San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, August 16, 2013

Bill O'Reilly Worships State Power

Having nothing better to do, I tuned in to the Bill O'Reilly show on Fox News last night.  Whenever I need a good dose of warfare state propaganda I know I can get it from him.  I also know I can get a good dose of anti-welfare state propaganda from him.  As usual, I was not disappointed.
Bill had a section of his show dedicated to belittling Al Sharpton.  It was done in his usual style, complete with video clips of Sharpton calling for more welfare statism.  Bill was then quick to jump on him, call him a liar, and advance the cause of conservatism against welfare-ism.  It was all good theater and, no doubt, good for Bill's ratings.  It was almost enough to make me like Bill O'Reilly.  He does a good job showing how it is that the welfare state is nothing but a gigantic thief, stealing from those who have and giving to those who are politically connected.  Like I said, I almost came to like O'Reilly....almost.  He then went on to worship the state in his own fashion.
Bill O'Reilly is a warfare statist.  He has never met a war that he does not like.  He has never seen a foreign policy issue that could not be solved by sending in US troops to kill some foreigners.  This does not make him unique, of course.  He is just like every Republican in the Socialist Democracy of America. Although they claim to believe in freedom and liberty, the truth is that they believe in freedom and liberty only for the person holding the biggest gun.  Allow me to explain.
Bill was interviewing a Lieutenant Colonel last night.  They were talking about the problem in Syria.  As most of you know, Syria is experiencing serious civil unrest.  The government of the Socialist Democracy of America is funding terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda, in order to overthrow the established Syrian government.  While discussing the ongoing civil war in Syria Bill asserted, "We cannot allow a fundamentalist Islamic government to rule in Syria."  Now that is an amazing thing for a SDA citizen and television show host to say.  Let's consider it for a moment, shall we?
First, who is "we"?  People talk this way all the time.  That is, people use the first person plural to describe something they want to see done.  "We need to do something about violence", or "we need to do something about drugs", or "we need to do something about obesity" are all examples of the abuse of the term 'we'.  I am a citizen of the SDA, and therefore a part of the 'we', and I have absolutely no desire to get involved in Syria at all.  I suspect lots of other "wes" would prefer to stay out of Syria.  Yet Bill somehow believes that he is ordained to speak for us and he declares that "we" need to make sure that the type of government the people of Syria choose for themselves is one that we approve of.
That brings me to my second point.  Why do we have a right to tell another sovereign nation who shall or shall not rule them?  Imagine for a moment the outrage that would be the result of a Canadian television show host calling for military action against the SDA because he believes that Obama should not be our King.  He might say something like this, "We can't allow a socialist to be President of the United States."  Quite properly most folks in this country would tell him to mind his own business.  We would tell him that we are a sovereign nation and he has no right to tell us how to govern ourselves.  But when Bill O'Reilly flatly states that the SDA has the right and the responsibility to install a civil government in Syria that we like, regardless of the desires of the Syrian people, nobody bats an eyelash.  How can this be?
Bill defended his position that the US government and military have the right to install governments in every country in the world that are favorable towards us because "we are the protector of civil rights in the world".  You read that right.  Bill believes that we can overthrow any government we want to provided we say that we are doing it to protect the people living under that government.  Hummm.....I wonder.  What would the citizens of North Korea think about that?  I wonder what the citizens of Iraq think about that.  I wonder what the citizens of Afghanistan think about that. 
Bill's position is a simple one.  It is also a position I believe many conservatives share.  Bill believes that there is one and only one sovereign nation in the world and that is the Socialist Democracy of America.  As the only sovereign nation in the world we have the right and the responsibility to control all of the other countries in the world, even if that means declaring war on each and every one of them.  We are not just the biggest bully on the block. We are the only bully on the block and our primary reason for government is to make sure no other bully ever comes along and takes our place.
Where in the Constitution of the United States (that little document all federal career politicians have sworn an oath before God to uphold) does it state that the SDA has the right and the responsibility to determine who shall or shall not rule over the citizens of all of the world's countries?  I don't think that guiding principle can be found in the Constitution.  That being the case, all of Bill's demands for action on the part of the SDA imperialist war machine are unconstitutional.  No matter, Bill abandoned the Constitution a long time ago, just like the politicians he so hypocritically criticizes. 
Last night Bill also came out in favor of the "stop and frisk" policy of police intimidation and harassment.  You all know the story.  Bill alleges that crime in New York City has declined as a direct result of the "stop and frisk" policy.  According to this patently unconstitutional law, the police can detain and search any person at any time without any concept of justifiable cause.  A more blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment could not be conceived.  The reason Bill approves of "stop and frisk" is because he believes it makes us "more safe".  In other words, Bill has bought into the bogus belief that the state can keep its people safe from harm simply by policing the actions of every citizen.  Bill sees the state as the source of safety salvation.  No right is too sacred that it cannot or should not be sacrificed in the name of statist protection.  Bill has bought the lie that the state can keep us all safe all of the time.  As a result, no civil right that gets in the way of state power can be retained. 
"Give me liberty, or give me death" is something Bill O'Reilly violently disagrees with.  Bill would rather have specious promises of state protection than the right to walk down the street without being detained, intimidated and molested by a thug/government employee pretending to be our protector. Although he is enormously popular and considered by so many to be a defender of the American way of life, Bill O'Reilly would be unrecognizable as a patriot to the founders of this country.  The founders of this country believed in freedom from the state.  O'Reilly's belief that the state is to rule the world and guarantee the personal safety of every citizen would have been lost on those who truly believed in our right to personal freedom. 
The idol of the state that most everyone in this sad land bows down to worship has two sides.  Half of the citizens of this land are bowing down to the left side that says, "I will take your neighbor's money and give it to you."  The other half of the citizens of this land are bowing down to the right side that says, "I will rule the world and make sure you are safe."  These two sides lob verbal hand grenades at each other and pretend as if they are on opposite sides of the political spectrum.  In reality, they are worshiping the same idol.  Only those who truly believe in freedom are free from state idolatry and there are precious few of us. You will never find one of us anywhere near a state idol.  We are too busy minding our own business and wishing that everyone else would as well. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Get Government Out Of Business

Two stories caught my eye yesterday.  The Denver Post reported two business stories that dramatically illustrate a major problem with the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  The first one was entitled "Lawsuit Seeks to Ground Merger of 2 Airlines."  It went on to declare that, "American Airlines and US Airways were stunned when the federal government and six states sued to block the deal, saying it would hurt competition and cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars a year in higher fares and extra fees."  The report went on to say that "Antitrust regulators had done little to interfere with three other big airline mergers in the past five years, so they were not expected to stand in the way of American and US Airways."  The position taken by the federal government raises some serious questions.
First, how does the government know in advance that the merger of American and US Airways will result in "higher fares and extra fees"?  Second, even if the merger would end up bringing about "higher fares and extra fees", why is it the business of government to prevent such an occurrence?  Where in the Constitution of the United States of America is it written that the federal government has the right to prohibit the merger of two companies that have nothing to do with the government?  Furthermore, how can the federal government prohibit the merger of these two companies when it has not forbidden the merger of other airlines in recent years?  What is it about this merger that suddenly got their attention?  Why is the federal government not guilty of the same type of discrimination they incessantly tell us needs to be stamped out of our society?  Hypocrisy seems to reign supreme in this situation.
Economic ignorance is also on display in the decision of the federales to persecute the two airlines.  We all know that the reason that would be given to block the merger is to prevent a monopoly from coming into existence.  The career politicians and bureaucrats would inform us that they are doing this to protect us from the predatory pricing that would be the inevitable result of an airline monopoly.  Of course, they are dead wrong.  They are also severely hypocritical.  Allow me to explain.
A monopoly can only exist when all opportunities to enter a market are blocked.  There can be no monopoly when there is no barrier to entry. The fact that two airlines want to merge does not create a monopoly.  The fact that "four airlines would have a controlling interest in 80% of the US air travel market" does not make a monopoly.  If these four airlines decided to form a cartel and set prices higher than what the market should bear, it would not be long before some entrepreneur would enter the market and establish an airline that would undercut the pricing of the would be monopolists.  Of course that airline would be described as engaging in "cut-throat" competition and would be chastised by the press and the politicians.  But it would be providing a valuable public service by preventing monopoly.  The government's argument that it is preventing monopoly by preventing this merger is specious.  It is also hypocritical.
Federal and local governments create monopolies all the time.  Every city that I am aware of that has taxi services in it has given those taxi companies monopoly control over the town by means of the medallion system.  Prior to the deregulation of the airline business under Ronald Reagan, the prices charged and the routes that could be flown by the various airlines were all set by the federal government.  The federal government had total monopolistic control over the entire airline business in times past.  Fares and profit margins were set by law.  Why did they not sue themselves?  The American Medical Association and the American Bar Association are government organizations that effectively monopolize the medical and legal professions in the SDA.  As a direct result of these two government monopolies the citizens of this land end up paying "hundreds of millions of dollars a year" in extra fees and charges.  Why does the government not sue itself to stop the AMA and ABA?  Answer:  because the actions of the federal government are really not about preventing monopolies.
In a second story, entitled "Zen  Magnets Determined to Attract Sales", the story was told of a company that is struggling to stay in business, despite attempts by the government to shut it down.  The company is not making anything that is illegal.  The company is not employing illegal aliens to manufacture its goods.  All the company is doing is making magnetized 5-mm steel balls that can the be used, like Legos, to build models.  Enter the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The CPSC has issued an order to Zen Magnets informing them that they must immediately cease all sales and recall all previously sold magnetic steel balls.  As you might be aware, the CPSC is an independent branch of the federal government that was created through the Consumer Protection Act of 1972.  According to its mandate, "it regulates the sale and manufacture of more than 15,000 consumer products, from cribs to all-terrain vehicles.  Its authority ranges from barbecue grills to swimming pools."  Where in the Constitution of the United States of America is it stated that the federal government has the right to regulate the manufacturing of over 15,000 consumer goods?  Why should a bureau within the federal government tell a company what it can and cannot make?  Why should a bureau within the federal government tell you what you can and cannot buy?   Why should a faceless bureaucrat tell you what you can and cannot do with your body?  Where are the abortion advocates on this issue?  Why are they not screaming bloody murder?  Why are they not telling the government to keep its hands off their bodies?
The CPSC has reported that, "in a recent two year period, ingestion of magnetic balls caused 1,700 emergency room visits."  So that is it?  Just because some idiot decides to swallow a steel ball the company that makes the ball has to be put out of business?  I suspect the CPSC is exercising some serious discrimination in this attempted ban of steel balls.  This is an example of discrimination of the sort that would land non-government employees and entrepreneurs in jail.  But government agents are above the law.  In fact, they make the law.
I know for a fact that playing baseball results in far more emergency room visits than ingesting steel balls.  Why is baseball not banned?  I know for a fact that playing basketball results in far more emergency room visits.  Why is basketball not banned?  I know for a fact that downhill snow skiing causes more injuries than playing with magnetized steel balls.  Why are ski manufacturing companies not being told to stop production?   If the total number of emergency room visits is sufficient reason for the CPSC to ban an activity, they need to apply their standard without discrimination to all activities undertaken by the citizens of this land.  Stop baseball manufacturing today!  Stamp out footballs now!  Stop downhill skiing immediately!  These activities are all way too dangerous.  Protect us, oh wise and beneficent government agent.
Of course everything I have written today has absolutely nothing to do with what is really going on here.  The fact that government bureaus interfere in the activities of businessmen has nothing to do with public safety or preventing monopoly.  Any person with a brain greater in size than a pea knows that this is all about power, and nothing else.  Government bureaucrats, indeed, all government employees, are drunk with power.  They live to order the citizens of this land around.  Their universal goal is to be big-shots who can tell others what to do and then retire after twenty years of "service" with a nice, fat pension.  They have also created an amazingly successful propaganda campaign that convinces the foolish and stupid citizens of the SDA that what they are doing is for our own good.  But those of us in the know really understand what is going on and we don't like it one bit.  Sadly, there are not enough of us who do not worship the State to do anything about it.  So expect more government intrusion into our lives.  Public servants are really our masters and we are the slaves.  Get used to it.  Bow down slave!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Park Rangers Are Not Your Friends

Ranger Smith was the cantankerous park ranger who was constantly aggravated by the actions of Yogi Bear.  Maybe you remember the cartoon from my childhood.  Ranger Smith wore a green uniform with a green hat and black tie.  He also had a black belt around his waist.  Strange to today's world, his belt did not carry a taser, pepper spray device or a gun.  He managed the difficult situations in which he found himself by means of words and diplomacy.  He never drew down on Yogi, no matter how much Yogi might have made him feel threatened.  My how things have changed.  I am afraid that if Yogi was alive in today's national parks, he would not be for long. 
I was going to the post office to pick up my mail the other day.  As I entered the post office I saw a female government agent in line in front of me.  She looked like most law enforcement agents do these days.  She looked very tough.  I was glad I had not run into her in a dark alley.   She had a portable radio.  She had a belt around her waist that was filled with gadgets.  One of them was a club.  Another was a taser.  Another looked like some sort of spray can, probably an aerosol that is used to disable those who threaten her.  She also had a gun affixed to her hip.  She was a model of the modern police officer.  Or so I thought.  As I left the post office I noticed the car she had arrived in.  It had the words "Park Ranger" stenciled on the front.  Wow, I thought, park rangers look like cops.  I hadn't expected that.
Shortly after my encounter with the lady ranger a friend told me of a story about her encounter with a man ranger.  There is a state park near my home.  It is a nice state park with a reservoir, horse stables, camp grounds, bike paths and a swim beach. Those of us who enter the park by means of the bike paths do not have to pay the trespass fee to use the area.  I ride through there all the time on my bike.  I have not had any altercations with the folks who work there during my many times through the park.  That is why I was so surprised to learn about my friend's altercation with the park ranger.
This lady is training for a triathlon.  I must admit I do not understand the mentality of triathletes.  In fact, I don't understand the mentality of anyone who does something for what appears to me to be no other purpose than to torture herself.  We used to call such people masochists.  Being a masochist was not considered to be a good thing.  So many things have changed during my lifetime I sometimes get very dizzy.  Still, I will accept that her behavior makes sense, at least to her.
As a part of her training for the triathlon she wanted to do some lake swimming.  Being Scottish, and necessarily cheap, she parked outside of the park and hiked via the bike paths into the area where the swim beach is found.  She arrived at the swim beach early in the morning.  She found a place near the end of the beach, out of the way of those swimmers that would be arriving later, and plunged into the chilly water for a several mile swim.  She made her way out into the deeper water offshore and turned to do laps back and forth along the beach.  She had made it to the end of the beach and was preparing to turn back when she saw the frantic waving and shouting of a male park ranger who was standing on the beach.  This is where things get interesting.
She raised her head, pulled off her goggles and listened to the verbal assault of the ranger.  He ordered her to come to shore immediately.  She complied with his order.  As she came ashore he was verbally haranguing her about how she had disobeyed the signs declaring that she was not permitted to swim at the swim beach.  She had no opportunity to respond to him as he barraged her with one intimidating assertion after another.  Finally he stopped to catch his breath and she asked "what signs?"  The ranger was apoplectic.  "What do you mean 'What Signs?'"  "They are clearly marked all over the park.  You saw one at the entrance station.  You saw one at the entrance to the beach.  How dare you ignore our signs?"
My friend calmly informed the out of control ranger that she had hiked in via the bike paths and had not passed any signs informing her that swimming in the lake was now illegal.  Realizing that he had failed to put any signs up along the bike path the ranger shut his mouth.  He did not apologize for his failure to put up a sign.  He did not apologize to her for his verbal abuse.  He simply repeated that she was not allowed to swim and ordered her out of the water.
As it turns out the rangers had closed the swim beach to swimming.  They did not say why other than to post a note on their website that declared, "Due to conditions beyond the control of the City, the swim beach at Bear Creek Lake Park is now closed for swimming for the remainder of the season. Conditions are not safe for swimming due to the shallow depth and underwater hazards. Waist deep wading is still allowed."  According to my friend the conditions at the swim beach are no different now than they have been at any other time during the past ten years she has been going there.  She had encountered no "hazards" while swimming.  So we do not know the real reason why the rangers closed the beach.   All we do know is that the rangers at this state park are rude and drunk on their own sense of power.
I was in Glacier National Park earlier this summer.  I had several encounters with the rangers who work there.  In one situation I was standing on a trail along which several mountain goats were eating.  The goats were very close to the people who were walking along the trail, less than ten feet I would imagine, and appeared to be unconcerned with their human visitors.  The humans, on the other hand, were talking excitedly and snapping photographs.  Slowly the goats wandered off the trail and into a rocky area about one hundred feet away.  I thought that the rocky area made a superior backdrop for a photograph so I wandered about ten feet off the trail, still around ninety feet from the goats, to take a picture.  No sooner had I left the trail than a park ranger started shouting at me and waving frantically.  He informed me that I was infringing upon the space of the goats and needed to return to the trail immediately.  I did not thank him for his advice and I did not get my picture, although I did comply with his demand.
Later I was talking with a lady ranger in the visitor center about the possibility of hiking up a small hill in the area to get a better view of what was around me.  It would have been a short, steep hike up some rock to a little mound that would have provided a birds-eye view of the area.  She informed me that what I wanted to do was illegal and that I was required to stay exclusively on state manufactured and maintained trails.  Meanwhile, outside the visitor center, hundreds of goats, deer, elk, bear and sheep were wandering around all over the area without the permission of the government.  I wondered why they were allowed to do so and I was not. 
When did rangers start carrying guns? Why do they need them?  Is there a ranger SWAT team?  Do the ranger SWAT teams storm the local campground in the early morning and break down the doors of the tents of the customers who are staying there?  Something all of these government enforcers seem to forget is the fact that I pay their salary.   They work for me.  Lost in our dialogue is the fact that I am their boss.  Why is it every time I have an encounter with a park ranger I come away feeling as if I am a criminal?  In fact, why is it every time I have an encounter with any person who works for the government I come away feeling as if I am a criminal?  Something is very wrong with our park rangers.  Unlike Ranger Smith, the folks who populate these jobs today are not our friends.  They are government employees who see us as threats to their own personal security and power.  They see us as invaders into their fiefdoms.  We are treated accordingly.  How sad that national parks, which are supposed to belong to the "people", are being managed by bureaucrats for their own purposes and aggrandizement.  Don't be fooled, park rangers are not our friends.  They are power hungry bureaucrats and best avoided at all times.  Take my advice....don't go to the National Parks.  Go into the forest where you are less likely to run into a government agent.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Who/What Kills People?

We have all heard the slogan asserting that "guns don't kill people, people do".  Those who believe in the omnipotent beneficent State reject that truism and assert that guns kill people.  It should be a relatively simply matter to find out who is correct on this question.  If guns kill people there should be a direct correlation between the number of guns owned by the citizens of a particular country and the number of people murdered in that country.  If guns kill people we expect to find that those countries with the highest rate of gun ownership should also be those countries with the highest murder rates.  What do we find?  (Note:  Despite my best efforts, I have been unable to make the chart below line up properly.  Sorry.)

Here are the number of guns owned per 100 residents for the top 20 gun owning countries in the world:

  1. United States                     94.3
  2. Serbia                               58.2
  3. Yemen                              54.8
  4. Switzerland                       45.7
  5. Finland                             45.3
  6. Cyprus                             36.1
  7. Saudi Arabia                     35.0
  8. Iraq                                  34.2
  9. Uruguay                           31.8
  10. Sweden                            31.6
  11. Norway                            31.3
  12. France                              31.2
  13. Canada                             30.8
  14. Austria                             30.4
  15. Germany                          30.3
  16. Iceland                             30.3
  17. Oman                               25.5
  18. Bahrain                            24.8
  19. Kuwait                             24.8
  20. Macedonia                       24.1
Are you as surprised as I was to discover which countries own the most guns?  The French?  I thought all they did was drink wine.  The Norwegians?  I guess they need them for the multitude of biathlon competitions they engage in all winter long.   The Canadians?  To shoot Canadian geese?  The Saudis?  To protect their oil fields from the Yemenis?  What a strange world.

Here are the number of murders per 100,000 citizens for the top 20 murderous countries in the world:
  1. Honduras                         91.6
  2. El Salvador                       69.2
  3. Ivory Coast                      56.9
  4. Venezuela                         45.1
  5. Belize                               41.4
  6. Jamaica                            40.9
  7. US Virgin Islands             39.2
  8. Guatemala                        38.5
  9. St. Kitts                           38.2
  10. Zambia                            38.0
  11. Uganda                            36.3
  12. Malawi                             36.0
  13. Lesotho                           35.2
  14. Trinidad                           35.2
  15. South Afrida                    31.8
  16. Colombia                         31.4
  17. Congo                             30.8
  18. Central African Republic   29.3
  19. Bahamas                          27.4
  20. Ethiopia                           26.2
No surprises here.  Central and South America are dangerous places to live.  Many parts of Africa are dangerous places to live.  People get murdered like crazy in Honduras and El Salvador.  Could communism, socialism and the SDA "war on drugs" have anything to do with these high rates of murder?  Maybe, but that is not the point of today's blog post.  Here is the point.
None of the twenty countries which have the highest rate of gun ownership show up on the list of the top twenty countries for incidence of murder.  There is only one possible conclusion that can be drawn from this statistical truth.  Guns do not kill people.  People kill people.  And they do it whether they have access to a gun or not.  As a corollary to that principle is the additional truth that those countries with the highest incidence of gun ownership are also those countries where one is less likely to be murdered.  What more needs to be said?

    Monday, August 12, 2013

    The Police Are No Longer Our Friends

    John Whitehead is a writer and President of the Rutherford Institute.  He has written a book entitled "A Government of Wolves:  The Emerging American Police State."  It is a very good book.  I recommend you read it.  Here is a small excerpt from the book that I found particularly interesting:
    Citizens of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika must be the most evil and lawless people in the world!  What other possible explanation can there be for the facts recorded above? Why else would we require what is essentially an army to keep us under control?  Is there any explanation, other than our inherent moral awfulness, for why we must be policed so strictly?   In actuality there are other explanations for the facts recorded above.  Truth be told, SDA citizens are no worse or better than the citizens of any other nation.  We just happen to live under the most oppressive body of law and rules in the history of the world.  They are created by a multitude of layers of government and bureaucracy that we are forced to live under and submit to.   We also have the most oppressive police force in the history of the world.  That police force is expected to enforce those laws and rules upon us. They appear to be quite happy to do so.  What a mess.
    What ever happened to Andy Griffith?  Who among us can recall the day when a police officer was someone who cared about the people he worked for?  Who among us can remember when the cops did not look at all of us as lawbreakers in need of detention and arrest?  Who can remember when there was a mutual respect found between the citizens of this land and their local police?  I can.  I remember when police officers were people who did not intimidate, holler at and harass the citizenry.  I remember talking with cops as if they were real people and not being concerned that what I was saying might be used against me in a court of law.  Sadly, those days are long gone.
    Every confrontation I have had with an officer of the rules during my adult life has been bad.  Mind you, I am not a trouble maker.  I do not have many confrontations with these jack-booted thugs.  Most people, I suspect, encounter the long arm of the law while driving their cars.  I have been driving 40 years now, averaging over 20,000 miles per year in the car, and am still waiting for my first ticket.   You can see, I am not out there looking for trouble.  Still, every time I have had contact with one of these bozos they have treated me with harshness, nastiness and attempts at intimidation.  I have been lectured, bamboozled, and shouted at.  I have had the old bull-horn turned on me and instructed on precisely how to cross the road.  I have been glared at just for standing in the wrong place at the wrong time.  None of my interactions with the cops have been pleasant.   I also believe that most of you can probably related to what I am writing here.  The cops see us as lawbreakers who need to be controlled, by force if necessary.
    If we assume that all of the cops in Los Angeles work on eight hour shifts, that means at any given time in Los Angeles there will be 156 cops per square mile in the city.  In New York there would be 100 cops per square mile at all times.  Why is this necessary?  Why is this not a military presence?  Why do the citizens of the SDA agree to keep so many of these people on the payrolls?  I went to a Colorado Rockies game the other night and parked my car in a different part of downtown than I normally do.  After the game ended (it was rain delayed so it was almost midnight as I walked back to my car) I had to walk through a part of town known as LoDo.  LoDo is where the hip people go at night to get drunk and vomit in the street.  The streets were packed with half naked women and guys who were trying way too hard to look cool.  As I walked along I noticed many cops patrolling the streets.  Two, in particular, stood out.  They were standing on a deck above the street, sipping bottles of water.  It was the expression on their faces that caught my attention.  Their expressions were a combination of smirking and leering.  They were smirking at all of the inferiors who were walking around below them and they were leering at the half naked women.  I wondered why I should be forced to pay their salaries.
    Does every police force need a SWAT team?  I would guess that most SWAT teams are used primarily in drug raids.  Decriminalize drugs and the need for a SWAT team would disappear overnight.  Do we really want armed bands of men prowling our streets breaking into our homes at random?  Ask any person who has ever wrongfully been on the receiving end of one of these raids and you might come away with a different opinion than the one you have now. 
    In a way I feel sorry for the cops.  They are required to enforce the laws that are constantly being made by our legislators.  One day marijuana is illegal, the next day it is not.  One day something else is illegal, the next day it is not.  How are they supposed to know what to do?  We have so many laws it is impossible for anyone to live a single day in the SDA without doing something that is illegal.  What is a cop to do?  Still, I cannot let them entirely off the hook.  They are still responsible for their attitudes.  They are still responsible for the fact that they believe themselves to be above the law.  They are still responsible for the way they treat us.  No matter how you look at it, the police in this country are no longer our servants.  They most certainly are not "public servants".  They are no longer our employees, even though we pay their salaries.  They are no longer our friends.  They are our masters and they love it.