The New Professionalism

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

Guy hits another car while doing twice the speed limit, and kills its driver, a 20-year-old college student. The student’s mother is in the passenger side, and watches her son die. Despite the fact that the guy admits he had been out drinking, the police don’t give him an alcohol test at the scene. Instead, they test the dead student’s blood (it was negative). The guy then gets caught lying to investigators about what he was doing in the hours leading up to the crash. He says he was sleeping. His cell phone records say otherwise. Guy gets off with a speeding ticket. Doesn’t even lose his job.

Oh, did I mention that the guy is a cop? And that he’s still on the job in . . . drumroll, please . . . Prince George’s County, Maryland?

“We have a lot of fatality cases where tickets are the only option for us,” Ivey said. “I think it’s wrong, and I think the law needs to change.”

Ivey said he is working for a fourth consecutive year with state legislators to draft a bill that would allow prosecutors a “middle ground” to more easily prosecute drivers who cause substantial injury or death.

The prosecutor also said his recent failure to win a conviction of Scott Campbell, a county police officer who was charged with manslaughter in an eight-car pileup last year on the Beltway, factored into his decision not to present the Chavez case to a grand jury.

Somehow, I doubt your average motorist in Prince George’s County would have gotten off so lightly. In addition to the failure of this cop’s colleagues to test him for alcohol, other key pieces of evidence seem to have wound up damaged or missing:

Gray said she is also troubled that potential evidence has never been analyzed. A black box recording device for the cruiser still sits in Detroit, where Ivey’s office says software problems have prevented technicians from retrieving the record of Chavez’s actions before the crash.

Maj. Andy Ellis, a county police spokesman, said officers who responded to the Dec. 10, 2007, crash followed state law in not testing Chavez’s sobriety. Officers at the scene reported seeing no reason to think Chavez had been drinking. He said the police department will begin an internal investigation.

Gray said her lawyer has found that a page of nurse’s notes about Chavez’s condition when he arrived at Prince George’s Hospital after the crash is missing.

Funny how that works.

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48 Responses to “The New Professionalism”

  1. #1 |  Marty | 

    ‘Oh, did I mention that the guy is a cop? And that he’s still on the job in . . . drumroll, please . . . Prince George’s County, Maryland?’

    I would’ve guessed.

  2. #2 |  Highway | 

    Heck, consider if the opposite people had died in that crash. How screwed would an *innocent* driver have been if a police officer, drunk and behind the wheel, crashed into him and was killed?

    More and more, the police are becoming a criminal class.

  3. #3 |  Mike | 

    I was disgusted with the DUI process long ago. My own “case” was ultimately dismissed, yet I was still required to attend hours of MADD and county classes (as well as visit with a probation officer younger than myself) who all pushed a zero tolerance ethos with great zeal. (These little get togethers were paid from my pocket, naturally.) We are clearly not safe from those who ostensibly are our protectors and public servants, and in fact the deck is stacked in their favor when they transgress. The fallacy that these laws make the roads any safer should be admitted once and for all.

  4. #4 |  Brandon Bowers | 

    Damn, Radley, you really know how to put a damper on a Saturday. So Maryland has a state law saying not to test drivers who cause fatal accidents? Or just not to test cops who cause fatal accidents? And to test the victim? Anybody know how this works?

  5. #5 |  The Johnny Appleseed Of Crack | 

    “We have a lot of fatality cases where tickets are the only option for us,” Ivey said. “I think it’s wrong, and I think the law needs to change.”

    Ivey said he is working for a fourth consecutive year with state legislators to draft a bill that would allow prosecutors a “middle ground” to more easily prosecute drivers who cause substantial injury or death.

    I have noticed a trend in cases like these, where the prosecutors decline to press any real charges against a cop. The D.A. always blames the laws on the books for tying their hands, and state that the laws need to be changed. They adhere to only the most narrow, literal, reading of a law when pursuing charges against a cop; but take a much more expansive view of the same laws when pursuing charges against anyone else.

  6. #6 |  Cynical In CA | 

    I’m afraid that there’s only one person who got down to the nitty-gritty on this type of situation — Jim Bell.

    /purely informational, not an endorsement

  7. #7 |  Robin | 

    These morally bankrupt police officers. How this man can live with himself continuing at his job, arresting people for ostensibly the same thing is beyond me. Their hands are tied? A ticket is the best that they can do? Do they not have a vehicular manslaughter statute in Maryland? I’m all for a certain amount of leniency and compassion in tragic situations like this, but if anything a police officer should be held to a higher standard than civilians. And what about the police department? What kind of message does this send, not even pressing this officer to resign? –“Don’t worry brother, we’ve got yer back”. Be afraid, lie to and hide from the police; they’re not the eccentric, intellectual heroes portrayed on TV.

  8. #8 |  Packratt | 

    @5

    It’s more than that really.

    The prosecutor sees this as a chance not just to keep a valuable political endorsement from the police unions, but also as an opportunity to turn that political favor into a win/win.

    The prosecutor gets, as a bonus, the opportunity to press for stronger laws utilizing public outrage which ultimately means more power for the prosecutor and a stronger win percentage which secures that position for the prosecutor.

    The police, of course, get the peace of mind knowing that they have the prosecutor in their pocket and never have to worry about being subjected to those new tough laws… and they have even more power themselves with no additional accountability.

    It’s a double-plus-good win/win… for them at least.

    …for us, it’s just that much lower we’ll have to bend over.

  9. #9 |  Jason | 

    Simply disgusting. The media are so busy fawning over Obama, they don’t have time to pursue real issues like the one highlighted in this story.
    http://rightklik.blogspot.com/

  10. #10 |  Billy | 

    “I was disgusted with the DUI process long ago. My own “case” was ultimately dismissed, yet I was still required to attend hours of MADD and county classes (as well as visit with a probation officer younger than myself) who all pushed a zero tolerance ethos with great zeal. (These little get togethers were paid from my pocket, naturally.)”

    Here’s a great explanation of what MADD is all about:

    http://www.drunkard.com/issues/08_02/08_02_fighting_madd.htm

    By the way, I live in southern California, and even I know how particularly rotten the PG County cops are.

  11. #11 |  Marty | 

    Cynical,
    I think something along the lines of Jim Bell’s ideas are going to come into play, eventually. This could be the 21st century’s version of tarring and feathering.
    He deserves a wider audience, for sure!

  12. #12 |  OneByTheCee | 

    Marty & Cynical in CA:

    Is this the Jim Bell you are speaking of?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Bell

  13. #13 |  Cynical In CA | 

    The very one, OneByTheCee.

    While most are content to wring their hands and gnash their teeth, Jim Bell at least conceived of a lever against state power.

    Of course, out of intellectual honesty, I must admit that the Jim Bell Hypothesis merely replaces the existing State with the State in a different form, as the State is founded on violence and so is Bell’s plan. But human beings, being the killers they are, are hard pressed to find alternatives.

    Ideas exist independent of individual human thought. I agree with Marty that it is only a matter of time before the imbalance between State power and individual power grows so great that nature will take its course.

    At any rate, Bell’s ideas are worthy of publication and discussion in my opinion.

  14. #14 |  Michael Pack | 

    I don’t care if he was drinking.He was driving in a dangerous manner and should be held accountable.He may have had a few beer,or been on the phone or just wasn’t paying attention.D.U.I laws have made a mockery of the justice system.Punish the harm,and in this case there’s plenty.By the way,high speed kills more people than drunks.

  15. #15 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #7 Robin: “How this man can live with himself continuing at his job, arresting people for ostensibly the same thing is beyond me.”

    Excellent question. The people of PG county should shun this so-called police officer. Shame and/or ridicule can be very powerful weapons. People who are drunk on…err, power, can’t stand being lampooned. Chavez’ moral authority is shit, at this point. Anyone he tickets or arrests should bring this shit up. If he has any integrity left he should resign immediately. And the officers on scene should be investigated. This IS NOT professional courtesy. Professional courtesy might be issuing a verbal warning to a fellow officer for an offense that you might also let John Q. Public off for. Hey, we all speed occasionally. We all fail to come to a complete stop at a stop sign or fail to signal a lane change or turn once in awhile. But we don’t all get trashed and kill twenty year old kids because of a selfish desire to have just one or two more drinks. Fuck Chavez and Fuck PG county if they are going to allow this behavior to continue.

  16. #16 |  MacGregory | 

    see more MADDness http://www.RIDL.com

  17. #17 |  aland | 

    H O’H is right.

    If ever someone deserved the concerted pressure of shame via the interwebs, it’s this guy and the cops who failed to process him like the criminal suspect he was.

  18. #18 |  OneByTheCee | 

    #5 | The Johnny Appleseed Of Crack |
    “I have noticed a trend in cases like these, where the prosecutors decline to press any real charges against a cop. The D.A. always blames the laws on the books for tying their hands, and state that the laws need to be changed. They adhere to only the most narrow, literal, reading of a law when pursuing charges against a cop; but take a much more expansive view of the same laws when pursuing charges against anyone else.”

    I wholeheartedly agree.

    And it’s the ONLY TIME we can truly see “transparency” on the part of law enforcement.

  19. #19 |  ZappaCrappa | 

    And anyone is surprised? Hope the mom sues the pants (and badges) off them.

  20. #20 |  z | 

    Though this case has the appearance of a cover up or inappropriate investigation, it might not be as troubling as it seems at first blush. 1. The accident occurred sometime the day AFTER a night of drinking 3 or 4 beers, meaning (if he is to be believed), the officer drank, went to sleep, woke up the next day, then got into an accident. 2. Other than speeding, the accident was not even the officers fault, since the deceased turned left in front of him, which is failure to yield appropriate right of way.

  21. #21 |  Highway | 

    #8, I think you’re partly right, but I also think the prosecutor realizes that he’d lose again. Nothing can make the cops turn over the actual information. There’s no test, cause the law doesn’t MAKE them test the driver, they just have the option to. So they take the option for the non-cop, but waive it for the guy who caused the accident.

    And prosecutors don’t want to have losses on their record, no matter how right they are to try to go after guys like this. It’s more about your record than justice.

  22. #22 |  Mister DNA | 

    I think a lot of the commenters are missing the point. This guy isn’t just a cop, he’s a cop in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

    It very well may be that he was speeding because he was on his way to shoot someone’s dog. We don’t know all the facts yet.

  23. #23 |  icr | 

    You constant attacks on PG County may soon constitute illegal racial profiling, since it has an African-American majority.

  24. #24 |  aland | 

    Z,

    Turning in front of someone, you assume they are going less than 2x the speed limit. Not sure that blanket statement applies, to say the least.

  25. #25 |  OneByTheCee | 

    #22 | Mister DNA

    Nope, wasn’t lost on me. This is the same Doughnut Factory that “rocked” Cheye Calvo’s life and Maj. Andy Ellis is the same spokesHOLE talking out his backside.

  26. #26 |  Frank Hummel | 

    Z has the facts right. But, Z, do you honestly believe that if a regular Joe would have been in the place of that officer would he have walked away with just a speeding ticket?
    I keep seeing comments about only a few bad apples among cops. All of them are bad when they cover up for the others.
    Personally I never had to deal with cops and hope to God I never have to.

  27. #27 |  Packratt | 

    Frank,

    I know I’ll get hammered for saying it, but… There are good cops out there…

    Well, I should clarify that there are good EX-cops out there as the good ones almost always get fired or forced out after they testify against the bad ones.

    It’s pretty egregious really, what happens to those few cops who do try and do the right thing… their careers end up ruined, their reputations destroyed… or worse, they end up dead when backup never comes when they’re sent on dangerous calls.

    read the story I have up about Officer Navin Sharma at my site, they put him through hell for telling the truth to an internal investigator and now the same department fired an officer who testified on his behalf in a civil rights trial against the department.

    http://injusticeinseattle.blogspot.com/2008/12/vindictive-vancouver-punishing-good.html

    It’s really beholden to anyone who fights for more accountability and transparency in police departments to stick up for them when they join that fight themselves.

    Otherwise, we just encourage more silence inside the blue wall when we just ignore or don’t support what those few good ones out there have sacrificed by telling the truth and taking their oaths seriously.

  28. #28 |  Andrew | 

    The corruption is so blatant now they don’t even attempt to hide it. They just do what they want to whomever they want and their comrades cover for them.

    Law Enforcement and Government Employees in general are rapidly becoming the new aristocracy. They aren’t subject to the same laws as the serfs and claim for themselves special rights and privileges that are vigorously denied to everyone else.

    You know, why don’t the bureaucrats and their enforcer thugsquads in blue just cut to the chase and invoke the right of ius primae noctis.

  29. #29 |  Irina Alexander | 

    You do such a good job at reminding me why I hate living in PG Co.

  30. #30 |  KB | 

    While I might admit that there are some good cops out there, given what we’ve been subjected to over the past few years by the cops, I am forced to assume that any cop is a bad cop until they prove otherwise.

    Some may consider that to be harsh of me, but given the changes I’ve seen since the 1960’s, where one could generally assume that a given cop was a good cop until proven otherwise, the cops today are devolving into the worst sort of human beings.

    For the record, my father is a retired police officer, and I was, what I considered to be, a “peace officer” 20 years ago until I realized a few things about the profession that repulsed me.

  31. #31 |  Cynical In CA | 

    “There are good cops out there…”

    Packratt, the only good “cop” is one who contracts for his services voluntarily with his clients. I’m not sure if this would apply to any other than private detectives or private security guards.

    If by “cop” you refer to any officer on the public payroll, then there are no good cops at all, for they are paid with stolen money (taxes) and are the human interfaces of state power.

    In the same way that $100 stolen from me to cure cancer is still theft, $100 stolen from me to pay the most upstanding law enforcement office in history is still theft. There’s no magic laundry machine that washes that away.

  32. #32 |  Johnstank | 

    This terrible “death by cop” is only one among an infinitely long string of the same here in the US. Last week, police in Greece killed a 15 year old boy, and some citizens have unleashed mayhem – even attacking a police station. I’m sure many have seen the photos of the of the cop in full riot gear set ablaze by anarchists.

    Is that what it is going to take to get our government and the police-class criminals to heel to us? Is that coming to America, or are we too frightened? I honestly don’t know, but I’d like to hear some opinions about it from Agitator readers…

  33. #33 |  Packratt | 

    KB @30,

    I won’t argue that one bit, in fact I would argue that everyone should treat any officer they encounter as extremely suspect simply because:

    A. The consequences and injuries that a bad cop can inflict on a citizen are both numerous and severe, the risk of trusting a cop are just not acceptable.

    B. Because it is so rare that officers are held accountable for misconduct the number of bad cops overwhelm the number of good ones… The odds are just not in a citizen’s favor.

    C. Citizens hardly ever win the fight against the government within the current system. Even if you prove you’re innocent, you’ll still never get your legal fees back, nor the wages you lost while in jail and in court, nor will you ever get your reputation back in entirely… in fact, the arrest stays on your record and precludes you from some jobs, even though you never did anything wrong. (I know, I’ve been through it… even when you’re innocent and you win you’re still punished just for being accused).

    Trusting a cop in the current system is just a lose/lose proposition… even though there might be a few good ones out there.

    But, even so… when a good one does do what’s right and is persecuted without any support from those who demand that cops report misconduct it only serves to remind the next cop who thinks about reporting misconduct that there’s just no reward for doing so, only punishment… and that only makes the problem worse.

    Cynical @31

    Sorry, the Pinkertons and the Colorado Mining Co’s private dicks were every bit as corrupt as your garden variety cop… no matter who pays that guy with a gun, they’re still human and still capable of being corrupted, especially since they’ve been entrusted with more power than the rest of us.

    In other words, I would distrust a billionaire’s private security force every bit as much as a government’s police force, both are equally capable of doing me harm.

  34. #34 |  freedomfan | 

    “We have a lot of fatality cases where tickets are the only option for us,” Ivey said. “I think it’s wrong, and I think the law needs to change.”

    That is such nonsense. The problem not that there aren’t enough laws on the books. The reality is that what happened that night is already prosecutable. The problem is that there are police who don’t enforce the extant laws against other cops. Adding another law to be ignored as a “professional courtesy” won’t change that.

    As bad as the reckless/drunk cop was, the longer-term impact comes from the actions (and inactions) of the responding police on the scene. They need to be punished. They are engaged in a cover-up. They are encouraging continued dangerous behavior among their fellow officers. It is because he knew he could count on a wink and a nod if things went badly that the driver took the chance of getting behind the wheel of an actual patrol car and driving twice the speed limit after he had been out drinking. One shudders at the sheer hubris of someone who would do that, even after “having a few”.

    More draconian zero-tolerance (a.k.a. “zero intelligence”) laws will just ensnare people who mostly weren’t doing anything wrong or would have been caught anyway. Meanwhile, cops will continue to ignore laws when it cops to their buddies. And prosecutors and courts will refuse to punish them, declaring that they were “within the bounds of their discretion” when they just happened to turn a blind eye to another officer when they would never do so to non-law enforcement “little people” in the same situation.

  35. #35 |  MacGregory | 

    Oops got that link wrong on #16
    it’s

    http://www.RIDL.us
    responsibility in DUI laws

  36. #36 |  Doug | 

    Z (#22)

    Failure to yield does not apply in certain situations, and this very well may be one of them.

    If a reasonable driver would expect to have time to make the turn in front of an oncoming vehicle doing the speed limit or thereabouts, then that driver is not negligent if the oncoming vehicle is approaching at high rate of speed.

    Also, topography matters… this could have been a situation where a crest or a curve or something caused the cop’s vehicle to be out of sight when the victim made his left hand turn, but because the cop was doubling the speed limit, he both appeared and struck the victim’s vehicle after the turn was already safely initiated.

    Doug (15 yrs experience, state police patrol)

  37. #37 |  Doug | 

    Sorry, was referring to Z post #20, not #22.

  38. #38 |  Cynical In CA | 

    “Pinkertons and the Colorado Mining Co’s private dicks were every bit as corrupt as your garden variety cop…”

    I appreciate your rebuttal, Packratt, but this is not a valid example. These “private” security companies were/are fascist operations, on the payroll of government contractors/licensees/favored corporations. They are the forerunners of Blackwater.

    “No matter who pays that guy with a gun, they’re still human and still capable of being corrupted, especially since they’ve been entrusted with more power than the rest of us.”

    Agreed. As long as the holder of the gun is a human being, his corrupt nature is presumed as part of his existence. Every single human being is corrupt, and in direct proportion to the power he/she wields. The idea behind individual sovereignty is to disperse that corrupt power as widely and thinly as possible.

    “In other words, I would distrust a billionaire’s private security force every bit as much as a government’s police force, both are equally capable of doing me harm.”

    I agree with you completely, and in a rational world, you would be at liberty to contract with your own designated private security firm in a voluntary arrangement, instead of having your money stolen from you to fund a police department that is not legally responsible for your safety. In this circumstance, you would have a much better chance of survival against that billionaire’s security force or anyone else’s competing private security force.

    Since these would be businesses instead of corporate/fascist monopolies, the profit motive would encourage peaceful, low-cost resolutions of disputes.

    The concept of a DRO (dispute resolution organization) is extremely well-developed in anarchist philosophy.

  39. #39 |  SJE | 

    Howabout a RICO charge against PG cops?

  40. #40 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #38 Cynical: Hello again!

    “As long as the holder of the gun is a human being, his corrupt nature is presumed as part of his existence. Every single human being is corrupt, and in direct proportion to the power he/she wields.”
    –Anyone given the authority to enforce rules/policies/ordinances/laws, by force if necessary, must be accountable, and is certainly CAPABLE of abusing that authority. But I don’t think that we are all equally likely to do so, and certainly there are some people with considerable power that are more ethical than those w/ less power. One of my areas of disagreement with you, Cynical, is you don’t seem to believe in differing degrees of corruption or immorality. But that’s just my perception.

    “…in a rational world, you would be at liberty to contract with your own designated private security firm in a voluntary arrangement, instead of having your money stolen from you to fund a police department that is not legally responsible for your safety.”
    –I just don’t think this would work, Cynical. This is how fire departments used to work (actually they were fire-fighting insurance agents). Historical accounts suggest that there was plenty of fighting between these fire companies and if you weren’t insured, your house might well burn down. When it comes to public safety matters, I just don’t believe we can take these risks. There should be a default group of first responders (police and fire) available to respond regardless of your ability to pay.
    Another problem I see with your proposal, is that the “law” might be different depending on what block you are on. Some minimum standards (and enforcement mechanisms) must exist. The the changes, even from block to block, could be drastic. One block may be very cool and libertarian. But the assholes down the street may stone anyone who “looks” homosexual. Blacks (or whites) may be prohibited from crossing the tracks (Jim Crow revived?). Across town, Sharia law may be instituted and neighbors may have to witness daily executions and hear the screams of adolescent females being subjected to genital mutilation. As I have suggested before, I fear the society you envision would destroy the progress achieved through liberalism. Is private tyranny less immoral than the public kind? Oh well, that’s just the way I see it.

  41. #41 |  perlhaqr | 

    Johnstank: The kid that was killed by the cop in Greece was in the process of throwing a molotov cocktail at the car he was in.

    Fuck that kid. Good shoot. I’d have done exactly the same thing if someone tried to light me up.

  42. #42 |  buzz | 

    Oh, little misleading. You don’t have to be a cop to get this treatment. Senators and congressmen get it also.

  43. #43 |  Cynical In CA | 

    And hi right back at you, Helmut.

    “Anyone given the authority to enforce [the law], by force if necessary, must be accountable…”

    Authority is never given, it is seized. And authority is always defended by force — even in individual sovereignty. Once seized, it can be delegated, but accountability flows up the pyramid, never down. So, yes — anyone delegated authority to them by superior authority must be held accountable, but only to the higher authority. In America, as in every state on Earth, the ruling class holds authority and delegates it to its minions, who are accountable only to the ruling class. As I have posted previously on other “threads,” popular sovereignty is a myth, the foundational illusion under which the mass of Americans are deluded into believing the lie that they, not the ruling class, actually hold power. I do not believe it is reasonable to dispute this.

    “I don’t think that we are all equally likely to [abuse authority], and certainly there are some people with considerable power that are more ethical than those w/ less power. One of my areas of disagreement with you, Cynical, is you don’t seem to believe in differing degrees of corruption or immorality. But that’s just my perception.”

    No, I believe your perception of my viewpoint is accurate, Helmut. The question to me is not whether one is likely to abuse authority, the question is whether and how much authority one should have to begin with. Your argument boils down to the old “if only we could put good people in office, things would be great.” All fine and dandy until that Hitler springs up every once in a generation or so.

    The use of force (power) is corrupt. Concentration of force tends to absolutes. This is my restatement of Lord Acton’s famous dictum. Read history and one will discover that the greatest mass murderers of all-time were heads of state. The greatest private mass murderer can’t even hold a candle to a head of state — something on the order of 100,000 magnitudes. It seems reasonable to conclude that to prevent such catastrophes as world wars, genocides, slavery and engineered famines, dispersing power as evenly as possible (individual sovereignty) is the opposite, and thus the antidote.

    “I just don’t think [private contracting of civil services] would work, Cynical. This is how fire departments used to work (actually they were fire-fighting insurance agents). Historical accounts suggest that there was plenty of fighting between these fire companies and if you weren’t insured, your house might well burn down.”

    I know I could do the research on my own, but it would sure be helpful if you could provide a link for this, Helmut. I am aware of the fact that the city of London, England did not have a public police force until the mid-1800s. Obviously, the city functioned well enough over 1000 years prior. One of my favorite writers Kurt Vonnegut wrote about volunteer fire companies, which were prevalent in the U.S. well into the 20th century. I find it difficult to believe they were all inept and callous. I suspect that the state recognized an opportunity to seize control of these civic functions and create lucrative make-work jobs that funneled stolen tax dollars into city coffers — perhaps they used isolated examples of fire company mischief as the basis for seizure, much in the way the drug war corrupts every aspect of civic services as reported by our host on a daily basis.

    “When it comes to public safety matters, I just don’t believe we can take these risks. There should be a default group of first responders (police and fire) available to respond regardless of your ability to pay.”

    Well, we’ll have to agree to disagree, Helmut. You know how I feel about slackers. Let ‘em rot, or live with their folks, or depend on the kindness of strangers. At any rate, even the poor would be able to contract for some kind of self-defense if they had the burdens of taxation, occupational licensure, governmental regulations, etc. lifted from them.

    “Another problem I see with your proposal, is that the “law” might be different depending on what block you are on.”

    Absolutely — a free market in law. Voluntary associations of individuals would create a common law that all agreed on in a given area. This is quite natural, and it’s how English common law evolved — from multiple courts in overlapping jurisdictions including royal, guild, mercantile, religious, etc. If one did not abide by or agree with the laws in a given area, one could move easily to a neighboring community with more amenable standards.

    “Some minimum standards (and enforcement mechanisms) must exist.”

    And surely they would in a society organized on cooperation not force. I would see a minimum standard being a prohibition on murder (rather common worldwide) and an enforcement mechanism of self-defense or ostracism. For example, person A knows that person B has the right to defend himself with deadly force. So person A refrains from killing person B. Or person A attempts to kill person B and is killed by person B in the process. Or person A succeeds in killing person B and is later murdered by person B’s brother, who is then ostracized from the community for a non-self-defense killing. Etc., etc., etc. Eventually, and rather quickly I believe, society would become extremely peaceful as each person understood that immediate devastating consequences would result from poor decisionmaking.

    This is but one potential beneficial sequence of events. I present it in contrast to your potential maleficent sequence of events. Is it really risking that much over the present chaos of society organized by force, which very closely resembles your example? Perhaps. Then prepare to live with the chaos reported on this blog forevermore for there is no other way.

    “As I have suggested before, I fear the society you envision would destroy the progress achieved through liberalism. Is private tyranny less immoral than the public kind? Oh well, that’s just the way I see it.”

    Fear. Humans, being the corrupt, primitive beings we are, live in fear — fear of the unknown. Society organized by cooperation, with each individual as powerful as the next, is such an unknown concept that the average human fears it as he fears death itself.

    Private tyranny is equally immoral as public tyranny. The benefit of private tyranny is that it is more easily remedied. Public tyranny is absolute barring a revolt.

    The progress you believe that has been achieved through liberalism is an illusion. There has been no progress, just a shifting of injustice. Blacks freed after the Civil War were no more free 100 years later when the Civil Rights Acts were passed. Every working American is a tax slave, and most are also debt slaves, laboring under a fascist economy their whole lives. The security you believe you have courtesy of the State is an illusion, as this blog and countless others prove on a daily basis.

    I have already confessed my absence of hope for a just world, my intellectual honesty regarding anarchism. All I ask is that individuals examine the world in which they live and see the truth instead of cherrypicking little morsels of truth from the muck of lies they are fed every day of their lives.

  44. #44 |  Brad | 

    Went out to dinner one day with a friend and a friend of his.
    The friend of a friend was driving us in his full sized SUV to go about three miles. He made the trip driving as high as 70 mph on a residential neighborhood street at dusk, absolutely the worst of light conditions. I said something about “slow down before you get a ticket” andhe just laughed. He is a cop for a city ten miles south of here and has NO fear that a cop will write a fellow officer.

    That mentality is what allows cops to become a criminal class.

  45. #45 |  Don | 

    The BAD police, like many in our federal government, are enemies of truth, justice, or the Constitution.

    More underground news at http://DonUSA.blogspot.com

  46. #46 |  Cynical In CA | 

    If a cop is paid with tax dollars, he is a bad cop Don.

    Square the circle, please.

  47. #47 |  Positive Liberty » On Police Power | 

    [...] second reaction, however, is to wonder what gets us into this mess in the first place. Another story points up the common pattern. It happened a short walk from my house: Guy hits another car while [...]

  48. #48 |  On Police Power | spiritual and religious | 

    [...] second reaction, however, is to wonder what gets us into this mess in the first place. Another story points up the common pattern. It happened a short walk from my house: Guy hits another car while [...]

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