Monday, October 22, 2007

To The Gulag, But For The Grace Of The State, Go I

A "Crime" is invented:
New Hampshire anti-tax activist Russell Kanning is "arrested" -- the common euphemism for an officially sanctioned assault -- for the supposed crime of handing literature to employees of the criminal syndicate called the Internal Revenue Service. It's not necessary to commit an actual crime in order to be treated this way.

To Brooklyn resident Matthew Jones goes the distinction of proving something long suspected by students of the institutionalized affliction called government: If they want to, the State's armed enforcers can find a “legal” excuse for taking away one's freedom even if the individual is doing absolutely nothing.

At around 2:00 am the morning of June 12, 2004, Mr. Jones was standing and chatting amicably with a few other people on the corner of Manhattan's 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue. None of them was doing anything to injure or even annoy another living soul – or, for that matter, to disturb public order. Reasonable people that they were, Jones and his friends would yield to the occasional pedestrian who needed to get by, but owing to the hour the sidewalks weren't as congested as they would be during business hours.

Into this unremarkable scene wandered a badge-wearing pest who decided to arrest the inoffensive Mr. Jones on a “disorderly conduct” charge.

One might reasonably ask: “What manner of `disorderly conduct' can someone engage in standing still?”

According to the arresting police officer, Jones was “impeding other pedestrians,” reports the New York Times.

So a gun was brandished (every contact with a police officer involves the threat, however subliminal, of lethal violence) and handcuffs were applied to the wrists of the astonished and disgusted Mr. Jones. In familiar fashion, Jones was slapped with the additional charge of “resisting arrest” for “flailing his arms” as he understandably tried to wrench himself from the grasp of the dishonest, demented tax-feeder.

According to the account from Officer Momen Attia, Jones “refused to move when asked,” and then “tried to run away” when threatened with arrest.

Think for just a second: If the problem was that Jones wasn't moving, why did Officer Attia insist on taking him into custody once Jones tried to “run away”? And why was it supposedly necessary to place handcuffs on Jones and haul him to jail, rather than writing a citation – assuming (as reasonable people would not) that merely standing still on a sidewalk constitutes some kind of infraction?

The answer, of course, is that Mr. Attia, like many – perhaps most – of the criminal class we refer to as “public servants” is prepared to act on the totalitarian assumption, “That which is not expressly permitted is forbidden.” From that perspective, all of us who don't belong to the governing caste are lawbreakers subject to State-authorized violence at the whim of Leviathan's armed enforcers. And let it not be forgotten that each and all of us can be arrested at any time, because it is literally impossible not to violate some enactment – however pointless, arbitrary, or obscure – referred to as a “law.”

Christians understand that our hope for salvation resides in God's grace, not in obedience to the Law. As Paul wrote in his epistle to the Romans, “... no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” (Romans 3:20)

Statism rests on a diabolical mimickry of that principle: The purpose of what Statists refer to as the “law” is not to protect persons and property, but rather to leave the governed in a state of perpetual insecurity regarding their behavior, and to render them perpetually at the mercy of the State's enforcers.

It can happen to anyone, for no defensible reason: Denver Real Estate agent Alberto Romero (left, with his family) died after a Taser attack; Romero attracted police attention by acting strangely following what appeared to be some kind of seizure.

The subject's relationship to the State could be summarized in a transposition of a familiar idiom: “To the gulag, but for the grace of the State, go I.”

Don't think for a picosecond that those who operate the instrumentality of coercion aren't aware of this reality, and eager to exploit it when there is power or profit to be gained from doing so.

In a series of articles for Slate, Professor Tim Wu of Columbia University Law School examined the ways in which “American law is under-enforced” -- meaning that a tacit agreement exists between the government and the people not to prosecute every conceivable offense. This applies to “morality” laws dealing with such things as gambling, obscenity, and polygamy, some elements of narcotics prohibition and – most famously – illegal immigration. But the principle applies to myriad other “laws,” ordinances, enactments, codes, and regulations that we are supposedly obliged to obey.

At the federal prosecutor's office in the Southern District of New York, the staff, over beer and pretzels, used to play a darkly humorous game,” writes the professor, who (I'm required to note as a fan of 1970s album-oriented rock) could be addressed as Dr. Wu. “Junior and senior prosecutors would sit around, and someone would name a random celebrity – say, Mother Theresa [sic] or John Lennon. It would then be up to the junior prosecutors to figure out a plausible crime for which to indict him or her. Those crimes were not usually rape, murder, or other crimes you'd see on Law & Order, but rather the incredibly broad yet obscure crimes that populate the U.S. Code like a kind of jurisprudential minefield: Crimes like `false statements' (a felony, up to five years), `obstructing the mails' (five years), or `false pretenses on the high seas' (also five years). The trick and the skill lay in finding the more obscure offenses that fit the character of the celebrity and carried the toughest sentences. The result, however, was inevitable: `prison time.'”

The point of this supposedly whimsical little drinking game, notes Wu, is that “Full enforcement of every law on the books would put all of us in prison for crimes such as `injuring a mail bag.'”

Portland resident Frank Waterhouse, the victim of the police attack captured in this video, was Tasered and shot with a beanbag round while videotaping this illegal warrantless search. The police justified this assault by protested that Waterhouse refused an order to drop the camera, "which could be used as a weapon."

It has to be understood that this is not merely a perverse little prosecutorial past-time, nor is it just a useful little object lesson. The “game” described by Wu is nothing less than a form of casual apprenticeship: Remember, it's designed to teach junior prosecutors to rummage around in the most arcane recesses of the criminal code to find some way to put innocent people in prison.

One might ask: Are there similar “games” and practices followed by prosecutors elsewhere in the United States? Well, where do pestilential specimens like Michael Nifong and Andy Thomas come from, if not from a culture in which “games” and other training methods of this sort are common?

We can see the success of such indoctrination in the fact that the United States of America now has the largest prison population of any society in history, with seven million of our fellow Americans either behind bars or on probation or parole.

In a larger sense, however, given the depraved appetite of prosecutors and police to assert their supposed authority, and the perverse ingenuity they have for transmuting peaceful, inoffensive behavior (such as standing still on a public sidewalk) into “crimes,” all of us could be considered part of the parolee population, subject to officially sanctioned violence and imprisonment at the whim of our supposed protectors.

A Personal Note

Please forgive me if my posts become shorter, and my schedule becomes a bit erratic. Korrin is once again in the hospital (as soon as I'm finished, I'm going to visit her). I deeply appreciate the kindness you have shown toward her and to my family.


Jon said...

Give Korrin our best, assuring her of our thoughts and prayers!

Anonymous said...

With the largest prison population in the world perhaps we should offer thanks to our lenient masters for "under-enforcing" the laws. Conditions could, after all, be even worse.
Where did America go wrong? According to the late great writer Peter McWilliams, who died as a result non-under-enforced consensual crime laws, the tragic process began in the early nineteenth century. A number of "concerned" citizens who had remained vocally dormant during the Revolutionary War eventually became increasingly dismayed that the new Constitution only dealt with protecting fundamental freedoms while making no mention of forcefully eradicating sin - sin being defined as acting in a way that could possibly harm one's self (or, in some instances, not behaving in strict accordance with their scriptural beliefs). Thankfully, the Founders were wise enough to view vice as something well beyond the reach of Federal Government. After being pressured, state and local governments soon began to take matters into their own hands, however, and the process has never ended.
The Federal Government first threw its full might behind the general crusade beginning with catastrophic failure of alcohol prohibition in the early twentieth century. The current drug war can trace its roots to a propaganda inspired jobs program designed to provide work for "untouchables" fearing unemployment after repeal.
When will it end? It will only end when Americans draw a distinction between sin and crime and understand that vice can be better dealt with in numerous non-violent ways other than state force.

dixiedog said...

The million dollar core question is this:

How did reasonably small accountable government in 1807, let's say, become the ubiquitous tentacled Leviathan it is today in 2007?

If we can manage to honestly answer that question specifically and not vaguely, we'll by extension also discover why all these ever increasing annoyances and, of course, other much more nefarious liberty-destroying, even life-extinguishing, machinations, are in play.

Personally, I think one serious permanently debilitating, if not outright mortal, wound to liberty in any society is the infusion of universal suffrage into the political landscape.

I'd agree that that's certainly not the only long term liberty-destroyer, but it ranks at or near the top, IMHO.

In any event, I hope (probably in vain) that folk can see HOW and WHY universal suffrage kills or atrophies liberty, albeit painlessly slooooooow. By the time it becomes painful, it's way too late to reverse it. The end result, at best, is infirmity and, at worst, death from a long term affliction of universal suffrage. It simply drains the life right out of poor liberty.

Needless to say, this typically slow, progressive disease naturally accelerates rapidly when liberty is also on top of that burdened with an increasingly degenerate and apathetic culture.

I'm sorry to hear that your wife is back in the hospital, Will. I'm going to continue to pray for her and you. I've got my own familial issues to deal with these days as well. But I'm not discouraged, yet at least, and I hope you're not as well ;).

God Bless you and yours.

Al Newberry said...


I'd like to see "universal suffrage" in the form of every person making his or her own decisions without interference from a government or other voters.

But that's probably too much to ask. ;-)

liberranter said...

DixieDog said:

Personally, I think one serious permanently debilitating, if not outright mortal, wound to liberty in any society is the infusion of universal suffrage into the political landscape.

Amen to that, DD! There were perfectly good reasons why most of the founders wanted to restrict the franchise to the property-holding class, not least among them the idea that unrestricted, universal enfranchisement (a.k.a. "pure" democracy or "dictatorship of the proletariat") would sweep away the very foundations of republican government (the incomparable P.J. O'Rourke compared it to giving sixteen-year-old boys the keys to the car and the liquor cabinet). They were almost correct. However, it has been the "propertied" class that has done as much or more to destroy the rule of law, and with it the rights entrusted to the government's protection, than any other segment of society.

straightarrow said...

Two notes, I did not know of Korrin nor that she was ill, nor that she was your wife, this is the first I have heard. God be with you and if you can't have what you want, may He grant what you need.

The second of the two notes is simply this. I am not grateful for the underenforcement of the law. It seems to only take place when one of their own or one of their hired thugs runs afoul of the law and especially when they run afoul of morality.

We must either make them live to the same law or we must see that they do not live to enforce it upon the rest of us. I prefer that they live to the law. It is surprising how much change can be wrought when it is their asses the alligators are up to.

It seems to change their perspective when one can supply them a downside. To date our thin-blooded, cowardly, morally challenged co-citizens have been loath to supply them a downside because it might interfere with personal perceived, but false, comfort and stability.

ikantspel said...

Will, great blog! God bless you for your courage. Sorry to hear of Korrin.

Some great observations have been made here. I also agree about universal suffrage. In fact, I am quite sympathetic to Hans-Hermann Hoppe's market analysis of democracy itself, the idea of which may be found here.

Anonymous said...

You are right. I am a police officer in Brazil, where, thanks be to God, it would be unthinkable to arrest someone for staying on the sidewalk. since the end of the dictatorship (1989), it quickly became almost impossible to arrest anyone. Killers and robbers usually stay free or are convicted to... giving a few bagfuls of food to a shelter. The maximum penalty for multiple murders is six years in jail. Nevertheless, virtually all police officers here act not according to the written law, which is at least as crazy as yours up there, but according to societal mores. It implies in a certain ammount of police brutality (in which I refuse to take part, but that happens) and grafts (when a cop earns US$400 a month and a drunk driver can be fined US$500, it is tempting for many officers to accept a bribe instead of fining someone who, after all, did not commit any real crime), but at least the society as a whole knows that laws that go against common sense are not meant to be obeyed. BTW, there is simply no word for "enforcement" (such as in "law enforcement") in Portuguese.

Jim Fedako said...

As another Christian father of five, I will be praying for Korrin.

goc4brix said...

Of the seven million people under the control of the criminal "justice" system, only 2.1 million or so are in jail or prison.


I have seen no one give a good explanation of how we can return 650,000 who leave prison each year back into productive society.

Talk about a time bomb.

Bryan Morton said...

We've never had universal suffrage in the US and if we did it would still not be the problem.

"The followers of Rousseau's school of thought — who consider themselves far advanced, but whom I consider twenty centuries behind the times — will not agree with me on this. But universal suffrage — using the word in its strictest sense — is not one of those sacred dogmas which it is a crime to examine or doubt. In fact, serious objections may be made to universal suffrage.

In the first place the word universal conceals a gross fallacy. For example, there are 36 million people in France. Thus, to make the right of suffrage universal, there should be 36 million voters. But the most extended system permits only 9 million people to vote. Three persons out of four are excluded. And more than this, they are excluded by the fourth. This fourth person advances the principle of incapacity as his reason for excluding the others.

Universal suffrage means, then, universal suffrage for those who are capable. But there remains this question of fact: Who is capable? Are minors, females, insane persons, and persons who have committed certain major crimes the only ones to be determined incapable?
The Reason Why Voting Is Restricted

A closer examination of the subject shows us the motive which causes the right of suffrage to be based upon the supposition of incapacity. The motive is that the elector or voter does not exercise this right for himself alone, but for everybody. The most extended elective system and the most restricted elective system are alike in this respect. They differ only in respect to what constitutes incapacity. It is not a difference of principle, but merely a difference of degree. If, as the republicans of our present-day Greek and Roman schools of thought pretend, the right of suffrage arrives with one's birth, it would be an injustice for adults to prevent women and children from voting. Why are they prevented? Because they are presumed to be incapable. And why is incapacity a motive for exclusion? Because it is not the voter alone who suffers the consequences of his vote; because each vote touches and affects everyone in the entire community; because the people in the community have a right to demand some safeguards concerning the acts upon which their welfare and existence depend.
The Answer Is to Restrict the Law

I know what might be said in answer to this; what the objections might be. But this is not the place to exhaust a controversy of this nature. I wish merely to observe here that this controversy over universal suffrage (as well as most other political questions) which agitates, excites, and overthrows nations, would lose nearly all of its importance if the law had always been what it ought to be. In fact, if law were restricted to protecting all persons, all liberties, and all properties; if law were nothing more than the organized combination of the individual's right to self defense; if law were the obstacle, the check, the punisher of all oppression and plunder — is it likely that we citizens would then argue much about the extent of the franchise?

Under these circumstances, is it likely that the extent of the right to vote would endanger that supreme good, the public peace? Is it likely that the excluded classes would refuse to peaceably await the coming of their right to vote? Is it likely that those who had the right to vote would jealously defend their privilege? If the law were confined to its proper functions, everyone's interest in the law would be the same. Is it not clear that, under these circumstances, those who voted could not inconvenience those who did not vote?
The Fatal Idea of Legal Plunder

But on the other hand, imagine that this fatal principle has been introduced: Under the pretense of organization, regulation, protection, or encouragement, the law takes property from one person and gives it to another; the law takes the wealth of all and gives it to a few — whether farmers, manufacturers, ship owners, artists, or comedians. Under these circumstances, then certainly every class will aspire to grasp the law, and logically so.

The excluded classes will furiously demand their right to vote — and will overthrow society rather than not to obtain it. Even beggars and vagabonds will then prove to you that they also have an incontestable title to vote. They will say to you:

"We cannot buy wine, tobacco, or salt without paying the tax. And a part of the tax that we pay is given by law — in privileges and subsidies — to men who are richer than we are. Others use the law to raise the prices of bread, meat, iron, or cloth. Thus, since everyone else uses the law for his own profit, we also would like to use the law for our own profit. We demand from the law the right to relief, which is the poor man's plunder. To obtain this right, we also should be voters and legislators in order that we may organize Beggary on a grand scale for our own class, as you have organized Protection on a grand scale for your class. Now don't tell us beggars that you will act for us, and then toss us, as Mr. Mimerel proposes, 600,000 francs to keep us quiet, like throwing us a bone to gnaw. We have other claims. And anyway, we wish to bargain for ourselves as other classes have bargained for themselves!"

And what can you say to answer that argument!
Perverted Law Causes Conflict

As long as it is admitted that the law may be diverted from its true purpose — that it may violate property instead of protecting it — then everyone will want to participate in making the law, either to protect himself against plunder or to use it for plunder. Political questions will always be prejudicial, dominant, and all-absorbing. There will be fighting at the door of the Legislative Palace, and the struggle within will be no less furious." Frederic Bastiat.

Daniel M. Ryan said...

@Dixiedog (1:47 AM):

I have to say that the Civil War was the ultimate cause turning the U.S. from a minimal-government Republic to a pre-Empire. Ever since the Civil War ended, it's been "ships and sealing wax" to preserve what's left of minimal government.

Perhaps I'm being cynical, but a history of the United States from the end of the Civil War to today could be written portraying each President as someone who has tried, in his own way, to roll back Leviathan but failed due to excessive compromising - or the post-civil-war Presidency as an office of well-meaning temporizers, who wind up perpetuating the growth of Leviathan due to focusing upon "clear and present dangers" through using expedients that come back to haunt in 10-30 years.

I have a certain perspective on this because I'm Canadian. Canada's Confederation was deliberately designed to give the edge to the central government because the Canadian Framers seriously feared a civil war erupting in Canada. You may be interested to know that Canadian "peacekeeping" started off in the late 19th century with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police [then called the North-West Mounted Police] being used to put down domestic insurrection. Needless to say, Canada has never had a Posse Comitatus law.

On that note, a budget of ironies:

- the United States, designed to be a decentralized federation, is close to becoming a centralized State.
- Canada, designed to have the balance tipped towards the central government, now has one of the most fractious provincial levels in the OECD.
- Despite the lack of Posse Comitatus, and the use of the RCMP to also quell domestic insurrection, police horror stories of the kind Mr. Grigg documents are virtually unknown in Canada.
- 'Soviet Canuckistan' is the country whose constitution has a provision to strike down an already-enacted law. It's section 56 of the Constitution Act, the Royal power of disallowance:
"Where the Governor General assents to a Bill in the Queen's Name, he shall by the first convenient Opportunity send an authentic Copy of the Act to One of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, and if the Queen in Council within Two Years after Receipt thereof by the Secretary of State thinks fit to disallow the Act, such Disallowance (with a Certificate of the Secretary of State of the Day on which the Act was received by him) being signified by the Governor General, by Speech or Message to each of the Houses of the Parliament or by Proclamation, shall annul the Act from and after the Day of such Signification." (By the letter of this section, the Queen-In-Council need not have a good reason for doing so.)

Alan Cabal said...

Talk to Ernst Zundel about Canadian freedom.

antiwar said...

The most drastic power of the state is in four related methods.

1. The drug war and in particular the war on a weed called Marijuan. This allows the state invading homes and cars and arresting people for using excessive electricity, buying hydroponic systems and possessing cash.

2. The ability to seize property which is considered guilty and the property owner has to prove the property's innocense.

3. The monopoly of state authority is controlled by one party with two wings. when one wing gets in trouble the other one takes. The people think they voted for something but the end is the same.

4. The state subsidy for radio and TV stations. Radio and TV get free bandwidth with nary a charge. Cell phone companies have to pay to get bandwidth considered public but radio and tv get it for free. Radio and TV make sure only the one party with two wings gets any air time. thus maintaining the single party with two wings system.

These four are clearly illegal per the constitution but the brainwashed public is unable to even see the problem let alone take any action.

Roy said...

When our son was almost 4 years old I learned just how powerful prayer is. We had awakened to find our son with a very high fever and even though it was his day off we called our doctor at his home. The doctor agreed to meet us at his office while on his way to church. He could not explain the fever so he sent us on to the hospital. By the time we arrived our son's fever was 106.4 degrees. At that point we did not know what was wrong or if he was going to live. I was walking the floors of the ER when suddenly a calm and peace sweep over me and somehow I just knew everything was going to be ok. For some reason I looked at the clock and I saw that the worship service had started and that it was time for prayers. I knew that people were praying for our son and that the calm and peace I was feeling was God answering their prayers. Now 20 years later my son likes to remind me of the times I had to bend him over my knee and every time he does he jokes about how he is now big enough to bend me over his knee. We will be praying for your wife and I know that God will give you the same peace that he gave me those many years ago.

Anonymous said...

I find it very interesting that (from my time in the military) that we have a different set of laws (drawn up by congress) that consists of 147 articles and can be printed on a standard size poster in legible type.

Unbelievable how big the federal register is now.

Anonymous said...

Blackwater and gulags, yet another infringement on our rights by the gov't. Add it to the ever-growing list of violations:
They violate the 1st Amendment by opening mail, caging demonstrators and banning books like "America Deceived" from Amazon.
They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns during Katrina.
They violate the 4th Amendment by conducting warrant-less wiretaps.
They violate the 5th and 6th Amendment by suspending habeas corpus.
They violate the 8th Amendment by torturing.
They violate the entire Constitution by starting 2 illegal wars based on lies and on behalf of a foriegn gov't.
Support Dr. Ron Paul and save this country.
Last link (unless Google Books caves to the gov't and drops the title):
America Deceived (book)

Anonymous said...

When did it start in earnst? With the creation of corporate personhood, which allowed corporations full legal consideration as PEOPLE. Yes, sir, those amoral, for-profit greedy bastards are considered people for legal purposes, which means they may lobby politicians, make political contributions and hide behind our Constitution, which was never intended for corporations or they would be mentioned in said document.

This happened in 1886 in California in a case brought forth between Santa Clara and the railroads. A file clerk erroneously labeled the file (yep, that's all it took) that the judge declared corporations as legal people. Every judge thereafter never actually opened the file but just referred to the file title or label.

It has been since then that corporations have subjugated natural people as having the power in this nation.

What used to be people, then state then corporations is now corporations, then state, then people.

We must rescind and make public this erroneous designator and TAKE BACK OUR COUNTRY FROM THE GREEDY CORPORATIONS (which really is just greedy individuals hiding like pussies behind their entities).

Michael said...

Umm, am I the only one who sees the video blacked out (for the remaining few minutes) right after the cops tell the camera man to "PUT IT DOWN!"??

Boris Epstein said...

I hope Korrin recovers soon!

And thanks for a great article.

I must say I disagree with your appriori negative characterization of police and other public servants. I say the majority of them are decent people. It is the minority who are not - and who also are not being properly reigned in - as well as the overall frivolous law culture that is to blame.

dixiedog said...

I must return to my previous mention of "universal" suffrage. OK, I understand bryan morton's point about the strict meaning of "universal." Sigh, point taken and then tossed away. That minor nuance changes nothing about my views of suffrage in general as I'll attempt to explain below. BTW, I don't view voting as a "right" by any measure, but a privilege.

The problems with everyone handed the privilege to vote are numerous. I'll list what I see in no particular order:

Women voting - Generally, women, by nature, are security conscious above ALL else, whether the security in question concerns finances, assaults, whatever. There was a reason why John Adams mentioned the "tyranny of the petticoat" in a letter to his own wife. He wasn't joking. It's even evident in women who migrate into high positions of authority that they tend to be "dictatorial" in their style of leadership to "prove" that they are more than equals to their male counterparts. On another front, as the so-called "women's liberation" movement became mainstream and the patriarchy has fizzled, ironically the respect for women in general in the culture has declined. Women today are more likely to be battered, beaten, assaulted, and called a ho than they were in the bad ol' pre-lib and pre-suffrage days. Likewise, women these days are just as likely to be the ones doing the battering, beating, assaulting, and acting like hos than they ever were in the pre-lib, pre-suffrage days.

On top of the "liberation" mindset that thoroughly pervades society today, as the culture at large degenerates, the men are also doing their wicked part as well in its degeneration. They are treating women not as marriage mates, because many today don't even consider marriage to a woman a viable option, being she's all "liberated" and stuff. She might take him for all he's got and he's afraid of committment as God intended. Rather, the men simply take them as concubines (women agree to this!) and now we have an illegitimacy rate that's astronomical. Who do you think all these women, when they are later left to their own way, many with children to provide for, clothe, feed, etc., are going to cling to for protection and security since no husband is there to provide those things? Big daddy, of course. That is, big daddy government!

Welfare recipients voting - This should be quite easy to decipher as to WHY it ain't a good idea for people on welfare in any capacity to be voting. They'll obviously only vote for those who will keep the public monies flowing into their pockets. Or provide even more largess, whatever, as long as their pockets are continually refilled. It should be self-explanatory.

Government workers voting - This is analogous to the former. Government workers are more than likely to only vote for an expansion and growth of the agency of government they depend upon for their livelihood in particular, and bigger government itself in general. Again, this should be self-evident.

I'm not sure that I would include non-property owners as well; I'm sort of on the line about that one. Besides, someone who works hard, pays exhorbitant taxes, gets no subsidies, is likely to be a landowner of some sort anyway! And one doesn't need to own a lot of land, merely an acre, a yard size or whatever and they have to deal with the annoyances - eco-nazi regulations, etc. - that every other landowner has to contend with, even large ones, just on a smaller scale, of course.

And, bryan, just so you're clued in properly, I'm not a richie by any stretch. I own a few acres of (farm and wood)land handed down from my grandmother, mother, myself and my sister. As for my income, let's put it this way, my income is smaller than the mean average GDP. I loathe greedy haves as much as greedy have-nots. Something to keep in mind, bryan, that there are as many greedy, jealous, envious dirt poor folk as there are greedy, jealous, envious filthy rich folk.

dixiedog said...

daniel m. ryan,

Thank you for your interesting perspective from a Canadian POV.

However, I must say that our so-called Civil War was nothing of the sort. It can only accurately be described as a "civil war" if it had been an internal conflict that had arisen within the United States. It wasn't.

11 southern states seceded from the United States and formed their own confederation, with its initial capital in Montgomery, AL, later moved to Richmond, VA. Missouri and Kentucky, even though the two states both contained sizeable numbers of pro-Confederacy sympathizers, had only token representation in the Confederacy itself and remained politically part of the Union.

Nevertheless those states were honored by some 1st national flags (Stars and Bars) woven with 13 stars instead of 11. Yeah, I know this trivia is pointless to the particular discussion at hand, but good to know anyway ;).

It was a distinct nation, not part of the United States, regardless of whether Lincoln's regime recognized it as such or not. It had it's own currency, a piece of which I possess.

On that note, a budget of ironies: got that right ;). They're of such dubious quality that even calling them a "budget of ironies" is a stretch.

- the United States, designed to be a decentralized federation, is close to becoming a centralized State.
- Canada, designed to have the balance tipped towards the central government, now has one of the most fractious provincial levels in the OECD.

It's not just the government (in a vacuum) that one must consider when observing this "irony" as you call it. The culture matters mightily and from what I see, the "fractiousness" in question is hardly over issues that should really matter - "hate" crime laws, gun-control, no freedom of association, taxes, universal health care, etc. Where is the culture war in Canada? Does one even exist?

Even though our culture is unfortunately "harmonizing" with that of Canada and Europe to some degree, there are thankfully still remnants, at least, of the ol' America that are resisting the devolution of the culture towards effeminacy and debauchery.

I've said in past threads that government doesn't operate in a vacuum; in a republic, and even more so in a democracy, the character of government reflects the character of the aggregate people.

- Despite the lack of Posse Comitatus, and the use of the RCMP to also quell domestic insurrection, police horror stories of the kind Mr. Grigg documents are virtually unknown in Canada.

In a society that depends hugely upon government for much of it's livelihood (and health), it naturally doesn't have much to disagree with its Master about. After all, who in his right mind will fight his perceived Master? IOW, the Canadian citizens, as a whole, aren't wont to break any laws that they agree with, hence few altercations with the mounties are to be expected.

Canada has waged no U.S.-style "War on Drugs" because, if it did so, I'm sure there would be some "horror" stories of altercations, at the very least. The populace loves drugs. In the U.S., the populace also is becoming more enthralled with drugs, legal and illegal, except for tobacco naturally, and altercations are unfortunately inevitable in such cases.

I believe this all has much to do with the culture in question, daniel.

straightarrow said...

"I must say I disagree with your appriori negative characterization of police and other public servants. I say the majority of them are decent people. It is the minority who are not - and who also are not being properly reigned in - as well as the overall frivolous law culture that is to blame."-Boris Epstein

Can't say I agree Boris. Here's why. All cops know who the "bad" cops are. They know who is taking bribes, they know who is brutal for brutality's sake, they know who files false arrest reports and they know who among them invents stories to cover themselves when they have broken the law and trespassed the civil rights of a citizen, they know who carries a "throwdown piece" to justify an unjustifiable killing.

Yet they do not arrest, nor testify against them. Concealment of a crime is a crime. Conspiracy to conceal a crime is a crime. Though the individual officer may be an active participant in such crimes as talked about above, the failure to do their duty hardly earns them the title of good cop.

Cops don't do that duty for several reasons. One of which is fear of retaliation or even death. The retaliation can occur as a career killer, or be as serious as being "accidentally" shot by a fellow officer, or being left alone in gunfight or even being set up for a killing. Don't dismiss these as possibilities, I personally know of instances of every one of the consequences of which I speak.

So, basically there are no, or at least damn few good cops. Given that dynamic, how do the police differ from any other criminal gang, with the exception of a stricter dress code?

I have a son and a brother who are cops. So, I am not organically opposed to cops, I'm just not fool enough to live in fantasy.

straightarrow said...

"Though the individual officer may be an active participant in such crimes "

Should have read ""Though the individual officer may 'NOT' be an active participant in such crimes "

Charles said...

Of the seven million people under the control of the criminal "justice" system, only 2.1 million or so are in jail or prison.


I have seen no one give a good explanation of how we can return 650,000 who leave prison each year back into productive society.

Talk about a time bomb.

goc4brix said...

Of the seven million people under the control of the criminal "justice" system, only 2.1 million or so are in jail or prison.


I have seen no one give a good explanation of how we can return 650,000 who leave prison each year back into productive society.

Talk about a time bomb.

Anonymous said...

Hello to all,

As I read through the many comments of concern and speculation about the problems the American people are suffering, I fear we are looking at the symptoms instead of the cause. It has been my experience that most people only learn about the law based upon hearsay - either from those who make a living dictating the law (i.e lawyers, police, etc...) or from others who have only learned about the law based on hearsay.
We, as a people, need to first understand who we are before we can hope to understand the nature of the relationships we find ourselves in today. In America, foundational law is the Bible. The evidence of such fact is shown in the Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States of America, and a little ole public law 97-280. In 1982, the United States Congress recognized, as a matter of law that is binding on every court in this nation, that the Bible is the Word of God. With this in mind, Genesis clearly shows that Man was created in the image and likeness of God and given the command to "Multiply, Replenish, and Subdue" the earth with the purpose of building up His kingdom. It further shows that Man was bestowed, by God, with dominion, possession, and agency (i.e. sovereignty). Man is only bound to uphold and apply the commands of God -hence, a duty to God is a right of Man. As stated in Acts 5:29 "For we ought to obey God rather than man."
Now having read what I wrote, one may be thinking "ok, so if the law recognizes I only have to obey God - i.e. do no harm to others and honor my agreements (which is basically what the ten commandments amount to), then why are people being put in jail for vices, victimless crimes, etc..." The answer is we have ignorantly entered into many contractual relations that bind us to statutory law instead of foundational law. To better understand the nature of the relationships most Americans are involved, the best thing to do is visit
The only way to protect and exercise our rights today are to learn the law ourselves and stop relying on hearsay of others.