May 8, 2015 at 2:03 pm #40803
You’re talking about that which is malum prohibitum vs. malum in se.
Malum prohibitum (plural mala prohibita, literal translation: “wrong [as or because] prohibited”) is a Latin phrase used in law to refer to conduct that constitutes an unlawful act only by virtue of statute, as opposed to conduct evil in and of itself, or malum in se.
The proliferation of regulations in today’s America is ridiculous. It’s been estimated that the average Joe Taxpayer inadvertently commits 3 felonies a day simply going about his daily life. It is literally impossible to conduct your daily business in America without violating some obscure rule or regulation.
When it becomes impossible to conduct your daily business without running afoul of some rule or regulation, things are primed to get nasty. The current pile of US rules and regulations – that which is Malum Prohibitum – is over 26 feet high at this writing.
Example: All any cop has to do is follow you around – there’s nothing that says he or she can’t follow you around all day – and wait for you to make some minor traffic violation. Then “touch” the back of your vehicle with a tainted hand. Call in the drug dog – who will “alert” – then your car gets searched. Chances are, they’ll nail you for something – anything. And there’s literally nothing you can do about it.
I find it darkly funny when you see someone hauled up in front of a judge on “resisting arrest” charges.
The “resisting arrest” charge is the ONLY charge… was there an earlier charge that got dropped for some reason? Nope. Just the “resisting arrest” charge.
But… arrested for what? There has to be a reason justifying the arrest that the guy allegedly resisted. Otherwise, why arrest him? But, the lone “resisting arrest” charge stands and nobody thinks this is ludicrous? You know, because logic and reason?
Cops call it “just doing their job” and “I don’t make the law. I just enforce it.” and “If you don’t like the law, then change it”… whatever happened to discretion?
Example: Once upon a time, if a cop caught you and your buddies drinking beer down by the creek – beer you filched out of dad’s stash in the fridge – and you were underage, the cop would make you dump it out right there on the spot, then take you back to your parents and tell them what you did. Chances are, the Wrath of Dad, the embarrassment, etc, was enough and it never happened again.
Today? Jeesuz… you get some arschloch cop and your kid winds up in Juvenile Hall, Child Protective Services gets called, your parents get reamed – doesn’t matter if they had absolutely no clue you filched beer from the fridge – and you wind up in family court fighting to keep your own kids… and your kids get a smear on their record (that will be sealed, if they’re lucky), possibly expelled from school… meanwhile, you spend your kids’ college fund, drain your savings and mortgage the house to pay all the legal and lawyer fees….
THANKS Officer Safety!
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1May 8, 2015 at 2:22 pm #40805
Right quick, because I have to go outside and work… and it’s pushing 90 today, so I gotta get a move on.
You’re talking about using body cameras to allow the “good” cops to anonymously “get” the “bad” cops.
I was told once that physical courage – that courage that is found on the battlefield and in conflict – that’s easy to come by.
Moral courage – standing up and doing the right thing, even if it means the end of you – is the most rare and precious kind of courage. The pressure to “go along to get along” and the Thin Blue Line – the Brotherhood – whatever you choose to call it, on cops is tremendous.
A “good” cop steps up and says “This is wrong and should be punished. I have proof and I will stand by it”, and his career is effectively OVER. He will forever be known as a Blue Falcon (feel free to look that up) and, if he’s lucky, will just be ignored for the rest of his time as a cop. Meaning nothing good will ever happen to him – no special training, no special schools, no promotions, nothing… he will become persona non grata. If he’s unlucky, eventually he will find himself needing help and everyone else will mysteriously have “radio trouble” and he will be left to whatever fate may be…
Body cameras will help with that problem, but solve it? No. The problem is institutionalized. To change that, you need to change the institution. Which means change the people. And people who have power – like cops – are very loathe to give that power up. They will fight tooth and nail to retain their power. Such as it has always been, and always will be.
You want to know the nature of a man? Give him power. He will reveal his true nature then.
I once stood against my own command because my own boss laid hands on a female and sexually assaulted her. I was told, in no uncertain terms, that if I testified against him – and I was the only witness – that nothing good would ever happen to me again. I would be left to sit and rot. If I kept quiet, certain plum schools were coming up and I was on a very short list for them…
My reaction was “EFF YOU!”. I will not be leveraged, threatened or bought. I testified anyway. Not only did that dirtbag abuse his power, authority and position, but he was married with children. What a scumbag. He needed to be gotten rid of, and if that meant burning bridges and becoming persona non grata, then that is what that meant. And it’s what happened.
Whirl likes to call me a cop hater.
After what I have seen of “Law Enforcement”, I’ll take that as a compliment. My soul is not for sale, no matter who tries to buy it.
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1May 8, 2015 at 9:48 pm #40826
Malgus, the underage kids drinking is a great example of the kinds of change we have gone through but there is another piece to this. I saw firsthand that kind of community policing when I was a kid and the cop coming to the house because my brother & his friends spray painted on a cement entrance sign to a park. My mother was distraught that her son would bring such shame upon the family and believe me my brother got the message, as did the rest of us kids. The cop said the boys needed to clean the paint off the sign, and the parents made sure the boys did it. Fast forward a generation and a lot of kids aren’t going to listen to the cop when the cop says dump the beer, and a lot of parents will rebuff the cop rather than thank him for alerting them to their kid’s bad behavior. My nephew that I have referred to a couple times (son of a different brother) had a knack for finding trouble from a young age but when school officials would call them in or sports coaches would complain etc, rather than deal with their kid as they should, they’d go on the attack (both were lawyers) threatening the school, the coach or whoever. My daughter, a 7th grade teacher, has called parents about bad behavior in the classroom and been told “he’s your problem during the day not mine”. Half the parents won’t come in for parent-teacher conferences no matter how convenient she tries to make it for them. My daughter-in-law is a speech therapist in a school system and has the same problem with parents that just don’t care about their kid’s bad behavior or school progress. All that said, I would hope a cop could and would differentiate between families like mine where they could trust the parents to handle it and parents like my brother and his wife who wouldn’t deal with their kid’s bad behavior. That level of common sense has been lost.May 9, 2015 at 12:23 am #40836
Hoo boy, did you just open a big old barrel ‘o worms…
We can sit around and discuss the causation of the decline of soceity, the entitlement mentality, parents who dump their kids on the school system to act as pseudo-parents, etc… and whether that type of behavior is the causation of the cops current attitudes, or whether the cops attitude is partially the cause for the massive distrust heading their way…
Chicken or the egg… which caused which? Or are both symptoms of a much larger – and much more disturbing – problem?
I do not have the answer to that. Observing a problem and being able to come up with a workable solution that will please everyone are two very, very different things… are a good portion of parents sh*^bags? Yep. But, once again, the problem is institutionalized… that won’t change until those people are gone.
I was in the grocery store once, and there was this very large woman with several children in the aisle ahead of me. None of the kids resembled each other. I will leave the rest of the details up to your imagination.
Anyways, one kid kept pestering “mom” for a certain kind of cereal. “Mom” turned and backhanded the child – who was no more than 3 or 4 years old – so hard it drove the kid to his knees. It was breathtaking… and she was berating him about how she was tired of him asking for that cereal when she already said no…
When I spoke up, I got the “Don’t you be tellin’ me how to raise mah own chile!” spiel… along with several choice epithets… this was in the days before cell phones (or “sail foams” as they’re called), so I returned the favor of the epithets and told this… person… I was going to call the cops on her for what she just did. All 350 pounds of her went flying out of the store, dragging her kids with her, leaving her groceries sitting there… I still called the cops to report what I had seen, but she was long gone…
I was spanked as a child. With a leather belt, a switch (that I had to cut myself), a slipper, a flyswatter, a hunk of Hotwheels race track (the worst, by far)… all sorts of stuff. And negative reinforcement works. But I was never struck like that, especially in the face. There’s spanking a child, disciplining him or her, and then there was what that woman did… orders of magnitude between the two. I’m surprised that kid was still conscious…
Dude, we could bat around stuff like this all night… and I have to go take a shower. I’ve been digging most of the day, and I’m hot and sweaty and frankly, I stink. I’ll be back later…
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1May 9, 2015 at 12:44 am #40837
We need Ten Laws, that’s all, no more then that.May 9, 2015 at 2:19 am #40841
Malgus, I don’t know the answer either but am only making the observation that behavior in society has changed for the worse…..on the part of kids, parents, and yes the police too. My son graduated from the same college I did, a small State College in a small town next to nothing. When I was there we partied most every night. Nobody got hurt, nothing got damaged, nobody complained, and school officials looked the other way. Fast forward 30 years and now the school is zero tolerance kind of place, and the kids are out of control. My son lived in the very same dorm I lived in my 1st year. Out of control drunk or high kids smashed the plate glass in the lobby to the building. Furniture got tossed out windows. None of that happened in my day and we were drinking or smoking pot in the dorm more nights than not. The local police never felt the need to come on campus and the campus police were unarmed back then. I never heard of a single student get arrested on or off campus in my day. How did it change so drastically? We had few rules governing our behavior yet we didn’t cross the line so to speak. Now they’ve got lots of rules and the kids are crossing the line. The best I can come up with to explain this is that Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society”, started us down the road where people are raised to be victims with rights, and everyone is special and gets a trophy. Personal responsibility and accountability was set aside.May 9, 2015 at 3:56 am #40844
MB, Funiest night was when about 100 or so kids streaked through campus and all the girls threw panties out the dorm windows. No arrests.May 9, 2015 at 12:45 pm #40851
I obviously went to the wrong school. When I streaked the girls just sat in front of the dorm and cheered us on. No panty throwing. No arrests. Now I suspect kids would get arrested and in some jurisdictions end up in a sex offender registry. And each year umpteen more laws are passed.
I increasingly think the way to improve behavior is to start rescinding laws and putting the onus back on personal accountability and responsibility. In rural VT most roads don’t have posted speed limits and by default if there isn’t a posted speed limit State law says the limit is 50 mph. Parts of the dirt road I live on are barely wide enough for two cars to inch past each other and parts have poor visibility coming over rises, yet by default the speed limit is 50 even if parts of it you can’t safely go much more than 10 – 20. It is flat, straight, and with good visibility in front of my house but even then few people will go more than 20 – 30 mph. The other day a couple folks were barreling up the road and a neighbor stopped them and told them to slow down. The drivers were certainly within their legal rights given the State default of 50 mph but I’ll bet they slow down in the future based on the community pressure put on them by my neighbor. That’s the way it should be. Not calling the police and the drivers then saying they were within their legal rights and so don’t tell them they can’t speed. Civil society did exist before we piled up laws on everything imaginable.May 9, 2015 at 1:12 pm #40852
MB, I’m in total agreement. Everyday proof of your (and my) theory is proven out by the large traffic jams on highways with 65mph speed limits. When you are traveling at 10mph on an interstate usually it is self controlled.May 9, 2015 at 5:43 pm #40859
mmm….when I get like this I have to back off and think for a few seconds.
Police are not something that was sh** on the sidewalk and hatched by the sun.
They are just different versions of me and you. They are a product of their education.
Change the education to change the product.
RobinMay 9, 2015 at 7:56 pm #40864
No …………psychologically screen them better . They know what they are doing is wrong when they are doing it . When you live and grow up in a society , you are told its values all around you . There is no such thing as an “Amoral ” person , they simply decide to ignore their societies code , and in all truthfulness need to be put down . These people and people like them are the TRUE America haters , and the biggest threat to the American way of life than any Islamic Terrorist or hostile nation . Stop criticizing Russia and China , They know they have to make no hostile actions against us to destroy us . They know that America will be destroyed by America itself ………they need not do anything . What has Putin done to damage the United States compared to people like the ones in charge ?May 9, 2015 at 9:27 pm #40866
Robin, most current active duty police are young enough to have grown up in the Great Society era where personal responsibility & accountability was de-emphasized in favor of the victimhood, govt will do the thinking for you, everyone is special mindset. Part of the govt will do the thinking for you part comes in the form of laws and regulations for every aspect of your life. Don’t think about right and wrong, if it is legal (drive 50 mph on my road), just do it, and if what you did is illegal, then someone else must be at fault. No need for politicians to honor their word or admit when they erred. Just lie about what you said or blame someone else for the results. To the extent that police behave badly, maybe it’s because they were raised in an era lacking a consistent message about personal accountability and responsibility, or to think in terms of right vs wrong. If there are no consequences to their bad behavior, then the mindset is going to be maybe the behavior isn’t bad after all. If there is any truth to this at all, then it will only get worse because the education system is still trending towards the everyone gets a trophy approach. If kids can’t read when they finish school it is because someone else didn’t fund the school well enough, not because the kid didn’t study. If an athlete is sufficiently talented, let’s look the other way no matter how bad their behavior. Don’t want to lose the big game you know. Kids growing up get all of these messages, whether verbally expressed or not.
One more variable to throw in the mix. How are the police being rewarded career-wise? I don’t know the answer here but pose the question in case there are incentives for bad behavior.May 9, 2015 at 10:25 pm #40868
Mountain Biker, you have a gift for words. My mother worked in the school system in San Antonio for about 20 years. Her belief was that when ESL (english as a second language) started that things would go badly for children. When you have different standards for children (or adults) then lack of responsibility becomes a problem.
RobinMay 10, 2015 at 12:33 am #40869
The video shows an older guy saying that , he is old enough to know better , he just chooses not to . He hates the Constitution , therefore he hates America and our way of life , just as much as any young Marxist . The only way this is going to stop is to start getting serious as Americans , go to places where the Nazism is happening in mass , armed to the teeth . Like at the Bundy Ranch …………….that is a portrait of WHY the 2nd Amendment was put into place , we need to start putting that into practice .May 10, 2015 at 2:10 am #40870
Picking up on Tolik’s point, the older baby boomers that came of age during Vietnam yielded great influence by getting out and protesting. The Civil Rights marchers similarly yielded great influence protesting. In both cases the protests were usually peaceful, not always, but most of the time. We don’t see that anymore, and I suppose I am as much to blame as anyone because other than a couple gun rights rallies at the Statehouse here in VT I haven’t done anything substantive in this regard. I do vote but more than that is needed.
Robin, ESL was a huge mistake, all but ensuring 2nd class citizenship for a major part of the immigrant population. My mother’s parents were native French speakers and that was my mother’s 1st language but they switched to English when she started school and never looked back. Back then there was no expectation to have different standards for her just because her parents were French. My mother actually forgot how to speak French. My daughter-in-law who works as a speech therapist in a public school system just told me this morning how hard it is to get her student’s regular teacher’s to reinforce the expectation that these kids (mostly poor but sometimes immigrants) use standard English in their classrooms. Many teachers just have lesser expectations for these kids and in doing so doom them to operating on the periphery for lack of ability to speak standard English. As an aside it is not accent we’re talking here but rather sentence structure and grammar and in some cases word pronunciation.
There are many facets to the societal change that in total has not been positive and which in part is likely to blame for the issues with police too. Tolik’s comment about pyschological screening is a good one too, though we’d need to be careful that doesn’t morph into political screening.
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