What Civil Liberties?

I survived another solemn tribute to 9/11, but the occation got me to thinking about what a police state we live in compared to my childhood a half century ago.

I got to thinking about the Snowden revelations of massive government spying programs at the NSA and other agencies. I got to thinking about the almost daily reports of police brutality and the murders of innocent civilians by these brutal thugs. I got to thinking of the outlandish “asset forfeiture” horror stories of the state’s goons looting innocent people around the country. Finally I got to thinking about the horror that we call the state and the fact that on 9/11 we should be morning the fact that the state exists.

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I think that very soon some states will make it illegal to have any space in your car where one might hid contraband. This will make asset forfeiture and caging of innocent people even easier than it is now regardless of whether the suspect mundane citizen has ever done drugs or not. I further predict that the state and its prosecutors will start hiring private goons to pull over motorists and seize their property for the local government for a cut of the action.

I think that as the cities of America spy on the poor mundane citizens with cameras and drones that they will think to make it illegal to record the police or other “officials” since the state’s minions are said to be immune from all law and morality — for our protection.

I think that local governments will use license plate scanners to keep lists all associations of the citizenery. Richard Nixon only dreamed of this sort of power to spy on the people. The state will know what church you attend — or if you do so at all. The state will know everyone who attends some political rally or belongs to any group. Freedom of association will become a dead letter. Stalin would have loved the surveillance ability of the modern US police state. It may soon become a crime to be in the area where the police believe crimes may be committed and they will be able to tell who was in the area. Innocent until proven guilty? Surely you know that is not the modern way.

I think it will become a crime for the citizen if the police mistakenly shoots at him or if the police mistakenly beats him. He should not have caused the police this trouble! I think that soon all colleges will have SWAT teams and that they will have grenade launchers and all the other “cool” military gear that all police departments have now. I further think that the Kent State shootings of the 60’s will soon be viewed as a successful mission by the national guardsmen that killed the students.

I think that the police and SWAT teams will soon be enforcing zoning laws and other formerly civil matters or misdemeanors. In fact, the SWAT teams will soon be serving all search warrants in no-knock raids and shooting the pets first, and that is when they are not spying on you via your computer or phone. I think that judges will get in on the dystopian act by  issuing warrants based on predictions of future crimes. I  think that the police will soon give up any pretense about protecting and serving the people and declare that they are now government soldiers and America is a battlefield where rules of war are in force.

I think it will soon be commonplace for NSA records to be utilized by law enforcement agencies for whatever purposes they feel like and that the courts will accept this as “constitutional”. I think that there is almost no violation of common sense or constitutional rights that you can think of that will not become commonplace in the American Dystopia.

The government or their brutal, mindless enforcers are not the friend of mankind. They are the enemy of all that is good and decent. Never forget that.

Ferguson Police vs. Rothbard’s idea of peace keepers

For decades I have been decrying the increasingly brutal militarization of the police at all levels in the United States. The latest atrocity to catch the public’s eye is the public murder of an unarmed young black man named Michael Brown in Freguson. Missouri on August 9th, 2014 by uniformed goons of the state.

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If the brutal killing of Michael Brown in cold blood was not enough, the police then started harassing all sorts of other people going about their jobs and lives in innocence. Consider the Washington Post reporter who was arrested in a McDonald’s resturant for being a reporter.

The Huffington Post reported:

The Washington Post uploaded video of its reporter Wesley Lowery being arrested by police in Ferguson, MO on Wednesday night.

Lowery and The Huffington Post’s Ryan Reilly were working at a McDonald’s when they were violently assaulted and detained by a SWAT unit before being released.

In the video, a police officer can be heard saying, “Get your stuff, let’s go,” and, “Stop videotaping, let’s grab our stuff and go.”

It is legal to film police activity. Lowery and Reilly were given no concrete reason for their arrest.

Police abuses of power have been common place in this country for ages. The first one I remember in my life was the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago where the police beat people in the streets outside the convention. The police in those days were restrained and professional compared to today’s militarized sociopaths in blue preying on the innocent in all parts of America. As bad as the Chicago police acted, we can all wish for those days of no SWAT teams and no army gear in domestic policing.

Have the police always abused their power? Yes, history teaches that the police have always been prone to abusing the general public. Of course they often pick on the poor and powerless the most as you would expect from sociopath bullies. The main issue to me is the fact that the police are to the state as the edge of the blade is to the knife. The police are the violence that the state intimidates you with.

Some libertarians and “small government” conservatives believe in “minarchism” and claim that the police are needed to “keep the peace” in society. These people have drunk the poison that is the state and let the demon in the door by supporting the violent arm of the state. There is no reason to expect that the police and the “justice” system will ultimately be anything other than a police state. We can find no historical examples of any state that did not ultimately abuse its citizens: at least those seen as “undesirable”. The Germans called them untermensch. Every society has their “subhumans” who are brutalized, and the brutality will spread over time to more and more of the population.

What to do? Murray Rothbard believed that ultimately the answer was no state and no state enforcers. The society would govern itself via mutual, voluntary cooperation. But what about protection you ask? I could point out that you are getting precious little “protection” now. You are just lucky that one of the brutal goons has not noticed you yet.

If all property were really privately owned, then all of the problems of the state police become easily managed. The one who controls the property decides on who to hire to keep the peace on his property. For most it might be the agents of their insurance company and for commercial business it might be “rent-a-cops” hired on contract to provide a safe environment for the customers of the firm. These examples are just fast generalizations and entire books have been written on privatization of protection and law enforcement.

Police in a truly free-market would have a strong incentive to be courteous. They would have a strong incentive to refrain from the force and brutality that is an everyday part of the policing by minions of the state. The private police hired by owners of private property would have a strong incentive to please their clients, friends of their clients, and customers of their clients. A real free-market would reward the most efficient and courteous firms that provide safety and protection.

As I have written before, the police of the state are never your friend. Any “service” they provide you is just happenstance. (or you pay them extra for it) But the real message in all this is that it is the state itself that must go so that mankind can learn to live in peace and to prosper by mutual, voluntary cooperation.

 

 

The IPCC and a few climate facts to think about

I have read all of these facts over time at various places, but Christopher Monckton of England was kind enough to put them all into a nice little list that he posted in a comment thread someplace a while back. I edited the list (all errors are mine and not his) and then saved the list some months ago. I thought I would share the list with those that stumble across this little back water blog.

This list is just a few facts concerning the IPCC and its predictions of catastrophic human caused global warming over the next century due to mankind’s use of energy which is releasing CO2 into the atmosphere.

1) RSS satellite temperature data shows no global warming for 17 years 8 months from August 1996 to March 2014. Those 212 months are half the 423-month record since January 1979.

2) The fastest 100-year warming rate was recorded in Central England from 1663-1762, at 0.9 Cº per century – before the industrial revolution began.

3) The global warming trend since 1900 is equivalent to 0.8 Cº per century. This is well within the warming trend since the end of the Little Ice Age in 1850 and is natural variation rather than the work of CO2.

4) The fastest warming trend lasting ten years or more occurred over the 40 years from 1694-1733 in Central England, equivalent to 4.3 Cº per century.

5) The fastest warming rate in industrial times lasting ten years or more occurred over the 33 years from 1974 to 2006 at a rate equivalent to approximately 2 Cº per century.

6) Since 1950, when a human influence on global temperature first became theoretically possible according to the UN IPCC (United Nations InterGovernmental Panel on Climate Change), the global warming trend is equivalent to just 1.2 Cº per century.

7) In 1990, the IPCC’s mid-range prediction of the near-term warming trend was equivalent to 3.5 Cº per century.

8) The global warming trend since 1990, when the IPCC wrote its first report, is equivalent to 1.4 Cº per century – two-fifths of what the IPCC had then predicted.

9) In 2013 the IPCC’s new mid-range prediction of the near-term warming trend was for warming at a rate equivalent to 1.7 Cº per century – just half its 1990 prediction.

10) Though the IPCC has cut its near-term warming prediction, it has not cut its 100 year warming prediction of 3.7 Cº warming to 2100.

11) The IPCC’s prediction of 3.7 Cº warming by 2100 is more than twice the greatest rate of warming lasting more than ten years that has been measured since 1950.

12) The IPCC’s predicted 3.7 Cº by 2100 and that rate is more than three times the observed real-world warming trend rate since 1950 when the IPCC says mankind began effecting the climate.

13) Since 2000 the warming trend on the mean of five datasets is zero. At 0.0 Cº per century we see no warming for over 14 years even as CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere have skyrocketed.

14) Recent extreme weather cannot be blamed on global warming, because there has not been any global warming. Besides, there has been no “extreme” weather that we have not seen many times before in our history. In fact, the recent past has been mild compared to past times.

The takeaway message in all this is that the CO2 drives climate model has failed utterly. Mother nature has run a giant experiment over the last 15 to 18 years in which CO2 was added to the atmosphere at a fast rate and we see that after adding all that CO2, there has been no increase in global temperatures. Even using the government’s official data-tampered “adjusted” data sets prepared by the state’s own minions we see no rise in temperature. So, CO2 is not driving the climate and is not a reason to dismantle our industrial economy.

And finally, a little chart made from data from a single long term site in the middle of England. I think this picture is worth a thousand words:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is a left-wing scam to fleece you of your money and to control you. Don’t buy into the fraud.

Cop shots and paralyzes man over parking tickets

This story: Man Shot, Paralyzed Over 31 Unpaid Parking Tickets is just another data point along our decent into a full on police state.

A man was shot Thursday morning in Lehigh County when a Pennsylvania State Constable tried to serve him with a warrant over unpaid parking tickets.

The constable told the district attorney he felt his life was in danger as he tried to serve 38-year-old Kevin McCullers.

McCullers, who had 31 outstanding parking tickets, was shot as he tried to back out of his driveway along the 3400 block of Portland Drive in Whitehall Township around 7:30 a.m. Thursday. His girlfriend says McCullers was on his way to Dunkin’ Donuts and was surprised by the constable.

“They never knocked on the door. No, nothing. I just heard the gunshots. He pulled the car out of the garage and all I heard were gunshots,” said Hafeezah Muhammad, who added that McCullers, who was hit in the back, may not walk again. “For parking tickets? It’s insane.”

I would argue that parking tickets in most cities is just another revenue racket and that not paying one of the things is heroic. However, many others would argue that anyone who gets a parking ticket needs to pay the ticket no matter what he feels about the rightness of the city money-raising racket.

No matter what one thinks of 31 unpaid parking tickets, I think we can all agree that a police ambush where they shoot you down as you back your car out of the driveway is going way to far to be considered “proportional justice” or to be considered a lawful use of force. To paralyze a man over a money-grabbing racket is the sort of thing that our schools used to teach us that banana republics did.

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The District Attorney claimed the shooting could have been avoided if McCullers had entered into a payment plan. The shooting could also have been avoided if McCullers had emigrated to a land that was not a police state much as many Germans did in the 1930’s. The question is why shot and paralyze a man over some money owed to the gangster city.

The real question this story raises is about out of control cops who nationwide are dealing out extrajudicial brutal punishments daily. There are bloggers who do nothing else but report on these horrific bad cop stories. Is there any wonder we see reports of cops brutalizing people if the attempt to record on duty cops as they “do their job”?

How many of these stories would it take to make a person start to believe that our modern militarized police state is the antithesis of freedom and liberty?

Northeast Governments to Freeze their Citizens

I often write in generalities about the lunacy of looking to the State to meet your needs, but today I think I’ll talk about some U.S. state governments in the northeast and what they are doing to their citizens. I think most of us are aware that California is driving industry out of the state and that there is a great flow of business towards Texas as it has much lower electric rates. California charges approximately double what Texas does for electricity. But let us look at the states in the northeast on the other side of the country which are about to enter a crisis trying to supply energy in the winter.

The governors of six New England states have recognized an impending crisis situation and so had a meeting to see how to deal with it. (see here) The governors even invited five premiers of Canadian provinces to join them since Canada can generate electricity while the northeast U.S. does not have that ability any more.

Last winter record low temperatures hit the northeastern region and utilities struggled to supply electricity to the region. Since the region has moved from generation by coal and oil to utilizing natural gas there was the problem that natural gas can not be stored up like coal can so there was not enough gas to heat homes and generate electricity. Now this may come as a total shock to some folks but in times of shortage the market will ration the product in short supply via higher prices. Sure enough, the price to the utilities went from $4 mBTU to $79 mBTU. That would be an almost 20 fold increase in price in one year. Naturally the price of electricity skyrocketed all over the region as the utilities had to buy expensive power from other regions at the same time as their own generation costs were skyrocketing.

But how in the world did we get to the state where the northeast United States can no longer reliably supply its own power? Glad you asked. It seems there has been a long campaign to rid the region of any form of “dirty” energy like coal or oil as well as nuclear power. The statistics are that only three percent of the region’s power comes from coal and only one percent comes from oil these days. New England’s power now comes mainly from natural gas, but the region does not have enough natural gas pipeline to meet its needs and there is great political resistance to building any more even though Pennsylvania has surplus natural gas and would love to sell it to the northeastern states.

The region has just barely the electrical generation capacity to meet its needs without the reserve that is needed for extreme usage times like a really cold winter. Even so, the region expects to shut down 10% of its capacity to please the extremist environmental pressure groups or EPA regulations. (but I repeat myself) First on the target list are the remaining coal plants. At least five will be shut down possibly before the coming winter. Along with that, we see that the remaining nuclear generation plants are targets to be closed as well.

So who is hurt the most by these idiot moves by the state governments? Why the elderly and the poor of course; along with blue collar workers. The well-to-do “liberal” activists and pressure groups look forward to sky high power rates as they hate the poor and hope to drive them out of the region. Does that seem harsh? Well, look at their actions and ask yourself if they give a flying fig about the lower classes.

The government at all levels is waging war on the productive section of the American economy. The over paid busybody regulators from Washington D.C. down to your local town hall are writing anti-business regulations that have been exporting jobs to places like China for decades.

Realistic weather prognosticators are forecasting another year like last year’s cold winter and that will bring ever higher prices and perhaps brownouts to the northeast region. New England residents pay about 50% more than the rest of the country already and it looks like they are in for more fleecing by their ever-so-green governments. The news out of Detroit should give you a taste of what New England is headed for in the near future unless they wake up and reign in their idiot regulators and legislators. However, I predict that it will take massive amounts of people freezing in the winter to wake up the people of the northeast — if even that will do it.

This is just another example of government working hard to make your life worse. That is what the criminal gang writ large does.

Marketa

 

The State is a monster

As I go through life, I continually meet people who are convinced that having a state (a monopoly government) in charge of everyone’s life is the only way that mankind can exist, or at least exist in a society. They agree with me that there are countless, literally countless, examples of the state, via its paid agents and minions, harming perfectly innocent people in various ways. I contend that the state is an attack on society and not the protector of society. I contend that the state is a monster.

Robert Higgs make makes a powerful argument for why the state is a monster:

Lest anyone protest that the state’s true “function” or “duty” or “end” is, as Locke, Madison, and countless others have argued, to protect individuals’ rights to life, liberty, and property, the evidence of history clearly shows that, as a rule, real states do not behave accordingly. The idea that states actually function along such lines or that they strive to carry out such a duty or to achieve such an end resides in the realm of wishful thinking. Although some states in their own self-interest may at some times protect some residents of their territories (other than the state’s own functionaries), such protection is at best highly unreliable and all too often nothing but a solemn farce. Moreover, it is invariably mixed with crimes against the very people the state purports to protect, because the state cannot even exist without committing the crimes of extortion and robbery, which states call taxation (Nock 1939), and as a rule, this existential state crime is but the merest beginning of its assaults on the lives, liberties, and property of its resident population.

Of course there are so very many “conservatives” and other dreamers who holler that we need to “follow the constitution as written” and then everything will be just wonderful. Well my friends, we have been trying that for almost three hundred years and that path has not worked out for us yet. Lysander Spooner nailed the problem a long time ago:

“But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain — that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.” ~ Lysander Spooner

There are many sites on the internet that chronicle injustice and wrongdoing on the part of the state and its evil minions. I could spend all day just providing links to various outrages, but there is little need of that if you are interested because there are people doing that all over the place. Just today I read this post by New York defense attorney Scott Greenfield at his blog on legal matters. Mr. Greenfield is not an anarchist or even a libertarian as far as I can tell. He even wrote a post once about how many “good cops” there are. And yet his legal blog is a daily chronicle of the brutality, injustice, fraud, abuse, and lies of the American court system.

“Our constitutions purport to be established by ‘the people,’ and, in theory, ‘all the people’ consent to such government as the constitutions authorize. But this consent of ‘the people’ exists only in theory. It has no existence in fact. Government is in reality established by the few; and these few assume the consent of all the rest, without any such consent being actually given.” ~ Lysander Spooner

The American system is a horror. Every four years there is the huge battle between the two political parties who promise that if they win then the country will be “fix” and life will be great for all. The political class and their hired henchmen seek to control every part of your life down to what you think. The political class sucks the lifeblood out of the society and feeds on it like a deranged vampire bat, and yet they claim they are “protecting” you. It reminds me of the witch hunters of the early days in this country who killed hundreds of innocent women “for their own good”.

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We are coming into the presidential election season (about two years long) and there will be all sorts of pundits telling us that the world will go to hell if so-and-so wins. Others will tell you that their favorite will fix all the evils of the country and that it would be an outrage if you do not vote for their candidate. This is all just empowerment for the brutal, tyrannical state. The monster is made stronger by the illusion that the people have some choice in how the state runs and who is in charge. A change in presidents has no more effect on the course of things than a change in Mafia Don does for that crime syndicate. In fact, we should just be more honest and change the title from “president” to “Syndicate Don” or perhaps “Boss of bosses”. (King of kings is already taken)

Laws, rules, edicts, regulations and all the rest are not the great equalizing efforts the rulers and their paid minions preach to us about. No matter what they claim in their obedience classes in public schools, the edicts of the state are not mutual and voluntary cooperation — but rather, they are the whim and dictates of the ruling class who enslaves you. Laws and regulations are vehicles to enable the police to serve and protect the ruling class not the mundane citizens. Laws, regulations, edicts, and all the rest serve to legitimize the daily war on individual freedom and liberty that is the very nature of the state.

The state is a monster that seeks to brutalize you. That is a fact you must deal with.

 

Voting and electioneering

There are only two ways in which a society can govern itself. One way is by force while the second way is by voluntary cooperation. These two methods of societal governance are mutually exclusive. Just as you can not have a “voluntary tax”, you can not have mutual and voluntary cooperation with a gun aimed at your head. The state is that entity that uses guns and other brutal means to coerce your actions. And that brings us to politics.

We are headed into another election cycle and there is already talk of what candidates the two parties will select to run against each other in the 2016 election for president. I see some people I follow on Twitter claiming that the Republicans need to “win” so that we can “save” the country. Utter horse manure.

There is no amount of electioneering or correct voting going to save us. It does not matter if Mrs. Clinton wins or loses other than we would have to listen to that lying old crone whine about things from “the bully pulpit”. No one can save the U.S. from its bankruptcy. No candidate can save the U.S. from the brutality of the militarized police, the murders by SWAT team home invaders,  or the invasion of privacy by the NSA and other agencies. Politics and voting will not save you from the horrors you see around you and read about at your favorite web sites. It was the voting booth that got us were we are at now!

Do I mean there is no politician that will try to save us? Yes, that is what I am saying. In spite of the fact that some candidates may be marginally better than other candidates, there are none that will save you. The politician must finance his campaign, and that means he will promise to steal (taxes for example) from one set of citizens to give to others. We are talking plunder here. Politics is about plundering those that produce in the market to fund those who want to live by the power of force and coercion.

What about those politicians that tell us what we want to hear?  The politician will make promises to the voter that he knows he will never keep. The politician lies to the voter all the time. Remember that Ronald Reagan continually talked about “getting government off your back” as he increased the size of government year after year. Lies? Am I accusing the political class of telling lies? The most successful politicians are not hindered by having moral principles. They have no qualms about telling the voters they will protect them and their property as they plan the confiscation of their property in order fund their agenda and to pay off their cronies.

Will any politician enact a decent foreign policy and try to bring peace to this war weary planet? Surely you jest. Our children are taught and indoctrinated to respect and give allegiance to a state that bullies, tortures, and murders people around the world. Our foreign policy is that of a brutal, amoral empire that murders innocent men, women, and children every day. The empire also performs similar acts of violence and coercion against its own people. We call that “law enforcement” and we are propagandized from birth to the grave to “respect” the militarized police.

Do you really think that your vote for president in 2016 will change anything? Do you think Rand Paul will cure it all perhaps? The best you can hope for is that a strong, moral, libertarian-leaning candidate might slow the progress towards totalitarianism to some small degree. Do you want to violate the non-aggression principle by voting just to make the progress toward dystopia take an extra few years?

Voting is not the answer. Voting for our rulers got us into this mess in the first place. It is time to stop participating in the State’s ceremonies.

“To replace one set of power-seekers with another affects the distribution of the political loot. It does not stop the looting.” ~ Gary North

As we come into the 2016 election cycle, you may favor one candidate over the next. You may think that one bastard is less evil than the other bastard. But it is still true that the lesser of two evils is still evil. Don’t expect the political process to somehow, by magic, produce good.

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