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In Loco Parentis

My friend ASM826 (whilst reporting in Borepatch) spun a tale of government most foul:

In Maryland, this week, one set of parents have been investigated for letting a 10 year old and a 6 year old go walking without supervision. The parents want the kids to have what they think of as normal freedom, expanding as the children get older. Child protective services are now involved in a neglect investigation.

Of course, we don’t know many specifics.  But this from the article in the NYDN is telling:

Danielle and Alexander Meitiv say the county’s Child Protective Services began investigating them after police stopped their 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter midway through a mile-walk home on Dec. 20 in Silver Spring. Police say they stopped the children and drove them home after someone reported seeing them.

OMG!  Someone saw children!  Sacre’ Bleu!

(In the name of piling on, I’m adding to ASM826’s tales of misspent youth)

I was raised in a small, white bread college town.  Still, my parents placed boundaries with regard to my wandering.   Roughly 1/2 mile in any direction, as boundaried  by major streets I was NOT allowed to cross.  Withing those boundaries were trees needing climbing, houses under construction needing exploring, irrigation conduits needing climbing down into and junk in alleys needing examining.  And rockets and firecrackers needing ignition!  I had these boundaries until high school,  to which I either walked or rode my bicycle.  One mile each direction.  Then there were stores, shops (the hobby shop) and MORE construction sites, including an industrial park just the other side of the high school.

With underground electrical access.

VERY cool for fledgling secret agent fantasies!

Yes, I was wounded, scratched, developed blisters, was hit in the head by a rock in a dirt clod fight, dislocated my left thumb playing football, and broke my arm at school doing faux karate.

And none of these things with parental supervision.

I didn’t ride my 24″ Schwinn Speedster with a helmet, either!

Now CPS and the police are enforcing this NERF world.  And taking more rights away from parents.

In loco parentis, indeed!

Duty?

NY Post:

Throughout the city, precincts are being ordered to hand up to borough commanders “activity sheets” indicating the number of arrests and summonses per shift, sources told The Post.

Police officers around the city are now threatened with transfers, no vacation time and sick time unless they write summonses,” one union source said.

“This is the same practice that caused officers to be labeled racist and abusers of power.”

More @ Resister In The Rockies

So, that tired meme about cops not having a quota of summonses (“I can write as many as I want!”) has been laid to rest in NYC.  Quantity, not Quality seems to be the order of the day.

There was a time, when law enforcement was about enforcing the law, NOT generating revenue or creating numbers to justify budgets.  Not unlike news organizations pandering to bring in an audience for the advertisers, instead of just reporting the news.  (If it bleeds, it leads!)

I’m a capitalist.  I’m all about the profit motive.  Free enterprise.  But some people need to focus on their duty, not their dollar!

h/t Free North Carolina

The White Man’s Burden

I think that was first labelled as such by Rudyard Kipling.

Borepatch led me to Goober’s thoughts on the matter…

Goober on “Social Justice Warriors”:

You take a guy that lived his entire life in the Amazonian jungle, fighting for every meal he’s ever eaten, making his own living/clothing/abode/etc at huge expense of labor, and living every day with the fear of that next cut becoming septic and killing him, or that next sniffle being the cold that brings him down, or the next monsoon not being monsooney enough and his family starving to death, and you give him a pair of Levi jeans, some tennis shoes, a first world education, and modern medicine, and HE WILL CUT YOUR FUCKING THROAT before he will let you stick him back in that jungle.

But SJWs want to keep him there, unmolested by western “cultural pollution” like modern medicine and central air conditioning, in order to “preserve his culture”, without giving him an educated say in the decision at all.  More of that SJW superiority.

This idea of “allowing the brown people to stay in their place” smacks an awful, awful lot like “keeping the brown people in their place.” (end)

I had two directions I wanted to address this.  One was simple agreement with Goober, (with perhaps a tip of the Hatlo hat to Firesign Theatres’ Temporarily Humboldt County*), the second going sideways regarding the invention if the term Social Justice Warriors, aka SJWs.  Conservative/libertarian/gun culture shorthand.

Not unlike JBTs for Jack-Booted Thugs.

And I’m not even touching the Star Trekian Prime Directive, or Jean-Jacque Rosseau’s ‘Noble Savage’ meme

“All over the map – Geez, he’s all over the map!”  (from inside most of your heads)

I’m still dealing with this sinus/throat thing.  Forgive me.

*FREAK: Hey, man! Don’t let him bring you down, now. There’s a lot of young people in this country, just like myself, who really know where the Indian’s at. And don’t worry. Soon we’re all gonna be out here on the Reservation, livin’ like Indians, ‘n’ dressin’ like Indians and doing all the simple, Beautiful Things that you Indians do. Hey – got any peyote? (link)

Customer Service

Is it out there, anymore?

I remember my Father ranting about the dearth of customer service when I was a teenager – and that was in the 60’s.

Back then a guy in a uniform (or at least a uniform shirt) filled your tank, checked your oil, and cleaned your windshield.  And no tip was asked or expected.  Now, IF there’s a monitor/cashier at the self-service gas station behind the bulletproof glass, it’s an effort to get them to look up from their graphic novel to take your card for purchase.

And waiters/waitresses?  One would think when they are first being trained, they would be instructed that the more courteous and efficient they are, the better tip they will receive.  But most these days are barely capable in getting your food to you at all.  Need extra napkins or a refill on that beverage?  Good luck with that.

And getting the order correct in the first place?  Fuggedaboutit!

Retail stores?  Just try to find someone who has any idea where stock might be, or even be able to direct you to it.

Call centers?  Pshaw.

And we who chat regarding firearms on the Internet are familiar with H & K’s (in)famous lack of customer service.

One word.  OBAMACARE.  And government services in general.

And, while I’m on the subject – do any of these aforementioned folks speak American English?  This assumes I don’t have to migrate through a computer-generated menu prompt resembling a RPG in Urdu to get to a human.

Sigh.

We now return you to your post-holiday festivities.

Ask Not For Whom The Bell Tolls…

bellBayou Renaissance Man posted regarding the recent interactions between the constabulary and suspect(s), the protests that followed, and the police political assassinations that followed THOSE actions.

And, as usual, he did so with aplomb.  You should go to the link above and read him.  (And, if you are not regularly reading him, why not?)

And he brought up a recent court decision and the Peelian Principals.  (Sir Robert Peel being the founder of Modern Law Enforcement.)  They are:

  1. To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.
  2. To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.
  3. To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.
  4. To recognise always that the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.
  5. To seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humour, and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
  6. To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
  7. To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
  8. To recognise always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.
  9. To recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.

And here’s Peter’s money quote:

I can already hear the scoffing from police officers that those principles are utterly outdated when dealing with a society that regards the rule of law as nothing more than a polite fiction.  I can’t blame them;  our politicians and leaders in other spheres often appear to honor our laws more in the breach than in the observance.  Needless to say, our citizens all too often take their cue from their leaders (or is it the other way around?)  Nevertheless, any officer of the law who enters upon his career regarding the people he’s called to “protect and serve” as the enemy rather than his peers and fellow citizens is riding for a fall.  Sooner or later, someone’s going to provide one for him. (end)

It does appear as though we as a Society have transcended into pre-civil war status.  That is, that those charged with ‘protecting and serving’ the public are ‘protecting and serving’ each other, to the exclusion of the public (not entirely) and engaging in rampant abuses of power and authority not seen in many years.  In The United States, anyway.

Including wholesale surveillance of cellular telephone and email communications.  Restrictions placed on travel (elimination of 4th Amendment protections at border crossings, airports, ‘sobriety checkpoints’ and even some railroad and bus stations)!  And lets not forget misused or misapplied warrant services.  Does the name Jose Guerena come to mind?  Rendition and torture, in violation of both civil and military law.

And punishing of those who wish to bring such facts to light via the Internet or even cell phone cameras.

And now the remaining folks in blue who actually do their jobs and refrain from abuse are being subjected to political assassination, in the name of social justice?

Isn’t this what some Internet bloggers have been suggesting for the past few years?  Just because it’s painted in race doesn’t make it any less real.

Can we as a Society fix this before it’s too late?  Before cities, towns and States are overrun with folks tired of the governmental abuses?

Ask not for whom the bell tolls.

It peels for thee, Republic.

On The Marquess Of Queensberry

(And other rules.)

We, as civilized human beings, have always had rules with regard to combat.  War.  Interpersonal violence.

Sometimes the rules were indeed civilized, as The Marquess of Queensberry describes.  Sometimes, they are less so.

Modern warfare pretends to rely on The Geneva Conventions, and other treaties.  A nation cannot use certain kinds of ammunition, or poison gasses, or treat their prisoners-of-war in a less than humane manner.

Including torture.

Now, it has come to pass that the Senate of the United States has investigated our use of enhanced interrogation techniques against enemies of The United States.  And found that we engaged in tortuous behaviors.

Certainly, not the institutionalized tortures to death of the German Nazis, or the Feudal Japanese Empire, but torture nonetheless.

As Fox News populist Bill O’Reilly reminds us, it’s inappropriate to support bad behavior with other’s previous bad behavior.  Of course, he supports the torture of our enemies.  Hypocrite.

And the report concluded that for all the measures used, money expended and treaties/laws violated, very little of import was obtained through these methods.  And many in the CIA were distressed and ashamed at engaging in these actions.

When it comes to one-on-one, I support doing all that is necessary to survive.  If I am attacked, I’m not adverse to using groin and neck strikes and eye gouges to stop the attack.  Or a firearm, if appropriate.  Because I believe prima facie, as I am not initiating the attack, I am more moral than my attacker.  And my survival is therefore paramount.

However, when it comes to Nation-States…it might be more complicated.  Or not.

We, The United States, ascribe to The Rule of Law.  This includes treaties into which we have entered.  Treat our prisoners of war with humanity.  And stand proudly with our Principles.

This doesn’t mean we are limited to 19th Century Rules, “Gentlemen do not read each other’s mail.” (Henry L Stimson, U.S. Secretary of State).  Intelligence gathering is a valid tool of warfare.

It does mean if we don’t keep to our standards, we lose our National Soul.  And they have already won.

Old Photographic Technology

Tamara’s recent post regarding old-fashioned cameras got me to thinking.  Remembering when.

When I was a licensed private investigator, I always wanted the literary trappings of it.  The snap-brim fedora, the trench coat, the shoulder holster.  And a fine 35 mm camera.  A Speed Graphic was a bit to old-school for me.

Alas, I operated on a shoestring, and could not afford such finery.  I did have my Dad’s very-well-used trench coat, that multiple dry cleanings failed to clean.  I used it as an ersatz gun rug for my Ithaca DSPS shotgun.  No fedora.

One of my then brothers-in-law took a job in Japan, and visited with Christmas gifts.  An inexpensive pair of 12×50 binoculars, and a 80-200mm zoom telephoto lens for my then wife’s Yashica camera.

Sadly, the camera leaked light, and the mount had changed in years since the camera was purchased – so the lens didn’t fit.

I did what any reasonable person would do.  I went on an obsessive search for a camera it would fit.  No Internet then, classified ads in multiple camera magazines were the ticket.  And I found one:

A Contax 137 MA.  Contax is to Yashica as Lincoln is to Ford.  And this model had all the bells and whistles, including an internal motor drive!  And the zoom lens fit!  I promptly bought a 2x teleconverter to make the zoom lens 160-400mm!

contax 137And I was in the photographic investigation snoop business!

I went about town taking ‘candid’ shots of folks who had no idea there photograph was being taken.  After all, that was the nature of the business, wasn’t it?

And took many other photographs.  My camera bag was the perfect concealment whilst traveling all over California, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho and Washington.  3-year-old Molly had no objection to having her picture taken.  Walt Disney would have had a fit, if he had known about the 5″ 1911 in the bag with the Contax in his theme park!.

After my wife and I split up, she borrowed the camera and lens.  And had a burglary.  And it was lost.

I even went on-line a few years ago to see if I could locate a replacement model on EBay.  They are out there, but not in the best condition.  And what’s the point?  It’s old photographic technology.    And I cannot afford neither ammunition nor film, anyway.

Sigh.

“Free speech without property rights is totalitarianism with a suggestion box”

(From Hayward by way of Mike – copied in it’s entirety )

“Free speech without property rights is totalitarianism with a suggestion box”

Yet another from Hayward that is going to give me trouble deciding where to stop excerpting.

The moral logic of rioting and looting is built upon such assumptions. My cause is so righteous that your pitiful property rights are swept away, like so much chaff in the wind of my fury. Any complaint you might tender is selfish and petty. In fact, if you insist on keeping your store intact, shopping at a mall without facing an intimidating mob of protesters, or making lawful use of a public road at a time like this, you’re part of the problem, man.

Let me advance the contrary proposition: property is peace. A full measure of respect for property rights is indispensable for social harmony. Strife always results when the ownership of property is not respected. You might notice that decades of socialist wealth redistribution hasn’t created a more harmonious society. On the contrary, it has arguably made things worse. Thomas Sowell makes this argument frequently, citing historical evidence from around the globe that poverty does not automatically breed lawlessness and racial strife, until activist government is added to the mix. In fact, the sort of strife routinely associated with “racism” in the United States has been known to occur among racially homogeneous societies, with the introduction of welfare-state politics. All you really need to brew up decades of seemingly insoluble society-rending strife is a victim class, plus powerful politicians eager to pander to it. Racial politics are a helpful ingredient, but not strictly required.

“Powerful politicians” means Big Government, which means the atrophy of property rights. The State can only grow huge by claiming a big chunk of every dollar, becoming a partner in every business, and asserting primal rights over capital. The modern American Left transmits a very strong sense – stated explicitly with increasing frequency – that the government owns everything, acting as the collective agent of The People, and generously “allows” us to keep whatever it chooses not to tax and regulate away. All of the hot liberal social and economic theories presume an effectively unlimited collectivist claim on property; the government restrains itself from seizing everything not because such action would be unconstitutional or morally unacceptable, but because it would be counter-productive to strangle the geese that lay all those golden eggs.

The Michael Brown incident began with a property crime: Brown’s theft of a box of cigarillos. He grew violent with the storekeeper who tried to stop him, got even more violent when approached by Officer Darren Wilson, and was ultimately killed. The shop he stole the cigarillos from was looted during last week’s riots. None of those events would have transpired without the original act of theft.

And if Brown had managed to get hold of Wilson’s gun and murdered him as he intended, it would have been a minor local-news story none of us in the nation at large would have ever heard of; word of it wouldn’t have gotten any further than the police-station locker rooms of East St Louis, probably. (end)

c/o Old NFO

c/o Old NFO

Income redistribution, anyone?

The Declaration of Independence originally read Life, Liberty and PROPERTY.  There was a legitimate reason for that.

THIS JUST IN – the center protest sign was reportedly photoshopped, and the original reads something innocuous about going out.  Of course, if you are going out to commit strong arm robbery and assault a police officer to take his sidearm, the message remains the same.

Our Shame Of Higher Education

Harvard Students Struggle To Answer The Most Basic Questions On America and Current Events

Five weeks ago, Campus Reform went to Harvard and asked the students if ISIS or the U.S. poses a bigger threat to world peace. The answers that were given were entertaining enough to create a viral video that has since received about half a million hits.

In addition, the video received air time on Fox News.

Somewhat skeptical of the video, a few students at Harvard decided to go around and ask their fellow classmates some questions of their own. The questions focused on ISIS and the Pledge of Allegiance.

When one student was asked if ISIS or the U.S. posed a bigger threat to world peace. He said:

“I guess I’ll have to say America. I think ISIS as a group… I believe as Ben Affleck said, could fit into a baseball stadium, so they don’t have the potential to put countries into war as America would.”

Also, the response to being asked to say the Pledge of Allegiance, which anyone applying for U.S. citizenship must to be able to recite, was even more concerning…

Disgusting.  And shameful.

To disagree with a political philosophy is an American Right, a tradition.  But, to do so in complete ignorance is SHAMEFUL.  Of course, look what we see every day on the ‘news’, the Internet.

Of course, sometimes there it’s an agenda.

I was surprised to hear people must apply for citizenship, anymore.  I thought it was just granted – like a fief.

h/t Facebook, IJReview

Dichotomy

yin yangIt seems in the universe, there is a dichotomy.  A yin and a yang.  And thus it is with politics.

There was a ‘news’ story a few weeks ago, that the boy who chewed a Pop Tart into the shape of a pistol for play (we assume it was for play – can one rob the lunch lady with an L-shaped piece of pastry?) would still be expelled, due to his past acts weighing on his egregious behavior.  I think he was 8 years old.

Seriously?

Now Alphecca brings us the other end of the spectrum:

From KWCH TV:

The Broken Bow School Board voted Monday night to allow seniors to pose with guns in their senior portraits.

After a student requested to take a senior picture with a gun last year and was denied, the school began looking into the option as Broken Bow is a rural town with a lot of hunting and gaming availability.

“We have the 1 Box Shooting Club, a great trap range and sporting clays range,” said Ken Myers, the Broken Bow School Board President. “A lot of youth are interested in that so that brings up firearms, I guess, a little bit more to the forefront along with the hunting.”

When I was in high school, guns were neither banned, nor encouraged.  I remember a good friend bringing his new hunting rifle in to show the chemistry and physics teachers (both avid hunters).  They kept it in their office for safety, as it was too long to fit into my friend’s locker.  No one blinked an eye.  He was probably 15.

I suspect his locker WAS large enough to hold a box of half-eaten Pop Tarts, though…

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

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It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

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FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

Penn Jillette

“F**k Civility. Hyperbole, passion, and metaphor are beautiful parts of rhetoric. The marketplace of ideas cannot be toned down for the insane.” - Penn Jillette

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