About the Antigovernment Extremist: I'm a recent graduate of Ohio University where I majored in Political Science with a minor in Economics. My emphasis in university was on constitutional law and American government. This blog is my outlet for political ramblings and where I post current events with a bit of personal commentary. Below you can find similar blogs that I would recommend as well as a series of tags that I've used to allow for better navigation of the topics I post about.
“It keep saying ‘no network error’. We had a foreign reporter on the roof with us and she wasn’t able to get a signal on her cell phone. And people on the ground were saying ‘I can’t tweet out.’” -Livestreamer Argus Radio. Eric BlairActivist Post It…
Bridging the Gender Gap: The Problems with Parental Leave
At the end of the day there are clear and distinguishable differences between men and women. No amount of legislation can eliminate those differences. You cannot legislate equality and attempts to do so will often exacerbate the issue at hand.
More importantly, mandating businesses provide maternity (or paternity) leave is not a justified use of state force. It’s another elimination of the freedom of contract between consenting individuals. If you think paid maternity leave is a good idea then great, start a business and employ women and give them paid maternity leave. Encourage other business owners to do the same. But don’t use the state as an apparatus to force your will on others. Persuasion is the only ethical and moral means of promoting your ideas. Coercion as persuasion is immoral and a peaceful society would reject that method.
“Our overlords rely on the earnest apologetics of people like Paul Krugman, the public intellectuals who really mean it, and quite sincerely won’t ever understand the criminal nature of political authority. As decentralists and libertarians, we cannot expect to convince them. But we can demonstrate that the fantasies aren’t coming from libertarians, the ideas of whom haven’t ever actually been given a chance. For all his perturbed warnings about libertarians, it is the ideas of authoritarians like Krugman and David Brooks that have been winning the day in the U.S. for a long time, with bureaucracy engulfing every area of life. Left wing individualists and decentralists understand that no person or organization can possess “the secret of life.” We therefore resist granting arbitrary, coercive power to the State, which by nature can never be genuinely public-spirited or altruistic.”
“Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me. Most field stops are complete in minutes. How difficult is it to cooperate for that long?”
Policing doesn’t even make it into the top 10 most dangerous American professions. Logging has a fatality rate 11 times higher, at 127.8 per 100,000. Fishing: 117 per 100,000. Pilot/flight engineer: 53.4 per 100,000. It’s twice as dangerous to be a truck driver as a cop—at 22.1 per 100,000.
Another point to bear in mind is that not all officer fatalities are homicides. Out of the 100 deaths in 2013, 31 were shot, 11 were struck by a vehicle, 2 were stabbed, and 1 died in a “bomb-related incident.” Other causes of death were: aircraft accident (1), automobile accident (28), motorcycle accident (4), falling (6), drowning (2), electrocution (1), and job-related illness (13).
Even assuming that half these deaths were homicides, policing would have a murder rate of 5.55 per 100,000, comparable to the average murder rate of U.S. cities: 5.6 per 100,000. It’s more dangerous to live in Baltimore (35.01 murders per 100,000 residents) than to be a cop in 2014.
Through the fog of Twitter, it’s difficult to discern the precise details of what’s been happening in Ferguson, Mo., in the 10 days of protests spurred by the police killing of an unarmed teenager. Still, maybe it’s not too early to wonder: When, exactly, did the United States become a banana republic? “Why armored vehicles in a Midwestern inner suburb?” asks my Cato Institute colleague Walter Olson. What could possibly justify police “red-dotting” peaceful protesters with laser sights, or an attempted head-shot, with a tear gas canister, at a man standing in his own yard, insisting, “this [is] my property!”? Here you can watch police fumigate a news crew and take down their cameras — then chase off the other journalists filming the assault.
Last week, I found myself musing darkly, “Just wait till Ferguson’s cops get federally funded drones.” If you think paramilitary policing looks dystopian now, just wait till you see what’s being cooked up in defense contractors’ labs.
For decades now, as Radley Balko makes clear in his indispensable 2013 book, Rise of the Warrior Cop, federal subsidies have encouraged the proliferation of military ordnance on the home front — from M-16s to grenade launchers to 30-ton armored vehicles. Since 2002, the Department of Homeland Security has accelerated police paramilitarization with more than $7 billion in Urban Areas Security Initiative grants.
With Homeland Security funding, “Police departments are arming themselves with military assets often reserved for war zones,” Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., noted in a 2012 report on the UASI program. Among those assets are surveillance drones and the Long Range Acoustic Device — a sound cannon deployed last week in Ferguson that can disperse crowds with a 149-decibel assault (permanent hearing loss begins at 130).
A Homeland Security report obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in 2013 revealed that the agency has considered outfitting its expanding inventory of drones with “non-lethal weapons designed to immobilize” targets of interest.
Meanwhile, both Homeland Security and the Pentagon maintain a keen interest in developing crowd-control weapons for occupations at home and abroad. In 2007, the department’s science and technology arm “contracted for the development of the ‘LED Incapacitator,’ a nauseating strobe” weapon meant to overwhelm and disorient targets with rapid, random pulses of light.
Remember that tyranny doesn’t arrive in one day. Politicians don’t campaign on ushering in a totalitarian police state. It is slowly erected bit by bit until one day we awake to our enslavement. That’s why this episode in Ferguson is such a big deal. It’s one of those glimpses behind the curtain. It’s a microcosm of the coming (and some would say, already present) police state.