Assessment Of Ferguson: Misrepresenting The Liberty Movement

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Reading the comments to this post by Mike Vanderboegh has persuaded me to weigh in on Ferguson and the liberty movement.  It had to happen.  The liberty movement – at least for some – sees a common enemy, the police state, and is allying itself with crooks and liars.  This is to be avoided since it does nothing except harm the movement.

Let’s begin by divorcing the person of the LEO who is the subject of the goings-on in Ferguson.  He has as much right to self defense as anyone else, and had someone tried to beat the shit out me of I wouldn’t have waited until the perpetrator was going after my weapon.  It would have been 230 grain fat boys to the belly until the magazine was empty – and then reload and do it again.  I suspect that the LEO was shooting 9mm, which is why it took six rounds to put him down (wound track is everything).

Furthermore, the perpetrator in question was apparently walking in a traffic lane, which is a crime.  I don’t do that, and no one I know does that.  The cop had a right to tell the perpetrator to get out of the traffic lane and arrest him if he doesn’t.  As for whether the shooting was justified (i.e., it was in self defense), the facts will have to bear that out.  I cannot and will not comment on that.  But the point is that this isn’t unlike a thousand such incidents that occurs every day in America.  There is nothing special about Ferguson.

Now on to the main issue.  Militarization of the police is a bad thing, always, under any circumstances, and especially when it comes to invasion of homes.  Any serious reader can study my tag on SWAT and see my views.  I couldn’t care less if it is a black man in suburbia Chicago dealing drugs or me in my home writing on my web site.  A man’s home is his castle, and he deserves for it to be so.  My history is clear on this.  Find another way to do evidence collection.  If the police want to come into my home, they should call and make an appointment.

As for the militarization of police in Missouri, they shouldn’t have all of that gear.  It’s wasteful, expensive and sends the wrong message – to the LEOs themselves.  As long as they want to dress up and play soldier-boy, the damage is minimal.  If they want to enforce the law that way, I object.  And don’t carry around a patrol rifle unless I can carry one too.  But what I really object to is home invasions, and the best of my knowledge, that has not happened in the context of Ferguson.

In any case, I think it’s a sad commentary on the police that they appear the way they do.  But that fact doesn’t in the least cause me to side with crooks, liars, looters, criminals, ne’er-do-wells, and other maladjusted folk.

I have for a very long time taken the position – at work and at home – that I don’t fill in the gaps for people.  If you work too hard to repair the bad decisions by management at work, they never learn from their mistakes.  If you undo the consequences of every bad decision your child makes, he never learns.  Like it or not, in God’s economy, consequences is the premier teacher.  Blocking consequences is the same thing as hating your child.  Don’t do it.

My position on Ferguson is that the police should back away.  If the criminals want to tear up the gas stations, grocery stores, roads, sewage and water supply systems, then so be it.  Let them do it.  They will learn from the consequences of said actions when no more groceries can be obtained, no automobile gasoline is available, and they have no power for their air conditioners, heaters and televisions.  We owe them nothing.

There are no good guys in Ferguson.  The liberty movement doesn’t have to side with anyone in order to maintain the position that criminals should be prosecuted and the police shouldn’t be militarized.  It’s possible to walk and chew gum at the same time.  Aligning with the criminals is a bad move not only from the perspective of optics, but also from the perspective of morals.  I am not a criminal, and I have no sympathy for criminals.

Liberty is not equivalent to lawlessness and anarchy, and if you think so then you don’t understand liberty.  In fact, you don’t understand much.  Battlefield USA discusses warts in the liberty movement.

I support your liberty, just like I support your liberty to house just enough explosives in your own home to blow it and yourself up… not mine, nor the whole neighborhood. You might be the most responsible super-duper explosives handler bar none… but give every idiot the “liberty” to store enough explosives in their home to blow up the neighborhood is just plain stupidity.

There is a reason why the military has hardened weapons bunkers. There was a reason why the colonials had store/arms rooms for their cannons and black powder.

And on and on… There are too many in the “liberty” movement who can not reason, can not logic, who don’t understand that with liberty, comes responsibility.

Just like I told my new neighbor a few years ago. He has every right to party. He has every right to listen to his music… he has no RIGHT to blast his music in my ear and off my windows and walls that my damn windows and walls literally shake and vibrate. I asked him if it was okay if I threw rocks at his ears, windows, and walls… and why not. He GOT THE POINT and apologized.

I’m not the sharpest cookie on the block. I have my faults… but ya know, there are really some dumb fucks in the liberty movement that think liberty is all about them. It’s all about the… individual… and by individual, they mean… all about them.

I have a responsibility to not endanger your life. I don’t drive drunk. I don’t go outside and go all Rambo with my firearm. I don’t drive down the street like a maniac at 120 mph. I don’t house enough black powder to blow up the whole frikkin block… or my own house.

I have as much as a responsibility for you and yours as you do for me and mine.

When you are out there doing your liberty thing… keep that in mind.

Otherwise, you’re just a savage. Which is an excuse for license.

Ferguson is the hive’s chickens coming home to roost.  It is the collectivist’s nightmare.  A class of people who have had the family destroyed for generations, been taught that we owe them something for generations, and think they can break the law with impunity, are at odds with the police and other authorities, while the police and other authorities are under criticism for using the very tactics on this entitled class that the collectivists set them to to use, because they want to fill in the gap and prevent the effects of consequences (I think Mike Vanderboegh pointed out something like that with his clever title).  We should all stand back and say to the collectivists, “Look upon what thou hast created.  Are you proud?”

Nightmare.  And it’s just beginning.  Ferguson is a microcosm of Chicago, LA, Houston, New York, and Atlanta.  It’s all unraveling for them.  Your job is to be prepared, not to side with any of them.  This is their nightmare.  Let them live it alone.  Let Ferguson burn.  Don’t fill in the gaps for them.  Don’t side with criminals or militarized police.  Let it all collapse, you have no friends in the fight.



  • http://theeveningchronicle.blogspot.com/ FVS

    I couldn’t agree more. The air waves, the internet, the print media are all filled to the point of choking on poisonous propaganda. Ferreting out the truth on any issue, be it urban riots, African Ebola, financial manipulation or any of the various wars being stirred up as distraction from any of the above is all but impossible without serious research and considerable education in history and logic.
    That these very necessary skills are untaught today if not all but forgotten is largely why the comment sections of so many web sites, not to mention what passes for cultural entertainment, is clogged with so much irrational hatred of every stripe imaginable. The so-called secular humanists have become so secular they have forgotten what humanist or even to be human is or means.

  • Tasso Rampante

    Sorry, I have to disagree. There are good guys in Ferguson. There are churches shining against the darkness, businesses who are trying to make payroll, and grandparents who have watched the community they built be taken over by criminals. It is their homes and businesses that are being torched.

    The thugs in the street are the destroyers here, not the residents of the town. These riots are being instigated by cynical outsiders for evil purposes, and you are playing into their hands and participating in their plans when you call for the police to “back away.” That’s exactly what they want — the collapse of these communities. The people paying the price are innocent, and the evil at work here wants them dead.

    I care. You better believe I care. I grew up in a neighborhood very similar to Ferguson, and I watched the same evil take over. Now is not the time to sacrifice innocents on the altar of indifference. You will be held to account for the innocents that perish on your watch.

    And if you are not “on watch”, then what exactly are you?

  • Josh

    You’ve really not offered anything to the discussion. All you have done is illustrate what Herschel is arguing against. You’re the counterpoint, but the article’s entire purpose was to address the counterpoint.

    I am not my brother’s keeper. I’m not sacrificing anyone on any altar, and you mistake intention: Indifference is not in the equation.

    I think you need to really read and understand this article at a slightly deeper level than you apparently have. You cannot have the context in which to place this point of view without understanding the philosophy at work.

  • Paul B

    Bravo. Very good. Could not have said it better myself.

  • Tasso Rampante

    Another false dichotomy defending a false dichotomy. I neither defend the rioters nor the police. I have no need to. My argument is against this article alone. Herschel’s argument that there are no good guys in Ferguson is false, and more than that, a bald-faced lie. His assertion that the police should back off and let it burn is contemptible, and evil. “Chickens come home to roost” is no defense of immoral behavior. I understand it quite well. Shame on him for writing it.

    “I am not my brother’s keeper” is the famous defense of a murderer, and you should be ashamed of writing that. I AM my brother’s keeper, and more than that, my parents’ provision, my neighborhood’s strength, my community’s conscience, and my enemy’s friend. Because as terrified as I have been when the enemy has rioted at my doorstep, I will not stop loving my enemy.

    If I stop loving my enemies, I become the evil I stand against.

  • http://captainsjournal.com/ Herschel Smith

    “I am not my brother’s keeper.” You’ve completely ripped that statement out of context in Genesis where it is located, you have no understanding of Cain’s comment back to the Lord or why it was so stupid, and you’ve provided nothing whatsoever practical to show that you can do anything at all about anything that’s going on in Ferguson.

    Moreover, what you need to realize is that not just oftentimes, but always and forever, the innocent suffer in the wake of corporate judgment by God. You cannot stop it.

    You can donate, go and try to protect, and whatever else you want to do. You cannot undo what generations of collectivism have done to Ferguson. Nothing you donate, nothing you do to protect whomever you perceive as innocent, etc., will change things one iota. The events set into motion have a terminus, and that terminus does not depend on any action you might or might not take.

    You’ve said things you don’t know to be true (the riots have been instigated by cynical outsiders). You don’t know that. The liberal MSM made that up, and you repeated it.

    Finally, you’ve implied that I am defending immoral behavior. I didn’t and you can’t prove that I did. You just made that up to make yourself feel better about your rant. You rant is childish, overly-emotional, and off-point in so many ways that nothing you said bears any relevance to anything I said.

    Slow down, breath, go back and think.

  • Frank Clarke

    I’m bookmarking this, not necessarily because it focuses on Ferguson. Ve git too soon oldt und too late shmart, the Amish say. Alas, too true.

    “If you work too hard to repair the bad decisions by management at work, they never learn from their mistakes.” At 70 years and retired as a mainframe programmer, I ought to know this. I didn’t; you just taught it to me. It will probably show up in a day or two over at REXXPERTISE. I wish I had heard this 40 years ago, especially since it applies (it seems) to so very many things. I have no doubt it applies to Ferguson as well.

  • Josh

    Red herrings, straw men, ad hominem – wow – you’ve got it all.

    I get it: you disagree. You don’t have to be so dramatic about it.

    I don’t know of which murderer you speak, and don’t think the statement is novel, or that said murderer coined it; It’s a common variance of a well known phrase, but to reiterate without shame: I am not my brother’s keeper.

    EDIT: I was assuming you were speaking if a modern era murderer. My statement still stands, however.

  • DDS

    Ferguson today, and many other places in the past, present and future, is an example of a very important fact. People will live in an environment that is the minimum that they will tolerate. If you and your neighbors will tolerate an abandoned house with crack dealers on the stoop and crack whores inside then that’s what you will get. And tolerate is the correct word to use in this instance. If you and your neighbors do not insist that the authorities deal effectively with the problems in your neighborhood, or worst case scenario deal with it yourselves, then you take ownership of the problems and the deterioration of your neighborhood. There are no innocents in such a case except those too young to understand the problem or help with a solution.

  • http://captainsjournal.com/ Herschel Smith

    Thanks Frank, but as a programmer, you already knew this. The best in us want’s to fill in the gaps. But experientially it’s difficult to watch things fail. This is especially true of loved ones.

  • Tasso Rampante

    I’ve watched Malik Shabazz barking out orders to advance and retreat with a megaphone. I do know that. I recognize him on sight.

    Stop defending yourself, and think. You don’t actually mean what you said, do you? You want First Baptist Church on Florissant to burn to prove your point about “collectivism?” I don’t believe it. I don’t believe anyone is that evil.

  • http://captainsjournal.com/ Herschel Smith

    So since you refuse to debate the issue on its merits and continue to engage in emotional rant, you’re banned. Come back when you have something constructive to say.

  • aceofwands

    46 years later and nothing has changed except the century. How predictable is that?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kyNvEsQxns

  • ExNuke

    “If you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem.”
    When too many people have waited too long for someone else to fix their problems for them you can expect troubles like Ferguson. A solution imposed by an all powerful outside Government is not going to work.

  • Carl Stevenson

    Let the “good guys” defend their own neighborhoods. Too many expect others to do what needs to be done because they don’t have the guts to protect themselves.

  • Carl Stevenson

    Until the “good people” of Ferguson take vermin like Shabazz, Sharpton, et al into custody, stop them from inciting further rioting and mayhem, and bring them to justice, they are complicit and therefore not really “good people.”

  • Carl Stevenson

    Cities are shitholes because they are populated largely by people who gravitate towards the collective … sheeple who have no sense of independence or self-reliance live there in hopes that those motivated by their lust for power over others will grace them with a few crumbs and “protection” from the savages amongst them, in exchange for their obedience and servitude.

  • z–man

    “A class of people who have had the family destroyed for generations”…. You nailed it right there, Herschel. The Black family unit has been largely destroyed and the result is 73% of Black babies being born out of wedlock.

    Otherwise……with all this attention on Ferguson, I wonder kind of nefarious deeds are going on in the DC Beltway while people aren’t looking?

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  • boogyoogyoogy

    Personnel selection and mission creep along with the fact that your average politician believes that he or she “owns” law enforcement are the problems here. Not a competent and well armed police unit as well as a heavily armed and free population. This seems to be something we just can’t manage anymore, and I don’t believe for one minute that this is accidental. But that’s another kettle of worms, although related.

    I remember a conversation I had with another deputy once upon a time and remember his words exactly. We were discussing the then newly proposed CCW shall issue statute and Ihe disagreed completely with it. I asked him why considering the wait time on back at that time and the fact most civilians/citizens will immediately come to your aid if needed, no question asked and without hesitation. He responded, “Because we’re the only one’s who can carry concealed and if it go through, we won’t be.”

    Selection of personnel is critical. Knowledge of the existence of the constitution and bill of rights as more than theory, is also critical because there really are correct and incorrect answers that your personnel should know before ever having enforcement responsibilities.

    When you are a hammer, everybody begins to look like a nail, until it’s explained to you the difference between John Q. Public and the average bad guy.

  • Bill Daigle

    I am in agreement with letting Ferguson handle Ferguson, the two most un-American groups are shooting at each other. and NO, I make no reference to race but to leeches and over the top militarized police , both are getting a good lesson in where their ” policy ” leads . I am also completely wondering why the store owners have not capped a bunch of looters.

    While I am not a militarized police supporter, from what I can gather the cop was making the right moves, let’s see what damage Holder-Sharpton can do him.

  • http://captainsjournal.com/ Herschel Smith

    Bill, I might have a short piece coming out tonight on why store owners haven’t shot looters. Unless I’m wrong (Texas is an exception), MO would be a self defense-only state, not a protection of property state.

  • Bill Daigle

    I don’t know that one either, I am in Louisiana, we are not legal to shoot protect property state also. However our trespass law allows for our use of equal force to eject the trespasser. If the trespasser brings on a self defense situation…no test case that I know of.

  • Anthony G. Martin

    Mr. Smith,

    I was one of those in the liberty movement who advocated for an intentional effort to point out some similar goals shared by our movement and Blacks in Ferguson who are alarmed at the militarization of the police. I am also open to rational views expressed by those who may disagree. And I agree with you and Mike on this point — we don’t need to be joining hands and marching in tandem with criminals and committed collectivists. If by attempting to find common ground with non-criminals and non-collectivists in Ferguson we inadvertently hurt our cause by aligning ourselves with the wrong people, then I would be the first to abandon such a concept. I never meant to suggest that we should align with such people, and if it turns out that we are doing exactly that unintentionally, then I would be the first to abandon my proposed solution.

    However, I do believe that there are people in Ferguson who agree with us, albeit a small minority perhaps. As best I can tell, the perpetrators of the unrest are outsiders for the most part, provocateurs with an agenda. True, some residents of Ferguson fall for this hook, line, and sinker and extol the virtues of Sharpton, Jackson, and many more. But as we have found in all communities like this, there are those living there who are silent but unhappy with their neighbors who decide innocence or guilt before there is even an investigation or trial. And they certainly resent Sharpton, Jackson, and others whom they believe to be race-baiters and opportunists. I simply don’t want to erroneous link these folk with the criminals and loud mouths who take to the streets night after night.

    Thanks for a very thought-provoking piece.

    Regards,
    Anthony G. Martin
    National Conservative Examiner
    The Liberty Sphere blog

  • http://captainsjournal.com/ Herschel Smith

    Nice comment, Anthony. I noticed just today police in Ferguson (I suppose they are state police) carrying rifles and pointing them at folks. Horrible. Just horrible. No muzzle discipline at all. I loath the pictures, the practice, and the principles behind such a concept.

    On the other hand, I simply don’t buy the notion that it is only outside instigators who are fanning the flames. No outside instigator could fan such flames in my neighborhood. It isn’t fertile ground for such a thing.

    Thus, I know of no criminals who live around me. There appear to be plenty in Ferguson. They appear to deserve each other. Or in other words, I loath both parties at work now in Ferguson, and based on the (mostly) good people in the liberty movement, I see alingment with any party in Ferguson as tarnishing the image of the liberty movement.

    That’s exactly what our opponents want.

    Again, thanks for the comment.

  • Heyoka

    In a word… well maybe more tha a word, a few words… well mabe more than a few… just clowning :)
    Well said Herschel
    Thank you for the service and the sagely insight we all have come to appreciate. Sometimes simple confounds the most sophisticated mind.

  • ThirtyCal

    After the first one, the rest are free.

  • Heyoka

    Even Jesus said to contend with the man for his soul but that was limited to three times. Compassion for the people does not include worthless sacrifice. When jesus spoke of the neighbor it was those people whom he recognized as like minded. He identified the stranger as seperate form brother and neighbor.
    Whenthe young man contended with Jesus to be shown how to be like him Jesus made certain statements. The young man said suffer me to bury my father. In the culture it was a son’s duty to be the caretaker of his parents until he buried them. Jesus statement was very telling, “Let the dead bury their dead”. The young man would turn his back on the Kingdom to fulfill a tradition of men. Jesus statement portrayed the father as dead, spirtually dead, incapable of even seeing the reality that was presented. Remember also the story of Lot. He was told to leave and not look back. After God revealed that there were too few to concern himself with Lot did leave, his wife looked back.
    This is wisdom, the spirit of discernment, the highest spirtual gift that God bestows upon us. But even then it may fail or you ma fail it. it was so with Solomon. So best study to show yourself approved before quoting something you have no earthly idea about. And Herschel is correct appeals to emotion are logical fallacies. They are not examples of reasoning, they are grasping at your sense of reality and not actually real.

  • Heyoka

    The law passed on April 10, 2014 extending the Castle Doctrine to include properety without a duty to retreat.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/04/13/Missouri-House-Passes-Castle-Doctrine-Expansion

    If they’re looting commence shooting… actually not a subject to be light about.
    In addition Looting is an agrivated robbery while civil unrest is ongoing. This is greater breach of the law. Military personnel have at times been shot for looting.

  • Robo

    The police have a duty to “keep the peace”. That doesn’t mean allowing bands of rioting looters to have their way. You’re wrong to say they should be allowed to loot, pillage and burn. It’s the antithesis of civilization.

  • Nakedgun

    The Anarchist-Ban-freak lives! Agree with me, or I ban you!!
    Haaaah!
    Just checking-in on you and your lemmings, hersh..


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This article is filed under the category(s) Police and was published August 20th, 2014 by Herschel Smith.

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