Peacekeeping II: Addendum

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My article on “A Return to Peacekeeping” (here) has done what I had hoped – prompt serious discussion about practical ways to ratchet down the police state  . . . before it’s too late.The Andy Griffith Show

Several additional doable/reasonable/common sense reforms have come up. These include:

* Take away their guns –

It is all-too-easy for cops to resort to lethal violence – threatened or actual – over mere non-compliance. It is the chief reason for the depressingly common killings by cops reported almost weekly these days, such as the outright murder of a mentally ill (but not physically threatening to anyone) 90-pound teenager in his own driveway recently (see here).  High-powered weaponry in the hands of people given special protections from repercussions in the event of their use is a very bad idea. Ordinary citizens think twice before even revealing they have a gun because of the life-altering (for them) consequences that can easily ensue. There are few, if any such disincentives restraining cops from drawing – and even using – their weapons.

Take away the gun and the situation de-escalates. The cop is compelled to use other, non-lethal means of obtaining compliance.

Like talking.

And the citizen’s fear level is less – which  further reduces tension.Two English Bobbies

Most citizen-cop interactions do not turn violent. The literally silly – the hysterical –  obsession with “officer safety” has become an excuse for egregious, over-the-top responses and tactics. Take away the weaponry – in particular, the menacing military weaponry (and the attitude that inevitably comes along with it) and policing instantly becomes more like peace-keeping.

And we have a real-world example of cops without guns – England’s “Bobbies” – who manage to police the country quite effectively without threatening to kill people. Police in Norway and New Zealand are also not routinely armed.

It’s an example worth emulating.

* Military veterans disqualified from working as civilian police –

The purpose of the military – what soldiers are trained to do – is to dominate, subdue and kill enemies. To mindlessly obey orders – all orders. And to insist that others obey your orders.

Or else.

It is brutal, it is harsh – and it is utterly incompatible with civilian peace-keeping.PST vet

It is no coincidence that police have become more like an occupying army that treats American civilians like “indigs” (see here for example) as police departments across the country continue to absorb the mind-scarred veterans of the regimes’ horror shows in Iraq and Afghanistan. These damaged goods need therapy – not a gun and a badge. To expose us to them is exactly like turning loose half-crazed pitbulls in suburban neighborhoods and hoping no one gets mauled.

There may be need to train and send professional killers overseas in time of war. But to use trained killers in time of peace to “police” a free society is madness. Take a look at this video:

This is not a guy you want doing traffic stops.

As part of this de-Rambo-ization of police, end the military rank structure. Five star sheriffs – state police colonels. The message it sends – and the attitude it reflects – is entirely out of place in a free society. It is the hallmark of unfree societies – which abound in swaggering, rank-touting thugs who see themselves as set apart from the citizenry and as such are profoundly alienated from the citizenry.

And the reverse.

Neither is a healthy thing. Peacekeeping is fundamentally not about Submit and Obey. Those who think it should be are categorically unsuited for such work – and should be kept as far away from it as possible.

* Hire older cops – 

Young guys are arguably the worst raw material for police work. They are often immature, angry – and out to establish their bona fides as men. Many are looking to prove something – and end up doing it at some poor victim’s expense. Giving them authority over other men (and women and kids) is an extremely bad idea. This is borne out by the over-the-top macho antics of cops today – the worst offenders typically being pumped-up 20 and 30 somethings just itching to (forgive the language) fuck someone up.steroid cop

Guys over 40 make much better material – if the object is peace keeping. They have life experience and perspective; their egos are far less fragile. They are not as hair-triggered. Many people have had direct experience that confirms this. The older cop is more relaxed, more reasonable. You can have a discussion with him. But the steroid-jacked young guy? Much less so. These guys can be – and often are – dangerous to everyone around them.

If the object is to reduce tension – to de-escalate – then hire older guys for everyday peace keeping work. Keep some younger guys around for special tactics squads, perhaps. But keep these – and them – on a very short leash.

SWAT tactics – and the Hut! Hut! Hut! mentality – should be unleashed in extreme circumstances only. The routinization of such things ought to sound alarm bells in every thinking person’s mind.

It’s time to put the cammo genie back in his bottle.

* Record everything they do –

Abusive cops despise being scrutinized – for all the obvious reasons. Which is precisely why cops should be recorded at all times, video and audio. There is no longer any technological (or even economic) reason not to do this – and no reason to object to doing this. Video and audio do not lie. They will confirm a cop’s account when it is claimed a citizen got violent – and the reverse.

Accountability ought to go both ways.

All laws forbidding video/audio recording of police be withdrawn and every cop should be required to wear a small camera and recording device while on duty – the contents of which must be automatically provided upon request to any citizen detained/arrested by that cop for evidentiary purposes. If the video/audio is not “available” for whatever reason, all charges against the citizen must be dismissed out of hand based on the hearsay rule that currently applies only to citizens. The burden of proof ought to be on the cops – not on citizens.

Finally, any cop who tampers with his video/audio recording equipment should be subject to immediate, irrevocable dismissal and open to civil/criminal prosecution for tampering with evidence.recording pic

Who could seriously object to any of the above? Equalizing the nature of the relationship between cops and citizens is long overdue. We should no longer accept being treated (to borrow Will Grigg’s excellent term) as Mere Mundanes – nor tolerate cops who view themselves as a kind of latter-day Praetorian Guard, entitled to special privileges at our expense.

Enough is enough.

Throw it in the Woods?

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  1. Which of Dante’s circles is ‘Murica in now?

    ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The First Circle
    “Just as King Midas turned everything to gold, Stalin turned everything to mediocrity.”

    “My wish for you… is that your skeptic-eclectic brain be flooded with the light of truth.”

    “…you are strong only as long as you don’t deprive people of everything. For a person you’ve taken everything from is no longer in your power. He’s free all over again.”

    “…it’s only on a black day that you begin to have friends.”

    “Satiety depends not at all on how much we eat, but on how we eat. It’s the same with happiness, the very same…happiness doesn’t depend on how many external blessings we have snatched from life. It depends only on our attitude toward them. There’s a saying about it in the Taoist ethic: ‘Whoever is capable of contentment will always be satisfied.”

    “We are all human, and our senses are quicker to prompt us than our reason. Every man gives off a scent, and that scent tells you how to act before your head does.”

    “I leaf through the ancient philosophers and find my newest discoveries there.”

    “If a person can build a fence around himself, he is bound to do it.”

    “What is the most precious thing in the world? I see now that it is the knowledge that you have no part in injustice. Injustice is stronger than you, it always was and always will be, but let it not be done through you.”

    “Freedom or prison–what’s the difference? A man must develop unwavering will power subject only to his reason.”

    “…skepticism can never provide firm ground under a man’s feet. And perhaps, after all, we need firm ground.”

    “[He] understood the people in a new way…The people is not everyone who speaks our language, nor yet the elect marked by the fiery stamp of genius. Not by birth, not by the work of one’s hands, not by the wings of education is one elected into the people. But by one’s inner self. Everyone forges his inner self year after year.
    One must try to temper, to cut, to polish one’s soul so as to become a human being. And thereby become a tiny particle of one’s own people.”

    “If we live in a state of constant fear, can we remain human?”

    “In the realm of the unknown, difficulties must be viewed as a hidden treasure! Usually, the more difficult, the better. It’s not as valuable if your difficulties stem from your own inner struggle. But when difficulties arise out of increasing objective resistance, that’s marvelous!”

    “You can build the Empire State Building. Train the Prussian army. Elevate the hierarchy of a totalitarian state higher than the throne of the Most High.
    But there are still people whose moral superiority defeats your own.”

    “The great truth for Innokenty used to be that we are given only one life.

    Now, with the new feeling that had ripened in him, he became aware of another law: that we are given only one conscience, too.

    A life laid down cannot be reclaimed, nor can a ruined conscience.”

    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s son speak out

    I can only be supportive and grateful for those bringing to life the stories of the women survivors of the Gulag, for jarring our memory, for providing a chance for new generations of Russians to look directly into those faces and those eyes, to listen firsthand to their testimony, to start repairing the bridges to that time, which we so desperately must do in order to earn a worthy future.

    – Yermolai Solzhenitsyn (son of dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)

    Women of the Gulag

  2. Eric,
    For some hard statistical data on vets I suggest that you read Dr. David Grossman’s book “On Killing” An army Doc who’s made a career of studying interpersonal violence in and out of the military environment.
    I would also add that All service members recieve extensive training regarding “unlawful orders” and are duty bound to disobey them.
    I’d also like to point out than only a small minority of deployed soldiers ever see combat or actually fire their weapons at another human being.
    Finally I’d like to mention that the background and screening process is so onerous for cops these days that a PTSD type is unlikely to make it though. There are plenty of bad actors in uniforms but military related PTSD is a very unlikely cause.

    • Dear Gary,

      What is it that the police state mouthpieces say when we object to surveillance?

      “If you’re not doing anything wrong, what do you have to hide?”

      • Morning, Bevin!

        Heard a good joke recently:

        At a “checkpoint,” a cop demands that a motorist explain where’s he’s headed, whether he’s been drinking. Motorists declines to answer any questions. Cop retorts with “If you’re not doing anything wrong, what do you have to hide?” Motorist says to cop: “Please pull down your pants.” Cop replies, “Are you kidding me, why the hell should I do that?” Motorist: “Well, children have been molested and I need to make sure there’s no shit on your pecker. After all, if you’re not doing anything wrong, what have you got to hide?”

          • Indeed, Gary.

            Of course, to a great extent, few of them do any original work. The idea of covering a beat is ancient history. What most of them do is churnalism. They take an AP or Bloomberg story and re-cast it under their own byline. If they even do that.

            Greenwald and a few outliers are the only ones doing real investigative journalism these days.

        • Dear Eric,

          Not bad!

          Universalizability and reversibility (in ethics)

          The clear-cut imperative incorporates two criteria for determining moral right and wrong: universalizability and reversibility.

          Universalizability means, person’s reasons for acting must be reasons that everyone could act on at least in principle.

          Reversibility means, the person’s reasons for acting should be reasons that he or she would be willing to have all others use, even as a source of how they treat him or her… and the person’s reasons must be such that he would be willing to have all others use them as well.

        • I wonder how a cop would respond if you said that to them. For curiosity, have you ever tried it? What do you think would happen if you did? What are the odds of getting shot or otherwise harmed?

    • This is excellent, Gary.

      Revealing (and mocking) their hypocrisy is perhaps one of the best tools we have at our disposal. Make them look ridiculous and you eventually render them powerless.

  3. The “government” any government is put in place for 2 reasons.
    This applies to everything from home owners associations on and
    up to the “Fed”.
    1.) Keep people from doing what they choose to do.
    2.) Making people do what they choose not to do.
    “Law Enforcement” is exactly that. You will comply or we will
    kill you if necessary. Every time I hear someone say “There ought
    to be a law…”, I ask “Are you willing to kill someone over it?”. The most
    common reply is “Don’t be silly…” People don’t seem to understand that
    the is no situation, NONE, that can not be made worse by involving the

  4. I forwarded the link to this column and the addendum to my representative, since the state legislature is currently in session, and asked him to implement some of the responsibility and liability clauses mentioned here. I will base any future support for him on how he handles very politely phrased request.
    May I respectfully suggest that every single one of you do the same?
    As Dr. Paul stated in the 90s – “If a politician won’t trust you with the arms of self-defense, why would you trust them with anything?”

  5. The “thin blue line” protects the bad cops. My relatives who are cops cannot understand my dislike for many “practices” that they consider “normal”. Attempts to engage them in Constitutional principles are met with deaf ears. THE LAW IS WHATEVER THEY SAY THE LAW IS.
    Their unwavering allegiance to those (bad) cops who exhibit “abnormal” life-threatening behavior (to us mundanes) and their “making excuses” for such aberrant behavior is sickening.
    You see, all police officers’ ultimate goal is to make it to retirement with as little friction as possible. In many departments, it is possible to retire after 30 years AND to start collecting Social Security at age 55–NOT 66 like the rest of us. In addition, disability claims (too many career lifetime donuts) quite often enable them to live a much more comfortable life than most of us taxpayers who provide these “centurions” with their comfortable lifestyle.
    Police work is not inherently dangerous IF they follow Constitutional principles.
    The militarization of police forces is another big problem. Police departments routinely recruit former military and do very little to change the “us vs. them” mindset that is a staple of military (combat) service.
    In fact, most department actually admire their “special” status and encourage such behavior with “no-knock” midnight SWAT raids and other unconstitutional behavior.
    A small point (but valid, nevertheless) is that EVEN THE NAZIS KNOCKED ON THE DOOR BEFORE GAINING ENTRY.

  6. Did you ever wonder where the concept of government ‘service’ came from? Especially in contexts like “Internal Revenue Service”?
    2 farmers were shooting the breeze in the feed store. 1 commented that he had a group of heifers that were too closely related to his main herd sire to turn in with him, so he was looking for another bull to ‘service’ them.

    • Hi David,

      Peace-keepers could exist on the volunteer fire department model. Supported by voluntary contributions/subscriptions. No one is forced to pay. But even those who do not pay benefit, at least indirectly.

      I wrote at length on this subject previously, but to recap: I cannot see a fundamental “wrongness” that necessarily undermines liberty in the notion of peace keeping as such. Provided it is absolutely limited by/based on the NAP – and is supported (financially) by each individual’s free consent, which may be withdrawn at any time.

      • eric,

        Are you suggesting a “subscription” model of policing, wherein those who support can call on police, and those who do not cannot- but will benefit by police generally acting to stop those who do dispropritionate harm to others?

        I would see this being very limited by income, thereby rendering it biased towards those who have money. (I realise that bias currently exists, but I see this as a more extreme case)

        How then do you punish perpetrators who only prey on the poor?

        I would see paid policing as being the only “must” in free society, otherwise the rule of law (however minor) would faulter quickly.

        • A paid subscription service–a voluntary service–is the only moral solution.
          Because if paid policing is a “must”–who must pay? And if I must pay, but don’t want to pay–what then? Then we reveal the gun hidden in the room. Because eventually, rough men with guns will come and put me in a cage or kill me.

          It’s coercion. And it’s at the heart of the problem with the entire modern concept of government and the nation-state.

          You bring up “the poor”–but there’s no such thing as “the poor”, or “the rich”, or even “society”. Those are abstractions.

          There are only individuals.

          What if a thief prays only on poor individuals–or people who don’t wish to pay for policing? When the cost of his thieving becomes unbearable, those individuals will take action. They will band together to buy minimal policing. They will band together and police themselves. They will ask for charity.

          But we must not allow the much, much greater evil of coercion–under the Fallacy of Authority–to sneak its nose under the tent.

          The “what about the poor” is used to justify almost as many totalitarian laws as “for the children”, “for your safety”, or the ultimate fallacy–“for the Common Good”.

          Because in the end, those are all collectivist. There are only individuals. And it is never acceptable to violate the rights of a peaceful individual–whatever “the poor”, “the children”, “society”, or “the common good” abstractions are used.

          • Dear meth,

            Morally and ethically, there simply is no way around it.

            If one’s proclaimed ideal is a free society, a society that precludes brute force physical coercion, there simply is no other choice.

            Only purely voluntary “Private Defense Agencies” arising out of the free choices of sovereign individuals in the free market place is consistent with natural rights and individual liberty.

            Anything else is brute force physical coercion.

            The only question is how deviously one can hide the coercion by making it more and more indirect.

            The only question is how cleverly one is able to conceal the iron fist inside layer upon layer of velvet gloves, invoking such hypocritical euphemisms as “the public interest” and meaningless rituals as “free and fair elections.”

        • One more point–a professional police force is a blink in the eye historically speaking, barely over a century old.

          What did we do before? Seemed to have worked just fine.

          Because what we have today is nothing but a protective force–for the power caste. No duty to protect the innocent, empowered above the laws they are supposed to enforce, wholly contemptuous of the “civilians” they parasitize for their pay, violent, arrogant, aggressive, and abusive.

          I’ll take my chances, thank you very much. I’d rather run the risk of dying at the hands of the criminal I missed with my HK, than live in fear of criminals I can’t shoot back at without their entire gang hunting me for life.

          • Dear meth,

            “I’d rather run the risk of dying at the hands of the criminal I missed with my HK, than live in fear of criminals I can’t shoot back at without their entire gang hunting me for life.”

            Amen to that!

            I’m far less worried about being overpowered by muggers or even the Mafia coming after me, than I am about that crime syndicate known as “government” hounding me for using a weapon in self-defense.

            • Amen, Bevin.

              In my entire life, I have never been robbed at gunpoint, beaten up or threatened with a beating by an ordinary criminal.

              But I have been robbed at gunpoint and threatened with beat downs scores of times in my life by officially sanctioned criminals – that is, cops.

              I’ll take my chances, thank you very much “heroes.”

              I feel a lot more fear and loathing when I spy a cop car in my rearview than I do contemplating a potential home invasion robbery.

              I stand a decent chance against the former – against the latter I have been rendered (legally) defenseless.

          • Dear Eric, meth,

            LEOs get in the way of our self-defense, when theoretically they were supposed to be helping us defend ourselves against criminals.

            But as Zen master Yogi Berra noted, “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.”

            The LEOs don’t help us defend ourselves against criminals for a very good reason. They are criminals! If anything, they are worse criminals than “ordinary criminals.”

            Very interesting development:

            Many screenwriters have latched on to a story structure plot twist, that illustrates exactly this point. The hero in a movie is fighting the bad guys. But in the process, the LEOs meddle, forcing the hero to “violate the law.” At which point the LEOs pull an Inspector Javert number on him, making the already overwhelming odds against the hero even more overwhelming.

            Sound familiar?

            Is it too much to hope that the true nature of “Law Enforcement” is beginning to sink into people’s heads?

      • In a free “society,” insurance companies would most likely provide policing activities (legitimate ones anyway, no speeding tickets). If you could not afford or chose not to purchase insurance, your risk might increase. But unless you advertise that fact (Gun Free Zones, anyone?) how will the crooks know? It would also be in the best interest of such a private police force to pursue those who aggress against those not their clients, to create a safer environment.
        Fire departments, in locations where voluantarism may not be workable, would perform similarly. If your house catches fire and you are not insured, but your neighbor is. the FD would likely turn up at least to be sure your fire did not spread. That’s often all that happens anyway.

        • Dear Phil,

          Well said indeed!

          Also, critics of anacap often contradict themselves. For example, many complain about the “free rider problem.”

          Well dammit, the free rider “problem” is also a solution! It is also an answer to the question, “But what will happen to the poor in an anacap society? They will be left undefended!”

      • Eric,

        I have no issue with that whatsoever, in fact, I think that’s a very good idea, but I wouldn’t really call that “government”.

        However, if the NAP is to be followed, if someone wanted to hire some other company to protect them, or not pay for protection at all, that would be their choice.

        At any rate, the inevitable question of the “free rider” is going to come up. Its not THAT big a deal to me, because I value freedom above equality or any other standard, but other people are going to ask. How is it “fair” that you can benefit from what other people pay for? How would you answer people who say that? Should the peacekeeprs refuse to help those that don’t pay them?

        • So don’t call it government. That’s part of the whole idea, that government is NOT the best provider (let alone the fairest or most efficient provider) of many of the ‘services’ it renders.
          As for the so-called problem of ‘free-riders,’ I like to think that most of us, when not made nearly destitute by taxation, are generous enough not to get our panties in a bunch about it.

          • Phillip,
            I have to disagree re: Freeloaders.
            I believe that many “freeloaders” are freeloading simply because they are ENABLED by the government. They are, essentially, for sale, as long as the Gubbermint buys them their goodies.

            I forget where I read it – but there was a “guide” to living the high life Ghetto style. Essentially, the entire “family” (More like tribe in our lexicon) shared resources. Only ONE person actually earned any money; the rest were on the dole. But by pooling their resources, and having only ONE person as owner of anything, they dodged the taxes…
            So they could purchase WAY beyond what an honest tax-payer could.

            Serves as a good “reminder” of how f*cked we get by Gubbermint.
            And of course, they’d all vote for whoever gave them more goodies… (WIC, medical care, charity, soup kitchens, Disability, social security, etc, etc, etc.)

            Bear in mind, as Verbotten as it is to point this out: There are (sort of) two types of animals here. Honest folk (essentially, whites, asians, including Indians, some Mexicans/Latinos) – and Niggers (Mostly black, but some white, Mexicans/Latinos, maybe a few other ethnicities at the margins.) I’m referring to those who embrace that sort of tribal “ghetto” way of life, and those who are willfully indigent or non-productive by choice.
            Skin color is irrelevant, but you see a big division along racial lines, for some UNCONSCIONABLE reason… 🙂

            I don’t see “white skin” and think “Made in God’s Image”… Though I agree with Al Sharpton, it’s better to see white than black. (From one his comments, where when he heard footsteps behind him, and turned to look, he was RELIEVED to see it was a white person…)
            I also don’t see black skin and think they’re coming after me.

            The race goes not always to the fleet, nor the battle to the strong – but that’s the way to place your bets….
            So, if Blacks are 12% of the population, but account for (say) 60% of violent crime? And 80% (say) of prison population?

        • Easy – it’s exactly like the volunteer FD. Or, for that matter, the Salvation Army.

          Fairness has nothing to do with it.

          Most people – or enough people, usually – will voluntarily support worthwhile things. It is worthwhile to have some sort of organized fire-fighting unit in any community. It is worthwhile to have charitable organizations.

          Not everyone will support them. Some can’t – some won’t. Some are freeloaders. But most people aren’t and don’t want to be.

    • David,

      That is a good question. I don’t think the idea of government police is objectionable, I have issues with what “government” has come to represent.

      The term government can take almost any form, and really should exist to ensure the right to self determination for all persons, and ensure all can protect themselves from harm.

      The purpose of police SHOULD be to act as intermediaries for individuals in immediate or imminent dispute, and to search for confirmed perpetrators and seek justice. (Justice is a loaded term, I’m not going to try to define it- that’s an entirely different discussion)

      As far as government police costs, I believe that in any governed society (even a tribe of 100 will have some form of heirarchal governance) will have to bear the costs of policing.

      • CS: Your definition of what policing should be stinks. You seem very misguided. You might contemplate the concept of the non-aggression principal before going any further.

        • Mr. Lib

          Give me your definition of policing. A group that does not act as intermediaries, and search for perpetrators- I do not consider police. They would take some other name or form- but as far as the original article goes, (however much you think I seem misguided) that is not policing.

          What job would police then be tasked with?

          • Hi CS,

            There is policing – which is nothing more than enforcing laws, because they are laws. These laws need not – and usually do not – require evidence of actual harm done to anyone. That is, a victim. They are simply arbitrary edicts imposed by authority using force or its threat – without any appeal to right. And without any demonstration of wrong (ethically speaking). Police are nothing more than enforcers – deputized bullies; muscle. Exactly like Luca Brasi from The Godfather, only they pretend to be “serving” us.

            And then there is peace keeping – dealing with acts of aggression only. Tangible harm done to an actual person or property. If there is no victim, there is no crime. And therefore, no justification for any interference with citizens.

            Soldiers make great policemen because the job is fundamentally the same.

            But they make terrible peace keepers, because the object of that is completely at odds with what soldiers are trained to do.

          • Intermediaries for what? Perpetrators of what? The maximum authority police should have is to protect others (as Eric said, victims) from aggressors. As a matter of reality, cops are almost never present during the commission of such aggression. Because of this, they would be relegated mostly to investigating alleged acts of aggression and then apprehending those suspected of committing such aggression.

          • Mr. Lib,

            Intermediaries for persons in dispute, as I first wrote. Basically, to get in between two people who are ready to harm eachother, and calm things down.

            • Hi CS,

              “Intermediaries for persons in dispute, as I first wrote. Basically, to get in between two people who are ready to harm each other, and calm things down”

              But that is not what cops typically do – and to claim they do is disingenuous.

              What they will do is look for violations of “the law” – and arrest one or both parties. They are not there to mediate a got-damned thing.

              And this is exactly why ex-soldiers make such “great” cops.

              And why they are utterly unsuited to serving as peace keepers.

          • Dear CS,

            Free market anarchists are not saying that in a free society, i.e., a voluntary society, that sociopathic individuals and groups would be allowed to run amok and do whatever they damn well please.

            Of course not!

            If anything, we want to see those who prey on peaceful individuals pay a much higher price than they do under the current police state.

            Take the Bernard Goetz incident. The four thugs got what was coming to them. Goetz should have gotten a medal. Yet Goetz was put through the wringer by the “law and order” legal establishment.

            Take the George Zimmerman incident. Same thing.

            Take the Luby’s Massacre in Texas. The “law and order” legal establishment cost the lives of Suzanna Gratia-Hupp’s parents by infringing on her right to keep and bear arms.

            Hennard also approached 32-year-old Suzanna Hupp and her parents. Hupp reached for her .38 revolver in her purse, only to remember she had left it in her vehicle to comply with the law. Texas law at the time required that concealed carry was not allowed in “public places”. Her father Al, 71, rushed at Hennard in an attempt to subdue him but was fatally shot in the chest. A short time later, as Hupp was escaping, her mother Ursula, 67, was shot in the head and killed as she cradled her wounded husband.

            Suzanna Gratia Hupp explains meaning of 2nd Amendment!

            The “law and order” legal establishment, far from ensuring justice, merely punishes peaceful individuals who step on their toes by keeping and bearing arms.

            Widespread ownership and possession of guns by “mere mundanes” diminishes the cachet enjoyed by “law enforcement officials” who prefer to make gun ownership and possession an exclusive privilege reserved for the “brothers and sisters on the Thin Blue Line.” So-called “officer safety” at the expense of public safety.

            But as the saying goes, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.” Legally disarmed “mere mundanes” lives are put at enormous risk. Do LEOs care?

            Open carry? They arrest you.

            Concealed carry? They arrest you.

            Either way they arrest you.

      • I believe in government. Family government, church (for those who choose to belong) government, government of other voluntary groups, and above all, SELF government. I do not believe in GUNverment.

  7. I very much disagree with many of you.

    However I pose a question to you- if military service, and specifically combat experience, is so detrimental to fair and balanced police work- do you propose that we then eliminate any police officer who has fired their weapon? How about if we employ unarmed police and they are fired upon?

    When does this end? Police are not meter maids, they do not have a duty to retreat- nor should any other citizen. Saying that combat experience makes you less able to deal with human conflict is like saying that driving experience makes you less able to drive. Combat experience also does not necessarily make combat your default setting.

    It makes you very aware of the consequences of human conflict, and in my experience makes people that are not damaged by it more able to take calculated risk.

    They are more likely to talk things down, because they know that the real consequence of drawing your weapon is not “scenario is over” as during training.

    Assholes are assholes, however I don’t know anyone who has been anymore brainwashed by the military then by any other form of human interaction.

    To those who have commented that persons with severe PTSD or other disorders should not be hired as police- I agree! Nor should people that have PTSD from seeing a car accident. PTSD is a DISORDER. You need to have it treated, just as any other illness. You shouldn’t hire people with cholera either. That doesn’t mean you can’t ever hire someone who has been to a third world country “just in case”.

    • How do you undo the training and the behaviors learned as an occupier? Certainly modern police training if it does anything, reinforces it. Police are the standing army, the occupying force that some of the founders warned of. They were morphed into that and staffing police departments with people who have experience as overseas occupiers certainly helps that along.

      If ex military meant someone who spent a few years patrolling the US coast lines or polishing aircraft on some airforce base in po-dunk USA then there wouldn’t really be a big problem if they later became cops. When they are off policing some occupied territory, busting down doors and such well that’s a problem.

    • Just as a bit of gedankenexperiment — and note please that, philosophically, I do oppose all government police — the question you raise (“do you propose that we then eliminate any police officer who has fired their weapon?”) is a good one. And I think my answer would have to be yes. Employing deadly force against another human being should not ever, ever be allowed to be anything other than a very last resort; in the current environment, police violence is considered so utterly sacrosanct that, even when the police murder an unarmed man for no reason at all — as we’ve been discussing here lately — it is not treated as behaviour meriting any punishment at all. This is horrible. Perhaps if police knew that the use of deadly force would bring an immediate end to their careers, that would restrain them in some fashion, while not at the same time leaving them utterly defenseless in the rare case that it’s actually warranted.

      The only other thing I have to add here is that this:

      “Saying that combat experience makes you less able to deal with human conflict is like saying that driving experience makes you less able to drive.”

      Is an extremely false analogy. Do you see the part where you gloss over the difference between “combat” and “human conflict?” Your simile asserts that combat:conflict::driving:driving, which is obviously false. The undeniable truth of the situation is that the *vast* majority of human conflict does not rise to the level of “combat,” which is by definition the most extreme version of conflict there is. And, no, I don’t think it’s absurd to believe that people who are trained — marinated, really — to deal with combat situations would be inclined to go overboard in their handling of smaller conflicts.

      • Dear Darien,

        “I don’t think it’s absurd to believe that people who are trained — marinated, really — to deal with combat situations would be inclined to go overboard in their handling of smaller conflicts.”

        Nor do I. The evidence is abundant that they would.

        “Kill them all and let God sort them out.”


        … a soldier asked Amalric how they would be able to tell which Beziers townspeople were Catholics and which were Cathars.

        Amalric supposedly answered (in French): “Kill them all. God will recognize his own.” It eventually came to be most commonly paraphrased as “Kill them all and let God sort them out.”

        Amalric’s infamous quotation was updated during the Vietnam War, when the saying “Kill ‘em all, let God sort ‘em out” became popular among American special forces troops. This “witticism” was put on unofficial military patches, pins and t-shirts that are now sold as “collectibles” on eBay.

        More recently, American troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan updated the saying again in the form: “Kill ‘em all. Let Allah sort ‘em out.” T-shirts with that variation are now being sold online by the SEAL Team Gear store.

        It’s disconcerting to think about otherwise pious Christians or heroic Americans blithely killing innocent people in the name of religion, or Cold war politics, or the “war on terror.”

        And, some people view it as controversial or politically incorrect to talk about it. But, as they used to say in ‘Nam — there it is.

        • Indeed, Bevin.

          What is the essential, defining thing about being a soldier?

          It is not “learning how to be a great software programmer.”

          It is being conditioned/trained to kill on command.

          Never to question why (a direct affront to the hierarchy) but only to do. Whomever “the enemy” is, his guts must be shot out, his brain exploded.

          To dismiss this as some trivial thing not relevant to the question of giving such a person a deadly weapon and legal authority over unarmed “civilians” is remarkable to me.

          • Dear Eric, David,

            Quite right! Glad we are all on the same page here!

            Nobody disputes the need for some sort of defensive military capability. It’s not as some warhawks insist, an all or nothing proposition.

            Something akin to the purely defensive Swiss militia would be a vast improvement over what we have now.

            As I mentioned before, one of the clearest determinants of whether one is engaged in “national defense” or foreign aggression, is where you are geographically.

            If you are fighting on your own territory, you are probably the good guys. If you are fighting on someone else’s territory, you are probably the bad guys.

            There are exceptions of course, but they are just that, exceptions. Most of the time this rule of thumb holds true.

      • Darien- you are correct, my analogy was faulty.

        I will change the analogy to “Saying that combat experience makes you less able to deal with human conflict, is like saying that being a formula one race car driver makes you less able to drive on the highway.” There is the potential that in either case a reversion to the extreme example is possible- however I don’t believe it is automatic, and experience can in fact temper reaction.

        If the formula one driver is cutoff in traffic, he will likely have better skills to avoid the collision. If the veteran turned police officer is shot at- he will better be able to find cover and remain calm, and then only return accurate fire in order to stop the active shooter. In both cases they are much less likely to panic then the average person.

        Is there the potential that the formula one driver will speed like a maniac? Yes, but the majority of speed related accidents are caused by average drivers.

        Is there the potential that the veteran turned police officer could become overly aggressive during their work? Yes, but the majority of illegal use of force cases are against non-veteran police officers.

        I believe that the potential benefit far outweighs the potential risk.

        There will never be a point at which there is no risk.

        Both comparisons use an extreme example, and a common example.

        I agree 100% that use of deadly force should be a last resort, and police violence should be held to a very close scrutiny.

        I do however disagree on the point of opposition to all government police.

        • Hi CS,

          If we had a citizen militia focused on legitimate national defense only – on Constitutional principles – I might be willing to modify my stand.

          But that is not what we have. What we have is an imperial army – the modern Roman Legions. Recruits are dehumanized by their training – in order to make them more able to dehumanize others. People who are taught to run roughshod over others have lost some of their humanity in the process. Moreover, there is a fundamental conflict between the order-barking (and order giving) hierarchical/authoritarian mindset of the military and civilian peace keeping in a free society. Soldiers are conditioned to regard themselves as different from “civilians” – and I cannot think of a more dangerous attitude for supposed peace keepers to have.

        • My position on this is slightly different.

          I believe a peace keeper has the same right to defend himself as any other person. But he is no more entitled to use deadly force than any other person.

          The only justification is in cases of clear-cut self-defense against an attacker capable of doing deadly violence. But the attacker must have actually been attacking. The mantra, “Officer Safety!” is insufficient. Ridiculous. This is easily demonstrated. If I, as a civilian, produced a gun and shot to death a cop who just pulled me over for some traffic offense and then said “I did so out of concern for my safety” because the cop scared me by his mere presence, I’d be charged with murder and likely never see the light of day again.

          Why, pray, should the standard be any less for a cop?

        • In driving a Formula 1 car, one does not endeavor to kill another (or crash into others) and it usually is not considered an immoral act. When a combat veteran employs his “skill,” his goal is to kill enemy combatants. Once one crosses the line of killing another human being as a means of resolving a dispute, that individual should be disqualified from being a police officer.

  8. Ask the VA if a large percentage of returning vets are not “damaged” in one way or another. Ask a family member, to whom the fact that more military commit suicide in Afghanistan than are killed by the Taliban or whoever, is more than a statistic.
    I thank God that I “lost the lottery” and was not forced to even serve in the military, let alone go to Viet Nam. Back then I would not have had the intestinal fortitude to run to Canada or otherwise avoid the black hole.
    I agree with Eric that many in the ‘volunteer’ military are those who, like politicians, are bent toward power and controlling others. Yes there are those who, thanks to government interference in the market place, could not find a decent job. Or those who bought the lie that Uncle would pay for their college and it would only cost them one weekend a month and 2 weeks a year. As Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that working for you?”

    • Read what it says. He is 45, so doing the math on his police service time, he served one contract as a Marine. That’s why, more then 20 year later- he is an asshole? Nope, doesn’t work like that.

      If it said “former student of xxxx High School”, or just “Ohio resident”- would you paint everyone in those categories with the same brush?

      Again, many community policing programs are started by former vets, mature and responsible- who know something that cannot be taught- the real value of working WITH people.

      • @CS The point is moot anyway. It doesn’t matter how “good” of a person you think you are or what your background is… if you do “bad” things, you are not a good person any longer. It’s a cop’s job to do bad things (rob, steal, beat, kidnap, murder) and some personality types gravitate towards the profession, like sociopaths to politics and flies to shit. Ex military gravitate towards law enforcement, where they tend to have no qualms about busting grandpa’s head for jaywalking or grandma’s ribs for demanding to be treated with dignity or tasering daddy in front of his wife and kids for questioning him. I’m sure it brings back the warm fuzzy feelings of terrorizing poor brown skinned people in far away countries “for our freedom”.

        Personally, I would think that vets would be sick and tired of being pawns for the state after learning the harsh reality of how they get treated after their usefulness is determined to be gone. Maybe it’s a “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” scenario?

        By “working WITH people” do you mean they are really good at coercing people into doing things they don’t want to do “for their own good”?

  9. I was with you on both articles, until-

    “Military veterans disqualified from working as civilian police –
    The purpose of the military – what soldiers are trained to do – is to dominate, subdue and kill enemies. To mindlessly obey orders – all orders. And to insist that others obey your orders.”

    You are obviously NOT a veteran, nor are you acquainted with any. Trying to paint us in that light is atrocious. Your have been taken by the hollywood PTSD bullshit that makes us all out to be monsters- and it couldn’t be farther from the truth.

    Remember your call in the first article for a return to old school peacekeeping, old school police? Guess how many of those old school cops were WWII and Korea vets. Far more by percentage then you will find in modern policing- as in past conflicts, specifically WWII, the percentage of the population that served was far larger.

    I actually encourage seasoned veterans to become police- why? Because unlike most people, we know when the threat is serious and when it isn’t. I know many cops, and all of my fellow vets that are cops are generally appalled by the “lets get them, gung ho” attitude of someone who has something to prove.

    We have been to war, we have nothing to prove. We also know how to properly handle firearms, and to de-escalate. An ability to FOLLOW ORDERS= an ability to FOLLOW THE LAW. You would also not believe how well those of us who have served as leaders are able to relate to people on a personal level. The movie image of everyone screaming all the time is false. There are those pers, and we dislike them, they would also generally fail a police entrance interview as they don’t have the interpersonal skills.

    When you write about “mindlessly” following orders, you are wrong. There are people who “mindlessly” follow everywhere, but generally you will find vets are more likely to ask “why” then to say “let’s go”. We have seen the cost of faulty planning, the cost of people hell bent on putting their career first.

    The “older” police you are looking for, guess what- they are often vets. We have travelled, we have experienced other societies. We understand how far people will go to fulfill their basic needs, and how helping them gets everyone to cooperate.

    You video of a “veteran” losing his cool is misleading. What if you labelled every video of someon having a breakdown by their job- I’m quite certain you would quickly have to eliminate all fast food employees (it’s a common job). Correlation does not equal causation.

    You will find far more veterans that want governments to leave them alone, and just let everyone live their lives then the you will average big city dwellers.

    Most former soldiers are no longer serving because they no longer wanted to live in a “my way or no way” military society. However most of them do have the spine to turn toward the sound of chaos, they know how to de-escalate, or they have the ability identify a clear threat vice a someone that’s having a bad day.

    The military is much more likely to crush you for failing to follow the rules of engagement on a military deployment, then civilian agencies are for you breaking the law on duty as a police officer.

    Again, I agree with your articles in principle, but on this point you are tremendously misinformed, and a victim to pop culture and propaganda.

      • A few thoughts I had while reading the post by the guy taking the nic, ‘Common Sense’.

        Perhaps it’s just me, but in this instance, it’s quite condescending when someone takes that as a nic, it’s quite a bit like the attitude a cop takes when he encounters a mere mundane. It says a lot about the speaker. It seems purposeful?

        It comes across more-so when he, ‘ass-u-me’ s eric is not acquainted with any veterans.

        True or not, how does he know this? That makes me wonder about anything else he might have to say. How-freaking-ever; I am confidant that if he has more than half a brain, and an intact soul, he’ll come round to reason:

        In – My – life experience, the vets of today in many ways do not compare to the older vets I’ve known from Korea or WWII. They are not even close! Articles such as this somewhat showcase the difference between the two viewpoints of the generations, they are not at all the same:

        That’s not to say the vets of every generation haven’t been bamboozled, and aren’t often the worst of the worst.

        The guy taking the nic, ‘Common Sense’ says he knows, “fellow vets that are cops are generally appalled by the “lets get them, gung ho” attitude of someone who has something to prove.”

        And yet they yoke themselves equally and remain a part of it? That doesn’t say something negative?

        The guy taking the nic, ‘Common Sense’ says, “We have been to war, we have nothing to prove.”

        Again, how does he know this, “we have nothing to prove”?
        He knows every vet?

        The guy taking the nic, ‘Common Sense’ says vets have, “An ability to FOLLOW ORDERS= an ability to FOLLOW THE LAW.”

        I’m reminded of how that’s the exact quality tyrants everywhere seek out, a perfect android. Think about how that mindset would be quite misplaced in the article above, How Things Change Out From Under Us.

        If those of you, “who have served as leaders are able to relate to people on a personal level”, then why don’t you all ‘relate’ and quit your OverLord job? Become private security guards, form your own company, anything but be a Jack Boot for the state.

        Many vets today might not be screaming outward all the time, but their mere presence in a state sanctioned costume screams silently at people every moment of every day. The message is: submit and obey,… or die M.F.!

        The guy taking the nic, ‘Common Sense’ says, “you will find vets are more likely to ask “why” then to say “let’s go”.” … From what I’ve seen – from what I’ve been told by other vets – that quality of asking ‘why’ is what disqualify’s one from being in the military and from advancing in the military. So, that whole idea makes very little sense to me.

        If vets have, “seen the cost of faulty planning, the cost of people hell bent on putting their career first.” I wonder then – What The Hell Are They Doing Being A Cop For The Empire!?
        Yeesh! GTFO! What’s wrong with you?

        The guy taking the nic, ‘Common Sense’ wrote, “We understand how far people will go to fulfill their basic needs, and how helping them gets everyone to cooperate.”

        Will Grigg wrote an article about that, you know, ‘helping people to death’. Sheepdogs and sheep, that sort of stuff. I’d post a direct link but it’s lost in this long long list of similar shit the cops do:

        I encourage you to read it and face reality.

        If a person read through that list I doubt they’d ever venture to say the, “video of a “veteran” losing his cool is misleading.”
        It’s damn near common place!

        I would really and truly like to believe this statement:

        “You will find far more veterans that want governments to leave them alone, and just let everyone live their lives then the you will average big city dwellers”

        All I can add is, The best way to lead, is by example.

        The guy taking the nic, ‘Common Sense’ says, “The military is much more likely to crush you for failing to follow the rules of engagement on a military deployment, then civilian agencies are for you breaking the law on duty as a police officer.”

        Really? I think the copHeads let other cops off the hook – with paid time off ! – something like 99 to 1. You think it’s that high in the military?
        If it is That bad, things are much worse than they appear.

        It seems to me that people such as the guy taking the nic, ‘Common Sense’ have been played as suckers for so long, they don’t know Up from Down, and ‘Newspeak’ is just another newspaper to them.
        I pity them. And I pray for them.

        Spend an afternoon reading some of Laurence M. Vance’s stuff, and get back to us, eh? You might surprise yourself?

        I won’t judge you by your spelling mistakes. I make plenty myself.
        I do hope you seek a sliver of enlightenment that is offered to you.
        The true heroes have already done so. There’s a lot of veterans of foreign wars among them.
        Won’t you join them?

        In the meantime, I wonder if your co-workers, or, ex-co-workers, are going to kill me for what I write?
        I used to think that wouldn’t be an American thing to do.

        Then I grew up.

      • Hi CS,

        Don’t sweat the spelling mistakes; heck, it happens to me all-too-often as well!

        The only thing that’ll get you frowned on at EPautos is personal abuse, incoherent ranting – and refusal to acknowledge a factual point made.

        See Clover’s posts for examples.

      • The spelling errors are the least of your worries, pal. I AM a veteran and will vouch for everything Eric asserts, something your thoroughly washed brain can’t allow itself to process.

        Put the koolaid cup down. The cold turkey withdrawal from the mind-killing propaganda feed is painful in the short term, but you’ll be glad for the eye opening aftetwards.

        • Dear lib,

          Quite right.

          Thanks for helping to set the record straight.

          In addition to you, several “regulars” who were posting here regularly were ex-Marines who saw combat in the Mid East. They told the same story.

        • Thanks, Lib –

          I think one needs the perspective of 40 to understand the vulnerability of 18-19 to the “call of duty.” It’s really appalling, when you think about it, the way young men – boys, really – are manipulated by the state to “serve” as mercenary killers and cannon fodder.

          Remember the acrid comment Muhammad Ali made, years ago?

          I think it went: No Viet Cong ever called me nigger.

          It took me a few years to digest that.

          I now share the view – expressed by another poster here – that “the military” is itself anathema to a free society. A defensive militia of some sort is one thing, but this country bristles with arms like a demented porcupine – rabidly casting about for targets and “enemies.”

          I recommend – to those not familiar with it – War is a Racket by Marine Major General Smedley Butler. It’s written by an insider who saw the truth of things – and recoiled.

    • Dear Common Sense,

      I think it’s important to consider a crucial factor that skews the results.


      Perhaps those veterans who do fit Eric’s description, are the very ones who eagerly seek out “Law Enforcement” positions of authoritay on their own initiative.

      Your characterization of veterans might better fit those who studiously avoid such dirty work for the Leviathan State.

      That does not mean that others do not eagerly seek out new opportunities for legally sanctioned sadism.

      Also, as I’m sure you’ll agree, America and American “Law Enforcement” has undergone some pretty major changes since WWII and Korea. 9/11 has transformed America into a police state. The WWII and Korean War vets did not come home to the same kind of national security state that exists today.

      • That is a possibility- however I don’t agree. I have regularly been told, by fellow vets that are now police, that their greatest problems are with the “average high school quarterback” type person- who joins the police to “get some” and uses their “cool guy” personality to push people around.

        Or they have issues with the “perfect background” individuals. Those sought by police who have NEVER broken the law, who have never thought outside the box, who have never really lived with a sense of freedom. Those people just don’t understand how to deal with that “oh so evil” pot smoker etc…

        Most vets know what it’s like to have too many beers and get into an argument, they have done something stupid and aren’t looking to push people around for making a mistake. They know what it’s like to have a shitty day at home, or argue with their girlfriend- and still have to show up and follow orders (which translates to the ability to follow the law).

        I agree that assholes are out there, but I would much rather deal with a cop who is a veteran, then a cop who went to high school and then the police- without stopping to live in the real world.

        When you spend months in some shit hole, with few comforts and a sense of dread- you know how to deal with people who are having shit day, or live in a poor neighbourhood and are constantly afraid of being jumped.

        You develop the ability to stay calm and keep a clear head.

        The modern “police state”, is just that- the fault of the state. It was not created by the veteran- and will not be undone by non-veterans.

        • One thing that strikes me is that you continue to complain about people who disagree with you “paint[ing] everyone… with the same brush” by pointing out examples of ex-military cops behaving badly. You claim that this does not reflect the average, but is instead just a few bad apples. Your evidence of this is that you know some cops who are ex-military, and they aren’t like that.

          … Isn’t that exactly the same sort of “paint[ing] everyone… with the same brush” that you’re complaining about? Or do your blanket statements somehow carry more authority than the others’? I’ll be the first person in line to agree with you that it’s incorrect to reason from an aggregate to a specific, but you can’t have it both ways.

          More food for thought: do you deny that *many* (not all, of course) people who return from war return damaged in some relevant way? Far more than, say, the number of people who used to work fast food? There is quite an abnormally high rate of suicides, of severe depression, of inability to come to terms with guilt and horror. Inability to readjust to life outside of the war. Am I making this up, or is this an actual phenomenon? If the latter, would it perhaps be wise to shy away from hiring people exposed to such things as police?

          • I agree that I am generalising. However it was in response to the original article which seemed to flatly paint all veterans as ticking time bombs.

            You are correct in that I do not know how all persons will react, however my experience is that veterans who become police officers will more likely fit with the other proposed reforms, then not.

            I also do not believe that exposure to war damages most people. It certainly damages some people, however I don’t think that it damages “most” people. It certainly changes them, but I don’t think that change=damage.

            There are certainly suicides and depression, but that does not mean that everyone who has ever been in the military is broken. I do not think we should shy away from hiring people exposed to any general thing as police or any other job.

            Policemen should be hired like applicants to any other job. Based on their own personal suitability and merit.

            I am also not saying that ALL vets would make good cops.

        • So the more Fallujah experience you have the better cop you will make? Don’t think so. We are not totally at war with the power of the state enforcers just yet.

        • Hi CS,

          I think a major factor (so far not addressed) is that current/recent military are volunteers, not draftees. Some would argue that volunteers are a better class. I disagree. I think, to a great extent, they are people who have few options and who – again, to a great extent – are the psychological “types” who like regimentation, the “macho” life… venerate the state (super patriotism, as in the video of that guy threatening to beat people up for “disrespecting” the symbol of the state, the flag) and who typically have contempt for those who do share these values, or partake of the same experience. (Marines, for example, refer to non-Marines … that is, to us … as maggots.)

          Ordinary draftees would probably tend to have a more “screw this” mindset – and resent/loathe the authority imposed on them.

          Regardless, in the military, you are dehumanized by being conditioned (brutally conditioned) to regard “the enemy” (other human beings, people you’ve never even met, who’ve never done you any harm) as less than human. As things to be destroyed or at least neutralized

          This is a soul-killing experience. It is no coincidence that – as others have already pointed out – vets are disproportionately likely to have serious, even crippling, mental/emotional problems as a result of their “service.”

          Even if they do not, the “squared away” and “high and tight” and “obey orders” mentality that is drummed into soldiers is absolutely incompatible with civilian peace keeping.

          The founders warned us of the dangers of standing armies, in particular, of using “troops” against civilians. It was in fact one of the causal factors behind the Revolution.

          Soldiers are for war.

          Not for peace keeping.

        • “It was not created by the veteran- and will not be undone by non-veterans.”
          Really? Those of us who have chosen productive careers won’t undo it, huh? Freedom isn’t free? Thank a soldier?
          I for one am tired of that crap. We went from the spitting hippies after Vietnam to the current arrogant mindless uniform worship as a reaction. I’m coming to believe the stinky hippies were better. And freedom is only to the individual who demands it and enforces his own- not to the soldier.
          I for one have studied far more military history, tactics, and weaponry than most of the military boys I’ve known. And some of them are family and I’ve buried a few.

          • My comment “will not be undone by non-veterans” was NOT meant to exclude non-veterans. After reading it again I can see how it can be interpreted in that manner.

            What I meant is “will not be undone BECAUSE you are are employing non-veterans”.

    • @CS: That’s food for thought. I hadn’t considered it that way.
      From the few vets I know, they’re a pretty calm bunch. I don’t know if they’re representative; but I’d damn sure rather have Jesse (retired Army) as a cop than young-dumb-full-of-cum ex-high-school-football-dick Jimmy.

      Jesse works with me and he’s very cool…and knows the system is a fraud.

      Alex Jones reckons the majority of the military are wide awake. I don’t know enough to say.

    • Guess how many of those old school cops were WWII and Korea vets. Far more by percentage then you will find in modern policing- as in past conflicts, specifically WWII, the percentage of the population that served was far larger.

      Having not known anyone closely who served in Korea, I can’t speak to that end. As for WWII vets, both my father and my wife’s father fought in WWII (European theater), in the 8th AAF and 101st Airborne, respectively. During that war, they were welcomed as liberators by the locals after having pushed out a genuine invading army. They hadn’t heard the term 360-degree warfare because they went in, did their job, and got out. They didn’t stay on for over a decade afterward acting as the police force. Veterans of Iraq War I, Iraq War II, and Afghanistan were the invaders. Of course they had to deal with a 360-degree battlefield, because after the initial toppling of the government, the locals wanted them gone and they wouldn’t leave. Show me an Iraq or Afghanistan vet who doesn’t flinch or reach for a weapon when something goes bang, and I’ll show you someone whose MOS involved driving a forklift in a supply warehouse. Years of reflexes borne out of the need for survival don’t just go away with changes to your uniform or surroundings. With that said, maybe a restriction on vets working as police should be limited to those who occupied non-combat roles.

      The main reasons police departments love to hire ex-military are that they know how to follow orders and, most importantly, can keep their mouths shut, thus strengthening the blue wall of silence. Notwithstanding the fact that the federal government provides generous amounts of grant money for each vet hired as a police officer.

      • My uncle Richard was in Korea. Until the day he died (in the late nineties), he used to wake up a few nights a week screaming. Far as I’m aware, he never murdered anybody — but he wasn’t a cop, and I’m pretty sure math teachers don’t get special dispensation to kill you even if they were in the army. Clearly carried some burden from his time in Korea for the rest of his life, though.

        • I feel that.

          Imagine: You are given a rifle and told to shoot it at random guys – the “enemy” – guys you’ve never even met but who in your gut you realize are probably just like you (that is, some young kid, scared shitless, with a rifle in his hand, in fear of his life and barked at by authority figures to kill “the enemy”).

          I think I could deal with it if I had to shoot a home invader. But killing random strangers – and seeing my friends shot to pieces all around me – how does one ever get over that?

          • Dear Darien, Eric,

            That’s why I like what Smedley Butler said about national defense — that it should only defend American soil, and even the Navy should not operate more than 500 miles beyond America’s coastline.

            That’s the only way to know for sure that one’s fight is 100% righteous. If one if doing the equivalent of repelling or killing a home invader.

            Otherwise, if one is “taking the fight to them.” the bad guy is in all likelihood the guy you see in the mirror.

          • I’ll be honest with you: I hope to heaven I could *not* deal with it. Almost the only thing I have left is that I haven’t killed anybody; if I ever do, all I can ask is that I can’t accept it.

          • That type of military doesn’t exist. If you don’t want to be there, don’t show up. If you really don’t want to be there- apply for conscienscious objector status. YOU volunteered.

            Fear exists for sure, but this notion that war is one old man yelling at 100 18 year old kids to go slaughter a village, well that’s just ridiculous.

            Once again, western militaries are not a free for all. We aren’t deployed and just dropped in to some random place.

            • You mean like our slaying of (minimally) tens of thousands of Iraqis? The mowing down of unarmed people with helicopter gunships? The spraying of the country with depleted uranium rounds (and the resultant massive upsurge in grotesque birth defects among the helpless civilians)?

              You are awfully casual about the actions of “the troops” in places like Iraq – where they have no business being and never did.

              And about the barbarism they’ve brought home.

          • I’d argue that “getting over it” is a sign of lack of conscience. Not “getting over it” is a sign of conscience.

            It distresses me to see otherwise principled libertarians sometimes put a positive spin on the military. In my mind, the American soldier is far more evil than a traffic cop. Its one thing to hold someone at gunpoint and take his money on behalf of the gang, its another thing to kill somebody on behalf of the gang. Yet frequently I see soldiers and vets being treated as somewhat honorable even in libertarian circles.

            Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really want another Vietnam where they are spat on and called baby killers and whatever. I do believe in hating the sin and loving the sinner. But what you have now is a culture, again, even among libertarians or other anti-war types, that still acts like its somehow honorable to wear the government uniform and go “put your life on the line” in Iraq or whatever, rather than being a sin that need be repented of.

            And as strongly Christian as I am, the failure of most people in the church to come to terms with this, and the fact that some of them don’t even go so far as to say the WARS were wrong, makes me really shake my head and get frustrated sometimes. I’ve told my dad this, and I’ll keep telling him, everyone in his church agrees with him that abortion and homosexuality are wrong. They need to hear something about the killers in who knows what countries being wrong. Unfortunately, he can’t even really mention that until he comes to terms with it himself.

            Until then I’ll keep waiting, praying, and posting here.

            • In complete agreement on this, David.

              If life is cheapened anywhere, it is cheapened everywhere. Here, in particular.

              It is no accident, I think, that America has grown so much more callous internally in parallel with the callousness it projects externally.

              Chalmers Johnson called it “blowback” – and he’s exactly right.

    • As a fellow veteran, I concur with your criticism of Mr. Peter’s assertion that veterans are “loose cannons”. NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.
      In fact, you will find that most veterans absolutely abhor war and were against the military actions of the last 30 or so years.
      Mr. Peters is dead wrong . . .

    • Following orders isn’t always following the law, and Eric is right to observe there’s been a shift towards authoritarian police. He didn’t make that up, but he may have been confused (slightly) about the cause.

      It would be wonderful to believe the militarization of civil law enforcement ‘jest happened’, but there are reasons to believe the correlation is more than happenstance. Something is wrong. Eric presented a reasonable hypothesis. Criticize it?

      • Thanks, Scott.

        It ought to be plain to anyone with his eyes open that police – who now style themselves law enforcement – have in the main become much more hair-trigger aggressive, both in terms of their attitude and actions and their equipment. They expect immediate deference to their authority. The slightest hesitation, hint of noncompliance with any order they bark often results in a furious, completely over-the-top response.

        I’ve been to Third World countries; am old enough to remember the old Soviet Union and East Germany. One of the most striking things about them vs. what America was like in those days was the omnipresence of very threatening-looking, bristling with military-grade hardware enforcers in the former while in America, cops were still just cops. They wore revolvers, did not carry H&Ks or web gear. They did not shoot first and ask questions later. They were much more respectful of citizens. You had to really do something overtly reckless/violent to incite a violent – a potentially lethal – response.

        But now? American law enforcers look just like – dress just like, act just like – the enforcers one sees in Third World countries and which were among the defining characteristics of the police states of the old Soviet Bloc.

  10. One thing I didn’t see mentioned… Keep State and Federal dollars out of local precincts. I have a relative in law enforcement and they didn’t see the militarization of the police force until federal dollars started spilling in after 9/11.

    I have no proof, but I believe the shorter the distance between the taxpayers wallet and the local police the tighter a leash there will be. Now with the federalization of the police force they are insulated from the people they are supposed to serve and protect.

    • Agreed, Bryan.

      The Homeland Sicherheitsdeinst has been at the forefront of militarizing local cop shops. Even in my one traffic light rural county, there is now a bulletproof “security” area at the courthouse and – I am pretty sure – they now possess one of those SWAT-type armored vehicles.

  11. You might appreciate Terry Pratchett’s “Discworld” series, especially the “City Watch” subset of books. The Captain of the Watch, Sam Vimes, points out a few times across the books that cops are civilians and can always quit if they’re told to do something they don’t want to do – only in the military are you tried for not following orders. I imagine that’s not something that’s stressed when one transitions from the military to being a cop.

    Although not a self-identified libertarian, Terry Pratchett’s books frequently have a libertarian lean.

  12. Re: Molinari – love this guy – Gian Piero de Bellis. He is a Libertarian Italian that lives in Switzerland, he is the webmaster of panarchy and polyarchy dot org.

    Gian Piero de Bellis, né en 1950, est un libertarien italien qui vit en Suisse.
    Favorable à la panarchie, il est le webmaster de et

    49 of 49 – Final considerations

    The Zeitgeist of the 20th century has been the myth of the state, the protector, the dispenser, the ‘alma mater’ of the angst ridden masses. The angst has disappeared and the myth is falling apart. Only the state survives, by inertia.

    But still, an intense struggle is going to be fought between the state and human beings/communities advocating Polyarchy. State bureaucracy will keep trying, till the end, to strike and fight autonomy with all sorts of old ideological weapons, shouting their litany against individualism, ‘private’ interest, anarchy. It is the same old game : to fabricate and spread hatred and fear; to promote and feed irresponsibility and foolishness.

    It will find the usual band of old cronies, the authoritarian communist, the self-deluded liberal, the fake anarchist, the angry trade-unionist, the nation loving patriot, all under respectable banners (anarchism, ecologism, internationalism, anti-authoritarianism).

    Under these disguises they will try to pass and impose the usual stinking bag of monopolism, protectionism, paternalism, in a word, state strangulation. And, as usual, they will do this in the name of those they pretend to defend (the working class, the people in the developing countries, etc.) but whom they actually corrupt morally and oppress materially.

    Human beings and communities need to be/become conscious of this ideological trash in order to unmask what lies behind it, i. e. the arrogance, greed and abject parasitism of the state.

    We have to build our way out of the dead end triangle made by bureaucrats and politicians, degenerate and servile intellectuals, fake and corrupted welfare recipients. We must put an end to parasitism and pillage and replace it with production and participation in the enjoyment of goods and services conducive to ever more widespread well-being.

    The nation state is decaying rapidly and we can already smell its incipient decomposition in the many cases of sleaze, corruption, misappropriation, injustice and violence that have been, and more and more are, part and parcel of the daily life of these huge parasitocracies. We must be careful about what replaces it because parasites have many tricks up their sleeves and they can invent many ways to keep people subordinate, morally, mentally and materially.

    The master-slave, egoism-altruism dynamic, goes on forever. The pursuit of emancipation and liberation is a never ending strive.

    Even Polyarchy is not the definitive solution. It will be only a period in history. Globalism and localism might very well change their meaning, giving way to further dynamics.

    Probably the multiplication of centres will not be enough and there will be a move from Polyarchy to Panarchy, when every single individual and small community will aspire to become more and more a protagonist, a flourishing centre in its own right.

    History carries on until the end of time.

    Human Beings and Communities of the World: awake, associate and act

    • “We must be careful about what replaces it”

      Indeed we must Tor. In fact we must be careful *nothing* replaces it. It would be entirely too easy for another “less corrupt” power to step in in its stead. No prisoners.

  13. I left a comment at the YT video, FYI:

    Bevin Chu
    1 second ago

    Clueless “patriot” can’t distinguish between the map and the territory.
    The flag merely symbolizes freedom. The protesters using the flag as a prop were not merely symbolizing freedom, but exercising their freedom.
    The out of control Iraq veteran had cause and effect reversed.
    If he really thought he was “defending freedom,” why was he violating the protestors’ freedom of expression?
    The flag belonged to the protestors. It was their private property, bought with their own money. All part and parcel of the American values of free market capitalism.
    If he really thought he was defending “American values,” why was he violating constitutionally protected rights to life, liberty, and property?
    No wonder we have gradually lost our freedoms.

    • Morning, Bevin!

      And that meathead will almost certainly become a “hero” cop, going after “scumbags” who don’t “respect the uniform.”

      PS: Thanks for the recommends in re Buddhist reading!

      • Dear Eric,

        Yeah. Most likely he will be yet another Officer 82nd Airborne.

        End of Days is near.

        Re: recommendations

        Think nothing of it. Glad to share. I think you’ll enjoy Alan Watts. Very witty guy. Very personable. Mischievous sense of humor. Perfectly suited to a Zen Master.

        In any event, the key is to always take away what one needs from each teacher along the way. The individual’s spiritual odyssey is a case where “cherry picking” is not merely okay, it’s the right thing to do.

  14. I saw this quote on the blog entry, ‘Tom Friedman On How To Form A Society’ at Economic Policy Journal which reminded me of “Peacekeeping II: Addendum”,… after reading Mike in Boston’s comment, I guess we got a ways to go yet:

    “Liberty is not something we design and construct but, instead, is a felicitous situation in which people find themselves once authoritarianism is abandoned.” – Leonard Read

    No “peacekeepers” necessary.

    • Dear Pan,

      “Liberty is not something we design and construct… ”

      That’s a point I like to underscore from time to time as well.

      Often advocates of any of the many forms of statism will say, “Libertarianism is merely your subjective preference in political systems. It’s as much of an imposition on others as [ fill in the blank ] is on you!”

      Not true!

      Libertarianism is not a system, but a metasystem. Libertarianism is not “our rules imposed on them,” but the Golden Rule for everyone. Only libertarianism makes possible a situation in which NOBODY imposes his will on anybody else.

      • @Bevin-

        I absolutely agree with you, and this is a similar problem that I’ve experienced. I find it difficult to stick to my guns on this without coming off as “mean”, but its very true (I admire Larken Rose for just flat out telling them they’re wrong, but in reality its hard to just do that, at least for me). Saying that there’s more than one “correct” view on this issue is like saying 2 + 2 can either equal 4 or not equal 4, that both positions are “correct”. Its a logical absurdity.

        Of course, without an appeal to God there are no absolutes of right and wrong, but I’m generally referring to Christians with the above.

        • Dear David,

          The Golden Rule as both theists and non-theists know, tells us how two individuals ought to treat each other. It is something that pertains to two parties. To two individuals. To two human beings. They ought to treat the other the same way they themselves want to be treated. On planet earth. Not in “heaven.”

          So why in the bleeding world does that require some out of the blue assertion that:

          “Of course, without an appeal to God there are no absolutes of right and wrong… ”


        • @David,

          It is always engaging, when there are discussions between “atheists” and religious men. A key figure that can be referenced to both “sides” benefit, is Thomas of Aquino, Italy.

          Thomas Aquinas is revered in the UK Anglican Church and Commonwealth, the Roman Catholic Church and Southern Europe and Latin America, and the Germanic Lutheran Church and the Germanic countries. In other words, the entire western world.

          Aquinas Online

          Quinque Viae – 5 Ways of Proving God Exists Thru Reason

          There are countless brilliant quotes, since Saint Thomas Aquinas. was one of the greatest theological thinkers of the 13th century.

          His impact on Christianity and Western thought is considerable, and his writings are still at the core of Roman Catholic priests, nuns, and deacons who provided my education.

          He is the foremost classical proponent of natural theology, and the father of the Thomistic school of philosophy and theology.

          1. A man has free choice to the extent that he is rational.
          2. All the efforts of the human mind cannot exhaust the essence of a single fly.
          3. Because philosophy arises from awe, a philosopher is bound in his way to be a lover of myths and poetic fables. Poets and philosophers are alike in being big with wonder.
          4. Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.
          5. By nature all men are equal in liberty, but not in other endowments.
          6. Faith has to do with things that are not seen and hope with things that are not at hand.
          7. How can we live in harmony? First we need to know we are all madly in love with the same God.
          8. How is it they live in such harmony the billions of stars – when most men can barely go a minute without declaring war in their minds about someone they know.
          9. It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes.
          10. Love takes up where knowledge leaves off.
          11. That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell.
          12. The things that we love tell us what we are.
          13. Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do.
          14. To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.
          15. Wonder is the desire for knowledge.

          – I don’t adequately conform to either side, so I’m not really on either side of the atheist/religious divide myself. And anyway, maybe some arguments are meant to be eternal.

    • Hi Panarch,


      Consider a theoretical community in which everyone agrees to abide by the NAP (and does so). Aggression is anathema, like diddling kids.

      No need for formal peacekeepers. People resolve their differences peaceably.

      Of course, that is probably utopian. I think the best we can hope for is a community/society in which most people reject aggression. However – like kid diddlers – there will probably always be someone who won’t play nice.

      In that case, dealing with them will be necessary. It can of course be done by the individuals harmed (or their kin) but that probably entails an arbitrariness (and perhaps excessiveness) we might not be comfortable with and which may – more importantly – be far from fair.

      Nothing is perfect (except for a well-tuned triple two stroke, of course) but we can strive for better rather than worse.

      I haven’t been able to come up with a Libertarian objection to the existence of peacekeepers, provided that’s all they do and provided they do so without resorting to coercion for their support (i.e., taxes). It need not be anything more than volunteers within a community who – as an example – conduct patrols (check on the old lady down the road) and so on.

      The key to the whole schmeer – as I see it – is disabusing people of the notion that it’s ok to use violence, ever, except in self-defense.

      Achieve that and all else follows.

      • That, of course, is the old double standard that statists love to smack us with: the claim that, hey, it’s not like the world would be *perfect* if you had your way! Right, as though there’s no room in the barn between “perfect” and “exactly the way things are now.” I’m with you: just because anarchy wouldn’t be perfect doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be a heckuva lot better.

        As to the peacekeepers: if there is no aggression involved *at all,* then of course there is no libertarian objection, as that is the one and only issue libertarianism deals with. Anything purely non-aggressive is ipso facto compatible with libertarianism.

        • Hi Darien,


          Imagine life circa 1780, in terms of the liberty enjoyed by the average person. Virtually no interference with his pursuit of a livelihood, his freedom to associate with whomever; his right to self-defense (and to carry a firearm) unquestioned.

          “Police” a non-presence in his life.

          Not perfect, of course (there were taxes on various things and outrageous laws, even then) but in terms of liberty, so much better than today.

          Even by the standards of 1970s, America was a utopia compared with today.

          I’d like to snap my fingers – and awake to a Libertarian society, free of all aggression. But the way to get there is not by snapping one’s fingers, but incrementally.

          One small victory at a time.

  15. Excellent suggestions all, Eric, but I think we’re too far down the slippery slope to get back. There have been several court cases here in MA affirming the right of anyone to tape cops in public, but that doesn’t stop them from harassing anyone they spot doing that. There was a bill in the state house to require cops to wear cameras, but that’s been buried by pressure from the “heros” union; they’re so full of themselves from their armed assault on Watertown after the marathon bombing that no one dares breathe a word of criticism. The sheeple are ever so grateful for being kept “safe”. It still cracks me up that the one hero who almost died in that assault was shot by his fellow sharpshooting heros, but that detail was buried somewhere in the back pages of the newspaper and never saw the light of day again.

    • Hi Mike,

      I’m hopeful – if only because I do see objective signs of an awakening. It’s not perfect, but – as an example – a majority of Americans polled (in numerous polls) express concern about police over-reaction, and agree America is becoming a police state. That actual term is used.

      Rewind 20 years ago. Only “fringe” people on the left and right would have used such terminology. That is progress.

      The abuses are now so in your face – and so grossly barbarous (anal/vaginal probing by the side of the road following a routine traffic stop) that it’s almost impossible to maintain cognitive dissonance. Or at least, it is getting harder.

      I have to hope we can step back from the abyss.

      • He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
        “Beyond Good and Evil”, Aphorism 146 (1886).

        Been on the edge of that abyss for decades already; I know where they are going. They want to push us all over the edge, into oblivion…

        And the sheep are running like lemmings…

      • “All laws forbidding video/audio recording of police be withdrawn and every cop should be required to wear a small camera and recording device while on duty – the contents of which must be automatically provided upon request to any citizen detained/arrested by that cop for evidentiary purposes. If the video/audio is not “available” for whatever reason, all charges against the citizen must be dismissed out of hand based on the hearsay rule…”

        Very good.

        One small nit to pick: I don’t think the hearsay rule would apply. The arrest should be ruled invalid because failure to record provides the basis for a claim of evidence tampering.

      • “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? . . .”

        – Alexandr Solzhenitzyn “The Gulag Archipelago,”


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