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Posts Tagged ‘Civil Liberties

A glimmer of daylight on Radio New Zealand

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They’ve marketed themselves as RNZ in recent years because long names confuse people nowadays, punchy marketing soundbites are needed, and Radio Aotearoa is likely not to go over well with their largely older audience.

Having ignored them for the last five years I found myself checking their website each day to find out the Great Chinese Lung Pox Case count, so have had the ‘opportunity” to scan through their other stories. As was entirely predictable they, like all the rest of the NZ MSM, are fully onboard with government policies, actions and measures, although sometimes it comes in the form of attacking the critics, presumably when Labour has produced results or done something so useless or awful that RNZ can’t bring itself to directly defend them.

It’s a version of the play that old hard-line Lefties pulled in the 1980’s re the USSR: they couldn’t defend that crap any more, so they just attacked those attacked the Soviet system; anti-anti-Communists as it were.

So I was pleased and surprised to see this article in the RNZ a few days ago, Prior’s warning:

The writer Bill Pearson’s essay, Fretful Sleepers, written in the wake of the 1951 waterside dispute, famously depicted his fellow citizens as what some might now call “sheeple”.

He warned there “is no one more docile in the face of authority than the New Zealander”, a condition he said arose from “a docile sleepy electorate, veneration of war heroes, willingness to persecute those who don’t conform, gullibility in the face of headlines and radio pep talks”.

Heh. That must have got up the nose of more than a few members RNZ’s Leftie luvvies, who have feasted for years on the martyrdom of 1951 and the terrible things it said about their Right-wing fellow citizens.

But the article mentions another person, one Arthur Prior, “the greatest New Zealand philosopher of the 20th century” (sadly we can’t claim Karl Popper, even though he wrote his famous essay The Open Society and Its Enemies, while teaching here)

In Prior’s speech to the Civil Liberties Council in 1955, titled The Threat to Civil Liberties in New Zealand, Today and Tomorrow, Prior identified three “rather deep-seated national habits and weaknesses … in our national temperament”. These were:

  1. Careless Legislation
    “what might be called our habit of lazy and careless legislation” – laws that enter the statue books not because of any conspiracy but because “of a lack of concern and watchfulness”

    He called this “oppression on paper with liberty in fact” – that is, daily life continues unaffected until a government threatens to enact the dormant legislation.
  2. Political tribalism
    “unscrupulous party spirit” – what today we might call political tribalism – whereby “we cannot admit that sometimes our own bunch are wrong and the other bunch is right”.
  3. Blanket of silence
    “a certain excessive readiness to take offence which we New Zealanders exhibit”.

    “For some reason, it is only too easy for a person or organisation to go to the powers that be and say, ‘Look here, it hurts us to hear somebody saying so-and-so’, and the powers that be will reply, ‘Goodness me, I’m sorry to hear that – we’ll just stop them saying it then’.”

As the RNZ writer points out that last sounds an awful lot like “cancel culture”, and in case you’ve forgotten:

… its application sometimes requires the government to protect you from being censored by other citizens. For example, the government has a duty to protect you from being attacked by a hostile mob that doesn’t like your ideas or having your public speech disrupted by a heckler’s veto.

Written by Tom Hunter

December 28, 2021 at 2:00 pm

Baptists and Bootleggers, Bishops and Biker Gangs

Baptists and Bootleggers is a well known phrase created by an economist some decades ago that describes how two groups of people seemingly opposed to each other can actually end up supporting common goals.

For much of the 20th century, Baptists and other evangelical Christians were prominent in political activism for Sunday closing laws restricting the sale of alcohol. Bootleggers sold alcohol illegally, and got more business if legal sales were restricted

I think we’ve reached this stage with the Auckland (and now Waikato) lockdowns, following recent events with mass attendances at two funerals for Maori gang members, plus “Bishop” Brian Tamaki’s little protest at The Domain.

In both cases the Police did not make any arrests. The Vet has already had a post on how one gang member was allowed to self-isolate at home. Cactus Kate draws a broader conclusion in Covid Zero is Dead:

The Cops did absolutely NOTHING today. NOTHING. What does that tell you? Who runs the country? 

We do. The people.  

I’m picking the cops don’t think they joined the force to enforce Covid regulations.

They chatted to Brian pre protest, they knew he was doing this =  no arrests. None. They never stopped him leaving his home to break the law.

It’s like they are afraid of anyone Maori or from the Pacific Islands. But I think it’s broader than that. They don’t agree that they actually have to enforce this Covid rubbish now vaccinations are available to all.

The weekend saw an internal revolt. The Cops went to that protest, stood there and did nothing.  White middle class Karen’s were horrified.  What does that tell you?

Like Cactus I am not at all horrified by what the gangs and Tamaki have pulled off. Shoving your fingers up the noses of our stuffed-shirt politicians and bureaucrats should actually be a time-honoured activity, given what arrogant, entitled, amoral, ignorant, dumb and sometimes outright evil bastards they are.

I also liked her suggestion, although I don’t think the gangs are short of a bob or two:

Our new mates in the gangs are holding tangi and holding their middle finger to Ardern and her mates. They are the pioneers of showing this situation to be a sick joke. 

You cannot suspend rights and freedoms in the New Zealand Bill of Rights for an indefinite period. That’s never reasonable. No plan.  When is this ending? Ardern has said “the start of 2022”. That’s not fooling anyone. 

At this point I am quite happy to contribute to a gofundme for gangs that break these utterly stupid rules. Every single day.

Reminds me of a post I wrote in 2019, looking back at the GFC, The Penny Begins To Drop:

Brian and Ilsa — the nice upper-middle-class retired couple, who always follow the rules, and never ever break the law — who don’t even cheat on their golf scores — even when they’re playing alone (“Because if you cheat at golf, you’re only cheating yourself”) — have decided to give their bank the middle finger. They have essentially said, Fuckit.

“We follow the rules, and look where that’s gotten us?” she says, furious and depressed. “Nowhere. They run us around, like lab rats in a cage.”

But Ilsa is quietly, constantly insisting that they stop paying the mortgage altogether: “Everybody else is doing it—so why shouldn’t we?”

A terrible sentence, when a law-abiding citizen speaks it: Everybody else is doing it — so why don’t we?

Of course the alternative path is one laid out by Chris Trotter in his latest outburst about how yet another Giant Central Control and Command experiment has fucked up and the search is about to start for the Wreckers and Traitors who will stand before the Peoples Revolutionary Court:

… those The Daily Blog Editor Martyn Bradbury colourfully calls “Death-Cult Capitalists”.

But for those who see human existence as a pitiless struggle to determine the survival of the fittest; for those who see human-beings as means to an end, never as ends in themselves; for those who would let thousands die rather than see the strong restrained in any way; for these people there is only one word: Evil.

Chris is never the most coherent or consistent of commentators. Just a few days earlier he was looking across the Tasman at Melbourne in horror and saying this:

Stamping out Covid-19 by stomping on the heads of our fellow citizens? Is that really what New Zealand wants?

I made the point to him that:

I’m sure it will be what quite a few New Zealanders will want if they see case numbers (and perhaps even deaths) rise, despite vaccinations, as the country opens up. An Untermenchen will be required for such a failure.

The joke is that just a week later, Chris has now arrived at this point with his two most recent articles (Introducing Mr Stick.and Why Is Labour So Frightened Of “Mr Stick”? (plus his commentators)

Luckily for him “stomping” with “Mr Stick” won’t be needed to destroy people.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 10, 2021 at 9:40 am

You have 24 hours to handover the Batman

This is what it’s beginning to feel like with news like this.

Were I an anarchist I’d be loving this. Online – not just via FaceTwit but the community groups like Neighbourly and others – Aucklanders are doing the whole passive aggressive thing, turning on each other and bullying each other to be vaccinated.

So cool.

That’s 90% first jab, which, as we have been reliably informed, is not enough to count as “fully vaccinated”.

Mind you, at the rate we’re going, six months from now, you won’t be counted as fully vaccinated until you’ve had your second booster shot.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 4, 2021 at 6:00 am

When the ACLU has lost itself

The ACLU is the American Civil Liberties Union, and the first I’d heard about them was a reference in the 1980 movie, The Blues Brothers. It’s the scene where the American Nazi party is allowed to do a march in Skokie, Illinois (then with a large Jewish population, including many survivors of the Holocaust) and Jake and Ellwood charge their car at the protestors, forcing many to jump off a low bridge into a stream.

The real life event came as a result of the ACLU actually fighting in court for the right of the Nazi party to hold the march. It is considered to be a landmark US case on freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.

Sadly, the ACLU is not that organisation any longer. There have been internal documents in recent years where they have hedged on defending the US Bill of Rights first amendment, not to mention the 2nd amendment. Clearly, even they’re feeling the pressure of our modern society of Woke.

This was never more obvious than the other day when they decided to “celebrate” former SCOTUS Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s comment on abortion during her 1993 confirmation to the US Supreme Court.

Hmmm…. A “person’s” life”? “Their”?

Here’s the original:

“The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her well-being and dignity. It is a decision she must make for herself. When Government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.”

Maybe they should have just said “chest feeders” or some of the other trans bullshit terminology that’s currently making its way into government department publications and websites across the Western world.

Funnily enough there was a backlash, as there has been to the equally fucked-in-the-head article in the Lancet.

In both cases apologetics (not really apologies) have been issued but at least in the case of the ACLU you know it’s not serious when its executive director, Anthony Romero said this to the NYT:

“[My] colleagues do a fantastic job of trying to understand a reality that people who seek abortions are not only women. That reality exists.”

Then why apologise? Clearly, if you think that, then the logical next step is to be forced to discuss those other people who get abortions. You know the ones: the bodies with vaginas.

A society that has no grip on reality is in for a hell of a shock sooner or later, likely multiple shocks.

Here’s the good news. It was the Lefty side that pushed back on this bullshit as well as conservatives. This may seem like an inconsequential victory in the “gender identity” and “transgender rights” battles, but it’s not. This walk back by the ACLU and the Lancet Medical Journa are strong signals that the tide is changing ever so slowly, and that we shouldn’t give up this fight, despite whatever you might hear from squishy, useless “moderate” Right WIngers about how “culture wars” should be ignored.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 29, 2021 at 5:41 pm

Double Standards & Changing Narratives

Just another in an endless list of examples of how the narratives change depending on who is in power and what objectives they’re pursuing.

The focus here being on Australia, which continues its descent into Stasi-world.

Let’s start with stuff in New South Wales, whose State government I have been assured is a “Liberal” one with more of a “hands-off” policy than all those nasty socialists…

… followed by the real McCoy in Socialist Victoria.

Plus a bit of phone app tracking of you in South Australia where you get 15 minutes to prove to the government that you are where you say you are.

Culminating in scenes like this – because even after two burly cops have smashed a 70 year old woman to the ground and broken her hip you still need to pepper spray the fuck out of her. Just to be safe. She might have Covid-19.

It’s entirely predictable where the MSM will sit on this issue. As this compare and contrast does of the Guardian’s approach to two similar events with different bad guys.

Flashback: how “Public Health advocates” felt about protests during lockdowns in 2020 America (same here in NZ incidentally)

Thus, you can guarantee which photo the likes of The Guardian would support below.

It’s almost time to start playing that game Papers Please to get into shape for the questions.

Having had numerous people in the US talking about denying healthcare to unvaccinated folk, don’t be surprised if it also becomes more than talk.

Finally, a timetable for comparison. Readers can pick where New Zealand sits on this chart – and where we’re headed over time.

The Truth shall set you free

One of the great things about our age is the tremendous amount of computer power available to ordinary people, enabling them to do the sort of work that even ten or twenty years ago would have required rooms full of servers costings millions of dollars.

Fifty years ago it would not have been possible to edit video without a building full of hard-wired machinery, plus a stack of experts.

But now, someone with a sense of fun and plenty of time on their hands can produce the following. Enjoy pricking the balloon of our pompous leading buffoons.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 2, 2021 at 5:18 pm

Answers to Bad Anti-Free Speech Arguments

Aeromagazine has a superb article that deals with twelve such arguments that are commonly heard.

While the whole thing is worth your time to read I wanted to extract two in particular.

First up is the classic one about shouting fire! in a crowded theatre;

Answer: Anyone who says “you can’t shout fire! in a crowded theatre” is showing that they don’t know much about the principles of free speech, or free speech law—or history. 

This old canard, a favourite reference of censorship apologists, needs to be retired. It’s repeatedly and inappropriately used to justify speech limitations. People have been using this cliché as if it had some legal meaning, while First Amendment lawyers roll their eyes and point out that it is, in fact, as Alan Dershowitz puts it, “a caricature of logical argumentation.” Ken White has already penned a brilliant and thorough takedown of this misconception. Please read it before proclaiming that your least favourite language is analogous to shouting fire in a crowded theatre.

The phrase is a misquotation of an analogy made in 1919 Supreme Court opinion that upheld the imprisonment of three people—a newspaper editor, a pamphlet publisher and a public speaker—who argued that military conscription was wrong. The court said that anti-war speech in wartime is like “falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic,” and it justified the ban with a dubious analogy to the longstanding principle that the First Amendment doesn’t protect speech that incites people to physical violence. But the Supreme Court abandoned the logic of that case more than 50 years ago. That this trope originated as a justification for what has long since been deemed unconstitutional censorship reveals how useless it is as a measure of the limitations of rights. And yet, the crowded theatre cliché endures, as if it were some venerable legal principle.

Oh, and notice that the court’s objection was only to “falsely shouting fire!”: if there is, in fact, a fire in a crowded theatre, please let everyone know.

But I also appreciate the response to this more modern one that I often see on social media because it’s a cartoon.

Assertion: The right to free speech means the government can’t arrest you for what you say; it still leaves other people free to kick you out.

Answer: No, the popular xkcd cartoon below is wrong. The First Amendment limits what the government can do, but freedom of speech is something much bigger than that.

This cartoon is often used to dismiss free speech arguments, but it is wrong: it not only confuses First Amendment law with freedom of speech, it doesn’t even get the First Amendment right.

The concept of freedom of speech is a bigger, older and more expansive idea than its particular application in the First Amendment. A belief in the importance of freedom of speech is what inspired the First Amendment; it’s what gave the First Amendment meaning, and what sustains it in the law. But a strong cultural commitment to freedom of speech is what maintains its practice in our institutions—from higher education, to reality TV, to pluralistic democracy itself. Freedom of speech includes small l liberal values that were once expressed in common American idioms like to each his owneveryone’s entitled to their opinion and it’s a free country. These cultural values appear in legal opinions too; as Justice Robert H. Jackson noted in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, “Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.”

While the United States Constitution limits only governmental behaviour on its face, its application sometimes requires the government to protect you from being censored by other citizens. For example, the government has a duty to protect you from being attacked by a hostile mob that doesn’t like your ideas or having your public speech disrupted by a heckler’s veto.

The First Amendment also bars government officials from punishing your speech in many ways that don’t rise to the level of arresting you. To give just one example, since administrators at state colleges are government actors, they can’t tear your flyer from a public message board because they don’t like what it says.

A belief in free speech means you should be slow to label someone as utterly dismissible for their opinions. Of course you can kick an asshole out of your own house, but that’s very different from kicking a person out of an open society or a public forum. The xkcd cartoon is often used to let people off the hook from practicing the small d democratic value of listening.

Related to this is an excellent article by the American essayist, Roger Kimball, which looks at what he calls “crybullies” and their lousy impact on education:

There are two central tenets of the woke philosophy. The first is feigned fragility. The second is angry intolerance. The union of fragility and intolerance has given us that curious and malevolent hybrid I have called the crybully, a delicate yet venomous species that thrives chiefly in lush, pampered environments.

The British Lockdown

George Orwell set his dystopian story, Nineteen Eighty-Four, in Britain for the simple reason that it was the place and people he knew best.

But while other nations actually did suffer something close to that horror story I’ve always thought that the particular nature of the British people was better suited to the tale than most others around the world. The buttoned-down conformity, the in-built Class structure and its forelock tugging, the Boxer-like attitude towards enduring while being screwed over by higher powers.

For all of Simon Schama’s lofty talk about the long history of the British people’s fight that “tied together social justice with bloody-minded liberty“, and some recent evidence of the latter in the Brexit vote, the response to their government’s lockdown of the nation to deal with the Wuhan Flu has been sad to see.

In a superb piece at Spiked Online, editor Brendan O’Neill explores aspects of the damage this has done to Airstrip One

Covid Britain feels like a one-party state. Normal political life has been suspended. Political protest and industrial action have been banned. Even small gatherings that question the ruling ideology of this strange new nation – the ideology of lockdown – are violently broken up. Witness the police brutality that was visited upon lockdown sceptics in Hyde Park a few days ago. You dissent at your peril. 

The role of the citizen in the Covid dystopia is to applaud the state, not question it. Every Thursday night, on your doorsteps or your balconies, you must clap for the benevolent state and its gracious health service. Big Brother loves you and you must love it back. Vast propaganda billboards remind us of this duty.

But he points out the degree to which blaming the government or the Police is diverting responsibility:

Snitching is the only thriving business. By the end of April, British police forces had received 214,000 calls from Covid Britain’s willing army of spies. ‘Always the eyes watching you’, as Winston Smith put it.

There will be no hugging of people from outside your household until autumn at the earliest, says Matt Hancock, the secretary of state for human touch. A survey found that some people (possibly as high as one in five) are breaking lockdown to have sexual intercourse. Sex is an illicit activity in Covid Britain, as in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Hancock is our one-man Junior Anti-Sex League keeping a watchful eye over citizens and their wandering hands. In Orwell’s dystopia, ‘the sexual act, successfully performed, was rebellion’. Same here. Just ask Neil Ferguson.

To be fair to the British I’d bet there’s been a lot of booty calls going on that breeched the lockdown rules. The old instincts never run far below the surface of civility.

But O’Neill points out that, aside from instinctive desires, there’s been almost no thinking opposition:

Public debate has disintegrated. Do not for one minute be fooled by the noisy media discussions of the government’s failures or the pantomime yelling matches between TV presenters

All of this takes place within the lockdown ideology. The only ‘dissenting’ view you may hold in Covid Britain is that the lockdown didn’t come early enough / wasn’t severe enough / is being eased too early. The media-government spats over the Covid crisis are the narcissism of small differences.

In lockdown Britain, there’s one way to think and one way to behave. You must accept the lockdown or risk being demonised as a hateful individual and possibly being beaten by the police.

Sounds familar, even from our comments section. And as Public debate collapses so too does Political debate:

Every clash and row takes place within the parameters of acceptable thought. Genuinely demurring voices are notable by their absence. Lockdown scepticism is staggeringly absent. Jacob Rees-Mogg is right to say that MPs must get off their Zoom calls and physically return to the Commons. 

But it isn’t their physical absence that’s the problem – it’s their intellectual absence. Where are the voices for reason and liberty and a return to work and production? The speed and thoroughness with which our allegedly conflictual political system was bent to a singular, myopic cause raises profound questions about the health of our democracy.

He points out that the lockdown long ago achieved its objective of “flattening the curve” so that hospitals were not overwhelmed, and that people cooperated with that. But the cases never came in the numbers predicted, hospitals are now half-empty, and lockdown has now become something else entirely:

…lockdown has become a political, ideological cause, not a medical one, on to which so many of the elite’s prejudices – about the harmfulness of economic growth, the undesirability of mass society, the unimportance of liberty, the need for mass compliance to expert advice – have been projected. The lockdown is now separate from the pandemic. It has its own logic. It is the ruling ideology of our age.

As with other societies that have gone down this route, it has been enabled through fear multiplied far beyond what science said:

Government adviser Professor Robert Dingwall is right to say that officials have ‘effectively terrorised’ people into believing that coronavirus will kill them. We have been incited to fear not only a disease, but each other. Misanthropy is the fuel of the lockdown ideology. Steer clear of people. Do not touch them. Do not sit next to them. They might be diseased. And you might be diseased.

And similarly the result may end up backfiring on the conservative government because such terror has worked too well.

Polls show that many people are now reluctant to go back to normal life. Many want schools to remain closed. There is fear about returning to work. Things are so bad that the government is having to redirect its resources, away from terrorising us to stay indoors towards trying to coax us to come out again.

Return to your tasks subjects! The economy needs your enterprise and labour. The Welfare State needs your taxes.

Johnson himself is quoted as joking that “I’ve learnt that it is much easier to take people’s freedoms away than give them back.”, to which O’Neill responds pungently:

That isn’t funny. The use of terror to cow much of the public, decimate economic life and suspend everyday liberty is not a joking matter. Terror has consequences, especially in a situation where any form of meaningful dissent from the terror was demonised and even criminalised.

One of the most pathetic aspects of the old communist regimes was that their leaders always ended up wondering why The People slowly turned away from their slogans and exhortations and turned to drink and apathy. They seemed surprised that decades of fear and terror and repression and ugliness should induce such behaviour.

It would be ironic if the same thing happened to the victors of the Cold War, and it would be richly deserved.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 24, 2020 at 11:17 pm

Three stories of courage

There are many different types of courage but in peaceful times it’s usually only seen with people in services such as Fire Fighting, Police, search and rescue and so forth.

But with the rise of the new strategy of “lockdown” exercised by governments around the world, there has been a chance to see glimpses of a different type of courage; the courage needed to face down the overwhelming power of the state and taking the consequences: the ultimate test of whether one really does believe in civil disobedience.

I’ll start with the best one. Shelley Luther is a hairdresser in Texas and she finally opened her salon when it was obvious that their was no pandemic erupting in Texas and that the rules of social distancing were’nt actually based on any solid science. Even so, she made it clear that she’d follow some of the dictates around internal gatherings; masks and so forth. It didn’t matter. She got arrested anyhow and appeared in front of a judge.

But it’s what happened next that’s interesting. The judge told her that if she admitted to her wrongdoing and that she’d been “selfish” and groveled out an apology she’d be released with only a fine. That demand and her answer, polite and respectful, can be seen here, starting at 1:14.

 

“I have much respect for this court and laws. I have never been in this position before and it’s not someplace that I want to be. But I have to disagree with you sir, when you say that I’m selfish because feeding my kids is not selfish. I have hair stylists that are going hungry because they’d rather feed their kids. So sir, if you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision but I am not going to shut the salon.”

What a profoundly powerful way to say “NO”. The answer of an ordinary person, a layperson, probably not a particularly well-educated person. A worker. A deplorable.

So off to jail she went, as well as paying $500 per day in fines. But not for long as Texas exploded, starting with the Governor himself:

Compliance with executive orders during this pandemic is important to ensure public safety; however, surely there are less restrictive means to achieving that goal than jailing a Texas mother.”

And the Texas Attorney General:

“I find it outrageous and out of touch that during this national pandemic, a judge, in a county that actually released hardened criminals for fear of contracting COVID-19, would jail a mother for operating her hair salon in an attempt to put food on her family’s table.

The trial judge did not need to lock up Shelley Luther. His order is a shameful abuse of judicial discretion, which seems like another political stunt in Dallas.”

It will no doubt surprise people who know of Texas as a Republican state that there are patches of it – like Dallas – ruled by Democrats, and that they were keen to follow the extreme lockdown policies of their Democrat brethren across the USA.

The Texas Supreme Court did not mess around, ordering her release. When she was let out of jail two days later there were crowds greeting her and GoFundMe campaign that was already well on its way to raising $500,000 for her appeals to get this charge off her history. Personally I think she should just leave it there as a badge of pride.

POS Keith Ellison

Next up is something similar from the state of Minnesota, where a few days ago a small businessman named Kris Schiffler, who owns six restaurants across central Minnesota as they suffer under one of the worst lockdowns in the USA. Two weeks ago Schiffler publically announced he would re-open his restaurants  and this led to threats of $25,000 fines and so forth.

The great irony here is that these threats were leveled by the state’s Attorney General, one Keith Ellison, who two years ago endorsed the fascist Antifa movement in the state. Yeah – BIG double standards, as is usual for the Left.


They went ahead and opened the restaurants anyway at noon. A crowd of hundreds of ordinary people (note no Antifa masks, black garb or weapons) assembled outside one of the restaurants. Luckily for the maintenance of law and order the cops turned up just in time, driven by a restraining order obtained by Ellison.

As with Schuller a GoFundMe page was set up to fight the fascists. Their goal was $100,000: inside 48 hours they had raised $200,000.

The final story comes from the other side of all this: law enforcement.

From Seattle comes an impassioned plea from police officer and military veteran, Greg Anderson:

 
A cop who thinks about Civil Liberties?

“I’m seeing people arrested or cited for going to church, for traveling on the roadways, for going surfing, opening their businesses, going to the park with their families, or doing nails out of their own house — using their house as a place of business. And having undercover agents go there and arrest them. And charge ’em with — with what? With a crime?

The crime of being selfish I guess.

“Fourth Amendment violations — illegal traffic stops to check for papers? What are you, the Gestapo? Is this 1930’s Nazi Germany? You don’t get to stop people unless you have reasonable suspicion or probable cause that they have committed a crime. And I know people that have personally been stopped, saying, ‘We wanna see papers showing that you are essential.’ That is not how our job works…”

Papers please! Showing that you are ….”essential”. Officer Anderson has been suspended pending an “inquiry”. Of course.

“…we need to start looking at ourselves as officers and thinking, ‘Is what I’m doing right?’ I wanna remind you that regardless of where you stand on the coronavirus, we don’t have the authority to do those things to people just because a mayor or a governor tells you otherwise. I don’t care if it’s your sergeant of your chief of police, we don’t get to violate people’s constitutional rights because somebody in our chain of command tells us otherwise. It’s not how this country works.”

Heh. It’s how many parts of the USA have worked in recent weeks, and it’s how all of New Zealand has worked, aside from those gangs who have never obeyed the law and laugh at the cops every day.

You will never see anything like this from a NZ Police Officer of course. But then the population from which they are drawn from would never dream of doing anything like what Shelley Luther or Kris Schiffler did.

And here’s Luther giving haircuts just a few days after this kerfuffle. You’ll note all the safety precautions, just as medical advisors are asking for in internal spaces, and exactly as she said she would do. No need to shut down such places.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 24, 2020 at 8:35 am

What’s a lawful order?

A few days ago the spiralling rise of protests in California against the ongoing lockdown ordered by Democrat Governor Newsom, finally washed up against the State capitol building itself.

There was nothing violent about it at all. Hundreds of ordinary looking people, with their kids in many cases, dressed for a nice day.

And what was the government response?

Stay out of trouble

Sure, it’s all standard dress – following orders and protocol shit – but that’s stuff clearly designed for dealing with neo-Nazis and Antifa.

After a handful of arrests, also following protocol with bodies pushed to the ground for handcuffing and so forth, Marine Corps veteran Cordie Lee Williams decided that he’d seen enough and began talking to the cops via a bullhorn and with a message they’re not likely to hear from the usual suspects.

Two key quotes:

I’d rather lose my job than lose my soul. Cuz what are you going to tell your little boy or your little girl tonight? That you took your baton and you crushed somebody’s skull, who was a mom? Is that what a tough guy does? That’s not what honor, courage, and commitment means in the Marine Corps.”

In the military we are trained to ask, ‘What’s a lawful order?’ You’ve got to check your nutsack when you’re given an order and you’ve got to say, ‘Is this a lawful order or is this a bullshit order?’ And when something’s a bullshit order and it doesn’t pass the sniff test, that’s when you say, ‘Sergeant,’ that’s when you say, ‘Colonel,’ that’s when you say ‘General,’ that’s when you say, ‘Governor’, I’m not doing that. I didn’t sign up for that.

Now is the time for you to decide. What side of history do you want to be on?

 

Amazingly, the police begin to disperse, seemingly without being ordered to, so perhaps the shaming worked.

You can rest assured that nothing like this would ever happen in New Zealand. We don’t have a Bill of Rights worthy of the name, that has embedded itself into our psyche. Any law that Parliament passes is lawful, especially when there’s an emergency, so there’s no worries of our Police having to think about obeying an unlawful order. And there’s no tradition of the NZ Police having much care for civil liberties anyhow, so no shaming and dispersal would be possible.

But the key difference is that New Zealanders would never think of protesting the lockdown or appealing to the better angels of our government and its paramilitary wing anyway. This is one time that the Left are deeply grateful for “New Zealand’s deeply conformist society“, that they otherwise snark and sniff at.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 11, 2020 at 12:01 am