By chris Bunch
Editor at FMM, YAF campus leader at TWU and former King County libertarian party social media administrator.
We need to regulate weapons. There I admitted it. Yes me, A libertarian who stands by the principle of deregulation so much so that I would die defending it. However you cannot buy these weapons at a gun store or on the street. These weapons are locked and loaded within the confines of Washington D.C. and they want your blood.
The U.S. government has a long history of creating unnecessary programs or spending recklessly. Such as the $25 billion spent annually on maintaining vacant federal properties or the $84,000 spent on popcorn machines and Televisions to furnish the offices of congressmen. Although sounding trivial and wasteful the greatest waste comes in the $30 billion the government spends annually on three dangerous unregulated weapons. The ATF, IRS and NSA. You've heard of these three agencies before and dealt with at least one (or if you're John McAfee all three) in your lifetime. Each of these agencies have been used as a weapon at some point in their existence for purposes that not only are unconstitutional but also nefariously have attacked the very moral fiber that the U.S.A is founded upon. Here's what they are and how we can regulate them.
The IRS was founded in 1862 and ever since then has served as a beacon of hope for authoritarians everywhere. Although supposedly only existing to ensure fair collection of taxes it has been proven time and time again to be used as a weapon for evil;
- FDR used the IRS to harass newspapers who spoke out against the new deal. He also used the IRS against his political adversaries. Harassment included audits, unrelenting tax evasion warnings and threats of legal action all for political gain.
-Richard Nixon used the IRS to audit political opponents and obtain tax returns illegally.
-The FBI released private tax returns of the "United Klans of America" in an attempt to silence free speech (FMM condemns white supremacy or nazism but believes in the right to free speech)
On top of these blatant abuses of power the IRS has also brought armed agents to attain 25 cents from a gas station owner as well as many other similar incidents regarding small businesses who owed anywhere from $100 to 10 cents. The harassment also was directed by people like Lois Lerner (former IRS employee) who targeted conservatives in audits. As you can see the IRS is a weapon waiting to have it's unregulated power wielded by the next authoritarian pushing their personal agenda.
I really shouldn't be talking so negatively about the government considering our next weapon might be listening. The NSA is listed as a "data collection" agency which supposedly is meant to protect the United States from cyber attacks , terrorist attacks and other threats to national security. Like our last weapon this one is also subject to the abusive and powerful hand of the government. Clocking in at $10 billion dollars a year the NSA has been in the news quite a bit the past few years. From patriot leaker Edward Snowden showing abuses in power to rising debate of constitutional limitations here are some facts to set the record straight.
-3 billion phone calls are made in the U.S. every day, the NSA collects metadata from ALL of them. Call patterns, Phone numbers and certain conversations are all part of that collection.
-Former employee Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA could tap into online conversations, phone conversations, internet activity, transactions and more all without a warrant and were doing so daily.
-The NSA at one point were in possession of 40 million individuals photos and personal information without even being on a "watch-list."
Enabled by the patriot act the NSA violated the 4th amendment for millions of Americans and despite many promises by Obama to overhaul the system there is no significant evidence that anything has changed. This weapon unregulated can violate each and every American at a click. Nobody is safe from it.
That last paragraph might make you want to start drinking, thankfully our next weapon is here to help. The ATF stands for Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and primarily is supposed to help protect communities from violent drug trafficking and illegal weapons distribution. Instead the ATF has been proven to manufacture crime instead of prevent it.
-During the Obama administration, ATF agents went undercover to sell weapons to Mexican cartel members and then track where they went in an attempt to find criminals , however, the guns were lost and the infamous operation "Fast and Furious" ended up being responsible for the death of an American border agent. All of this was accomplished on the taxpayer dime and without proper approval and review from the Justice Department.
-The ATF repeatedly has staged situations in poverty stricken neighborhoods entrapping or placing false evidence to acquire a warrant for search and seizure regardless if there is contraband present or not.
-In one situation the ATF used a mentally disabled individual to pose as a firearms and drug dealer to lure in potential criminals only to arrest them on suspicion with no crime committed.
Yet another agency determined to manipulate the American people. The ATF is an order away from planting evidence on people like you and me to obtain their false goal of protecting the people. In actuality the ATF is another unregulated government weapon used to police for profit.
So you've seen these nasty weapons, unregulated and abused. So you must be asking? Why would a libertarian want to regulate more and deregulate less, the answer is the opposite. True regulation of these government weapons comes from deregulating the object policed by these agencies. Ending the war on drugs and deregulating the Alcohol/Tobacco/Firearms industries leaves the ATF powerless. Reminding the government the purpose of the 4th amendment leaves the NSA no option but to leave your personal information alone. Last but not least, standing up to unnecessary taxation and declaring "taxation is theft" is a fireproof way to make the IRS work for you again. The government is our employee, not the other way around. Never allow these weapons to run out of control "unregulated" before it's too late.
By Chris Bunch
Author at FMM
Two culprits stand out as prime suspects for who has diluted the police force today. The first would be power, the government can gain revenue, political power and "government minding" via the police; Second would be ourselves, too afraid to even throw the word privatization around because in most minds it means "chaos." That these problems are infinite and out of our control. Here's where we can tear those thoughts down and reshape the way we think of public service.
It's an all too familiar story, an innocent person is shot because a police officer felt threatened.In 2017 alone 594 people in the USA have been killed by police officers; 242 white, 131 black and the others were unknown. Of course I am not excluding those who have committed a crime and may have actually threatened the officers life, however, on the same token the amount of police officers harmed or killed in the line of duty is steadily decreasing year by year just as fast as the number of those being killed by police increases. So what gives? Why does the public enemy now seem to be the ones who are sworn to protect us. The problem lies with what big government can do to influence your life and your choices without looking like the direct culprit. The police force is their solution. From Jeff Sessions threatening you when you light up a joint, to Justin Trudeau trying to lock you up for misgendering someone. The police is used as a scapegoat and a fearful weapon not only to advance their ideology but also to bolster their paycheck as well.
How do you attain something when nobody wants to give it up? Force. So naturally when the government needs a payday and nobody will pony up who do they go to? Their armed soldiers ready to tell you what you can and can't do no matter how ridiculous the law may be . A pseudo "road pirate" that is out to write you a notice to give the government money or else. Before you start angrily typing away at the comments allow me to explain. Too many people are quick to judge. some say that police hate black people and are organized to take down and kick the black race. Others say that the police can do no wrong and that our "boys in blue are doing the best they can." These notions can be valid in their own sense but differ from the broader task at hand. Please step away from these preconceived and tightly held thoughts and see the police as a puppet with me just for a moment. I believe that most police officers genuinely believe in protecting and serving the citizens of their community, however, it is the minds of the government or the puppeteer who have messed withe the balance. Answer me this, if a police officer is to protect and serve explain why at the end of the month the amount of tickets handed out increases dramatically. Explain why in Arizona you can be fined and imprisoned for feeding pigs, Connecticut you can't sell cat fur, Indiana liquor stores can't sell cooled soda but instead uncooled soda. The list goes on and on and it sounds ridiculous right? Of course it does, but these things provide very real excuses for the state puppets(police officers) to write you a ticket to contribute to the paycheck of that state. These next numbers may shock you even more. Our pointless war on drugs hauls in $3.9 billion each year via the DEA, ATF and local law enforcements across the United States. When you receive that kind of money you'd never want to give it up. Even if it meant using your friendly neighborhood cop to bash down the door of a drug addicted individual to do so. This problem in turn leads to our tax burden of those who are addicted and thrown in jail when really they should be receiving treatment. But once again why share a piece of the pie when you can have it all to yourself. The Government hates to lose and will manipulate any force to get what they desire.
Sure I have painted the government and the police as the playground bully who steals your lunch money and his henchmen who beat you up for it, But what can really be done to change this? Localization, decreasing federal involvement and privatization. Yes these things can be done. Private security officers outnumber police 10 to 1 globally yet their approval rating is far higher and much more respectable than the low approval of the Police. Private security allows for the individual needs to be tailored for. If someone decides they don't want kids spray painting their property a private guard can be hired to take care of that. If this behavior of hiring security before going to the police increased even 25% the burden on the taxpayer would dramatically decrease as police forces would be forced to make cuts with less "business." The government officials that manipulate the police force would have to turn away from them as a revenue stream if individuals, municipalities or local governments opted to privatize or use a "private security first" model. As these security guards have a job to do that doesn't have infinite tax funded payroll they are in turn more incentivized to to their job fairly and justly which leads to eliminating many of the racial and social issues that plague many departments today. Without pressure you can expect nothing to change and a private contract with the opportunity for termination definitely places more pressure than a steady paycheck and pension virtually regardless of how you act. Gone would be the problems with minorities and police as the individual would now be placed in control of how they protected themselves, as we know the individual is the greatest minority. Overall misconduct would decrease as the state run police would now have competition as well, allowing them to tighten the restrictions on hiring and conduct leading to a safer environment lead by the free market and individual choice.
Of course this model of privatization is just an idea, however, with the distain for the police force and their manipulation by government it is understandable why this idea isn't such a quiet one any longer. The ridiculous body cam footage, wrongful deaths, crazy tickets, entrapping laws and poor behavior make the thin blue line look more like a blue smokescreen for the true evils lurking behind. The current state of government run law enforcement is a strong example and sobering reminder that most anything the government touches is instantly corrupted. Freedom can not survive in such an environment and other options must come before it's too late.
More to come on privatization and policing as part 2 can be expected next week! Its focus? Border towns and border security. Stay tuned and check our Twitter for updates @Officialfmmedia
by Chris Bunch
I get up in the morning a bit dazed and automatically yearning to be facedown in my pillow. "DNA" by Kendrick Lamar blasts seemingly louder as I think to myself how horrible I am for ruining a song I used to like by making it my alarm tone. As I head out the door and on the way to work I take a pause to check the news and of course there's the endless noise of those who become neurotic over Donald Trump and those who have developed a sort of "Stockholm syndrome" in supporting him. This noise is loud and never ceases, much louder than my 7 am alarm clock. Enough with the euphemisms and small talk, let's cut to the facts.
We live in one of the most polarized political, cultural and social climates ever in human history besides the Roman Empire. The media understandably yet sadly have taken sides, we no longer have unbiased reporting but selective journalism that tailors to their donors, supporters and the need to draw in viewers. Then there's the rest of the world who is left looking for the truth. People like you and me who just want their opinions known on any and all topics. That's where Free Mind Media comes in, to stop the culture police from telling you how to think, what to say and how to feel.
Here at FMM we will provide unapologetic reporting from the lens of the tried and true phrase "to each his own." Any stances are welcomed but will always be subject to debate as we look to use this platform to spark healthy conversation in a largely censored and unhealthy world. No you will not find safe spaces and ideological silence but instead I think you will find that your mind will open to things you were not previously open to before. We hope at the very least you learn something new!
Currently we have two on staff with numerous contributors lined up. Feel free to always use our contact page to let us know if you'd like to submit or just discuss about a post etc. It's imperative that we as a people are no longer silenced or manipulated. To quote Christopher Hitchens "Take the risk of thinking for yourself."
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