Thursday, December 14, 2017

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#EmpireComedy

David Frum, former speechwriter for George W. Bush and author of The Right Man: An Inside Account of the Bush White House, among other crimes against humanity, is also an amateur comedian and professional masochist.

Ernie Hancock Show

Ernie interviews me every Friday morning at 9 Texas time. Listen live here.

The Counted: 863 People Killed by US Police in 2016

The Guardian’s ongoing project, the Counted, tracks the number of people killed by the police in the US. As of this writing, at least 863 individuals were killed by members of US police forces in 2016.

The series began at the start of 2015, combining original Guardian reporting and verifiable crowdsourced data to compile details of these cases into a more comprehensive database. This project continues with the hope of understanding how and why these incidents occur, as well as a method to survey the frequency of these killings.

But why is this necessary? The Guardian explains,

“The US government has no comprehensive record of the number of people killed by law enforcement. This lack of basic data has been glaring amid the protests, riots and worldwide debate set in motion by the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old, in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014.

Before stepping down as US attorney general in April 2015, Eric Holder described the prevailing situation on data collection as “unacceptable”.

The Guardian agrees with those analysts, campaign groups, activists and authorities who argue that such accounting is a prerequisite for an informed public discussion about the use of force by police.”

This is an issue that, as libertarians, we must not ignore, but rather stand at the forefront against the use of force by the government’s law enforcement racket. In fact, if we espouse individual liberty for all people, then we must be better on this issue than our peers from other ideological backgrounds and political perspectives. Talking about the non-aggression principle and wondering how many anarchists can dance on the head of a pin is fine and all, but substantive actions and dialogue must occur, too.

Libertarians must articulate objections to the government security monopoly, its perverse incentive structures, its counterproductive methods of law enforcement, the unaccountability of sovereign immunity statutes, and the costs taxpayers are burdened with to fund it all.

And most importantly, we must not remain silent when agents of the State kill people.

What Trump Says He Wants

In Trump’s view, what makes a country great is a government that cuts great deals for its people. Of course, that couldn’t be further from libertarianism, but it’s not even close to what conservatives say they want.

Topsy-Turvy

Of course Hillary Clinton and the rest of the war party are making a big deal about Russia allegedly interfering in the presidential election. In their worldview, only the U.S. government has the right to interfere in other countries’ elections. Heck, it has an organization dedicated to this task: the National Endowment for Democracy.

Tonight’s Debate

I will be live-tweeting it from the comment section below tonight. Sorry.

Is the ‘Libertarian Moment’ Over?

If you’re in the Chicago area in the next few hours, don’t intend to watch the Cubs game or suffer through the final presidential debate, AND you’re reading this right now…

…then you, my friends, should consider attending America’s Future Foundation panel tonight at Chicago’s Elephant and Castle. I’ll be joined by three great panelists and a moderator to discuss, Is the “Libertarian Moment” Over?

Short answer: the libertarian moment has not yet arrived. We have much work to do to stop the empire and its tax schemes.

Background: In August of 2014 the New York Times asked the question, “Has the Libertarian Moment Finally Arrived?” This was in the wake of a flood of attention to U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) following his filibuster of the federal government’s drone strike program on the floor of the Senate. Two years later, Paul was merely an also-ran in the presidential race, and Donald Trump had captured the GOP nomination.

So, what happened to the “libertarian moment?” Did it pass? Did it ever exist at all? Or is it still in the offing?

Join AFF-Chicago as we host a discussion on, Is the “Libertarian Moment” Over?

Panelists include:

Jonathan Bydlak — Founder & President, Coalition to Reduce Spending

Jacob Huebert — Senior Attorney, Liberty Justice Center

Eric Kohn — Founder & CEO, Curious Task Strategies

Jared Labell — Executive Director, Taxpayers United of America and The Libertarian Institute.

Moderator: Alexander Brunk, AFF-Chicago

Tell the Next President: No More War!

Here at The Libertarian Institute our highest priority is fighting against the permanent war state, and we are determined to work with just about whoever we have to in order to make peace a reality.

So it’s very timely and lucky that here from the very beginning we have forged an alliance with so-far mostly liberal and progressive groups, led by the great antiwar activist and author David Swanson, to renew a broad-based national movement against the permanent crisis in the new presidential era.

Please go here to sign the petition, and if anyone is a part of any groups, liberal, libertarian or conservative, who would like to sign on, please email me at scott at libertarianinstitute.org and I can put you in touch with David Swanson.

Thanks very much!

Scissors and a Bat vs. Armed NYPD

A woman has been killed by a cop, yet again. In this case, the victim supposedly had a history of altercations with the police, as well as some health concerns. In any normal profession, that would mean that officials would employ extra precautions to avoid conflict and maintain the well-being of all involved.

That means deescalating tense, possibly violent situations, rather than unloading rounds into an elderly woman. Why? Because that’s the job.

But that is not how the police operate.

One of the first police officers on the scene, Sergeant Hugh Barry, encountered 66-year-old Deborah Danner in a bedroom armed with a pair of scissors, according to police. Barry was able to convince Danner to put down the scissors, but she then allegedly grabbed a baseball bat and attempted to strike the cop with it. That’s when Barry shot her twice in the torso.

She was taken to a local hospital where she died.

One neighbor said that she was “very disturbed,” adding, “I give cops the benefit of the doubt right now.”

Nothing can compare to the loss of a loved one, but I have to imagine that the cause of death in this case doesn’t help the healing process. Nor this tidbit:

One neighbor said that she was “very disturbed,” adding, “I give cops the benefit of the doubt right now.”

Read that again. The neighbor said, “I give cops the benefit of the doubt right now.”

May Deborah Danner’s family find comfort elsewhere than in the words of this contemptuous neighbor.

 

Q&A

How do you silence Donald Trump?

Give him sodium pentothal.

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