Friday, January 27, 2012

(yet another) glove across the face

Via Radley Balko:
Man gets Tasered, beaten despite having committed no crime. Federal judge finds that the force was excessive, and orders damages for pain and suffering in the amount of . . . one dollar.
We all understand the "tip-a-penny" insult, right?  Any questions here?

With apologies to Pete at WRSADo you understand yet?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

And...wait for it...The House wins! The House wins!

Typical brilliance from Arthur Silber:
And that's the point, you see. For the ruling class, "the rule of law" isn't a means of protecting you or your liberty. It's a means of enforcement, a critical way of protecting their own power and wealth.
Oh, there's more. RTWT, please.  The subject, as if that detail matters, is a revealing tidbit about the Megaupload case.  You may wish to refer anyone still under the illusion that that case is about "piracy" to Silber's article as a starting point.

And if you don't follow the enigmatic* man's work regularly, do consider gifting yourself the upgrade.  I started several years ago now, and have only grown more impressed with time.

* The path he took to get to where he is now appears to be so different from my own that it would be easy to presume, reflexively, that he doesn't get it, somehow or in some way.  If you have a background like me, do not let such difference get in your way:  Silber does get it, deeply and completely, and his gift for blending direct, unflinching articulation with focused, deliberate satire, sarcasm and outright vulgarity is unique among writers--unique and worth reading. (His biggest vanity is in shameless self-references--but the thing is, they're just like the rest of his body of work:  appropriate, thorough and often the very best choice anyone could pick to make the point.  He can walk the talk.)

Alan Korwin, outside the box.

An intriguing idea from Alan Korwin:  "diplomatic carry" as a step beyond what has come to be called "Constitutional carry".  The basic idea stems from one of those "hidden in plain sight" observations:  political diplomats--or at least their hired entourage--carry regularly in places they'd never enjoy such a privilege as what Grigg calls a "mere Mundane". 

It's clear that they operate in areas beyond the law, so why not advance an equal opportunity argument?  If it works, things improve, and if it doesn't, it's another nice, concrete "Emperor has no clothes" story that has the even more constructive effect of (further) eroding people's dogged faith in our thoroughly rigged system.

As usual, I can't really get excited about the idea in principle because it's still a political remedy, and I'm of the opinion that appealing to the same corrupt system that gave us the problem in the first place (i.e., politics) is never, ever going to produce a sustainable solution.  Would it be an almost unrecognizable improvement over our current, sorry state of affairs?  Hell yes.  So would a Ron Paul presidency.  But ultimately, given enough time, things would just trend right back to where we are now.  (Are we not here, now, in this sorry mess?  Lysander Spooner noted nearly 150 years ago, during Reconstruction, that the Constitution "has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it."  He was right.)   So long as a political system can "legally" compel by force, it will do so.  Arbitrarily.  Crookedly.  Murderously.  Human history is not at all ambiguous on that point. is at least encouraging that as times get darker, one of the unintended consequences is that more and more people demonstrate that they can think outside the box.  If for that reason alone, I wish Korwin and his project all the best.