The Proper and Improper Role of Government – Part 1

Several years ago, I tripped across a paperback book and felt to read the book.  It was written by Ezra Taft Benson, who was the 15th US Secretary of Agriculture, whom I respected for his keen mind; I felt compelled to read his book.  Mr. Benson, writing about the proper role of government, providing a running commentary about the founding of the United States of America, is worthy of study by every student as a part of social studies.  Before reading this book, I had not thought about the role of government, proper or improper. However, after reading this book, I came to understand why America is in such trouble and how the government is the perpetrator of the crimes against the citizen of America.

If they were missed, I have written articles about the US Constitution, the US Bill of Rights, the role of the “Rule of Law,” and other founding documents.  All these and more are essential or fundamental principles of understanding for discussing the government’s proper and improper role.  Please note, when talking about the proper and improper role of the government, I am not explicitly discussing The United States of America; but all non-Communist governments and many of the principles should be applied to communist governments to improve the situation for the citizens.

Private Property Produces Liberty and Freedom

Unfortunately, to fully appreciate all Mr. Benson is discussing, one must first understand the role of private property.  Charles Reich, an American legal and social scholar and an author while also a Professor at Yale Law School, wrote a paper every American citizen needs to read and be concerned over.  With the US Government changing the definition of private property and selecting winners and losers for government investment, the US Government radically changed and fundamentally destroyed the basic fabric of American law!  “Property is not a natural right but a deliberate construction by society. Like the Bill of Rights, property represents general, long-range protection of individual and private interests, created by the majority for the ultimate good of all” (Reich, 1964, p. 771-772)

Starting in the 1930s, during the “Great Depression,” changes were made to America’s methods of governance by the President, a willing media, including sycophants in the Senate and House, continuing a trend that began under President Woodrow Wilson (D).  Thus, establishing the Federal and State Government’s ability to rule by largess, picking winners and losers based upon obeisance to a bureaucrat’s whims, wishes, and will.  Reich lays out this history, walks the reader through the laws, and makes the case that because of democratic rule, America’s Republic has been reduced to a feudal system where the government decides who gets the largess and who does not.  With the Federal and State Governments making these decisions, businesses do not compete fairly upon their own merits but upon how much taxpayer money they can bamboozle from Uncle Sam.  Unfortunately, the entire system hinges upon reducing private property ownership and the freedoms private property allows feeding the ever-hungry beast of Government consumption.

The United States of America and every representative government can only provide freedom to their citizens if that country allows ownership of private property.  From private property principles comes every freedom and liberty enjoyed, as even the government must bow to the will of the people owning private property. So how did the government hijack your personal liberties and freedoms; well, there are a couple of wrongheaded Supreme Court cases, several Federal Court Cases, a complicit Congress with supermajorities, and a couple of presidents who were forward-looking and planning on stealing for personal gain.  The judicial interpretations opened judicial activism, released judicial restraint, and Congress stepped into the vacuum to protect itself from the people’s will.

One of the scariest ways personal freedoms have been stolen has been through owning a home but not owning the property under that home.  Homeowner’s Associations and the United Nations Agenda 21 actions have stripped personal property and made the homeowner pay ever-increasing homeowners association fees for the privilege of losing liberty and freedom.  All these actions, and many more, originated in the government actions under President Woodrow Wilson and were compounded by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Many will try and claim WWI and the Great Depression, and WWII triggered taking “bold action” through the legislative process.  What they mean was the Legislative Branch kowtowed to the Executive Branch, while the Judicial Branch twiddled their collective thumbs and began to legislate from the bench.  Never forget, the two presidents with the most executive orders are Wilson and Roosevelt, and this was even with a complicit media and friendly legislative branch.

Reich (1964, p. 773) implicitly details that the power to change the culture and definitions of private property and liberty started with judicial activism that led to government intrusion.  “During the first half of the twentieth century, the reformers enacted into law their conviction that private power was a chief enemy of society and individual liberty. Property was subjected to “reasonable [emphasis in original] limitations in the interests of society. The regulatory agencies, federal and state, were born of the reform. In sustaining these major inroads on private property, the Supreme Court rejected the older idea that property and liberty were one and wrote a series of classic opinions upholding the power of the people to regulate and limit private rights.”  Continuing, Reich (1964) detailed relevance and the conflict of having government contractors and bureaucrats inventing the rules to provide services or grant largess.  Concluding that “many agencies take action which is penal in all but name,” and how these penal actions are punishing the citizen through adjudication without a judge, jury, or trial.

To review, the US Government stole private property, abused the US Constitution and US Bill of Rights, and fundamentally changed America.  Private property is the source of freedom and liberty in a representative government.  By choosing to limit private property, many have never been able to possess the most basic of human rights and liberties.  Worse, the deck has been stacked to keep the average citizen from owning private property.  When the US Government used statehood to strip constitutional authority from the states to own their own land, America started a decline where private property produced liberty and freedoms.  These are crucial steps in the journey to understanding the proper and delineating the improper role of government.

Finally, Reich brings us to the summum bonum of the problem where the government, Federal and State, have been leading the citizen, the “Welfare State” as a “Right.”  Consider, “It is time to recognize that “the public interest” [emphasis in original] is all too often a reassuring platitude that covers up sharp clashes of conflicting values and hides fundamental choices. It is time to see that the “privilege” or “gratuity” concept, as applied to wealth dispensed by government, is not much different from the absolute right of ownership that private capital once invoked to justify arbitrary power over employees and the public”  (Reich, 1964, p. 787).  Who is smart enough to “know” “the public interest?”  Honestly, which political party, politician, business leader, or influencer would you select, always to know the “public interest” and work for the “common good?”

Without private property, the citizen will not find a secure place to consider how to vote and who to vote for properly. This has been designed into government to facilitate single-party rule.  I agree with Reich (1964, p. 787), “Above all, the time has come for us to remember what the framers of the Constitution knew so well-that “a power over a man’s subsistence amounts to a power over his will.” We cannot safely entrust our livelihoods and our rights to the discretion of authorities, examiners, boards of control, character committees, regents, or license commissioners. We cannot permit any official or agency to pretend to sole knowledge of the public good.”  Hence, before we can understand the government’s proper and improper roles, we must have liberty derived from private property!

References

Benson, E. T. (1995). The proper role of government: The Improper Role of Government. H. V. Andersen (Ed.). Heber City, UT: Archive Publishers.

Charles A. Reich, The New Property, 73 Yale L.J. (1964). Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/ylj/vol73/iss5/1

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

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NO MORE BS: Calling Out Politicians

Rep. Greg Stanton (D) got called out on my blog and both of Arizona’s Senators, and previously I have called out the now Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland (D), who was then a member of the US House of Representatives.  A comment was passed along to me that I only pick on politicians with (D) after their name.  I will call out every single politician who does not honor their oath of office or represent their constituents.  Politicians in America be on alert; I will not tolerate this behavior anymore.

America deserves better from those elected to public office, from the dog catcher to the school board and from the city council to the president’s office.  Every office-seeker is accountable to those who elected them.  Not to the special interests, banks, businesses, and other entities are pushing agendas and money into their pockets through legal but ethically questionable and illicit schemes.  Across the globe, in every democratically elected government, too many politicians are abdicating their jobs, refusing to do their jobs, endlessly asking questions to avoid doing their jobs, and exercising every excuse possible to waste time and collect a paycheck from the taxpayers.  Hence, be on alert; the electorate is awake, taking notes and passing names around.

To the Speakers, Majority and Minority Leaders, your role is two-fold, represent who elected you to office, and lead your political caucuses in the respective houses of government.  Speaker Pelosi (D), we have regularly informed you that you are not doing your job.  While the following applies to the US Senate specifically, it speaks to all majority and minority leaders and is worth knowing:

“Elected at the beginning of each Congress by members of their respective party conferences to represent them on the House or Senate floor, the majority and minority leaders serve as spokesmen for their parties’ positions on the issues.  Working with the committee chairs and ranking members, the majority leader schedules business on the floor by calling bills from the calendar and keeps members of his party advised about the daily legislative program. In consultation with the minority leader, the majority leader fashions unanimous consent agreements by which limitations of time for debate are agreed to and divides that time between the parties. When time limits cannot be agreed on, the majority leader might file for cloture to shut off the debate.  The two leaders coordinate party strategy and try to keep their parties united” [emphasis mine].

We need to be precise; a majority and minority leader are not US Constitutional offices but were created to aid the organization of government bodies.  These positions were first designed and accepted by democrats to benefit President Woodrow Wilson’s legislative pogrom.  One of those American Presidents who was quietly destroying America, one legislated article at a time!  Worse, even with a complicit Congress, the two-term president wrote 1803 executive orders and proclamations!  President Woodrow Wilson, the highest writing, end-running around the US Constitution President until eclipsed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and WWII; thus, leaving President Wilson #2 on the list of presidents ruling by executive fiat instead of legislated law.

Feel free to disagree, but the following are considered accomplishments of President Woodrow Wilson (D).  I find direct lines of congruence from the problems of today and President Wilson’s complicit Congress, and only if you intend to destroy America would I call these “accomplishments.”

      • Including an “ambitious agenda of progressive reform that included the establishment of the Federal Reserve and Federal Trade Commission.”
      • He won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the Treaty of Versailles, which directly led to WWII. Winning a Nobel Prize for creating global problems reminds me of another Nobel Peace prize winner-President Obama (D)!
      • President Wilson is responsible for starting the “League of Nations,” the foundation of the current United Nations. We all know how well that has worked out for America!
      • As part of President Wilson’s progressive reforms, “Congress passed the Underwood-Simmons Act, which reduced the tariff on imports and imposed a new federal income tax.”
      • With the help of friendly Congresses, President Wilson saw child labor laws, an eight-hour day for railroad workers, and government loans to farmers all passed as legislative accomplishments, which set up the animosity between railroad and government workers against every other employee in America.
      • President Wilson used his roots in the confederacy to resegregate the US Federal Government, overturning many hard-won concessions. Republicans had fought to secure and destabilizing America while creating the problems of the 1960s Civil Rights movement.

As a dedicated independent voter, I call out any and every politician who is not doing their job, or advancing a government pogrom that steals liberty, destroys freedom, or persuades people to give up their rights for “government protection.”  The United Nations is killing the world and needs to be stopped by any legal means necessary!

The tax system in America is the reason why employees cost too much to compete with other countries.  The tax system provided government bloat to allow the government to see us, the citizens, as property, pick winners and losers and abuse the US Constitution.  With the amount of trade America does with the world, why do we pay so much in taxes at the local, county, state, and federal levels?  The income tax system is regressive, which means it hurts innovation, job creation, job growth, and the entrepreneurial spirit that has made America since the colonial era.

Want an interesting fact to chew on; America did not need an income tax when it was installed under President Wilson and a complicit congress.  The Military-Government Complex created during WWI was a tragedy that has never been corrected, and a farce force-fed to the American people, and who has paid the price, every taxpayer since President Wilson!  Why does Congress give itself tax breaks; because they know that if they paid the same as everyone else, they would pay too much in taxes.

The Great Depression was a farrago of government ineptitude from beginning to end!  The government used the suffering of millions of people to create a government jobs program, the military-industrial complex, and government debt as a means of stealing freedom, robbing liberty, and breaking the American soul!  If you are as tired as I am of the politicians, join me in calling them out.  Call out the perks they voted for themselves, the retirement benefits that make a CEO’s “Golden Parachute” look like a paper kite.  Call out the politicians who refuse to respond to their constituents.  Call out the spending and tax politicians at every level of government.  Demand your liberty and freedom back!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

The US Bill of Rights – Knowing the Paradigm

GI JoeDuring much of the 1980s G. I. Joe cartoons had a commercial that ended, “Knowing is half the battle.”  In the spirit of “knowing,” the following is a discussion on the US Bill of Rights.  The US Bill of Rights is the first 10 amendments to the US Constitution.  Many people think that the US Constitution begins with these 10 amendments, and there remains significant ignorance over what is said, and what is meant, in the US Bill of Rights.  Finally, the US Bill of Rights, or the first 10 amendments, was passed by the US Congress and ratified by the states too, “… Prevent misconstruction or abuse of its (US Government) powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added, and as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.”

Never forget, the preamble to the US Constitution describe why governments are formed stating, “… In order to form a more perfect Union (government), establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

Amendment 1 states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  There is much to discuss regarding what is being witnessed in America right now where the First Amendment is concerned.  Peaceable assembly does not include throwing rocks, blocking traffic, interrupting the free flow of commerce into or out of a building, starting fires, shouting, screaming, or anything else like unto the behavior witnessed in America by radicalized youth and adults.  How does one tell the difference between peaceably assembly and protests; the answer is simple and comes down to one word, respect.

Aretha Franklin (1967) taught America about R-E-S-P-E-C-T and just following the basics she sang about, will differentiate between mobs and peaceably assembling.  But, do not forget, there is a purpose to peaceably assembling, to “petition the government for a redress of grievances.”  Petitioning does not include screaming, using a megaphone, “sit-ins,” and other actions that disrupt the working of the government.  The actions of those in Portland, Seattle, New York, and several other cities where fires burn, private and public property is destroyed, commerce interrupted, business halted, and fear is spread, is the work of anarchists, terrorists, and villains, not people peacefully assembling to petition for redress.  Politicians take note, if you cannot tell the difference between a peaceful assembly and a riot, I am sure there are several police officers who can make the difference perfectly clear.

Respect is a two-directional path leading to communication, improvement, and the betterment of society.  If the respect flows out but is not returned, then the problem is with the receiver being selfish and communication will never occur.  If the sender is not sending out respect, the problem is a selfish sender, and contempt is all that will be returned.  Why is respect important; because in today’s political environment there is no respect.  Contempt for the voter, contempt for the other political side, contempt for law and order, contempt is running rampant and the fruits of contempt are a bitter fruit indeed.

Politicians, ask yourself, what do you do to reflect respect to the people you represent?  What do you do to reflect respect for the office you hold and the heritage left you as you fill the duties of that office?  What does your staff do to reflect respect back to those who hired you, through an election process, and pays for your staff through forced taxation?  If you only represent the big business and big donors who helped elect you, you are not respecting anything or anyone, especially yourself.  The first amendment to the US Constitution reveals much about a person, almost as good as holding up a mirror of the soul.

Amendment 2 states: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”  Much continues to be said and written about this amendment.  Many have tried to wrestle meaning from this amendment that runs contrary to the specially selected wording in the amendment, covering their actions by calling their shenanigans “the intent of the authors.”  Each citizen of America was considered a member of the militia, and as such the security of the American Republic, rested first in the hands of freedom-loving, gun-toting, people.  Stop selling snake oil, start accepting the fact that those who try to “judge intent” of the US Constitution are the problems in America.

kpiAmendment 3 states: “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”  The language of this amendment, particularly, never ceases to amaze me.  In order to protect the liberty of individuals, soldiers cannot be housed in a citizen’s home; thus, protecting the ability and freedoms of thought and property from unlawful government intrusion.

Since fourth grade, it has amazed me to no end that the second amendment needed to be understood through the intent of the authors, but the first and third amendments needed no “intent” clarification.  This is not irony; this is blatant bias and opinion masquerading as benevolence.  I reject utterly and completely any and every argument based upon the “intentions” of the authors in understanding the US Constitution.

Amendment 4 states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”  Speaking of “intentionality arguments,” the fourth amendment continues to be replete with interpretations by judges, lawyers, interfered with by bad case law, and weak-kneed Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions.  Like the third amendment, the fourth is all about keeping the government out of a person’s home, properties, papers, and so forth.  If there is anything more egregious in modern America, the abuse of the US Constitution must rank first, and foremost, in the minds of every American.  Several current issues are before the court and the lawyers will make more money, and the judges will make more money, but the citizens of America will be abused.

Lady JusticeConsider how the Patriot Act, a horribly misnamed piece of legislation, allows for warrantless searches in the name of protecting America.  Like the Affordable Care Act produced the reverse and increased the cost of health care while reducing the quality of health care, the Patriot Act has stripped patriots of safety in their property, papers, and so forth.  2018 had two cases argued before SCOTUS regarding warrantless searches and seizures; warrantless search and seizure is unconstitutional, yet they occur.  The two cases of warrantless searches were both decided by SCOTUS in the petitioner’s favor (Collins v. Virginia & Byrd v. Government).  SCOTUS has ruled on cellphone data, and many regarded that law as dangerous due to the argument that survives that since the government owns the technology the cell phone providers use, then the individual users have no right to privacy or constitutional protections by using cellular phones, cellular data, and where that user goes is able to be scrutinized without warrants.

Now, enter the lawyers, attorneys, and armchair lawyers who will argue and complain about my ignorance of the law, throwing up arguments, and muddying the issues.  Yet, the ACLU is making the arguments that the Patriot Act has reduced the American Citizen’s rights to the fourth amendment.  FISA Courts have been discussed due to the role they played in obtaining warrants to illegally spy on political opponents.  FISA Courts should scare the hell out of every American!  Yet, the Patriot Act passed with no debate, no discussion, and many legislators never read the bill before or after voting.

Amendment 5 states: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”  FISA courts empowered the FBI to be the politician’s best friend and the freedom-loving person’s worst enemy.  The taking of private land for public use continues to be abused beyond measure.  Eminent domain abuses abound, and one axiom of law I have come to appreciate is as follows, “Bad cases make bad case law!”  Where the concept of “eminent domain” is concerned this axiom remains telling, and the abuses of government unabated.  Between the principle of eminent domain and the Patriot Act, the fourth and fifth amendments have been stripped, the power shifted to the bureaucrats and politicians, and the abused American Citizen left without recourse.

LinkedIn ImageAmendment 6 states: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”  When it comes to legalese muddying the intelligence of an issue, I have not found anything more convoluted than the definition of a “speedy trial.”  Worse, with the FISA Courts not having to inform the accused, a person could be accused of a crime and never know they have been accused.

Amendment 7 states: “In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.”  The seventh amendment remains important specifically for the re-trial in a different court of an issue settled by a jury trial.  Enter the convolution of “small claims court” as a method of settling matters between people or businesses (under $10,000).  To be frank, you can have a jury trial in small claims court, and some issues are worth having a jury hear evidence.

Amendment 8 states: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”  What does excessive mean according to a dictionary; “more than is necessary, normal, or desirable; immoderate.”  Bail is all about incentivizing a person to appear in court.  Excessive bail used to be set in England as a means of keeping a prisoner in jail, to work.  Thus, the founding fathers desired bail to be reformed to prevent people from wasting away in jail from poor living conditions, harsh work conditions, and languishing in prison for a considerable time without trial.  Modern America has seen the abuse of language, the plasticization of terminology, and the convolution of excessive, into decreasing bail to nothing.  New York and California both have laws representative of these practices, to the detriment of law enforcement, the revolving doors of prisons, and the decrease in safety for the citizens affected.

ScalesAmendment 9 states: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”  Rights of the people, the US Constitution, and the individual constitutions of each state and commonwealth in the American Union, cannot infringe upon other rights of the people as they individually dictate.  How did we American Citizens lose sight of this amendment and what it means?  How did we lose the US Constitution?  Under Amendment nine FISA Courts should never have been established.  The right to die without health care intervention is encapsulated in the ninth amendment, but somehow this has been lost.  I remember distinctly losing the classroom debate that assisted suicide is a right under the ninth amendment; I also remember the day when states started passing laws to counter assisted suicide.  Consider the case of Boston Children’s Hospital v. Justina Pelletier, and you will find the ninth amendment abused and tattered by the hospital bureaucracy, as well as horrible malpractice.

Amendment 10 states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”  Yet, America is replete with Federal and State laws which represent government overreach.  Yet, America is inundated with bureaucracies who design new rules without the consent of the legislative branch that empower the executive branch to trample individual rights, state’s rights, and liberties.  America, you have been abused by a runaway government, powered with politicians and bureaucrats who strive to “keep the gravy train running,” at your expense.

According to the US Constitution can a person choose to live in poverty; yes!  According to the US Constitution does the government have the power to pass out government benefits, which are nothing but taxpayer funds; no!  Yet, the US Government and the various states and commonwealth continue to choose who to pass out government funds to and interfere in people’s lives and choices.  How many times in American History has the actions of government improved a situation; zero!  War on poverty; lost!  War on drugs; failed.

Whale in OceanThe politicians, from both major parties, are guilty of government overreach and unconstitutional power grabs at the city, county, state, and federal government levels.  America must stand, to survive America must return to the roots established by the US Constitution.  Yes; this means getting the government out of Social Security, Welfare, and butting its nose into the rights and liberties of the individual citizen.  Consider the following, a whale and the ocean.  Does the government represent the whale or the ocean?  For if the government is the ocean, then the wale is reliant upon the government.  But, if the whale is the government, then we the citizens of America are the ocean and the government is dependent upon us.  The US Constitution claims the government is the whale and we the citizens are the ocean, and the government depends entirely upon the consent of the governed.

Well, I am revoking my consent!  The government has abused me enough.  I am done with government and bureaucratic overreach.  I reject the thought posited by Charles Reich that I am the property of the government.  Until the government is placed upon a strict constitutional diet, I revoke my consent to be governed.  We, the American Citizens, can retake control from the bloated feck beasts in government and correct the course of this Republic through the powers provided to us in the US Constitution.

The Duty of AmericansI speak by way of invitation; join me, revoke your consent to be governed by these totalitarians!

© Copyright 2020 – M. Dave Salisbury

The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the pictures.  All text quoted from another source set in italics and is not the property of the author.  Minor punctuation and spelling changes made.

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The Role of Police in Current American Society – Knowing IS Half the Battle!

Behavior-ChangeThe recent acts of domestic terror in America have caused the need to teach, instruct, and edify on the basic roles of law enforcement officers, e.g. peacekeepers, sheriffs, police officers, agents, etc. in society.  American Society has two different peacekeepers tasked with the job of keeping peace in America, the military, and the police.  In this first of two articles, the role of the police officer is discussed, with foundational logic provided.  Imperative to understanding the role of police, we must first consider the role of government in America, as the police officer is but a tool of government policy.

Charles Reich (1964) wrote an article about “New Property,” where he discussed how that from WWII the government has been considering their citizens as property, how the bureaucrat picks winners and losers based upon a personal and often hidden agenda, and how this process has affected the law in America.  The premise that the government owns you, is here to protect you, and coddle you from the cradle to the grave, is the onerous millstone about America’s neck currently.  The size of government after WWII exploded and has done nothing but grow ever since; all because the bigger the government, the more the bureaucrat claims disproportionate power to inflict harm and enact a reign of terror, in the government’s name.

PolicyVisit a Department of Motor Vehicles and ask questions, ask “why” questions, and politely insist upon answers.  Visit a local zoning office, and refuse to accept their petty mandates regarding your personal property, try, and “fight city hall;” and you will face a bureaucrat. A bureaucrat on their own turf, who will make up rules to inconvenience you, simply because they can.  Everything that irritates a person about dealing with the government stems from the petty authoritarian actions of a bureaucrat, acting precisely as described by Charles Reich (1964).  Why has President Trump had so many problems with leading the Federal Government; the bureaucrats will not relinquish power “ill-gottenly gained,” and unconstitutionally acquired.  Why was President Obama able to lead the government so smoothly, the bureaucrats recognized in him the ability to seize power and took full advantage.  Resulting in the IRS being weaponized and illegally used against those deemed inferior to, or unworthy of, government largesse by a bureaucrat.  Why did President Reagan have so many problems with the Federal Government in his first term, and President Clinton not have any problems with the entrenched Federal Government; again the bureaucrats.  Those people that work in government, using government to get ahead, and have always privately dreamed of being Lord Tyrannus executing their will on others; in short, bureaucrats.

Michael Howlett, Chapter Two, from the book “Designing Government: From Instruments to Governance” (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005), stated the following, “Policy instruments are techniques of governance that, one way or another, involve the utilization of state authority or its conscious limitation[s]. …[S]ince they often affect the behavior of individuals in society… possess economic costs paid by the governed… are controlled by policymakers… and are designed to implement governance strategies.”  The police are but one such tool or policy instrument to affect the behavior of a society.  Each criminal class in the criminal justice system has a society with specific rules, obligations, and controllers of policy.  For example, the common thief looks down upon a child molester but is in turn looked down upon by a murderer.  As one of the most visible tools of government policy, the police officer as a law enforcement agent (including FBI Agent, Sheriff, etc.) remains a target of opportunity by those resisting police enforcement, as well as the political masters who make a mistake and blame the police officers for failing to grasp what is desired by the political master.  Please note, the law enforcement officer has one role, to serve and protect society.  Under that role, there are millions of ideas about how to “serve” and what “to protect,” how “to protect,” and where “to protect.”  Each politician as the creator of policy and user of government tools, dictates to the police their job, how they perform their job, what merits proper performance of their job, and much more.  Hence, the need to understand the lines of congruity between proper policing and government policies.

Government Largess 2Consider the hammer, in the hands of a master craftsman art, is created by using the hammer.  In the hands of a child, generally, destruction occurs by using the hammer.  The hammer is not to blame for the destruction, nor praised for the beauty of the art, it is simply a tool to be wielded.  From this analogy, we find the reason, and often the start of, violent protestors, riots, lootings, etc. when the politician does not appropriately use the tool law enforcement official e.g. the police.

ProblemsLet us review the Eric Garner incident in New York City.  The police officer performed his duty, using the allowed tools provided by the politicians in making an arrest, which included a neck hold that was deemed safe.  Unfortunately, Eric Garner’s health problems, environmental concerns (weather, physical exertion, etc.), and other factors played a role, and Eric Garner died at the hands of a police officer.  A highly regrettable incident.  But, did the politicians pay a price for their decisions to allow the neck hold; no!  How many politicians lost their elected positions over the poor decisions of their tool, to make this arrest; none!  But, the police officer involved became a household name, the media went crazy, and cities across America burned because of how the tool of governance (Law Enforcement Officials), effected their job (use of an allowed neck hold), in correcting the behavior of society (making an arrest).

The crime Eric Garner was accused of was selling unlicensed cigarettes; essentially, the government was complaining they were not receiving sufficient taxes for the sales of the cigarettes.  This is behavior the city, county, state, or federal, collectively called “the state” has deemed unlawful.  The police, as tools of government policy, were called to correct the behavior and recoup the taxes through fines and imprisonment, after a trial by Eric Garner’s peers.  That through Eric Garner’s untimely death, the government was denied retribution is another discussion regarding the role of the criminal justice system.

ElectionAs tools of government policy, “use of force by law enforcement” remains a hotly contested topic, all because each politician will decide what is the “proper use of force by law enforcement officials,” to execute behavioral changes in the city/county/state/country.  The police officer, as a law enforcement official, is left in the middle between the cries of the governed, and the government using that official to enact policy.  Thus, the core and central issue in the lives of law enforcement officials everywhere, and why the treatment of criminals is always a political debate topic for those seeking election to offices of governance and judgeship.

Hollywood to the contrary, the police officer as a law enforcement official is not a military position.  The law enforcement official cannot go “rogue,” as this places their authority as a law enforcement official in jeopardy.  The law enforcement official can only apply that force allowed them by the politicians as tools of government policy.  Hence, when mass social unrest begins, it is not the police who need to be called, but the military.  However, the same politician controlling the proper use of law enforcement is also deciding what constitutes “civil unrest,” requiring military intervention; thus, opening the divide between law enforcement, “to serve and protect,” and the military which will insist upon the obedience of the governed, to the government.

The point remains, the law enforcement official, police officer, sheriff, etc. is a visible tool of the government to adjust the behavior of the governed, at the expense of the governed.  Hence, one cannot separate the responsibility of how the tool is used, from the tool holder.  Like the hammer in the hands of a child when destruction occurs, you do not punish the hammer, you swat the bottom of the child.  As adults in American society, we hold the ultimate responsibility for how your law enforcement officials act, through the ballot box electing those who create government policy.  If you do not like how the police are acting, it is your job to elect someone different.  Thus, it is your responsibility, and as an adult to choose how your law enforcement works.  You have no right to be looting, rioting, and causing acts of violence, especially when the police act in a manner that you do not prefer.

GI JoeAs G.I. Joe said when I was a kid, “Knowing IS half the battle” [emphasis mine].  The other half, never mentioned, was taking informed action.  If your elected officials are “too soft” or “too hard” on crime, the blame lies with the politician enacting the behavior-changing policy.  If the criminal justice system is not to your liking, you as a free individual have two choices, use the ballot box to change the elected leadership, or move to an area that possesses the same ideals you support.  Take informed action; leave the emotional tantrums to children!

Thin Blue Line

© Copyright 2020 – M. Dave Salisbury

The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the pictures.

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