America's Slave Labor System

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

August 15, 2012

For many years, American manufacturers have protested that China’s use of slave labor gives it an artificial price advantage. While this is true, Chinais not the biggest offender; that distinction goes to the U.S. federal government, which also operates the world’s largest prison system.

CNN recently described how Unicor – also known as Federal Prison Industries – is driving small clothing producers out of business. Unicor employs 13,000 inmates – some of whom receive 23 cents an hour – to produce uniforms and other clothing for the Pentagon and other federal agencies. Kurt Wilson, who owns Alabama-based American Apparel, points out that his employees receive an average wage of $9 an hour as well as health care and retirement benefits. Not surprisingly, his company – like others in the same field – can’t compete with federal slave labor.

In colonial and early post-independenceAmerica, those convicted of property crimes were generally required to make restitution to those harmed by their crimes.

Following the Civil War, a new system was devised in which opportunistic law enforcement agencies would feed non-violent offenders into a penal system hard-welded to government-favored corporations. This system differs from that of Communist China only in matters of irrelevant detail.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

Soap Box, Ballot, Box, Jury Box -- And Ammo Box

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

August 14, 2012

Earlier this year, the State of New Hampshire enacted a law recognizing the legitimacy of “jury nullification” – the power of a citizen jury to rule on both the facts of a case, and the validity of the law being applied. The conviction of Adam Mueller on spurious “wiretapping” charges by a jury inManchester demonstrates that not even an enlightened law can compensate for incurable public ignorance.

Muller, commonly known by his nickname “Ademo,” founded an activist group called CopBlock.org, which documents criminal abuse by police officers. Last October, a police officer named Darren Murphy was videotaped assaulting a student at a local high school. Ademo called the school and the police department for comments, which he recorded and published on his website. TheCountyProsecutor charged Ademo with violating the state’s wiretapping law, despite the fact that public officials have no legal expectation of privacy – and Ademo had identified himself as a journalist.

After being threatened with 21 years in prison, Ademo was given a sentence of three months.

When faced with criminal oppression, Americans can resort to the soap box, the ballot box, and the jury box. As our Founders discovered, when those options fail, all that remains is the ammo box.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.

"Protecting" the Public From Plants -- By Invading Their Homes?

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

August 13, 2012

The Malheur County, Oregon Sheriff’s Department casually announced that it had found several small marijuana gardens during a two-week aerial surveillance operation conducted with the help of the National Guard.

Acting as the department’s official stenographer, the Argus Observer newspaper reported that Sheriff Brian Wolfe will now “contact property owners and acquire search warrants if needed.” Warrants will not be necessary, Wolfe observed, if the property owners consent to the searches. The Sheriff pointed out that the plants may be part of legal medicinal marijuana operations, or could have been planted without the owner’s knowledge or consent.

At this point an actual journalist would have asked Wolfe why his office was conducting warrantless aerial searches of private property without probable cause. After all, the Sheriff has admitted that none of the property owners was a criminal suspect.

The Malheur County Sheriff’s Department spends part of each summer arresting marijuana plants. It often dispatches its SWAT team to barren locations in rural Oregon to clear out patches of marijuana.

Sheriff Wolfe insists this is necessary to “protect the public,” which is more acutely threatened by the unconstitutional, paramilitary operations of his own department.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

Do Citizens Have the Responsibility to Protect the Police?

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

August 10, 2012

Beverly Mutrie of Greenland, New Hampshire is being sued by four police officers who were wounded during an April 12 shootout at the home of her late son, Cullen – who was killed in the gunfight.

 Mrs. Mutrie’s only connection to the events of April 12 is the fact that she owned the home where the shootout took place. The lawsuit filed by the officers claims that she “indirectly supported and facilitated” illegal activity that supposedly occurred on the premises. She has not been charged with a crime. 

 Mrs. Mutrie did nothing to conceal her son’s alleged crimes. At the time of the gunfight, the police had already been investigating her son for nearly two years.

 The persecution of Beverly Mutrie is neither the first, nor the worst, case of its kind.

 In June 2007 Arthur Mies was killed by his 35-year-old son, Eddie, who suffered a breakdown. Eddie was killed in an armed stand-off that led to the wounding of three deputies – who promptly filed a lawsuit against Karen Mies, Eddie’s mother and Arthur’s widow.

 Police have no enforceable legal duty to protect individual citizens. Some of them apparently believe citizens are legally obligated to protect them.

 Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.

Thou Shalt Not Torture -- Without the State's Permission

by Will

 

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

August 9 2012

Melvin and Pauline Morse of Georgetown, Delaware, have been charged with four felony counts of child abuse. Their 11-year-old daughter has accused her father of repeatedly waterboarding her as a form of punishment. The mother allegedly witnessed these incidents and did not intervene.

This is not the first time a parent has been accused of using that torture method as a form of punishment. In 2010, Joshua Tabor, a 27-year-old soldier stationed in Tacoma, Washington, was charged with child abuse after it was learned that he had waterboarded his four-year-old daughter as a punishment for failing to recite the alphabet.

Tabor allegedly held her face-up in a sink until the water covered her forehead and came up to her jawline. According to the police report, Tabor “did not act as though he felt there was anything wrong with this form of punishment.”

One press account of the Delaware arrests notes that waterboarding is “a form of torture banned in the United States.” This is true only as applied to private citizens. Dozens of admitted torturers walk among us; some of them are profiting from their officially sanctioned crimes.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

One Honest Cop vs. the "Photo Enforcement" Racket

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

August 8, 2012

To his eternal credit, Corporal Clayton Alford of Maryland’s Riverdale Park Police Department refuses to be party to a lucrative fraud.

Marylandstate law permits municipalities to carry out the patently unconstitutional practice of traffic photo enforcement as long as a citation is accompanied by a signed statement from a law enforcement officer. While Alford was on vacation in February and April of 2010, two officials who are not police officers logged into the system under Alford’s name in order to issue citations. They disclosed their actions in e-mails to a representative of Optotraffic, the corrupt contractor that operates the profitable photo enforcement scam inPrince George’s County.

Corporal Alford’s testimony is a centerpiece of a class-action lawsuit against Optotraffic, which seeks to dismiss every photo ticket issued inRiverdaleParksince 2010. That racket raked in nearly $2 million last year.

One measure of the incurable corruption of that program was offered by District Judge Jean Barron, who will not permit traffic enforcement defendants to assert their innocence in his courtroom. On one occasion, Barron cited a defendant for contempt merely for insisting that he wasn’t speeding.

Corporal Alford’s honesty is rare and commendable, and it will almost certainly cost him his job.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.

Please, For the Love of All that's Holy -- Never Call the Police!

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

August 7, 2012

Tacoma resident Lashonn White is deaf. On April 6, White used a specially equipped video phone to call the police after being attacked by a visitor in her home. Six minutes later two officers arrived. They had been informed that White was the victim. They were also informed that the victim was deaf.

After the cops arrived, White – who couldn’t hear them – was instructed, via an interpreter, to exit by her front door. When she did, she was immediately tasered by Officer Ryan Koskovich. When she hit the pavement, White suffered severe injuries to her face, ribs, neck, and arms. As horrified neighbors looked on – some of them shouting that White was deaf and helpless – the victim was handcuffed and arrested for assault and obstruction. This was done in spite of the fact that the police admitted that there had been a misunderstanding.

White spent the next three days in jail before the city prosecutor dropped the charges. In their official report, Officers Koskovich and Michael Young did what police always do in situations like this: They lied, depicting the victim as an aggressor and justifying the potentially lethal assault in the name of that holiest of all considerations, officer safety.

In the name of all that’s holy: Never call the police.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

Police Crackdown Armed Self-Defense

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

August 6, 2012

Tonya Beck saw a stranger climbing over the back fence of her Kansas City home early on August 4th. The night before, two men had attempted to break into her home and were chased away by her dog.

Beck grabbed her .22 pistol and confronted the third invader. When the stranger lunged at Beck, she fired a shot at him, which missed but was sufficient to drive him away. Police arrived shortly thereafter. One of the officers told her that she had done the right thing. Yet the 57-year-old woman has been issued a criminal summons for discharging her weapon in self-defense.

In a similar case last May, police in Mesquite, Texas arrested Terry Nye for firing a warning shot into the ground to drive away a burglar. The police insisted that Nye should have called 911, rather than defending his own property.

Last February, 61-year-old Dennis Fleming was charged with a felony for firing a warning shot to apprehend a suspected burglar. That charge was dropped following a national outcry.

Never forget that while there are worthy individual exceptions, the police as an institution exist for the purpose of asserting the government’s monopoly on force, rather than to protect the citizenry.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

Free Gary Harrington!

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

August 2, 2012

For a decade, Gary Harrington of Eagle Point, Oregon, has been collecting rainwater and snow runoff on his property.  He has accumulated the water primarily for fire protection – a wise and timely precaution.

In 1925, a local water use ordinance was enacted creating a local resource soviet called the Medford Water Commission. That measure says nothing about the collection of snow runoff or rainwater. Harrington has injured nobody, and the local resource soviet has no legal authority regarding the water that precipitated on his property. 

In July, a circuit court ruled that Harrington had committed nine misdemeanors by creating what it described as three “illegal reservoirs” on his property.  He has been sentenced to thirty days in jail, three years’ probation, and a fine of $1,500 – for making legal and judicious use of a natural resource that pertains to his own property.

As Harrington points out, the same government that is punishing him for storing water is preparing to “open the valves and really waste all the water … at the start of peak fire season.” This doesn’t scandalize those who believe in government ownership of resources – whether in the Stalin-era USSR, or the increasingly Sovietized USA.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

How "Tolerance" Becomes Totalitarianism

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

August 1, 2012

All human beings who enjoy a measure of personal liberty practice discrimination. Each of us makes choices in social, economic, political, and religious associations that involve including some and excluding others. Inasmuch as we do so without violating the property rights of others through force or fraud, no government has any role in scrutinizing them, much less micro-managing them and punishing those who make choices that some people find objectionable.

In the name of officially mandated “tolerance,” however, the government ruling us has created a system in which all of our commercial enterprises and private associations are quietly monitored for evidence of politically unacceptable opinions regarding race, “gender,” and what is called “sexual orientation.”

As the leftist jihad against the Chick fil-A restaurant chain illustrates, those who offer evidence of such proscribed views can find themselves subject to punitive sanctions of various kinds. In this case, the supposed offense committed by the chain’s president consisted of expressing opposition to so-called same-sex marriage in exactly the same terms used by then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008.

The regulation of attitudes and associations in the name of “tolerance” is a form of soft totalitarianism – albeit one that can harden into undisguised tyranny very quickly.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.

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