Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Abolish Government Police!

~1,400 Americans are killed by government police every year, and there are thousands of incidents fitting that description just in the last twenty years:

Cops, regardless which agency they burble forth from, are increasingly unwilling to respect anyone's right to life, liberty, or property.

The paid vacation given to cops after police assaults and killings is basically "paying a bounty" for civilian beatings and murder.

The main obstacle to reform is that government police face zero liability and are often given awards and raises for assaulting and killing people.  These amount to powerful incentives to behave in ways that most people would normally never consider.

The culture must change, and no human/civil rights commission will change it.  As long as police get a government paycheck, there is no incentive for police to respect anyone's rights.

Why Hold Back if You're Not Going to Win?

At an LP gathering in May 2015, I was asked by a candidate for suggestions on presentation.  He was wondering if he should tone down his campaign messages so that it wouldn't appear scary to the average voter.

Before I could answer, another person sitting at the meeting said "Pandering?"

He said what I was thinking; and it was a good (albeit flippant) rejoinder.

In the early 1990's, then-state chairman John Buckley was basically asked the very same question.  His answer was immediate and without any hesitation whatsoever:

"Well, you're not going to win."

28 years later, I remember that response very well, and I repeated it to the current questioner.

"Are you going to win?" I asked.  He understood immediately the import of what I was telling him.

"That certainly gives me a lot more freedom, doesn't it?" he said.

Indeed it does.

Being honest about our goals -- even our end goals -- is liberating.  Being honest with ourselves about our prospects is also liberating.  If we already know we do not YET have the money or manpower to be competitive, then the object of running campaigns is to GET the money and manpower gathered to the Party, so we eventually will have them in sufficient quantity to win.

So how do we GET that money and manpower gathered to the LP?

By inspiring people to join, donate, and run.  Milque-toasty messages and candidates who refuse to say anything new or bold do not inspire anyone to join, much less vote for us.

I favor a message that will get the attention of the 1/4 of the population that is already BASICALLY libertarian, and provide them with the nudge they need to take a leap.  Only a bold message will excite those kind of people so much that they're ready to sign on the line and send in their dues and become active.

Libertarianism itself is an abolitionist philosophy.  Libertarians should always speak of tax abolition, rather than "tax reduction".  We should always advocate the full repeal of (drug) Prohibition, rather than just "reducing sentencing guidelines".  We should call for the abolition of entire agencies of government, rather than just "budget reductions" or "eliminating waste".  Don't "reform" government police agencies, or call for "citizen review boards" -- speak for abolishing them all outright.

As LP campaigns move "up-ticket", they should be more radical, not less.  A candidate for state legislator should use "abolish", "eliminate" and "repeal" much more often than a candidate for city council (although city council races can use a healthy dose of those things also).  A candidate for US House or Senate should use those terms even more often; and candidates for President should use them most of all.

Up-ticket candidates should know the talk, speak it well and speak well of it.

We should give more leeway for those running for more local offices; but the centerpiece campaigns should be bold and clear about what we want.

If you're only interested in "tinkering-around-the-edges" reforms that are tepid and fearful, why are you even in the Libertarian Party?  There are already two major political parties MUCH better-suited to dancing around.

Speaking just for myself...  One thing I insist on is that any campaign I am actively involved in (either via donations or volunteer time) will need to have a bold and radical message.  If I wanted "tax cuts", "less government", "mild government reform", and other things I can hear from a major-party candidate, I can spend my time much more profitably working for those things within the major parties.

I still have $1,000 waiting for the RIGHT Libertarian candidate.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Abolish Blue Privilege: Abolish Government Police Agencies

It's not white privilege that keeps starting up the riot furnace, it is Blue privilege.

Government Bureaucracy Logic 101: Constantly maim and kill people for little to no reason -- then act surprised when violence erupts.

The State kills roughly 1,400 Americans every year, and injures or threatens to injure half a million or more.  That isn't a statistic, it is a documented LIST.  See below for the source for that number.

Yes, that's *every* year.

The dead are also disproportionately black, but only by a few percentage points.  The majority of the dead in that list of 1,400 are *white*.

How many times does a child whack a hornets nest until he learns not to whack hornet's nests?


The State apparently never learns.

No, actually, that's not right.  The state knows very well that whacking a hornets nest will get the hornets in the air -- but the state also knows that when the hornets are in the air, it won't be politicians, bureaucrats, or the teeming nerds and hangers-on who suck at the government breast who will be getting stung.  It will be innocent civilians who will begetting stung because of the state's manipulation of the hornets.  When your house is under attack, your car has been destroyed, your daughter raped, and your son beaten up, you're desperate to find something that will protect your property and your family.

Government has forced alternatives to itself off the market -- which means those innocents who are getting hurt have only one practical thing to turn to: the very same batch of criminal bureaucrats who started it all in the first place.

Stirring the hornets' nest is extremely profitable for the government, and that's why government thugs do it.

Cops *know* when they break someone's spine, or shoot people in the back, or crush the life out of them, that they will not be prosecuted.  Their fellow government employees will protect them; the system is set up to give them license to murder.

Cops also *know* at some point when they kill someone in a particularly pointless, brutal way, that the community will erupt.

They KNOW it.

There is NO WAY they DON'T know it.

They also KNOW that the system refusing to throw them in jail when they do it can ONLY have one result: Throw gasoline on the fire.

Once the cop-ocracy has set the firestorm, they usually pull back from it to save their own tails, and they leave the Korean store owners, the Jewish deli owners, and the corner drug store to fend for themselves.  They don't even bother trying to evacuate anyone.

Cops also know that once they've finished each cycle, their department will have a fat budget increase, and some of that loot -- which is stolen from the families of their victims -- is going to go to those very same cops in the form of bonuses, pay raises, and the inevitable paid vacation most cops get after they kill someone.

Paid vacations which look an awful lot like "paying a bounty" for killing civilians.

After a year in which a constant stream of brutality was captured on video, and grudgingly "discovered" by the lamestream media, one would think that government police bureaucracies would at least try to restrain their worst officers for a while.

But no.  They continue to put the worst of their thugs on full display.  Instead of getting rid of the thugs, they harass and arrest people who try to video document their actions.

For example, Baltimore cops engaged in harassment and eventually arrested the videographer who caught the six Baltimore cops in action, there's enough illegal activity to send the perps to jail for several years (but only if they were Mundanes).  Let's start with "witness intimidation".

President John F. Kennedy: "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable."

Government policing cannot be "reformed".  There simply far too many perverse incentives against any lasting change.

The only way to make police behave like responsible citizens is to eliminate their blue privilege and subject them to a healthy dose of the free market.  Already, private security plays a larger role in protecting lives and property in America than government cops do.  And insurance helps to make crime victims whole.

Government-run police on the other hand have proven to be failures at the job time and time again.  Every time they fail, their budgets increase, their pay and benefits fatten, and innocents pay the ultimate price for their failure.

Someday, people *will* wake up to just how big a failure it is, and they will start building alternatives.

Interactions with police are far, far more dangerous for citizens than for the cops.  ~1,400 Americans are killed every year by the cops, and many of them were people who simply didn't deserve to die.

The Kelly Thomas story:

These sites have documented that ~1,400 Americans are killed by police every year:

Police work is actually one of the safer occupations.  Deep-sea fishermen who put food on your table are ~100 times more likely to die any given year in work-related accidents.  Law enforcement does not make the top ten list of most dangerous occupations.

Law enforcement is made dangerous to a large degree because police themselves willingly escalate to extreme violence in way too many encounters.  Police also make their own job more dangerous by voluntarily enforcing immoral and unconstitutional laws.

How many cops would be alive today if they weren't so slavishly handcuffed to shock and awe tactics, flash-bang grenades, sledge hammers and door-breaching devices used in breaking through doors...

... at 3:00 am?

Since government policing simply cannot be reformed, the only thing that will increase citizen safety is to abolish government police forces, and replace them with neighborhood-hired private security.

There is a growing body of study on what a privatized system of security would look like:

The only thing that might help reform American justice is privatization. At least then if the neighborhood-hired cop starts beating up his customers, they will have some hope of recourse.

Private cops actually get prosecuted when they break down the wrong door (example: "Two Bounty Hunters Charged In Henrico / They Smashed Way Into Woman’s Apartment", ­ Richmond Times ­ Dispatch ­ Richmond, Va. ­ Date: Jul 7, 1995 ­ Start Page: B.1).

In contrast, government cops can break down the door, shoot the dog, shoot a sleeping innocent unarmed person, throw a grenade into a baby's crib, ransack the house ­ -- and yet get away scot-free.

Is the prospect of private police really so much scarier than what goes on now under the current paradigm?

Further reading:

Support Your Local Private Peace Officer: He Has A Dangerous Job

  -- By William Norman Grigg

Taxpayers Near Ferguson Must Turn to Private Security
  -- by Ryan McMaken   

Without "Qualified Immunity," Would Cops Be So Quick to Kill?
  -- By William Norman Grigg

Darren Wilson and the Reality of "Blue Privilege"
  -- By William Norman Grigg
"We Have Been a Paramilitary Organization": How the Police Talk When They Think We're Not Listening
  -- By William Norman Grigg

Why "Good Cops" Stay Silent: The Persecution of Officer Adam Basford
  -- By William Norman Grigg

Police Union Commissar: If You Resist, You Should Expect to Die
  -- By William Norman Grigg

To Crush a Cop-Watcher: Prosecutorial Abuse in Ada County, Idaho
  -- By William Norman Grigg

Enhance Public Safety: Disarm the Police!
  -- By William Norman Grigg   

Walter Block has a bibliography to offer on the subject of Privatize Police.

How to Maximize The LP Presidential Campaign

For thirty-five years, I have watched thousands of Libertarian Party candidates run for office.  The most prominent of course have been the presidential campaigns.  Having been witness to so much has led me to a conclusion: The "credibility" and "electability" of our presidential candidate has little to do with the success of the Libertarian Party.

The only times in LP history when the LP was smaller at the end of the election than at the beginning were during the campaigns of two "well-qualified", "credible", and "electable" candidates: Bob Barr and Gary Johnson.

I want the Libertarian Party to be the majority party in America.  But it will never happen as long as Libertarians refuse to understand that every day is an opportunity to recruit a new person into the LP.  We will never be the majority party unless we grow.  We will never achieve our aims with 11,000 donors, or even 110,000.  We need a million!

So here's the suggestion:

Stop looking for the "magic bullet" candidates of our fantasies, and instead look for the candidate who:

- will make the best possible presentation of consistent Libertarian ideas; and,

- is committed to growing the Party.

For the first part, the Libertarian Party was intended to be an abolitionist political voice.  If we're too weak-bladdered to deliver that message, then it's no wonder the several million people out there who are already basically libertarian aren't interested in joining.

Trying to peddle the FairTax will never excite those people.

For the second part, it's time to get over the idea that the presidential campaign is "all about the candidate".  It isn't about his future plans to run for congress or some other office, or even about covering up for sloppy campaign money management.  Instead, LP presidential campaigns should be about recruiting new members into the LP so that our cadre will be larger in the next presidential election.  If the candidates do not understand that they’re not going to win and that this election is not about this election but the NEXT election, then they have no business seeking the nomination.

To address the Party-building need, I will support nominating a candidate who might actually excite and invigorate new libertarians enough so they would join the LP and add to our efforts.  I will not support a candidate who is intent on "not making waves" so they can appeal to the so-called “mainstream” and has no visible plan to recruit more members.

So how to grow the party -- using the presidential campaign?

It's actually fairly simple: The campaign should share every last shred of data about its contributors with the LP.

I was a national staffer in 1991-1992 while the Marrou campaign was going on. Right after the nomination, Marrou hired a single staffer and rented an office in LPHQ’s building (when it was in its old row house at 1528 Pennsylvania Ave SE in DC). Their single computer was networked directly with LPHQ’s system. Every time a new prospect was found by the campaign, their staffer placed the new name on the LP’s database system. Likewise, if anyone on either “Marrou’s” or the “LP’s” list gave money to the campaign, the staffer simply entered the contribution with a special code that indicated it was a campaign contribution rather than an LP contribution, and they filed their own FEC reports based on that information.

For the year and a half of the campaign, **every** name acquired by Marrou was shared with the LP the instant it was acquired, and vice-versa.  Every new lead was then sent a follow-up letter.  If Marrou received a donation from a new person, the LP then sent that person an invitation to also join the Party.  If the LP found a new donor, the campaign then sent that person an invitation to support the campaign.  And so on.

There was none of this amateur-hour “let’s wait until the end of the campaign to see if we still need to raise money to get out of debt, before we give our precious list to the LP” BS.

It was the Marrou campaign’s tight integration with the LP database that was a major factor in the LP’s steady increase in size between August 1991 (remember that the nominating convention was the prior, rather than the year of, election) and April 1993. The steady stream of new inquiries coming in from the campaign over that period were cultivated by a steady direct mail program by LPHQ, and as a result, membership set a new record by the end of March 1993, at 12,400. I note here with interest that then-ED Nick Dunbar shortly thereafter was sent packing, and all of the direct mail procedures that had been developed were promptly shut off. The predictable result was that LP membership rapidly slumped — dropping to 8500 or something in late 1993 or early 1994.

The 1996 Browne campaign followed the Marrou 100% sharing model, and the results were similarly good.

The way to grow the LP has been amply demonstrated. It seems that Libertarians have a determination, however, to ignore past successes and to refuse to accept what have been proven to be “best practices”.