Wednesday, May 12, 2010


In response to an article at View From The Porch in which Tam made an offhand comparison between Neal Boortz and Rush Limbaugh, with which I generally agree, I noted some of Boortz's moral failings:

"I thought Boortz was a libertarian-leaning conservative.

That was before I heard Boortz advise a caller how to snitch to the IRS. Also, recently he expressed glee that the idiot cop used a taser on a non-violent streaker at a ball game.
[Boortz's approval was done on-air but not mentioned in the preceding linked article.] The more I listen to Boortz, the more examples of anti-freedom ideas leak out from his microphone.

His "libertarian" principles run very shallow. Sure, he might be better than Rush in many ways, but I think it's worse to have someone who purportedly represents the libertarian position who undermines real application of the principles of freedom."

In a followup comment, "Divemedic" dissented:

"To Elliot: I don't have a problem with tasing the ball game streaker, even from a libertarian standpoint. Not only was he resisting arrest AND violating the property rights of the stadium owner and ball club, but he was violating the rights of the thousands of fans who paid to watch a ball game, not an idiot streaker.

IMO, this is no different than the "Don't tase me, bro" guy- why should one person who is disrupting the event and refusing to leave when instructed be given greater weight than the thousands of others there? The easy way to not get tased is to 1) not trespass, 2) leave when instructed, 3) not resist when being arrested for failing at #1 and #2."

To which I replied:

"Divemedic, when the taser was introduced to law enforcement, authorities claimed that it was to be used as a "non-lethal" alternative to using a gun or other more lethal force.

By that reasoning, the idiot cop could have been justified in shooting the streaker with a gun.

Please note that the taser is not actually non-lethal. In rare cases, people do die. If LEOs honestly only used tasers in cases where guns would be justified, one could argue that even a small risk of death is preferable to being shot.

But the reality is that LEOs routinely use tasers in an inappropriate fashion, even on old people, disabled people, and children. In many situations, they aren't reasonably justified in doing this.
[Added: Nikoley gives an example of a video showing a cop's obviously sadistic pleasure in using a taser. His mom is right.] LEOs are supposed to be able to handle people in a professional manner, including using reason and, if necessary, physically restraining a smaller, weaker person without resorting to sadistic methods. And, if they're afraid for their safety, they shouldn't have become a cop in the first place. Fire the cowards who can't handle such situations.

The problem is that LEOs have become unaccountable, paramilitary automatons. They know that people like you will defend their inappropriate use of force ("don't tase me bro") and that they can do what they want.

I'm disgusted that you, or anyone else, could look at either situation and decide that "law and order" must be maintained, that not disrupting other people's "enjoyment" is of such a paramount importance that thuggish violence ought to be used to expedite the resolution.

This is the mindset that has led to SWAT teams swarming into the homes of non-violent suspects, risking the lives of innocent bystanders (like children), murdering family pets, and generally escalating a non-violent situation into a very violent one. Despite what apologists might argue, this happens hundreds of times a day.

Police are supposed to be professional and display exemplary behavior. They are supposed to be brave and strong, not cowards. They are supposed to use reason and restraint to resolve problems and defuse situations before they get violent, not inject unnecessary violence into them. And, most of all, they ought to be held to a higher standard than the rest of us, not given a free pass to do things that would put us in prison for years."

Tam reminded me that my rant (which she incorrectly called "copypasta"—I didn't cut-and-paste, but rather included hyperlinks in my original commentary) was inappropriate in the comment section for that article she wrote. That's her place, so she gets to make the rules. However, if anyone would like to discuss this further, feel free to use the comment section in this article.

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