MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘police’

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Police Problems? Embrace Liberty!

Posted by M. C. on April 27, 2021

The drug war is a major reason police have increasingly looked and acted like an occupying army. Police militarization threatens everyone’s liberty. Black people have been subjected to drug war arrests and imprisonment at relatively high rates.

Those interested in protecting and enhancing black people’s (and all people’s) lives should embrace liberty. Libertarians reject the use of force to achieve political, economic, or social goals, Therefore, in a libertarian society, police would only enforce laws prohibiting the initiation of force against persons or property.

Free markets, individual liberty, limited government, sound money, and peace are key to achieving prosperity and social cohesion. Those sincerely concerned about improving all human lives should turn away from the teaching of Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes, who advocated expansive government power, and, instead, embrace the ideas of pro-liberty writers such as Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard.

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2021/april/26/police-problems-embrace-liberty/?mc_cid=74f313367e

Written by Ron Paul

undefined

Many Americans saw former policeman Derek Chauvin’s conviction on all counts last week as affirming the principle that no one is above the law. Many others were concerned that the jury was scared that anything less than a full conviction would result in riots, and even violence against themselves and their families.

Was the jury’s verdict influenced by politicians and media figures who were calling for the jury to deliver the “right” verdict? Attempts to intimidate juries are just as offensive to the rule of law as suggestions that George Floyd’s criminal record somehow meant his rights were not important.

The video of then-policeman Chauvin restraining Floyd led people across the political and ideological spectrums to consider police reform. Sadly, there have also been riots across the country orchestrated by left-wing activists and organizations seeking to exploit concern about police misconduct to advance their agendas.

It is ironic to see self-described Marxists, progressives, and other leftists protesting violence by government agents. After all, their ideology rests on the use of force to compel people to obey politicians and bureaucrats.

It is also ironic to see those who claim to want to protect and improve “black lives” support big government.

Black people, along with other Americans, have had their family structure weakened by welfare policies encouraging single parenthood. This results in children being raised without fathers as a regular presence in their lives, increasing the likelihood the children will grow up to become adults with emotional and other problems.

Those at the bottom of the economic ladder are restrained in improving their situation because of minimum wage laws, occupational licensing regulations, and other government interference in the marketplace. They are also victims of the Federal Reserve’s inflation tax.

Many progressives who claim to believe that “black lives matter” do not care that there is a relatively high abortion rate of black babies. These so-called pro-choice progressives are the heirs of the racists who founded the movement to legalize and normalize abortion.

The drug war is a major reason police have increasingly looked and acted like an occupying army. Police militarization threatens everyone’s liberty. Black people have been subjected to drug war arrests and imprisonment at relatively high rates.

Those interested in protecting and enhancing black people’s (and all people’s) lives should embrace liberty. Libertarians reject the use of force to achieve political, economic, or social goals, Therefore, in a libertarian society, police would only enforce laws prohibiting the initiation of force against persons or property.

A libertarian society would leave the provision of aid to the needy to local communities, private charities, and religious organizations. Unlike the federal welfare state, private charities can provide effective and compassionate aid without damaging family structure or making dependency a way of life. In a libertarian society, individuals could pursue economic opportunity free of the burdens of government regulations and taxes, as well as free of the Federal Reserve’s fiat currency.

Free markets, individual liberty, limited government, sound money, and peace are key to achieving prosperity and social cohesion. Those sincerely concerned about improving all human lives should turn away from the teaching of Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes, who advocated expansive government power, and, instead, embrace the ideas of pro-liberty writers such as Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Here’s What the Revolution will Look Like

Posted by M. C. on December 19, 2020

Will your son or daughter soldier be fighting you or your neighbor?

Is this what they signed up for?

Will they succumb?

By Joe Jarvis

In 2018, the Pentagon held a “War Game” depicting a scenario where the military would be deployed against the American people.

The Intercept has published documents detailing the background information on the exercise.

The Pentagon imagined a disenfranchised Generation Z, strapped with college debt and no opportunities. They have lost faith in the American Dream, and believe the system is rigged against them. As so they rise up.

To be clear, the scenario is fictitious, and shouldn’t be interpreted as being based on real intelligence. However, the Pentagon tries to make the War Game scenarios realistic.

And it certainly identifies real reasons why people are pissed off at the establishment. “The system”, from the Federal Reserve to the Police State, has kept people under the thumb of the government, and their corporate cronies.

The US military clearly thinks this is along the lines of the threats they will face over the next decade. The exercise material details the scenario:

In early 2025, a cadre of these disaffected Zoomers launch a protest movement. Beginning in “parks, rallies, protests, and coffee shops” — first in Seattle; then New York City; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; Las Vegas; and Austin — a group known as Zbellion begins a “global cyber campaign to expose injustice and corruption and to support causes it deem[s] beneficial.”

During face-to-face recruitment, would-be members of Zbellion are given instructions for going to sites on the dark web that allow them to access sophisticated malware to siphon funds from corporations, financial institutions, and nonprofits that support “the establishment.” The gains are then converted to Bitcoin and distributed to “worthy recipients” including fellow Zbellion members who claim financial need…

Gen Z’s most militant members have essentially taken to privately taxing large corporations and other institutions to combat income inequality or, as the war gamers put it, using the “cyber world to spread a call for anarchy.”

Now here we are in 2020, and sadly the military being used against the American people has become a distinct possibility.

And it starts in Seattle.

“Welcome to CHAZ: Capital Hill Autonomous Zone”

Earlier this year, a section of Seattle declared itself a Free Autonomous Zone.

Protesters, who claimed to have the support of the businesses within the area, set up roadblocks, and occupied an abandoned police precinct.

Police and National Guard units pulled out of the area. Police barricades and walls were used by protesters to create a defensive traffic flow through the area. Armed citizens guarded the entrances to the area– a friendly neighborhood drug lord even provided some security and weapons.

The police department sign was altered to read “People Department.”

Socialist City Council-member, Kshama Sawant, jockeyed for control over the movement. She was one of many speakers to address crowds in the “autonomous zone” saying, “What we are seeing now is an uprising. A rebellion of young people. Not just nationwide but globally.”

A few weeks earlier Kshama Sawant tweeted that, “corporations like Amazon need to be taken into democratic public ownership, to be run by workers for social good. We will need militant mass movements, strike actions at workplaces, to begin to fight to win this. Because it will be a political strike against billionaires.”

This is important to understand in the broader context of the opposition facing the federal, as well as state and local governments.

The Bolsheviks are attempting to co-opt the police brutality protests to accomplish their own socialist goals.

I certainly oppose police brutality, and the federal intrusion into my life. And I recognize that certain replacements would be worse– like replacing a Czar with a genocidal Dictator in Soviet Russia.

It is important to pay attention. But the group that starts the revolution is rarely the same one which declares victory.

Take a look at my video about who wins the game of Risk.

It is the people like Joseph Fouche (his story starts at 2:40 in the video above), who work behind the scenes to hold power while others fight.

Fouche participated in the French Revolution, beheaded some aristocrats, survived waves of beheadings himself, and emerged as Minister of Police in France. He stayed in power through the revolutionary government, Napoleon’s rise, the restoration of the monarchy, Napoleon’s 100 day return to power, and another restoration of the monarchy.

French Statesman Talleyrand had a similar story. His power also survived the French Revolution, before he helped Napoleon take power, then helped overthrow Napoleon, and later helped Napoleon escape imprisonment, and regain power for 100 days. Then Talleyrand also worked for the next government.

What is happening now is the very early stages of a serious economic catastrophe, and widespread social unrest.

Many different scenarios could play out. And some of those possibilities involve a revolution or civil war.

But any revolution will be very fragmented. There will not be one organized force opposing the US government.

And each little rebellion will be different. Some will take over police precincts and government buildings. Others will be entirely online, hacking, taking out cyber-infrastructure, and intercepting information.

Sure, at some point larger, cohesive movements will occur. We might even see state government take a stand against the feds.

But this is a large country, which was never really cohesive to begin with. A decentralized rebellion will spark in many places across the nation. City by city, and state by state, the goals, demands, and ideologies of these movements will be unique.

People who are out in the countryside will see a very different revolution.

It is possible that while the military focuses on urban opposition, the countryside fights a defensive war.

Imagine a well-armed, tight-knit group of people in a relatively small proximity. They can grow and hunt their own food. Hell, they might even has stills making alcohol-fuel for their tractors and trucks.

These people exist all throughout America. When the times comes for them to protect themselves, their livelihoods, their land, their loved ones, and their way of life, it will be only in self defense.

These people are not insurgents. And they aren’t the type to allow insurgents into their communities.

The US government has a big problem on its hands. The USA started with a guerrilla uprising, and the modern US Military has never decisively won a war against guerillas.

Let’s hope enough people in power recognize their precarious positions, and opt for a very simple approach (but one that does not come easy for tyrants):

They can leave people alone and let them be free.

To be honest, I don’t really care if the Bolsheviks take over Seattle. I’m much more concerned about them taking over DC, and being able to force their Socialist agenda on the entire USA.

Really, that’s already happened to a large extent, and fragmentation of government would safeguard us in a sense.

When there is no centralized power structure to control, it allows free people, and all the social and economic benefits they create, to flourish.

But individuals do need to prepare for that fragmentation.

Under many scenarios, supply chains will suffer, and food and medicine will need to be sourced locally.

Alternative currencies to the US dollar will be required in order to continue trade.

Personally, I’d be more interested in fulfilling market demands at a local level than participating in any revolution.

You gain more power by serving the demands of a local market– the more beneficial your contribution, the more you are needed, and can set the tone for local governance.

By producing certain tangible goods that work well as a medium of exchange, you essentially become a money printer.

Check out my recent video on currencies in a worst case scenario.

It should be obvious by now: 2020 is the elite’s big move.

We are entering the climax of a long planned crisis. Your family, your community, and your countrymen need honest leaders to guide them out of the elite’s traps.

Learn how to turn the elite’s own tactics against them, divert their attacks, and grow your own sphere of power.

Subscribe and immediately receive TWO FREE TACTICAL REPORTS:

1. Four Ways The Elite Control You

2. How to Infiltrate the Elite and Steal Their Power for Yourself

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Residents Band Together To March ‘Antifa Commie B******* Out of the Neighborhood’

Posted by M. C. on August 13, 2020

Those Fort Collins citizens better watch out! Unlike Antifa tactics, defending yourself will get you arrested. Like in the UK.

Fortunately for us, Fort Collins in the US.

https://www.westernjournal.com/residents-band-together-march-antifa-commie-b-neighborhood/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=PostBottomSharingButtons&utm_campaign=websitesharingbuttons&fbclid=IwAR1GL–Xd4ENUXFlQ47aGmy34GpmHWPI_ObcvYUN7o9QJPZKfxASgIjcX8M

Summary

More Info Recent Posts Contact

Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.

Fort Collins, Colorado, residents made their stand Saturday as black-clad demonstrators beat a retreat after dueling marches collided.

The pushback began with a flag-bedecked “Back the Blue” rally.

Supporters of the police waved “Thin Blue Line” flags and held signs reading, “Defend the Police,” according to The Rocky Mountain Collegian.

“We have to defend the police and the role that they play in society for keeping law and order and keeping citizens safe,” pro-police demonstrator Sonya Beeson told the outlet.

The pro-police group, however, was confronted by counterprotesters, some of whom wore the masks and black attire associated with antifa radicals.

TRENDING: Scientists Reveal Certain Masks May Be More Dangerous Than Wearing None At All

It’s not clear what started the fracas, but the supporters of the police ended it, as seen in a video of the confrontation posted on Twitter.

The video shows the pro-police residents of Fort Collins purposefully driving the counterprotesters away from the spot they had been holding.

WARNING: The following video contains vulgar language that some viewers may find offensive.

“We are currently marching the antifa commie b——s out of the neighborhood,” a speaker said in the video. “Because nobody wants antifa in the neighborhood. Nobody wants them here. So we’re marching them out.”

As the demonstrators retreated, one of the neighbors called out, “Bye-bye, commie scum. Bye-bye. Go home.”

During a scuffle, the voice called out a warning to the neighbors: “Commie girl with a knife. Commie girl with a knife.”

“You guys came to the wrong city, boys and girls,” the voice called out, later adding, “Aw, commies go home.”

RELATED: Benches Clear After MLB Player Charges Opposition’s Dugout

One voice on Twitter blamed antifa for starting problems.

“Antifa assaulted someone in a wheelchair. That’s what set off the beat down from residents. Police were on the scene to arrest the commies,” Ian Miles Cheong tweeted.

Some said the Fort Collins incident was a lesson for violent demonstrators across the country.

Three people were arrested, according to the Fort Collins police.

All three were charged with disorderly conduct. One individual faced an additional charge of possession of an illegal weapon. Another person was also charged with resisting arrest.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Who Profits from Militarizing the Police? | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on August 5, 2020

Under the circumstances and given who’s providing the equipment, you won’t be surprised to learn that the 1033 Program also suffers from lax oversight. In 2017, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) created a fake law enforcement agency and was able to acquire $1.2 million worth of equipment through the program, including night vision goggles and simulated M-16A2 rifles. The request was approved within a week of the GAO’s application.

Companies in the military-industrial complex earn billions of dollars selling weapons, as well as building and operating prisons and detention facilities, and supplying the police while theoretically dealing with problems with deep social and economic roots. Generally speaking, by the time they’re done, those problems have only become deeper and more rooted.

https://mises.org/wire/who-profits-militarizing-police?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=310502e004-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-310502e004-228343965

Ever since images of the police deploying armored vehicles against peaceful demonstrators in Ferguson, Missouri, hit the national airwaves in 2014, the Pentagon’s program for supplying “surplus” military equipment to local police departments has been a news item. It’s also gotten intermittent attention in Congress and the executive branch.

Since 1997, the Pentagon’s 1033 Program, as it’s called, has channeled to 8,000 separate law enforcement agencies more than $7.4 billion in surplus equipment, including Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles of the kind used on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, along with rifles, ammunition, grenade launchers, and night vision devices. As Brian Barrett has pointed out at Wired, “Local law enforcement responding to even nonviolent protests has often looked more like the U.S. Armed Forces.” Political scientist Ryan Welch coauthored a 2017 study suggesting, when it came to police departments equipped in such a fashion, “that officers with military hardware and mindsets will resort to violence more often and more quickly.”

Under the circumstances and given who’s providing the equipment, you won’t be surprised to learn that the 1033 Program also suffers from lax oversight. In 2017, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) created a fake law enforcement agency and was able to acquire $1.2 million worth of equipment through the program, including night vision goggles and simulated M-16A2 rifles. The request was approved within a week of the GAO’s application.

The Obama administration finally implemented some reforms in the wake of Ferguson, banning the transfer of tracked vehicles, grenade launchers, and weaponized aircraft, among other things, while requiring police departments to supply more detailed rationales describing their need for specific equipment. But such modest efforts—and they proved modest indeed—were promptly chucked out when Donald Trump took office. And the Trump administration changes quickly had a discernible effect. In 2019, the 1033 Program had one of its biggest years ever, with about 15,750 military items transferred to law enforcement, a figure exceeded only in 2012, in the Obama years, when 17,000 such items were distributed.

As noted, the mere possession of military equipment has been shown to stoke the ever stronger “warrior culture” that now characterizes so many police departments, as evidenced by the use of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams armed with military weaponry for routine drug enforcement activities. It’s hardly just SWAT teams, though. The weaponry and related items provided under the 1033 Program are widely employed by ordinary police forces. NBC News, for instance, reported that armored vehicles were used at least 29 times in response to Black Lives Matter protests organized since the murder of George Floyd, including in major urban areas like Philadelphia and Cincinnati. NBC has also determined that more than 1,100 Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles have been distributed to local law enforcement agencies under the MRAP program, going to communities large and small, including Sanford, Maine, population 20,000, and Moundsville, West Virginia, population 8,400.

A report from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has similarly documented the use of Pentagon-supplied equipment in no-knock home invasions, including driving up to people’s houses in just such armored vehicles to launch the raids. The ACLU concluded that “the militarization of American policing is evident in the training that police officers receive, which encourages them to adopt a ‘warrior’ mentality and think of the people they are supposed to serve as enemies, as well as in the equipment they use, such as battering rams, flashbang grenades, and APCs [Armored Personnel Carriers].”

Who Benefits?

Companies in the military-industrial complex earn billions of dollars selling weapons, as well as building and operating prisons and detention facilities, and supplying the police while theoretically dealing with problems with deep social and economic roots. Generally speaking, by the time they’re done, those problems have only become deeper and more rooted. Take, for example, giant weapons contractors like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Raytheon that profit so splendidly from the sales of weapons systems to Saudi Arabia, weaponry that in turn has been used to kill tens of thousands of civilians in Yemen, destroy civilian infrastructure there, and block the provision of desperately needed humanitarian assistance. The result: more than a hundred thousand deaths in that country and millions more on the brink of famine and disease, including COVID-19.

Such major weapons firms have also been at the front of the line when it comes to benefiting from America’s endless post-9/11 wars. The Costs of War Project at Brown University estimates that the United States has spent over $6.4 trillion on just some of those overseas conflicts since 2001. Hundreds of billions of those dollars ended up in the pockets of defense contractors, while problems in the US, left far less well funded, only grew.

And by the way, the Pentagon’s regular budget, combined with direct spending on wars, also manages to provide huge benefits to such weapons makers. Almost half of the department’s $750 billion budget goes to them. According to the Federal Procurement Data System’s latest report on the top recipients of government contracts, the five largest US arms makers alone—Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics—split well over $100 billion in Pentagon awards among them in 2019. Meanwhile, those same five firms pay their CEOs a total of approximately $100 million per year, with hundreds of millions more going to other top executives and board members.

Meanwhile, in the Trump years, the militarization of the border has become a particularly lucrative business opportunity, with General Atomics, for instance, supplying ever more surveillance drones and General Dynamics supplying an ever more intricate and expensive remote sensor surveillance system. There are also millions to be made running privatized prisons and immigrant detention centers, filling the coffers of firms like CoreCivic and the GEO Group, which have secured record profits in recent years while garnering about half their revenues from those two sources.

Last but not least is the market for even more police equipment. Local forces benefit from grants from the Department of Homeland Security to purchase a wide range of items to supplement the Pentagon’s 1033 Program.

The True Bottom Line

Much has been written about America’s failed post-9/11 wars, which have cost trillions of dollars in taxpayer treasure, hundreds of thousands of lives (American and otherwise), and physical and psychological injuries to hundreds of thousands more. These wars have also propped up sectarian and corrupt regimes that have actually made it easier for terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS to form and spread. Think of it as the ultimate boomerang effect, in which violence begets more violence while allowing overseas terrorist organizations to thrive. As journalist Nick Turse has noted with respect to the militarization of US Africa policy, the growth in American military operations on that continent has proceeded rather strikingly in conjunction with a proliferation of new terrorist groups. Put the best light on them and US counterterror operations there have been ineffective. More likely, they have simply helped spawn further increases in terrorist activities in the region.

[This is an selection from a longer essay published at TomDispatch.com.]

Author:

William D. Hartung

William D. Hartung is the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy. He is the author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex.

 

Be seeing you

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why the Police Must Be Removed from the Equation

Posted by M. C. on July 8, 2020

Of course, if the police are trained primarily to control the citizenry
rather than to be a part of the community, they will eventually inspire
alienation, resentment and hatred.

There can be no doubt that there will be widespread unrest and riots as a result. At this point, the US has a host of federal enforcement agencies: the NSA, DHS, USMS, CIA, FBI, BOP, USSS, TSA, CBP, BIS, OLE, DIA, NGA, OCR, FAMS, DEA, National Guard and literally dozens of others.

If and when the people of the US begin to rebel on a significant scale, it would not be at all surprising if some or most of these agencies were called out to suppress dissent.

https://internationalman.com/articles/why-the-police-must-be-removed-from-the-equation/

by Jeff Thomas

In America, no one likes the police… not really.

There are many, perhaps even half of Americans, who conceptually support the idea of the police, but virtually no one likes what the police have become.

At one time, the fellow in the image above was America’s idea of the neighbourhood cop. Today, if one were to conjure up an image of a policeman, it would be a more Darth Vader-like image of a man whose face is obscured by mask, goggles and helmet, wearing body armour, and carrying an assault weapon.

Decades ago, the local cop was looked upon as a good guy – part of the community. He may not have been thought of as having been part of the intelligentsia, but he did receive his training under the concept of “serve and protect,” and for the most part, he behaved accordingly.

But that’s no longer so.

Somewhere along the line, policemen ceased to receive training under the heading of “serve and protect,” and now receive an entirely different form of training that focuses on control.

Not long ago, I watched a police training video in which police recruits were being led by a trainer, punching their fists in the air in unison, and shouting repeatedly, “I have the power! I have the power!”

And, unfortunately, that’s the direction the police in America have gravitated to – if not on a national level, then at least in areas of high population concentration.

This is quite an important change. Once the latest batch of recruits have been indoctrinated into the concept that “You must submit to my authority,” there will be more frequent extremes in force, including some actual homicides. Whilst most police will be likely to maintain a measure of self-control, there will be those few who, if any resistance occurs, will go to any length to achieve submission, including homicide.

Of course, if the police are trained primarily to control the citizenry rather than to be a part of the community, they will eventually inspire alienation, resentment and hatred.

But if we’re objective, we’ll recognize that, periodically, there have always been community protests and that they’ve sometimes become violent. In each such case the local police have been called in.

So, what’s different now?

Well, although few police have actually overstepped their authority and become unreasonably forceful, they tend to all be tarred with the same brush – both the protestors and the media tend to label them all as fascist and racist – even those police who are the same race as their accusers.

Clearly, logic is not a deterrent to typecasting.

This is not the first time such accusations have occurred – they tend to pop up whenever police are tasked with controlling crowds.

But now we’re seeing a new twist.

Governors, mayors, police commissioners and even police chiefs now routinely apologise for their officers, accepting the media’s tendency to lump them all together as being fascist and racist.

This has not resulted in a toning down of the vitriol heaped on the police. Quite the contrary – the rhetoric has only become louder and is led on a daily basis by the media.

And we’re now beginning to see the reaction by the police themselves. Those who previously accepted their task of confronting protesters and rioters have begun to call in sick en masse, or even walk away from their jobs entirely.

No doubt they’re hoping that their disappearance from duty will make both the public and their own superiors swallow hard and say, “We’re sorry, I guess we were too harsh. We should have supported you in doing the job you were hired to do. Please come back.”

But this is not what will happen. Those who are in the upper reaches of the police hierarchy will try to save their own skins, and will take a knee, on camera, in apology for their officers.

This will only serve to further polarize the front-line police from their superiors.

At the same time, we’re seeing placards by the thousands, reading, “Defund the Police.”

And this is not a mere idle threat. The media now promote a programme under which most police duties would be turned over to social workers, mental health practitioners, and “victim advocates.”

So, the objective here is not to defund, but to re-allocate those funds, diminishing the numbers of actual police drastically.

It would appear that only a small segment of the population actually support this concept, yet the great majority who may well fear diminished police protection are noticeably silent, apparently fearful of appearing to be politically incorrect.

The outcome would be to de-fang police at the local level, to render them incapable of the “protect” portion of “serve and protect.”

But why? And why now?

Well, the US has entered an economic crisis. At present, it’s perceived by most to be a downturn due to the coronavirus, but it will soon become apparent that it is a major crisis that has only just begun.

And it will be devastating to the lives of Americans.

Soon, they’ll figure out that the government, the banksters, et al, have robbed them of their economic stability and they’re headed for a state of neo-serfdom.

There can be no doubt that there will be widespread unrest and riots as a result. At this point, the US has a host of federal enforcement agencies: the NSA, DHS, USMS, CIA, FBI, BOP, USSS, TSA, CBP, BIS, OLE, DIA, NGA, OCR, FAMS, DEA, National Guard and literally dozens of others.

If and when the people of the US begin to rebel on a significant scale, it would not be at all surprising if some or most of these agencies were called out to suppress dissent.

And this perception is not by any means conjecture or “conspiracy theory.” The 2001 Patriot Act and 2011 National Defense Authorization Act effectively allow the entire US to be redefined as a battleground, to be controlled by martial law.

Of course, if federal troops are deployed in the US, the group of combat-trained individuals who are most likely to stand against them would be the local police. After all, it’s their own communities that would be under fire, their own neighbours who would be the casualties.

History has shown that, when the central government’s troops move in to control a population, the local enforcers often turn against them and become their adversaries.

Therefore, a federal government would be wise to diminish that potential opposition, months prior to any major move toward martial law.

If that is indeed what’s in store, we should not be surprised if the central government and the media work together to remove the local police from the equation.

Editor’s Note: The truth is, we’re on the cusp of a economic crisis that could eclipse anything we’ve seen before. And most people won’t be prepared for what’s coming. That’s exactly why bestselling author Doug Casey and his team just released a free report with all the details on how to survive an economic collapse. Click here to download the PDF now.

 

Be seeing you

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Twilight Zone USA – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on June 19, 2020

Escaping from behind the Iron Curtain, I thought I was done with
twilight zones for good. But as I watched in amazement the events of the
last three weeks, I saw something happen that I would have never
dreamed possible: The United States has descended into a twilight zone
of its own.

As with every twilight zone, America’s also came into existence as
the result of a false narrative. This narrative runs thus: The United
States of America is a racist country in which black people are
oppressed and where systemic racism prevails. In America every non-black
person is racist. This applies even to those who have never done or
said anything that could be conceivably construed as racist. The racism
of such people is unconscious – they simply cannot see it due to their
white privilege.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/06/vasko-kohlmayer/twilight-zone-usa/

By

Growing up in a communist regime was like living in a twilight zone where everything had gone topsy-turvy. If you’ve never been to a twilight zone, it is a most curious phenomenon. It comes into existence when in a certain country or a geographic location a blatantly false narrative takes hold of the collective psyche.

The narrative of the twilight zone of my youth went roughly as follows: Socialism was the greatest socio-economic system ever devised while capitalism was very, very bad. The Soviet Union was a paradisiacal land of freedom, opportunity, prosperity and happiness. The United States, on the other hand, was a country of exploitation and oppression where most people were bound, destitute and miserable. This official narrative was constantly and relentlessly promulgated from every quarter of our twilight zone: television, radio, textbooks, arts, newspapers, magazines, etc. Needless to say, the narrative ran in complete contravention of reality. The actual truth was that socialism was no good. On the other hand, most people in the United States were free, quite prosperous and reasonably happy while the Soviet Union was pretty much an all-around hellhole.

Those who attempted to point out the truth or question the authorized storyline were promptly silenced, suppressed and punished. As a result of the swift and efficient censorship the false narrative prevailed and took a deep hold on the societal mind. And because it served as the paradigm for reality, it distorted and turned upside down almost every aspect of life: the good was bad and bad was good; white was black and black was white. The values and ethics in the twilight zone became inverted.

Escaping from behind the Iron Curtain, I thought I was done with twilight zones for good. But as I watched in amazement the events of the last three weeks, I saw something happen that I would have never dreamed possible: The United States has descended into a twilight zone of its own.

As with every twilight zone, America’s also came into existence as the result of a false narrative. This narrative runs thus: The United States of America is a racist country in which black people are oppressed and where systemic racism prevails. In America every non-black person is racist. This applies even to those who have never done or said anything that could be conceivably construed as racist. The racism of such people is unconscious – they simply cannot see it due to their white privilege.

As with the communist narrative of old, the claim that the United States is systemically racist and oppressive toward black people is completely false. This is something that should be readily obvious to every reasonable person. (In case there is doubt, we have discussed this matter at some length here.) Rather than being oppressed, black people in this country are given protections, resources, privileges and preferential treatment that the majority do not have. No society in world history has, in fact, done more for the advancement and upliftment of black people than the United States of America. And this includes all of the black countries and systems that ever existed. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why Economists Are So Often Accused of Being Indifferent to Social Problems | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on June 16, 2020

For example, one can argue both economically and medically that if people are permitted to mingle again and return to their jobs, although in the short run we may see a spike in COVID-19 infections and even a spike in death rates, over the longer term, it would result in fewer deaths. To a certain extent, this is an empirical assessment that we cannot confirm until we actually engage in the activity and permit certain policies. The economists’ logic goes as follows: we know that in the short term there may be more infections and premature deaths, but over time such a policy would result in fewer infections and deaths in the longer future.

The critics, however, tend to look only at the short term.

https://mises.org/wire/why-economists-are-so-often-accused-being-indifferent-social-problems?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=14274f5d69-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-14274f5d69-228343965

The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.

~Henry Hazlitt, Economics in One Lesson

As someone who has written articles and papers on police and prosecutorial matters (yes, economists analyze those things, too) for two decades, I am not surprised to see the kinds of police killings that provoke people to anger, frustration, and helplessness.

When economists look at what only can be called bad things that happen time and again, we ask why that is so. More specifically, we want to know about the structures of incentives that encourage things to occur time and again, even when there is general agreement that things need to change. Our analyses and our recommendations (when we make them) often are seen either as insensitive or outright offensive to people who don’t know or understand the language of economics and economists.

For example, many economists have been much more critical of the lockdown response to COVID-19, so we are accused by others of wanting people to die. People accuse of us being “unscientific” or insensitive to the needs of others during a pandemic. It seems that it is impossible to cross the divide between economists and their critics.

So, what do economists believe regarding something like dealing with COVID-19? Is our criticism of the lockdowns due to right-wing ideology (as some of my colleagues would claim), lack of compassion for the sick, or something else?

First, and most important, economists hold that we live in a world of scarcity and that our options always are going to be limited. We also will operate in logical fashion, working off sets of assumptions. So, let me demonstrate how the analysis might work.

Economists Must Consider Scarcity

Let us first assume that the national lockdown strategy (one size fits all) was the most effective in preventing more COVID-19 deaths. Now, there was no basis in fact for the original prediction of 2.2 million American deaths, and we know in hindsight that the model that came from Imperial College of London was terribly flawed and vastly overestimated the “if we do nothing” results. We cannot know if our assumption is correct given that we didn’t try anything else, so we would have to deal with a counterfactual, which speaks for itself.

The question, then, would be how long we could be locked down before becoming overwhelmed with the unemployment and the lack of production of essential goods. In other words, How long before the negative results of the lockdown become so dire that we cannot continue on this path? To put it bluntly, if we stay locked down too long, people will die from the consequences; lots of people. Think of all of the people with medical conditions that could not see doctors and receive treatment because most of the medical resources were being directed toward dealing with treatment and prevention of COVID-19. (See? There we go again with the law of scarcity.)

Do we know where the crossover point might be? Well, no. The worlds of medicine and public policy will depend upon models that are imperfect, that are likely to be ideologically biased (especially the more apocalyptic ones), and that do not “predict” the past very accurately, let alone the future. (When I was doing graduate work, one of my professors once told me regarding the use of econometric models: “Econometrics: Predicting the past with ever increasing reliability.”)

However, we can make general observations, and we also can look at the occupational (and racial) makeup of those who are directing the lockdown policies and those who are most negatively affected by them. Phil Magness notes that when we consider policy decisions these occupational differences are not trivial:

Many in elite academia and journalism have the luxury of a paycheck for the time being, as well as the ability to do their work from home with only modest disruption. Vast numbers of newly unemployed Americans do not.

At the same time, most academic efforts to cast the lockdown debate along racial lines miss or omit another dimension that belies their critical theory-infused attacks on any attempt to reopen the economy. The very same lockdowns, social distancing mandates, and shelter-in-place orders that these writers defend are also backed by heavy-handed enforcement by the state. And in many cases, that enforcement falls disproportionately on racial minorities, the poor, and people with fewer means to defend themselves.

Magness was writing in response to those who claimed that people who protested the lockdown did so either out of selfishness or racism or both. (That the lockdowns have disproportionately harmed racial minorities seems to have escaped the notice of many academic and media elites. One doubts that this omission is accidental.)

Looking at the Long-Term

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why Did The Police Abandon Their Posts?

Posted by M. C. on June 13, 2020

While there, they observed one policeman drive through the alley behind their house and proceed to the front of the residence without stopping, leaning out the window, or getting out of the car to check the back entrance of the house. A second officer apparently knocked on the door in front of the residence, but left when he received no answer. The three officers departed the scene at 0633, five minutes after they arrived.  

Warren and Taliaferro crawled back inside their room. They again heard Douglas’ continuing screams; again called the police; told the officer that the intruders had entered the home, and requested immediate assistance. Once again, a police officer assured them that help was on the way. This second call was received at 0642 and recorded merely as “investigate the trouble;” it was never dispatched to any police officers.  

“On July 25, 2013, Judge Margaret Chan dismissed Lozito’s suit, stating that while Lozito’s account of the attack rang true and appeared “highly credible”, Chan agreed that police had “no special duty” to protect Lozito.” 

https://libertarianinstitute.org/politics/why-did-the-police-abandon-their-posts/

by

The riots and looting that have taken place in the aftermath of a Minneapolis law enforcement officer suffocating a man to death — which was caught on video by a bystander — has people questioning the idea of policing and how it is done. Should police be taught de-escalation tactics? Would it be prudent for them to live in the area they patrol? Why is law enforcement still performing “broken window policing?” In the wake of the murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin these are all things to ponder. 

Taking all of this into consideration, people aren’t asking why it is that police are abandoning their precincts, leaving them to the mob, and suffering no consequences for this action. A few have asked why the police aren’t protecting the public and its property but one would think that in the least the cops would protect “their own house,” right? It is apparent that people learned nothing from the Parkland school shooting when it comes to “law enforcement” being the “security force” of the people. Even after it was determined that the officers who cowered outside had “no duty to protect,” the public still didn’t grasp the message the courts were sending. 

The idea that law enforcement is there “to serve and protect” individual members of the public has been ruled against over and over again, and the facts surrounding some of the most famous cases are particularly heinous. 

Warren v. District of Columbia (1981) 

Warren v D.C. is probably the most cited case when it comes to the fact that police aren’t mandated to protect the individual. 

The details of the case are terrifying: 

In the early morning hours of Sunday, March 16, 1975, Carolyn Warren and Joan Taliaferro, who shared a room on the third floor of their rooming house at 1112 Lamont Street Northwest in the District of Columbia, and Miriam Douglas, who shared a room on the second floor with her four-year-old daughter, were asleep. The women were awakened by the sound of the back door being broken down by two men later identified as Marvin Kent and James Morse. The men entered Douglas’ second floor room, where Kent forced Douglas to perform oral sex on him and Morse raped her.  

Warren and Taliaferro heard Douglas’ screams from the floor below. Warren called 9-1-1 and told the dispatcher that the house was being burglarized, and requested immediate assistance. The department employee told her to remain quiet and assured her that police assistance would be dispatched promptly.  

Warren’s call was received at Metropolitan Police Department Headquarters at 0623 hours, and was recorded as a burglary-in-progress. At 0626, a call was dispatched to officers on the street as a “Code 2” assignment, although calls of a crime in progress should be given priority and designated as “Code 1.” Four police cruisers responded to the broadcast; three to the Lamont Street address and one to another address to investigate a possible suspect.  

Meanwhile, Warren and Taliaferro crawled from their window onto an adjoining roof and waited for the police to arrive. While there, they observed one policeman drive through the alley behind their house and proceed to the front of the residence without stopping, leaning out the window, or getting out of the car to check the back entrance of the house. A second officer apparently knocked on the door in front of the residence, but left when he received no answer. The three officers departed the scene at 0633, five minutes after they arrived.  

Warren and Taliaferro crawled back inside their room. They again heard Douglas’ continuing screams; again called the police; told the officer that the intruders had entered the home, and requested immediate assistance. Once again, a police officer assured them that help was on the way. This second call was received at 0642 and recorded merely as “investigate the trouble;” it was never dispatched to any police officers.  

Believing the police might be in the house, Warren and Taliaferro called down to Douglas, thereby alerting Kent to their presence. At knife point, Kent and Morse then forced all three women to accompany them to Kent’s apartment. For the next fourteen hours the captive women were raped, robbed, beaten, forced to commit sexual acts upon one another, and made to submit to the sexual demands of Kent and Morse.  

Warren, Taliaferro, and Douglas brought the following claims of negligence against the District of Columbia and the Metropolitan Police Department: the dispatcher’s failure to forward the 6:23 a. m. call with the proper degree of urgency; the responding officers’ failure to follow standard police investigative procedures, specifically their failure to check the rear entrance and position themselves properly near the doors and windows to ascertain whether there was any activity inside; and the dispatcher’s failure to dispatch the 6:42 a. m. call. 

The women sought to sue the District of Columbia and several individual members of the Metropolitan Police Department on two different occasions. The results were: 

“In a 4–3 decision, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals affirmed the trial courts’ dismissal of the complaints against the District of Columbia and individual members of the Metropolitan Police Department based on the public duty doctrine ruling that the duty to provide public services is owed to the public at large, and, absent a special relationship between the police and an individual, no specific legal duty exists. The Court thus adopted the trial court’s determination that no special relationship existed between the police and appellants, and therefore no specific legal duty existed between the police and the appellants.” 

Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales 

The importance of Castle Rock v Gonzales cannot be overstated since, unlike Warren, this case was taken to the Supreme Court of the U.S.A. for its ruling.  

The events that precipitated the ruling are tragic to say the least: 

During divorce proceedings, Jessica Lenahan-Gonzales, a resident of Castle Rock, Colorado, obtained a permanent restraining order against her husband Simon, who had been stalking her, on June 4, 1999, requiring him to remain at least 100 yards (91 m) from her and her four children (son Jesse, who is not Simon’s  biological child, and daughters Rebecca, Katherine, and Leslie) except during specified visitation time. On June 22, at approximately 5:15 pm, Simon took possession of his three daughters in violation of the order. Jessica called the police at approximately 7:30 pm, 8:30 pm, and 10:10 pm on June 22, and 12:15 am on June 23, and visited the police station in person at 12:40 am on June 23. However, since she from time to time had allowed Simon to take the children at various hours, the police took no action, despite Simon having called Jessica prior to her second police call and informing her that he had the daughters with him at an amusement park in Denver, Colorado. At approximately 3:20 am on June 23, Simon appeared at the Castle Rock police station and was killed in a shoot-out with the officers. A search of his vehicle revealed the corpses of the three daughters, whom it has been assumed he killed prior to his arrival. 

Gonzales filed suit against the Castle Rock police department and three of their officers in the U.S. District Court of Colorado claiming they didn’t protect her even though she had a restraining order against her husband. The officers were declared to have “qualified immunity” and thus, couldn’t be sued. But, “a panel of that court… found a procedural due process claim; an en banc rehearing reached the same conclusion.” 

In this case, the government of the town of Castle Rock took the decision against it to the Supreme Court of the U.S.A. and got the procedural due process claim reversed, finding 

The Court’s majority opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia held that enforcement of the restraining order was not mandatory under Colorado law; were a mandate for enforcement to exist, it would not create an individual right to enforcement that could be considered a protected entitlement under the precedent of Board of Regents of State Colleges v. Roth; and even if there were a protected individual entitlement to enforcement of a restraining order, such entitlement would have no monetary value and hence would not count as property for the Due Process Clause.  

Justice David Souter wrote a concurring opinion, using the reasoning that enforcement of a restraining order is a process, not the interest protected by the process, and that there is not due process protection for processes. 

Lozito v. New York City 

This one was saved until the end because, unlike the previous cases, the officer in this one admitted under grand jury testimony that the reason he didn’t come to the aid of Joseph Lozito is because he was scared that Lozito’s attacker had a gun. 

On February 11thMaksim Gelman, started a “spree-killing” by stabbing his stepfather, Aleksandr Kuznetsov, as many as 55 times because he refused to allow Gelman to use his wife’s (Gelman’s mother’s) car. Gelman would end up killing 3 more while injuring 5, the last injured person being Joe Lozito on a northbound 3-train while on his way to work.  

The facts of the Lozito attack are startling: 

“Joseph Lozito, who was brutally stabbed and “grievously wounded, deeply slashed around the head and neck”, sued police for negligence in failing to render assistance to him as he was being attacked by Gelman. Lozito told reporters that he decided to file the lawsuit after allegedly learning from “a grand-jury member” that NYPD officer Terrance Howell testified that he hid from Gelman before and while Lozito was being attacked because Howell thought Gelman had a gun. In response to the suit, attorneys for the City of New York argued that police had no duty to protect Lozito or any other person from Gelman.” 

Lozito had heard of the previous cases stating that the police had “not duty to protect” but decided to go to court representing himself.  

The court would have none of it: 

“On July 25, 2013, Judge Margaret Chan dismissed Lozito’s suit, stating that while Lozito’s account of the attack rang true and appeared “highly credible”, Chan agreed that police had “no special duty” to protect Lozito.” 

As segments of the country continue protesting, rioting and looting as a “response” to the George Floyd killing, and local governments are questioning funding their enforcement agencies, people should retreat a few steps and take a macro view of their “protection services.” While some are rightly railing against police brutality and aggressive policing, they should go back to the beginning and ask whether any of these “fixes” are going to work if the most basic assumption when it comes to “serving and protecting” is a farce.  

If the police are just there as a clean-up crew, or historians after the fact, why not designate them as such. If in the overwhelming amount of cases they get there after a crime has been committed, it’s time to take that 2nd Amendment seriously and remove the barriers that keep many people, especially those in high crime areas, from protecting themselves. “Armed” with the knowledge that those you have falsely believed were there to protect you are in fact serving another purpose, rational individuals should be looking for realistic options when it comes to protecting yourself from any threat that may come your way; public or private. 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why It’s Rational to Fear Cops | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on June 6, 2020

This example also illustrates Sowell’s observation that brands are substitutes for specific knowledge. We do not know whether any individual is trustworthy or not, but, ideally, a police uniform should be a consistent marker of trustworthiness. But the converse may also be true. Just as I avoid the McDonald’s arches because I don’t like their food, the information conveyed by a police uniform is not always consistent with the idealized vision of police.

https://mises.org/wire/why-its-rational-fear-cops?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=dd4114620d-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-dd4114620d-228343965

In economics, branding serves an important purpose. Brands allow people to economize on knowledge, a scarce resource. We make decisions with imperfect information, and brand labeling and trademarks help us navigate these decisions. As Thomas Sowell writes:

When you drive into a town you have never seen before and want to get some gasoline for your car or to eat a hamburger, you have no direct way of knowing what is in the gasoline that some stranger at the filling station is putting into your tank or what is in the hamburger that another stranger is cooking for you to eat at a roadside stand that you have never seen before. But, if the filling station’s sign says Chevron and the restaurant’s sign says McDonald’s, then you don’t worry about it.

He goes on to add that “brand names are substitutes for specific knowledge.”1

You don’t know much about the particular bottle of ketchup you may be buying—the quality of the factory it was produced in, the farmer who grew the tomatoes, or the recipe used—but if it says Heinz on the label, you have a good idea of what you’re going to get. The need to economize on knowledge is so important that in the Soviet Union, people began to learn how to read barcodes to know whether or not they were getting products from reliable factories.2

In customer service industries, this is also the purpose of a uniform. Customers can quickly identify the person they need to talk to in a retail environment, and the uniform conveys certain expectations. The electronic retailer Best Buy dresses its computer technicians, called the “Geek Squad,” in comically cliché “geek” uniforms—white shirts and black clip-on ties—in an attempt to help customers distinguish the employees with specialized computer knowledge from those who sell televisions.

But brand names, trademarks, and uniforms don’t always convey the information that companies want them to convey. For instance, if a customer had a bad experience with an incompetent Geek Squad agent, they may see the uniform as an indicator of somebody whose computer advice should not be trusted. Similarly, McDonald’s famous golden arches may inform a potential customer about the consistent quality of their hamburgers, as Sowell points out, but some consumers may see this as a sign of where not to eat. People always economize on information, but not necessarily in the way that companies hope.

This is why companies are so protective of their brand and trademarks. Any dilution of their reputation hurts the value of their product in the eyes of the consumer, not because the quality itself is lowered, but because when consumers face greater uncertainty in their economic decisions they are less likely to buy a given product.

As in the customer service industry, a police officer’s uniform conveys information to civilians. In the idealized vision of police, the uniform should convey security. Most of us were taught as children that if we get separated from our parents, we should avoid strangers but find a police officer. Even though the officer is also a stranger, children are taught to see the police uniform as an indicator of trustworthiness in the potentially dangerous uncertainty of human interaction.

This example also illustrates Sowell’s observation that brands are substitutes for specific knowledge. We do not know whether any individual is trustworthy or not, but, ideally, a police uniform should be a consistent marker of trustworthiness. But the converse may also be true. Just as I avoid the McDonald’s arches because I don’t like their food, the information conveyed by a police uniform is not always consistent with the idealized vision of police.

Any given police officer may be a kind, helpful person who only wants to serve and protect, as the police mantra claims, or he may be a scoundrel who enjoys asserting violent authority over others. This is the uncertainty that people face every time they interact with a police officer. But the uniform does convey some consistent, reliable knowledge that helps people know whether to feel safe or threatened.

For instance, thanks to the doctrine of qualified immunity, all police officers are immune from the consequences of excessive and unnecessary force, even in cases that result in the death of unarmed, nonresisting civilians. Certainly not all police take advantage of this immunity. Social media loves heartwarming stories of cops helping people or simply showing kindness. Many cops are not needlessly violent—in fact, it’s likely that the vast majority of them are not. But the uniform does not inform civilians of whether or not a cop will be gracious or abusive; it merely informs us that if they want to commit violence they can do so without fearing the consequences that the rest of us would face.

The result is that, in contradistinction to what we are taught as children, many people rationally feel unsafe interacting with a police officer than they do with a random civilian stranger. I stress the word “rationally” because their feeling of insecurity is not the product of a delusional prejudice or false propaganda, but rather of the reasonable weighing of possibilities in the face of uncertainty. They do not have knowledge of the specific officer’s temperament and character, but they do have knowledge of the legal immunity that will protect the cop if he abuses his authority.

Similarly, practices such as civil asset forfeiture become attached to the police uniform in the minds of civilians. Many cops, I’m sure, would never steal a person’s life savings or confiscate their legally owned property just because the law allows them to do so—but the law does allow them to. In the face of uncertainty, this is the knowledge that people have. If somebody has cash on their person or in their vehicle, as people often do when buying a used car off the internet or conducting a similar legitimate transaction, they don’t know whether a given cop will steal their money—they only know that the officer can.

And just as when a company hurts their brand by consistently providing poor service or a disappointing product, the frequent stories of police brutality and extrajudicial killings re-create the image of police conveyed by the uniform. The lack of accountability in these stories amplifies the effect. The actions of individual officers, even if we accept that they are anecdotal and not representative of the majority, convey information that people rationally attach to the uniform of all cops.

In short, people increasingly feel unsafe around police, because, frankly, it would be irrational to feel otherwise. It is impossible for anybody to know what a given cop will do, but thanks to the perverse incentive structures created by courts and tough-on-crime legislators, as well as the poor behavior of individual officers, who are virtually never brought to justice, people make their judgments of the police based on what officers can do. As long as we live in a world of imperfect information, it would be silly to expect people to make assumptions about police according to any other standard.

Be seeing you

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Minneapolis Riots Are a Reminder That Police Don’t Protect You or Your Property | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on June 3, 2020

A failure to protect taxpaying citizens from violence and crime in a wide variety of situations is standard operating procedure for police departments that are under no legal obligation to protect anyone, and where “officer safety” is the number one priority. The lesson to be learned here is that the alleged “social contract” between citizens and the state is a one-way street: you pay taxes for police “services,” and the police may or may not give you anything in return.

Those who proactively attempt to defend themselves fare little better. In 2018, Colorado resident Richard Black used a firearm to defend his grandson against an intruder. Unfortunately, someone called the police. When officers arrived, they opened fire on Black, even though he was only a threat to the criminal intruder. 

The lesson to be learned from all this is that it is foolhardy, to say the least, to rely on law enforcement officers to intervene to provide “safety” when troubles arise.

https://mises.org/wire/minneapolis-riots-are-reminder-police-dont-protect-you-or-your-property

Looting and arson have followed what began as peaceful protests in response to the apparent killing of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin, a now former member of the Minneapolis Police Department.

But whatever was the spark that set off the current round of rioting in the Twin Cities area, it is clear that most property owners and residents will have to fend for themselves where riots have taken place. In other words, any unfortunate shopkeeper or resident who finds himself in the path of the rioters ought to just assume that police won’t be around to provide any protection from the mob.

For example, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports:

The police station on E. Lake Street has been the epicenter of protests this week….Nearby, Minnehaha Lake Wine & Spirits, the target of looters the night before, also was set ablaze.…On Wednesday night, a man was fatally shot and crowds looted and burned buildings on E. Lake Street late into the night.

Earlier in the day, in St. Paul, looters broke windows, stormed through battered-down doors and snatched clothes, phones, shoes and other merchandise from shops along University Avenue near the intersection of Pascal Street. Officers formed a barricade in front of Target. But police were absent a block away at T.J. Maxx, where looters smashed down the door and fled with heaps of clothing piled on shopping carts.

Many business owners who now face destruction at the hands of rioters can scarcely afford it:

Many of the shops destroyed along this stretch of E. Lake Street are immigrant-owned businesses—many of which were already struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. “Now it’s worse,” said Roberto Hernandez, who stood guard outside his nutrition store for five hours to fend off looters. (emphasis added)

Another man who was working to open a sports bar in the area later this year, saw his bar destroyed. Needless to say, with only a few exceptions, the police weren’t around to “protect and serve.”

Admittedly, in cases like this week’s riots, the police are heavily outnumbered and unable to provide any sort of general protection from rioters. Even if individual officers were engaging in heroic behavior to turn rioters away from potential victims, there would be little they could do to confront all offenders.

But heroics or not, the outcome for victims is the same: they must rely on self-defense, formal private security, or private armed volunteers likely to be labeled as “vigilantes.”

A failure to protect taxpaying citizens from violence and crime in a wide variety of situations is standard operating procedure for police departments that are under no legal obligation to protect anyone, and where “officer safety” is the number one priority. The lesson to be learned here is that the alleged “social contract” between citizens and the state is a one-way street: you pay taxes for police “services,” and the police may or may not give you anything in return.

Police Are Not Obligated to Provide Protection

It is now a well-established legal principle in the United States that police officers and police departments are not legally responsible for refusing to intervene in cases where private citizens are in imminent danger or even in the process of being victimized. The US Supreme Court has made it clear that law enforcement agencies are not required to provide protection to the citizens who are forced to pay for police services year in and year out.

[RELATED: “Police Have No Duty to Protect You, Federal Court Affirms Yet Again” by Ryan McMaken]

In cases of civil unrest, of course, be prepared to receive approximately nothing from police in terms of protecting property, life, or limb.

During the 2014 riots that followed the police killing of Michael Brown, for example, shopkeepers were forced to hire private security, and many had to rely on armed volunteers for protection from looters. “There’s no police,” one Ferguson shopkeeper told Fox News at the time. “We trusted the police to keep it peaceful; they didn’t do their job.”

More famously, shopkeepers during the Los Angeles riots defended their shops with private firearms:

“Where are the police? Where are the police?” [shopkeeper Chang] Lee whispered over and over from his rooftop perch. Lee would not see law enforcement for three days—only fellow Korean-Americans, who would be photographed by news agencies looking like armed militia.

Officer Safety Comes First

During the Columbine school shootings in Colorado in 1999, the sheriff department’s “first responders” formed a perimeter outside the building and refused to enter, because the situation was deemed too risky for law enforcement. Meanwhile, children were being slaughtered inside.

Nearly twenty years later, law enforcement officers at the Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, cowered behind vehicles while students were murdered inside the school.

But even in cases where police are willing to enter the premises and attempt to subdue violent criminals, the victim may find law enforcement officers to be of little help. According to 2008 data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, police response times to violent crime–related calls exceeded eleven minutes one-third of the time. Things were no better twelve years earlier in 1996, when a similar survey was conducted. Now, twelve years after 2008, there’s no reason to assume anything has improved.

Eleven minutes is a long time to wait when dealing with a violent criminal.

Moreover, when police do arrive, don’t expect a competent response. The cases of Atatiana Jefferson and Botham Jean provide some helpful reminders.

According to multiple accounts of the Jefferson case, one of Jefferson’s neighbors called police to “check up” on Jefferson, fearing that she might be in danger. Jefferson was soon shot dead in her own living room by law enforcement. The shooter—a now former cop named Aaron Dean—entered Jefferson’s private property unannounced in the middle of the night. He peered into Jefferson’s windows, and within seconds the officer had shot Jefferson dead. Jefferson had been playing videogames with her nephew.

A year earlier, former police officer Amber Guyger was sentenced to ten years in prison for unlawfully shooting Botham Jean in his own apartment. At the time, Guyger was a police officer returning home from work. She illegally entered the wrong apartment and promptly shot Jean—the unit’s lawful resident—dead.

And, of course, there is the case of Justine Damond, who called the Minneapolis Police Department to report a possible sexual assault near her home. When police arrived, they shot Damond dead, for no known reason other than hysterical fear on their part.

Those who proactively attempt to defend themselves fare little better. In 2018, Colorado resident Richard Black used a firearm to defend his grandson against an intruder. Unfortunately, someone called the police. When officers arrived, they opened fire on Black, even though he was only a threat to the criminal intruder.

The lesson to be learned from all this is that it is foolhardy, to say the least, to rely on law enforcement officers to intervene to provide “safety” when troubles arise.

After all, experience has shown that police are thoroughly unmotivated when it comes to preventing, or even investigating true violent crime. Confronting violent criminals is dangerous and costly. Thus, police departments are geared much more around harassment of petty offenders (such as George Floyd) and going after small-time drug offenders while confiscating property under asset forfeiture laws.

This provides revenue to pad agency budgets while prioritizing the targeting of easy marks, rather than violent offenders. In the United States, more than half of serious crimes are never solved.

And yet, through it all, we hear again and again the myth that law enforcement agencies will provide protection, retrieve stolen property, and keep the peace. Many people in Minneapolis are now experiencing the reality.

Be seeing you

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »