The typical American is so conditioned to Authority that he will not even dare to defy a road sign – even when it’s out in the middle of nowhere and there’s essentially zero chance of any repercussions. Anything that looks official, anyone in a uniform of any kind – even if it’s not an official uniform and the wearer has no gun or actual authority to do anything – the average American will, without a murmur, sit quietly – and obey.
Here’s an example.
The other day I was headed into town, which for me is about 35 miles away on a rural secondary road, one lane each way. I suddenly found myself stuck behind a line of three other cars, all backed up behind an official VDOT (Virginia Department of Transportation) tractor running a brush shredder of some kind, cleaning up the right shoulder. It had yellow flashing lights and was painted Obey Me Orange. Now, even though the other (oncoming) lane was clear – you could see ahead for a good 1/4 mile – not one of the three drivers ahead of me made a move. They all sat quietly, deferentially plodding behind this VDOT tractor that was half-on, half-off the road and doing maybe 8 MPH (this is a 55 MPH road). I truly believe they would have followed him all the way down the mountain, unless and until the Authority Figure in Orange – with his Official Reflective Jacket on – had given them leave to pass.
I punched it, roared past the mechanical centipede – and got the angry flashing headlights from one of its segments, which was clearly appalled that I had dared to defy the Orange Authority.
We live near the Blue Ridge Parkway and use it often. About three years ago, they repaved several sections – including two long stretches that had previously been passing zones. They repainted the lines double yellow (no passing) and I doubt they did so after doing a lawful traffic survey. I suspect they just painted over the lines that way for the hell of it. Now, even people who live here and know the story just like I do will not pass in those zones, even if they find themselves caught behind an RV struggling to ascend the grade at 22 MPH (which is why these portions were previously marked passing zones). The knowledge that these were previously lawful passing zones (and probably still are) and in any case remain perfectly safe places to pass, if one can see and has the ability to push down on that little pedal on the right side of the floorboard, does not sway them. All that matters is that Authority has painted double yellow lines on the road – and Authority must be obeyed.
Interestingly, if one has the temerity (as I do) to disobey such inanimate totems of Authority and do so in the presence of the typical American, the typical American will not cheer your healthy rebellion. Some sense, perhaps, of his own obsequiousness will rouse him to outrage at your lack thereof. He will flash his lights or toot his horn in feeble fury at your disobedience. He may even pic up his sail fawn to report your doings to Authority – furious at your defiance and frustrated by his own pusillanimity.
School Zones. Even when school is out for the summer, but the stupid lights are flashing because someone forgot to turn them off, most people will jam on their brakes and tip-toe through the School Zone. They know school’s out and that there are (obviously) no kids around, yet they cavil and quake before the mighty power of those flashing yellow lights.
There is potent mojo in these icons of Authority.
Americans love to think of themselves as proud and courageous but the truth is they’re base and fearful, cringing wretches. “Yes, Officer.” Note that this is not mere politeness. It is abject deference. There is something repulsive about the idea of a 50-something-year-old man, perhaps a man with an advanced education and a professional job, Yessiring a 22-year-old kid with a GED or community college degree wearing a government-issued costume.
Or worse, a not-even-real-cop TSA loser.
Do you doubt that America herd-cattle will immediately submit and obey to much worse than a mere groping?
The process has been under way for decades and is about to bear fruit, I suspect. In my lifetime (I am 44) I have witnessed a remarkable transformation of the American character. A people that used to view Authority with suspicion bordering on contempt has become a people that positively venerates authority, even when that Authority degrades them at every turn and deprives them of their most basic humanity, their dignity.
A story is told about Stalin that may be apocryphal but which cuts nonetheless to the heart of what we’re facing – of what we’ve become – as a people:
A visitor asked the Red Tsar how he maintained control of his subjects. Why didn’t they rise up in revolt?
Stalin snatched a chicken off the floor and proceeded to pluck its feathers, one by one, until the bird was a cringing, shivering, naked wretch. He then released the chicken. But rather than flee from its abuser, the chicken clung to Stalin’s pants leg, pecking at the crumbs of corn he tossed to the ground.
That chicken is us – or at least, too damn many of us.
What sort of bird are you? How will you respond when it’s your time to be plucked?
It’s a question we’ll soon have to answer.
Throw it in the Woods?
In regards to traffic signals, etc always remember:
Was man meant to serve machine? Or machine meant to serve man?
Eric, “What’s Gonna Get Us” is a fine article and it inspired some really great commentary from your readers.
We’re trying to build something solid here and I think progress is afoot!
Edward King posts: This whole notion comes from conflating the act of submitting to the law with being moral. The average sheep assumes that all laws are moral, therefore if they are obeying laws, then they are moral. This is the biggest con the state has pulled over society.
“There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government
has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.” — Ayn Rand
Exactly. I agree with the Common Law concept, no victim – no crime. Morally speaking, how can it be otherwise? I have never felt any moral guilt about violating an administrative law (such as “speeding”). It’s liberating to evade and ignore such laws – to the extent one can.
On the other hand, no mechanical laws are needed to prevent me from, say, stealing – which I don’t do regardless and would feel guilty about if I did.
I don’t believe any laws deter anyone from doing anything. If it’s a law against something you wouldn’t do anyway then it doesn’t deter you. It didn’t deter all the people who are in jail for breaking it, and those that will break it but haven’t yet, will simply factor in the cost of the law into their decision making process which will not preclude them from breaking the law, just possibly change their target to a more bountiful one to offset the risk of the crime. I don’t believe there’s ever been a crimial who thought about committing a crime and then said: ah hell, there’s a law against that, well guess I’ll just go home. It’s nonsense.
I got one.
In my town there are occasional pedestrian crosswalks, with little portable signs at the center marked with the Stop Sign logo, about the size of an individual-sized pizza, and beneath that is a stick figure of a person walking. You figure this is Illiterate-Speak for If There Is Somebody Walking Across the Street Right Here Don’t Mow Him Down With Your Car, Dummy. Nine times out of ten, the motorist in front of me, seeing the stop sign, will come to a full stop. Not a pedestrian in sight, not for blocks, not for miles, yea verily not unto the distant Blue Ridge. But this guy will stop and stay stopped for whatever length of time he deems appropriate in his dim Clover head, and then he will proceed through the crosswalk with great caution — in case a pedestrian should suddenly materialize in front of him out of thin air.
We have those here, too! Lawsee…. drives me up the wall, too. It would be funny if it were just the isolated and rare idiot who performed as you’ve described. Alas, such are everywhere these days….
Eric, your article is timely as well as depressingly accurate (sigh). T.P. Edwards over at the Daily Kos tried a little constitutional / liberty experiment in a New Mexico air prison…oops…air terminal that is on the 18th. Here’s the results of a doctor and Air Force veteran simply quoting the U.S. Constitution prior to being gate-raped (it ain’t pretty): http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/10/18/1027775/-TSA-Arrests-Me-for-Using-the-Fourth-Amendment-as-a-Weapon-%28Tales-from-the-Edge-of-a-Revolution-2%29?via=siderec
That one kicked my blood pressure up several notches. I’ve already posted the full text under “News.” Appalling. Not so much what happened to this woman, or even the actions of the American Stasi – but the reaction of the sheeple at the gate. No sign of solidarity, no encouragement – just “shut up and submit like us. Be a good sheeple. Baaaa!”
Make me physically ill.
I just died a little bit inside, thinking of those blank acquiescent stares; the sheeple eager for their own enslavement.
How did people lose the will to resist SO FAST?? In the 80’s the gates would have been stormed and the TSA tarred and feathered.
More importantly: how do we re-ignite that flame of resistance?
Government schools. They are prisons. I’ve been of that opinion since at least high school. (which was back in the 1980s)
The conditioning and breaking of will, creativity, individuality starts there. If it’s not working on a particular kid the system will attempt to wear down that kid’s resistence. Over the years the schools have gotten better and better at it. There aren’t many who make it through without giving in. If a kid doesn’t learn to respect authority he will learn to fear it. And that’s how we got here. The true mission of the government schools. Turn everyone into good little drones.
You’re right Brent.
And now they have a powerful pharmacopeia to break the last of those poor little souls who remain original.
Amphetamine-like molecules such as methylphenidate (Ritalin) and others, which create long-term dependence and grossly distorted neural chemistry. SSRI’s which in sufficient doses induce a sociopath-like lack of empathy. “Antipsychotics” which, in normal people, function like chemical lobotomies…and they’re feeding this crap to children! God it breaks my heart.
They’ve removed thimerosal (mercury-based poison) from vaccines…and replaced it with aluminum, which is almost as neurotoxic.
Children, especially infants, have a fairly weak blood-brain barrier. In adults, that’s what protects the delicate workings of the brain from assault from the stuff in your general circulation. When it’s weak, insults from chemicals like aluminum and other adjuvants in vaccines can wreak havoc in the developing brain. It may induce frank autism, or it may subtly damage the brain and leave it just a little less capable.
Add all that to the learned helplessness, the Stanford Prison Experiment they call “high school”, and yup–zombies and clovers come spilling out.
Brent, I’m in complete agreement; schools (even some of the private ones) are child prisons. That’s where our kids get “reformed” from individual thinkers that question everything into good little workers, soldiers and administrators that know only enough to be a cog in the machine.
Methylamine’s point about drugging the animated and inquisitive kids to kill their initiative and conscience it also quite correct. If you can’t break them with the brainwashing and boring repetition, drug them. Then the other stuff will work (or they’ll run off or commit suicide: problem of overly intelligent uncontrollable individual solved).
Once you come out of child prison and enter the real world, you are still expected to sit until the bell rings, raise your hand to speak and do as you’re told. Even though I see more and more people waking up to these things every day, the average bone headed Amerikan buys into the “ADHD”, “War on Terror”, “it’s for your own safety” facade.
Here’s what’s scary: back in the early 80’s my dad had a young woman working for him and they had discussed the libery he enjoyed in gowing up in this country growing up in the 1930’s. She informed him that she had never known that level of freedom, so it didn’t bother her not to have it. And she went on to say this; her children would know even less freedom and it wouldn’t bother them either. She is probably the archetype for a good 60% of today’s Amerikans, if not more.
This is why the people in line at that New Mexico airport were mostly just dumbfounded that someone that “looked normal” would stand up to oppression. Of course at least one of them was merely pissed because she was slowing the line down. Nice. These are the same people that will draw the curtains and turn the tee-vee up when Xe contractors take their neighbors away because they’re “lifestyle terrorists” (i.e. they have a Bible, a copy of the Constitution and have encouraged people to write to their representatives about their loss of liberty). Can’t happen here though, we are a modern, technologically advanced nation that looks out for its citizens’ welfare. Of course there were probably a lot of German citizens that thought the same thing…oh, say….somewhere around 1934.
Exactly. It’s as much a question of being intelligent (or even not) as it is one of having a reference point, something to compare “now” vs. “then” to. Very few people who grow up in a given environment will question the normalcy of that environment. It is why being born into, say, a Christian (vs. Muslim or Hindu) family is extremely predictive of one’s adult religious orientation. The same is true of accepting as “normal” the coercive state. As with questioning their religious upbringing, few people will question the nature/role of government in their lives. It is what they are used to.
And today, more than ever in our history, people are used to omnipresent government and consider it the normal, acceptable state.
In 20 years’ time, it will be absolutely normal to Submit and Obey to degradations that, for people of an earlier generation, would have been cause to physically revolt.
People lost the will to resist due to fear. Fear of the terrorist. Fear of what would happen if no security measures were put into place and there was another attack on American soil. The sheeple would feel responsible for the loss of life.
It is for this reason that people willingly acquiesce. They make a simple cost benefit analysis. Would it be better to be felt up by an American government official, or killed by some rogue crazy? Most people would say that this is an easy answer. After all, the men and women at the TSA are Americans and only have our best interest at heart just like all employees of the government.
Most people (including some minarchist libertarians) believe that protecting the citizenry is a legitimate function of the state, and airport security is just an extension of this basic function. While we may not like how they go about securing us, we should be grateful that we have these noble men and women here to protect us. As we all know 911 changed everything. You can’t be free when your dead, right?
There is simply nothing to be done to ignite the flames of mass resistance. This is impossible. Human beings are eternally wed to the idea of government, with the only debate about which form it will take, and which functions it will carry out. The basic premise of coercive monopoly government is rarely questioned, and when it is, those who question it are looked at as if they have three heads.
The thing that will continue to act against those of us who value freedom, is that we have to try and convince others that freedom is desirable. Freedom comes with too much uncertainty. This induces a state of panic in most. I am sure many here who have advanced libertarian arguments to others have faced this.
Libertarians are expected to answer a host of what if scenarios as if they were gods. When we acknowledge that we do not know how all problems will be solved in a free society, people come to the conclusion that freedom is unworkable. Those advocating a free society are given a greater burden of proof than the statist.
We can sit here and discuss all of the atrocities committed by the state in the 20th century alone, yet this will do little good of convincing most of the dangers of government. We can point to all the prosperity and increases in the global standard of living thanks to the private sector, and the private sector will still be looked upon with great suspicion.
The bottom line is, while it is technically possible that freedom can be achieved in our modern society, I don’t know of an effective method that would achieve this goal. If there is one, I am all ears.
All “kooks” have a greater burden of proof than those who maintain the status quo even when the status quo is obviously based on a lie. Statists are the status quo. Everyone else is a “kook”.
An open minded person will eventually become a “kook”, that is someone who believes things other than what the masses believe. The reason is that open minded people are swayed by evidence. The “kooks” usually have much better supported arguments than those of the status quo who usually argue from authority and that “everyone knows”. So the kooks can win over the open minded. The question is how to get people to open their minds. Once they do, the intellectual victory of “kooks” becomes certain.
Various shocks to the system can open minds. That’s why the progression is usually gentle and the shocks designed to make people rush to the state for protection. Sudden for no apparent reason military occupation or checkpoints would cause people to resist. A few well placed false-flags and checkpoints could appear across the country and nobody would bat an eye lid. Or they could just start slowly with “pilot programs” for our protection. Anyone who objects is a “kook”, it’s just a pilot program. Disrupt this and there’s a chance. Make tyrants behave as such to all the people who think it’s for some bad people get to experience it first hand.
I can’t think of anything else until everyone is experiencing DWB type conditions or worse all of a sudden. Where they can’t be immune because they are “good people” any longer.
Edward King, although I agree with you that Amerikans are fearful, there are other big problems: complacency, laziness and comfort. We have people in India and Pakistan joking that in America even the poor people are fat (and they are right). You won’t get people like that to do anything other than text, update their facebook page or go to the mall.
That is of course until they are no longer comfortable. Some of them are getting sufficiently uncomfortable to “Occupy Wall Street”. But rather than focus on the real source of our problems, an overweening government and fractional banking, these morons want to tax the “rich”, shut down power plants and grow government. They are nothing more than tools in the hands of the people that own this country. Let a little Vancouver style rioting and looting break out and you’ve got a good recipe for martial law and naked tyranny. I must admit I didn’t think I’d live to see this.
I agree completely with your assessment. The general sloth and apathy that plagues this country definitely contributes to the overall decrease in freedom we have seen in the last few decades. However, I believe that these are just mere symptoms of the general decline in quality of the American public.
Americans have become decadent and generally morally, intellectually, spiritually, and economically bankrupt. The first step in conquering a populace is to debauch the culture. Debasing the currency and limiting economic activities is a key ingredient in this process.
It used to possible for a single wage-earner to provide for an entire family. Now this is all but impossible for the average person. The family was the bulwark of society and by destroying the ties between family members, the state was able to come and usurp the family’s role in shaping the attitudes of the children.
All of this is made possible by a constant decrease in the value of money. Sound money and the confidence and prosperity it brings may be one of the first steps in taking back our freedom. When people trust that the society they live can provide plenty of opportunities to better their lives without the need of a leviathan state, they will be more eager to maintain a free society.
Yes… also, I think the more awake one is, the more one notices how asleep others are. Even when it comes to something like driving. People nowadays behave like medicated cattle; they just plod along, oblivious.
Why should American wage-earners have wages so high as to support a large family on one wage? Wages shoud come down like profit margins – high wages attract other workers and immigrants who will bid down the wages.
Actually Gil, it’s not just that Amerikans should have the opportunity to earn wages sufficient to support their families on a single income; that type of economy should exist for all people worldwide. As Mr. King points out; a big part of the problem is unsound money. The bank notes that pass for money these days lose their purchasing power every second through monetary inflation. Wages do not go up to compensate. Couple that with high taxation, onerous regulations and trying to compete with slave labor in third world hell-holes and you have a good recipe for economic disaster. Can you guess where we’re headed Gil?
Wages like profit margins indeed should be subject to the laws of supply and demand. But only in the context of honest competition. People forced into accepting artificially low wages so a hostile foreign government can strategically dump cheap products into our economy does not constitute a free competitive market. The only way you’ll avoid being affected by this is to either be to poor to notice or too big to fail. So Gil, you just keep right on waiting for the gubmint to save you…..
Who are the “People” you speak of? Libertarians? Those who make 5% of the population at best? The vast majority of people aren’t and never were Libertarians as evidenced by the fact that Socialist/Communist Revolutions have had no trouble finding popular support and physical action.
Yes, Clover – that’s so. Because the world is full of ignorant, fearful, envy-eaten, control freaks. Does that make them right?
How do you compete with 95% of the world’s population?
Clover, poor ol’ Clover… always confusing the issue with package-dealing and unstated (and false) premises… .
The question is whether to engage in “trade” with people in chains – which is a contradiction in terms. The Chinese live under an authoritarian government that does not recognize fundamental human rights; workers over there are modern-day serfs. The idea that it is equitable – moral – to exploit their labor, which is what is going on now, is a reprehensible one.
If your “95 percent” of the world (even better, 100 percent of the world) lived in freedom, then free trade with them would be possible as well as desirable.
The fact that the masses of China and other such countries are poor – and willing (compelled) to work for a pittance – has to do with their poverty, which is to a great extent a result of their lack of freedom.
Doubt this? Then explain Hong Kong, or South Korea…. same “types” of people… same region of the world…. but unlike their neighbors and counterparts, they enjoy a great deal more liberty and hence are more prosperous.
We once respected authority in this country because it was limited and reasonable. Now it is neither. It has been getting less limited and less reasonable for at least 80 years. Over 90, if you count Prohibition. Even 50 years ago there was much more freedom than there is today.
Even 20 or 30!
I mentioned in an earlier column some reminisces from the 1980s – when you could still board a plane without showing any ID at all and pay cash for a ticket. And smoke in the terminal, if you wanted to. Almost inconceivable today, isn’t it?
Progressive conditioning to elicit the desired response…no response.
Sure wish we’d try freedom for once in my life :/
Good news is…current conditions cannot last forever and the rebuild should be better if true lessons are learned about the underlying causes of tyranny and the resulting consequences for actions or lack thereof on the part of a free [sic] people.
I don’t think the majority of americans are going to learn the lessons. Americans aren’t fundamentally any different than people in countless other parts of the world. Those that really believe in liberty are a minority across the planet.
What made the US free may have been because it was a frontier. A place freedom loving people escaped to. The minority was over-represented. It was taught from generation to generation until the government schools largely put a stop to it.
Now it’s just collectivism and plunder. People see the plunder of the banksters and do they wish to put an end to it? No. They want a cut for themselves.
I don’t see much hope. Not until a generation that grew up in poverty somehow learns how free and rich we once were and get really angry about being cheated.
eh, that’s depressing Brent…though sometimes I think the same thing.
Makes me want states to begin seceding; maybe then something like the Free State Project will actually work. We can create a Galt’s Gulch state.
I agree – the frontier and low population density. These are two prerequisites for the sort of society we yearn for here, I think.
The frontier attracts go-getters (vs. Clovers) who value being left alone more than almost anything else; also, people who are doers. People who know how to handle things – and despise the idea of being told what to do by anyone else.
Low population density also reduces societal friction. For example, Clovers drivers. In an area where the population density is low, you can usually just pass them or avoid them altogether. It’s rare to be hemmed in by one – but a routine problem of urban/suburban life.
With more people comes more laws, more government – which encourages Cloverism and punishes independent-minded people. Etc.
I often encounter slow moving farm tractors pulling wagons or implements. Because this area is dotted with lots of little lakes the county roads sometimes wind crazily just like in the mountains. If I can see far enough ahead I ignore yellow lines and pass at the first available opportunity. I guess I’ve always had an attitude problem and it isn’t going to change anytime soon.
Well, I dunno. Ever been mugged? Robbed? Suppose you’re being mugged by a 22 year old high school drop-out. Would you point out this fact? Would you argue with him about principles of property rights and non-aggression? Or, assuming he has the drop on you, would you give him the damn money?
Libertarians would argue you should defend yourself which should be easy if people were allowed to carry guns.
Certainly. Self-defense is morally legitimate.
And guess what, Clover? Over here (in most areas) we are allowed to carry guns. I carry one all the time. In your poor country, decent people are at the mercy of scumbags because Clovers such as you advocated for disarming them.
You could have noticed from my comment that I am, in fact, a libertarian. Also, I specified that he has the drop on you – that even if you’re carrying a gun, it’s of little help, since reaching for it would cause him to shoot you.
My point is simply that standing up to authority is not always the best move when you’re outgunned and they don’t care for morality.
Sorry Puzzled, I missed the gist of your post. I agree that if I am in a situation where I am surprised, out maneuvered and out gunned I’ll hand over my wallet. A few pieces of paper and some plastic cards in a leather pouch aren’t worth getting a lead lobotomy over. But I would add that having grown up around the Tri-Cities, Richmond and Tidewater, Virginia you’d better pack a lunch and plan on working some overtime to get the drop on me!
Situational awareness and staying out of areas where it can happen to you are the key. If I’m forced to be in any area where bad things sometimes happen and you approach me, you may just have a gun in your face before you can ask me for a light. You can rest assured my hand will at least be on the butt. I’ve trained the women in my life to be the same way and it’s worked so far. But YMMV.
Gee, isn’t choosing safety over freedom is why people today have neither?
Not quite, Clover.
More precisely put, it’s because some people value security above anything else that demagogues are able to gull them into accepting the loss of their freedom – and unfortunately, other people’s freedom, too.
Gil, there is a great tendency among Amerikans to rely on others for their security, without understanding the tradeoffs. You have to read the fine print: if the police don’t show up or do anything to help you, you have no legal recourse. They are there as a “general deterrent” for the benefit of “society as a whole”. Since the individual policeman is constantly indoctrinated to “come back alive at the end of the shift” officer safety takes precedence over your safety (never mind that truck driving, commercial fishing and coal mining are more dangerous, besides being productive). Consequently health emergencies and well-being checks sometimes end up with the victim being tasered, beaten and even shot by the police, since officer safety is the paramount goal of their mission. If they do something bad to you, they are usually punished with a paid vacation and enjoy de facto immunity for their misdeeds.
If you want true safety and security, you must provide it for yourself and by so doing you exercise the right. Use it or lose it Gil. I think we all know what’s happened to that individual right in Australia and most of the rest of the British Empire, now don’t we? Choosing a state run monopoly on the use of force to protect you, which of course is an illusion, is only one of myriad reasons you have less freedom.
Why not tell that to Puzzled?
A police state isn’t going to protect me from such a person. However a police state will try to make me an easier target for him (and the police).
I’m not sure what your argument is here….
The non-aggression principle is an ideal. I’m aware that not all people are willing to abide by it (hence, government). If some other person doesn’t abide by it, then (of course) one is morally entitled to defend oneself.
Morally entitled, sure. When pulled over, I’m still going to take the ticket, not try to tell the cop about the principles of self-ownership and non-aggression. You’re asking people to “stand up” to authority – but that authority is exercised by people with more guns, and a willingness to use them. Shouting libertarian ideals – which I agree with entirely – at cops is more likely to get you shot than free.
I agree – as Sun Tzu said, when your enemy is stronger, practice deceit and evasion. Don’t confront them directly. Etc.
Well Puzzled, ponder this; in 1987 a serial rapist broke into my house naked and chased my (now ex-) wife into our bedroom with a knife in his hand. She picked her .38 up off the night stand and changed his mind instantly. That got his sorry ass a helicopter ride to the Medical College of Virginia with a bullet hole through his midsection. She said it is amazing how fast a man loses an erection after he’s been shot. Still puzzled?
Okay; the lady I’m married to now was a nurse working evenings in Richmond, Virginia. Right after we started getting serious, I bought her a revolver. One night on her way home from work, some asshole followed her from the hospital and tried to get her to pull over on a deserted stretch of road. She held her gun up where he could see it and he suddenly remembered he was late for an appointment. No shots fired; problem solved. Nothing puzzling about it: criminals are afraid of armed citizens.
Self defense may end up being violent, but it is not aggression. I won’t attempt to argue or reason with a mugger, burglar or armed robber. I will warn him to stop (if I have time) before I shoot him. Once an individual shows me that he intends to harm me or my family, he implicitly forfeits his own rights by violating mine (I was actually taught that principle in school…my how times have changed). If I am forced to stop someone from doing harm to me or mine and their heart ends up stopping too, that’s their fault.
Incidentally, it took the police 50 minutes to get to my house after my ex shot that dude (she called 911 right away and got a paramedic there quick enough to save the rapist, but no cop). So I learned by that; call the cops AFTER the miscreant is down because you won’t need them right away. The simple fact is when seconds count, the police will be there in minutes. Think about it.
Correct! I just shake my head at how so many don’t see the inherent right to defend one’s inherent liberty.
Society is lost when someone can break into your home and if you defend yourself you can be charged with a crime. That’s just fucking absurd and I can’t believe that anyone with an ounce of reason or common sense would support such a thing with a straight face. It is literally laughable.
Boothe–I’ve heard horror stories. Did the rapist try to sue you or your wife for his injuries?
Methyl, the perp’s family offered to pay for counseling for my ex-wife, but that may actually have been to make themselves look better in front of the judge. She didn’t take them up on it and our marriage lasted a little over a year after that (even though the little bastard never touched her, she never felt secure after that). There was some talk initially of indicting her before a grand jury so the charges could be thrown out and stop any civil action against her before it started. But the county investigator determined it was so cut and dry that course wasn’t necessary.
I also believe that since the perp told the rescue squad members on the scene “I don’t know why you’re trying to save me. I’ve done this many times before.”, the family probably didn’t want that can of worms opened in retaliation. One of the Virginia State Police investigators told me that the perp matched the m.o. of the so-called “Towel Rapist” whom had been operating around Tidewater at the time. Apparently the state never dug into it any deeper. After all, I wasn’t a state senator or even on the county board of supervisors, just a “mere mundane” that had to go clean the blood an skin off the door. Anybody that thinks the real cops operate like what they’ve seen on CSI:Miami or Cold Case is living in La-La Land.
Oh, totally agreed–they have less than zero interest in “investigating”, it doesn’t pay.
Here in Houston there’s a point system for “officer merit”. For instance, giving a speeding ticket is worth three points.
And how much then, would nabbing a (potentially violent) robber be worth? Ah yes–three points.
I’ve been burgled; when we requested fingerprints and they called the relevant division (it’s not even SOP, they had to make a special call) the guy on the line actually said “Why the hell are you bothering me for a residential call?” This was after they’d sullied the crime scene, of course.
The lesson: The police don’t give a shit. I’m reminded of George Carlin’s famous rant…”They don’t give a fuck about you. They don’t….”
Exactly. One o the many steps back toward sanity – via enlightenment – is to understand (and accept) that you are responsible for your safety/security and that of your family. Not cops – not the government. Carlin is a hero of mine. And he was right: They don’t give a fuck about you. Learn it. Live it.
Ordered another 2,000 rounds of ammo yesterday. .22 LR is getting expensive!
So Dom, does that constitute investing in semi-precious metals to protect our precious metals? 😉
Ever see those news stories where some “good person” has contacted the news media about how the cops won’t help them? Or better yet, the ones who get tickets or are arrested for some non-crime? I can’t help but laugh now. It’s always the same… about how they are not the kind of people that should be treated that way. They’ve endorsed the system all their lives and now the system isn’t serving them or outright attacking them and they are just bewildered.
They would even after their experiences call us kooks. I see it all the time… people who complain about this or that and then when I offer an alternative of liberty they get upset or call me names or just attack the idea. Now I just tell them to ‘shut up and pay, it’s the system you want’. They want this, they deserve it.
And the hero image BS of cops… they don’t get that the average cop is like the average slacker they work with. They have no understanding what the cop’s motivations are and that helping them isn’t one of them.
On the bright side as things continue to decay these people are going to have more interactions with cops… like different, wierd, and/or independent folk do. Sadly they’ll never figure out they shouldn’t have supported what they supported. They’ll suck their thumbs wondering why the cops picked on them… because they aren’t those ‘different people’ that the laws were written for.
@Boothe: Yes it does. Just adding to the stock pile really.
@BrentP: So far there hasn’t been one thing you’ve posted I don’t agree with 100%.
I think we’re all in agreement cops are just revenue collectors. The only protect and serve I know, or even count on, is my fighting skill and my guns. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. The only thing I am scared of is cops.
“The only thing I am scared of is cops…”
So true. As (I think it was) Brent noted previously, what makes cops so dangerous – much more so than a street thug – is that legally speaking, you’re not allowed to fight back. No matter what the cop does, he is “The Law” and “The Law” will almost invariably side with a cop, no matter what a cop does. At least with a street thug, you are (for now) still generally entitled to defend yourself…
Eric, what I routinely tell folks is this: Let’s say a Wal-Mart employee puts on a blue suit and a tin star, comes to your door with a video club application and a gun. He tries to force his way in your house under false pretenses and when reaches for the gun you shoot him. That would be too bad for him and none of his coworkers would come after you looking for revenge.
But let a cop do the same thing on trumped up charges and then dare to defend yourself when he tries to force his way into your house. Later that same day, practically all of his coworkers will show up, heavily armed and will probably make sure you resist arrest to death. Equal protection under the law, right?
Yes, I too am more afraid of cops than criminals these days for the same reasons you state Eric. That’s a sad commentary on our country to say the least.
Eric–kudos on quoting Stalin’s Chicken. Psychologically, that is exactly what’s being done to the sheeple; it is a way of inducing Stockholm Syndrome, of making people LOVE their CAPTORS.
The TSA gate-rapes are another slave-training technique; if you’ll let them into your private space, you’ll let them do anything.
God how I hate the sheeple.
That phenomenon you describe–the irate, castrated honking and flashing of lights when you defy authoritah–I’m seen more and more lately. I routinely run a red light on my morning commute; it’s one of those idiotic, pointless lights placed there to placate some whining housewife in the nearby neighborhood who’s concerned about her chiiiiiildren. So I look both ways and GO. The impotent fury of those behind me amuses me to no end; they’re free to do the same…but none do. I keep hoping one day I’ll inspire one of them.
I’m sure ya’ll have heard the twelve monkeys experiment? If not:
Put twelve monkeys in an enclosure with a basket of fruit hanging from the ceiling and a ladder beneath it. When the first monkey starts climbing the ladder, spray them all with freezing cold water. Repeat until they stop trying to climb the ladder.
Now introduce a new monkey. He’ll try to climb the ladder…but the other twelve will pull him off.
Keep replacing monkeys one by one until none of the original twelve are left. Guess what? They still won’t climb the ladder!
I’m a fresh monkey. And I dare the scared monkeys to pull me off the ladder.
What is the mantra of the average obedient, subservient sheeple? “I am a law-abiding tax-payer, and I’ve got nothing to hide.” As if their statement is a mantle of pride — proof that decades of propaganda and education indoctrination in our government schools has been extremely successful. These people are so brainwashed, they have no critical thinking skills left.
Like law-abiding means you’re a good person. I have tremendous respect for other’s rights, which is more than I can say for the law.
I’ve pointed out to our resident Troll/idiot/agent provocateur (Gil) that Libertarians are by definition the most respectful of other people’s rights folks there are. They don’t believe they have the moral right to take anything that isn’t theirs; to force anyone to do anything – and to deal with one another solely on the basis of mutual voluntary consent.
But they are derided as “selfish” – while people who advocate threatening their peaceful neighbors with violence, including lethal force, if they don’t “help” or “contribute” are regarded as moral avatars.
This whole notion comes from conflating the act of submitting to the law with being moral. The average sheep assumes that all laws are moral, therefore if they are obeying laws, then they are moral. This is the biggest con the state has pulled over society.
Libertarians reject most laws enacted by the state. This necessarily creates conflict in the mind of your average statist. They think, why I obey when told to obey, but this uppity motherf*cker keeps thinking that he is above the law, that he is free. How dare he.
The law is supposed to be followed never questioned. That is why the state is seen as an indispensable institution. Why people believe that taxes are necessary. It is modern civilizations secular god that sits above all other institutions. The state has absorbed all aspects of civil society into itself. Nothing is sacred.
If one wants to get married, once must seek permission of the state. How utterly absurd. Yet most people will not even question why this is so. Ladies and gentlemen we are fighting an uphill battle that may see many of us have to put our lives on the line. I don’t believe Americans have what it takes to take back what is rightfully ours.
“selfish” is defined as objecting to the state taking stuff from oneself.
Another one that annoys me is how following the law is linked with maturity. I think that is done because children who haven’t been conditioned into the system often see inherent unfairness. Children also examine the rules they are presented with, adults OBEY.
Another thing is that children may not be able to hold the dualities required to believe in this system in their minds. For example, how it is wrong to threaten a younger sibling and take his toy while it is acceptable for the government to threaten a neighbor to take his stuff and give it to someone else.
Because the state is different. It has its own rules that throw logic and the universal application of social norms out the window. It stands outside and above us mere mundanes.
Libertarians receive contempt and derision because we continue to acknowledge that the emperor is naked and a piece of shit. We refuse to engage in cognitive dissonance. And as the messengers of these simple truths, we come into the statist crosshairs.
Here are some interesting videos on how to assert your rights in a traffic stop or a potential search. http://www.flexyourrights.com/our_DVDs/watch_DVD_clips
You know, I never thought I’d see the day when a routine traffic stop would lead to a search on a regular basis.
We have gone down a long way in the last 5 years, much less the last 20.
Steve brought up a very valuable point. As civilians, we rank above the police, the generals, the bureaucrats and the politicians. In light of what is going on, I almost forgot about that one. Its something to keep in mind that no matter what happens, we have more authority over what happens to us.
A cop is entitled to civility – provided he’s being reasonable, of course. That’s it. “Yes” and “No” and so on are civil responses. The almost-begging “Yes, Officer” stuff just disgusts me.
That little “Yes, Officer” bit helps reduce paying paper though. It disgusts me too, but I hate paying extra to drive. You are almost guaranteed to get the ticket if you don’t show some personality, or submit. IMO
You don’t have to give up your dignity because you don’t want a ticket. You can be civil and composed, and if that’s not good enough for Officer Krupke, “well then Officer Krupke, krup you!”
As long as it remains legal for the police to lie to me, a citizen, the highest authority in this nation, but illegal for me to lie to them, I will treat them with the distrust and disdain they deserve.
Good points except where you assume they “forgot” to turn off the lights in the school zone. They’re left on to keep the possibility of revenue for the town alive.
The thing that bugs me most of all is that so many Americans don’t even try to evade/ignore Authority anymore – much less openly defy it.
Land of the free (cough!) Home of the brave (hack!)
More like land of the meek, home of the enslaved.
I grew up in Greenville, S.C. and have spent a fair amount of time on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Aptly named, I would say, as the RVs invading Western North Carolina often causes it to resemble a parking lot. My daily commute takes me 15 miles on a heavily-traveled stretch of LA 182, between New Iberia and Cade, LA. The posted speed limit on this road is 55 mph. The double yellow lines on this road make perfect sense with its curves, railroad crossings (it runs directly parallel to a high speed track moving east to west), and numerous side roads. The trouble I have is, even while doing 60 or more, I have some nut trying to pass me in a massive 4X4, on curves, across clearly marked turn lanes, all in the the teeth of oncoming traffic. With slower traffic ahead, invariably, all the guy accomplishes is to move up one space in the line. I flash my lights to let him know he has room to pull back into the right-hand lane (once a universal act of highway courtesy). Little wonder that one can count at least six roadside shrines to traffic fatalities on this section of highway. I think this is the flip side to your hated left lane hogs mentioned earlier this month.
The Blue Ridge Parkway, as I recall, was a “shovel ready project” courtesy of the New Deal.
I am one of those people who will not speed when those lights are on. Why? In Texas, traffic fines are doubled (or tripled in some cities) for speeding even 2 mph over the speed limit in a posted school zone when the lights are flashing with a minimum fine of $200.00. The law has been contested in local courts, but judges have sided with the police in issuing citations whether or not school is in session. I often see cops camping out just past the lights so that people who aren’t paying attention (or who don’t think its legitimate because they ACTUALLY THINK) can get fined and the cops can feel useful.
I hate it and whenever I see them, I will try to avoid them and take other routes if possible, but its not always possible. After 2 or 3 tickets and the threat of getting one’s license revoked, one tends to obey the stupid law, or avoid those areas altogether.
You darn right. They beat you into submission with the fines. I got a few fines over the years here in Virginia. It used to be some tickets you can pay without imposed court costs if you prepaid. For my last ticket I was pulled over at a roadblock/safety stop for expired (by 10 days) state inspection sticker on my hog. I had to pay for the fine and the court costs! They changed the law.
I understand that; it’s why I got a V1 radar detector. At least in my area, it eliminates 90-plus percent of the hassles I used to have to deal with from cops out collecting “revenue.”