Vidcast: Presumptive guilt

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This Vidcast was inspired by my muse, Clover, whose every view seems to be based on the idea of presumptive guilt. This is an idea similar to “pre-crime” – if you remember the movie (based on the novel by the great Phillip K. Dick) but takes things a step farther.

Pre-crime at least focuses on a specific individual who – according to various indicators – appears likely to commit some crime in the future. The person is punished before he actually commits whatever the crime is.

Presumptive guilt, on the other hand, presumes everyone’s guilty. And so, everyone is punished before the fact. This is the principle behind “sobriety” checkpoints – and it will be expanded, as I have tried to explain to my muse, because precedents are based on principles and principles, once accepted, become practice. If it is legitimate to stop motorists at random, without any reason for suspecting them, as individuals, of having done the slightest thing illegal, then why would it not be legitimate to also randomly stop people merely walking down the street? Or even to randomly eavesdrop on people’s telephone calls and e-mails (whoops – they’re already doing that) or – to take it one natural step farther – conduct random “checks” of their homes?

Why not?pre crime lead

Clover, of course, has no answer. Well, he has no answer based on principles. For Clover is ethically myopic. He only sees “dangerous drunks.” Not the danger of ceding to the state very dangerous sweeping authority based on a principle that will necessarily be applied to other things.

Already has been, in fact.

Which explains why there’s been no real uproar over outrages such as the government randomly and without even the pretext of individualized suspicion (once upon a a time, the keystone of Western legal tradition) filching our e-mails, monitoring our conversations and subjecting us to degradations formerly only visited upon convicted felons merely to travel by airplane.

It has been accepted – in principle – by broad swaths of the public that such things are legitimate – because the linchpins of a free society such as individualized suspicion and evidence of guilt prior to criminal investigation/punishment have been de-legitimized.

Worse is on the way as a result of this. It is as inevitable as a muddy lawn after a sustained downpour.

The average person probably believes that history’s great tyrants – Hitler, for instance – mesmerized a nation, turning the people, who were sane one day, into raving maniacs the next by flights of satanic oratory.

Nonsense.

Hitler and his kind are always among us. But they are powerless until the people are ready to give them power. By 1932, a sufficient number of Germans were ready. They had come to venerate authority. The pathetic little man with the funny moustache merely channeled this lust to be led. To be “kept safe” and made “secure” … and became Der Fuhrer. He himself admitted this, openly. That he was a vessel, the incarnation of the German People, the manifestation of its will.

Those with eyes to see may see what’s coming. The same bland men, authoritarian but ditherers unable or unwilling to take the next step precede the man who is able – and who will.

He is coming.

Because Americans are ready now, too.

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23 COMMENTS

  1. This presumption of guilt thing got started once the cops got away with illegal searches, and when challenged, they, and many sycophants in the general public responded, “what are you HIDING?”. Ergo, your privacy and your right to go about your business, unmolested, is subject to your being able to PROVE your INNOCENCE, not the police having probable cause to detain, search, and arrest!

    It’s now morphed into the most likely threat to your cash or other fungible items, including your ride, is the police themselves, under so-called “Civil” Asset Forfeiture! All the cops have to do is come up with a reason to detain you, and search you, often done in utter disregard of the law, and if they find anything, just TAKE it, without any substantiation that it’s actually the fruit of illicit activity, and the burden is upon you to prove that it’s not! The cops prey on folks that have little means to defend themselves against this literal “highway robbery”. The justification? “Well, why isn’t the money in a BANK…if you’re carrying cash, you MUST be up to ‘no good’!”. Or to justify seizing a car over a joint that one likely rolled on his own and likelyl would cost five bucks at most on the street. As for “why not just use the banks”, there’s already proposals in several states to enable the cops to seize your ATM card or credit card and effect a cash withdrawl, without a court order or warrant!

    And never mind what will become of you if your woman, or ex-female, gets angry with you, especially if you take up with her “replacement”. All any woman has to do is allege “domestic violence”, and it’s “Do not pass ‘Go’, do not collect $200”, regardless of the validity of the allegation, and in all practicality, you WILL be treated as if you’re ALREADY guilty, and as a practical matter, you MUST prove your innocence. Not even satisfied with that, many shrill feminists have demanded that the standard of evidence used to convict of a DV charge be lowered to that of “probability”, considerably less of a burden to “prove” than “beyond reasonable doubt”. And we know how many judges, faced with a “he said, she said” scenario, will rule, fearing for their cushy judgeships should they acquit a “batterer”!

    • Slowly it is being made such that men who use video and audio recordings to prove their innocence will be charged with something else revolving around the recording instead. Or the recording won’t be admissible in court.

      • Already “there”. It’s a crime to make an audio or video recording of someone w/o their knowledge or consent, under circumstances where they had this nebulous “expectation of privacy”. While such laws are intended to go after sleazy creeps that pose videos of their (ex)girlfriends getting naked and performing sex acts, likewise if you record a family argument, at minimum it will NOT be admissible in court. Furthermore, if your attorney mentions it at trial, knowing or having reason to believe that it won’t be allowed, (s)he’ll be sanctioned by the judge and will face disciplinary action by the Bar.

        So yes, in a “he said, she said” situation, you’d likely be denied the opportunity to present exculpatory evidence. Take care into what female you invite into your domicile…

        • A video recording is the ONLY thing that saved the Hofstra boys from being falsely accused of rape. I’d still make a recording, regardless. If it’s a choice between being busted for an unauthorized recording vs. a rape charge, it’d be a no-brainer choice for me…

          Oh, and I’m VERY careful about the women who’ve been in my house. One was my late mother. The other women have been pet sitters looking after my cat when I’m away. I only met with the pet sitters when they needed to see my cat; other than that, they weren’t here unless I was gone. But yeah, after having been falsely accused of DV; after almost having my life ruined; I’m VERY careful about the women I even interact with, let alone come into my house…

        • Even if you can’t present the recording at trial, you certainly can show it to police and prosecutors. In those instances, it can prove YOUR version of the story, not the accuser’s. Yeah, the accuser, especially if female, will get away with making a false accusation; she’ll still get her pussy pass. That said, you won’t be looking at jail time, either.

  2. Hitler didn’t actually invent “Fuhrerprinzip”, that dates all the way back to the days of the old German chieftain Ariminius, whom was actually hostaged out to the Roman Emperor’s (Augustus Caesar) court as a kid; Ariminus, the Latin version of his German name, Hermann, (literally, “Mister Man”, an honorific), was educated by the best teachers (mostly Greek slaves whom were learned men in their own Greek city-state) and served in the Roman Army, engaged in many battles in Roman service, especially against the Parthians (Persians), and rose to the office of “Magister Miitum” (Master of the Soldiers, akin to today’s Chairman of the JCS). When Ariminius retired, he went back to Germania, ostensibly to rule as a Roman vassal. Instead, he took charge of Germania…notably, challenged by a local tribal chieftain, Ariminius proceed to beat him to a pulp with his war hammer, then he beheaded the guy, and held his head up before the astonished crowd, and told them, “what does this fellow have to say…NOW?” He then revolted against Roman rule, and the Emperor sent Ariminius’ replacement, Varus, with three of Rome’s best legions…whom were entirely wiped out in the Battle, if one could call it that, of the Teutoburg Forest in AD 9. “Varus…give me back my legions!”.

    Otto Von Bismarck, whom led Prussia to a quick victory over the Habsburg kingdom of Austria (resuliting in the weak confederation known as Austria-Hungary) in 1866, and suckered Napoleon III into starting an ill-fated war in 1870 (leading to the French “Third Republic”), also was virtually the dictator of Germany for nearly 20 years. When asked by Kaiser Wilhelm I (the grandfather of the last German monarch, Wilhelm II) whether the Army would follow Him into battle, Bismarck responded, “Your Majesty, I know that the Army follows ME”. He too was the German “Fuhrer” long before the term was popularized.

    As with many other things, especially Antisemitism in Germany, Hitler co-opted rather than invented “Fuhrerrprinzip”.

  3. Interesting take on computers and security. WASF

    https://medium.com/message/everything-is-broken-81e5f33a24e1

    “In theory, the reason we’re so nice to soldiers, that we have customs around honoring and thanking them, is that they’re supposed to be sacrificing themselves for the good of the people. In the case of the NSA, this has been reversed. Our wellbeing is sacrificed to make their job of monitoring the world easier. When this is part of the culture of power, it is well on its way to being capable of any abuse.”

  4. Only muslims don’t go through tsa “insecurity”. That’s the reason our gov’ts allow them in our countries so Uncle can impose his “authority”.

  5. “Presumptive Guilt” is yet another stark indicator of government lawlessness — but American sheep still cling to the myth that they live under a just Rule-of-Law.

    The law is supposed to be a shield against tyranny, but it’s been gradually transformed into a weapon of mass destruction & control against the populace.

    But American lemmings will flock to the voting booths next Tuesday, foolishly believing they actually control their government rulers.
    And even if your guy/issue (Republican/Democrat/Independent/etc) wins next week — it will have no practical effect on our outrageous legal system and oppressive government.

    “Presumptively Dumb” about the true nature of government is an apt description of most Americans — and the reason we’re in our present dangerous predicament.

  6. Most here already know my stance on this regarding common law. If you don’t know your rights, you have none – and they know it. I need not comment further.

    • I don’t know about that, Revolution. People still have rights – they’re born with them actually. But to expect people with power over others to respect those rights, exercised or not, well that’s another matter entirely.

      • Agree to your latter JRO, but the government treats people as children within the legal system, requiring counsel because they’re considered incompetent. You must stand your ground and prove otherwise. It’s an unfortunate state of affairs.

        There’s a difference between UN-alienable and IN-alienable rights. The latter are the rights government gives you and therefore can take them away at any time.

        Those in power won’t respect the rights of others because the money and power are great incentives.

        If you know your unalienable rights via common law you stand a better chance. Sheeples have let it go too far. We need to stand on our own in increasing number. They can’t arrest us all.

        • I don’t think presumed stupidity is why courts want everyone to have lawyer. It’s to make more business for lawyers. So much is done with new laws and the court system just to make business for lawyers. Law doesn’t have to be complex with bizarre incantations. It’s made that way so (hopefully) only members of the temple know how to do it. In the USA one hires a lawyer because of his relationships with the other lawyers (judges, prosecution, etc) This was part of the laughs in “My Cousin Vinny” 😉

          • Hi Brent,

            Agreed.

            It’s absurd – no, deliberately vicious – that one for all intents and purposes one must have – a lawyer merely to effectively present a (legal) defense against a speeding ticket.

            Yes, I know it can be done sans lawyer. But it is so recondite and prolix that it is effectively impossible for most people.

            There is no legitimate reason for this.

            Why can’t one simply go before a court and state the relevant facts – without all the procedural nonsense?

            For one reason only: To protect the legal cartel’s monopoly on “justice.”

  7. I live in a rural little county in SE Missouri. On Tuesday, I had to go to the county courthouse and pay property taxes on a 47 year old car (don’t ask). The county jail and sheriff’s office is located behind the courthouse. I noticed a shiny new black (of coarse), big honkin’ mobile “command center” with “Scott County DWI Task Force” painted in patriotic colors on each side, along with motifs of soaring eagles and US flags.

    The nicest buildings in these poor little towns are always the “public” buildings. Somebody has to pay for them.

    • The boys over at the “fire protection district” building had the big ladder truck out this afternoon giving it a spit polish. The fire protection district building was built by Uncle using DHS money to keep the world safe for freedom, or at least that’s what they told us.

      I’m actually OK with having a fire department, especially since this one is all volunteer, but the money spent on the building and equipment was unnecessary, especially that big ladder truck. The highest building in town is the 3 story rec center.

      Well, OK, the gas plant might be 3 stories too, but if it catches fire there won’t be much of anything to put out after the explosion levels it!

      • Hi Eric,

        I suspect fire departments would exist even if coercive government disappeared tomorrow – for the same reason I suspect farmers would continue to farm (and so on). Because people will pay for what they consider valuable. Fire service is valuable. Perhaps not everyone would “subscribe.” But I imagine enough would to carry the rest, or at least, those who legitimately could not afford to subscribe. The fire service could – based on its own judgment – decline to help, say, the obviously could-afford-it guy (who has a nice house, etc.) who refused to subscribe – and therefore, took the risk upon himself. Just as it could decide to help the guy who lives in the little shack down the road that everyone knows is broke.

        But, regardless, community fire service ought to be fee for service/pay as you go, like any other service. Just without the element of coercion.

  8. And remember, the “Public Schools” were originated in Prussia in the 1800’s, in order to train good citizens. W/o them, Hitler might not have ‘happened.’

    • Hitler grew up in AUSTRIA, but the point is well taken. Education in Germany had as its objective to train boys to be either bureaucrats and/or soldiers, and girls to be mothers, period.

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