Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Devil's Bargain

Over the years, I've interviewed John Whitehead, founder of the Rutherford Institute, multiple times. Our conversations have always ended on the up-note of transferable information for the audience. Here is John's latest piece that puts today's headlines into a practical reality.

Whether the mask is labeled fascism, democracy, or dictatorship of the proletariat, our great adversary remains the apparatus—the bureaucracy, the police, the military. Not the one facing us across the frontier of the battle lines, which is not so much our enemy as our brothers’ enemy, but the one that calls itself our protector and makes us its slaves. No matter what the circumstances, the worst betrayal will always be to subordinate ourselves to this apparatus and to trample underfoot, in its service, all human values in ourselves and in others.—Simone Weil, French philosopher and political activist
It’s no coincidence that during the same week in which the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Yates v. United States, a case in which a Florida fisherman is being threatened with 20 years’ jail time for throwing fish that were too small back into the water, Florida police arrested a 90-year-old man twice for violating an ordinance that prohibits feeding the homeless in public.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Private Volunteers Step In Where Police Are AWOL

While I take serious exception to the allegation "the State must always exist to provide a framework of security.", there are credible comments below regarding private organizations, their successes, their impact on State monopolies - and even 'an app for that' free market, voluntary security system already up and running successfully around the country.

In Ferguson, Missouri, when police and national guard failed to protect businesses from rioting protestors, a private organization called Oathkeepers stepped up to fill the gap.
The presence of Oathkeepers, keeping the peace where police officers failed, helps answer a larger question: how necessary are police?
The heart of the state’s justification has always been that it can provide essential services that the market cannot, chief among them security. While admitting that police abuses were problematic, Miguel Guadalupe of the Huffington Post asserted that, “one thing is certain — [sic] a strong body of law enforcement, and one that is held in respect and prestige, is critical to the stability of a society.” Even minarchist scholars such as Locke and Hazlitt have assumed that, while markets may surpass government in a variety of activities, the state must always exist to provide a framework of security.

Anarchist scholars have critiqued this claim. But, as convincing as theories on private protection are, there are no large-scale society-wide examples of private self-defense in recent decades. There are no countries that lack monopolist state organizations, the jeering claims that Somalia — where corrupt government is the primary problem — is an example of private-sector anarchism, notwithstanding.
Small-scale examples have become more widespread, however, and I propose that we’re seeing a test of the feasibility of private protection services right here in the United States. It’s not a test of anarchy as a whole — I don’t see Oathkeepers packaging private law for the market, for instance — but it’s a test of one of the state’s key claims to legitimacy.

As police forces fail communities, private organizations are stepping up. Oathkeepers stationed volunteers on the rooftops of businesses in Ferguson, protecting them from looters. Local business owners said they felt safer knowingthe private entity was looking out for them.
The Threat Management Center provided similar protection when Detroit collapsed. The organization provided “Lamborghini-quality” security services to upscale neighborhoods, and the profit margins from these contracts enabled them to provide free services to poorer communities that rarely saw aid from police.

Peacekeeper is a free app that takes private protection in another direction. Rather than rely on a third party security service, Peacekeeper enables users to build networks of friends, family, and neighbors that they can rely on in a crisis. These people can often respond to an emergency in minutes or faster, because they’re coming from across the street instead of across town. Additionally, relying on people you know removes the danger of calling 911 and having a bad cop show up.
These organizations, and others like them, represent a test of state security — and, by extension, of the state itself. Police find themselves unable to protect Detroit, Ferguson, and a host of other poor and minority communities. There are conflicting arguments for why this is: critics may allege racism in police forces, while defenders will argue that police simply don’t have the manpower to be everywhere. But in this case, the reason isn’t important.

When people living in these places cannot rely on police, they look for an alternative to fill that gap in protection. On a community and neighborhood level, they are looking for the framework of security that government claims only it can provide. If they seek out private frameworks and decide it works better than government policing, with the state withdraw? That seems unlikely.
On the other hand, if residents of these neighborhoods reach out to private organizations and find themselves safer and more secure than they used to be, it will further undermine the state’s case for itself. The state monopoly on security will be seen to be no more necessary — or wise — than a state monopoly on food production.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Thin Blue Line - Worthless

Another excellent piece to follow John Whitehead's "The Game is Rigged" (See "Column of the Year -2014"). Brandon Smith summarizes the corroding effects of the growing epidemic of citizen abuse by increasingly militarized police at all levels throughout the country. He even points to a solution worth implementing....BW

Police misconduct has a cumulative effect on a culture. We do not forget all of the oversteps of the past; we merely file them away until we finally reach a breaking point.It is important for LEOs to understand that while they may have a relative immunity to legal reparations, they are not immune to the rage of the populace and will likely find their fragile warrior personas rather inadequate when that day arrives. For the true constitutional police out there, it is time to take sides, either with good American people or with the corrupt establishment. It is impossible to serve both. The illusion of the “thin blue line” is quickly fading. The only question now is: What is going to replace it? The establishment would have you believe there are only two options: total chaos or martial law. But there has always been a third alternative they seek to suppress: the return of community defense, the resurgence of localized responsibility and the victory of personal liberty over false security.

Continue reading here...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Column of the Year - 2014

The Game Is Rigged: Why Americans Keep Losing To The Police State

The problem, of course, is that luck will not save us. The people dealing the cards—the politicians, the corporations, the judges, the prosecutors, the police, the bureaucrats, the military, the media, etc.—have only one prevailing concern, and that is to maintain their power and control over the country and us.
It really doesn't matter what you call them—the 1%, the elite, the controllers, the masterminds, the shadow government, the police state, the surveillance state, the military industrial complex—so long as you understand that while they are dealing the cards, the deck will always be stacked in their favor.
Incredibly, no matter how many times we see this played out, Americans continue to naively buy into the idea that it’s our politics that divide us as a nation. As if there were really a difference between the Democrats and Republicans. As if the policies of George W. Bush were any different from those of Barack Obama. As if we weren't a nation of sheep being fattened for the kill by a ravenous government of wolves.
We’re in trouble, folks, and changing the dealer won’t save us: it’s time to get out of the game.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Grand Juries

Some people don't realize that a grand jury is not an actual's the step BEFORE a trial. When a case is dropped by a grand jury and officers acquitted it is not just saying that they are not guilty but that we don't even need a real trial to determine that.
What makes these cases particularly egregious, sometimes in the face of video and other evidence is that the result is often pushed by prosecutors who work for exactly the same government system as the police. In fact, for most criminal cases, the police are part of the prosecution team. So essentially we have cops out raping and killing people, the public saying "Hey, wait this guy looks guilty from the video etc. we should have a trial to find out for sure." And the prosecutors defending their own colleagues by saying "Nah, we don't even need to have a real trial and hear evidence."
Can we forget magic blue costumes which allow rampant abuse for a moment and imagine what would happen if a citizen without a uniform performed these acts??? "Yes, this Down's Syndrome man was making noise in the theater where I'm an usher and I feared for my safety so I killed him." Or "A man was illegally selling loose cigarettes outside my building so I put him in a choke hold until he died." Or "I shot my neighbors dog because I have a gun and I can." What would happen to these civilians? Would they be charged and have a trial to determine guilt or innocence? We can't imagine a case where the evidence would not even be heard...other than for those with a magic badge.
That's not justice.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Fear Filter

Watching the tsunami of sensational news reporting lately reminded me of a great revelation in my own soporific broadcasting career.  

It was 1966 or 67 when I first learned about the Fear Filter. Or course, it wasn’t called that; it was a lesson, of sorts, in reporting news. As a radio dj “in the business” for a couple years and thoroughly untrained in the ways of Journalism, my lessons in reporting all came from classes at Monkey-See U. Back then, by watching my station’s News Director, Jim Erwin, the news was Who, What, When, Where, To What Degree and occasionally Why. Since Jim was the News Dept., he and the AP machine were the first and last words in our news content. Of course, the rest of the air staff helped out, phoning in “news tips” if/when we happened upon them (mostly traffic accidents).

Then the Civil Rights movement came to town with its marches, demonstrations and speeches. Through a series of boring events, I got tapped to cover the most inflammatory ones for the network; we were a Mutual News affiliate. This was great! I got the coveted “national exposure” and – more importantly to starving LSU student - $50 per feed! Against this background is when I learned about the Fear Filter, how basic, how important as well as how remunerative it was. It remains so today except, over the last 50 years, it has been on steroids.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Down With Power

Down With Power

Narrated by talk show host, Brian Wilson, "Down With Power", a Libertarian Manifesto, by L. Neil Smith now downloadable as an audiobook

Hard-line, long-time Libertarians know the name L. Neil Smith. Along with his labors in the vineyard for the Freedom and Liberty movement, L. Neil is also internationally known for his award-winning "library" of science fiction novels, each with strong libertarian plots.

His comparatively few non-fiction works on matters of Libertarian principles have been as popular as his novels. Second Amendment fans will enjoy his short, simple and pragmatic Why Did It Have To Be Guns?.

His opus, a "Libertarian Manifesto", "Down With Power" contains 27 chapters, each focused on an element of Freedom. From the "Zero Aggression Principle" to "TSA", each is given a thorough examination from the Libertarian perspective.

It was my pleasure to have narrated this work for LNS.

Brian Wilson