Qualified Police Immunity

“A policeman’s lot is not so unhappy that he must choose between being charged with dereliction of duty if he does not arrest when he has probable cause and being mulcted in damages if he does,” eight of nine Supreme Court justices wrote in their 1967 decision.

Mulcted?

: to punish by a fine 2a : to defraud especially of money : swindle b : to obtain by fraud, duress, or theft

In any case, what do you know about qualified police immunity? Inquiring minds want to know.

March 4th Trump Returns to Power!

QAnon has definitively set the date of March 4th in which former President Trump returns to the White House.

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/why-qanon-fanatics-are-pinning-last-hopes-trump-march-4-2021-2

Apparently some people can just make things up and other people believe them.

Flat Earth, UFOs, stolen federal elections, aliens from different dimensions,

etc. etc. etc.

I think the Russians intelligence services have the right term to describe people like this: Useful Idiots

Senator Johnson (WI) and Republican mockery

I don’t understand what happened to Senator Johnson since he became a Senator. He has drunk Republican Kool Aid of some kind.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/ron-johnson-just-dropped-a-ridiculous-conspiracy-theory-at-the-senate-capitol-attack-hearing/ar-BB1dWKGP

Obviously, Sen. Johnson has become a shill and will repeat every stupid thing he hears or reads. He obviously didn’t watch the videos or doesn’t believe them.

But here’s the point: Yes, there were agents provocateur at the Capitol who violently attacked the police and invaded the building and sought out RINOs and Democrat leadership; however, they were TRUMP provocateurs and not Antifa or others.

It will take the FBI more time, and it will likely take Congress a while, to formally connect the dots that President Trump , on or about December 28th, met with organizers of the rally and Republican leadership to discuss the possibility of disrupting the Electoral College, that President Trump approved the speakers for the January 5th rally AND that he spoke with Roger Stone about the role the Oathkeepers might play in disrupting the Electoral College vote.

Of course, there’s no evidence of this conspiracy yet. It’s just me connecting the dots I see. Which makes me wonder if the current mockery of a congressional commission isn’t Sen. Ron Johnson saving his own butt. I’m wondering if maybe he was in that fateful meeting on or about December 28th and his current actions are him trying to protect himself and the Republican leaders.

Or maybe I am just giving him too much credit.

Ethical Individualism

I apologize for stealing this section from this article. But I think that this is important to be read as written rather than re-interpreted. You can find the whole article here. You will find this section begins on page 392. This is about James M. Buchanan, an economist who won the Nobel prize in 1986 . “Buchanan’s work initiated research on how politicians’ and bureaucrats’ self-interest, utility maximization, and other non-wealth-maximizing considerations affect their decision-making.

3. Ethical individualism: a society of equals and unequals. Buchanan believed that the intellectual starting point of the constitutional mentality was recognition of the moral equality of all persons. Buchanan (1975a, pp. 3–4) began The Limits of Liberty with a statement of ethical individualism: “the individualist is forced to acknowledge the mutual existence of fellow men, who also have values, and he violates his precepts at the outset when and if he begins to assign men differential weights…. Each man counts for one, and that is that”. Similarly, in The Reason of Rules, Brennan and Buchanan (1985, p. 26) explained that their approach to constitutional political economy “requires that all persons be treated as moral equivalents, as individuals equally capable of expressing evaluations among relevant options”. Importantly, given the accusations of white supremacism recently levelled against Buchanan, he always was unequivocal that all persons were morally equal and that no second class of persons counted for less than others (Buchanan 1971, 1975a, pp. 3–4, 1989a).Buchanan’s conception of consensual politics followed from the conviction that it always was wrong to impose ends, outcomes, or costs on another person without that person’s consenteven if it was thought to be for his or her own benefit. That concept meant that unanimity was an essential component of constitutional agreement because an individual could not enter into a contract involuntarily, “there is no place for majority rule or, indeed, for any rule short of unanimity” (Buchanan 1986b, p. 220; emphasis in original. See also Brennan and Buchanan 1985, Chapter 1; Buchanan 1975a, Chapter 1).The American Founding was built upon a similar belief in the moral equality of persons. The revolution was a revolt against a monarchical, undemocratic government that ruled on the basis of the inequality of persons—that some people were born to rule and other, lesser people were born to be ruled. As such, colonial governments ruled along lines of patronage and ties of privilege that went back across the Atlantic Ocean to the British monarch. The revolution was a rejection of those ideas and destruction of those relationships. The revo-lutionaries dismissed the age-old principle of aristocracy by birth and replaced it with the principle of equality—that all men were fundamentally, morally equal. As Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”. Men were deemed to be equal in their moral worth and equal in their capacity for self-government (Bailyn 1967; Pole 1978; Wood 1992).It has been argued that those words ring hollow given that the Founders did not consider African-Americans to be equal to white Americans of European descent (Magnis 1999; Mills 1997; Pateman and Mills 2007). It is important to recognize and acknowledge the exclusion of African-Americans from the society of equals envisaged by the Founders, but, 393Public Choice (2020) 183:389–403 1 3as Douglass (1852) argued powerfully, the fault was not in the principle of equality the Founders espoused, but in their failure of extend(ing) it to all Americans.The Founders’ (partially applied) belief in equality reflected the teachings of the leading Enlightenment scholars that traditional hierarchies were not natural and ordained by God, but were man-made and artificial. Wood (1992, pp. 236–40) has described the widespread belief in Lockean sensationalism during the revolutionary period—the belief that all peo-ple were born intellectually, psychologically, and emotionally identical and the differences that emerged came from the influences of their different experiences. Perhaps the most famous example was Adam Smith’s (1776, pp. 28–29) claim, published in the same year as the Declaration of Independence, that the differences between a philosopher and a street porter, “arise not so much from nature, as from habit, custom and education”, so that no difference existed between the two at birth, little in infancy, but great differences gradually developed over time as they were exposed to different experiences. Not all the American revolutionaries subscribed to such a strong account of the individual as a clean slate, but its extensive currency nevertheless reflected the widely held belief in the enormous scope for human improvement if only society could be organized to the benefit of all, not just a privileged minority (Bailyn 1967; Pole 1978; Wood 1992).Buchanan (1975a, pp. 15–17), however, counselled that the belief in the moral equality of persons should not disguise the fact that people were unequal in important, non-trivial respects. Indeed, the unique moral value of each individual flowed from their differences. Buchanan (1971, p. 237) wrote that people, “differ in capacities; even at some defined point in time, inequality in endowments (human and nonhuman) is characteristic of the real world”. Furthermore, in the real world, people also differed in their possessions of property and wealth and those differences had to be taken seriously in any process of institutional design.Buchanan (1975a, p. 17) argued that the opening words of the Declaration of Independ-ence had allowed confusion to enter our understanding of the kind of equality imagined by the Founders and that Jefferson should have written, “to their creator, all men are equal”, to describe more accurately the Founders’ vision of equality. A constitutional agreement must be founded on moral equality, but must also recognize the reality of personal and mate-rial inequalities. Buchanan’s constitutional political economy required recognition of both natural equality and natural inequality (Levy and Peart 2018).Buchanan and the Founders derived very different understandings of rights from their similar conceptions of moral equality. The Declaration of Independence was a classic statement of natural rights—the belief that people possess basic human rights qua people, irrespective of whether other people or institutions recognize those rights. That conclu-sion reflects the views of the key Enlightenment thinkers who inspired the revolutionaries, notably Locke (1689), who articulated influential arguments in favor of natural rights. By contrast, Buchanan (1975a) and Brennan and Buchanan (1985, Chapter 2), rejected natural rights because their existence would imply a source of values external to individual men and women. For Buchanan (1977a, b, p. 244), “the basic Kantian notion that individual human beings are the ultimate ethical units, that persons are to be treated strictly as ends and never as means”, meant “that there are no transcendental, suprapersonal norms” —such as universal human rights. Accordingly, rights existed only when people agreed to assign rights to one another and mutually to respect those rights. The mutual assignment of rights was the process by which people left the state of nature and entered political society (Buchanan 1975a, Chapter 4; Meadowcroft 2011, pp. 50–51).While Buchanan (1971, 1975a, Chapter 1, 1979a) rejected the idea that individuals were human putty who could be moulded into perfect beings by a benevolent ruler, he 394Public Choice (2020) 183:389–4031 3nevertheless contended that the desire for self-improvement, even self-transformation, was a defining human characteristic. It was this ability to conceive the possibility that one could live a different life that drove purposeful economic and political behavior. Buchanan’s (1979a, p. 259; emphasis in original) project was driven by the idea that, “Man wants lib-erty to become the man he wants to become”. Liberty was the freedom to imagine and ulti-mately pursue different, possible alternative lives. Political and economic theories assum-ing that individual preferences were given and fixed and could be captured accurately by external agents were inimical to liberty and the ideals of self-governance and self-transfor-mation (Buchanan 1979a).Buchanan’s constitutional political economy reflected his belief that people sought to create rules to enable the pursuit of their personal, and potentially transformative, conceptions of the good life. Constitutional order freed individuals from ends imposed by others. Like the American Founders, Buchanan believed that a constitution could unleash people’s dynamic potential to change themselves and their world.

The War on Reputations

There’s a new Civil War in progress and nobody’s winning. This Civil War is all about destroying the reputations of political partys, politicians, news media, government institutions, and ordinary people who have found themselves in extraordinary situations.

This is a many-sided war with battles being fought over the reputations of participants. In politics, it’s about Republicans vs Democrats and who will bend the government to their will while it loots USA national treasure for its party.

Outside of national politics, it’s about the reputations of celebrities, businesses and their leaders, and the burgeoning growth of internet personalities. The destroyers attack the reputations of famous people, the reputations of historical events, and the reputations of religion, morality, and financial institutions. And they especially attack the reputations of hard work, civility, deferred gratification, and common decency.

The weaponization of social media is the suitcase bomb of the 90s. The tools of social media allow everyone to become a potential bomb maker and everyone else a potential bomb thrower. In the hands of irresponsible people, the innocent-and-imperfect are attacked with weapons in which there is no defense. There is no defense from the lies that are told or the misrepresentations of the truth. It is scorched earth warfare.

The War on Reputations is an ugly war. It is anarchy on the internet. A “hater” chooses a target and launches his/her hate bomb. Others pick up the same material and fashion it for their own purpose. When government or businesses attempt to stop the bombmakers, other haters attack those same governments and those same businesses and accuse them of denying free speech or being fascist, communist, anti-this, or a sympathizer for that.

The only way to win this war is either not to play the game (a la War Games) or become totalitarian and control the content. For humankind, it appears that controlling the content is the only viable option. Self-control is preferred but “from the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.”

Just as newspapers and magazines controlled the content of their publications, the ISPs may be required to control the content in their e-publications.

Accusations and mudslinging will need an outside force to control them. And that is exactly what many fear.

The legislation that controls the content of the US internet will be foreboding at best; but to live with a free market of smearing, sneering, and fleering seems impossible. To give every person access to social media bomblets and permit the desecration of the innocent-and-imperfect seems too permissive. Not everyone is an adult and not everyone is equal. We should recognize that.

The War on Reputations could use a few Rules of Social Media Warfare and violations of those rules should likely become Social Media War Crimes with attendant consequences. Perhaps a new Geneva Convention is needed to craft those rules.

Any takers?

The Passing of Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh died the other day. He was excoriated by the liberal press and revered by the conservative press.

Some say he defined the modern Republican Party with his views about women (Feminazis), Gays, liberals, female sexual freedom, and the dirty, sinful, socialism of the Democrats versus the shining Republicans on the hill. You know them, the ones who live Christian lives as examples for the rest of us to follow.

Rush Limbaugh was at the crest of societal change in America and he didn’t like any part of it. He told millions of viewers every day , in mocking self-righteous tones, of the hypocrisy between what liberals and Democrats say and what they do. The disaffected and suspicious-of-change Conservatives listened to his radio program every day to hear more examples of outrageous behaviors on the part of liberals who believed in improving humanity through others but not through themselves.

He was funny and he poked the bear with outrageous quotes and comparisons.

But something changed in Rush Limbaugh in the early 2000’s. He was no longer funny. He became mean. I don’t know if he realized he was losing his war on the culture changes in America or if he started to throw himself into propaganda for ratings and money.But change he did. He became the voice of right-wing ideology, obtained a following, and fueled partisan politics in ways no one had previously had done.

Connecting the dots between conservatives who lived by self-actuating,nuclear family, individual rights and biblical memes, with a solid Republican, fiscally responsible, minimal government, and political perspective, Rush Limbaugh developed a cult. He fed the cult and the cult echo-chamber replied.

Becoming more mean, Rush began to denigrate people by name rather than by poking fun at their ideology. He created a monster that hides under YOUR bed or in the dark corners ready to take YOUR soul if you let it. He taught people to fear Hilary because she was a feminazi, fear Obama because he was angry and black, fear gays because they want you to accept their biblical perversions, and fear sexual freedom for the collapse of shameful behaviors in Society. This is who Rush Limbaugh became for the past 15 years.

But now, Rush is dead. So,too, is the old society that Rush tried to salvage from the forge that was creating a new American mettle. The new American mettle? Women became competitors to men, even among truckdrivers, construction workers, bank CEOs, Wall Street financiers, scientists, plumbers, elcetricians, politicians, and engineers. Gays are competitors to straight men and are accepted in society without being considered biblically perverted. American blacks of both sexes are now competitors to white men and have broken more ceilings and become a larger part of society than ever in American history. And sexual freedom is found everywhere. Even among the gun-toting, single white female moms living in the Bible Belt working in sex chat rooms.

Rush Limbaugh found, identified, and held up for our inspection, the societal changes that were occurring around us. No longer isolated by two oceans, America was becoming part of the global community whether Rush Limbaugh wanted it or not. And now, America has changed and it knows it has changed. It cannot return to the paternalistic People of The Book Christian ideology that it once exemplified.

The death of Rush Limbaugh, the expulsion of Donald Trump, and the new American mettle, each heralds a greater American future.

I mourn the loss of my enemy. I mourn the passing of my past. The King is dead. Long live the king.

Not an Insurrection?

I’ve said before the Capitol Hill invasion on January 6th was not an insurrection but a disruption of the Electoral College process. The Merriam-Webster definition of an insurrection is: an act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government. I prefer Wordnik’s def though: The act of rising against civil authority or governmental restraint; specifically, the armed resistance of a number of persons to the power of the state; incipient or limited rebellion.

Having said that, there is video evidence of Trump supporters rising up against Capitol police officers and beating them with weapons other than firearms. So Senator Johnson’s assertion that it can’t be an armed insurrection because there are no firearms is absurd. Plenty of insurrections have occurred around the world without firearms. He should stop watching the movie versions of rebellions.

Perhaps there were two intentions.

There was a successful mob effort to disrupt the Electoral College process. Senators fled a mob and the Capitol was invaded but there wasn’t a general denigration of the place where democracy is upheld every day. Yes, there was looting and making a mess of things but the physical destruction of the sanctum did not appear to be an unspoken goal of the mob.

The people outside the Capitol were largely peaceful protesters and there are tons of videos to substantiate that. But those who forced themselves inside the Capitol was a different and more violent mob.

So as we look at the general invasion, let’s also look at a core group of people with malicious intentions who were searching out Democrats, RINOs, and VP Pence. We should believe people who say they wish to harm us or others. They intended harm but were unsuccessful at accomplishing it. Thanks to the Capitol Police.

Is an unsuccessful insurrection simply a mob riot? Probably so, although it is odd to think of it that way. It likely comes down to intent. Was the intent of the mob to take over Capitol Hill and assert its authority over the government? Or was it to disrupt the process that was underway, the counting of ballots for the Electoral College?

And what about that core group with malicious intentions? We’ll never know how far they would have gone had they gotten their hands on their targets.

I speculated before that the overrun of the Capitol was cover for a more violent group of people. Extremists. Ones with malicious intentions. I’m still of the opinion that this was an orchestrated event, useful idiots stormed the Capitol and violent extremists forced their way into the building to harm their targets.

Perhaps the Congressional Commission will establish the truth of things.

We can only hope.

Student Loan Forgiveness Yikes or not?

“Biden argues that the government shouldn’t forgive debt for people who went to “Harvard and Yale and Penn” — and he’s also indicated that he believes Congress should make changes through legislation, which would make them harder to undo.”

Well, President Biden and I agree on that point.

In my view if you are smart enough to go to college then you are smart enough to pay your debts. Even if you dropped out.

Biden wants a limitation of $10,000 and the uber-liberals like Sanders, Warren, and Schumer want to make it $50,000! Yikes! What is wrong with them? This sucking up to the college vote, well, it just sucks!

I wish this buying of American votes would go away but it is not likely to happen.

And in any event, isn’t this loan forgiveness simply a way to replace the money that banks loaned out and are now at risk of default?

The latest student loan debt statistics for 2020 show how serious the student loan debt crisis has become for borrowers across all demographics and age groups. There are 45 million borrowers who collectively owe nearly $1.6 trillion in student loan debt in the U.S. Student loan debt is now the second highest consumer debt category – behind only mortgage debt – and higher than both credit cards and auto loans. The average student loan debt for members of the Class of 2018 is $29,200, a 2% increase from the prior year, according to the Institute for College Access and Success.

That’s a lot of moolah coolah.

Send a note to all your congressman to stop college loan forgiveness.

Sen. Ron Johnson- Naked and Unafraid (cough) in Oz

“This will get me in trouble, but I don’t care,” Johnson said. He argued that “groups of agitators” are to blame for the Capitol riot and not “tens of thousands of Trump supporters.”

“The group of people that supported Trump, the hundreds of thousands of people who attended those Trump rallies, those are the people that love this country,” Johnson told Weber. “They never would have done what happened on Jan. 6. That is a group of people that love freedom; that’s a group of people we need to unify and keep on our side.”

The woke Senator from Wisconsin is laying it all on the line, isn’t he? I mean , really, do you think he might pick up a brain while he is in the Land of Oz?

So, let’s begin by re-asserting what everyone else knew on January 6th and in the thousands of videos seen after that but NOW Sen. Johnson also knows this:

a) Of the tens of thousands of MAGA supporters in Washington on January 6th, a few hundred actually invaded the Capitol building while tens of thousands stood outside of it.

b) That invasionary element disrupted the Electoral College vote count and forced Senators to take shelter. They broke windows, broke doors, beat police officers, sprayed tear gas, and violently forced their way into the building. They stole mementos as trophies of their incursion.

c) That element was prepared to take prisoners and was shouting hang Mike Pence and seeking out Nancy Pelosi and AOC and any RINOs they could find.

d) The President ginned up his base and they believed they were acting on instructions from President Trump to “Stop the Steal”.

e) The President did nothing for two hours except rub his hands in glee as he watched everything unfold on TV.

With a medal of courage from the lion in Oz, Sen. Johnson doesn’t care if you know the truth that the people who committed this disruption are the ones who were inside the Capitol Building and not outside of it. NOW Sen. Johnson says it was just some agitators carrying Trump flags, shouting Trump slogans, and stopping the steal but they were not really MAGA supporters.

Sen. Johnson says this even though there is a photo of Roger Stone (dear friend of Pres. Trump) and six Oath Keepers (far-right anti-government militia) together in Washington that day.

Sen, Johnson goes on to say that this “insurrection” was no big deal. (I hope he finds a brain soon.) AND blames the House Managers for cheating on the delivery of evidence.

Johnson said in the interview that the videos were “highly selectively edited” and that the trial lacked due process. He also questioned whether the group was truly an “armed” insurrection.

“When you hear the word ‘armed,’ don’t you think of firearms? Here’s the questions I would have liked to ask — how many firearms were confiscated? How many shots were fired? I’m only aware of one, and I’ll defend that law enforcement officer for taking that shot, it was a tragedy, but I think there was only one,” Johnson said. “If that was a planned armed insurrection, man, you had really a bunch of idiots.”

(Due Process? More evidence that Sen Johnson doesn’t have a brain. There is no due process in an impeachment. It is not a criminal trial! Sheesh. Maybe he should read Mark Twain: “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”)

So now Senator Johnson is claiming this just didn’t live up to the claim of being a planned armed insurrection! This is how Senator Johnson lies. He lies by conflation: mixing two things up and then saying: See? It doesn’t measure up!

I think Senator Johnson doesn’t measure up as a Senator for the United States of America. He falls woefully short because he lacks a brain and he lacks courage.

I don’t think he has a heart either. To the best of my knowledge, Senator Johnson has not expressed his empathy to his colleagues who were emotionally impacted by the days events. Nor to the families who lost their loved ones on that day.

Maybe Senator Johnson should ease on down that yellow-brick Republican road in 2022 and let a better American take his place. Or else fly his monkey-ass back into the sky.

p.s. Aren’t you getting a little tired of Republicans saying that it is all a fraud and the Dems are making things up? I am.

Can you trust the data?

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.

COVID, COVID, COVID.

Can you trust ANY of the national data numbers on COVID?

Florida fires the woman who reports that the Governor wants her to change the numbers. https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicholasreimann/2021/02/09/ex-florida-covid-data-scientist-drops-lawsuit-against-cops-over-raid-of-her-home/?sh=42d7f0f23df0

Cuomo is accused of not reporting the nursing home infections and death rates in NYC. “The state’s public death toll for nursing homes does not include residents who died from the coronavirus after having been transferred to hospitals, only deaths that occurred at facilities. Attorney General Letitia James’ report examined 62 nursing homes — about 10 percent of the state’s total — and found that New York’s approach left a large number of hospital deaths out of the state’s official nursing home death toll.”

Plus this about vaccines….

The vaccine data system for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded Deloitte a no-bid contract in November is “plagued by problems and abandoned by most states,” according to the MIT Technology Review. “A lack of flexibility has become a block for many clinics trying to use the CDC system. This has led to confusion, and difficulty in keeping patients properly informed,” said the report. Also, “the explanation for how Deloitte could be the only approved source for a product like [the Vaccine Administration Management System,] despite having no direct experience in the field, comes down to onerous federal contracting requirements, [Hana Schank, director of strategy for public-interest technology at the think tank New America,] says.

Plus this!

“Behind the (data) crisis lies a difficult reality: Covid-19 data in the US—in fact, almost all public health data—is chaotic: not one pipe, but a tangle. If the nation had a single, seamless system for collecting, storing, and analyzing health data, HHS and the Coronavirus Task Force would have had a much harder time prying the CDC’s Covid-19 data loose. Not having a comprehensive system made the HHS move possible, and however well or badly the department handles the data it will now receive, the lack of a comprehensive data system is harming the US coronavirus response.”

What is truth when the politicians and the ignorant corrupt the process?