Monday, March 9, 2009

The Martial Law Mind-Set

Immortal scholar, noteworthy victim of lethal police brutality:
The heroic Archimedes.



While
Archimedes is rightly revered for his many imperishable contributions to science, he could also be considered the first recorded victim of lethal police brutality.


A native of Syracuse, Archimedes did his considerable best in the doomed but worthy effort to repel Roman invaders. Following the conquest, Roman soldiers were dispatched to "pacify" the restive streets of the newly conquered city.



One afternoon, so the story goes, Archimedes was sitting inoffensively at the side of a street drawing geometric equations in the sand when some mouth-breather in Roman military garb trod heedlessly on the improvised tablet, ruining the elderly scientist's calculations.



By this time, the venerable physicist was in his ninth decade, and he saw no point in enduring this act of thoughtless vandalism by an armored imbecile to pass without protest.



"Please don't disturb my circles,"Archimedes insisted in what was probably a direct but polite tone of voice.


Like law enforcement officers who would follow in his footsteps -- albeit in jackboots rather than sandals -- the Roman soldier took offense that a mere civilian, and an elderly one at that, would demand deference from someone wearing the uniform and insignia of authority.



If the technology had been available, the Roman quite likely would have given Archimedes a "ride on the Taser." Instead, the thug withdrew his sword and summarily killed him.


Some might object that this crime was committed by a soldier in an occupying army, not by a civilian police officer. That objection has merit, if only to underscore what should be an obvious fact: Government police officers
are an army of occupation, particularly now.


It makes little difference whether law enforcement personnel are of the federal or "local" variety, or whether they are dressed in quasi-civilian attire or kitted out in full paramilitary drag. American civilians are generally expected to render to law enforcement personnel the kind of docile submission that Archimedes -- at the price of his life -- refused to offer the Roman soldier who was patrolling his neighborhood in Syracuse.



Under the martial law mind-set, civilians are to give instant and unqualified obedience to any armed individual in a state-issued costume. I had plenty of experience with this attitude while living in Guatemala under martial law following the 1983 military coup that ousted CIA-installed President Efrain Rios Montt.



Anybody who has spent any time at airports since 9-11 will likewise recognize that mentality. And Portuguese-born Canadian citizen Desiderio Fortunato can testify about the treatment one can expect if he insists on rudimentary courtesy from the anencephalic knuckle-draggers who act as border guards for the Department of Homeland Tyranny.



Mr. Fortunato resides in British Columbia and maintains a part-time home in Washington State. He regularly crosses the border separating quasi-socialist Canada into the quasi-fascist U.S.A.


Like many people, he resents being treated like a criminal or a domesticated animal; unlike most, he actually does something about it -- specifically, he insists that border guards display a particle of courtesy when issuing instructions to people driving through the border crossing.


This takes a certain admirable temerity of the sort one wouldn't expect in a 54-year-old professional jazz dancer, but such is Fortunato's honest profession, and such is his disposition.



According to Fortunato, he has often chided Canadian border guards by asking them to say "please" when telling him to shut off his motor or perform other tasks. This request is generally honored, often with a sheepish grin -- on the
Canadian side of the border, that is. Last week, during a crossing into the United States, Fortunato was gruffly instructed to turn off his engine by a tax-fattened time-server.


"Excuse me sir -- `please,'" Fortunato replied.
It would have taken a tiny fraction of a single second to honor that reasonable request. But had the border guard done so he would have been deferring to a mere mundane, someone not clad in the sacred vestments of the Most High and Holy State. So the ill-tempered drudge escalated his demands, finally threatening to assault Fortunato with pepper spray.


Fortunato -- showing that, in the language of Louis L'Amour, he had more "sand" than an entire concert hall full of Republican Chickenhawks -- stood his ground. So the thug pepper-sprayed him, and, with the help of several of his fellow trough-swillers, gang-tackled and handcuffed the middle-aged professional dancer. Fortunato was held for three hours before being released -- without apology -- into Canada.


Let's be clear about something: This had absolutely nothing to do with protecting the borders of the United States from terrorists or any other threat. An actual terrorist would go out of his way to be inconspicuous. The assault on Fortunato was intended to punish him for failing to offer proper submission to the Man In The Uniform.



"Our officers will give direct
orders or commands to passengers," explained Mike Milne, a spokesdrone for the Customs and Border Protection (CPB) agency. "It is the obligation of the passenger to be compliant with those." (Emphasis added.) The same point was made by Tom Schreiber, CPB Staffelf├╝hrer in Blaine, Washington: "This is not a situation where we're asking; this is a situation where we're ordering you to do that." (Emphasis added.)


Once again: Whenever a civilian is told that he is subject to the "orders" of someone in uniform, martial law exists.

A few weeks before Fortunato was treated to a chemical-weapon assault by the heroic guardians of our sacred northern frontier, a photographer named Robert Taylor (no, not that Robert Taylor) was accosted by a police officer while attempting to take a photo of a train.


"The cop wanted my ID, and I showed it to him," Taylor told the New York Times. "He told me I couldn't take the pictures. I told him that's not true, that the rules permitted it. He said I was wrong. I said, `I'm willing to bet your paycheck.'"


Of course, Taylor was right and the tax-gobbler was wrong: The photographer was able to call up the relevant transit authority rule on his BlackBerry.
But that didn't end the matter, of course.


A police sergeant materialized and immediately began lying on behalf of his subordinate: The sergeant insisted that their rules were different from those of the transit authority, a claim intended -- once again -- to get Taylor to yield to those garbed in the accoutrements of the State's priestly caste.


Taylor wasn't having any of it.
"I [told the sergeant], `If you feel I'm wrong, give me a summons and I'll see everyone in court.' The sergeant told them to arrest me." The photographer was handcuffed and given a batch of summonses, all of them eminently dismissable and most of them quickly dismissed.


The one significant charge the police insist on pressing is "disorderly conduct," which supposedly took the form of speaking to the officers in an "unreasonable voice."
"Unreasonable" in this instance refers to a tone of voice other than one associated with timid, cringing submission.


This is the same supposed offense that got Archimedes killed, and led to the assault on Desiderio Fortunato: Mr. Taylor refused to behave like a whipped dog when confronted by an armed bureaucrat. In fact, he insisted on treating the officers as
equals before the law, rather than the incarnation of The Law.


Martial law exists anywhere an individual can find himself arrested, assaulted, or murdered simply for insisting on being treated as a free man. The 2006
murder of Michael Kreca in San Diego provides the most compelling example I've seen that such a condition exists -- albeit in a latent form -- wherever government police are found.


Kreca, a gentle and unassuming man and accomplished writer specializing in freedom-related issues, was walking in Sorrento Mesa one morning in when he was accosted by two police officers -- Officer Samantha Fleming and Sgt. Elmer Edwards -- who claimed they had heard gunshots. Kreca replied that he had not been shooting and hadn't heard gunfire.


He consented to a body search -- during which his arms were physically restrained by the officers -- that turned up, in the waistband of his baggy casual clothes, a 9mm pistol he carried for personal protection.


According to the official police account, Officer Fleming told Kreca that she was going to handcuff him “for her safety."


“No, you're not going to do that,” replied Kreca. “Let me go; I want to leave.”


Bear in mind that Kreca had consented to a pat-down search, something he wouldn't have done if he harbored violent intentions toward the officers. They had no reason to treat Kreca as a threat, much less to arrest him -- apart from the arrogant assumption, typical of their professional tribe, that a civilian in possession of a firearm is a "threat."


As Kreca tried to leave, a needless and pointless scuffle ensued. It ended when Sergeant Elmer Edwards valiantly placed his gun against Kreca's chest and fired twice, killing him.


Predictably, an official inquiry found that Sgt. Edwards “acted within the law,” since California statutes permit police “to use deadly force to protect themselves and members of the public from serious injury or death....” The same report by the District Attorney acknowledged that "Irrespective of any laws applicable to situations where peace officers use deadly force in accomplishing their duties, the law of self-defense is available to any person" and that homicide is justifiable "when resisting an attempt by a person to commit grave bodily injury or to kill any person."


This observation was intended as a supplemental defense for the officers who murdered Kreca, since Sgt. Edwards insisted that he was afraid Kreca was reaching for his gun. This made no sense, given that Kreca was confronting two armed individuals and hadn't resisted at all until the police threatened to shackle him.



And it shouldn't be forgotten that the kill-shots were executed with the
gun in the victim's chest, not by an officer diving for cover in fear for his or her life.



Furthermore, after the police murdered Kreca they found that his gun wasn't loaded – which means that he couldn't have shot them even if he had wanted to. So the "justifiable homicide" defense here is based on the subjective impression on the part of Sgt. Edwards that Kreca was going to shoot him and his partner with an empty gun. That assumes, of course, that Edwards' account of the shooting itself wasn't perjury, which is never a safe assumption in incidents of this kind.


Kreca had much more to fear from the police than they had to fear from him. The proof of this proposition resides in the simple fact that he is dead, and his murderers continue to pollute the earth.


"The truth is told by whoever is left standing," explained Tom Zarek, Battlestar Galactica's resident arch-Machiavel, after he presided over the massacre of his political opponents. Kreca is dead, his murderers agree on a cover story, and those with the authority to prosecute the crime have accepted that account as the "truth."


In practically every jurisdiction in this once-free land, it is a "criminal offense" -- and often a felony -- to disarm a "peace officer." Why isn't it a crime to disarm a law-abiding citizen?


Michael Kreca's only “crime” in this affair was his failure to display the docility of an ancient Spartan helot -- that is, a member of class not protected by law, and subject to summary execution at the whim of the Krypteia (ancient Sparta's militarized secret police).


Every encounter between civilians and the state's armed enforcers has the potential to escalate into an episode of state-inflicted lethal violence. If we permit them -- and only our principled resistance, peaceful where possible, but forceful where necessary, is the only thing that will stop them -- those who presume to rule us intend to reduce us to abject helotry. And the question is not whether this will happen, since it's already taking place.





On sale now.











Dum spiro, pugno!


















41 comments:

AvgJoe said...

This has been going on for a long time. My personal view is the criminals who are looting us, with intent have picked the worst of the lot to become police. In the last week or so a young 15 year old girl, had the daylights beat out of her in jail. The filthy and cowardly parasite beat the tar out of her and the other filthy parasite didn't lift a finger to help this kid from such a beating. I do not buy in that there are good cops because you never see them weed out the bad ones, never.
This country is broken and it going to snap. Many of us know this and many are saying that the three percent of the population will take our country back. Men with moral high ground could very well do that. The huge problem I see in that is, we are dealing with cowardly goons that have zero moral high ground. The criminal elite know this and know these cowards will run when they start getting smoked. The fear of never making it home after their shift will have them cowardly shaking in their state issued booths. Parasites fighting against men who have the same training if not more but have moral high ground are in big trouble in such a fight. I'm sure that's good news for all whom want to hear good news. The bad news is the criminal elitist already know this, and they will bug us. I'm sure and willing to bet doughnuts to dollars that the LE's will be giving shots at work and their families will receive them as well. They will be called flu shots. The rest of us will not receive them because they will be spraying us, we are going to be bugged. After the smoke clears the cowards will be able to enforce martial law, maybe.

Alan said...

I've been following your blog for quite a while now, and agree with most everything you say. The US police state is something that frustrates me greatly, even from over here in Australia. I know that what the US starts, Australia seems to follow, and I see the US as a testing ground for Australia's future.

While I agree in standing up for your rights, it seems to me that it is becoming more apparent that if you do so, you will end up dead or in jail.

The only solution I can see is some kind of revolution by the people against the police, and subsequently against the government. But if that happens, the full might of police and military power will be brought to bear on those that try and rise up against oppression.

Unfortunately, I see this as highly probable, and the only outcome I can honestly see happening is significant civil war. But I don't have much faith in the ability of the people to successfully overcome the US military establishment...

The only way this scenario can be avoided is if Obama changes the entire political and legal system to change the bullying mentality of law enforcement, and that's something I don't see him doing or interested in doing at this stage.

The 'fear mentality' of those in power, where they move towards oppression instead of freedom, has been established as a result of Bush and the Patriot Act, etc etc. And I don't see Obama changing anything to do with those, and instead see him continuing the same things that Bush did.

I'm sad for your future, and for mine.

Keep on writing, I enjoy your perspective, and your historical references. Very informative, thank you.

Anonymous said...

The search for an 'honest man' seems timeles, as Socrates comes immediately to mind. It may have been that a large goblet of hemlock was actually a merciful conclusion to his existence.

And lest I offend the author, which I would never choose to do, men like Galileo were similarly oppressed for suggesting silly things like the earth might actually orbit the sun rather than the other way around. . . The difference, of course, being the official symbols of the garb of his oppressors.

With the nature of men, nothing is new - only reshaped for the time.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Anonymous said...

I've always enjoyed your habit of bitterly mocking the disgusting and sycophantic quasi-Keigo ordinarily used to express reverence towards the enforcement arm of our oppressors. I especially enjoyed "the heroic guardians of our sacred northern frontier".


It makes me wonder why so many libertarians (and others who should know better) think that we should create government to protect our rights, when, compared to the state, all other threats to our rights pale in significance. There's an excellent reason to explain why so many of history's best and brightest couldn't get government right.

Anonymous said...

Will, you provide another reason to re-institute the state militia. "[a] well regulated Militia [is] necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed." This adaptation was taken from Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr.'s book, Homeland Security: Volume 1: The Nation in Arms. Educating the public in the Constitution and revitalization of the state militia must begin in each state. The 2nd Amendment is the only place in the Constitution where you will find how to keep a free state.
Louis

AvgJoe said...

Alan, I've been down under many times and do understand the demeanor there to some degree. However you talk about the US military might being so powerful that it can't be beat. Here's what you do not understand. Many of the men and woman in the military will not stand for their families to be killed by other military units and sit still about it. The ranks of our military will be destroyed first.
Alan, here's what you don't understand. The men and woman in the military take an oath to the United States Constitution and hold that as the highest law of the land. The command in the military knows that if the international bankers parrots in our nation's capitol are removed the military will still be working.
Alan, the thing other people don't understand about Americans is they come in all sizes, shapes and colors. But real freedom loving American have an attitude different from citizens of any other country. This is one huge problem for any group of people wanting to destroy this country. This attitude is breed into us and as much as the Marxist in government try to divide us the core becomes stronger and grows. An example I can offer you is our last election. Young people flocked to Ron Paul, because he was a voice of freedom to them. They have the spirit of American freedom breed into them and knew it at once when they heard it. Young folks in this country in their late teens and early twenties have never seen or heard a man running for president speak of freedom for the chains of the federal government to be removed from all Americans as Ron Paul did. They knew this was a call for freedom and many of them seized it.
Alan, the government we have is doing the dirty work of the international bankers. They are on the path to destroy the US greenback with full intent. This will bring on a one world currency and changes in our Constitution. People will not stand for it and once that happens all bets are off. Being what have they got to lose at that point. They have lost their savings, many their homes and families are living in tents waiting for patriots to take our country back and restore hopes. Hopes will not be restored to the American spirit with a one world order.
Alan, you do not understand Americans. But that's fine no offense is taking. Just watch us and learn because the world is going to see a republic take itself back to being the republic it was intended to be, no matter what the odds are. If we fail, this world will be a hell hole for all people. So Alan, you need to start praying for us because the price paid if we fail will be beyond your wildest dreams of atrocities all the world's people will suffer.

Gururaj said...

European Union law is the first, and so far, only example of a supranational legal framework. Given the trend of increasing global economic integration, many regional agreements—especially the Union of South American Nations—are on track to follow the same model. In the EU, sovereign nations have gathered their authority in a system of courts and political institutions. These institutions are allowed the ability to enforce legal norms both against or for member states and citizens in a manner which is not possible through public international law.[12] As the European Court of Justice said in the 1960s, European Union law constitutes "a new legal order of international law" for the mutual social and economic benefit of the member states
Solicitors in York

AzraelsJudgement said...

This was a great write up. I am tired of this obey or your a bad guy nonsense. This problem is only going to escalate. The so called peace officers are becoming more and more armed like a military.

Pat H. said...

AvgJoe.

I completely agree with your first post. So, send a message to that cop that beat that girl. If that wasn't where you live, find a cop that did do something. Make it known to him and others that his actions have consequences. How is up to you.


Alan.

"Unfortunately, I see this as highly probable, and the only outcome I can honestly see happening is significant civil war. But I don't have much faith in the ability of the people to successfully overcome the US military establishment..."

Look up the Oath Keepers:
http://oath-keepers.blogspot.com/2009/03/oath-keepers-declaration-of-orders-we.html

Don't be sad. Be angry, and productive.

laughing as rome burns said...

Donut sucking pork patrollers need to justify their salary and since real criminals shoot back and don't give a f$%* about some worthless piece of paper laws they will continue to prey upon the law abing. The rule of law is long dead and won't be coming back.

Anonymous said...

Great article! It is exactly what is happening here in Mexico, with help, of course from the thugs in the U.S. Check out this article:
http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/kristin-bricker/2009/03/who-won-and-who-lost-mexicos-narco-protests

preacher said...

This is not even the same issue here!According to Fartunato is right !For goodness sake this was at a US border crossing. Keep up the good work guards.I would not want their job.Most things I read here I agree with,this I don`t. If he had let the guard do his job and complied ,no problem.From what I read here Mr. Fartunato is a jerk,who wants special attention given to him. I do not want Marshall law anymore than anyone and I will fight that.This is a whole different ball game here. We say guards do your jobs and when they do this is what they get.Sorry I disagree,without prof of the guards wrong doing,I disagreeFrank

Christopher said...

"It makes little difference whether law enforcement personnel are of the federal or "local" variety,..."

Yes it does, I believe. I've yet to hear of an instance where it's a local cop abusing a local that the cop personally knows, save for instances where the known local has had (experienced) several previous interactions (run-ins) with the local law. Put another way, if one is a accosted by one's local constable whom one knows personally or via family, unless the cop is already pre-disposed against you by reputation or prior dealings, the odds of violence or even rudeness are very slight as compared with dealings with almost always anonymous stranger Federales. In the local situation, there is a much greater likelihood of extra-legal barriers to abuse and means of complaint, e.g. where your mom knows his mom. Mayberry was real. Let's go back. Subsidiarity works, and the best first step towards a practical solution to the real abuses you chronicle here and in other posts is the reduction of the Federal police forces.

Due to basic human nature, and not paradoxically, one is much more likely to be successful in standing on principle with a local then with a federale. And here it might be useful to recall that likelihood of success is a not insignificant element of Just War Theory.

As a practical and spiritual matter, you lead your readers astray in suggesting they resist, for political reasons, certain forces. JFK is a foreign country. The Border Patrol station might as well be between Khazakhstan and China. The chances of useful, successful resistance are that slim, as I believe you know. One is not called to be a martyr for the Constitution, but for, possibly, the higher power. I criticize none of those resisting citizens you have cited, and indeed admire them their bravery. But to the extent your post, especially your final paragraph, is a call for further confrontation across the board, I must disagree. There are yet other, less dangerous and possibly more useful means to resist. Your reporting and analysis, though I take issue with a point here, is one of them. Staying alive is another. Advocating subsidiarity is yet another. Et cetera.

teacher.paris said...

In my tenth year on the Arabian Peninsula, I can report no incidents where the police or airport authorities were discourteous or abusive.

Scott said...

Hey, a BSG fan! I knew there were more reasons to like you Will.

I wonder, did you find it interesting how Zarek went from the pro-labour, pro-democracy freedom fighter in season one to his ultimate demise as the power hungry pol-pot in season 4? Is this just the natural progression of democratic socialist when he reaches for power, or did the writers just need to fill a plot hole and he was the easiest to fill it what with his political penchant?

William N. Grigg said...

Hey, a BSG fan!

Yes, I'm a full-service geek.:-)

I'm relieved to know that there's at least one other BSG follower in our little community.

Count me among those who were expansively skeptical about Ron Moore's version of BSG -- not out of some misplaced reverence for the original, but because it seemed like a really odd idea to update that particular program.

I didn't watch the pilot until I saw it on DVD months after the premiere. I got about a third of the way into the second act before I started to mutter to myself, "Hey, this is pretty good." I've followed Moore's career from the beginning and he has yet to disappoint me.

I think you're right that Zarek's individual arc was largely dictated by the needs of the narrative, but by adapting the character to the story Moore and his associates managed to make a very compelling point about people who seize power in the name of "democracy."

I have to admit that I was surprised by the unflinching, bloody-minded ruthlessness of that character, even though I can think of plenty of real-life analogues.

Gaeta, on the other hand, was a genuinely tragic character in many aspects. It was interesting to see how, when everything hit the fan, it was the civilian politician who was willing to spill rivers of blood, while the leader of the military putsch had compunctions about bloodshed.

William N. Grigg said...

Christopher, you make some very sound and compelling points. In a previous comment thread I made the point of invoking Just War theory as a guideline for dealing with various kinds of abuse at the hands of LEOs.

The test of proportionality is based on the understanding that prudence and forebearance are worthwhile. I earnestly hope that I'm not perceived as urging people to commit "Martyrdom-by-cop"; that wouldn't help anybody.

I agree that it's a good idea to get to know as many of the (geographically) local constabulary as possible, and as much about its procedures as we can.

You usefully describe some of the advantages of this approach; it's true that a personal relationship with a targeted individual might cause the trigger finger to hesitate a critical moment or two.

Subsidiary is a wonderful concept. I've never figured how to sustain it in practice, however, since it always seems to collapse into a unitary, centrally-directed arrangement.

Josesph said...

Another great post. May God bless you and yours.

Anonymous said...

"...and only our principled resistance, peaceful where possible, but forceful where necessary..."

Will, I humbly submit that we are long past the point where peaceful resistance against government funded terror troops will have any effect. How do you deal with a schoolyard bully? Only when goons of this caliber truly fear the people will such acts cease.

jk

liberranter said...

Many of the men and woman in the military will not stand for their families to be killed by other military units and sit still about it. The ranks of our military will be destroyed first.

AvgJoe, I hope to God that you're right. As I've said in this blog, my own, and in other venues many, MANY times, it is the moral and legal OBLIGATION of everyone in a state-issued costume (police or military) to resist unlawful orders, which are 99.999 percent of those issued to anyone, in any capacity. Those who do not resist and who choose to the blind, obedient attack dog response are guilty of malfeasance of office and treason and are to be treated accordingly.

Anonymous said...

'The one significant charge the police insist on pressing is "disorderly conduct," which supposedly took the form of speaking to the officers in an "unreasonable voice." "Unreasonable" in this instance refers to a tone of voice other than one associated with timid, cringing submission.'

This example highlights a chronic habit of today's 'justice' system -- that of piling on multiple, ovelapping charges for a single alleged offense.

When simple charges that require evidentiary proof can't be sustained, often derivative charges such as resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, weapons possession, and the like can succeed. In the federal context, prosecutors have the infinitely-elastic, all-purpose 'gotcha' charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. If some nexus to crime can be asserted, then every time you talk on the phone, send an email or make a bank deposit became a crime in its own right. As does possessing a weapon, if there happen to be drugs in the vicinity.

Recently, I've been reading about a charge called 'eluding arrest.' As opposed to actively resisting arrest, 'eluding' seems to refer to walking away when the cops are approaching with an intent to arrest you or serve a warrant. If you fail to read their minds as to their intentions -- or simply had contemporaneous plans to go elsewhere -- well, that's a standalone crime too, in addition to anything else you may have been accused of.

Given the overwhelming power of the state, the U.S. Bill of Rights intentionally tilted toward advantaging defendants by placing the burden of proof on the state in a single trial -- even if that meant some guilty defendants were acquitted. Within our lifetimes, the law has been tilted entirely to the advantage of the state -- through 'piled on' charges, per se and status offenses, invented crimes such as money laundering, double-jeopardy prosecutions, savage penalties which induce bargained guilty pleas, and on and on.

Of course, this is martial law. Our rulers are clever enough to claim that nothing has changed; the constitution still protects us. That a minority can see through this absurd lie concerns them very little. They've got the guns and the money, and can beat up or lock up most of those who confront them.

The last freedom available is to teach our children not to honor, respect or obey our amoral, lying overlords.

Anonymous said...

'Due to basic human nature, and not paradoxically, one is much more likely to be successful in standing on principle with a local then with a federale.'

Let's generalize this principle. Democracy works great, when you're in a room with fellow board members. It works pretty well, usually, when you can personally appear before the school board or town council to state your case.

By contrast, democracy becomes rather remote when you can only write to or meet with your state representative, who is somewhat unlikely to directly convey your opinion on the floor of the state legislature.

And it works hardly at all when your communications generate only form letters from your KongressKlown, unless you bundled 100K into his re-election campaign.

Finally, the president of 300 million people can't hear you at all, unless you're the president of a major corporate entity.

Conclusion -- democracy does not scale up. Small is good. Big is bad. This law is as immutable as the inverse square law of electromagnetic radiation. It's no coincidence that the U.S. became tyrannical as its population multiplied a hundred-fold.

So the path to subsidiarity, to respond to Will Grigg's perplexity, is called 'secession.' Let ten thousand statelets bloom, and associate under 'Articles of Confederation' if they so choose. No right of secession, no freedom.

Marc said...

I have always said that those who neither work for government nor are on the receiving end of government largess have become helots, a shrinking class which currently comprises approximately fifty percent of the population. I am not sure whether police state or gulag is the more accurate term. Perhaps Amerika has become a combination of the two.

Lemuel Gulliver said...

Dear Will,
Another rage-provoking essay.

Thank you for the education - I never knew Archimedes was murdered by a policeman. Just as hundreds of millions of other peaceful, inoffensive people have been, since then.

The seed of this phenomenon exists in the propensity of a small class of assholes to set themselves up as a "government" to tell other people how to live their lives. It may take the form of a theocracy, aristocracy, or democracy, but inevitably it occurs to the assholes, once they have the power, that hey, now we can rip everybody off and make it "legal" just because we say it is "legal." Every system of government inevitably ends up as a kleptocracy.

(Sorry, religious people, but in the days when the Church had the power to rule people's mortal lives, it too became a kleptocracy.)

What is the only way a thief can make his victims part with their money and goods? By force, naturally. (DUH.) Hence we have the police and the army, not to protect the populace from the thieves, but to enforce the monopoly of the State to extort money and loot from those poor suffering idiots it defines as its subjects.

Why does the state make it illegal to kill another subject peon? Oh yes, for all the noble reasons, to be sure, but basically, the only reason is that you are depriving it of a taxpayer. Only the state can take the life of a subject, like Michael Kreca, and then say, no law of the state has been broken. Naturally.

Subjects may not kill each other, but the State may kill them whenever it feels like it. Usually, this is when they are discovered to be challenging the total power of the State, either by challenging its armed enforcers, or challenging one of the State's monopolies, such as those on theft and murder.

Children, do not be so foolish as to imagine the police are there to protect you from each other. Their mission is to maintain and protect the monopoly of the State to kill, steal from, and plunder its subjects. The only reason the State needs an army is to keep other States from muscling in on its territory and its extortion rackets.

Understand this fully and learn to live with it, and you will sleep much more serenely at night.

Yours in peace,
Lemuel Gulliver.

zach said...

I felt sorry for Gaeta, his conversation with Baltar before the execution reinforced what a shame the whole situation was. With respect to your article, I feel that I'm on borrowed time. In all respects I'm a totally normal, boring person, except that I have exactly 0 patience for bullying under color of law. I must admit that I treat the police unfairly- if a "civilian" were rude to me, I generally wouldn't retaliate in any way. If they're in a uniform, I just feel uncontrollably violent. I guess I was born this way. Because they're in uniform, I have to lick their boots? I think not.

AvgJoe said...

Forget everything I said, I have one question that any replies only need to answer with a question number.
My question is: How many people were murdered/butchered by their own governments during the 20th Century"
OK, I lied about one more question.
Second question: Would our government in todays world lie to us to expand itself with lies for more power over the citizens lives?

Bob said...

I wondered when I read of the man peppered sprayed for asking for the officer to be courteous in his oppression if you would cover it. I think the only reason it made it into my local paper is because of the somewhat humerous story, kind of like the "Don't taze me bro!" kid. Well, I stopped laughing a while ago.

It seems in summation that the old maxim "When they say jump" the only proper response from a serf is "how high sir?".

Anything other than that is "causing a disturbance, or resisting, or acting in a threatening manner". It's frightening to know that if they want to take you down drumming up false charges is so easy.

qnunc said...

AvgJoe, here is a link to Death by Government: The Missing Chapter by Thomas DiLorenzo that shows statistics on government murder.

liberranter said...

Dear Will,
Another rage-provoking essay.


Yes, Lemuel, exactly. I should have been clear in my last post, before even responding to AvgJoe's point, that I only got about one third of the way through Will's work before I just had to stop. I still haven't yet finished it.

Will, for the first time EVER --and this is really saying something, given the power with which you cover this topic--, I was literally shaking with rage. Seriously, it was absolutely the last straw. I knew that if I finished reading to the end, I would either take my anger out on an inanimate piece of my own property within arm's reach (destroying some valuable personal possession and/or injuring myself in the process, which would only constitute a victory for the agents of the State whom you describe), or that I would deliberately put myself face to face with a local "peace officer" in the most confrontational and probably lethal mood possible. Since neither of these reactions is either 1) typical of me, 2) constructive, or 3) in harmony with the Christian and libertarian principles to which I aspire (if not always to which I succeed in living up) , I decided that distance and reflection were in order. I promise to digest the entire piece as soon as I end my self-imposed "time out."

All of that said, the nagging question that still gnaws at me is: At what point does the rubber band (or, hopefully, the collective bag of rubber bands) snap after being pulled too taut? At what specific point, if ever at all, do the actions of agents of the State become acts of lawless aggression to which we are morally (and legally, in terms of natural law) justified in responding with proportional lethal force? While this is a possibility that we certainly seek to avoid, until we can be assured of our righteousness in doing so under the right circumstances when compelled, frustration and suffering seem to be our inescapable fate for the future.

Anonymous said...

liberranter,

http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2009/02/where-to-draw-line.html

Sans Authoritas said...

To all of you who are talking about how the Statetroopers are going to stand down/rebel when ordered to do atrocious things to their own neighbors and countrymen: dream on. Human nature is the same here as it was in 1930's and 40's Germany. As it was in Russia. As it was in 1950's Hungary. As it was in Cambodia. As it was and is in Africa. As it was during the War of Northern Aggression!

Anyone who feels the urge to get dressed in a fancy uniform, and whose livelihood is dependent upon their employer, the State, is more than likely to cave in to the orders being breathed down their necks from thugs in fancier uniforms.

American State soldiers have already confiscated firearms. How many Nazional Guardsmen refused to follow the "un-Constitutional" (whatever the hell that means, these days) order to confiscate firearms from non-violent people after Hurricane Katrina? Zero. Imagine what they'll do when the adrenaline tap is really turned on.

People who speak your own language, English, will continue to egregiously trample your rights. It will get worse and worse. The Statist thugs will imprison, kill and torture Americans: their neighbors. And they will think they are doing a good thing, just like Saul thought he was doing a good thing. It happened in Israel. It happened in Germany. It happened in Russia. It happened in Hungary. It will happen here!

The dynamics of human nature, when endowed with State-"legitimized" coercive power will not be altered.

I, for one, do not much want to live through what I know is coming. I've seen what happened in WWII. It will be far worse this time around. Don't put your families through it, if you can at all avoid it. Leave these shores and go to a less-populated area, if you possibly can.

May God have mercy on us all: the unjust aggressors and their victims alike.

-Sans Authoritas

Anonymous said...

to further throw fuel on the fire, here's a great article of the police actually being highway robbers: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-texas-profiling_wittmar10,0,6051682.story

it is but a continuation of examples that napolitano highlighted in his latest book.

Anonymous said...

Will, Here is a case where the thugs with badges have taken it a step further:

"Highway robbery? Texas police seize black motorists' cash, cars"

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-texas-profiling_wittmar10,0,6051682.story

I hope you will share your wisdom on this case for us, as well.

Anonymous said...

Sans authoritas, try saying that to a serving member of the military who is an Oath Keeper.

Don't make general assumptions like that.

Ever hear of "The Resister" in the 90's?

Ralph said...

Interesting thing about rights(as in Bill of Rights). We can trace our rights regarding courtroom trials back into biblical times. The apostle Paul, for example, in Acts chapters 21-25, employed the right of appeal, the right of habeas corpus, and the right to face one's accuser, as well as the right not to be absed when under arrest.

Even more interesting, Paul also recommended a form of trial by jury in 1 Corinthians chapters 5 and 6, even advocating that judgement be left to the "east" of the church congregation(trial by peers in jury trial).

While Jesus himself said that he came to fulfill the law, and not one jot or tittle would be destroyed, he also gave permission to settle "out of court" in Matthew 5:25, and expanded on this idea in Matthew 18, employing the rule of two witnesses taught in Deuteronomy 17:6 and Deuteronomy 19:15.

The interesting part of the two witness rule is that the US Supreme Court ruled in "Miranda vs Arizona, 1966, footnote 27, that our fifth amendment right against self incrimination had as its foreruner and analogue the ancient Talmudic ruling, coming from the two verse in Deuteronomy, mentioned above, that the accused could not be held guilty except by the account of two or more eyewitnesses.

Paul himself no only advocated trial by the church before any judgement by the government, but used language of his time that freed the individual from trial by the government. The christian was "dead to the law(Romans 6). or a "slave to Christ".

In either case, the law had no power over the individual who accepted Jesus' sacrifice as payment in full for penalties of the law.

In common law terms, the bailor, one who brought accusation to the court, would be God. The bailee, one who stood under obligation to God, would be the church, acting as representative before the court for the bailor. The individual christian, would either be considered as dead or as a slave, neither of which had any legal status by law.

The plain teaching, here, in the words of both Jesus and Paul, is that the church judges according to the principles laid down by Jesus in Matthew chapters 5-7, and only turned over to government authorities AFTER the church has found no other alternative for "salvation" from the law.

This means that the command to be subject to higher powerws in Romans 13 is a command that takes effect AFTER the church has found no other solution.

The church would therefore pay tribute to whom tribute is DUE(due process) because it would be necessary for the state to take charge of the individual, which requires payment.

New teatament teachings are fully applicable, since all states, as far as I can tell, recognize the sovereignty of God in some form.

liberranter said...

Anon 4:40 - Thank you for the link. Very informative and thought-provoking. This does come as close as possible to answering my final question in my last post.

Anon 7:56 said:

Sans authoritas, try saying that to a serving member of the military who is an Oath Keeper.

Don't make general assumptions like that.

Ever hear of "The Resister" in the 90's?


Anonymous, if you are indeed one of the few members of today's armed services who holds your oath of enlistment/commissioning sacred and binding, then God bless you. I hope you are "evangelizing" this fact to your comrades in arms who are ignorant of the responsibility behind the oath they took, the responsibility to defend the Constitution and the freedoms it protects. I feel that the ultimate test of your oath will soon be at hand.

I'm afraid, however, that Sans Authoritas's statement is pretty much on the money. Although I believe that the majority of those with whom I served during my nearly two decades of service in the 1980s and 90s would NEVER have obeyed an order to take up arms against their fellow Americans, I'm not at all sure that's true of today's active duty and active reserve personnel. The almost complete elimination of the study of genuine U.S. History or Civics in American high schools, particularly with respect to the Constitution and BoR and the steep indoctrination of ill-educated teenaged minds with PCBS has resulted in a military force populated largely by mercenary robots who will blindly obey ANY order they're given, without regard for its morality or legality. Again, as you point out, there are definitely exceptions such as yourself, but the evidence I've seen before my own eyes leads me to believe that such exceptions like you are just that, and that their numbers within the ranks are preciously few and far between. Please, do your part to help change that!

qnunc said...

Anon @7:56, I hope you are right about the military and the Oath Keepers. (I noticed one of the comments on the OK web page was from Jay Stang; if that is the son of Alan Stang, the "intrepid reporter," that is a good sign.)

Anonymous said...

CBP’s PLEDGE TO TRAVELERS

* We pledge to cordially greet and welcome you to the United States.
* We pledge to treat you with courtesy, dignity, and respect.
* We pledge to explain the CBP process to you.
* We pledge to have a supervisor listen to your comments.
* We pledge to accept and respond to your comments in written, verbal, or electronic form.
* We pledge to provide reasonable assistance due to delay or disability.

perlhaqr said...

One slight point against your account of the officers who murdered Kreca; they couldn't have known his sidearm was unloaded. Cooper's Rule #1: All guns are always loaded.

They shouldn't have tried to handcuff him, they certainly shouldn't have shot him, but your claimed logical chain of "his gun wasn't loaded so he couldn't have been a threat" does not hold up to scrutiny and therefore detracts from the overall point of your article.

I say this not to defend the jackbooted bastards, but to provide you with the opportunity to exercise editorial control and not provide them with the opportunity to use that excuse.

Anonymous said...

Sans Authoritas and others, you probably are right about most of the members currently serving in the military, regarding their oaths. I'll give you that. The Oath Keepers are probably a very small minority, at least 1 out of 10, or maybe 1 out or 20, maybe less. But remember, those members are soldiers, not your average peaceable citizens who are bogged down with debt, mortgages, families, etc., and many have combat experience and a fresh distrust of politicians and the government. Don't underestimate their resolve and potential.

Besides, if their oaths are ever...put to the test, so to speak, then they wouldn't start outright combat. IF they did fight, their roles would be more along the lines of the insurgents in Iraq. They would never, if they can help it, engage in open gun battles, because they would be fighting on the enemy's terms, and that's not usually a good idea.

All is not lost.

Anonymous said...

Black people endured the ultimate form of martial law...Slavery. Today we continue to endure more subliminal versions i.e. racial profiling.

Sounds to me like Americans are simply reaping the fruit of their hipocritical labor.