Monday, April 20, 2009

Valuable Information...

Just a quick note to anyone I may stop for some traffic violation.

If I stopped you for something, rest assured that I am 100% certain of the violation I saw, and I am 100% certain it was you I saw do it. If I was only 99% certain, I would not have stopped you.

First off, before you ask, no I don't have anything better to do than to stop you, no I do not enjoy writing people tickets (most of the time, but your attitude can quickly change that), and no my wife will not get the toaster oven if I write you this citation. So save the oxygen for the rest of us and don't bother asking.

If I have stopped you, and you should erroneously decide it is in your best interest to claim I am somehow targeting you because of some imagined slight against your race, sex, religious preference, sexual preference, or some other personal bit of information, do not be surprised when you get the ticket for the violation for which I stopped you.

When you make such false claims, and I DON'T cite you, it looks really bad for me. It looks to my administrators as if you are correct, and that I am actually falsely stopping you for whatever bullshit reason you have chosen to claim. I, on the other hand, do not stop people for such reasons. I stop people for actual California Vehicle Code violations, as I said above.

If you throw attitude, claim prejudice, or threaten a personnel complaint against me, you will definitely be receiving a citation from me. I assure you, you are not the first person who has tried this tactic and failed, and you will certainly not be the last.

Just so you know...

31 comments:

Front Porch Society said...

People just never learn, do they?

The Dispatcher and Her Officer said...

Wait... So my officer is wrong... 15 more tickets and we don't get that free trip to Hawaii???

So where did this toaster come from then??

J/K - Dispatcher

Officer "Smith" said...

My guess would be Target.

Officer Krupke said...

I like the ones who say "Where's your station? I'm going right in there to talk to someone about this!"

I give them directions then recommend that they stop at an ATM since our station only accepts cash as collateral for tickets.

That seems to only make them madder. I guess I'm supposed to beg them not to go there and offer to take the ticket back or something.

Just me... said...

So, "Oh, my goodness!! I didn't even realized I was (doing whatever I was doing)!! I am so sorry!! Thanks for bringing it to my attention!!" won't work? :):):)

The Bus Driver said...

Thank you for doing your job and keeping the rest of us safe!

Seriously.

:)

2 wheel terror said...

I always like the "I'll have your job!" We are so lucky to have such an entertaining customer base. And to top it off, we actually get paid to do this stuff!!

Sandra G. said...

You sound like me - only stopping people when you're 100% sure of the infraction.

Usually, I'm on my way to a call when I see the mother of all bad driving moves, and I can't stop..which drives me nuts.

Geoff said...

Yes, thank you for pulling us over and keeping us safe from all those rolling stops. Thank you for arresting people for having an ounce of weed on their persons, because it can make you high, yet you let the people go who have a sealed case of whiskey in the back seat. If it weren't for you, those angry stoners would be causing trouble at bars and beating their wives every night.

Thank you for writing tickets to people for doing things that don't actually harm other people. Thank you for arresting people for not having the proper piece of paper saying they're good to drive, while thousands of horrible drivers with licenses roam about. (Yes, I know, you're trying to stop them, too.)

Thank you for arresting people who peacably carry firearms without having a permit: something that in and of itself harms no one else. No one.

You don't have "customers." You have host victims. Customers can take their business elsewhere. You're forced upon us. We pay your salary or we are put in prison/are killed.

Oh, I know, you justify your monetary extortion and arrests of non-violent, non-aggressive people by saying, "I'm just doing my job. I don't make the laws, I just enforce them." And you really believe that justifies your actions. I know.

I know, you say, "If you don't like it, contact your representative." Yes, I'm sure your "representative" keenly listens to your concerns. Because like all politicians, they really care about doing the right thing. And they care about doing what is best for the communities they allegedly serve. And I'm sure you believe that the will of the majority has the ability to turn otherwise evil actions into good actions. Just like when police enforcing segregation was good to do, because the lawmakers said it was O.K. Of course, you probably believe that if any other individual were to perform the same actions you do, that you could justly call them violent criminals. But not you. You have a shiny badge. You're different than us.

Rights come from God, ladies and gentlemen. Rights come from God and from wholly voluntary agreements made between two individuals. Everyone has the same rights. If I can't justly perform an action, neither can you.

The only just role of a policeman is to protect other people from imminent and direct threats to their life, liberty and property. I have no doubt you think you're doing just that. I also have no doubt that you are unintentionally deluding yourselves as to what you actually do.

No, I've never been arrested. I've never really had any bad run-ins with police (no more than any other person.) If all you did was truly protect people by catching murderers, rapists, robbers and burglars, and that with voluntarily-contributed funds (you know, not taken at gunpoint) I'd have nothing but the highest respect for you all. As it is, not even 20% of police activity involves protecting people from actual and immediate violations of their rights. On a national average, you show up 7 minutes after 9-1-1 is called. In other words: usually far too late to stop a crime or arrest a suspect. It's a mop-up service, at best.

But of course, I see the "us vs. them" mentality here. In itself, there's nothing wrong with it. Every profession harbors the sentiment to one degree or another. The problem is that you have guns and a monopoly on violence. If anyone so much as bumps you while you're cuffing him, you can cry "assault on an officer," which would likely a misdemeanor if it had been done to another mere mortal. Even if the action had been a cold-cock fist to the face. But upon a police officer, a bump is all it takes for you to be able to successfully charge someone with a felony, easily punishable by 5 years.

It is pathetic. The whole profession. The ubiquitous shaved heads, the ever-present wrap-around mirrored sunglasses, the mustaches, all the talk about "giving a ride on the TASER." Arresting people who pose no threat to other people.

Pathetic, unmanly behavior. I have nothing but loathing for such behavior. I can have no respect for anyone who would arrest someone for something that may be "against the law," but actually harms no one else. Law exists to protect the rights of the individual rights from infringement by others. If this is not the case, then law exists for its own sake. The only thing that exists for its own sake is God. Truly, some people worship the regulations of men, failing to see the true purpose of law. It is a modern-day idol, not like the older ones made of wood and metal.

I urge you: in the course of your day, never stop, fine, or arrest anyone for something that does not harm or immediately and seriously threaten the rights of other people.

TheBronze said...

Geoff, I see your parents left you alone again...

Well Seasoned Fool said...

A few years ago I was working in Cali and was pulled over by a Highway Patrolman. He wanted to check my vehicle as it fit the description of one they were looking for. I co-operated. Before he let me go he asked how much longer I would be in CA. He then suggested, when I got home, that I renew my tags as they were three months expired. Wonder what would have happened if I were a smart ass?

David Woycechowsky said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alex said...

It's amazing how some people never realized that throwing a temper tantrum doesn't mean they get their way. I'm working retail as one of my two jobs while trying to get hired on and I see this all the time.

Ronjii said...

Hey, Geoff...
My son has nearly been killed twice in his life by drivers who did illegal maneuvers & caused serious accidents - he was hospitalized both times. By your lights, what they did should not be punishable unless and until they caused an accident. Did it ever occur to you that a stiff fine might prevent somebody from acting like an ass in the future? Traffic laws are designed to protect the general public, and driving however you wish to is no more a 'right' than flying an airplane or performing surgery without a license. In other words, THE LAWS ARE DESIGNED TO PROTECT THE GENERAL PUBLIC FROM MORONS LIKE YOU. If you don't like being shouted at, too friggin' bad - I'm too old to care & I've seen too many people maimed & killed by self-indulgent sophomoric a--holes who want all the 'rights' they can think of without being willing to support the structure that protects them by being socially responsible.

Geoff said...

Ronji, you're jumping to a lot of conclusions. To amend that:

1. I drive safely, thanks. I detest weavers, tailgaters, and people driving excessively fast, and any combination thereof. They do put others in immediate jeopardy. I have no qualms with such people being arrested and having their car impounded. If they are dangerous, they should be in prison, period.

2. I never said anything about "driving as I wish." I said precisely something about the injustice of fining or imprisoning someone for an action which does not pose a threat to the life, liberty and property of others.People have the right to undertake any action, so long as they do it safely. If you actively endanger someone by your behavior, you may be legitimately be stopped from doing it. By anyone, not just men with badges.

As for your "shouting," go for it. You're not shouting at me, you're shouting at who you think I am. Which I am not. So feel free. I choose to remain civil.

Officer "Smith" said...

Geoff,

Geoff, Geoff, Geoff...

If you don't like living by the laws written to protect you, your life, your property, and your safety, feel free to leave.

I hear places such as Mexico, Somalia, perhaps even Colombia, have a higher tolerance for lawlessness.

For the record, I have never arrested someone with an ounce of weed. It happens to be a non-bookable misdemeanor in this state, which means I write them a citation. As for the case of whiskey in the back seat, that is not illegal.

I do not write tickets for things that do no harm to people. Everything I issue citations for is written into law BECAUSE it has been deemed dangerous, harmful, or to violate the rights of others to their life and property.

Unfortunately Geoff, God did not give everyone the right to drive. Driving is a privilege. If you do not have a license, you may not drive. I don't give a tinker's damn if you are the best driver in the world. If you can't be troubled to get a license, don't drive in my city.

I can not speak to your opinions about your congressman, senator or other political representative. If you don't think they are capable of making the changes you wish, perhaps you should elect someone else. If you can't, then your ideas are probably not the same as the majority of people. This is why we have elections.

If you would prefer to live in a city where traffic laws are not enforced, you will not be taking your life into your own hands, you will be placing it into the hands of all of the other drivers around you. You will depend upon them to do the right thing. I can assure you they will not do the right thing unless we are there to cite them for NOT doing the right thing.

Your "God will protect us all" mentality does not hold water in the real world. If you think that a world without law will be a peaceful utopia, I am sure I can not dissuade you. Delusional people are not easily convinced they are wrong.

I, however, do not want to live in a world where some dumb stoned prick can guide a 4000 pound steel missile down the street and t-bone my wife and kids because he feels the red light doesn't apply to him.

It happens anyway, but with the laws we have it happens less frequently than it would without such laws. With the law, we can do something about it.

I'm sure you will simply pshaw everything I have said here, as is usually the way with religious zealots, ultra-liberals, anarchists, or whatever group you happen to align yourself with.

I, however, will continue to do my job as I do, simply because 29,995 citizens in my city want me to. The other five be damned. You included, whether you live in my city or not.

My advice to you, Geoff, is this. If you do not want me to cite you, arrest you, or otherwise "harrass" or "victimize" you, obey all laws and don't attract my attention.

I am secure in my belief that if I ever have the pleasure of stopping you for some minor traffic violation, your attitude will earn you the ticket.

As for "JustMe"...if ANYTHING is going to get me not to write you the ticket, it is what you said. I'd rather hear "Oh, my goodness!! I didn't even realize I was (doing whatever I was doing)!! I am so sorry!! Thanks for bringing it to my attention!!"....

than "Fuck you! You're just stopping me for you power trip!"

So, there you go Geoff. You called me out and got a response.

Your move jackass.

Officer "Smith" said...

Geoff, you got the jump on me there and posted your second comment while I was writing my comment.

How can you say Ronji is jumping to conclusions? Did she misunderstand what you said, or were you not clear? I think she made valid points in response to the comments you made.

Ronjii said...

The guy that swung a U-turn where it wasn't allowed thought he was doing it safely because he didn't see the oncoming car...he thought, just like you, that he could do it without injuring anyone - result, three hospitalizations & two wrecked vehicles. Think about your stance...

David B. Woycechowsky said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Just me... said...

"In 99% of the cases, speeding is about raising revenue."

Granted, speeding tickets do bring in revenue. But, I have to ask.... If one was traveling at the posted speed limit, wouldn't it be more difficult to be stopped for speeding?

That's like virgins getting pregnant.. There's a one in ten million chance it's gonna happen, it's just not too freaking likely..

Alex said...

Speeding isn't safe either. On residential streets, many children have been hit by cars because the drivers were going too fast for the street. I've almost been hit several times in intersections recently because the other driver was going about twice the speed limit, meaning I couldn't see him from my position at the stop sign.

Rolling stops? Pedestrians get hit because the driver is too hurried and only paying attention to traffic, not the person in the crosswalk.

Vetnurse said...

UK here but l don't see why the following could not have been in other places in the world.

My Mum was stopped once for jumping a light late at night. Result was that she and my Aunt were given a police and flashing lights escort in front of them to keep the road clear/warned to the hospital to see they got there safely. My cousin died shortly after they arrived.

Our family are all extremely grateful to the police officers who escorted them to the hospital and got them there safety and in time for those last few precious moments.

Discretion means a lot and how it is used is also important.

Geoff said...

Officer "Smith," I got a jump on you? I think the proper statement is, "I put my foot in my mouth, and I'm sorry for calling you an asshole." Unless you're not sorry. In that case, your apology wouldn't really matter, as I would see what manner of person I'd be dealing with.

Officer "Smith," do you think she jumped to conclusions or not? Did I not clearly state: "I urge you: in the course of your day, never stop, fine, or arrest anyone for something that does not harm or immediately and seriously threaten the rights of other people?Officer "Smith," can you tell me with one hundred percent honesty that you do not enjoy the feeling of artificially elevated power you have over other people?

Can you really say in complete honesty that you don't think you have more rights than everyone else when you put that shirt and badge on over your body armor?

I am familiar with human nature, Officer "Smith." I've been kissed by the desire for power before. It's very seductive, as many police know but may not recognize in themselves. Thankfully, the kiss made me sick, and I stayed away from its clutches.

Geoff said...

Ronjii,

The law cannot perfectly protect everyone. You already know that. The law exists to protect people. Sometimes it fails to do that, because people refuse to obey the law. As it is, while the law cannot make the world a utopia where nobody is hurt, it can at least serve as a bastion so that when people do not obey it, reparation can be made for a fault that has been committed. Reparation isn't made when someone's locked in prison and allowed to live on the public dime. Neither is reparation attained through revenge. Prison accomplishes one thing: keeping dangerous people away from others. The death penalty is the same, although it may only be used when prison is unable to protect other individuals from a dangerous person. Real reparation is made in the form of monetary compensation.

If someone is unsafe, outstanding: have the reckless person make reparations to the victim. "Society" cannot be a victim. "The State" cannot be a victim. Only individuals can be victims. If an individual is not harmed, he is not a victim.

Your son's injury was not caused by the law being broken. It was caused by someone being imprudent and possibly reckless. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with making a U-turn. There's only something wrong when you are careless. And if you are careless, you should face penalties. No one should face penalties if one is being prudent and careful.

It is absurd to fine someone for traveling at a safe speed and in a safe manner, even when the speed limit regulation was written in 1954, when car steering linkages, brakes and struts all had a conference to decide whether or not they would turn and function at the time and in the manner you directed them to.

Geoff said...

Vetnurse,

That's a great story. Here's how the same situation goes down in the U.S.: the person is pulled over for performing a safe rolling stop at an intersection while he is driving his wife to see her dying mother at the hospital. The power-drunk policeman draws a firearm on the couple, who never came close to acting in a threatening manner. The man with a badge then wastes over ten minutes haranguing the couple and writing them a citation, saying to his 'customers,' "Shut up!" and "I can screw you over if I want to."

The woman's mother dies immediately after she breaks away to see her. The man makes it in only after she passed from this world. Miraculously, the officer was not merely put on paid desk duty/paid vacation while the fox said he would "take this situation very seriously and thoroughly investigate" the breach in the henhouse, (at least until the public outrage finally blew over) no, this badge-bedecked thug actually resigned. This kind of thing is not an isolated incident. It is merely an under-reported incident. In this case, it was only because the driver was an NFL player that it received any attention whatsoever. http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4017382

And only the cases in which the victim has an audio or video recording device is justice ever done. Sadly, it is more often than not that justice is never done. No, not on this earth. But God doesn't respect shiny badges. He only pays attention to the justice and injustice of the acts of individual men: whether the individual is bedecked with a piece of state-issued jewelry or not.

It doesn't bother me that so many badged people are thugs. It really doesn't. I'm not looking for utopia. I just hope that one day, people will wake up and stop worshiping police officers as "the people who keep us safe from the murderers, rapists and drug dealers who are just about to attack us." It's a complete delusion. They don't keep you safe from murderers. They can't keep people safe from murderers, or rapists. They don't come squealing around the corner 5 seconds after an individual calls them to save his or her pathetically unarmed, defenseless hide. They come and mop up the mess 3 to 5 minutes after that person call. And that's if the victim is lucky.

Uniform worship has to stop, whether it is worship of men bearing guns for the local state or the big state. Worship of people in power has to stop. Oh, I know, it's not worship if you think it is, and merely call it "respect." I understand respect. I respect everyone who acts as an equal, and as though he believes he has only rights equal to the rights of others. I'm afraid cops are not those people. I wish they were, I really do. But they aren't.

So feel free to call me an "asshole," "ungrateful," a "moron" because of what I said and believe. I won't force you to act according to my will. But other people will force you to act according to their wills. I will not join them. I will only use force to stop others from actually and really harming me or other people. I wish cops could do the same.

Officer "Smith" said...

Woycechowsky,

I'll get my response to you out of the way first, since it's short.

You said...

"In 99% of the cases, speeding is about raising revenue."

I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but the reason we enforce speed laws is because speed is the most common Primary Collision Factor in the collisions we take. Also, we conduct speed enforcement as a result of complaints from citizens about people driving too fast.

If you and Geoff believe 50 miles per hour in a residential area is safe just because cars are made better than they used to be, you'd both best stay out of my city.

Officer "Smith" said...

Geoff,

I did a search of this page of comments, and the only uses of the word "asshole" were yours. Perhaps it was YOU who placed their foot into their orifice.

You said...

"Officer "Smith," can you tell me with one hundred percent honesty that you do not enjoy the feeling of artificially elevated power you have over other people?"

Geoff, I feel safe in assuming I could tell you many things that you would simply refuse to believe, just based upon the comments you have left on this post. I can honestly tell you I do not feel powerful or "elevated" when I am doing my job. It would be pointless to tell you this though.

You also said...

"Can you really say in complete honesty that you don't think you have more rights than everyone else when you put that shirt and badge on over your body armor?"

No, Geoff, I can't. Because I do have rights as a police officer that normal citizens do not. It is a necessary part of having police to protect you and your rights. I have the right to search people and vehicles under specific circumstances. Joe Citizen does not. I have the right to detain individuals during investigation of a crime. Again, not a right given to citizens. Just because I have these rights, does not automatically mean I abuse them.

Finally, you said...

"I am familiar with human nature, Officer "Smith." I've been kissed by the desire for power before. It's very seductive, as many police know but may not recognize in themselves. Thankfully, the kiss made me sick, and I stayed away from its clutches."

Again, based upon your statements I am sure it is pointless to tell you this, but I did not choose my profession because I have a desire for power. I chose it for many reasons I will not disclose to you, but none of them involve power, an elevated sense of authority, or any other such horse shit.

You, sir, do not know me. You make assumptions about me simply because of my profession. You will believe what ever you want, and there is nothing I can do to change that.

I don't know what issues you have had with the police in the past, but I do not believe any rational person would make the statements you have made here.

Common sense will not allow driver to drive in whatever manner they wish. It will not allow drivers to make a "perfectly safe rolling stop" because there is no such thing.

The problem is that what seems like a safe speed to you, may be 20 miles per hour too slow for someone else. You may feel that rolling a stop sign at 3-4 miles per hour is safe, while another driver may believe ten miles per hour is fine.

What happens when you both run the stop sign and clobber each other. Even if nobody is injured, you are both out of a car. Would that be the appropriate time to cite you? Because there is now proof that the maneuver was unsafe?

I believe the laws that we have are in place to draw that theoretical line in the sand. I someone crosses that line, they pay penance for their mistake. The line tells us where we can and cannot go for our own safety, and that of others.

If there is no line, everyone will do as they please. Some will go farther than others, and we will not have anything to tell us who is in violation and should be punished.

Where do we draw the line Geoff?

Geoff said...

Officer "Smith,"

Apologies. You called me a "jackass." Is it really much different?

You wrote:
"No, Geoff, I can't. Because I do have rights as a police officer that normal citizens do not. It is a necessary part of having police to protect you and your rights. I have the right to search people and vehicles under specific circumstances. Joe Citizen does not. I have the right to detain individuals during investigation of a crime. Again, not a right given to citizens. Just because I have these rights, does not automatically mean I abuse them."

Officer "Smith," you don't have more rights. You have more power. There's a difference. Rights come from God and from wholly voluntary agreements between two people. Where does your right to search a car come from? Did another man give you that right? Or did God give you that right? How can a group of men, which is nothing more than a collective of individual men, "give" a right that they themselves do not possess? Impossible. What they can do is bestow power upon you. Remember when Pontius Pilate said to Jesus, "Do you not know I have the power to release you, and the power to crucify you?" I've heard something similar to that quite frequently, emanating from the mouths of cops. Not personally, but I have observed witnessed the frequent phenomenon. Sometimes, "power" is translated as "authority." Pontius Pilate had no authority to kill Jesus. He had no right to kill Jesus. He had the power to kill Jesus. There is a huge difference between the two entities. You have had power bestowed upon you by many people. You do not have any more rights than anyone else. Men, even a group of men, cannot give to another man what they themselves do not have as individuals.

Officer "Smith" wrote:

"Again, based upon your statements I am sure it is pointless to tell you this, but I did not choose my profession because I have a desire for power."

I certainly believe you.

Officer "Smith" wrote:

"Common sense will not allow driver to drive in whatever manner they wish."

I never advocated that. I advocate driving in a safe manner. If you think I did advocate people driving in whatever dangerous way they want without repercussions, please point out where.

Officer "Smith" wrote:

'It will not allow drivers to make a "perfectly safe rolling stop" because there is no such thing.'

I think the fact that it happens literally over 100 million times a day without any accidents (the gross majority of the time) and without a Regulation Enforcement Officer intervening is entirely sufficient proof that there is such a thing.

Officer "Smith" wrote:

"The problem is that what seems like a safe speed to you, may be 20 miles per hour too slow for someone else. You may feel that rolling a stop sign at 3-4 miles per hour is safe, while another driver may believe ten miles per hour is fine."

Traffic on the highway, contrary to what you may believe, would not be chaotic and deadly if you were to remove all speed limits tomorrow. It is arrogance and elitism to think that the possibility of getting caught by a police officer is the main or even only thing keeping most people driving at a reasonable speed and in a safe fashion. It is rather the fact that people like this thing called "being alive." Driving unsafely has serious ramifications, whether or not the driver is caught by someone with a badge. Life and limb are at risk. Believe it or not, the vast majority of people respect the lives and property of others. Those who endanger the life and property of others would be obvious. They would be dealt with, naturally or not, one way or another, without the intervention of a Statute Enforcement Officer. It would be better that way.

In many states, people can openly carry a firearm without a permit. Do you really propose that it is you officers (not an issue in draconian California, of course) who prevent people who carry openly from killing each other? The law merely punishes those who harm others. Isn't that the point? Yes, there is a huge potential that someone could kill another person. He's got a firearm. But there's also a huge difference between "huge potential" and "likelihood." There is a supreme lack of likelihood that someone carrying a firearm openly will kill his fellow man.

Rather, what is really unlikely is the possibility that you will prevent a random murderer from doing whatever he wants to whoever he wants.

Officer "Smith" wrote: "What happens when you both run the stop sign and clobber each other. Even if nobody is injured, you are both out of a car. Would that be the appropriate time to cite you? Because there is now proof that the maneuver was unsafe?"

Why are you even involved? Could not the insurance companies decide who was at fault?

"If there is no line, everyone will do as they please. Some will go farther than others, and we will not have anything to tell us who is in violation and should be punished."

There is a line. But it wasn't created by legislators in marble halls. It's a dynamic line of human interaction, lived out every day by millions of people. In the free market, there are checks and balances built in. If you're a cheat and a fraud, you go out of business (unless, of course, you are in the business of or supported by the State. In that case, it is your business.)
If your product hurts people, they don't buy it. If your product tastes bad, they won't buy it. The free market is based on free human interaction: the only things against the rules in the market are force, fraud and coercion. Don't touch other people's stuff, and don't hurt anyone else. You can't make everything fair by pre-emption. But you can punish those who were unfair after the fact. The same goes for social interaction: don't touch other people's stuff, and don't hurt anyone. If you do hurt someone, you pay for it. If you don't hurt someone, but just come close, who is the victim? Am I saying that we should strive to have a society where everyone comes as close as they can to hurting others without actually doing so? Absolutely not! Everyone should act prudently and safely, and when they fail, either through an honest mistake or recklessness, they should remunerate those they actually harm. It's arrogance to presume that we can make a good society from the top down. Society flows from the individual outward. If an individual is really dangerous, what is he doing out of prison?

Ronjii said...

Geoff's attitude sounds an awful lot like the Ayn Rand sociopolitical drivel I heard from a fellow employee once - "government shouldn't regulate businesses because it's not in their best interest to harm their customers"(!)Right! How about drinking a lot of Chinese milk, Geoff? Get real - without protection, people are at the mercy of sharks - whether it's big business selling dangerous stuff because it's cheaper, or it's individuals breaking laws because they didn't see the immediate danger possible. You think a yahoo that t-boned someone wanted to do it? No, he just thought he could run a stop sign with impunity because he didn't notice the other car. So we should let him get away with running stop signs until he kills somebody?
Think about the word 'civil' - as in 'civility' and 'civilization' - abiding by a social compact that protects all. What's the alternative - anarchy?
Take your pick.

Geoff said...

Ronjii wrote:

"Geoff's attitude sounds an awful lot like the Ayn Rand sociopolitical drivel I heard from a fellow employee once - "government shouldn't regulate businesses because it's not in their best interest to harm their customers"(!)Right! How about drinking a lot of Chinese milk, Geoff?"

That's not an "attitude," Ronjii, those are words expressing thoughts. Now, you can attempt to mock the ideas by comparing them to those held by someone else, or you can attack the ideas in themselves. Don't take the escape route of calling them "an attitude."

Now. How much Chinese milk have you been buying recently, Ronjii? Not much? Why's that? It's cheap! Is it because you're not a moron, though apparently you think everyone else is, because you think that people will continue to buy products that sicken them? Is it really in the interest of the businesses to poison people, contrary to what Ayn Rand says? Has anyone forgotten thalidomide, (FDA-approved, I might add), the molotov cocktail Ford Pinto, Firestone tires on Ford Explo(d)ers? Hepatitis-C infected frozen Mexican strawberries? E. coli-tainted lettuce? Salmonella-infected peanut butter? (Which the FDA knew about before it was shipped.) Con Agra ground beef infected with e. coli? Tell me: how did these companies do after their products killed and poisoned people? Did people really line up to buy their products after they (and the last-to-know FDA) found out that they were dangerous? Do you really think people are as so stupid as to continue buying dangerous products when it finally comes to light? First, people aren't that stupid. Second, the worst nightmare of free-enterprise companies is to poison their customer base. In the free market, customers buy products of their own free will. If the companies starts killing it's customer base, it's bad for business. If you poison people, someone will happily come forward and take your business, like Jif peanut butter did, by proudly proclaiming, "All our peanut butter is safe." If these companies are as greedy as you think they are, how does it work out for them when they drive away their customers by poisoning them, Ronjii? How did ConAgra meats division do after their e. coli ground beef recall? Profits, you think? How about Firestone? They made a lot of new customers there, when their products started disintegrating at 65 MPH and jellifying the occupants of those Fords, didn't they?

Ronjii wrote:

"Get real - without protection, people are at the mercy of sharks - whether it's big business selling dangerous stuff because it's cheaper, or it's individuals breaking laws because they didn't see the immediate danger possible."

All right, Ronjii, let's take your premiss to its logical conclusions. You say that big businessmen are greedy and unscrupulous, when they have to rely on people voluntarily buying their goods and services. That we need to be "protected" from them. Tell me: who protects us from the business of the State, which isn't bound by voluntary purchases. Which won't lose any "customers," because their customers are forced to buy their "protection services" through at gunpoint or at least the threat of violence. Businessmen are easily corruptible, but officers of the State are somehow always our "protectors," and are somehow more free from the risks of love of money and power? By virtue of a badge and power, they're somehow more virtuous and incorruptible? In reality, it is precisely the opposite! They are men who take your money at gunpoint, and don't care about the quality of the "services" they provide, because you can't take your business elsewhere. They have a monopoly, Ronjii. Why is a monopoly bad in the free market, and for some goods and services, but suddenly good when it's a monopoly (maintained by violence or threat of violence) on certain other goods and services? What's the incentive for those in coercive, tax-supported power to provide good services? A few atrocities here and there aren't enough to get them kicked out of office. You pay taxes or men with guns take your property. That's how they treat their "customers." Give me the slimiest free-market businessman any day. At least they still have a natural incentive to provide good products and services. And at least they don't think they have a right to force you to accept and pay for their services.

Or does possessing legitimized (note, not 'legitimate') coercive power over others suddenly not lead to corruption, so long as the one in power has a shiny badge to shield him?

Life has risks, Ronjii. Only individuals voluntarily being responsible can prevent most of those risks. I prefer freedom to being given a nice safe hamster ball to roll around in. I prefer freedom to having mommy state be my nanny wet-nurse and try (ineffectively) to prevent every imminent boo-boo.

Ronjii wrote:

"You think a yahoo that t-boned someone wanted to do it? No, he just thought he could run a stop sign with impunity because he didn't notice the other car. So we should let him get away with running stop signs until he kills somebody?"

Ronjii, stop creating straw men and be intellectually honest, would you? I never advocated anything like "running stop signs," and you know it. So stop. I said "safe, rolling stops." This means, as you know, that the person slows way down, ensures that there are no oncoming cars, and safely proceeds.

I am all in favor of proscribing any behavior that actually poses an immediate danger to the life, limb and property of other people. A safe rolling stop is not one of those behaviors. Nor is abusing marijuana (a substance which, I ought to tell you, I have never smoked, nor do I ever intend to.) Nor is having tinting on your car windows. Nor is peacably carrying a firearm. But there are men who will use violence to make you comply with their wills on those issues. I will not. I will only protect myself and others from real, immediate threats, and will only demand remuneration from someone who has actually harmed a real individual, not some aetherial "collective," or chimerical "social contract."

Officer "Smith" said...

Geoff,

I really hate to shatter your illusions of peace officers by telling you this, but I am a reasonable person.

I know. Unbelievable, right?

I do not sit at a stop sign and wait for a car to roll through at 2 miles per hour so I can run up to the driver and order them out of the car at gunpoint, as you seem to believe.

I do not expect to see the wheels completely stop, the driver count to three, and the car start moving again. That is unreasonable. If I see a car roll through at 8-10 MPH, on the other hand, we will talk. Still not at gunpoint unless the driver should give me some lawful reason to do so.

Contrary to what you may believe, I do not enjoy drawing my gun and pointing it at people. In reality, it scares the hell out of me. It frightens me because it means my life, or the life of another human being is being threatened.

I do not point my gun at people for traffic violations. Nor do I point my gun at people for misdemeanor warrants.

Everything I have read from you thus far has shown that you have a skewed version of the reality of being a police officer, based solely upon what you BELIEVE you have seen from the outside. Not what a logical person would see, but what you BELIEVE you have seen.

The interesting thing about the human mind is that it can see whatever it BELIEVES it is seeing, whether or not it is logical. You may BELIEVE you saw a police officer point a gun at a man for a traffic warrant, but I'd bet you don't truly KNOW what was happening.

Do me a favor Geoff, if you want to continue dispersing your false idea of what it is to be a peace officer, start your own blog. I have allowed you to take up enough space on mine.

Yes, you read that right. I have ALLOWED you. I could have moderated you, or removed your comments, but I don't do that just because someone disagrees with me. That should be pretty obvious to anyone who has read me for a while.

I will, however, ask you to take your discussion elsewhere, lest we carry on about this forever. Not because I don't feel that it is a worthwhile discussion, but simply because it has played itself out to the point that we are now just rehashing things that have been stated and restated.

This post is now CLOSED.