A mother has filed a formal complaint against a Minnesota police department after her 5-year-old son’s pet chicken was decapitated by the chief.
Atwater Police Chief Trevor Berger said he killed the chicken on Aug. 16th because it violated the city’s ordinancethat prohibits fowls, the West Central Tribune reported.
Though Ashley Turnbull admits she had received warnings at least a week in advance about the ordinance, she said there was no reason to beat her son’s chicken to death with a shovel before decapitating it.
Turnbull said the chicken had been a birthday gift for her son, Phoenix.
“The chicken was like a puppy dog to my son,” Turnbull told the publication. “You wouldn’t do that to a puppy.”
Actually, cops have no problem killing puppies. Again, when positions of power are created in which people can initiate aggressive force with little to no consequence, it is only natural that sociopaths would gravitate to such jobs.
You must be doing something wrong if you invoke your rights.
Sgt. Richardson of the Jacksonville, FL Sheriff’s Office, as caught on video speaking to a man filming prisoner transport outside a county courthouse. When confronted by police, the man invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid explaining why he wanted to film there. This was the police response. (via hipsterlibertarian)
One University of Virginia student’s mistreatment at the hands of state regulatory agents has come to a just end: 21-year-old Elizabeth Daly will receive a settlement of $212,500 after an insane encounter with the Alcohol Beverage Control division in June of 2013.
Daly and two friends were leaving a shopping center near the UVA campus when ABC agents staking out the store took an interest in a case of bottles she was carrying. The agents suspected that Daly was underage and had illegally purchased alcohol. They were correct about her age (she was 20 at the time), but wrong about everything else—the bottles contained water, not beer.
Since none of the girls had done anything wrong, they were understandably confused when the ABC agents—none of whom were wearing uniforms—surrounded Daly’s car. Daly attempted to comply with an order to roll down her window, but had to turn on the car first to do so. This provoked the officers, and one jumped on the hood of the car. At least one officer drew a weapon. Fearing for her life, and fearing that she was about to be robbed, Daly drove off with every intention of sorting things out at a police station. She attempted to call 911 right away, but was soon stopped by clearly-marked police vehicles.
After being told that the men who had approached her car were indeed law enforcement agents, Daly was apologetic. The agents, however, were not. Authorities charged her with three felonies, including assaulting an officer, and threw her in jail. The agents even made fun of Daly for being confused, according to her lawsuit.
But the lunacy of the agents’ actions finally caught up with them. The charges were eventually dropped, and last week, Daly settled her lawsuit against the state of Virginia. According to The Daily Progress, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has asked for a review of the ABC division, though he defended its existence:
Herring lauded a wave of policy and procedural changes ABC announced in November covering the way the agency handles undercover operations. Those changes came in the wake of state police and internal reviews of Daly’s case.
“ABC agents do important work enforcing our alcohol laws and combating underage drinking, and the new policies and procedures implemented after this incident will help ABC effectively fulfill its mission while ensuring the safety of officers and the public,” Herring stated.
Important work, indeed.
"Just end"? Maybe if the cops and agencies paid out of their own personal pockets and then the entire agency were forced out of existence, instead of simply fleecing taxpayers, then I might consider it "just."
Many Americans, perhaps a substantial majority, still believe that, irrespective of any problems they may have caused, labor unions are fundamentally an institution that exists in the vital self-interest of wage earners. Indeed, many believe that it is labor unions that stand between the average wage earner and a life of subsistence wages, exhausting hours of work, and horrific working conditions.
Labor unions and the general public almost totally ignore the essential role played by falling prices in achieving rising real wages. They see only the rise in money wages as worthy of consideration. Indeed, in our environment of chronic inflation, prices that actually do fall are relatively rare.
Nevertheless, the only thing that can explain a rise in real wages throughout the economic system is a fall in prices relative to wages. And the only thing that achieves this is an increase in production per worker. More production per worker — a higher productivity of labor — serves to increase the supply of goods and services produced relative to the supply of labor that produces them. In this way, it reduces prices relative to wages and thereby raises real wages and the general standard of living. …
Indeed, the efforts of labor unions to raise money wages are profoundly opposed to the goal of raising real wages and the standard of living. When the unions seek to raise the standard of living of their members by means of raising their money wages, their policy inevitably comes down to an attempt to make the labor of their members artificially scarce. That is their only means of raising the wages of their members. The unions do not have much actual power over the demand for labor. But they often achieve considerable power over the supply of labor. And their actual technique for raising wages is to make the supply of labor, at least in the particular industry or occupation that a given union is concerned with, as scarce as possible.
Thus, whenever they can, unions attempt to gain control over entry into the labor market. They seek to impose apprenticeship programs, or to have licensing requirements imposed by the government. Such measures are for the purpose of holding down the supply of labor in the field and thereby enabling those fortunate enough to be admitted to it, to earn higher incomes. Even when the unions do not succeed in directly reducing the supply of labor, the imposition of their above-market wage demands still has the effect of reducing the number of jobs offered in the field and thus the supply of labor in the field that is able to find work.
The artificial wage increases imposed by the labor unions result in unemployment when above-market wages are imposed throughout the economic system. This situation exists when it is possible for unions to be formed easily. If, as in the present-day United States, all that is required is for a majority of workers in an establishment to decide that they wish to be represented by a union, then the wages imposed by the unions will be effective even in the nonunion fields.
Employers in the nonunion fields will feel compelled to offer their workers wages comparable to what the union workers are receiving — indeed, possibly even still higher wages — in order to ensure that they do not unionize.
Widespread wage increases closing large numbers of workers out of numerous occupations put extreme pressure on the wage rates of whatever areas of the economic system may still remain open. These limited areas could absorb the overflow of workers from other lines at low enough wage rates. But minimum-wage laws prevent wage rates in these remaining lines from going low enough to absorb these workers.
From the perspective of most of those lucky enough to keep their jobs, the most serious consequence of the unions is the holding down or outright reduction of the productivity of labor. With few exceptions, the labor unions openly combat the rise in the productivity of labor. They do so virtually as a matter of principle. They oppose the introduction of labor-saving machinery on the grounds that it causes unemployment. They oppose competition among workers. As Henry Hazlitt pointed out, they force employers to tolerate featherbedding practices, such as the classic requirement that firemen, whose function was to shovel coal on steam locomotives, be retained on diesel locomotives. They impose make-work schemes, such as requiring that pipe delivered to construction sites with screw thread already on it, have its ends cut off and new screw thread cut on the site. They impose narrow work classifications, and require that specialists be employed at a day’s pay to perform work that others could easily do — for example, requiring the employment of a plasterer to repair the incidental damage done to a wall by an electrician, which the electrician himself could easily repair.
To anyone who understands the role of the productivity of labor in raising real wages, it should be obvious that the unions’ policy of combating the rise in the productivity of labor renders them in fact a leading enemy of the rise in real wages. However radical this conclusion may seem, however much at odds it is with the prevailing view of the unions as the leading source of the rise in real wages over the last hundred and fifty years or more, the fact is that in combating the rise in the productivity of labor, the unions actively combat the rise in real wages!
Far from being responsible for improvements in the standard of living of the average worker, labor unions operate in more or less total ignorance of what actually raises the average worker’s standard of living. In consequence of their ignorance, they are responsible for artificial inequalities in wage rates, for unemployment, and for holding down real wages and the average worker’s standard of living. All of these destructive, antisocial consequences derive from the fact that while individuals increase the money they earn through increasing production and the overall supply of goods and services, thereby reducing prices and raising real wages throughout the economic system, labor unions increase the money paid to their members by exactly the opposite means. They reduce the supply and productivity of labor and so reduce the supply and raise the prices of the goods and services their members help to produce, thereby reducing real wages throughout the economic system.
According to the Web site of the U.S. Dept. of Labor, “Labor Day” became a national holiday in 1894 in order to celebrate “the union movement.” Not workers, or the work that they have done, or the wealth and prosperity they helped American capitalists to create. By “the movement” is meant, specifically, union bosses, the political impetus behind the creation of labor day in the first place. They sought and got a national holiday to celebrate themselves. So, in the spirit of American unionism, go ahead out and celebrate by setting off a “nail bomb” in the parking lot of a non-union construction site; sabotage the non-union oil refinery in the area; vandalize all the cars of the “scab” workers at the local non-union grocery store; threaten to rape the wives and girlfriends of the hated “scabs”; or maybe just go out with your union brothers and beat the living daylights out of a random non-union “rat” or “scab.”
And don’t worry about the cops. According to the 1973 US. Supreme Court case, U.S. versus Enmons, violence, property damage, and extortion are allowable if they are done in pursuit of “legitimate union objectives.” That’s why professors Armond Thieblot and Thomas Haggard were able to publish a 540-page book under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania entitled Union Violence: The Record and the Response by the Courts, Legislatures, and the NLRB. The book, write the authors, “is full of examples of murder, assault with intent to kill, destruction of property, arson, sabotage, mayhem, shooting, stabbing, beating, stoning, dynamiting, intimidating, threatening …” All in pursuit of “legitimate union objectives.”
Violence is an inherent feature of American unionism because, as economist Morgan Reynolds explained in is book, Power and Privilege: Labor Unions in America: “A union’s problem is painfully obvious: organized strikers must shut down the enterprise, close the market to everyone else … in order to force wages and working conditions above free-market rates. If too many individuals defy the strikers … then unionists often resort to force … . Unions must actively interfere with freedom of trade in labor markets in order to deliver on their promises.”
And “interfere” they do. According to the National Institute for Labor Relations Research (NLIRR), since 1975 ,203 deaths, 5,868 incidents of personal injury, 6,435 incidents of vandalism, and tens of millions of dollars in property damage inflicted by unions has been reported by police to the media. About 90 percent of all such incidents go unreported to the media, however, according to the NLIRR.
Earlier this month, President Obama seized upon fresh data from the Labor Department to argue for a higher minimum wage. According to the president and a subsequent Associated Press report, the 13 states that raised their minimum wages in January of this year are now enjoying, on average, faster job growth than the other 37 states.
The conclusion that Obama (and each of the many media outlets that breathlessly repeated this finding) wants us to draw is that a higher minimum wage not only does not price some workers out of jobs, it positively enhances workers’ job prospects. As the president theorized, “When … you raise the minimum wage, you give a bigger chance to folks who are climbing the ladder, working hard.”
Not so fast.
Basic economics teaches that forcing up the price of something makes people less willing to buy that something. This reasoning, for example, is behind the administration’s recent hike in tariffs on Korean steel. The president correctly understands that forcing up the price of Korean steel will cause Americans to buy less of it. Contrary to Obama’s suggestion, the same logic holds for labor. Forcing up labor’s price will cause employers to hire less of it (by, for example, supermarkets using self-checkout computers instead of cashiers).
Yet how do we explain the data that Obama cites as evidence that higher minimum wages mean more, not fewer, jobs? Using statistics to sustain weak arguments is notoriously easy — a truth captured by Mark Twain’s observation that “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
First, Obama’s employment statistics are not adjusted for changes in any of the many other factors that inevitably influence businesses’ hiring practices — factors such as states’ tax rates and labor regulations, as well as demographic and industrial trends that have nothing to do with minimum wage legislation.
Second, these statistics are disturbingly sensitive to small changes in their starting and ending dates. It’s true that employment in the 13 states that raised their minimum wages in January was, on average, 0.85 percent higher in June 2014 than it was in December 2013. It’s also true that, over this same time span, employment in the 37 states that did not raise their minimum wages rose by only 0.61 percent. (These are the very figures that minimum wage proponents are now trumpeting.) But if we shorten this time span by just one month — looking now at January 2014 to June 2014 — we get a very different picture.
In June, the number of jobs in the 13 minimum-wage states was, on average, only 0.59 percent higher than it was in January, while, for the same time period, the number of jobs for the 37 states that did not raise their minimum wages was higher, on average, by 0.69 percent. Job growth since January (the month that these 13 states actually hiked their minimum wages) was slower in states that raised the minimum wage than in states that did not.
We don’t report these particular statistics as evidence that raising the minimum wage slows job growth. Our point instead is that finding simple trends, especially those that are highly sensitive to the time period analyzed, and then drawing policy conclusions is scientifically illegitimate. Using such a method makes it far too easy to cherry-pick from the data those numbers that support your preferred policy. So just as our comparison of January 2014 to June 2014 employment data is no evidence that raising the minimum wage reduces job growth, Obama’s comparison of December 2013 employment data to June 2014 data is no evidence that raising the minimum wage enhances job growth.
There is no reason why capitalists and entrepreneurs should be ashamed of earning profits. It is silly that some people try to defend American capitalism by declaring: “The record of American business is good; profits are not too high.” The function of entrepreneurs is to make profits; high profits are the proof that they have well performed their task of removing maladjustments of production. Of course, as a rule capitalists and entrepreneurs are not saints excelling in the virtue of self-denial. But neither are their critics saintly. And with all the regard due to the sublime self-effacement of saints, we cannot help stating the fact that the world would be in a rather desolate condition if it were peopled exclusively by men not interested in the pursuit of material well-being.
There is no reason why capitalists and entrepreneurs should be ashamed of earning profits. It is silly that some people try to defend American capitalism by declaring: “The record of American business is good; profits are not too high.” The function of entrepreneurs is to make profits; high profits are the proof that they have well performed their task of removing maladjustments of production.
Of course, as a rule capitalists and entrepreneurs are not saints excelling in the virtue of self-denial. But neither are their critics saintly. And with all the regard due to the sublime self-effacement of saints, we cannot help stating the fact that the world would be in a rather desolate condition if it were peopled exclusively by men not interested in the pursuit of material well-being.
— Ludwig von Mises, Profit & Loss
Labor union activity is not responsible for the increase in living standards among American workers, who surpassed European workers in living standards at a time when European workers were far more heavily unionized. To the contrary, it was capital accumulation, which made possible greater production and therefore goods whose prices fell relative to wages, that made possible the miracles we observe today. Without capital accumulation, there would have been no wealth to satisfy union demands even if monopolistic labor agencies were a good idea.
The tale of the police dashcam video has now helped clear a Bloomfield, New Jersey man who faced a multitude of criminal charges, including eluding police and assault.
Investigative Reporter Sarah Wallace obtained the dashcam tapes, and has spoken exclusively with the 30-year old DJ who was looking at years in prison.
It was quite a turnabout, all the criminal charges against Marcus Jeter have been dismissed, and two Bloomfield police officers have been indicted for falsifying reports, and one of them, for assault.
A third pleaded guilty early on to tampering. It’s all thanks to those dashcam tapes. It’s the video that prosecutors say they never saw when the pursued criminal charges against 30 year-old Marcus Jeter . In the video, his hands were in the air. He was charged with eluding police, resisting arrest and assault. One officer in the video can be seen throwing repeated punches.
Sarah Wallace: “It this tape hadn’t surfaced?”
Marcus: “I’d be in jail.”
This video was only turned over by Bloomfield police after Jeter’s attorney filed a request for records; at the time prosecutors were insistent that Jeter do prison time.
"The first plea was 5 years," said Jeter.
The incident began when cops were called to the Bloomfield home Jeter shares with his girlfriend. No charges were filed and Jeter says he left after briefly talking to officers.
Sarah Wallace: “They say you eluded police.”
Jeter: “When they got behind me, I pulled over.”
Sarah: “So you weren’t trying to escape.”
"No." said Jeter.
You can clearly see Jeter pulling over and stopping on the side of the Garden State parkway. The cops pull out guns.
Sarah: “Why didn’t you get out of the car?”
Jeter: “Because I was afraid.”
Jeter: “There was a cop on my right with a gun, a cop on the other side with a shotgun.”
Jeter:”I’m afraid I might get shot.”
Sarah: “If you got out.”
The tape not initially turned over shows a second police car coming from the opposite direction, crossing the median into ongoing traffic, and then striking Jeter’s car. There is no mention of that in any police report. When Jeter first told his attorney that part of the story.
"It was incredible, I didn’t believe it at that point in time," he said. He adds, "The next thing I know, one of them busts the door and there is glass all over my face."
SARAH: “Your hands are up.”
Jeter: “My hands are up.”
Jeter: “As soon as they opened the door, one officer reached in an punched me in my face.” He adds, “As he’s trying to take off my seatbelt, I’m thinking something is going to go wrong.”
Jeter says the officers were hitting him and telling him not to resist arrest. “All I keep saying is I’m not doing anything,” he adds. “They handcuffed me and one of them hits me in the back.” The attorney for Jeter says while showing Eyewitness News the video, “Here a state trooper arrives on the scene and clearly wants no participation in it and that’s where one of the officers punch Mr. Jeter in the head after he was clearly placed in handcuffs,” said Steven Brown.
As soon as Prosecutors saw this video, they dismissed all of the charges against Jeter. Interesting to note, an investigation by Bloomfield PD’s scandal plagued internal affairs division had found no wrongdoing by officers.
Brown says, “I believe the blame is with the Bloomfield police department for not providing that tape. If we hadn’t had the tapes in this case, an innocent man would be in jail today.”
Notes Bob Murphy: “Another example of how the problem with police is NOT “just a few bad apples.” Look at how badly these officers lied about what happened, and how screwed this guy would have been had the video not surfaced. Again, the point here isn’t that once in a while somebody in a job ends up doing something nutty. No, the point is that the higher-ups cover this kind of thing up, and only take action when the evidence is incontrovertible and the public is outraged.”
Click through to read the rampant dysfunction, which is completely expected. This applies to all unionized government police, not just NYPD. Government-enforced monopolies are always terrible.
Two years ago, a black man named Darren Collins claimed that a New York City cop humiliated him in front of his friends in broad daylight, pulling down his pants and underwear on the street and tapping his testicles in an unlawful search for drugs.
Collins was “violated, embarrassed, hurt,” he said to WABC recently. So he told his story to civilian investigators and later filed a lawsuit against the city, hoping that the officer would pay a price.
In the end, the only people who paid were taxpayers. The city shelled out $30,000 to Collins and another plaintiff in a settlement, but the cop who allegedly harassed Collins rejected the claims against him and was never disciplined or even admonished. He kept his badge and gun and stayed on the streets.
The cop’s name was Officer Daniel Pantaleo. On July 17, Pantaleo, who is white, became the focus of a racially charged controversy after another altercation with a black man. This time, Pantaleo wrapped his arm around Staten Island resident Eric Garner, seizing him in a banned chokehold. Garner died soon after.
A bystander caught the entire thing on video, and Pantaleo was stripped of his badge and gun. As authorities investigate the incident, some people are wondering why a cop with Pantaleo’s history is only now facing disciplinary measures.
Related: Police Guide on Shooting Suspects
“…Armed with this knowledge, let him proceed in the spirit of radical long-run optimism that one of the great figures in the history of libertarian thought, Randolph Bourne, correctly identified as the spirit of youth. Let Bourne’s stirring words serve also as the guidepost for the spirit of liberty:
[Y]outh is the incarnation of reason pitted against the rigidity of tradition; youth puts the remorseless questions to everything that is old and established – Why? What is this thing good for? And when it gets the mumbled, evasive answers of the defenders it applies its own fresh, clean spirit of reason to institutions, customs and ideas and finding them stupid, inane or poisonous, turns instinctively to overthrow them and build in their place the things with which its visions teem.
Youth is the leaven that keeps all these questioning, testing attitudes fermenting in the world. If it were not for this troublesome activity of youth, with its hatred of sophisms and glosses, its insistence on things as they are, society would die from sheer decay. It is the policy of the older generation as it gets adjusted to the world to hide away the unpleasant things where it can, or preserve a conspiracy of silence and an elaborate pretense that they do not exist. But meanwhile the sores go on festering just the same. Youth is the drastic antiseptic. It drags skeletons from closets and insists that they be explained. No wonder the older generation fears and distrusts the younger. Youth is the avenging Nemesis on its trail.
Our elders are always optimistic in their views of the present, pessimistic in their views of the future; youth is pessimistic toward the present and gloriously hopeful for the future. And it is this hope which is the lever of progress – one might say, the only lever of progress.
The secret of life is then that this fine youthful spirit shall never be lost. Out of the turbulence of youth should come this fine precipitate – a sane, strong, aggressive spirit of daring and doing. It must be a flexible, growing spirit, with a hospitality to new ideas and a keen insight into experience. To keep one’s reactions warm and true is to have found the secret of perpetual youth, and perpetual youth is salvation.”
Excerpted from Left and Right: The Prospects for Liberty by Murray N. Rothbard
In July I shared a story of an incident in which my city’s police stormed a man’s house looking for drugs in the middle of the night and executed his two (understandably startled) dogs. One of the dogs was shot to death while fleeing in fear, and as I noted then, this isn’t an isolated incident. Just a few years ago, the Saint Paul Police killed another family dog…and forced handcuffed children to sit next to its bleeding corpse. The kicker? The raid wasn’t even in the right house!
Now, a new report has surfaced of SPPD brutality. This time, a young father named Chris Lollie was arrested while waiting to pick up his kids from school. The charges were “Trespassing, Disorderly Conduct, and Obstructing Legal Process,” and police claimed he refused to leave an area reserved for employees of the bank building he was in. However, not only were there no signs indicating that the location was private, but Lollie wasn’t even in the bank proper; he was in the skyway.
(For those who aren’t familiar with the skyway system, it’s a thing we have in St. Paul, Minneapolis, and some other Minnesota cities. Basically, it gets hella cold here in the winter, so they built enclosed sidewalks, or skyways, one or two stories up. In the downtown areas, the skyways form a whole second network of pedestrian roads, and once you get inside your office building—or whichever building is closest to your parking garage or bus stop or whatever—you can use them to move from building to building to get around the whole downtown area. It’s an easy way to go to lunch or meetings without having the snot in your nostrils freeze. I mention all that to say: Skyways are public spaces. You do not have to be an employee in the buildings they connect to use them. Lollie was not trespassing.)
Fortunately, Lollie had the presence of mind to capture his interaction with the SPPD on film. Here’s a transcript I’ve made of the first few seconds:
Lollie: So what’s your business with me right now?
Officer: I want to find out who you are, and what the problem was back there…
Lollie: There is no problem—that’s the thing.
Officer: So, talk to me, let me know, and you can be on your way.
Lollie: Let you know…why do I have to let you know who I am? Who I am isn’t the problem.
Officer: Because that’s what police do when they get called.
Lollie: Well, I know my rights, first off. Secondly, I don’t have to let you know who I am if I haven’t broken any laws. Like I told him, I’m going to New Horizons [School] to pick up my kids at 10 o’clock. I was sitting there for ten minutes…
As the officer brushes aside his explanation and continues to illegally demand he identify himself, Lollie cuts to the chase: “The problem is I’m black. That’s the problem. No, it really is, because I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Next, Lollie and the female officer he’s been walking and talking with meet a male officer. When Lollie politely asks the officer not to touch or obstruct him, because he has to go get his kids, the man immediately responds, “Well, you’re going to go to jail then.”
As the police initiate the arrest process—telling him to put his hand behind his back or “otherwise things are going to get ugly"—the camera visuals go black. Lollie continues to be heard pleading, still polite even while he’s assaulted, that he be allowed to go meet his children.
Next, they tase him.
If that’s not enough to convince you that this is gross police misconduct, seriously, take five minutes and watch the video. The calmness of his tone alone should make it obvious that there is no possible argument that the situation merited this kind of police action:
After multiple witnesses verified Lollie’s version of events, prosecutors dropped all charges against him. One woman who is also not an employee at the bank the skyway links noted that she regularly sits during her lunch break exactly where Lollie was sitting, but she has never been harassed by police. However, the SPPD continue to defend their actions.
At The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf points out how simple it would have been for police to resolve this situation without violence and an arrest had they cared to do so:
His story about getting his kids wasn’t merely plausible, given the man’s age and the fact that there was a school right there–it was a story the female police officer shown at the beginning of the video or the male officer shown later could easily confirm.
Lollie is also absolutely correct that no law required him to show an ID to police officers. As Flex Your Rights explains, “Police can never compel you to identify yourself without reasonable suspicion to believe you’re involved in illegal activity,” and while 24 states have passed “stop and identify” statutes “requiring citizens to reveal their identity when officers have reasonable suspicion to believe criminal activity may be taking place,” Minnesota isn’t one of those states.
The female officer shown in the beginning of the video could easily have de-escalated the encounter by saying, “You’re right, sir, you have every right to refuse to show me identification, and if you’re just picking up your kids I’m so sorry to have bothered you. If you don’t mind, I just want to walk with you to confirm that your story checks out so I can inform the 911 caller of their error. That way we can make sure this never happens again when you’re just here to pick up your kids.”
Or she could’ve said, “Sir, I totally see why this is confusing–a lot of people would think so. Let me try to explain. That totally looks like a public seating area, but it’s actually private. Don’t you think they should have a sign saying so? Calling me may seem like an overreaction, but technically they can ask you to leave. You’re walking away now, so there’s actually no problem as long as you’re not going to go back. Are you? Okay, then we have no problem, have a wonderful day.”
As Lollie is carried away post-tasing, he can be heard challenging the officers’ “legal” assault: "Who are you? You don’t rule me. I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t hurt anybody. I didn’t touch anybody."
If only the SPPD could honestly say the same.
Freedom as we know it is a condition of ego. Prosperity is a condition of things. Increase these satisfactions to any degree and there is still that knowledge of incompleteness which torments the spirit. This is the anxiety of the perishable I fragment to make affinity with an imperishable whole. Beyond the sense of belonging to himself man craves also the sense of himself belonging. We are bound to live two lives at a time. One is our own, a little arc, sudden and discontinuous; the other is the life of society, perpetual and perhaps immortal. To live them consciously, without conflict, so that one shall fulfill the other, is the next achievement. Necessity lies in one, completion in the other. That servile status of the individual binding him to the sceptre, to the state, to the lord, to the land on which he grew, with no inalienable rights of being, is the oldest political story. The extreme revolution, wherein the state itself becomes the cringing body, mob-serving, owing everything to the individual who owes it nothing in return, is a complicated modern story, with some fearful and abrupt periods. An entirely new story would be that of a people jealously egoistic dedicating their freedom to a social imperative discovered in themselves and learning by that act what freedom is for.
Freedom as we know it is a condition of ego. Prosperity is a condition of things. Increase these satisfactions to any degree and there is still that knowledge of incompleteness which torments the spirit. This is the anxiety of the perishable I fragment to make affinity with an imperishable whole. Beyond the sense of belonging to himself man craves also the sense of himself belonging. We are bound to live two lives at a time. One is our own, a little arc, sudden and discontinuous; the other is the life of society, perpetual and perhaps immortal. To live them consciously, without conflict, so that one shall fulfill the other, is the next achievement. Necessity lies in one, completion in the other.
That servile status of the individual binding him to the sceptre, to the state, to the lord, to the land on which he grew, with no inalienable rights of being, is the oldest political story. The extreme revolution, wherein the state itself becomes the cringing body, mob-serving, owing everything to the individual who owes it nothing in return, is a complicated modern story, with some fearful and abrupt periods. An entirely new story would be that of a people jealously egoistic dedicating their freedom to a social imperative discovered in themselves and learning by that act what freedom is for.
— Garet Garrett, The American Omen
Yes, that’s probably the most obvious headline I have and possibly will ever write for Reason. But an audit from the city controller’s office actually quantifies it: The street department for Los Angeles is a mess that isn’t repairing streets properly, isn’t keeping decent records, and isn’t collecting some fees it’s supposed to be collecting, costing the city $190 million over 16 years. The Los Angeles Times gave Controller Ron Galperin space for a commentary explaining why things are so terrible:
The streets bureau also does not always prioritize its repair work based on common-sense criteria such as traffic volume, heavy vehicle loads and mass-transit loads. So despite the slurry work that’s taken place, some of the city’s busiest and most important thoroughfares remain in the worst condition, impeding traffic and commerce, making bike riding unsafe and turning bus rides into bumpy, uncomfortable journeys.
Our auditors also found that the Bureau of Street Services has under-collected $190 million in fees from utility companies that cut and dig into our streets, money that could have been used to perform miles of repairs. Likewise, between 2011 and 2013, it did not fully utilize its budgeted funds. Auditors found that $21 million earmarked for street repairs was returned to various funding sources unused. And the city has also spent more to produce its own asphalt than it would have if it had paid a vendor for it.
I can personally vouch for the weird road repair priorities. My own street and a few others in my neighborhood were resealed with slurry work last year. But the most traveled streets nearby that were in much worse repair remain completely untouched, so I have to drive several blocks navigating crumbling, bumpy avenues, only to turn onto my lovely street and drive about 100 smooth feet before hitting my driveway.
And note who the city isn’t getting fees from? This isn’t a case of blaming truck drivers for tearing up roads or other anti-private transportation arguments. Nor is it rich, evil tech corporations not paying their “fair share.” It’s because of utility companies not paying fees back for literally tearing up the roads to do work. (And you have to wonder what sort of work they’re doing given the massive water main disaster that struck Los Angeles this week and flooded UCLA.)
As for the asphalt production, a companion news story at the Times notes that the difference in price between the city and a private asphalt producer is more than a 50 percent increase: $66 per ton versus $40 per ton.
Oh, and some of that unused $21 million was apparently federal stimulus funds. You know, for those “shovel-ready” projects?
In March, city advisors wanted to try to push through another tax increase to try to generate more revenue to repair the roads. That idea has been abandoned for now:
"Right now, people want to know with a sense of confidence that the money that we are spending is being properly spent," Galperin said Thursday at a news conference announcing the audit’s findings. "And until that happens, I think people are going to be very reluctant — and correctly so — to say, ‘Let’s just throw more money at it.’"
“If a man says socialism, or planning, he always has in view his own brand of socialism, his own plan. Thus planning does not in fact mean preparedness to cooperate peacefully. It means conflict. …” “On the unhampered market there prevails an irresistible tendency to employ every factor of production for the best possible satisfaction of the most urgent needs of the consumers. If the government interferes with this process, it can only impair satisfaction; it can never improve it.”
“If a man says socialism, or planning, he always has in view his own brand of socialism, his own plan. Thus planning does not in fact mean preparedness to cooperate peacefully. It means conflict. …”
“On the unhampered market there prevails an irresistible tendency to employ every factor of production for the best possible satisfaction of the most urgent needs of the consumers. If the government interferes with this process, it can only impair satisfaction; it can never improve it.”
— Ludwig von Mises