Warned About

Government agents brutalizing people are in the wrong, whether or not we sympathize with those on the receiving end.


Federal law-enforcement agents brutally enforcing the government's will against a segment of the population on the outs with the current administration are "jack-booted government thugs," the National Rifle Association (NRA) charged in communications with its membership. Questioned by the press, the gun-rights group's Wayne LaPierre defended the heated words, saying "they are a pretty close description of what's happening in the real world."

But that was in 1995, and the federal agents in question were (very much still) out-of-control agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Now booted-and-helmeted Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents battle protesters in Portland over the protests of local officials, adding fuel to the fire of violent demonstrations there and in a growing number of other cities. Yet the NRA and other past critics of federal overreach are silent.

The NRA's tough 1995 language came at a time of increasing government restrictions on self-defense rights, including the 1994 "assault weapons" ban. Gun opponents pushed hard at the state and federal level to limit the types of firearms that Americans could own.

Enforcement of restrictive laws brought complaints about the government's methods. As early as 1982, even before federal misconduct at Ruby Ridge and Waco, a report by the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution concluded that "enforcement tactics made possible by current federal firearms laws are constitutionally, legally, and practically reprehensible."

That was the climate in which the NRA wrote in a fund-raising letter that "not too long ago, it was unthinkable for federal agents wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms to attack law-abiding citizens."

Twenty-five years later, "heavily armed men in camouflage fatigues advanc[ed] in a skirmish line along downtown Portland's Main Street at 2 a.m., firing tear gas at fleeing crowds," The Oregonian reports. "Federal officers clearing out nearby Lownsdale Square, yanking shields from some people and striking others with batons. Uniformed government agents pulling at least two people into unmarked vans off city streets for questioning."

Federal agents still target Americans, but now it's Homeland Security instead of ATF, and they're after protesters supporting Black Lives Matter and police reform instead of gun owners and antigovernment activists. And that makes all the difference, unfortunately.

"Where is the NRA?" critics ask. It's a valid question—one I posed to the organization. I received no reply.

More responsive was a representative of the Arizona Citizens Defense League (AZCDL), a grassroots gun-rights organization in the Copper State (full disclosure: I'm a member).

"While the AZCDL does not endorse the federal government parachuting into local jurisdictions, that said, if the local jurisdiction is malfeasant in protecting federal property, the federal government has a duty to act," media coordinator Charles Heller told me.

Fair enough so far as it goes—the federal government does have the responsibility to protect its property. But while much of the increasingly violent street theater in Portland is now focused around federal buildings, that wasn't the case when the feds arrived.

"Weeks of raucous demonstrations had nearly wound down in Portland at the beginning of July. Then President Donald Trump sent in federal forces," notes The Oregonian. "The protests against police violence and systemic racism quickly grew bigger and louder."

Since then, federal agents have often acted "with no city police in view and at least a block away from the federal courthouse that President Donald Trump and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad F. Wolf said they sent 114 federal officers to protect," The Oregonian adds.

Reason's Nancy Rommelmann—who got tear-gassed so you don't have to—has documented the action on the ground in Portland. While she points out that the "vast majority of the protesters are peaceful," she makes clear that a subset of them are not.

Now, violent protests—riots—are spreading beyond Portland to other cities. The federal government's minions have successfully provoked a nasty reaction in Seattle, Austin, and elsewhere.

That was true in 1995, too. The NRA got its biggest pushback on criticism of federal agents after the Oklahoma City bombing, which was planned and carried out by extremists outraged over lethal federal abuses at Ruby Ridge and during the Waco siege. Then, as now, brutal federal tactics provoked a violent reaction with which defenders of the federal government tried to associate critics of official misconduct.

That's a shame; if the critics had been taken seriously, we might have avoided more violence and loss of life. That is, correctly calling out "jackbooted thugs" no matter who their targets are could be a good way of trying to head-off a cycle of reactive violence, if the warnings are heeded.

But we live in a time when too many people are concerned about the treatment of their tribe rather than equal protection and decent treatment for everybody. An unfortunate number of gun rights supporters and people on the right who, quite rightly, raged against abusive ATF agents in the past are quiet about or even supportive of federal agents busting the heads of protesters. Maybe they see that as payback for the folks on the left who dismissed criticism of federal agents in the past but are now suffering their own jackbooted-thug moment.

But you can't preserve a free society if support for limited government and civil liberties are situational, depending on who is on the receiving end. If you think it's fine to set enforcers to rousting people if you dislike their causes, you're just weaponizing the law and hoping that your side will, somehow, stay in power indefinitely. That's a no-win tactic.

The NRA and its allies were right 25 years ago when they called out federal "jackbooted thugs." But they need to learn to recognize the same thuggery when it's directed against people they don't like.

By the same token, the folks suffering from the current deployment of jackbooted thuggery should concede that they were wrong in the past when they defended such conduct on behalf of laws that they favored.

And all of us need to recognize that brutal government responses seem very effective at provoking more of the violence they're supposedly intended to subdue. There's a lesson to be learned when, again and again, enforcers sent in to suppress opposition produce more work for themselves and their colleagues.

In the past, now, and in the years to come, jackbooted thugs are in the wrong, whether or not we sympathize with those on the receiving end.

NEXT: 'CARES' Package Part Two Is Coming, to the Tune of at Least $1 Trillion

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  1. I’m not sure why you choose to believe the narrative about “mostly peaceful protests.” Multiple police officers have been injured and a few killed, along with a number of protestors and passers-by. There are hundreds to thousands of hours of video online showing what goes on. The local authorities are so corrupt and incompetent that, for example, Seattle tried to order its police to stop using all non-lethal crowd-control weapons (a judge issued an injunction against the law) These kinds of actions, which effectively legalize property crimes, are universal in Democrat-run cities now. If people aren’t secure in their property, then on top of being deprived of a key Constitutional right, they can’t conduct any worthwhile economic activities. The proper comparison is to federal intervention in southern states in the Jim Crow era, when local authorities tolerated lawless violence in the service of a political cause.

    1. Not to mention the articles on this very site from the past several weeks. Have you read any of Ms. Rommelmann’s posts?

      I don’t like the feds involvement in this. However, claiming that they are somehow out of line for using force against people that have been committing mass arson for months is getting absurd.

      The problem in prior issues is that the Feds fired the first shot, turning standoffs into bloodbaths. However, in this case, people have been getting killed since May.

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      2. Not only did they fire the first shot, they used entrapment and pretty much resorted to assassination at Ruby Ridge. There is no comparison. They were the aggressors. The “protesters” in Portland and other hellholes are, too. If Reason contributors want alienate their readership, this is a good way to do it.

    2. Considering the rioters are calling for open rebellion against the US, it’s the height of autism to be complaining about the use of government force against them.

      A government that won’t actually use force against people calling for its overthrow deserves to go down.

      1. Thats the ultimate failing of pure libertarianism. Letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, failing to pragmatically accept government.

        1. It’s the same problem as everywhere else: not everyone is libertarian and you have to account for their preferences in government or you’re exactly what you claim to hate.

          1. This is what I’ve been saying for years.

            Idealism requires authoritarianism as the ideals only work in ideal states where everyone acts and thinks the same.

            In the real world things arent perfect so idealism doesn’t work.

            Letting the tyranny of mobs go undeterred because government is bad lets terror remain..

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            2. The only ideal in libertarianism is that you can’t violate the rights of others by initiating force. How can you have authoritarianism when you can’t initiate force?

              1. Because there is always someone who doesn’t care about your NAP and will just take your shit. Which is why we have police.

                Seriously, this suicide pact some libertarians have with the NAP is as stupid as the liberals who think that if you just ban guns crime will disappear.

                1. I’m beginning to think that for a very large number of “libertarians”, the NAP is most valuable as a rhetorical point of argument, not any practical, real world principle.

                  And, as often gets pointed out, using the NAP to defend the practicality of libertarian policy prescriptions, is like commies’ criticism of money because “when all ownership is shared we won’t need money”.

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          2. What if their preference is Darth Sidious? There’s moral and immoral government.

          3. First they came for the communists and I did not speak out, because I was not a communist.
            Then they came after the socialists and I did not speak out, because I was not a socialist
            Then they came after the trade unionists and I did not speak out, because I was not a trade unionist.
            Then they came after the Jews and I did not speak out, because I as not a Jew.
            Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.

            1. And THEN they came for the libertarians, while the libertarians were celebrating the demise of all those authoritarians and wrongthinkers. “But..what about muh NAP?!” they cried, as they were loaded onto the trains without so much as an inquiry into where they wanted to go.

            2. Nah, they didn’t come for the communists or the socialists. They came to hold off the pissants who want to burn your shit down for the sake of political expediency. Let’s finally agree that while this started as a protest against extreme police tactics, that’s now just an excuse for the pissants to do what pissants do. There is a time and place for government, and that includes defending the country from those who have taken up arms against it, whether they are external or internal. These little shitheads who are doing this now would have been dealt with swiftly and with resolve in the founding fathers days of this country.

            3. +++

              They didn’t come for the communists, socialists and trade unions. Communists, socialists and trade unions are those who come for other people. They are the danger, they are the ones cancelling people, rioting and setting cities ablaze. Communists, socialists and trade unions are clear and present danger that needs to be quashed.

            4. First they came for the communists, and I said GOOD. Fuck those assholes.

      2. I always suspected that Reason and libertarians in general were closet anarchists. Turns out I was right.

        1. “I always suspected that Reason and libertarians in general were closet anarchists. Turns out I was right. retarded”


        2. Reason’s never been anarchist. Or . . . do you think these people rioting are anarchists? Because they’re not. Anarchy is not ‘hey, give the government more power so it can give me more free shit’.

          1. True, they are Marxists.

            1. And what is wrong with Marxists?

              1. If you believe in individual liberty?

                Most everything.

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              2. The 150 million murdered by their own governments is a start.

              3. I’ll ask you that when you’re hanging from the end of a rope for just noting that they are Marxists. I think the term you’re looking for there is Dear Leader.

              4. First of all, Marxists are wrong. Marxism is based on the labor theory of value, which Marx has appropriated from Adam Smith, without attribution. The labor theory of value essentially declares labor to be the “magical ingredient” that gives everything its value. That theory was the basis for the the “exploitation” and “classes”. Without the labor theory of value, there is no exploitation and there are no classes. It turns out that labor theory of value is wrong. The economists knew it was wrong since the early XIX century. Bastiat and von Bawerk have both wiped the floor with the labor theory of value. One of the basic paradoxes of that theory is the question of diamond and water: both are found in nature, both require about the same amount of work to extract and yet the value of diamond is much, much greater than the value of water. Modern economists consider value to be subjective and roughly determined by the ratio of supply and demand. That makes labor a commodity. Worker is selling his labor at the market price. There is no “surplus value” being “stolen from the worker”. That makes Marx’s theory wrong. End of story. Or, rather, it would be the end of story if that theory wasn’t tried several times during the last century. Those attempts have resulted in over 100 millions of casualties. Marxism cannot be based on democracy because it’s deeply immoral. Stealing property is immoral, even if the perpetrator is the state. The owners will attempt to avoid theft or defend their property. That resistance can only be overcome by the totalitarian state. There is no “democratic socialism”, that is a myth. Socialism has never worked and will never work. Marxists are a dangerous cult which strives to destroy the society. That is what’s wrong with Marxists.

      3. So you’ll be totes cool when they come for you then RR. Noted.

        1. You’re wife’s kid get drafted yet?

        2. I’m not the one calling for the government’s overthrow, so I think I’m good. The fuckheads that tried to burn the courthouse in Aurora down, on the other hand, they’re good and fucked.

          1. “ I’m not the one calling for the government’s overthrow, so I think I’m good. ”

            Say that after President Ocasio-Cortez orders the NSA to release your chat history here to the Department of Correct-Think in 2030. You’re right fucked then my friend.

            1. Well, if it comes down to that, the whole country is already fucked, so it won’t matter at that point anymore anyway.

      4. “Considering the rioters are calling for open rebellion against the US, it’s the height of autism to be complaining about the use of government force against them.”

        I agree with the sentiment, but you should probably avoid using words if you don’t know what they mean.

        1. “Government always wrong no matter what” is a pretty autistic approach to the subject.

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      6. The funny thing is, it’s not actually that hard to frame this in actual libertarian terms.

        The rioters who tried to burn the Portland courthouse violated the NAP.

    3. Jim Crow in the south, Democrats responsible then too.

    4. Because the protests/gatherings in Portland were mostly peaceful in the days immediately preceding Trump’s deployment of Federal goons. What happened a month earlier really isn’t relevant, nor is what happened elsewhere.

      1. So this is the Trump covid-testing argument? If you stop enforcing the law, there will be less (reported) crime!

      2. BS. I watched them try to burn down that courthouse for weeks prior to the Feds deployment. I personally like the justice system. Without it we have anarchy, which is the goal of these rioters.

        1. People have no idea.

          Everyone hates lawyers, because they don’t understand that we’re the thin suited line desperately keeping the masses of morons from taking themselves down, and dragging society with them.

          You don’t have to like it, but it’s true.

          1. Seriously? Are you a child??
            I could write a dissertation here about how you lawyers have fucked up the country, but that would be a waste of time, as those who understand it already know, and those who don’t won’t be convinced.
            You disgustingly try to wrap yourself in the mantle of protectors, when you’re just a bunch of parasites. Here’s an idea: do your job for the wages we pay cops or soldiers or teachers and then you might deserve the “thin line” title.
            I don’t need you to protect me from the “masses of morons.” What I need from you is to stop prosecuting me for righteously protecting myself from them with my gun.
            You’re not “desperately” doing shit – but you are putting the rest of us in jeopardy, of jail and of bankruptcy if we pay your exorbitant fees to stay out of jail.
            Fuck you.

          2. “thin suited line”. I like that. A play on the “thin blue line” of the police.

            Sadly, it is also like the police in the intimidating difficulty of rooting out incompetent or dishonest members of the club. And no, being aware of the loopholes, weaknesses and flaws in law, and exploiting them for profit is NOT really different than being “dishonest”.

          3. They taught you that line in law school, right? In some cases you are correct, but mostly you could not be more wrong. Lawyers write the laws that give them the best advantage, and then they take it. Most often, it’s a 50/50 split between those who try to find ways around the law and those who try to uphold it. As a percentage, that sucks and it’s a system designed to benefit both 50%, because they get to bill others for the privilege of fighting against each other. But quit already with the narcissist view of the profession. It really is pretty embarrassing for you.

      3. No Dan. Those protesters were trying to burn down the federal court house. They were not peaceful. Had they been, the feds would have never showed up.

        1. “mostly peaceful”

          sarcasm, John

          1. They are mostly peaceful though, between acts of violence and destruction.

            1. One can’t stand in the middle of a crowd of rock-throwers and declare himself not a rock-thrower. Same rules apply here as they do to the cops. If an officer stands there and watches his buddy abuse someone and does nothing, he’s part of the problem. Can’t stand by and say, “it wasn’t me”. Silence is consent, consent is culpable.

      4. :ortland has been a centre of anorchy rioting destruction, arson, looting, physucal violence against persons, for at least five years. I know.. I’ve been close enouth, and know enough who live there, to have observed it. The city gummit oif that infested town seem to favour the overthrow of both the US and Oregon’s Constitutions. Wheeler has been ordering his boyzinBlue to stand down, let the bolsheviks and nazis have their way, and refusing to DO HIS JOB to protect the ones who make that city pissible with their labours, taxes, hard work. Dozens of small to medium size businesses, OWNED and operated by local Portoanders, have been destroyed these past years, most to not survive. Wheeler stood by, his tumb in his ear, for the entire month the mob occupied the ICE headquarters downtown, , assaulted some of the officers and employees as they tried to DO THEIR JOBS, denied ccess to the facility, etc. Thatis a FEDERALfacility. I was suprised FedGov did not deploy some serious force to keep the facilty open. I am guessing Mr.Trump, remembering THAT incident not that long ago, decided it was time to stop plwying footsie and get seruous about DOING HIS JOB to protect assets under his responisbility. Further the US Constitution provides that FedGov may deploy military force to quell riot and civil disturbance. Does not specify that said actions require destruction and assaults against persons as a precondition of miltary force being applied to quell it.

      5. Dan–Hypocritical. We have riots in Portland over what happened in Minneapolis well over a month ago. So much for, ” What happened a month earlier really isn’t relevant, nor is what happened elsewhere.”

        1. And comparing it to 1995 is absurd. Just because someone tries to create a parallel, doesn’t mean it exists. In both the instances mentioned, Waco and Ruby Ridge, the incidents were on private land, the government entered and fired the first shot. While David Koresh was an animal that needed to be taken out, it is the government that mucked it up by not taking him in town.

          There was no stand-off here, it wasn’t on private property, and these assholes were not quitting anytime soon. The only government officials responsible for this are the local ones who have supported the destruction of private property and violence because politics.

    5. Not to mention that this line: The federal government’s minions have successfully provoked a nasty reaction in Seattle, Austin, and elsewhere links to an article about the events in Seattle on Saturday, where the feds never showed up. And that’s according to an eyewitness report from a close friend who went to that event specifically to protest against the feds being in town.

      1. In Seattle, over the weekend when cops were getting attacked, the feds were several blocks away sitting in the federal buildings and quietly putting concrete barriers up. Geographically, Seattle is pretty small but the area the protests were in (Capitol Hill) is about 30-40 minutes walking distance away from where the legal/court area that the federal buildings are located in is.

        1. “…quietly putting concrete barriers up.”

          Bitches are just asking for it.

          1. “Bitch, you flinch every time I raise my hand, ducking away like I’m going to hit you!”

            “I’m… I’m sorry, dear.”

            “You make me feel bad, acting like I’m going to hit you.” *slap!*

            Though, to be fair, it’s just not possible that anyone didn’t know that the Antifa scum have repeatedly stated loud and clear that it considers the building of walls to be fascism.

            1. Except at their mom’s house.

    6. I don’t go to the beach to see polar bears, and I don’t come to a libertarian message board to be told how important law and order is.

      The single worst way to sell a fringe philosophy that promises utopia is to be so fucking terrible at hanging on to your own principles that it appears there’s nothing here to promote or defend at all.

      Basic empathy develops around age 2. If you’ve dabbled in political philosophy for your whole adulthood and you still can’t wrap your mind around the concept that principles apply even to your enemies, again, maybe hire someone intelligent to try to sell your ideas, because you’re not good at it.

      1. The single worst way to sell a fringe philosophy that promises utopia is to be so fucking terrible at hanging on to your own principles that it appears there’s nothing here to promote or defend at all.

        “You should totally be for the overthrow of the United States because it’s in Capitalism and Freedom somewhere. No, I’m not a libertarian and I have nothing but contempt for your backwards beliefs. But maybe if I use this argument against you, you’ll do what I want.”

        1. *laughing*

          Ok, that was funny. 😀

      2. We arent anarchist, so most of us believe that protection of our rights through the legal system is one of the main legitimate functions of government.

        Any you wouldn’t know a principle other than might makes right if it bit you on the ass and asked for your number.

    7. Since I live in Midtown Manhattan, it is laughable to read any article that insists the protests were ‘mostly peaceful’, when they were violent from the start every night when the sun went down.

      This is more from the woke rich Left that goes like this: “I don’t see what’s really happening in riot-torn places because I don’t live there and my home was not smashed, looted, or set on fire, which is why don’t see a problem with months of riots.”

    8. The answer to your question is easy. The leftist propaganda mill is spinning up to support the leftist insurgency. They are trying to turn everyone against the institution of the American government to weaken it. They are projecting here.

      They use this model of “fact checking” by using multiple sources saying the same thing as fact. A good analogy to this is, You’re thirsty. You and your friends find a stream and ask if it’s water. Your friend says well there’s water over there, so it must be water. Unconvinced you follow the stream back to the source where you find several Elephants pissing at the head of the stream. You come back to your friends and tell them not to drink it, it’s Elephant piss. Your friends call you fake news because everyone else has drank the water and told them it’s water.

      I’m no fan of Feds just to be clear. However None of these US Marshals, CBP, or Federal Protective Services agents have violated anyone’s civil rights, nor are they brutalizing anyone. This story is just more Elephant piss.

      1. Sort of like the ‘fact checking” that went on when the fiction novelists wrote that “Steele Dossier” all about the Russian Delusion, er, squeeze me, Collusion, wrote a piece to be published in some newspaper about the “facts” on which that Dossier was based, then referred to the published news pieces (by then copied and repeated ad nauseam) as support for the claims made in the Dossier, right?
        That’s the old communist/marxist principal that a lie repeated loudly enough, often enough, in enough different places, and for long enough, becomes the truth.

        Sorry JD, I ain’t buying YOUR lies today.The Feds in Portland are only on about protcting the FEDERAL assets in that SHole town. And part of protecting them IS to determine WHO has been doing the damage, and subjecting them to justice. If that means investigating observing, researching , etc then arresting those who have been found in violation of the laws, then so be it. Doan wanna git yer sorry backside tossed into the pokey, don’t be firebombing, spray painting tearing down, blocking, smashing officers with four pound hammers, pitching Molotov Cocktails, pointing lazer lights into people’s eyes……

        I am convinced that if JD Tuccile were to observe individuals engaging in such activity directed at HIS house, he’d be on the phone and punching up 911 to get some law enforcement help coming ASAP.

        No need to be two faced about it, JD.

        1. “That’s the old communist/marxist principal that a lie repeated loudly enough, often enough, in enough different places, and for long enough, becomes the truth.”

          Worked for covid to justify destroying the country

    9. Not to mention the wannabe terrorist in Austin currently taking a dirtnap kudos to a responsible citizen.

    10. Agree completely–well stated. Not to mention, the rioters are, very clearly (and notwithstanding the cosmic irony of their organization’s name) fascistic.
      The militarized & anarchic strain of “wokeness” — i.e., Antifa/BLM — needs to be put down. I ain’t gonna do it as I’m not Robocop — and Democrat-run large cities, apparently, could give a shit — so if not the Feds, who?

      1. Finally, someone who gets it. The 10th A was to protect state sovereignty, not allow unfettered violence and political collusion with the mob to gain political control. Simply put, if these were Russian, Chinese, North Korean agents burning, looting, attacking businesses and government buildings while trying to overthrow the government, we would rightly be there with a full Federal force as necessary to remove them and protect the citizens and country. Virtually every federal oath recognizes enemies that are foreign AND domestic. It is a political slippery slope, but definitive rules can be set and the concept of “peaceable assembly” is not hard to define.

    11. I have a friend who was married for 20 years. He was a doctor, had 4 kids, was a wonderful and engaged father, was a respected leader and a widely liked friend to many. Then he and his wife divorced. It got acrimonious. He murdered her. He bludgened her to death.
      He led a mostly peaceful life.
      The police who arrested him were jackbooted thugs.
      Reason’s line of “reasoning” really is that stupid.
      Fascinating how every-single-thing on Reason is either subtly anti-Trump, or overtly anti-Trump. This is not a libertarian website.

      1. Even when it’s not “subtly anti-Trump, or overtly anti-Trump”, it’s “but both sides do it”.

      2. I have become seriously disillusioned with Reason. It used to be a place where both the red and blue tribes were given kudos for good policy choices and were castigated for bad policy choices, but it really seems that everything devolves down to OrangeManBad now. All of their principles are secondary, apparently.

    12. The author of this article has obviously forgotten to take his medicine. Federal agents are thugs, but the rioters trying to set a federal court ablaze are peaceful protesters? Are you serious? This is getting too far, people are getting killed. I though that a libertarian paper would be in favor of law, order and protection of the citizens. I remember the peaceful protesters around Ft. Sumter in South Carolina in the spring of 1861, And the federal government has sent “jackbooted thugs” who have violated state rights. This article is disgusting. I must question the motives of the writer of this article. I would like to know whether this BS is an official position of the Reason Magazine or not.

    13. a nice post

    14. Reason, siding with Democratic Party state terrorism, unleashing Marxist terrorists on the population with police and prosecutor stand down orders.

      Shocked, I am.

      1. This is the biggest issue with libertarianism. Everything equates if you say it does and a government that does anything… at all… is intrusive big government. Yet I’ve also seen these clowns roar about government that doesn’t do it’s primary job of keeping citizens safe when they get their own ass caught in the sling. Iz diffrent

  2. Maybe, but not because of the lame melodrama about them arresting two guys in Portland and letting them go after 90 minutes.

    1. Exactly. The guys had POLICE written in big letters on their chest and back with their badge ID clearly displayed. No one has an excuse to lie so much about this incident.

  3. Haaaaaaaaaa ha ha ha ha!

    Principals, not principles!

    The politics of the people on the receiving end is the only thing that matters!

    These antifa anarchist scum hate America and deserve whatever they get!

    MAGA 2020!

    1. A country must always tolerate people destroying property and calling for open rebellion against it!

      1. To Sarc it does.

      2. Damn straight! Every single protester is an anarchist rebel who should be shot on sight! The police are too lenient! They should be mowing down these anarchists with machine guns, Tiananmen style!

        MAGA 2020!

        1. Sarc’s just butthurt because the Cops are thwarting some of the church burnings.
          That’s practically a violation of the establishment clause in his eyes.

        2. Every single protester is peaceful and in no way destructive! They’re just angry about police brutality, calling for the US to be overthrown is just frustration!

          1. I know you’re trying to fight a straw man with a straw man, but I’ve seen so many blanket statements about how all the protesters are need-to-die-scum that I really don’t think my prior statement was much of an exaggeration.

            1. Citing Tianamen isn’t even a good example. As much as the press and historians in the US like to rub themselves out to Tank Blocking Man, the hardcore violence that the CCP did against the protesters after that effectively squashed the movement in its crib and ensured that no more pro-democracy mass demonstrations took place in China for over 20 years.

              1. “…the hardcore violence that the CCP did against the protesters after that effectively squashed the movement in its crib and ensured that no more pro-democracy mass demonstrations took place in China for over 20 years.”

                Curtis LeMay had a point. Kill enough of them—8 to 10 thousand students and rioters or so—and they will stop fighting.

                China certainly learned their lesson too, the way the US punished China so badly afterwards… LOL.

                1. The problem with all utopian beliefs – be it pacifism, communism, libertarianism, etc – is that they’re based in no small part on a blindness to human nature and rejection of fundamental psychology.
                  Force = mass × acceleration
                  This is inescapable.
                  If you can’t figure out how something conforms to the laws of physics, it’s not realistic

                2. It’s really fucking pathetic how US leaders have been giving the CCP a rimjob for close to 50 years now. These assholes are not our friends, and it’s ridiculous that we ever bothered giving them the time of day because they play the long game and have been doing so for centuries.

                  1. I could understand the motivation behind it. But it was apparent for at least the last decade and a half that China had zero interest or willingness in liberalizing and adopting Western values, or abiding by any contract they made with us.

                    And Presidents kept letting it slide, with open-throated enthusiasm from libertarians who were more than happy to buy the rope that China was selling us to hang ourselves. Because that’s how stupid “pure” libertarianism is…it was a bunch of pseudo-cynical idealists too dumb to realize they were getting played by the most authoritarian government in the history of the planet.

                    1. At least the politicians were actually self-aware enough in their corruption to ensure they got paid handsomely for selling the country out.

            2. Well, you’re a self-confessed hopeless alcoholic retard who spends a lot of time homeless, so that makes sense.

          2. No, not all of the protestors are peaceful. Being destructive is not the answer. That doesn’t excuse police brutality, or President Donald Trump sending the Feds in to whisk people away in unmarked vans, but I don’t think that destroying property is the good way to do it, either. The people who engage in this kind of vandalism are making the same sort of stupid-assed errors that a lot of kids back in the 1960’s and the 1970’s did.

            1. I really don’t think the feds needed to tear-gas all the yellow shirted moms that day. They weren’t throwing things, or starting fires. It looked pretty bad. The feds doing this shit are not professionals.

              1. “yellow-shirted moms”

                1. You spelled “human shields” wrong…

              2. As the non-Democrat reporters on the ground noted, most of those “moms” are suiting up and joining in on the violence as soon as the sun goes down. Because they’re fucking Marxists and they’re lying about being family-oriented.

              3. No, they were handing them to other people to throw.

              4. Nobody has yet explained how someone’s maternal state is of any relevance. It’s okay if she’s a barren trollop but not okay if she has spawned and left the fatherless miscreants at home with a bottle of ripple?

        3. Damn straight! Every single protester is an authoritarian collectivist insurrectionist who should be shot on sight! The police are too lenient! They should be mowing down these anarchists with machine guns, Tiananmen style!

          MAGA 2020!


          Might sound harsh, but it’s going to happen sooner or later. Better now when they’ll fall like chaff than later, after they’ve managed to pull the serious attack that gets the right fighting.

    2. He is drunk again.

    3. Also remember… sarcasmic defended the arrests of the STL couple.

      So no government protection from violent mobs, no personal protection from violent mobs.

      Sarc has gone full Jeff.

      1. It’s called hyperbole you humorless twat.

    4. Hey I think what Hitler did was wrong. Does that make me antifa?

  4. Isn’t the most important question whether or not the feds or the states should be brutalizing people?

    1. No one is being brutalized. If you saw the violence leveled against the men and women trying to protect our justice system and by extension, our way of life, you’d realize they are being about as gentle as possible under very tough circumstances. The protestors have permanently blinded and maimed several officers already. Not one single more of them need to pay that price so these communists can “protest”.

  5. let them burn down your favorite barrista palace and see how you feel then and if your still okay with it invite them to your house

  6. Whataboutism? Yep.

  7. “While the AZCDL does not endorse the federal government parachuting into local jurisdictions, that said, if the local jurisdiction is malfeasant in protecting federal property, the federal government has a duty to act,” media coordinator Charles Heller told me.

    Fair enough so far as it goes—the federal government does have the responsibility to protect its property. But while much of the increasingly violent street theater in Portland is now focused around federal buildings, that wasn’t the case when the feds arrived.”

    I’m not sure I see the fundamental distinction here between blaming gun rights activists for abuses by federal law enforcement and blaming gun rights activists for armed robberies.

    I haven’t seen gun rights groups advocate for armed robbery. In fact, we can safely assume they’re against armed robbery. I don’t remember seeing gun rights activists advocate that the police should beat people up for no reason either.

    It’s entirely possible to support federal law enforcement appropriately defending both government and private property from destruction by “protesters” and oppose law enforcement using inappropriate means to do so. Why pretend otherwise?

    1. Stated another way: Because some people will behave inappropriately doesn’t mean no one should be allowed to do anything that might be done inappropriately.

      That logic applies to our right to bear arms as much as it applies to support for the use of police. Because the police sometimes act inappropriately in no way suggest that people who support their appropriate use support inappropriate behavior.

    2. “Fair enough so far as it goes—the federal government does have the responsibility to protect its property. But while much of the increasingly violent street theater in Portland is now focused around federal buildings, that wasn’t the case when the feds arrived.””

      I think this is debatable- the fences were erected by police prior to the Feds coming on scene.

      But even if it is true, so what? 2-Chili would have us believe that the Feds showed up and magically people were compelled to attack Federal buildings. This is something that drives me nuts to no end with “Peace Activists”. If the Feds react to provocation, it is escalation. If the rioters react to Feds, they were provoked. The only party given agency is the Federal government- they are the only ones with the power to stop this cycle, the rioters have no control.

      1. Personal responsibility is anathema to leftism

        1. Exactly. It’s hilarious to see these rioters get arrested and scream like little girls, as if they don’t understand that throwing dangerous projectiles, Molotov Cocktails, mortars, and trying to light a courthouse on fire is wrong. It’s probably the first time in their lives they have ever been spanked.

          1. I posted a couple wonderful videos from Twitter in the roundup this morning if you’re looking for confirmation of exactly what you said – or if you just want a good laugh

          2. You paint all of the protestors with the same broad brush.

            1. And Reason and Progs don’t paint all cops and conservatives with a broad brush?

            2. Addicts and enablers are remarkably similar

      2. The protesters actions are intended to provoke a reaction.

        Not for all of them. Some of them are unwitting participants, and they’re being victimized by the tactics of organized protesters as much as any of them.

        When they try to provoke the police to react violently by throwing bricks and fireworks at them from the back of the crowd, they’re hoping to provoke the police to lash out at the protesters in front of them. If the protesters right up against police are unaware of this, maybe they should be. The organized protesters aren’t using the people up against the police as human shields. They’re using them as cannon fodder.

        P.S. If Reason and the news media don’t want to differentiate between rioters and protesters, they shouldn’t complain about the rest of society not doing the same. I’m sure there are genuinely peaceful protesters out there. Meanwhile, the June 2020 arson rates was 280% higher than it was in June 2019.

        1. “The protesters actions are intended to provoke a reaction.”

          Oh I agree, but my point was at a more macro level. 2-Chili is making the argument that things weren’t “that bad” until Trump showed up.

          Ok, so Trump showed up, and all hell broke loose. Why is that Trump’s fault? Why aren’t the rioters at fault for getting dressed up in armor, digging out fireworks and then starting a nightly ceremony to burn down a federal court house?

          The Rioters could have said, “You know what, we don’t agree with the Federales here, but we aren’t going to escalate this any further. Let’s begin a constructive discussion here before this spins out of control.”

          Yet the exact standard is imposed on the Feds. To resist burning down a building is to inflame the situation- as if putting a guard in front of a building suddenly drives these mindless protest drones crazy and devoid of reason.

          1. I think there’s something about millennial’s in general that makes most of them truly believe every situation can be peacefully worked out when the entirety of human civilization shows that while it works sometimes, it definitely doesn’t work every time.

            This seems to be why appeasement is always their solution, unless it’s those who stand in the way of socialism or saving the planet anyway. Then you get the sword, but only to save people you understand.

            1. Is there a tattoo for appeasement?

            2. I am a millennial.
              I do not fit that trend.

              Exceptions aside, a lot of it goes back to the vilification of violence of all levels, but especially at school.
              Fighting solves a lot of problems. Shouldn’t be a first resort, but a fist fight can definitely bring resolution. It’s fundamental psychology/biology.
              But schools so freak out about fighting, that even defending yourself gets a kid suspended or expelled.
              It’s enforcement of learned helplessness.
              A key part of leftism/progressivism

              1. I’m a “millennial” and if my kid gets into a fight I’m hoping to only need to ask 2 questions:

                “Did you start the fight?”

                “…did you finish it?”

                I was brutally mocked and prodded ad a child. I decked one kid at the bus stop for it once. Got punished for it, but the shitstorm stopped. Worth it.

                I never forgot that lesson.

          2. I saw some dumb bitch on Facederp literally argue that just seeing a cop in riot gear made her violent. That kind of entitlement and low impulse control should have been squashed out of her when she was a kid.

          3. The Rioters could have said, “You know what, we don’t agree with the Federales here, but we aren’t going to escalate this any further. Let’s begin a constructive discussion here before this spins out of control.”

            I disagree, but only because I’m not sure they’re actually capable of that.

          4. One of Rommelmann’s earlier articles is very interesting.

            This one where she interviews the staffer at the Portland Jail. I am not familiar with Portland but it finally dawned on me (as this articles makes clear) that there’s two different buildings involved here. Based on the 7/23 article, the protesters were doing significant damage to the jail. The part where the staff is hiding in the basement breathing toxic fumes while the “protesters” trash the first floor is very interesting. Then the new feds showed up and it somehow switched to the courthouse. Now people say “There were no problems at the courthouse before the feds showed up.” And that may be true. But there were absolutely problems at the jail.

        2. Of course the protesters right by the police are aware of it–it’s the whole point of them having metal shields milled by sympathetic supporters.

          1. They use willing participants, no doubt, but the idea of provoking the police to lash out at the protesters in front of them goes all the way back to the beginning of the black bloc. The original intention was to violently attack the police, provoke a violent reaction by the police, and race back into the crowd to mingle with innocent pretty people in the hope that the police would mistake them for the people who attacked them–and then beat up some innocent pretty person in front of the cameras.

            No doubt, the supply of pretty innocent victims getting caught on camera getting beaten up was unpredictable with those tactics, so they started recruiting willing participants to stand up near the police with their hands up in the air yelling, “This is a peaceful protest” in the cop’s faces–while the cops are getting pelted with bottles and m-80s.

            When we’re talking about who’s to blame for police violence against protesters, we can blame President Trump for sending in the feds. But we also might want to start talking about the people who are purposely provoking the police to be violent, as well. It’s especially galling to discuss police brutality in terms of systemic racism by white people who are purposely provoking violence by the police because they supposedly want to end police brutality.

            Purposely provoking violence by the police is no way to protest the murder of George Floyd. George Floyd’s murder was an atrocity specifically because he was not trying to provoke violence by the police. Even if he were resisting arrest, he wasn’t purposely and methodically trying to provoke a violent reaction by the police. If he had been, what happened to him wouldn’t have been such an atrocity. Meanwhile, some of these organized protesters really are purposely trying to provoke the police to beat innocent people. That’s, in fact, the purpose of their tactics.

            The violent reactions we see by the police are in no way atrocities if the police are being purposely provoked to violence. What the cops do may be wrong in those situations. It may even be illegal. But it isn’t an atrocity when a cop gets violent because people from all over the country converged on that cop with the intent of provoking him to violence using tactics that have been well rehearsed, studied, and tested over and over again.

            1. Exactly this. It’s commie tactics. It’s the same as using ‘human shields’.

              Not sure why Reason can’t see this part.

              1. “It’s commie tactics. It’s the same as using ‘human shields’.
                Not sure why Reason can’t see this part.”

                As Ken and you have said, these are practiced tactics. This isn’t spontaneous at all. Somebody went to the trouble to train, organize, equip, transport, and lead these people. All for the purpose of destabilizing the state and federal governments of the United States.

                After a certain point, it’s past civil disobedience, assembling to announce grievances, and express displeasure with their government, and it starts to look like a nascent insurrection. Many of the actual demonstrators are the same types of sad sacks that were bitching about the WTO and such. So long as there are Millennials, there’ll be a stream of those clowns. Find whoever is guiding and feeding the protesters, and do something massive about them.

              2. How can you be sure that the provocateurs in the protester ranks are not incognito Boogaloos and other far right extremists using the protest as an opportunity to advance their goals?

                1. Because this is straight from the commie playbook?

            2. Reminds me of the final attack on Waco:

              “This is not an assault!” as the not-tanks ram down the walls and start injecting gas into the compound.

              1. That was inexcusable!

            3. Poke the dog till it bites you, then have an excuse to put it down.

            4. There have been reports that the violence is a Trump tactic being used by his campaign designers. Apparently they’re the ones employing & deploying the violent protestors (many from other localities), spurring them on to conflict with the Feds at the Fed properties. It’s purported to be engineered so that the mostly peaceful protestors can be blamed for the violence being paid for by Trump & his supporters. All of which is preparatory to his declaring martial law near the election, so that the election can not take place at all. I wouldn’t doubt that Trump is behind this violence. There’s nothing he would not do to stay in office.

              1. Hahahahahahahahaha

                And they call US conspiracy theorist!

                1. Life can be full of small truths in many places not usually noticed by normal people running the usual & ordinary rat race. The world is full of infinite possibilities. That’s all I said … a possibility.

        3. “Not for all of them. Some of them are unwitting participants, and they’re being victimized by the tactics of organized protesters as much as any of them.”

          If you show up to protest, you’re knowingly creating the conditions necessary for rioting.
          If you really give a shot about what you claim to give a shit about, you’d stop showing up.

          1. That’s a bit harsh. I would say if you show up to peacefully protest, and rioting and destruction commences, and you stay, you are a participant in the riot. It doesn’t matter that your original intention was peaceful protest. If you continue to participate after it turns into a riot, you’re a rioter.

            1. On day 1… sure. But by day 50 you know what is going to happen well before hand. And as such, you are knowingly participating in it.

            2. Yeah, I don’t agree with that either. But I certainly would either intervene or leave if people started attacking storefronts.

              The problem comes with this “every night for 2 months” nonsense they have going out there. At some point you are not actually a “peaceful protester” if you are hanging out with Antifa militants every single day for a 2 months and you keep getting stuck in Antifa actions.

              So I’m going to boldly take a stand on both sides of the issue!

              1. The protesters made their point weeks ago, and most people agree with them. By showing up week after week they are only giving cover to rioters, arsonists and vandals. If they cared about their communities, they would stay home, and help the police ID the criminals in the surveillance video.

                1. Not necessarily stay home. But perhaps move a few blocks away from any Federal building. At this point, the protesters are barking up the wrong tree. The original protests started because of local police malfeasance. They should be protesting at police stations or at the state legislature buildings. Leave the Feds alone; they are feeding into what Trump wants & is certainly using as campaign fodder. The Feds can just stand there protecting their buildings from … no one. Then they will either leave the city or hunker down in their own buildings where they can stay as long as they like to protect them against … no one.

              2. I didn’t specify, but I meant: at this point.
                First day? First week?
                Sure there’s risk of a riot, but it’s not unreasonable to innocently/naively go out there to peacefully push your cause.
                2 months in?
                No. You know what’s going to happen, because it’s happened every night for 7 weeks straight. No excuse then.

            3. I’d get the hell out of there when violence flared.

              1. That works unless the police are blocking the streets and bridges like they did in NYC.

                1. In Portland, it’s the “peaceful” protestors who are blocking the streets and hindering people leaving. Interesting how you blamed the NYC cops but didn’t mention the protestors.

        4. The “protesters” are generally engaged in terrorism.

          Rioting, looting, arson, and assault are not “protest”.

          The guys targeting lasers in the eyes of police are committing felonies that can and have caused lasting blindness.

          The police should *return fire* with live rounds to cease the felonies and apprehend the felons. Should be trivial. The laser acts as a search beacon locating the felon.

      3. 2-Chili would have us believe that the Feds showed up and magically people were compelled to attack Federal buildings.

        I am highly disappointed to confirm that my friend whom I referenced above felt pretty much this exact way. I made a sarcastic comment about “the feds are in town so we were forced to riot!” and… she agreed, only non-sarcastically.

        I sighed heavily.

        1. It’s a bitch to lose friends to collective psychosis

          1. I’m not giving up on her yet. I’ve been successfully dragging her libertarianward for years. Though… I’ll admit that I think there’s still some room for improvement on that front. 😉

            1. Well it begins with getting her to accept that she has agency, and gets to decide how she is going to react to any given stimulus. Then, that she is responsible for not only her physical reaction, but also her mental/emotional process.
              It’s a tough thing to learn, and she ultimately has to figure it out for herself. All you can do is try to prompt her toward that discovery.
              Good luck.

              1. 15 years ago she was a pretty hardcore anti-gunnie, and now (for the moment, anyway 😉 ) has an even nicer long range target rifle than I do. Progress is being made. 😀

  8. Trump has made his first point – someone should protect property. Now he should bow very publicly and regretfully and withdraw the agents from Portland. First, though, he should remove all documents and computers from the Federal Courthouse. Then just lock the doors and leave.
    When the building is looted and burned, he will have made his second point.

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    2. “Then just lock the doors and leave. When the building is looted and burned, he will have made his second point.”

      We already have a model for that. The police station in Portland. The occupiers took it over and declared victory. The media largely backed them up. Thus the local cops had “their” failure rubbed in their faces.

      The whole point of this was a zero sum status game among groups. The occupiers gained status and the cops lost status.

      The same event would happen here. It’s not a matter of pure logic, but of human emotions. The Left is playing a status game. The mayor of Portland is very aware of it. If the Left can have occupiers waving their Free Zone flags from the Federal Courthouse then it’s a victory for them. It won’t make them stop, it will encourage them to keep pushing the boundaries.

    3. Trump is deliberately provocative and fosters hatred and anger. It is his political tool box. There is plenty of blame to go around. I would venture the guess that some of the commenter here in this threat are under his spell.

      1. Trump does, but he hardly started it. And most of the violence at his rallies in 2016 was started by progressives trying to shut down his rallies, not all of it, but the vast majority. Yet he got all the blame. I dislike him, but I dislike half truths and lies even more.

    4. Some people want to appease terrorists, some want to stop them.

      The goal should be to capture and identify as many terrorists as possible each night. Issue the dispersal order. Prosecute everyone you capture for failing to obey the dispersal order. Have body cams on to record those who resist arrest and assault officers.

      A hundred a night, and the terrorists will soon get the message that their LARPing comes with a price.

  9. Rather than Wild West style shootouts the federal troops are the only alternative to a failed local government that is endangering citizens’ lives by taking a side and encouraging violence. We’ve already opened a massive catastrophic can of worms with the lockdowns. Can it hurt to have some law and order?

    1. A little law and order in the White House would be constructive too.

      1. Stale, a bit dry, unhelpful.

        I guess that’s a hat-trick?

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  11. Violence is not inherently bad or immoral or distasteful. The intent and context of its use is what allows us to determine if/when it is “bad.” In a social contract theory, the police are tasked to use violence in the defense of the rights of the people so the people do not have to do it themselves (which allows the masses to avoid risk/spend time more productively leading to a better society). With that as a given… we SHOULD cheer our police when they use violence to successfully interrupt the violation of rights, even if it is not our specific rights being put to risk. If the cops stop my neighbor from being robbed, I should be happy for that. If we translate that to what is happening in the riots… if a person who has acted to violate someone else’s rights is apprehended by agents tasked by law with stopping such actions… then this is well within the constraints of what we should actually WANT the police to do. Police are not inherently evil (again, in the social contract sphere… and with a libertarian view the state is still justified to have them; an anarchist may claim with consistency that police are inherently bad) but can become evil if they begin to act beyond what their existence was created for. If they begin to attack innocent people, that is wrong. And as libertarians… that is something we are quick to point out. But not all use of violence by the police is the same. As the riots continue, as the rioters continue to to try and cause harm to people and structures, the level of appropriate violence necessary to stop them increases as well. After 50+ days it would be completely reasonable for someone under attack to resort to a much more lethal form of violence to make the aggressors comply. That they police/feds have NOT done this is a sign of restraint. Restraint is not the same as doing nothing. That is concession.

    1. The police rarely defend people from crime. They do investigate crimes after the fact, and attempt to apprehend the criminals. This is mostly to prevent people from forming posses on their own, with several rounds of retribution and decades long feuds forming.

    2. The police aren’t there to defend people from criminals. They are there to protect criminals from the people that they have victimized (and all of their friends and family) and to protect those innocent people who might be mistaken as the criminal.

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  13. Now do what George Wallace, Lester Maddox, and Bull Connor had to say about federal agents interfering with local officials.

    1. Google Little Rock Nine

      1. Orval Faubus to be played by Kate Brown and Jay Inslee in a first for non-binary gendered roles.

    2. Great George Wallace song, by The Drive By Truckers.

      (No, really. It’s a damn good song)

      1. Love me some, Drive by Truckers.

      2. But have you heard “Wallace to Washington ’72” b/w “I’m a Sick American?”


        The Day John Henry Died (Drive By Truckers).

  14. Because the ATF using the allegation of a sawed off shotgun as a pretext to illegally surveil private property, murder a 14 year old boy, and blow the head off of a woman with a 9 month old baby in her arms, or using the allegation of full-auto modified AR-15 receivers as a pretext to murder dozens of women and children and then bulldoze and burn all of the evidence, is exactly the same as using teargas to disperse violent Marxist psychopaths while they attempt to burn down a federal building.

    If that’s your actual moral calculation here, Tim McVeigh is quite literally a national hero.

    1. Well. they sure ‘brutally enforced’ ‘government will’ on McVeigh in Terre Haute.

      Sure, he earned it. But J.D. isn’t really about squaring circles so much as ‘raising questions.’

      He’s very concerned about all this.

      1. Oooh! Is this one of those “I just wanted to *start an open conversation* things?

        (For certain values of “conversation” which involve one side lecturing the other about clear and obvious truths, and the other side forfeiting its right to say anything when they disagree.)

    2. If that’s your actual moral calculation here, Tim McVeigh is quite literally a national hero.

      Sick burn, and accurate. Way to put that in context.

  15. This article is appalling filth, with false moral comparisons of constitutionally protected lawful behavior and active riotous denial of others constitutionally protected rights.

    We have a constitutionally guaranteed right to access to the courts. These riotous scum are attacking a courthouse, working to deny citizens of their constitutional right to said court. This isn’t the peaceful exercise of free speech to address grievances. This is mob rule, denying others of their speech and their rights.

    The constitution of the US requires the Feds to intercede and protect that courthouse and rights of the citizens of Portland. So far they are failing because of fear of optics in an election year.

    If this was WACO, there would tanks. If this was Ruby Ridge there would be snipers. Stuff your false equivalence.

    1. Snipers would be a good idea in Portland. Tanks might still be excessive at this point.

      1. Tanks are for offensive action, lousy in a fixed position defensive role.

        What you want here is indirect fire set to airburst.

    2. The constitution does not require that. It requires the request of the state legislature or governor. You’re conflating the constitution with precedent George Washington set in the whiskey rebellion and then massively aggrandized by Lincoln.

      1. exactly. If the governors of Oregon and Washington don’t want to stop the mob, the voters know who is responsible.

      2. So, your argument is to claim that every Federal action since the whiskey rebellion to quell domestic disturbances and their related denial of Rights to fellow citizens is unconstitutional, in direct contradiction of SCOTUS decisions and established law?

        Seems a bit of a stretch there.

    3. It’s called the media. It’s all appalling filth.

    4. There should be snipers to *return fire* on those assaulting police.

      It’s the *initiation* of force that is wrong, not *returning fire*. Returning fire is a moral obligation.

      1. So you are proposing that riotous citizens, who are activity denying to rights of their fellow citizens to move/speak/engage public services, and are committing crimes against civil authorities, should actively escalate their actions to lethal force??

        I hope you realize what you are saying.

        1. No, he’s saying “There should be snipers to *return fire* on those [who are] assaulting police.”

  16. The Feds Are Still the Jackbooted Thugs We Were Warned About

    I certainly hope that the peaceful protesters that are firebombing courthouses and destroying property are wearing more sensible footwear.

  17. Really love how you perpetuate the lie that the feds caused the violence. I’ve seen the videos for weeks, long before the feds arrived. The violence predated. I saw the violence in Seattle, long before Feds intervened. I’ve seen the video of the mob at the columbus statue in Chicago where no feds were present but the riotous mob was throwing cans, stones, sticks, explosives and a bunch of local bike-cops.
    You should be ashamed.

    1. Tuccille is shameless, and not in the fun sense.

  18. Waco and Ruby Ridge were the federal government doing heavy handed assaults on people who were not an immediate danger to other people (the Branch Davidians had alleged crimes against people in their cult, if memory serves) and their property on weapons charges. The BLM protests have often devolved into riots featuring assault, looting, arson and other destruction of private and public property. Why would the NRA have more concern about one over the othe?

    Tucille, please stop strawmanning organizations as an argument that they must support causes you like. It is a moronic basis for an article.

    1. The Branch Davidians were suspected of owning a gun component without having paid the “Sgt O’Grady Says” sin tax on that particular piece of metal. The whole thing was a tax collection massacre straight out of a Lysander Spooner broadside.

    2. This is exactly it. If the Branch Davidians had all rolled into Waco and started rioting, setting fires, and destroying property, a violent law enforcement response would have been called for.

      We have entered the age of terrible comparisons. Everyone now seems to claim apples to apples that which is apples to elephants.

      1. That tends to happen when you have a Netflix documentary level understanding of the events in question, with perhaps a little Alex Jones thrown in for fun measure.

        1. I’m not sure I understand your point?

          1. That if you don’t understand an event, you’re bound to make shitty comparisons using that event as a foil.

            1. Gotcha! Thanks.

      2. Plus, let’s look at this as an issue of degrees. They killed, what, 75 people in WACO? They stormed the compound and got several of their own people killed?

        So how many people have the Feds killed in Portland? There was that one guy who got his skull cracked by less-lethal ammunition and we can agree that’s bad, but how is this in any way comparable to what the NRA was addressing back then?

    3. “the Branch Davidians had alleged crimes against people in their cult, if memory serves”

      Yes, alleged crimes which the local police had investigated and come up empty on. Basically the feds manipulated Reno by bringing up old charges that they knew would press her hot buttons.

      1. And if the feds had had any desire to deal with the Branch Davidians peacefully, they could have picked up Koresh on his daily morning jog, just like the local sheriff suggested. But instead, the ATF decide that they just had to go play doorkicker, got shot for their efforts, and turned it into the shitshow that ended up with the FBI roasting a bunch of women and children alive.

        1. So they intentionally wanted to display the new American police state. I find it hard to believe this could have just been from systemic incompetence. Waco was a message. A precedent.

    4. And in 1995, the NRA was directly responding to a piece of gun control legislation. It makes perfect sense they would comment on what was happening to GUN OWNERS.

      These people in Portland are not being hassled because they’re gun owners. It’s not an issue that relates to the NRA. I think the NRA “declined to respond” because they were wondering what the fuck you were talking about and was trying to figure out where it relates to the second amendment.

  19. Are there a lot of asshole protesters? Scumspawn who throw bricks and try to provoke? Yes, yes there are.

    Does this give law enforcement the right to be thugs and jackboots? No it does not.

    There is no excuse for this kind of behavior from the feds. Be cops, sure. Be thugs no.

    1. The job of cops is to use violence for the government. They are thugs by definition.

      1. That is not the definition of a thug. Their job is to use violence on the behalf of the people (even in a libertarian civic construction) to defend rights (including property). Violence is not bad. Using it disproportionately or against the innocent is. When this happens, we should call it out. But not all uses of police violence meet this requirement. To act as such is to simply serve as as screen for those who deserve to have violence used upon them to compel them back into socially good behavior (not burning things they don’t own, not attacking others including cops, etc).

        1. “The Will of the People” is simply the modern equivalent of “Divine Right of the King.”

          Only the costumes have changed.

          1. Well, that and a constitutional system of government that specifically limits the King by the people. Maybe you would recognize the magna carta as a thing that happened?

            1. Limits? Look around and tell me that the government respects these so-called limits.

              1. If a King is limited by the people, but the people want a more powerful King, then…

                …you work it out on how it could be that the limits fail.

            2. It is fun under any president to look at the list of grievances against King George in the Declaration of Independence and check off the ones that the president dujour is guilty of.

          2. “The Will of the People” is simply the modern equivalent of “Divine Right of the King.”

            So the king is not to have power, and the individual people are not to have power, who then has agency?

            You have effectively cut anyone from any power over anything.

            1. A logical observation. Therefore, White Supremacy.

            2. I didn’t say anything about who should or should not have power.

              I’m just pointing out that today’s cops with their guns aren’t much different than king’s men armed with swords.

              1. Totes profound

          3. Nowhere did I mention the “will of the people”. This has nothing to do with the “will of the people.” That is not where police forces were derived from. The “will” is the general set of laws the police enforce. But the primary construction of the police is from the right (not will) of individual to use force to defend their rights. When this end is met, the method (assuming proportionality) is justified even if extremely violent.

            1. “But the primary construction of the police is from the right (not will) of individual to use force to defend their rights. When this end is met, the method (assuming proportionality) is justified even if extremely ”

              Yeah, that’s the entire nature of government. We cede the right to use force to others, and that power will be universally abused.

              1. It will not be universally abused. It is a universal truth that sometimes it will be abused. Those are very different statements. The first means there is no grounds by which a government is capable of doing good, even if it is by any other standard doing good (the inability is inherent in that it is a government, not because of the actions themselves). The second allows for the government to do bad… and it does. As libertarians we are very aware of this. But the second also allows for the government to do good because in reality… it does do both good AND bad. That you can’t discern the difference in this case is a cause of concern and speaks to your ability to truly be critical rather than simply reflexive. And that you are reflexive in the defense of people who, under ANY standard, are bad actors is worrisome.

                1. “That you can’t discern the difference in this case is a cause of concern and speaks to your ability to truly be critical rather than simply reflexive. And that you are reflexive in the defense of people who, under ANY standard, are bad actors is worrisome.”

                  Whatever you say, dude. Have fun arguing with your straw man. I’m not going to defend or refute what I never said.

                  1. But somehow “Will of the people” gets injected and then beat up upon… even though it was never said except by the person beating up on it.

                    What you did say was that power will be universally abused. That isn’t true. It will be abused, but not universally (that implies in all cases it is abuse). There is a distinction there that you aren’t making anywhere in your posts about this broader topic. That the police are using force is proof they are being abusive is, essentially, the argument you are making overall. Otherwise… what is it about THIS use of force against people who ARE violent and violating rights that makes it abusive?

                  2. My point was twofold and simple. First we live in a feudal system with different costumes, and that power will always be abused. That’s it. You’re reading WAY too far into what I said.

    2. I don’t exactly understand what the Feds are supposed to do, in your calculation. When the mob is blinding your agents with lasers, lighting fires, and throwing fireworks into your midst, you either break them up- arresting those you can or you abandon your position.

      What other option do they have?

      I started on the side of BLM back in May. But at this point I don’t understand what people like you expect the Feds to do. The only thing that I see preventing violence on the rioters is to let them burn down the building.

      1. They could donate money to LP candidates instead of paying thug union dues.

      2. And I still haven’t heard a coherent explanation of how burning down federal courthouses and destroying small businesses advances justice for George Floyd (anybody remember him?) or ends racism.

        1. I don’t know of who you speak of. Was George Floyd someone of relevance? /sarc

        2. It’s a ritual. The defeat of the fascistic building will resurrect Mr. Floyd in all his saintly (but thuggish) glory.

        3. It doesn’t. But it does increase the odds of Trump being reelected.

          1. Which is why Trump is not trying too hard.

      3. I tend to assume that if they let them burn down the building, they’d just move on to another federal building.

    3. What happens to criminals if cops are removed and it’s up to the public to deal with it?

      It will be markedly less friendly.

      1. “What happens to criminals if cops are removed and it’s up to the public to deal with it?

        It will be markedly less friendly.”

        In the absence of police, the penalty for all crimes devolves to the death penalty. And if you thought the criminal justice system was bad at punishing the right guy…

    4. Are there a lot of asshole protesters? Scumspawn who throw bricks and try to provoke? Yes, yes there are.

      Does this give law enforcement the right to be thugs and jackboots?


  20. …they’re after protesters supporting Black Lives Matter and police reform instead of gun owners and antigovernment activists.

    Come on. This isn’t about BLM or police at this point. This is a bunch of James Dean, Rebel Without A Clue anarchists, saying “what do ya got” when asked what their rioting for.

    1. they’re, not their.

    2. How about passing out subsidized copies of “The Cross and The Switchblade”?

    3. Even a lot of BLM people are saying this isn’t BLM activity any longer.

      1. I am one of the BLM supporters who attended demonstrations. The militarized federal response is distracting from an important issue. If somehow it leads to re-thinking all policing, not just dealing with implicit bias, it will have been a good thing. I don’t see it happening.

        1. Hey everyone! A real Marxist! Or a fucking idiot.

  21. Who needs the Renmin Ribao when you’ve got Reason?

  22. “”Where is the NRA?” critics ask. It’s a valid question—one I posed to the organization. I received no reply.”

    The NRA and the vast number of gun owners across the country are protecting their towns from riotous and vandalizing mobs, simply by existing. The silent majority. There is a reason antifa doesn’t protest in ‘red’ states and sticks to deep blue cities. They made a mistake in Austin recently, forgetting that that deepblue city is still in Texas after-all. Hopefully they won’t forget again and try the same insurrectionist idiocy outside of their deep-blue safe-zones.

  23. This article is a piece of ignorance laden with false statements and claims. It’s along the lines of the “news” that is written to fulfill the panic-strewn lies of a narrative focused on fear, panic, and stupidity. A very unfortunate article.

  24. That was the climate in which the NRA wrote in a fund-raising letter that “not too long ago, it was unthinkable for federal agents wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms to attack law-abiding citizens.”

    Well, that’s the question here isn’t it? Whether these “protesters” are, in fact, law-abiding citizens.

    Even limited government conservatives, a group that includes many Libertarians, concede that one of the proper functions of government is to protect its people against enemies foreign and domestic and to uphold our civil liberties, i.e., the right to our bodies, minds, and spirits. And, by extension, our PROPERTY.

    All of which liberties many of these protesters seem to be violating.

  25. Jackbooted thugs who are NOT government are also wrong.

    It’s becoming increasingly important that we learn to understand WHY it is that government is wrong. Government is a “monopoly on violence”, and its abuses stem from that monopoly.

    In July 2020 in America, the “monopoly on violence” in many areas is increasingly not held by the nominal “government” headed by President Trump. It is held by BLM, which acts violently without consequence, and which has managed to effectively ban counter-violence by “police”. The negatives that libertarians associate with “government” are found in BLM, which happens to be an essentially communist government to boot.

    You know things are bad when the “freedom fighters” are Donald Trump’s agents, but that’s how far we’ve fallen.

  26. “with no city police in view”

    Maybe, just maybe, there’s a connection to federal officers then being a block away from the courthouse?

    Reason has to know the battle is lost when many of the commenters here are defending federal police actions.

    1. Claw his eyes out, Calico Cat! Tear him up, Gingham Dog! May both leagues of lousy looter losers lose!

    2. Libertarians have several well-known idiosyncrasies. They are prickly about any hint of infringement on rights. They are notoriously individualistic. And they are famously pedantic.

      We love to argue over the details. We are amazingly pedantic about context, minor edge cases, and the detail of the law/principle at stake.

      This case has all of that and then some. One who is casually associated with the libertarian movement might see “clash with federal cops who came in to Portland uninvited” and see red meat for the “F the Police” crowd of libertarians.

      But details matter.

      And the details that matter are details related to the NAP – who initiated violence? Who is defending their property, people or rights? This is where a libertarian looks first.

      Tuccille wants us to look first to “F the police”, but despite passions, that comes way down the list of items to evaluate. And he thinks that the real reason that folks like the NRA are not on board with the Portland protesters is because they disagree with their political objectives. Now, the fact that those protesters are loudly anti-second amendment could be an issue for some folks, it certainly doesn’t make the list of what people are evaluating here.

      People who organize around protecting rights routinely protect those rights for folks they disagree with. The NRA is happy to support the gun rights of the Black Panthers, despite the avowed racism of their group, just as the ACLU used to be happy to support the 1st amendment rights of the KKK, despite the avowed racism of their group.

      Those kinds of distinctions are important to libertarians. Facile “F-the Police” analytics are not nearly so attractive to libertarians as a group, despite the high likelihood that any given libertarian will own a variation of an “F the Police” t-shirt.

    3. Yep, those jack-booted thugs sure were vicious in the 60s when they enforced the Civil Rights Act, amirite?

    Your liberals friends called. You still invited for the next swinger party ! For now…

    1. Still only gets to watch though.
      Cishet males only allowed to penetrate if you published a think piece in Vox or Salon.

  28. Sending in federal troops to quell the riots is the stupidest thing ever. Let the cities burn, don’t give these people any excuse to blame the feds for the violence. And when these cities come with their hands out wanting federal funds to repair the damage, laugh in their faces and tell them to fuck off.

    And here we see exactly what I’m talking about – these peaceful protestors were just out peacefully protesting until Trump sent in the goon squad, there was never any threat to the federal courthouse until the feds tried protecting it. See what the narrative has become?

    1. Totally agree. 2 weeks ago, I said that Trump going into Portland would allow Mayors and Governors to lay all of this at his feet. I knew the media in general would give them cover, but I am actually pretty shocked to see this staff pick up the torch and run with it.

      1. I think this is a huge win for Trump. The media is ‘giving cover’ to the blue mayors and antifa, but at this point in time it seems evident that most people see right through it. The real videos are out there, there is enough local viewpoints from nonMSM journalist, that most folks know who is lying to them and who isn’t.
        As each day goes by, I suspect more and more middle-America is becoming appalled, not with the feds, but with the rioters and their blue enablers.

        1. Appalled, also, and to an ever-greater degree, by the media. The only people I know of who depend on the MSM as their only source of news are:
          A) Old oldies who have always had the habit of watching “the network news” and are too senile to note the slight change in credibility.
          B) Normies who consume <1% of the news content that some people think is universal/normal. And there are many millions of them. These people still go to CBS, ABC, NYT, WaPo, etc. occasionally, but don't form any ideas from it. To their credit.

    2. So, given the cover that the media is running for the protestors *now*, what makes you think the narrative would be any better in your scenario?

      Trump, despite promised increased infrastructure spending, allowed vibrant, diverse, up-and-coming cities like Portland and Seattle to collapse into hovels of disrepair. Sure, they had one or two peaceful protests, but the majority of the collapse has been as a direct result of allowing public service centers courthouses and local police departments to fall into disrepair and preventing homeless shelters and safe injection sites from being constructed.

      I agree that he shouldn’t have gotten involved. I’m not foolish enough to believe the narrative/optics would be any better.

      1. I agree that he shouldn’t have gotten involved.

        I should say, tentatively agree. I don’t think defending Federal property is 100% synonymous with “getting involved in, combatting, or quelling the protests”.

        1. Here is the thing, Trump was damned if he did, damned if he didn’t. It’s either the lack of Federal forces or the presence of federal forces that would be to blame much like with Coronovirus response. In this case he let locals go along with their plans until one location got completely out of control (CHAZ in Seattle) then moved in at a fairly limited scale to prevent the same from repeating.

          Having suffered and seen the destruction on a limited basis it’s harder to spin as unwarranted intervention (not impossible, just harder to do/easier to see through).

      2. Sure, they had one or two peaceful protests, but the majority of the collapse has been as a direct result of allowing public service centers courthouses and local police departments to fall into disrepair and preventing homeless shelters and safe injection sites from being constructed.

        I laughed, but sadly. Too accurate.

    3. There is the obligation to enforce the protections of federal law to all taxpayers, including citizens of Portland, which should at least be addressed in this line of thought.

  29. Enforcement of restrictive laws brought complaints about the government’s methods. As early as 1982, even before federal misconduct at Ruby Ridge and Waco, a report by the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution concluded that “enforcement tactics made possible by current federal firearms laws are constitutionally, legally, and practically reprehensible.”

    Yes, because Randy Weaver and David Koresh burned down federal buildings, looted laundromats, cell phone stores and Circle K’s, vandalized churches, tore down monuments, attacked passersby and terrorized neighborhoods… so BOTH SIDES everyone.

    You know what? Tucille isn’t just looking at things from a particular angle here. Instead he’s deliberately lying about the past and playing the part of an establishment propagandist.
    Fuck him.

    1. Yeah, for a long time I’ve been giving Tuccille the benefit of the doubt as being mistaken about the narrative he’s supporting, but the distinct and deliberate misquoting of LaPierre, even if he doesn’t like LaPierre, here is something he should know better.

      At this point either Tuccille’s knowingly lying to support a narrative or unknowingly leasing his name to support a narrative about which he doesn’t care so long as the checks clear.

      1. I gotta say – as much as it stings, this is a fair extrapolation. Joining the progressive narrative on this one is actually playing the part of an establishment propagandist.

        I’m fairly confident that the good folks at reason have their “motivated reasoning” shields up and will not hear the critique of their thoughts on this, but the constructive criticism is here and it is true – these BLM/Antifa folks are hijacking the judicial reform movement yet again, and they will absolutely derail the progress that was being made yet again. Throwing in with them does not lead to a unified front against government abuse. It either derails the movement, allowing abuse to continue, or it helps them succeed… in which case you ain’t seen nothing yet in terms of the abuses of power that are to come. These people don’t even believe in free speech, for crying out loud.

        1. Exactly. How many times are they going to completely derail the momentum we have for REAL police reform?

          1. As many times as they need to.
            Their goal is power. Totalitarian power.
            Reform not only gets in the way of them achieving it, but is also bad precedent for what they plan to do when they have that powrr

  30. So essentially the author doesn’t give a fuck about the NAP or property rights being violated as long as it isn’t the government doing it and even the most limited of restrictions (like getting people to respect property rights or not assault & murder others) are off the table.

    Weeks of riots with hundreds of millions in property damage, hundreds of assaults and dozens of dead and the author is all “it’s fine, perfectly normal, nothing to see here”. But 2 people get picked up, moved to a safe location and questioned for a couple of hours and it’s “ZOMG the Gestapo is disappearing people”.

    Sorry Tuccille, you’re the one siding with the violent marxists who initiated and escalated the confrontation. Should we be vigilant against mass unwarranted state violence, sure but this isn’t it so far. But congratulations on putting back actual reforms of the police by decades, bang up job there.

  31. Nice try, Tucille, but I’m going with schadenfreude for $200. All parties to the hair-pulling scuffles between communists and fascist prohibitionists are the roughly 95% who voted FOR the initiation of force. As usual, they got the Roman Holiday they voted for. I will gladly vote against both gangs.

  32. This is a particularly dishonest take. And I’ve been around these parts a long time. There’s been no evidence I’ve seen that the Portland police are at all upholding their responsibility for penalizing vandalism/violence and for general crowd management. Yes, this is a very localized phenomena in Portland. Yes, part of this that the Feds showed up and they behaved semi-inappropriately. But let’s deal with where we are today. Calling them jack-booted thugs based on what’s going on there night after night is simply ridiculous.

  33. “Where is the NRA?” critics ask. It’s a valid question—one I posed to the organization. I received no reply.

    Fuck you to hell Tuccille.

    The full quote for anyone who wonders whether Reason has even a tenth of the integrity the NRA has:

    “It doesn’t matter to them that the semi-auto ban gives jack-booted government thugs more power to take away our Constitutional rights, break in our doors, seize our guns, destroy our property, and even injure or kill us.”

    Now, who’s breaking in doors and destroying property and who’s responding with paintballs and less-lethal munitions?

    1. My friend in Seattle was particularly unhappy with me over this exchange:
      “The feds have like 300 times the force available to the protesters. One side has rocks. The other side has chemical weapons.”
      “So, what you’re saying is that only one side is wielding lethal force, and it’s not the cops?”

      1. It COULD be argued that the gas and rubber bullets to the face and batons were excessive in the early days of a clash. That’s debatable.. but there is some grounds to make that claim.

        But by day 50… that the police have not increased their force to any noticeable degree despite the riots becoming more violent says something about what’s going on and the long-term nature of the two sides.

        Doesn’t make me fan of the police… but the enemy of my enemy isn’t always my friend. Sometimes they are an even WORSE enemy (and in this particular case, I say they are).

      2. Also, you should have pointed out that the US Government destroyed all their lethal chemical weapons decades ago. CS is non lethal, for fuck sake. The Government has the ability to use deadly force that would boggle most people’s minds. A single mini-gun mounted in the federal courthouse, an Apache or Viper gunship, an AC-130, or an A-10 would certainly be much deadlier than firing CS, pepper spray or rubber bullets. And far less discrementory. Yes CS might make some peaceful protestors (who happened to mixed in with rioters) tear up, and possibly even some with compromised airways could become severely I’ll or die, but an M134 firing 2000-6000 RPM of 7.62 mm FMJ rounds would cause far more casualties.

        1. Blue Grass still has theirs, I think. Thought Hawthorne still had some too?

          I was certain a year or two ago that we’d have seen the Blue Grass stockpile get shrink wrapped, palletized, and shipped off to South Korea, back when Un was getting especially demonstrative.

          Didn’t happen. The damned things are probably a greater hazard to their custodial personnel than they are to an enemy at the other end.

          1. Might be. Disposing of them safely is pretty difficult. It has never been answered what happened to all of Iraqs stockpile. Some were found buried in Iraq and some seem to have turned up in Syria, but based upon the US experience destroying our stockpile, what we’ve accounted for doesn’t even come close to what we should have found, even though they didn’t have an active program.

        2. If Portland wants to act like Mogadishu…

          1. Yes, little birds armed with mini-gund doing multiple strafing runs down the street…

        3. you should have pointed out that the US Government destroyed all their lethal chemical weapons decades ago. CS is non lethal, for fuck sake

          I did, when I pointed out that the military gasses weren’t lethal force whereas the rocks are.

  34. Good one! Interesting article over here. It’s pretty worth enough for me.

  35. What do we call the lookout and the getaway driver for the armed robber? Do we call them peaceful or mostly peaceful after the armed robber beats or shoots somebody? NO. We call them Accomplices. And that is what we have at these Mostly Peaceful Protests – accomplices for the rioters. Accomplices who drive around and bring them tools and supplies and block police vehicles. Accomplices who throw flammable material over the fence hours before the rioting starts. Accomplices who man leaf blowers to redirect the teargas. Accomplices who rush the cops to “engage them in productive dialogue” as they try to arrest someone. Accomplices who scan their radios as they advance in a phalanx and try to disrupt the phalanx knowing they will get hit. Accomplices who feed and shelter the rioters, and go to the hotels where the agents try to sleep to keep them from getting any. Accomplices who film the police reacting to an escalation by the rioters, and scream ” why are you detaining him! What has he done! ” for the social media posts while omitting the crime just committed.
    Fvck the accomplices, and Fvck this idiotic gaslighting article with its historical revisionism and twisted morality.

    1. Like the “wall of moms” that allow the laser wielders to target officers with impunity. Like the “wall of vets” that allow the bomb chuckers and arsonists to throw their weapons over the fence. Like the “wall of dads” with leafblowers disrupts the use of tear gas intended to non-lethally disrupt and illegal riotous assembly.

      1. The wall of umbrellas specifically to hide who is throwing potentially lethal objects

  36. I have always been amazed at how false narratives can take such hold in our society. But reading an article like this helps me understand. This false narrative about jack-booted thugs terrorizing the poor people of Portland is just getting comically tired at this point. Maybe, just maybe instead of saying “I have to frame current events in a way that moves my narrative forward (looking at you Reason and your hatred for fed law enforcement), you actually opine honestly about a situation.

    Because at the end of the day, if you claim benign and even beneficial action on the part of fed law enforcement as terrible and evil, your credibility is going to be shot when there actually is bad action on the part of fed law enforcement.

    Oh, and just to be clear, this is the same Reason that barely even touches the entire Russia collusion hoax which is arguably much more concerning than federal law enforcement protecting a federal building from rioters.

    If you want to maintain credibility for libertarian beliefs, honesty is going to be the better policy. Otherwise you come off as disingenuous as Repubs and Dems.

    1. This. So much this.

    2. Perfection.

  37. *pops popcorn*

  38. The difference between Ruby Ridge and Portland is family minding its own business and a bunch of idiots playing Krystal Nacht in a city.

  39. This Just In: “Reason” changes name to “Red Meat”

  40. “Government agents brutalizing people are in the wrong, whether or not we sympathize with those on the receiving end.”

    Yes, and they in obeying those despotic orders in deed or we in word are no less guilty than the monsters giving those orders.

    “There is one thing in the world more wicked than the desire to command, and that is the will to obey.” ~ William Kingdon Clifford

    1. I dunno.

      If the command is “don’t burn this building that you have title or deed to”, it really shouldn’t be that hard to obey.

    2. Okay, I will come over and burn down your house, block the fire department from putting it out, and the police are blocked from arresting me or stopping me (because the mayor told them they can’t). But you have to let me if you otherwise will be obeying a despotic ruler. What time should I show up?

  41. The NRA is a single-issue lobbying organization. They were vocal when the “jack-booted government thugs” were infringing on the right that is within their mandate to lobby about. They remain silent now because it’s outside their mandate. That is not only their right, that is smart politics.

    The implication of your article is that ‘anyone not with me in every way must be against me’. That call for ideological purity is wrong when the social justice warriors do it and equally wrong when you do it. People are allowed to care about and lobby for things that matter to them without being dragged into every issue that you think might be “allied” with it.

    1. There is also the small fact that the government has not initiated any lethal use of force in Portland at all, far from it

      1. That’s a mistake. They would only have to ventilate a handful of them to send the rest running and hiding.

    2. This is an excellent point.

      One thing to add to it – if your issue is “I hate police!” or maybe more to the point here “I hate the federal police” then maybe I can see how you would link these two sets of incidents. But a group that openly and loudly opposes second amendment rights, which is violently agitating to obtain the power to eliminate those same second amendment rights, is not likely to get the support for that violence from an organization that is entirely centered around protecting second amendment rights.

      1. As someone who kinda actually does hate the federal police, I still think trying to link these two things is fucking retarded.

        Your second point is the one I’ve made to any number of people who have bitched about “those stupid paranoid gun nuts who said they were collecting weapons in case of government tyranny, why haven’t they shown up in Portland?”

        Yes, I have collected weapons to be prepared in case of government tyranny. And the whole time (which is several decades, at this point) I’ve been mocked for doing so by the very same people who are now wondering why I’m not rushing to their aid. I fucking warned them that this very thing was possible, and they laughed about it. Why on Earth would I go help the same people who would gladly see me put in prison or a mass grave for owning the very tools they now want me to use to bail their asses out? Let them reap the whirlwind they have sown, and trouble me not for that which I have cultivated despite their scorn.

        1. We buy guns to defend ourselves and family. We encourage others to do the same for theirs.

          The police, we are told by the left, are all “we” need to protect “us” and that my selfish desire of self-defense is unwarranted.

          Yet here we are… they want ME to protect THEM. Why don’t they call the police… the very same that I was told was the reason I didn’t need guns.

        2. The whole “bro, you totally need to shoot at ex SpecOps dudes in defense of people who hate you and want to see you dead” is so transparent you could clean it with Windex.

          1. Hell, it’s so transparent you don’t need to.

    3. That call for ideological purity is wrong when the social justice warriors do it and equally wrong when you do it.

      Not sure what the precise distinction between “social justice warriors” and Tuccille is even supposed to be, after this article.

    4. Exactly. What’s happening in Portland is not a gun control issue. What was happening in 1995 was precisely a gun-control issue. There’s literally no reason to assume they should be speaking up right now.

      Christ, these disingenuous assholes.

  42. And back in the ’90s when some of us were warning of the dangers of federal “law enforcement”? Where the fuck were all the “woke” people? Oh that’s right: they were laughing the warnings off. The government will never be tyrannical and anybody who thinks it will is paranoid, right? Now go whack those gun nuts!

    See, this whataboutism cuts both ways.

    1. No, they weren’t laughing it off – they were enthusiastically cheering it on

    2. A quibble….. They were not laughing the warnings off… they were actively cheering the government.

    3. Let them reap the whirlwind they have sown, and trouble me not for that which I have cultivated despite their scorn.

  43. “The federal government’s minions have successfully provoked a nasty reaction in Seattle, Austin, and elsewhere….”

    Tuccille, you write a shitload of stupid stuff, but this has got to be your nadir. Perhaps the most mendacious and hateful thing I’ve ever seen from you.

    1. I can’t believe I ever called myself a libertarian. I always suspected they were closet anarchists. Turns out I was right. Screw that. I love my family and my home that I’ve worked hard for. They can shove their moronic ideology.

      1. Hey now. I actually am an anarchist, and I still think Tuccille is full of shit here. Also, that he’s not representing libertarianism in any way, shape, or form.

        The fucktards in Portland aren’t “anarchists”, they’re just nihilists.

      2. No, they (we) are not. Don’t take the idiotic writings of the editors of this site as a testament of what libertarianism is. It’s only libertarian in the sense that Silicon Valley is libertarian, according to the media. I think they may have confused “libertarian” with “Lenin.”

        Libertarians accept that there _must_ be some government, but that it is a necessary evil. “A government is best which governs least” is the idea, not “derr, let’s get rid of it and see how long it takes for some despot to come in and take over!”

        Anarchists, if they actually are “anarchists” and not just nihilists that want an excuse to destroy things, are like Marxists– so unbelievably naive that one wonders if they still believe in the Easter Bunny. To think that either of them would work requires a complete lack of understanding about human nature.

        Perhaps, then, it is not surprising that most of the self-described anarchists I’ve encountered actually are quite Marxist in their views.

        1. The northwest coastal anarchists are definitely marxists. Have been for a couple of decades, at least.

          The even sometimes describe themselves as anarcho-communists who are pushing for a revolution and a socialist government. I cannot make any sense of that at all, given their political aims. Anarchists want no government. So you could definitely organize an anarchist commune with other like-minded anarchists.

          But the government they espouse is kind of all-powerful, smashing dissenting voices with violence and enforcing equality of outcome with club and hammer. Listening to them describe their ideology makes my brain hurt.

          1. “We’re the Anti-Bad Guy Squad and anything we do is justified because of our name and intentions” is the extent of their ideology.

  44. “enforcers sent in to suppress opposition produce more work for themselves and their colleagues.”

    feature, not bug.

  45. Yet another odd take at Reason.

    Is there a difference between Feds moving in on people who are not bothering anyone in order to deprive them of their rights, property or liberty, and the Feds moving in to defend its own property and the safety of its employees?

    Is there a difference between opening fire on people uprovoked and responding to physical attacks in self defense?

    Is there a difference between a property dispute and an arson attempt?

    While we are at it, let’s talk about the energetic peaceful protests against racism in Portland. Portland is only 2.9% black. There are nearly twice as many Asians in Portland as there are African Americans. Portland is over 80% white. The government of Portland is not only solidly democrat, it is exceedingly progressive. It is exceedingly white. It is more segregated than any city anywhere in the south. Richmond, VA is only 45% white. Starkville MS is only 56% white, black. Portland is overwhelmingly Democrat – 57% in the metro area, 73% in Multnomah county. Compare that with 31% nationally.

    There have been anarchic “protests” on a regular basis in Portland for decades. What they are protesting rotates with the times, but who is protesting and what their objectives are does not.

    If there is any “racism” in Portland policing, it most certainly has absolutely nothing to do with Trump, Republicans or the Federal Government.

    So somehow I doubt that “racist policing” or “systemic racism” in Portland has been bubbling away below the surface, just waiting like some powder keg to be ignited.

    Therefore, any analysis that proclaims this federal action as a significant cause of these protests is stupid on its face and easily dismissed.

    You can squabble with the tactics the Trump administration is using. By giving the antifa/anarchist/CWPA/BLM crowd a target, they have definitely fallen into a trap of sorts. They have given the national media an opportunity to portray them as jackbooted thugs, Stazi agents snatching people off the streets, etc. But these same descriptions by the media give Trump/Republicans/Conservatives the opportunity to clearly demonstrate the devolution of the media into a propaganda machine. So both sides lose something on this exchange.

    Reason loses something as well. Every action by law enforcement is not “jackbooted thugs”. Even every attempt by law enforcement to confront large crowds is not an example of “jackbooted thugs”.

    There is a world of difference between a group protesting and saying “we will not be moved” and a group protesting and burning buildings, assaulting police and bystanders and generally attempting to provoke violence. Locking arms and singing “we shall overcome” is a nice, nonviolent protest. Throwing frozen water bottles at police in an organized fashion is not.

    See how easy it is to tease apart the “nuance” of this situation?

    It isn’t even mysterious. There are tons of posts on the interwebs where Antifa and other associated anarchist groups describe their intentions and tactics. And there are tons of videos showing them implementing these tactics during these protests – handing out weapons, changing clothes to blend with “peaceful protesters”, talking about how they are about to attack a police officer and getting people to video the encounter for later propaganda. They are not really hiding their tactics.

    Neither is the government side. Many city governments have openly declared political allegiance to this supposedly anti-government movement. They have openly declared that they are not going to prosecute members of the movement for crimes against property and persons. This is not some secret. It is not something that requires “reading into” anything in conspiratorial tones. They just come right out and say it.

    Trump has similarly been quite open about what he is and is not doing. He has tried to use the bully pulpit to get these local governments to act. He has even hinted that he might take further actions himself. And finally he sent federal police to protect federal buildings and federal workers. That’s it.

    Oh, and then the Mayor of Chicago invited the feds to come and help. So some feds are going there.

    You really have to twist yourself into knots to get “jackbooted thugs” out of “if you vandalize federal buildings we will arrest you” and “if you attempt a mob assault on federal property, we will use nonlethal force to disperse the mob”.

    Final point – you suggest that if the feds had simply left Portland alone, nothing would have happened. Normally, we don’t have the counterfactual to turn to in these “what if” scenarios. But in this case, we actually do.

    In Minneapolis, the Mayor pulled the police out of the area of protests and vacated the local police precinct. The area was looted and burned, and the precinct building was burned. Portland abandoned the area of the protests, and buildings were looted and burned. Seattle abandoned an entire area of the city, buildings were vandalized and in the absence of police, there was violence and people died because even ambulances were not allowed to reach people who were shot by peaceful protesters.

    Seeing a pattern here? It isn’t subtle. Abandoning the city to the “peaceful protesters” does manage to avoid the bad optics of police clashing with and arresting protesters. And if you have a media that will report “resisting arrest for assaulting an officer with a brick” as “violently attacked by police”, you can see why avoiding those optics might be an attractive choice.

    But making your local government look good to the proggie crowd comes at a price. Not a price that you, the Democrat mayor will pay. A price paid by small business owners, people who work in the area, and people like Reginald Denny, dragged from his truck and brutally beaten and left for dead way back in the Rodney King riots. You’d think we would have learned a lesson from the failure of government in the LA riots. Leaving people to fend for themselves against a mob is not an acceptable solution. Letting them “blow off a little steam” by burning buildings and maybe killing a few people here and there is not a solution. It is only through luck that that path has not lead to much worse. We have seen several incidents of people attempting to protect themselves and their property with violence. It has ended in a few deaths – the most recent being in Texas last night. But it could easily be much worse. That couple in St. Louis might have been confronted by a worse element. Then what? What if someone in the crowd decided to start throwing rocks at them? What if someone threw a Molotov cocktail at their house? How many would have died? How many more deaths would that inspire?

    Simplistic “I hate cops” analysis of this situation is not just simplistic and therefore stupid and wrong. It is pushing the ball in the wrong direction, toward violence and away from meaningful justice system reforms.

    1. Thank you. +1000. I don’t like jackboots. I don’t like a militarized police force. I don’t like picking a fight.

      But let’s be honest about the nuance of this situation. Let’s recognize that the Portland Government is quite openly abdicating any responsibility. Let’s recognize that there are times of “peaceful” protesting and then there are times of pure hooliganism.

      This take is as bad as anything Shikha has ever posted here.

      1. (EDIT BUTTON!!! “This take” = J.D.’s take.)

        1. The only acceptable excuse for violating the NAP is the lack of an edit button.

      2. Antifa are a bunch of violent pieces of garbage. There is nothing peaceful about them. To blame their violence that has been going on for years on the feds is a new low for reason.

        I have always said Turcille was a leftist piece of shit. It is good to see the readership who have so often given him the benefit of the doubt are finally figuring that out

        1. I prefer to argue content over personalities. First, it makes for a more interesting conversation. Second, I don’t actually know any of these people. Shika could be a sockpuppet for all I know.

          That’s why I find the Tony/Tulpa troll threads so tiresome. Even more tiresome than a thread on abortion – at least that is a topic, albeit heavily plowed ground that yields no fruit.

          Tuccille wrote a real stinker here – because he embraced a faulty premise. The idea that the NRA should support any protest that results in a conflict with the federal police is just way, way to sophomoric for a professional publication. Maybe a student newspaper – although I’d still excoriate anyone writing such silliness in that context as well.

          But who knows what is behind this article?

          When I was in school, I got handed an assignment for the school paper. Write an article about (insert two things that are absolutely and unequivocally unrelated in any way at all).

          So I wrote the article. Adviser says write, writer writes. That’s how it works.

          In my case I turned it into a parody of the TV show Moonlighting. In it I addressed the disparate issues together, but then I broke the 4th wall as was the comedic style of the show, and had one character ask “why in the world are you putting those two issues together?” My version of Bruce Willis responded “Because that’s what the producers wanted, so that’s how the writers wrote it!”.

          Then I proceeded to lampoon the advisor as the kooky secretary.

          Everyone in school got the reference and laughed their ass off. I’m not sure the advisor knew I was making fun of her.

          To sum up – if you argue the issues in good faith, you can never go wrong. Well, you can go wrong, but you do so in good faith.

          Meanwhile, arguing ad-hominem never works. Even if you are 100% correct, nobody responds positively to an ad-hominem attack.

          1. It is not about personality. It is about how people constantly bend over backwards on here to give the staff the benefit of the doubt and argue the articles don’t mean what they clearly do. The mistakes reason ales only go left. They never go too far defending and excusing the right. They only do it for the left. We are long past the point of thinking that is an accident

            1. So…. cosmotarian… minus the -arian?

              1. Their record speaks for itself

              2. What’s a “cosmot”? :p

                1. A Soviet missing their rocket?

                  1. Ooooh, rough day. Yeesh.

        2. Antifa: Violent anti-democracy scum since their founding in 1932 Germany by the explicitly Stalinist KPD.

        3. I have always said Turcille was a leftist piece of shit. It is good to see the readership who have so often given him the benefit of the doubt are finally figuring that out

          Like Trump, he was an outside-the-beltway centrist in a field of left-wing nutjobs. Now, unlike Trump, he appears to have thrown in with the nuttiest of left-wing positions/narratives/causes.

    2. You’d think we would have learned a lesson from the failure of government in the LA riots. Leaving people to fend for themselves against a mob is not an acceptable solution.

      Oh, I dunno. Seemed to work out OK for the Koreans.

      1. Ok, I admit it. I don’t get the reference.

        Is this about abandoning the north of the Korean peninsula to the communist mob? Because if that’s the reference, I don’t think it augers in the direction of “working out OK for the Koreans”.

        Or are we talking about grocery store owners with shotguns? I gotta admit, I don’t remember all the details of that one. Were they prosecuted? Their business certainly was grievously harmed, as the entire area was economically depressed for decades after those riots. And they certainly suffered from the racial tensions that resulted, inflaming an anti-Korean grocer bias and cementing it as an acceptable prejudice.

        Or am I reading too much into an offhand joke?

        1. He’s talking about the roof-top Koreans who got on the roofs of their business with guns to defend their businesses.

        2. Yeah, I was talking about Rooftop Koreans. I’ll admit it was somewhat tongue in cheek.

    3. Nuance? This situation has the nuance of a bowling ball and the subtlety of dynamite. It is so absurd that I would lambast it as poor writing in a children’s cartoon. Indeed, Justice League did a far better job at making the public favor a penitent Lex Luthor hounded by a paranoid Superman. Because the public did not see the setup that the audience did, it was believable in context of the cartoon.

      However, here we see clear gaslighting in the plain light of day. Articles back to back about how the protests were started by the Federal presence and how the local jail was relieved of pressure after being under siege for over a month. We have claims that these are peaceful protests alongside body counts. We have people claiming that they were spirited off just like in spy movies by secret police, while ignoring the fact that they are present to make the claims.

      Worse, some people are falling for it.

    4. Cyto’s comment is the best article on the site today. Anarchists in Portland and Seattle have been “protesting” for decades. They’re just bored this summer with nothing to do because of the lockdowns and money to spend thanks to the bailouts. Their enemies are Trump and capitalism, not systemic racism. But they don’t really need an enemy, they just want to burn stuff.

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  47. The protests started in response to multiple episodes of gross misconduct by local law enforcement.

    The feds had nothing to do with those events, and any real solution would require local change. But that would upset the wrong apple carts.

    So it has all been hijacked and turned into one big episode of misdirection. The people attacking the federal building are only making real change less likely.

    Tuccille is not helping either, and he should know better. I’m guessing he got this assignment because a search for past commentary on “jackbooted thugs” left him as the only one who would not be found to be a total hypocrite.

    1. Well, if so, he’s avoided the “hypocrite” accusation at the price of showing out as a drooling wannabe MSM shill for violent mobs and borderline insane local politicians.

      I discontinued my Reason subscription because of the non-stop “open borders” bullshit, but figured it would die down. Now, I can’t see bothering to come back. If this is the voice of libertarianism, fuck it.

      1. “he’s avoided the “hypocrite” accusation at the price of showing out as a drooling wannabe MSM shill for violent mobs and borderline insane local politicians.”

        KMW ain’t paying him for nothing.

        1. She’d get more value for her money if she did with articles like this.

      2. Open borders is at least libertarian. Advocating for rioters is not.

    2. And there is REAL tyranny going on right now – but it’s not the cops or feds, it’s the governors and public health activists, with their media propaganda apparatus.
      Misdirection is the perfect word


        Yea, nothing fascist about a private company doing The Party’s bidding

        Wait a minute…

  48. ~~sings~~ naaaaaratiiiive!

  49. The laziest stories are always those about what someone DIDN’T say.

    Why didn’t the NRA issue a statement about a non gun issue?

    Because it isn’t a civil rights organization. It’s a lobbying group for the sporting aspects of shooting. It isn’t even very good at 2A.

    But again, these protests aren’t about 2A. So unless Reason is suggesting this should escalate to an armed conflict, I don’t see the point of this article.

  50. “we live in a time when too many people are concerned about the treatment of their tribe rather than equal protection and decent treatment for everybody.”

    Truer words have rarely been spoken. This comment section being a case study in tribalism and frantic rationalization to minimize the offenses of their good and noble tribe and exaggerate the offenses of the evil other tribe. A few city blocks of chaotic protest get turned into a whole cities under siege by antifa (who lack the competence to hold much of anything at all under siege). A hundred violent rioters mostly active for few hours in the late night (even then typically outnumbered by peaceful protesters), get turned into crowds of violent Marxists trying to burn down [empty] federal buildings (and in the next breath, minimizing Timothy McVeigh crimes, who only blew up a federal building during the day when it was full of people including a day center full of kids). Or that the feds had to act because of the destruction of federal property which by the feds own likely exaggerated claims amounted to $50,000 prior to their arrival. Spending many times that amount to conduct operations at best loosely linked to federal property and that functionally mimic those of government paramilitaries in 3rd world dictatorships, and which deliberately use officers who are unfamiliar and dismissive of the rights of Americans because they deal with non-citizens who lack most of these rights (and even more importantly are selectively loyal to el Presidente).

    Sorry by here is reality: In the 1990’s the feds grossly exaggerated the danger to the public of very real firearm felonies related to NFA weapons in order to conduct operations at Ruby Ridge and Waco. These were excessively violent, heavy handed, completely out of proportion to real danger to the public, dismissive of our rights and values as Americans, and were not needed to address the situation at hand. They did so to serve a political agenda, and it resulted in increased conflict and violent counteractions. And the left made excuses while the right screamed thuggery. Now we have the feds grossly exaggerating the danger of the very real (mostly misdemeanor) crimes associated with rioting by a small percentage of rioters among a larger group of protesters, reacting with heavy handed tactics dismissive of American rights and values, that is out of proportion both to the alleged crimes and the danger to the cities in question, and is not needed to address the situation at hand. And it is being done to serve a political agenda, and it is already yielding the desired goal of increasing conflict and reigniting a fire that was going out And the right is making excuses while the left screams thuggery

    The main difference is that in the 1990’s the feds used a lot of violence per person on a very small number of people, while today the feds use (so far) a little violence per person on a lot of people.

    But in both cases the phrase jack booted thugs is more or less accurate. And just as was the case then, the rationalizers will remain oblivious to that truth.

    Tribe über alles!

    1. It only took a handful of Nazis to gas millions of Jews. I guess we can’t hold that against all Nazis. Thanks for setting me straight.

    2. You started out with “whataboutism”, you looked for “whataboutism” and you found “whataboutism”.

      +1, insightful?

    3. Wait…. who minimized the crimes of Timothy McVeigh? Was it me? I don’t remember doing that. I’m pretty sure I come down on the other side of that one. Yup. “No blowing up buildings” is right there in my manifesto.

      I take it you didn’t bother reading the comments you are objecting to… beyond the facile “they didn’t agree that any federal police action equals jackbooted thugs”.

      I’m sure there is a fair amount of rationalization running rampant on this issue. It is one of the foundational traits of the human psyche, after all.

      But whether or not the “hey, this doesn’t look all that much like jackbooted thugs” crowd is engaging in “my team first” rationalization, it is unquestionable that an analysis of this conflict that says “the NRA should be on the side of the Portland protesters who are attacking the Feds” is in the “rationalization” camp. That analysis just doesn’t hold any water.

      It isn’t even a good version of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”.

      1. The NRA supports gun ownership largely so people can protect themselves from criminals. How that means gun owners should side with those very criminals against the police is a mystery known only to idiots like this guy.

        Yeah go down and help these guys so they are then free to murder you and your family and burn down your house. This is what these idiots actually believe

      2. Wait…. who minimized the crimes of Timothy McVeigh?

        I presume he was referring to the comment by “Jack Kerouac” about McVeigh, which wasn’t a minimization of his crimes, it was pointing out that by Tuccille’s very own logic, McVeigh must have been a hero.

    4. Fuck you. It is not about tribe unless your tribe is a group of violent leftist criminals. Go fuck yourself and apologize for fascist mobs somewhere else.

  51. Bullshit they are. If you watch even one night of the rioting you’d quickly realize the officers in Portland are protecting our freedom and our justice system that the communists seek to destroy. Context matters here. I’ve also noted that they are exceptionally patient with the violent protestors who have already permanently blinded at least 3 officers and injured countless others. No one should have to pay that price just so these rebellious children can act out their revolution fantasies.

    1. If the author thinks they are so peaceful, why doesn’t he put on a MAGA hat and walk around Portland. He would never do that on a thousand dollar dare. But then he will lie and claim it is the feds who are the problem

      1. You can’t even walk around these protests as a late-20’s stocky Asian man with a camera or cell phone in hand, lest they mistake you for Andy Ngo and pummel you.

        And this area has nearly twice as many Asians as African Americans.

        So….. casual racism coupled with knee-jerk violence, FTW!

        1. And reason lies and makes excuses for them. Remember, reason has called Ngro and Milo before him “trolls” and basically claimed they were responsible for Antifa attacking them. So blaming Antifa violence on the feds is nothing ew. Defending and excusing leftist mob terror and violence is what reason does.

          They don’t even bother with pox on both houses anymore. They have yet to even condem Antifa violence. They are straight up defenders and supporters of Antifa

          1. Uh, Antifa doesn’t exist.

            Don’t you even watch the news?

            1. That is right. That would explain why the protests are so peaceful.

            2. Alternate joke:

              Jerry Nadler assures me that violence and rioting by Antifa in Portland is a myth.

              1. My gods, I saw that video. That was… amazing.

                “Who are you going to believe; Me or your lying eyes?”

                Extra irony, he’s been a federal level Dem since the days of the Waco massacre.

    2. What’s so fucking difficult about the cops only arresting individual people they have probable cause to believe committed a crime?

      Are we throwing out the constitution because you don’t like communists? Do tell what you want, and be specific.

      1. All we have saying that they don’t have probably cause are extremely biased claimants. We have clear evidence that there are a bunch of lawbreaking. The police say that they properly identify, arrest, and charge people appropriately. If we get to court and there is no evidence, then you can object. However, I find this assumption of malfeasance premature at best.

        1. I find the president having a personal army to do his political bidding troublesome at best.

          1. Uh, the president of the US is *literally* the commander in chief of the armed forces. He has the largest, most powerful military in the world under his personal command. Like, for real, not just some metaphor.

            1. Ladies and gentlemen, this is how dictators get their personal armies, I guess. The freedom people give their seal of approval.

              1. Congratulations. You reached a new level of inane.

  52. I don’t get the thinking here at all.

    The armed rioters were not only burning down blocks, they were beating up old ladies, and even killed people.

    They illegally block streets (funny how the state doesn’t enforce permits in this instance) and terrorize those innocent people (you know, the ones actually are innocent and law-abiding) in their cars (sometimes with children in them) and even trying to pull them out of their cars.

    The Mayors and police have abandoned civilians got in this madness.

    Who speaks for them?

    I think Reason is showing its naivety here. The rioters are committed and are all too willing to use violence.

    The Mayors have ceded their towns to them. I think this left the Feds no choice.

    If you’re a ‘peaceful protestor’ and still going to these things knowing what’s going on…proceed with caution. What can I tell you?

    1. The thinking is that your rights don’t matter. All that matters is the rights of the violent leftist mob that Turceille is defending if they kill you, disrupt your life, terrorize you, Turcille doesn’t give a fuck. If anyone in government steps into stop it, then Turcille is all about making sure that doesn’t happen lest the mob rights be violated.

      Turcille is a straight up leftist fascist. He is exactly what I always said he was. He is just a piece of shit.

    2. Hey Rufus what’s the feeling in America’s Hat Land about all this? It’s not like the unrest is happening in Tijuana. Are Canadians just too polite to riot and/or do the one’s who feel the urge to get their arson on just go to Seattle?

      1. Canadians save their energy for the NHL playoffs. I was in Vancouver after one of those.

  53. It take a willful ignorance to write such a piece of shit.

    I wonder what you’ll say one day when those in power decide the Koch and Reason orgs will be cancelled. There will be no one left to help.

    1. When that day happens, the staff will run away and pretend they never worked there. They are cowards and liars all of them.

    2. Koch got cancelled a long, long time ago. They’ve been number one on the proggie hit list for a couple of decades.

      1. Let me call BS on this opinion piece. Federal marshals/ DHS cant defend federal property from destruction? Democrat mayors want cowtow to rioters, not protestors? What are Feds supposed to do? Play red light/green light with rioters. Cant chase me when I jumped over the fence after throwing a molotov cocktail? Did you actually read the articles of what was happening to people inside those buildings? Sorry these aren’t protests any more they’re riots. Where is the rule of law? Nowhere from those mayors. That Portland mayor shouldn’t just have been gassed, he should be beaten by the taxpayers. If only in the next election. I didnt vote for Trump. I just wish he’d stepped in earlier. I thought the title of your magazine was Reason. Dont see any here.

  54. Government agents brutalizing people are in the wrong, whether or not we sympathize with those on the receiving end.

    I don’t know, if the tsar’s jack-booted thugs had brutalized the Bolsheviks more or the Weimar’s jack-booted thugs had brutalized the Nazi’s more….. The alternative to jack-booted thugs is often a different set of jack-booted thugs, not Mother Teresa. Just check your history.

    1. And claiming to be victims when someone stands up to them is what said thugs do.

      1. One of the reasons why I hated the Boston Bruins growing up was because they came in as the ‘Big Bad Bruins’ and then start to try and play that image up but the second they got push back they’d whine and cry. The Habs wouldn’t get pushed around on the ice and then Sinden would go and cry about how the league favoured the Habs when they’d get eliminated as per usual.

  55. “Mike Balsamo
    I spent the weekend inside the Portland federal courthouse w/ the US Marshals. Mortars were being fired off repeatedly, fireworks & flares shot into the lobby, frozen bottles, concrete, cans & bouncy balls regularly whizzed over the fence at high speeds.”

    Yeh, sure. Keep to this peaceful narrative.

    Clean up the garbage.

    1. Everyone knows Turcille is lying here. His lying like this is just him telling the readership how stupid he thinks they are

    2. The narrative is that the selection of “less peaceful” protesters engaged in violence is very small.

      If this is indeed the case, the Portland government could put an end to the whole thing in very short order. There is ample video evidence to arrest and charge a significant number of violent actors in Portland. Enough of a number to make a really serious dent in “a small number of violent protesters”.

      Just 2 or 3 days of arresting the ringleaders and “men of action” would stop this thing in its tracks.

      And it wouldn’t even take a bunch of conflict. They can politely escort them away one at a time during the “peaceful protest” part of the day. Once they have a handful in custody, they don’t even need to grab them at the protests. They’ll be able to hop-skip their way across their known associates to find the “persons of interest” at their homes.

      Done and done.

      Actual police work, preventing violence.

  56. Uniformed government agents pulling at least two people into unmarked vans off city streets for questioning.”

    You’re going off message. These people were’ peaceful protestors’ – we need you to insert that at every opportunity – and the police are ‘not in uniform and hiding their identity’.

  57. If 99.9999999999999% of the protestors are “peaceful” as I’m supposed to believe then why don’t they do something about the violent actors in their midst? Fuck, they don’t even criticize them, they try to deflect the blame onto others.

  58. Meanwhile, the left murders a guy for supporting the wrong candidate and reason says nothing. Political murder and terrorism is not objectionable as long as it is done by the left. The real problem according to Turcille and reason is the police might try and stop it


      “The report says 42 people were killed by domestic extremists in 2019 — 38 of them by assailants who subscribe to extreme right-wing ideologies.”

      John when do we get to start rounding up you guys?

      1. Tony, I’d like your thoughts on part of that group that’s classified as extremists that was described in the article as – “David Anderson and Francine Graham, had identified in the past as Black Hebrew Israelites, a group with some sects known to rail against whites and Jews. ”

        Why if you’re white and kill Jewish folks you’re right wing if you’re black you are other? Aren’t both hating the same group?

        1. I just want to know when we get to tear up the constitution and start putting rightwingers in cages. It’s John’s rule.

          1. Yes. Because being critical of someone is exactly the same thing as ripping up the constitution and putting people in cages. It is known.

            You must accept everything that favored groups say and do at face value, without criticism. Otherwise you are ripping up the constitution and putting them in cages. If someone from a favored group murders someone for their political beliefs, asking that your fellow travellers recognize this as violent and wrong is exactly the same as ripping up the constitution and putting people in cages. Totally the same. Can’t see a dime’s difference.

            1. Trump said what he really wants is to line up drug dealers and gangbangers and execute them by firing squad.

              Pay attention to government abuse when it’s happening in front of your face.

              1. I think that was the guy in the Philippines.

      2. Too lazy to break this down but I wonder how wide a definition they accorded ‘right wing’ to some of those listed.

        1. All you have to do is spend 5 minutes on the google to become aware that rightwingers kill far more people than leftwingers in America. And they attempt mass murder far more often. Luckily we have been able to intercept their ricin letters and such for the most part.

          1. Yes.

            Like that guy who killed all those people at that gay club in Orlando. Remember that guy? The one who was a self-hating gay, right-wing extremist? (who was actually a wannabe Islamic state type, Muslim terrorist)


            Counts as “right wing extremist”

            And the dude in Arizona with the “bump stock”? The one that they have conspicuously been unable to pin any motive to? The one who attacked a country music crowd?


            Right Wing Extremist. (probably because bump stock. Everyone knows that only right wing extremists use bump stocks).

            Heck, they are all violent. You remember that sociopathic kid who smirked at that peaceful tribal elder, don’t you? You could tell, he was about to go on a killing spree. All those right wing extremists are like that.

        2. LOL. Who’s doing the defining? SPLC? Snopes?

      3. That article counts the guy in Pittsburgh and the Wall Mart shooter in El Paso as right wing when the Pittsburgh guy was a left wing Bernie bro who hated Jews and the Wall Nart guy was a radical environmentalist who hated immigrants because he thought they hurt the environment.

        So your statistic is like everything you say a complete lie. Stop lying and just admit how violent the left is.

        1. But surely you agree that it’s debatable whether rightwing terrorists or leftwing terrorists kill more Americans. It’s not debatable, but let’s say it is.

          You still think the constitution shouldn’t apply to leftwingers because you disagree with their politics. In fact you think we’re all to some degree guilty for them.

          1. I have no idea. But in a thread about left wing terrorists it doesn’t matter. You are just trying to change the subject and pretend Antifa is not a problem

            When right wing terrorists are trying to burn down a federal courthouse with the help and blessing of the local government, you can start claiming equivalency

            1. Define problem. Zero murders in 25 years is a problem? Or maybe you’re just conditioned to hate your perceived political boogiemonsters by rightwing media, who are quite content to turn you into a little fascist?

              1. Yes Tony the right hasn’t murdered anyone in 25 years that is what I am saying. Thanks for agreeing

                1. Then you’re an idiot or a liar.

          2. Wait, what?

            How exactly does the constitution not apply? I am totally lost here.

            1. It’s Tony. Don’t try and make sense of it.

      4. ADL lmao

  59. There’s an awful lot of ways to approach this argument. I’m not sure if creating a blanket response to “I don’t like it when Federal law enforcement does stuff, no matter what” level of consistency is correct here.

    In addition, it’s already been confirmed that a lot of the stories of ‘unidentified federal officers snatching people’ was fake news, with the media essentially playing its own game of Telephone. Plus, when you put yourself back in 1995, we just watched a compound of men, women and children get incinerated as a direct result of brutal (the actual definition of the word) actions of federal officers.

    Also, if we’re going to nitpick on ‘consistency’ why is it we need a statement from the NRA? Why can’t we get a statement from the people in the legacy media, demanding to know why Wayne LaPierre’s comments were widely ridiculed in the media in 1995?

    1. The answer to all of your questions is “because Turcille is a lying hack”

      1. I’m gonna cut Too Chilly some slack here. He lives in Arizona; I live in Arizona. Here it’s easy to forget how bug-nutty some portions of the country can get.

        1. Horseshit. There were other articles where I would’ve (and, figuratively speaking, have) agreed with you but he’s around the bend on this one and relatively in his own wheelhouse. He knows LaPierre’s full quote and/or is otherwise educated and hard-working enough to read it. He was alive for the historical context about federal agents invading people’s homes. He’s been around for the race-bating “Why hasn’t the NRA commented on the most recent no-win shooting situation?”

          The only reasonable excuse is that he tripped and fell through a time vortex and has been living under a rock for 30 of the last 20 yrs.

    2. I did not see any message from the National Association of Realtors in response to the death of George Floyd. I wonder why? Their silence is awfully suspicious, I suspect they must be a bunch of racists who want dead black men.

      1. That is a funny and insightful take.

        And probably wrong.

        Everyone put out a statement about George Floyd. I sincerely doubt that the National Association of Realtors missed an opportunity to proclaim their brave agreement with everyone else that killing George Floyd was bad.

          1. And the president of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers participated in a national forum about #BLM justice type issues, on behalf of the association.

            But the NAR website seemed to avoid the topic. Not sure about elsewhere though.

            90 seconds is all I care to dedicate to the search, so that’s where it ends.

      2. A Realtor(TM) did try to sell me a house with a master bedroom once.

    1. Pravda never wrote such sappy tripe.

    2. I love how the article blames the violence on “agitators “ as if the protests are not violent. Pathetic

  60. This sort of thinking really has bad outcomes.

    You have on one side state officials at all levels refusing to act. On the other, there’s the Federal arm that can step in but the media class resist this.

    If the ONE goal is to protect the innocent then there’s a failure and breakdown of the system.

    A society that won’t enforce the law is a broken one. It should be worrisome what’s transpiring in these cities.

    The AG gets it:

    “Williams said Saturday: “When the violence ends, then there won’t be a need for the presence of nightly federal officers …. It seems quite simple.”

    Simple. Apparently not.

    1. What if they’re not enforcing any law but are just roughing up the president’s political enemies?

      What if the law (Homeland Security Act, to be specific) is a terrible law?

      Libertarians decided to discard their principles in an embarrassingly vain strategy of siding with the head of the US government no matter what he does. I hope that eternal taint was worth it, especially since he’s almost certainly not going to be president after January.

      1. What if a low IQ troll is constantly trying to change the subject?

        1. That would never happen

        2. “Tony” (probably an unemployed middle aged woman) will save the world one day.

          “His” moronity will act as the anchor point for some kind of idiots’ cogito or…something.

      2. Wait….

        Trump is sending troops to rough up Schumer and Pelosi? Did he send the CIA and FBI into the Biden campaign too?

        Surely you aren’t talking about putting police between protesters and a building they want to vandalize? I mean, it isn’t as if federal forces are chasing protesters around and arresting them for their speech. They are simply blocking access to federal property. And they have been repeatedly assaulted without provocation – well, without provocation beyond saying “you can’t burn this building”. And they’ve arrested a few people for those assaults.

        Surely that’s not what counts as “roughing up your political enemies” in your world. I mean, it makes it painfully easy to avoid getting roughed up. Kinda like being arrested for arson is being “roughed up”. Simple answer, don’t commit arson.

        It is pretty trivial to protest in Portland without ever even seeing a federal officer. The city government has given a green light to occupy any road you’d like, vandalize any property you’d like and even burn any building you’d like. The police will not even come around to record your activities. So you can protest in any way you’d like, legally or illegally, without consequence. Except going to the federal building. Kinda like Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. All the fruits of the garden were theirs to enjoy, save the fruit of this one tree. Suddenly, that one tree is the only tree that matters.

      3. With Tony it’s whataboutism all the way down…

      4. What if the law (Homeland Security Act, to be specific) is a terrible law?

        Repeal it.

        Of course you realize that Presidents used federal troops and officers to defend federal property and quell insurrection well before the HSA was passed and that repealing it might do absolutely nothing to address the current situation, right? I am in no way saying you should reconsider repeal or that it’s the wrong answer. On the contrary I just want to be sure that if you choose the right answer, which is to repeal a bad law, you don’t get a case of buyer’s remorse when it turns out that between Trump and Antifa, nobody is ‘in love’ with you.

      5. ” especially since he’s almost certainly not going to be president after January.”

        I don’t know what drugs you’re on, but the systemic destruction of every city run by a “D” virtually guarantees Trump’s second term. I mean, at this point, a vote against Trump is a vote against Civilization.

        1. What a weird fucking planet you people live on. No wonder you’re all so terrified of black people.

          1. There is an old saying in the legal profession:

            When you dont have the facts, pound the law. When you dont have the law, pound the facts. When you are a progressive troll and you don’t even understand the issues at hand, unintentionally show everyone how racist you are.

        2. “I mean, at this point, a vote against Trump is a vote against Civilization”


        3. I mean, at this point, a vote against Trump is a vote against Civilization.

          Agreed with the sentiment but, as a third party voter, I’ve been voting against civilization for (aw, jeez…) decades.

  61. “Iconic children’s-music singer Raffi has released a song heralding the “Wall of Moms” who are facing down the militarized federal agents in the Rose City. He said on Twitter that the idea for the song, called “Portland Moms,” “woke me up 3 a.m.”

    Lol. Naifs.

    Didn’t Ngo say they’re not moms but a bunch of queer SJW women posing as moms?

    60 days an no end in sight. Businesses must be absolutely on the way to destruction by now.

    2020. I can’t.

  62. The “feds” tried to pull off a coup against President Trump based on zero evidence.

    1. And the more power you give the “feds” over state and local government. What happens next when the other guys are in power?

      This is exactly what the hard core revolutionaries want. They gain when the situation escalates. They have some advantages. Those troops stand out from the population. The insurrection types can simply blend in whenever they wish. As Mao said “like a fish swims in the sea”

      The population is stressed more than I have ever seen. The virus has affected everyone. Basic stuff, I could list things but you know. The worst is unemployment, closing of business and schools, insecurity and people go to survival mode. Then they are ripe for the picking. Read Hayek.

      What concerns me most is power in the hands of one man. This was not the intention of the founders here. It is all about the president for many people. We need a strong leader, right?

      1. How is arresting people for fucking with the courthouse expanding government power?

        The police are exercising almost superhuman restraint with these fools. Yes, fools.
        The kind of morons that light themselves because they don’t know you underhand a fucking Molotov. They know shit about fuck, understand even less, and will foist it on (And themselves) you with fire if you refuse to lower(?) yourself to their level.

        1. I have no sympathy for the rioters with green lasers, bombs and all that.

          The issue is separation of powers. The state government has the ability to call up national guards and police to deal with it. If they have not it becomes a very tricky issue when the president starts to take over.

          You can bring in a whole army division with all that entails. Those weapons and soldiers were never intended to be used against US citizens. Liberty is not easy. Sometimes leaders screw up and there are negative consequences.

          It is getting to the point of no return. Upping the ante is not going to work. The opposition is going to grow if it gets worse which is what it wants.

          This is a very difficult time in history for reasons we all know. Libertarians can be a lighthouse in the storm.

  63. BTW, Portland’s NAACP head, E.D. Mondaine now describes the Portland protests as “White Spectacle”.

    Warning, paywall.

    1. It would have to be. Portland is over 80% white, and less than 3% black. You could get the entire black population of Portland into a high school gym.

      1. Apparently, he wasn’t super-keen on the nude woman doing yoga poses.

        1. So that’s cultural appropriation and concern appropriation at the same time.

        2. I thought the “White woman spread eagle as the face of the protest.” comment was more pointed.

          “What a bunch of goddamned pussies!”

    1. This guy lives in an apartment with a Starbucks in the lobby. My apartment has a soda vending machine.

      Seattle, never change.

      1. At least your bad coffee was appropriately priced.

  64. That is an interesting source. They seem to have a lot of articles covering things from unique perspectives.

  65. Trying to burn down a court house and permanently blinding law enforcement with high powered lasers is not a protest.

    I’ve had a subscription to Reason for 20 years and I’m on the verge of canceling it. This isn’t a libertarian publication anymore its been infested by intersectionalist garbage.

    1. I just canceled.

    2. The purple haired Yale-y should have given it away years ago.

  66. Except now the jackboots are tennis shoes, and the bullets are made of rubber. They were using live ammo at Waco and Ruby Ridge.

    1. And at Waco the Feds burned the building down.

  67. Not in agreement that they are jack-booted thugs. Were our WWII soldiers jack-booted thugs?

    But, whatever they are, sometimes you need them.

  68. Hey, “Reason.” Your article provides NO EVIDENCE. Unsubscribing as of today and suggest you consider a name change.

  69. “”Federal officers clearing out nearby Lownsdale Square, yanking shields from some people and striking others with batons. Uniformed government agents pulling at least two people into unmarked vans off city streets for questioning.”
    Federal agents still target Americans, but now it’s Homeland Security instead of ATF, and they’re after protesters supporting Black Lives Matter and police reform instead of gun owners and antigovernment activists. And that makes all the difference, unfortunately.”

    That’s it? That’s all you got? An entire rant about jack booted government thugs who **you admit** have a duty to protect federal property, and all you can come up with is a couple folks pulled into a van, and one Reason reporter tear gassed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    Sorry, just not buying this as some god-awful over-reaction threatening our free society.

  70. Question: If the Rioters simply went home, will they get ‘Jack Booted’ for doing so? Cuz frankly, as long as they continue to try and overthrow the Gov’t., I don’t mind them getting ‘Jack Booted’ in their stinky azzez!

  71. Why the NRA isn’t jumping in on principle and expressing support for the ideological allies of (or maybe a lot of the very same) people who pushed the ALCU to alter their mission statement to being defenders of maybe 7.5 of the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution, and to people who have for decades been claiming that the NRA might as well be a front for the KKK seems like a question that could have a very simple answer.

    It’s not even clear that NRA’s principles are really that anti-authoritarian based just on their advocacy against incidents of lethally reckless enforcement overreach by the Feds in the 1990s that happened to also have strong 2A-specific implications.

    NRA at its root is really a commercially-oriented group that promotes 2A rights because those rights are key to enabling the commercial enterprises of their founding/driving organizations. That doesn’t make the rights they’re advocating for unimportant, but it should be kept in mind because it informs their motivation (and the potential limits of that motivation) for their advocacy activities. Advocacy in defense of protestors who would in all likelihood be demanding the repeal of 2A and the forcible dismantling of the NRA specifically if they weren’t doing what they’re doing now might fall into a motivational “dead zone” for their leadership.

  72. There are people that work in the Hatfield Federal Courthouse and there have always been federal officers present.
    The first attackers attempted to block the doors and set fire to the building. The officers present were forced to block the door with their bodies after the rioters broke out the glass. The rioters fired a mortar into the officers. The officers held the door for 6 hours before the rioters left.
    The feds built a fence around the building and reinforced with more officers. They officers do not come out of the building until the mob attempts to breach the fence. They certainly do chase down some of the criminals and arrest them.
    Does anyone believe they should vacate the courthouse and let the mob burn it?
    If the governor called in the National Guard to surround the area this would end. The Guard should have been called in during the first week and brought a swift and decisive end to it.

  73. Easiest way to control/disperse crowds is water cannons. Punch it up on Youtube and you’ll get a litany of countries that deploy such. Unfortunately the democrats used such in the ’50’s so it’s got a no/no racial connotation. And with this unrest claiming this is somehow connected with black anything tis’ a no/no squared.

    1. One quibble..

      Politifact has confirmed that saying the Democrats are the party of Jim Crow is a lie. I mean, it is literally true, but the parties changed places in the 60’s so that everything bad about Democrats in the past is really Republicans. (yes, this literally happened. They changed their story to be “half true” after an uproar. They are so dishonest that pointing out that Jim Crow, the KKK and eugenics are all Democrat party issues is deemed false. So is “Republicans were the party that ended slavery”. I mean, these things are *literally* true, but they are not true in spirit. So sayeth the fact checkers at Snopes, Politifact, USA Today and the AP)

      1. “Truth” over facts

  74. This is precisely the reason why I left the libertarian movement. It’s becasue the hard core libertarian has two psychological malfunctions. One is the belief that ANYTHING, EVERYTHING, the government does is wrong. The other is the propensity to stick their heads where the sun doesn’t shine and thereby ignore or misconstrue reality. This article is a perfect example.

    We have communists in Portland and Seattle, aided and abetted by the local government, bent on rioting and depriving others of their health and property. Ah, but the government shouldn’t try and stop their illegal activities. No! That’s too authoritarian.

    Do a reality check, pal!

  75. Thugs or not, anyone going after BLMers can’t be all bad. Avowed Marxists organizers and a sex trafficker for founders!! I wouldn’t want them trenching to my septic system.

  76. Of course if things go too far… Expect William Munny (Uncle Sam) to get off his horse and whooping ass while saying something like ‘Justice got nothin’ to do with it.’

  77. Sorry but :at odds with the current administration” seems a very understated description of arson, riot, willful destruction of homes and businesses and blinding of federal officers defending federal property with lasers. Personally, I’d prefer that citizens be armed and defend their own lives, homes, property, neighborhoods and communities by any means they deem necessary. However, to expect federal officers doing their duty to mechanically accept being blinded tells me that you’ve never had your own butt on the line. As an old ‘Nam marine, who operated under questionable ROEs , my feeling is that if you’re under attack or attack is imminent you cut loose as necessary. Sorry if you don’t like it but… actually, I don’t give a damn whether you do or not. Perhaps the better solution is to just let their whole sh*thole cities burn and NOT provide any federal taxpayer dollars for reconstruction. BUT, if you do deploy troops to protect assets, as has been done here, they must be allowed to protect themselves and respond as necessary.

    1. ” and blinding of federal officers defending federal property with lasers.”

      They should consider themselves lucky. If they were doing this in any other part of the world, Afghanistan, say, they’d have a lot more to be scared of than laser beams.

      1. Yes, but (i) they’re a domestic police force, not a military unit, and (ii) if you’re willing to equate the two, then should they be authorized to use deadly force to combat their enemy? This old Marine ‘Nam vet would support that authorization. Oh, (have you ever been in combat, BTW?)

        1. ” they’re a domestic police force, not a military unit”

          The folks who kit these goons out with clothes and weapons seem to think otherwise.

          “if you’re willing to equate the two, then should they be authorized to use deadly force to combat their enemy”

          What’s the point of all those guns and poison gases if you can’t use them?

  78. This is exactly why the media isn’t trusted. There are thousands of hours of video online of exactly what is going on. There are protests during the day in which nothing happens. The people don’t approach the police line, they don’t throw anything and they aren’t trying to burn the buildings down. Once it gets to be about 10 p.m., it all changes. Whether anyone likes it or not, federal officers have a very wide latitude of action, as determined in the federal courts, when it comes to defending federal property. If those protesters at night chose to stay across the street for one night, didn’t shoot fireworks and didn’t try to burn the building down, nothing would happen. I have relatives in Germany whose parents and grandparents lived through two world wars there. These federal officers aren’t even close to jack booted thugs. If they were, there would already be a hit out on you for writing this.

    1. Why not jack up the federal checks to $2000, almost doubling the number talked about. That should get people off the streets. Bread AND circuses kept the Romans chugging along for a while.

      1. Because the federal checks are supposed to help those who have lost employment… not those who are human parasites.

        1. That’s the problem. It turns out, against all expectations, that human parasites need money too.

  79. I would call this article a stupid take, but that would give a bad name to stupid takes.

    What is going on in Seattle and Portland are not protests, they are riots. They are not to support black lives, they are a combination of marxists and anarchists. These riots hate this country and they hate freedom. They are far from libertarian. They are destroying property while the complicit local leaders welcome the destruction because the drama makes them feel wanted. The left doesn’t realize that the rioters are not democrats and never will be.

    1. “These riots hate this country and they hate freedom. ”

      Perhaps so but they love Portland. The love it enough to burn down an undoubtedly pestilential federal courthouse.

  80. I’m wondering when Trump will get around to releasing the hounds on those BLM terrorists. It makes for great TV.

  81. Some of the same people calling Mr. Trump “heavy handed” in regard to the Portland scenario, also said he’d have us involved in a war within months of his inauguration.

    1. Well we are very close to the point where a war found him.

      1. Do you even know what you’re trying to say here?

  82. I just love well balanced articles like this one (sarcasm). While it rails on the police and calls them Nazis, it ignores the violent Marxist rioters who are destroying property, looting business, committing arson, and assaulting people. These ‘jack booted thugs’ are only there in response to the violent rioters. You don’t see them swooping into quiet, peaceful towns and arresting people just walking down the street. They are responding to Marxist violence. The Marxists were rioting long before the Feds showed up. Good for the cops.

  83. This article is full-on false equivalency. In the first cases, Ruby Ridge & Waco, no one was actively trying to burn down/destroy Federal property. The Federal government has every right to defend their property against attacks. I don’t even understand how Reason could publish an article so weak.

  84. Fuck you Tuccille, you lying sack of shit.

  85. No… This is actually an example of the Federal Government doing what it’s supposed to do– which is to step in and protect people and property when local officials refuse to do so.

  86. I’m surprised not only of the lack of “reason” in this article, but by the lack of “reason” in the comments.

    The truth is that this is a very complex issue. Yes, the article participates – to a large degree – in false equivalency (as many comments have pointed out). However, NOT entirely. See, it depends on which part of the protests you’re equating to Ruby Ridge. There ARE peaceful protestors. Most of them, in fact, have been non-violent (according to the numbers that’s just a fact). However, there are also non-peaceful protestors. You also have the issue of whether those non-peaceful protestors are damaging federal property, or not. These nuances matter a great deal when making the argument that those who opposed the federal response at Ruby Ridge should also oppose the federal response in Portland.

    If anyone lumps all the protestors together they’re committing a logical fallacy. This article does account for the fact that the federal government does have a right to protect federal property. However, the general, overall, tone of the article implies that the federal response, in general, is equivalent to the response at Ruby Ridge, or Waco. This is, of course, absurd.

    Having said that, libertarians should always be on guard. The federal law enforcement seem to be doing a bit more than protecting federal buildings. This may open up a lot of legal questions regarding what permissions Federal law enforcement have when protecting federal property. Are they allowed to enforce a buffer – a “demilitarized zone” – around the federal property? And if so, is there a legal distance? Answers to these questions should be researched before someone declares that the Feds are over-stepping their bounds.

    Now philosophically, we (libertarians) may have objections to a buffer zone, or even a federal response at all. But the legal question is a separate matter.

    I just want to prompt people to be more nuanced, and to direct these issues carefully without over-generalizations.

    1. “This article does account for the fact that the federal government does have a right to protect federal property. However, the general, overall, tone of the article implies that the federal response, in general, is equivalent to the response at Ruby Ridge, or Waco. This is, of course, absurd.”

      The general tone of the article is right there in the title: the feds are “jackbooted thugs” for using less than lethal means to protect federal property from destruction by rioters who are willing to assault those same feds with lethal weapons. And coincidentally tried to set an occupied multi-story building on fire while barricading the exits. In other words, he can suck a giant donkey’s cock.

    2. To answer those questions….

      They already declared a buffer zone of 200 miles from every border and point of entry. So good luck, you are under federal jurisdiction if they choose to employ such. Court tested, court approved. The border zone includes most of the population. Yes, international airports count. So a 200 mile radius around international airports.

      As to the “there are peaceful protesters” part…. I doubt anyone actually disputes this. There was as near as makes no difference absolutely zero dissent with the notion that the killing of Floyd was wrong. So pretty much everyone in the entire country is on that side of the issue.

      The dispute is “Federal agents in plainclothes snatching peaceful protesters off the streets without probable cause and whisking them away in unmarked vans”. I’m more skeptical of the government and their motives than the average guy, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that one is just nonsense. I don’t see the feds renditioning American citizens to some secret CIA jail in Namibia for enhanced interrogations, as these people are trying to suggest.

      Given what we’ve seen of the “exuberantly peaceful protesters” who get carried away and engage in coordinated assaults on the police, I’m going to guess that those perfectly peaceful protesters who are minding their own business and totally not bothering anyone were in point of fact *not* entirely peaceful mere minutes earlier. I’ll go further and postulate that the people videoing and posting about it actually know that this is not the case – hence the reason they were recording video of people supposedly doing nothing.

      We shall see.

      But I’ve seen the video that isn’t showing up on NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC or PBS, and it certainly doesn’t look like those outlets are being entirely honest with me about what is happening. And it certainly doesn’t jibe with the narrative of the secret police snatching peaceful protesters for no reason that is not only being pushed by #BLM and Antifa, but also for some reason by the highest elected officials in the Democrat party, as well as their supporters in the media.

      1. Sorry. 100 miles. Ooops.

      2. Or maybe it’s the fringe gold-hocking drug addicted rapists on rightwing TV who have their story wrong. It’s so incredibly difficult to suss these things out, I know.

        1. Aaaha! Our local Antifa cell has gone berserk. Good work comrade Tony!

      3. So, there is a question whether the protesters are largely peaceful? Let me enlighten you:
        This is a leftie WAPO, not Fox. Look at the pictures and tell me that the protests are peaceful. Also, I have an additional question: who has paid for the buildings that those “largely peaceful protesters” want to torch down? Would it be me, paying my taxes? Why would federal government allow my property to be set ablaze?

      4. ” Court tested, court approved.”

        Good for the courts. Trouble is these goons aren’t street tested, street approved.

        1. Are you and Tony hanging out together tonight? There is a certain level of deep thought and similar comprehension of the various ideas being discussed that seems to be common to the two of you…

          1. You mean we’re pointing out that the American street is opposed to the jack booted government thugs?

    3. We have had decades of “nuanced” responses from libertarians and conservatives. They try to get along with the left, find a consensus, cross the aisle, etc. Every time they get shafted by the left. The democrats have no morals, no ethics, no religion (except climate), no sense, no culture, but we must seek common ground. It’s like trying to sympathize with a serial killer while standing in quick sand. And the serial killer has a knife and you have a flower.

      Fuck that.

      1. The whole reason you idiots like Trump is because he has no morals. He totally owns libtsrds on the internet. That’s why you like him. You have one political thought in your silly little heads, and pushing that button is all you require out of a politician. If you want to know about liberal ethical beliefs, ask one, or read about it on the internet. Don’t get all your info from Tucker.

        1. Any arguments to your rant? And yes, I have one political thought in my head. That thought is – freedom. In particular, my rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Also, my rights to free speech, rights to earn and own property as well as the protection from unreasonable searches and the right to fair and speedy trial. As for Tucker, he’s OK. After seeing the word “independence” in scare quotes in the CNN’s 4th of July report from Mt. Rushmore, I decided not to watch them again – ever. However, Tucker is not a libertarian. I am. And I do get many of my news from sites like and 71 Republic. Furthermore, you sound like an Antifa member. Lack of coherent argumentation, the word “libtards” and the rage all support that conclusion. Am I right, comrade?

        2. “The whole reason you idiots like Trump is because he has no morals”
          This from a drunk lefty piece of shit who has yet to offer any evidence of comprehending the concept of “principles”.
          Fuck off and die.

      2. A SIG and a prayer, my friend.

    4. Well said. However, when the “protestors” begin throwing Molotovs and blinding people with lasers, there is no time for nuanced discussion. Such discussion requires a calmer forum.

  87. This article is a major BS. The “peaceful protesters” are trying to torch a federal building and have hurt tens of cops. The author is ignoring the obvious violence and laying the blame squarely on the federales. The author may as well be a member of Antifa. What I want to know is whether this is an official opinion of the Reason Magazine. If not, why are you publishing “thugs in jackboots” over and over again? Don’t you think that this is an insurrection? Was the reaction on Ft. Sumter also “thugs in jackboots”?

    1. “If not, why are you publishing “thugs in jackboots” over and over again?”

      I think they picked up the phrase from me. I’ve been using that phrase for years now and it’s good to see it finally getting some traction,

      1. I’ve been using the phrase “fucking lefty ignoramus” for years now also; I see it’s gained some traction as regards you and other fucking lefty ignoramuses,

        1. You tend to over use your phrases. Or lift them from others like ‘getting some traction,’ another of my phrases.

    2. I’ve been a Libertarian since the mid-1960s. Yet, some old Libertarian friends seem to get things upside down regarding the Federal presence protecting Federal property. One such blogger claims that you cannot be a Libertarian if you side with the Feds so others who consider themselves Libertarians have been “cancelled.” With this article by Tuccille portends a party-line — “you’re with us all the way or not at all.” Hogwash.

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  90. Is this Tuccile’s Duranty moment?

    Probably just one of many
    Stalin would’ve loved this guy

  91. What happens when you tear gas someone who dreams of conflict with police? What happens when tear gas a wall of Moms out for their first protest? Or 18 year olds showing up hearing both calls for peaceful protest and calls to fight back, who get gassed before they break their first window?

    What tactics are the police using?

    I think we’re missing something here when we take the sides we’re taking above. The police — feds and local — are not even semi-efficiently arresting the few who damage property.

    Serious trouble-makers have masks, they get adrenaline from a bruise… that’s what they came for. What we are witnessing is the police stirring up Americans who are demanding professionalism and an end to racism and and end to police protecting other police who break the law. Stirring them up with violence, fear, “less lethal” weapons. People who were peaceful have lost an eye, had head injuries. And NONE of that is to protect federal buildings from rioters: police KNOW that gassing a peaceful crowd recruits more people to give up on peaceful protest and join the relatively few destructive protestors.

    This was calming down, turning into political pressure: that’s why the crowds are being attacked. You can want the people who actually break a window to spend years in jail … but the police are not protecting property here, not focused on people who actually break laws: they are stirring trouble, and we should be united in calling that out.

    1. so, you’ve put some thought into this.

      Let’s see what you would do.

      There is a crowd of 300 people confronting your 50 police officers. Maybe 50 of those people are actually planning violent acts. They brought weapons and are well coordinated. It is their plan to attack the federal building and the police, all while inciting the crowd in an attempt to recruit allies to act.

      Operating from the cover of the crowd, they begin their assault. They begin with water bottles and chants and taunts. It is their intention to embolden the crowd to confront the police. Many in the crowd resist, but many join in.

      You order your men to hold fast and attempt to de-escallate. This is a futile exercise, because the point of the action is to provoke a response. The agitators move on to phase 2. Instead of water bottles, they begin throwing frozen water bottles. Dangerous and hard projectiles that look just like the stuff being thrown by the sweet little 17 year old high school senior who is mostly peaceful.

      Do you have the sweet 17 year old who was throwing water bottles at your men with the 4 masked antifa folks arrested? When you move to arrest her, you know they will attack your men.. maybe she gets hurt. So you stand down.

      Now they escalate again. Wster bottles become rocks and bricks. Fire bombs are being prepared. Someone hands out umbrellas to mostly peaceful protesters. They use them for concealment as they begin shooting large fireworks and flair guns at your men and into the lobby. It looks like no big deal to the peaceful protesters. But it is very dangerous.

      They begin advancing in numbers, shouting “burn it down!!” They are using high power green lasers to blind your men. Molotov cocktails are being brought forward.

      Now…. what do you do?

      You have a mob of 300 people. Maybe 50 are overtly violent, but the mob mentality is taking hold and many more are involved in assaulting officers.

      Do you disperse the crowd? That would be jackboots.

      Do you attempt to arrest a few targeted individuals? How many do you send out to get them if you do? What if they hide in the crowd? What do you do about the mob surrounding your men? Are you going to move them back with nonlethal weapons? That would be jackboots.

      You are really stuck. You have always believed that it takes two to Tango. But now you are beginning to realize that it only takes one to turn a dance into a wrestling match.

      So now what? How are you going to leave the people who are not doing anything at this exact instant alone while stopping the others?

      You see the problem?

      The only objective of the antifa folks is to provoke a police response so they have a propaganda weapon. Provoking a response is easy. It really cannot be sidestepped if they are determined.

      If you pull out, they torch the building. Problem solved, right? No. They can just find another target. Eventually they will find a line to cross that you cannot accept.

      The only possible answer is the one you hint at and I discuss above. The bad actors need to be arrested and charged. Arrest them later when there is no crowd to rally to violence. Continue that strategy until most of the violent agitators are gone.

      That seems to be what the feds are doing. Use riot control tactics for self defense, then arrest agitators later.

  92. The facts of the matter include: 1. blm are terrorists, an arm of the democrats, intent on causing as much damage as possible on anyone in order to blame Trump for their own stupidity. 2. For decades the members of black communities in democratic owned cities and states have ignored the reality of having families with fathers. This will not change and the suffering will continue. Even worse, when blacks kill blacks in these communities they are perceived by blacks (and the media) to be hero’s. 3. Please note that virtually every city with any degree of unrest, protests that become violent, riots and burning have been “managed” by democrats for decades. Lack of family structure is one issue (no fathers). Another major issue is the fact that all of these cities have been provided untold billions for education and are failing completely with almost all children who can’t read, write. 4. As a taxpaying citizen I fully support Trump in the current situation. The screaming about Federal thugs is bs. Since the mad crowds love violence, riots and burnings AND THE LOCAL DEMOCRATS AND CITIZENS SUPPORT THE DAMAGE, DO NOT SUPPORT THE POLICE AND ALLOW ALL THE VIOLENCE WE NEED THE FED’S TO SAVE THE FEDERAL PROPERTY.

  93. Slowly I am believing I am not a Libertarian. While I am all for the government staying out of people’s lives as much as possible, this article gets it wrong. Watching the videos out of Portland it is clear the government agents only react when the federal building and windows get destroyed and fires are started. What are they suppose to do? Allow lawless thugs to destroy property? The agents would never come out of the building if the anarchists left the building alone. It is a disaster. The graffiti sprayed all over the walls reminds me of my days traveling through the Bronx NY. It looks awful. Please spare me the “libertarian” view that the government should intervene and protect taxpayer property when losers try to destroy it.

  94. When gun nuts yammer about jackbooted thugs they are only talking about jackbooted thugs who are trying to establish a fascist dictatorship led by somebody on the left. A fascist dictatorship led by somebody on the right they have no problem with.

    1. In what possible way could you describe this as an attempt at a fascist dictatorship on the right?

      They keep saying this, over and over. Trump is a dictator! Trump is a fascist!

      I keep hearing people on the right talk about projection with progressives. It has a ring of truth about it. Obama famously said he “had a pen and a phone”, that being all he needed to govern. Obama famously went years without even proposing a budget… just continuing resolutions to keep spending at the stimulus level of $1 trillion above baseline. Obama repeatedly violated the constitution in initiating wars overseas without even notifying congress, much less seeking declarations of war. Obama had his secret kill list, including American citizens. Obama was both the deporter in chief, creating the policy of separating families that the left loves to blame Trump for, and created new immigration policy beyond his authority with DACA, specifically to tie the hands of future administrations and create an inevitable “illegal aliens living here” amnesty problem. Obama used the IRS to target the speech of political enemies. Obama used the FBI, CIA and State Department to spy on political opponents, and then used them to sabotage the incoming administration in the most overt attempt to subvert the peaceful transfer of power in American history. Obama famously said “elections have consequences” when republicans tried to reach across the aisle after his election.

      Yet the left insists that Trump is a dictator? Trump, who has not exceeded his constitutional authority, despite being beset by leftist judges who repeatedly attempt to subvert the balance of power between the judiciary and the rest of government by “resisting” in any way they can, injecting themselves into administrative branch actions in ways that have rarely been seen over the long history of the US. The biggest, loudest complaints about his foreign policy actions have been when he *didn’t* start or expand wars he inherited from his predecessors. The Democrats were actually livid that he *didn’t* go to war with Russia and Turkey in Syria. And that he *didn’t* attack Iranian bases.

      About the only area that Trump has actually been unilateralist in his actions has been in foreign trade. He has used some fairly heavy-handed negotiating tactics with trading partners. But foreign relations has always been the exclusive purview of the administrative branch. I suspect that the real objections here are that he is upsetting a bunch of apple-carts that were created in past administrations for the benefit of those who were in power at the time – arrangements that resulted in things like Biden’s boy getting the plum job on a Ukrainian oil company board. That would definitely explain the vociferous objections of establishment politicians on both the left and the right.

      Trump’s signature accomplishments have been to reduce excessive regulations across the board – something he mostly delegates to various departments to accomplish. Does that sound like things a dictator does? Dictators reduce their power?

      This is one of the most idiotic critiques of Trump that there is. It is, sadly, one that is shared by many of the writers at Reason. You can call him a buffoon and a boor. You can call him chaotic, unorganized, even incompetent. You can question whether he has any principles at all. All criticisms that have some basis in reality. But a dictator? A Nazi? People sound like idiots making those charges.

  95. This same guy will change his tune when they show up at his house and set it on fire. Comical crap. As far as I remember, the Ruby Ridge and Waco people weren’t damaging property and weren’t intimidating their neighbors, stopping them in traffic with weapons. They were in property way AWAY from ANYONE ELSE and could have been waited out easily with no inconvenience to the public at large. I thought Libertarians where for personal freedoms that don’t infringe on anyone else’s rights or property. Apparently now it means you can just punch someone in the face because you disagree with them and the Police have to charge you with having your face cause injuries to their hands.

    1. “They were in property way AWAY from ANYONE ELSE and could have been waited out easily”

      That’s no way to start a socialist revolution. You have to be down in among the people, stirring things up. A federal court house, or any other part of America’s grinding gulag system, makes an excellent target.

  96. J.D. Tuccille, your attempted parallel of the ATF agents actions vs lawful civilians and The actions of DHS agents against unlawful rioters is disingenuous. Once again, those in the media are more interested in obfuscation than reporting current events.

    The ATF enacted rules which restricted the constitutional rights of lawful Americans. DHS agents are acting to quell unlawful protestors damaging federal property. When federal property is damaged, and graffiti is damage, DHS agents use less than lethal means to disperse the unruly mob, and take those responsible into custody. Unless I am mistaken, they have not once gassed a peaceful assembly or a peaceful protest. Your calling out the NRA for silence on this issue speaks to your intent. In the 90’s they rightly stood up to protect the constitutional rights. The actions of rioters, looters, and those damaging federal property, are not protected under the US constitution.

    1. “The actions of rioters, looters, and those damaging federal property, are not protected under the US constitution.”

      They will find other ways to protect themselves. And you will whine about them, too.

  97. Given J.D. Tucille’s previous posting of claiming that somehow, protecting federal property is a violation of federalism, I can only deduce his problem is with opposing the rioters and arsonists at all.

  98. If the protesters want the DHS personnel to leave, all they have to do is stop attacking, damaging, and destroying Federal property and attacking the agents defending it.

    Last I checked, arson, vandalism, and assault didn’t constitute protected speech.

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  100. Strange, I don’t recall the Weaver’s rioting and destroying government property.

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  102. In light of all the misinformation floating around, the NRA was probably wise to avoid this issue. Moreover, the mostly-peaceful-protesters narrative doesn’t seem to comport with the reality of the situation. To the extent that that’s true, however, there doesn’t appear to be much evidence that the feds are there to chill legitimate protesters’ free speech rights. Instead, they seem to be focusing on Antifa-like characters. Remember, the Constitution protects “the right of the people peaceably to assemble.” When such assembly is no longer peaceful, and devolves into chaos, gov’t is duty bound to protect the rights and property interests of those affected by that devolution. Clearly, Gov. Brown and Mayor Wheeler have failed in this regard.

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