L.A. Liberty

A Libertarian in Leftywood

In the end we observe that state welfare is imposed coercively; it has no justification other than that of pure force. No one has a natural right to our labor or our property; there is no categorical imperative to demand the help of others and none to shame us for refusing to “help” others through state coercion; and there is no possibility of rational economic calculation to determine which charities for the state to support and to what extent.

— Patrick Barron, “Mises, Kant, and Welfare Spending”

You can tell for whose benefit an institution is run by looking at who gets the closest parking spaces. At universities the students get the most distant spaces, administrators and faculty the closest. At Wal-Mart, they ask the employees to park away from the entrance.

— Dwight Lee

Why "Good Cops" Stay Silent: The Persecution of Officer Adam Basford →

[Adam] Basford, an Air Force veteran who regarded himself to be a peace officer rather than a law enforcer, had patrolled a violent neighborhood riven with gang-related violence. On many occasions prior to August 18, he had called for backup, only to find – as he did that night – that no help was forthcoming. This wasn’t just because Basford’s fellow officers were afraid, but because he had violated the unwritten but binding rules of police solidarity by speaking out against routine misconduct and abuse within the department.

Basford had just finished an administrative call when he heard gunshots and saw an armed man later identified as Cardenas racing through the neighborhood. Basford pursued Cardenas into a nearby yard, overtaking him when the suspect failed to clear a fence.
“I didn’t want to draw my gun, because there was a young girl just a few feet away,” Basford recalled to Pro Libertate. “Cardenas took a swing at me, and missed. I took his back while the two of us were still on our feet. He reached for my lapel microphone and broke it, then said he was going to kill me and that nobody would find my body.”
[…]
“[The other cops] heard me get shot,” Basford recounted to me. “They heard me scream for assistance. They were just two blocks away – but they were fifteen minutes from the end of their shift, and they went back to the station instead of coming to my aid.” Basford would find out later that the bike patrol officers “didn’t think the overtime would be approved.”

(Source: letterstomycountry)

'How the Supreme Court Protects Bad Cops' →

Today, my 17-year-old son, Thomas, starts work at his first paid job outside of his home. He’s earning the minimum wage (and he had absolutely no problem finding a job). Without minimum-wage legislation, Thomas’s wage rate would likely be lower. He is likely a beneficiary of minimum-wage legislation.

Yet Thomas’s good fortune on the wage front comes at the expense of unknown strangers somewhere who are kept unemployed by minimum-wage legislation. At the artificially higher price per hour of labor, employers cannot afford to employ as many low-skilled workers as they would otherwise employ (or the work conditions and other terms of employment for these faceless strangers who do have jobs are made worse by minimum-wage legislation).

The sad irony is that Thomas doesn’t need an artificially higher wage as much as many now-unemployed strangers need the sub-minimum-wage pay that they would have earned (along with work experience) had the state not priced these workers out of jobs. Thomas is a white, private-school-educated kid from a leafy, wealthy suburb – and each of his parents has multiple graduate degrees and earns high pay. He, and teenagers like him, are among the last low-skilled workers to be priced out of jobs by minimum-wage legislation. Kids such as Thomas (and their middle- and upper-class families) almost certainly are net beneficiaries of minimum-wage legislation, while the huge and cruel damage done by such legislation is inflicted on people much poorer.

— Don Boudreaux

The Physiology of Foie: Why Foie Gras is Not Unethical | Serious Eats →

Too bad California legislators hadn’t seen this before S.B. 1520 went into affect in the summer of 2012.

Thank You Obamacare: Health Insurance Rates in California Have Soared as Much as 88 Percent →

#duh

California state insurance commissioner Dave Jones recently released an analysis – conducted in response to complaints regarding steep increases in health insurance rates – that compared 2013 and 2014 health insurance plan rates. The analysis found the average rate increases for people who had insurance in 2013 and bought 2014 coverage were between 22 and 88 percent, according Cal Watchdog.

Those with incomes that were low enough received premium subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. But many Californians whose incomes were not low enough received a major rate increase, Jones said.

“What the department found was that in many cases those purchasing 2014 coverage were paying significantly higher rates than what they had paid in 2013 and the beneficial differences in policies was minimal and therefore could not be justification for the significant rate increases,” said Janice Rocco, the deputy commissioner over health policy for the California Department of Insurance.

Moreover, significant annual hikes are expected in the years ahead.

Stephen Parente, a professor of health finance and the associate dean of the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, said these sharp premium hikes are just the beginning for Californians who don’t qualify for the Affordable Care Act.

“The increases will be above 3-4 percent a year and will probably average 6-8 percent on average over the next 20 years,” Parente said. “There will be a spike, unless the Obama administration changes its policies, in 2017, reports CW.

berserkerjerk:

dutchthefirefightingpatriot:

berserkerjerk:

hwilhweaton:

tombstone-actual:

laliberty:

Cop stops man for a seatbelt violation (i.e. not hurting anyone), and asks to see his license. Man complies, turns to reach for his license, and cop shoots him immediately.

Skip to 0:45 in the video.

Thankfully, the man was struck only once and survived. Considering how close the cop was, it’s clear his incompetence extended to his ability to fire a weapon.

Very, very surprisingly, this cop has been fired and criminally charged. I cannot stress how incredibly rare this is. Hopefully, this is a start of a trend.

Three weeks ago Sean Groubert, a “lance corporal” with the South Carolina Highway Patrol, shot repeatedly at Levar Jones after stopping him over an apparent seatbelt violation. Yesterday he was charged with high and aggravated assault and battery. Though he shot Jones, who was unarmed, several times,The State reports Jones may have only been hit once. He appears to shoot almost immediately after asking Jones to return to his car to retrieve his license.

The shooting was caught on the trooper’s dash cam, and played during his bond hearing (set at $75,000). Groubert faces up to 30 years if convicted. 90 percent of state troopers in South Carolina are represented by the South Carolina Troopers Association (SCTA). Diane Rollison of the SCTA, however, would not confirm whether Groubert was a member or whether it would be defending him in any way.

Unbelievable

That was absolutely ridiculous. Fucking shit cop work.

Honestly, we’re I in the cop’s position, I would’ve freaked out a bit if he had turned like that. But holy common sense, Batman, you just fucking asked the guy for his license! And even if you did think he was going for a weapon, you wouldn’t fire unless he was acting (or had a history of acting) aggressively… which the victim wasn’t.

This is big news here in South Carolina and my area especially because that is the next big city from where I’m at and this being my line of work.

The trooper that shot this man is a decorated hero here in the state of South Carolina for an incident that occurred two years where he stopped an armed mans rampage through downtown Columbia.

Also as you none of you know the area let me inform you that its not a good neighborhood at all in fact I have to travel this way often in my civilian capacity and when I do I carry my spare magazines as in more than 1 on my person and I try to never go alone if I can help it this is the kinda neighborhood where your windows go up and your doors are locked.

Do I think that the trooper should have shot him no. I do think that the trooper should have drawn down on him to reestablish control with the suspect.

I’m sorry but if I get out with someone and they take a nose dive back into their car I’m going to be worried about what they are going to come out with too.
Yes he told the suspect to get his ID but then the suspect should have said that it was in the car and he was going to get it faulty communication on both sides is to blame

Last two paragraphs are exactly what I was trying to say… Dutch did it better though.

faulty communication on both sides is to blame”??

I do think that the trooper should have drawn down on him to reestablish control with the suspect.”?!?!!

That’s insane. The cop introduced violence where there was none. The citizen should not have to genuflect to government officials lest said officials misinterpret their movements of compliance as something worth killing for. And one does not draw a weapon to “reestablish control” with someone they do not control. The only legitimate reason to draw a weapon on someone is to shoot in self defense. The common police practice to use their deadly firearms as means to intimidate and command the public is the complete antithesis of how a free and respectful society should operate.

I’m sorry but if I get out with someone and they take a nose dive back into their car I’m going to be worried about what they are going to come out with too.”

People repeatedly make sudden movements around me all the time, especially if I’ve asked them to do something. I’ve never suspected anyone of diving for a weapon. Then again, I’m not an armed government cowboy who views the whole world as his personal shooting range. The problem here is that cops are trained to expect violence (even though police work isn’t particularly dangerous - and it would be far less so if police left peaceful people alone and didn’t initiate no-knock raids on them while they were sleeping), and they typically pay little to no price for overreacting. (For clarity: consider that the vast majority of police encounters are traffic violations and vice crimes, of which no one is either harmed or threatened with harm, and that the police employ their armed license to detain and aggress as a result. That’s introducing violence where there was none.)

I can’t believe, in spite of the overwhelming evidence that the problem with police is systemic, that people still defend brutality

I maintain that a good cop is a cryptid, a mythical creature often hinted at but never seen. As I’ve explained: “Until you find me a cop who has (1) never collected a paycheck that was forcefully extracted from the populace through threats of violence (mostly taxes, though also through asset forfeiture), AND (2) never harassed, ticketed, arrested, or assaulted anyone allegedly violating some unjust legislation against peaceful behavior, AND (3) if not actually physically stopped bad cops committing bad behavior then at the very least spoken out vociferously against the “thin blue line” (that closes ranks around bad cops and enables bad behavior) by publicly shaming the demonstrably bad cops along with the unions and superiors who protect them or interfering (including restraining, arresting, tasing, or shooting fellow cops) when cops cause or threaten to cause aggressive harm, then I have no interest in that childish retort. There may be cops who are good people, but cops qua cops have been generally shown to be increasingly violent, corrupt, deplorable bullies who enforce disgracefully unjust laws.”

Is the Ex-Im Bank a Win-Win?

Naturally, no.

Cop stops man for a seatbelt violation (i.e. not hurting anyone), and asks to see his license. Man complies, turns to reach for his license, and cop shoots him immediately.

Skip to 0:45 in the video.

Thankfully, the man was struck only once and survived. Considering how close the cop was, it’s clear his incompetence extended to his ability to fire a weapon.

Very, very surprisingly, this cop has been fired and criminally charged. I cannot stress how incredibly rare this is. Hopefully, this is a start of a trend.

Three weeks ago Sean Groubert, a “lance corporal” with the South Carolina Highway Patrol, shot repeatedly at Levar Jones after stopping him over an apparent seatbelt violation. Yesterday he was charged with high and aggravated assault and battery. Though he shot Jones, who was unarmed, several times,The State reports Jones may have only been hit once. He appears to shoot almost immediately after asking Jones to return to his car to retrieve his license.

The shooting was caught on the trooper’s dash cam, and played during his bond hearing (set at $75,000). Groubert faces up to 30 years if convicted. 90 percent of state troopers in South Carolina are represented by the South Carolina Troopers Association (SCTA). Diane Rollison of the SCTA, however, would not confirm whether Groubert was a member or whether it would be defending him in any way.

War on the Streets
"Hostage, barricade, and active shooter" - the ostensible reason SWAT teams are justified - account for only 7% of SWAT deployments. 

War on the Streets

"Hostage, barricade, and active shooter" - the ostensible reason SWAT teams are justified - account for only 7% of SWAT deployments. 

The Real Reason We Are Bombing Syria →

Dennis Kucinich:

Obama Attacks Syria, Flouts Constitution and International Law →

The Obama Administration has initiated a bomb and land-based missile attack against Syrian territory without permission from the Syrian government, without a request for assistance from the Syrian government, and without a UN Security Council resolution. 

This is an act of US aggression against a foreign nation and a violation of international law.

The attacks were also made with no declaration of war or authorization from the US Congress. This is an illegal act according to US law, a violation of the US Constitution.

The 2001 Authorization for the Use of Force against perpetrators of 9/11 attacks could not be legally valid for Obama’s attacks on ISIS in Syria because ISIS is not part of al-Qaeda and in fact did not exist at the time of the 2001 attacks.

Ostensibly, today’s attacks on Syria are part of the US president’s plan to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), however the “international coalition” participating in today’s airstrikes in Syria – Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan — have all to varying degrees supported ISIS and other radical groups seeking to overthrow Syrian president Bashir al-Assad. Additionally most are despotic states every bit as authoritarian and theocratic as ISIS itself. 

Even France, which enthusiastically participated in the 2011 bombing attacks on Libya, has refused to participate in the US air war against Syria.

There is no legal justification for the US government to attack Syria. A request for US bombs on its own country by US-backed opposition seeking to overthrow the Syria government is not legally sufficient to legalize US actions on Syrian territory.

On the pretext of destroying ISIS, the US is cooperating with the Gulf states which have backed ISIS, and is acting against the Syrian government which has fought ISIS for three years. US mainstream scare media will not touch this critical point, but that is the lie of US government propaganda.

This is an illegal war. Next step boots on the ground.

Well, I know what I want for Christmas. →

hipsterlibertarian:

This is an awesome charity I just found out about today. It’s called Preemptive Love, and it specifically focuses on helping children in Iraq get the heart surgeries they need—because Iraqi children are TEN TIMES more likely to be born with congenital heart defects than the worldwide average rate.

Why is the Iraqi rate of birth defects so high? Well, it comes down to three big reasons:

Of the many factors that contribute to this rate in Iraq, the top three suspects that are distinct from those of nearby countries are:

1) The chemical agents, attacks and experiments of Saddam Hussein’s regime on Kurds and Shiite Arabs.

2) Depleted Uranium used by the US and British forces left behind a chemically toxic legacy in the soil and gene pool of those exposed in combat and in post-combat daily life.

3) The sanctions imposed on Iraq, crippling the economy and destroying all infrastructure, including health care.

Click here for more information on these top three suspects.

So yeah, two out of those three reasons have to do with American foreign policy.

Now, as I’ve written beforeI never supported war in Iraq in any sense more meaningful than a 15-year-old’s ingenuous assumption that the president wouldn’t screw up so important an issue. But even if these birth defects aren’t my fault, they’re not entirely disconnected from me, either. At the very least, my (unwillingly paid) taxes helped make them happen.

More important, as a Christian, if this isn’t helping the “least of these,” I don’t know what is.

So this is what I want for Christmas, and what I may get for others who, like me, are already pretty much set as far as material stuff goes. (And, ok, I might like a nice sweater, too.)

I know it’s not even Halloween yet, but if you’re into giving people something meaningful and righting some of the wrongs of American interventionism, maybe add Preemptive Love to your Christmas list.

Also, if you can spare money now, they’re “waging peace” by helping Iraqi refugees fleeing ISIS. Learn about that emergency initiative here.

Three out of the three reasons are the state.

(Source: kre-do)

The railroads, writes historian Edward Ayers, “neither wanted to police Southern race relations and then be sued for it nor to run extra cars [to segregate black passengers from white passengers]. It was clear that white Southerners could not count on the railroads to take matters in hand” by blocking or expelling black passengers from their first-class cars. ”Some whites came to blame the railroads for the problem, says Ayers, “for it seemed to them that the corporations as usual were putting profits ahead of the welfare of the region.” The critics were mostly right. The railroads were not civil-rights pioneers but contract-bound, profit-seeking businesses for whom commerce was a “universal solvent.” Outraged southern legislators, who already resented the railroads’ economic power, passed laws requiring segregated accommodations. (It was one of these laws, passed by Louisiana in 1892, that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in the famous “separate but equal” case, Plessy v. Ferguson.) Combining the technocratic lust to regulate business with the reactionary zeal to preserve social stability, Jim Crow laws imposed static definitions on a dynamic commercial culture inclined to treat customers as “colorless, odorless, and timeless.”

— Virginia Postrel, The Future and Its Enemies

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