Sunday, May 29, 2011
Jose Guerena - Killed With The Consent Of The Governed
Billy Beck asks, after linking to a Daily Kos post chronicling the killing Jose Guerena, the following questions.
What in the world could be more wrong than this? Why doesn’t it matter that this man died like this, amid the crummy lying about it by those who took him so badly? Shouldn’t it matter that we—anyone—can look right straight at this, know how terribly and profoundly wrong it is, and that we must somehow resolve ourselves and our neighbors that
? For humanity’s sake: isn’t that why we have minds?... in order to be able to see and understand wrong from right?
Though most readers of these pages will recognize the name of Jose Guerena, the majority of Americans, the governed, if queried, would have no recognition of the name Jose Guerena. Just ask them. “Do you know who Jose Guerena is?,” and see what type of response you get. I’ve asked, and received blank stares. There is something wrong, profoundly wrong, about this ignorance.
Why does not the killing of Jose Guerena matter? Because it has been consented to, just as specified in The Declaration of Independence.
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,...
Does it matter that the killing of Jose Guerena was unjust? Not to the governed, who are willingly accepting, and clamoring for, the yoke of tyranny.
Jose Guerena was killed with the consent of the governed, and Guerena’s blood damns us all. Governed, or not.
Friday, May 27, 2011
Welcome to War in the American Police State
In a post titled “Good God, y’all”, Mike Soja notes the ubiquity of the following word.
War. The word is on eveyone’s lips…
Mike provides a plethora of links in support of the above contention, and also correctly points out the war’s combatants, “the government against the people.”
The war of the United States government against the people is an ongoing and expanding action, the current preferred term being a kinetic military action, and this war is being waged on multiple fronts, with casualties on all fronts, though the highest body counts are currently on the domestic, or home front.
Individual Americans are mostly silent in response to the war(s) being waged on them by the government, one could say complicitly silent, even as the war(s) death toll rises. Why is this? If Islamic terrorists were killing Americans in their homes, a hue and cry would resound throughout the land, marches would be held, politicians would righteously harrumph, and mainstream media sources would pour rivers of indignant words. These things are not happening in America in response to the war of the United States government against the people because it is the police who are killing the people under the banner of law and order. It is because America is become a police state.
Does my describing America as a police state seem too harsh? Not as a police state is defined.
a political unit characterized by repressive governmental control of political, economic, and social life usually by an arbitrary exercise of power by police and especially secret police in place of regular operation of administrative and judicial organs of the government according to publicly known legal procedures.
But John, you say, where are America’s secret police? There cannot be a police state in America if there are no secret police. Are there no secret police in America?
City of Seattle workers have been ordered to stop releasing the names of Seattle police officers in public disclosure requests – including officers who have sustained complaints.
What about the police hiding behind balaclavas? Are they not secret police?
Also, it is very common here for our undercover officers to wear balaclavas when they are doing a large bust. That’s to protect their identity...
...I prefer to cover my face for psycological reasons. It adds tremendous value to the shock and suprise factor when we hit the house. They stop trying to talk $hit like they would when dealing with an everyday officer, and figure the dept has brought out the big boys who stay in glass cases and the Sheriff has broken the glass and deployed his secret weapon. You generally get 120% compliance upon entry, not to mention it usually starts to smell in the house quickly cause everyone has shat their pants. (bold by ed.)
At least one mainstream media source of some reknown, Drudge, is noting that America is a rising police state, linking to a news article out of Los Angeles with a headline reading POLICE STATE: New LAPD Cruisers Equipped With Infrared Cameras, License Plate Scanners…
There are others, though less well known. Wendy McElroy notes America’s rising police state in a piece posted at the Ludwig von Mises Institute titled The Police State Is Personal, and Anthony Gregory, in a piece posted at LewRockwell.com, titled Abolish The Police, both of which should be read, if not to spur you to anger, at least to prepare yourself for further police state intrusions into your personal, individual, lives.
Welcome to war in the American police state.
Link to the Abolish The Police piece via jb, who links to the piece with the question Am I an anarchist?
Link to article quoted regarding Seattle police anonymity efforts via a post by Billy Beck titled The Secret Police.
UPDATE: Via Eternity Road, additional examples for inclusion on America’s police state “Wall of Shame.”
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
“Principles of Tyranny”
If the following are indeed the Principles of Tyranny, as Talk Straight notes, “we are so screwed.”
Control of public information and opinion
It begins with withholding information, and leads to putting out false or misleading information. A government can develop ministries of propaganda under many guises. They typically call it “public information” or “marketing”. Check. - ed.
Vote fraud used to prevent the election of reformers
It doesn’t matter which of the two major party candidates are elected if no real reformer can get nominated, and when news services start knowing the outcomes of elections before it is possible for them to know, then the votes are not being honestly counted. Check. - ed.
Undue official influence on trials and juries
Nonrandom selection of jury panels, exclusion of those opposed to the law, exclusion of the jury from hearing argument on the law, exclusion of private prosecutors from access to the grand jury, and prevention of parties and their counsels from making effective arguments or challenging the government. Check. - ed.
Usurpation of undelegated powers
This is usually done with popular support for solving some problem, or to redistribute wealth to the advantage of the supporters of the dominant faction, but it soon leads to the deprivation of rights of minorities and individuals. Check. - ed.
Seeking a government monopoly on the capability and use of armed force
The first signs are efforts to register or restrict the possession and use of firearms, initially under the guise of “protecting” the public, which, when it actually results in increased crime, provides a basis for further disarmament efforts affecting more people and more weapons. Double Check. - ed.
Militarization of law enforcement
Declaring a “war on crime” that becomes a war on civil liberties. Preparation of military forces for internal policing duties. Double Check. - ed.
Infiltration and subversion of citizen groups that could be forces for reform
Internal spying and surveillance is the beginning. A sign is false prosecutions of their leaders. Check. - ed.
Suppression of investigators and whistleblowers
When people who try to uncover high level wrongdoing are threatened, that is a sign the system is not only riddled with corruption, but that the corruption has passed the threshold into active tyranny. Check. - ed.
Use of the law for competition suppression
It begins with the dominant faction winning support by paying off their supporters and suppressing their supporters’ competitors, but leads to public officials themselves engaging in illegal activities and using the law to suppress independent competitors. A good example of this is narcotics trafficking. Check. - ed.
Subversion of internal checks and balancesThis involves the appointment to key positions of persons who can be controlled by their sponsors, and who are then induced to do illegal things. The worst way in which this occurs is in the appointment of judges that will go along with unconstitutional acts by the other branches. Check. - ed.
Creation of a class of officials who are above the law
This is indicated by dismissal of charges for wrongdoing against persons who are “following orders”. Increasing dependency of the people on government The classic approach to domination of the people is to first take everything they have away from them, then make them compliant with the demands of the rulers to get anything back again. Check. - ed.
Increasing public ignorance of their civic duties and reluctance to perform them
When the people avoid doing things like voting and serving in militias and juries, tyranny is not far behind. Check. - ed. (NOTE: Voting has only encouraged the establishment of tyranny. - ed.)
Use of staged events to produce popular support
Acts of terrorism, blamed on political opponents, followed immediately with well-prepared proposals for increased powers and budgets for suppressive agencies. Sometimes called a Reichstag plot. Check. - ed.
Conversion of rights into privileges
Requiring licenses and permits for doing things that the government does not have the delegated power to restrict, except by due process in which the burden of proof is on the petitioner. Check. - ed.
Many if not most people are susceptible to being recruited to engage in repressive actions against disfavored views or behaviors, and led to pave the way for the dominance of tyrannical government. Check. - ed.
A Moment Before Handoff
Well, the Lovely Melis and I have married off our first. Only three more to go, if they all marry, and we’ll only have to pay for one of the three.
The wedding ceremony went off without a hitch, though the bride and groom did get hitched. The reception was fun, and though my wallet is appreciably lighter, the two hours of open bar did not break the bank. Those Scots do like the Guinness, though, by a three to one margin.
Here’s the bride and I in the moment before the handoff.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Monasteries and Distilleries
In comments to this post (see comment # 19 - ed.), where I note America and Americans are running out of options to retain, and regain, their liberty and freedom, commenter Deep Rainforest counseled this.
In an endarkenment, it is foolish to expend energy on enlightenment. So build your monastery, gather books, and break on through to the other side.
Be a wizened old owl, scorned by most of society. A few will find you when the time comes.
I’m not ready to ensconce myself in a monastery, right at the moment, but if I were, I’d be looking for monasteries such as those in Meteora, Greece.
Since I am not ready for the monastery, and I have a free day prior to my daughter’s wedding, and because I am within easy striking distance of Versailles, Kentucky, I shall visit the Woodford Reserve distillery, today, and learn a bit more about distilling bourbon. Could be useful knowledge if I do have to monastery up in the future.
Link to monastery photos, they are quite something so take a look, via Fred Lapides.
May 21 - Dismissed
Back on March 8, when I first noted the May 21 end of the world prediction, I flippantly dismissed this bit of folderol by wishing that the end time would wait until after my daughter’s reception. She get’s married May 21; vows at 5:00 p.m., reception at 7:00 p.m.
Donald Sensing also casts a dismissive eye on May 21, in a post titled Israel to be invaded Friday. World to end Saturday., and notes the more pitiable aspect of this trumpeted foolishness.
The real pity of Mr. Camping’s May 21 prediction is not that it will be wrong, but that it has inexplicably received so much media attention. His is a fringe movement, not even a flicker on the Church-o-meter. So why does his forecast get such media attention? Well, it gives pop culture another reason to dismiss all the Church and all its teachings.
The pity is that so many people will think that Camping-ism is normative of the Christian faiths. But it is not a message of hope nor a position of confidence. Campingism - and “Left Behind-ism” generally - is a theology of fear, and poor theology at that.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
They Don’t Want Us To Know
In a post titled Just Another Day At The Murders, Billy Beck shares a question asked by James Anderson Merritt regarding another apparent wrongful police shooting, resulting in the death of Marine and Iraq war veteran (2 tours) Jose Guerena. Merritt’s question is this.
“How many more stories like this will it take—how many more innocent people will die—before the country gets mad-as-hell enough to demand the end of the Drug War? I have been asking that question now for at least the past ten years. The crickets answer me.”
Though Radley Balko posts many stories regarding wrongful “drug war” police shootings resulting in the deaths of innocent Americans, he has no compilation of statistics on wrongful police shootings resulting in the death of an innocent individual.
I decided to do a bit of searching for just such wrongful death police shootings statistics, this morning, and I’ve come up short, but I did locate one interesting article which somewhat addresses this lack of statistical data on wrongful police shootings resulting in death at the website Blue Must Be True.
The article is titled How Often Do Police Use Excessive Force?, and here are a couple of interesting quotes from the piece. First, the answer to the question posed in the title.
“The incidence of wrongful use of force by police is unknown. Research is critically needed to determine reliably, validly, and precisely how often transgressions of use-of-force powers occur.” National Institute of Justice Research Report, Use of Force by Police, Overview of National and Local Data, October 1999, Ch. 1, pg.10 (link to this provided at site is defunct - ed.).
Additionally, the piece provides a possibly clear answer as to why statistics on wrongful police shootings resulting in the death of innocent individuals are unknown.
Another study conducted by Neal Trautman, Director of The National Institute of Ethics and presented at a conference of The International Association of Chiefs of Police in 2000 had even more stunning statistics concerning the police “Code of Silence.” It provided the following about police recruits:
Twenty-five basic law enforcement academies from 16 states took part in the research by administering and collecting 1,016 confidential questionnaires completed by academy recruits. The findings included that:
•79% said that a law enforcement Code of Silence exists and is fairly common throughout the nation.
•52% said the fact that a Code of Silence exists doesn’t really bother them.
•24% said the Code of Silence is more justified when excessive force involves a citizen who’s abusive.
•46% said they would not tell on another officer for having sex on duty.
•23% said they wouldn’t tell on another cop for regularly smoking marijuana off duty.
Another reason statistics on wrongful police shootings resulting in death of innocent individuals are unknown can be illustrated by a story out of Detroit, Michigan headlined Detroit Police Department seeks to dismiss officer whose fatal shootings have cost the city $7.5M, wherein we read this.
Detroit police are using accusations of payroll fraud to try to dismiss an officer whose fatal shootings have cost the city $7.5 million.
Isn’t it disturbing that a cop who has shot and killed two individuals, evidently wrongly if their killings are costing the city $7.5 million dollars, can’t be dismissed for killing people, but may possibly be dismissed for payroll fraud? And even dismissal for payroll fraud is only a possibility.
Billy is correct, in ending his post, with this statement.
They’re just hauling-off and killing us.
Not Dead Yet
Scientists routinely claim this or that species of animal either extinct, or, on the verge of extinction. Such pronouncements quite possibly may be premature.
A unique and mysterious guinea-pig-sized rodent, not seen since 1898 despite several organized searches, bizarrely showed up at the front door of an ecolodge at a nature reserve in Colombia, South America. The magnificent red-crested tree rat (Santamartamys rufodorsalis), stayed for almost two hours while two research volunteers took the first photos ever of a creature the world thought would never be seen again.
Linked via Fred Lapides’ GoodShit.
That Goes Without Saying
“The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.”
Samizdata quote of the day for Wednesday, May 18, 2011.
I’m a day late because I was behind my windshield yesterday.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn - More Equal Pig To The End
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, though currently jailed for allegedly attempting to rape a hotel maid in Manhattan, still has it pretty damned good. Exchanging his former $3,000.00 per night hotel digs, paid for, naturally, with French tax dollars, for Rikers Island digs, which, though somewhat less luxurious than a hotel in Manhattan, are probably costing American taxpayers $3,000.00 per night, considering he has an entire wing to himself, because he has been deemed, by the powers that be, to too “high profile,” to be jailed amongest mere common criminals.
Because of his high profile, Strauss-Kahn will be held in protective custody on Rikers Island, away from most detainees, said city Correction Department spokesman Stephen Morello. Unlike most prisoners who share 50-bed barracks, he will have a single-bed cell and will eat all of his meals alone there. He’ll have a prison guard escort when he is outside his cell.
Consider, for a moment, this descriptive high profile, as utilized in describing Strauss-Kahn.
An intentionally conspicuous, well-publicized presence or stance… (bold by ed.)
Strauss-Kahn, like every politician, fits that “high profile” description to a T, especially those words in bold, but is that any reason why he should be housed so luxuriously at Rikers Island, relatively speaking, in comparison to the mere common criminals housed there?
More equal pig to the end.
Quote obtained from this article.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Random Fourth Amendment Violations Coming to a Home Near You
With Indiana leading the way in trashing the Fourth Amendment, and the Supreme Court of the United States assisting in the trashing, Newton County North Carolina Sheriff Don Hartman, Sr. is desiring to bring a more random element to the trashing of the Fourth Amendment.
According to Newton County Sheriff, Don Hartman Sr., random house to house searches are now possible and could be helpful following the Barnes v. STATE of INDIANA Supreme Court ruling issued on May 12th, 2011. When asked three separate times due to the astounding callousness as it relates to trampling the inherent natural rights of Americans, he emphatically indicated that he would use random house to house checks, adding he felt people will welcome random searches if it means capturing a criminal.
That didn’t take long.
An Open Letter to Stephen Hawking
Dear Dr. Hawking,
I read, with high interest, your recent pronouncement that Heaven is a “fairy story”, as I have a deep respect for your intellect.
Because I have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and understanding, I read the article within which your Heaven is a “fairy story” pronouncement was made in anticipation of slaking this thirst, thinking you had developed a new and beyond Heaven reaching all inclusive theorem which would once and for all smash my ridiculous obsession, more commonly referred to as faith in God.
Imagine my disappointment, not to mention my unquenched thirst, as I read through the article and found that your Heaven is a “fairy story” pronouncement was a piece of mere punditry, cobbled together in the manner of grade school multiplication tables, requiring no knowledge whatsoever of physics, and little appreciation for insights to be gained from fairy tales.
Because of this, may I recommend to you, the following excerpt from G.K. Chesterton’s book Orthodoxy, Chapter IV - The Ethics of Elfland, which touches on the subject of the profitability of fairy stories. You may find the excerpt of interest, possibly even enlightening, or at least you may consider no longer slurring fairy stories which have been passed down through the ages and time.
...I have always been more inclined to believe the ruck of hard-working people than to believe that special and troublesome literary class to which I belong. I prefer even the fancies and prejudices of the people who see life from the inside to the clearest demonstrations of the people who see life from the outside. I would always trust the old wives’ fables against the old maids’ facts. As long as wit is mother wit it can be as wild as it pleases…
...My first and last philosophy, that which I believe in with unbroken certainty, I learnt in the nursery. I generally learnt it from a nurse; that is, from the solemn and star-appointed priestess at once of democracy and tradition. The things I believed most then, the things I believe most now, are the things called fairy tales. They seem to me to be the entirely reasonable things. They are not fantasies: compared with them other things are fantastic. Compared with them religion and rationalism are both abnormal, though religion is abnormally right and rationalism abnormally wrong. Fairyland is nothing but the sunny country of common sense. It is not earth that judges heaven, but heaven that judges earth; so for me at least it was not earth that criticised elfland, but elfland that criticised the earth. I knew the magic beanstalk before I had tasted beans; I was sure of the Man in the Moon before I was certain of the moon. This was at one with all popular tradition. Modern minor poets are naturalists, and talk about the bush or the brook; but the singers of the old epics and fables were supernaturalists, and talked about the gods of brook and bush. That is what the moderns mean when they say that the ancients did not “appreciate Nature,” because they said that Nature was divine. Old nurses do not tell children about the grass, but about the fairies that dance on the grass; and the old Greeks could not see the trees for the dryads.
But I deal here with what ethic and philosophy come from being fed on fairy tales. If I were describing them in detail I could note many noble and healthy principles that arise from them. There is the chivalrous lesson of “Jack the Giant Killer”; that giants should be killed because they are gigantic. It is a manly mutiny against pride as such. For the rebel is older than all the kingdoms, and the Jacobin has more tradition than the Jacobite. There is the lesson of “Cinderella,” which is the same as that of the Magnificat—EXALTAVIT HUMILES. There is the great lesson of “Beauty and the Beast”; that a thing must be loved BEFORE it is loveable. There is the terrible allegory of the “Sleeping Beauty,” which tells how the human creature was blessed with all birthday gifts, yet cursed with death; and how death also may perhaps be softened to a sleep. But I am not concerned with any of the separate statutes of elfland, but with the whole spirit of its law, which I learnt before I could speak, and shall retain when I cannot write. I am concerned with a certain way of looking at life, which was created in me by the fairy tales, but has since been meekly ratified by the mere facts.
Fourth Amendment Follies - Behind Door Number 1 or Door Number 2
This morning I read that it is not just the State of Indiana trashing the Fourth Amendment. The Supreme Court of the United States wants in on trashing the Fourth Amendment, too, and in their ruling the cops win whether they choose door number 1 or door number 2, and the Supreme Court of Kentucky is rendered impotent.
Police in Lexington, Kentucky were involved in a controlled purchase of crack cocaine. One officer watched the transaction take place, and as the dealer left the observing officer radioed others that the suspect was entering a nearby apartment building and they should hurry up to apprehend him. Officers in marked cars headed to the scene but the suspect entered the building ahead of them, turned down a hallway and entered an apartment.
There were two apartments that the suspect could possibly have entered, one on the left, one on the right. The officers smelled marijuana emanating from the apartment on the left. As a result, the officers approached the door on the left, banged on the door as loud as they could, and announced themselves as police officers.
The officers heard some shuffling around in the apartment, but no one answered the door. Those sounds led officers to believe evidence was to be destroyed, so they announced they were going to enter, and proceeded to break down the door. Inside they found some cocaine, some marijuana and drug paraphernalia. They did not find the dealer that had participated in the crack cocaine sale. They later learned the dealer was in the apartment on the right.
The Unlucky Occupant of the Apartment on the Left
The unlucky occupant of the apartment on the left, Hollis Deshaun King, was arrested and eventually sentenced to eleven years in prison. The Kentucky Supreme Court found that the search of King’s apartment was illegal, that the officers should have found a judge and gotten a search warrant. The Kentucky Supreme Court overturned King’s conviction. This is the historic role of the Fourth Amendment, especially when it comes to someone’s home.
The US Supreme Court disagreed with the Kentucky Supreme Court. Justice Alito said, in light of the facts given to them, this was a situation that was an exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement. The search of King’s home was legal despite the fact the officers had no warrant and that his conviction should be reinstated.
Linked via Tam at View From The Porch.
Monday, May 16, 2011
That’s Just What America Needs, Another Public “Servants” Union
As if America doesn’t have enough problems and burdens stemming from currently existing public union employees, now the public “servants” of the Office of Management and Budget want to unionize.
Staffers at the White House budget office say they want to be represented by a labor union.
About half of the career work force at the Office of Management and Budget filed a petition on Monday seeking to join the nation’s largest federal employee union.
Great, just great, that’s just what America needs.
Rumblings from May 13, 2011. Office of Management and Budget Employees to Push to Unionize
Killing Private Sector Jobs With ARRA Stimulus Bucks
Remember how great the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was going to be for America?
On Feb. 13, 2009, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 at the urging of President Obama, who signed it into law four days later. A direct response to the economic crisis, the Recovery Act has three immediate goals:
•Create new jobs and save existing ones
•Spur economic activity and invest in long-term growth
•Foster unprecedented levels of accountability and transparency in government spending
How has this worked out for America? Quite well, if you’re a government employee.
Our benchmark results suggest that the ARRA created/saved approximately 450 thousand state and local government jobs and destroyed/forestalled roughly one million private sector jobs. State and local government jobs were saved because ARRA funds were largely used to offset state revenue shortfalls and Medicaid increases rather than boost private sector employment. The ma jority of destroyed/forestalled jobs were in growth industries including health, education, professional and business services. This suggests the possibility that, in absence of the ARRA, many government workers (on average relatively well-educated) would have found private-sector employment had their jobs not been saved. Searching across alternative model speciﬁcations, the best-case scenario for an effectual ARRA has the Act creating/saving a net 659 thousand jobs, mainly in government…
The majority of destroyed/forestalled jobs were in growth industries including health, education, professional and business services. . . . A large fraction of the Federal ARRA dollars was channeled through and controlled by state and local governments. . . . Upon acquisition of ARRA funds for a speciﬁc purpose, a state or local government could cut. its own expenditure on that purpose. As a result, these governments could treat the ARRA dollars as general revenue, i.e. the dollars were effectively fungible. . . . Federal aid arrived when state and local governments were entering into budget crises. . . . The deterioration of the non-Federal government budget position occurred concurrently with an increase in Federal grants . . , mainly due to the ARRA, of approximately the same amount. In fact, a substantial component of the ARRA was authorized speciﬁcally to cover states’ tax losses (through the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund) and the most dramatic cost increases (through support for state Medicaid programs). (bold by ed.)
That information comes from a paper titled The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Public Sector Jobs Saved, Private Sector Jobs Forestalled (pdf of 36 pgs - ed.), co-written by Timothy Conley, of the University of Western Ontario, and Bill Dupor of Ohio State University. Read it and weep for America.
Linked via a post at The Beacon titled Obama “Stimulus” Protected 450,000 Government Jobs, Destroyed One Million Private Jobs.