A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘Shut Up Slave’ tag

Just Drug ‘Em

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The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) can’t keep itself away from controversy. Fortunately, the latest controversy doesn’t involve another unarmed person being gunned down. Instead it involves people being drugged against their will, oftentimes without any crimes being committed:

Minneapolis police officers have repeatedly requested over the past three years that Hennepin County medical responders sedate people using the powerful tranquilizer ketamine, at times over the protests of those being drugged, and in some cases when no apparent crime was committed, a city report shows.

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The number of documented ketamine injections during Minneapolis police calls increased from three in 2012 to 62 last year, the report found, including four uses on the same person. On May 18, around the time the draft report was completed, Minneapolis police Cmdr. Todd Sauvageau issued a departmental order saying that officers “shall never suggest or demand EMS Personnel ‘sedated’ a subject. This is a decision that needs to be clearly made by EMS Personnel, not MPD Officers.”

This story involves two groups of bad actors. The first group is the usual suspects, MPD officers. The second group are the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel who administer the drugs simply because an MPD officer asked them.

Not surprisingly, both MPD and the EMS people involved have issued statements that absolve themselves of responsibility. MPD at least tried to smooth things over by announced that it has put a new policy in place. While new department policies seldom change actual behavior, it’s a step better than the shut up slaves statement given by Hennepin EMS Medical Director Jeffrey Ho:

The draft report prompted sharply different reactions among local officials. A statement included in the report from Hennepin EMS Medical Director Jeffrey Ho and Minnesota Poison Control System Medical Director Jon Cole dismissed the findings of the report as a “reckless use of anecdotes and partial snapshots of interactions with police, and incomplete information and statistics to draw uninformed and incorrect conclusions.”

“This draft report will prevent the saving of lives by promoting the concept of allowing people to exhaust themselves to death,” Cole and Ho wrote.

Pro tip: if you’re going to claim that a report is based on anecdotal and partial information and are in a position to provide the information that supports your claim, you should release that information. Failing to do so makes it look like your statement is nothing more than an attempt to cover your ass.

The fact that MPD requested the sedation of a subject isn’t the real red flag of this story. There are circumstances where sedating somebody is the best option for everybody involved, including the suspect. However, the rapid increase in the number of sedations is a red flag. Going from three in 2012 to 62 in 2017 is a drastic increase in just five years. Statements from officials and policy changes aren’t going to answer the important question of why was there such a dramatic increase?

Written by Christopher Burg

June 15th, 2018 at 10:30 am

The Government Is Us

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Worshipers of democracy continue to tell me that the government is us. I’m not sure why they try to drag me into being part of the government but they’re very adamant. Anyways, when somebody tries to claim that the government is us I like to point to stories like this one:

A young hacker reeling from the Philando Castile case and the acquittal of the officer who killed him broke into several state databases last year and boasted about his exploits.

“An innocent man is dead, while a guilty man is free,” the hacker, known as “Vigilance” tweeted in part last year.

Here’s the thing, if Vigilance is the government (because, after all, he’s part of “us”), he would have every right to access any government computer he so desired. It is, according to worshipers of democracy, his computer after all. But the fact that he’s been arrested for accessing those computers indicates that he isn’t the government, especially in the eyes of the government.

You aren’t he government. If you disagree with me, try strolling into a National Security Agency (NSA) building. You’ll be provided a free education regarding your misunderstanding.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 7th, 2018 at 10:00 am

When a Court Wants to Add Insult to Injury

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In 2014 two officers were responding to a noise complaint. When they arrived at the address, they saw a black man with a gun and decided to open fire through the man’s garage door. One bullet fatally struck the man. Considering the rather murky circumstances (firing blindly through a garage door at somebody who hadn’t posed a direct threat yet) an excessive force lawsuit was brought against the officer. Not only did the jury find the officer innocent of any wrongdoing (normal in these cases) but it decided to add a bit of insult to the injury:

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — A federal jury has cleared a deputy of using excessive force in the 2014 shooting death of Gregory Hill Jr. and awarded $4 to Hill’s family, a family lawyer said. The jury, which was weighing a lawsuit filed by Hill’s family, ruled last week that St. Lucie County Deputy Christopher Newman did not violate Hill’s civil rights, reports CBS affiliate WPEC-TV of West Palm Beach, Floirda.

Awarding $4 over a fatal excessive force complaint is nothing more than a giant fuck you.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 1st, 2018 at 10:30 am

You Can’t Commit Suicide If You’re in a Full Body Cast

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Cops are called to deal with an apparently suicidal person. When they arrive on the scene they decide to shoot or beat the shit out of the suicidal man:

Two police officers in Paterson, New Jersey, went to a local hospital March 5 on reports of a man who attempted suicide, video showed. But after the man threw an object into the hallway and insulted one of the cops, the officers grabbed the man’s wheelchair, punched him in the face and pushed him to the ground, according to a federal criminal complaint.

Another video (this one allegedly recorded by Officer Roger Then, 29, on his cellphone) caught the second stage of the assault, prosecutors said. At that point, the victim was in his hospital bed, video showed. Lying on his back, the suicidal man hurled an insult at an unidentified police officer. In response, that officer grabbed a pair of hospital gloves, put them on and “violently struck” the man two times, prosecutors said.

You can’t commit suicide if you’re in a full body cast!

While the story itself isn’t surprising, what is surprising is that Officer Then has been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigations. I was expecting to read that the officer was enjoying a paid vacation since that is such a common outcome of stories like this. But apparently an officer recording himself beating a man lying in a hospital bed is stupid enough that federal law enforcers feel the need to actually do something.

Once again I’m left wondering exactly how many isolated incidents perpetrated by bad apples are needed to establish a trend.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 31st, 2018 at 11:00 am

Just Chop Off Everybody’s Hands

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Britain suffers from a severe case of hoplophobia. First the British government enacted an ever increasing number of regulations on firearms until it was all but illegal to own one. Now the government wants to do the same to knives:

Judge Nic Madge said ordinary kitchen knives were causing a “soaring loss of life”, rather than more heavily regulated large-bladed weapons.

He was speaking at Luton Crown Court at a ceremony to mark his retirement.

Knife crime rose by 22% in England and Wales in 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics.

“Kitchens contain lethal knives which are potential murder weapons and only butchers and fishmongers need eight or 10 inch kitchen knives with points,” the judge said.

He wants manufacturers to produce knives with rounded points for domestic use and those with points to be sold under strict rules.

First it was the guns. Now it’s the knives. Next it will be sporting equipment (Only professional cricket players need cricket bats!). If the British government continues pursuing this train of thought to its logical conclusion, all people living in Britain will have to have their hands chopped off at birth.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 30th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Without Government, Who Would Traffic Children

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Remember this story about how the federal government “misplaced” almost 1,500 migrant children? I mentioned the possibility that some of these children may have ended up with human traffickers. It turns out that my predication was accurate:

The Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations opened its inquiry after law enforcement officials uncovered a human trafficking ring in Marion, Ohio, last year. At least six children were lured to the United States from Guatemala with the promise of a better life, then were made to work on egg farms. The children, as young as 14, had been in federal custody before being entrusted to the traffickers.

“It is intolerable that human trafficking — modern-day slavery — could occur in our own backyard,” said Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio and the chairman of the subcommittee. “But what makes the Marion cases even more alarming is that a U.S. government agency was responsible for delivering some of the victims into the hands of their abusers.”

Not only did human trafficking happen in your backyard, Senator Portman, but it was enabled by the very government you help run.

But those six children weren’t the only ones who ended up in the hands of traffickers:

In addition to the Marion cases, the investigation found evidence that 13 other children had been trafficked after officials handed them over to adults who were supposed to care for them during their immigration proceedings. An additional 15 cases exhibited some signs of trafficking.

The report also said that it was unclear how many of the approximately 90,000 children the agency had placed in the past two years fell prey to traffickers, including sex traffickers, because it does not keep track of such cases.

Of course the agency doesn’t keep track of such cases. It looks bad if even one child in an agency’s care ends up in the hands of a human trafficker. If it kept track of such cases, the numbers would likely add up pretty quickly and the agency would look absolutely terrible.

Time and time again we’re told by statists that government is necessary to protect the vulnerable people in society. But who protects the vulnerable people from the government? Since the United States government has declared a monopoly on justice and hasn’t bestowed the power to oversee it to any other agency, there is no recourse in cases like this. Sure, some government officials are “investigating” the matter but history shows that investigations rarely result in any meaningful punishments or changes. At most the heads of a few agencies will be required to step down (after which, they’ll probably be hired by a lobbyist group and receive an even higher salary). After that the entire matter will be swept under the rug.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 29th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Protecting and Serving the Shit Out of You

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Look at that? It’s a day ending in “y,” which means that there must be another isolated incident involving one of those rare bad apples:

The footage, posted on social media on Saturday, shows three officers from the Wildwood Police Department attempting to detain Emily Weinman, 20.

Ms Weinman was later charged with illegal possession of alcohol on the beach and for resisting arrest.

Two of the officers have been placed on administrative duty, officials said.

The incident, which occurred on a beach on Memorial Day weekend in the US, shows Ms Weinman being wrestled to the ground in a swimsuit and shorts.

With one officer on top of her, she kicks out at another, who then holds her legs down by gripping her ankles.

One officer is then seen punching her in the head with his fist before placing her in a headlock and pinning her to the ground.

My mistake, make that three bad apples. But I guess she should count herself lucky for not be summarily executed.

Remember that in the freest country on Earth there is no transgression so minor that a law enforcer won’t beat or execute you over it.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 29th, 2018 at 10:30 am

The TSA Is Making a List and Checking It Twice

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When you travel on an airplane in the United States you must first subject yourself to the depravities of the Transportation Security Agency (TSA). Usually your options are to either walk through a slave scanner so a pervert can look at your naked body or submit yourself to sexual assault. It turns out that not everybody meekly rolls over when given these options. When air travelers decide to do anything other than shuffle through the security line with a submissive downcast gaze, their name goes on the TSA’s secret naughty list:

I thought of this exchange last week when the New York Times revealed that the Transportation Security Administration has created a secret watchlist for troublesome passengers. The TSA justified the list by saying that its screeners were assaulted 34 times last year, but did not release any details about the alleged assaults.

Naturally, the TSA’s official definition of troublemaking goes well beyond punching its officers. According to a confidential memo, any behavior that is “offensive and without legal justification” can land a traveler on the list, as can any “challenges to the safe and effective completion of screening.” Anyone who has ever “loitered” near a checkpoint could also make the list. So could any woman who pushes a screener’s hands away from her breasts.

The memo would be more accurate if it stated that anyone who fails to unquestioningly submit to all the TSA’s demands would be found guilty of insubordination. As an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, Hugh Handeyside, told the Washington Post, the policy gives the agency wide latitude to “blacklist people arbitrarily and essentially punish them for asserting their rights.”

According to the New York Times article mentioned in the above except, landing on the list doesn’t prohibit you from flying… yet. However, governments frequently use lists to punish people in the future. There may come a time when landing on this list will prohibit you from flying just as landing on several other secret government lists can currently prohibit you from flying. If that happens, you flying privileges will be in the hands of a flunkies who were probably bullied in high school and took a job with the TSA so they could live their revenge fantasies. But, hey, the United States is the freest country on Earth!

Land of the Free

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My feelings for government agents are well known but even among such a rogues gallery Jeff Sessions stands out as particularly loathsome. I often compare him to a Saturday morning cartoon villain. He’s a two dimensional character who seem to be evil for the sole sake of being evil. In his latest disregard of common decency he has decided once again that the Party in Nineteen Eighty-Four were the heroes and should be emulated:

Sessions, however, refuses to accept this reality. Instead, he has claimed that the agreement caused 236 murders. He points to a journal article written by Paul Cassell, a former federal judge, and Richard Fowles, that asserts the reductions in stop-and-frisk encounters from 40,000 a month to 10,000 a month caused the additional murders in 2016. While the report accurately states the reduced number of stop-and-frisk encounters and the spike in murders in 2016, it provides no causal link between the two events.

The authors essentially suggest that a huge number of random stops will reduce crime because no one will ever know when they might be stopped and, therefore, will not carry weapons. Apparently, they are fine with randomly stopping hundreds of thousands of people, a practice with a greater than 84 percent error rate.

Remember when films portrayed Nazis and Cold War Eastern European guards asking for papers as bad guys? Those were the days! Speaking of Nazi Germany and Cold War Eastern Europe, those governments taught us that even if you establish the most ruthless police state imaginable, crime will still be rampant. Random harassment teaches people to avoid law enforcers, nothing more. Needless to say, with such an education a policy of randomly stopping and frisking individuals can only manage to catch the dumbest criminals.

Lies, Damned Lies, and Government Claims

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The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has claimed that law enforcers are being thwarted by dastardly criminals 7,800 times because the contents of modern smartphones cannot be easily decrypted. It turns out that the FBI has significantly exaggerated the number of devices that it has been unable to unlock:

Last year FBI Director Christopher Wray said it had failed to access 7,800 mobile devices, but tonight a Washington Post report reveals that number is incorrect. According to the Post, the accurate number is between 1,000 and 2,000, with a recent internal estimate putting at about 1,200 devices, and in a statement, the FBI responded: “The FBI’s initial assessment is that programming errors resulted in significant over-counting of mobile devices reported.”

7,800 versus 1,200? That’s only an exaggeration of a factor of 6.5, no big deal.

Lying is nothing new for the FBI, which raises two interesting questions. Why does anybody take what the FBI says at face value and why aren’t members of the agency fired when they lie? Everything the agency says should be taken with a giant grain of salt. Moreover, when agents lie to the public (you know, the people they supposedly serve) and Congress, no punishment is ever issued, which encourages agents to tell more lies.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 24th, 2018 at 10:00 am