As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Liberals Want a Police State, but Not the Police

It’s not completely clear to me where fault lies in the death of Eric Garner, which occurred as a result of him being taken down by the police.

There were multiple contributing factors that led to his death. A mixed-race grand jury, which had information that has not yet been released, declined to indict the officer who had his arm, briefly, around Garner’s neck. Unlike even some conservatives, I can’t say I know for sure whether the grand jury made the right or the wrong decision.

For example, you may not be aware of this, but Garner actually did not expire on the scene. He died of cardiac arrest in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

I can say that it’s a tragedy and very sad that this father of six died trying to sell some cigarettes. I truly pity him and his family.

And I can also say that he died because the government was trying to forcibly compel him to obey a draconian tax law. New York City mandates a tax of $5.85 cents and a minimum price of $10.50 per pack of cigarettes.

The law is intended to reduce smoking. The studies I’ve seen say it probably does, but by how much is debatable. And there are tradeoffs.

One tradeoff is that, according to a study specifically looking at the effect of cigarette taxes in New York City, the cigarette tax is highly regressive, and that while it has an effect on smoking rates for the middle class and up, low-income earners are choosing to spend what is now a quarter of their income on cigarettes instead of quitting.

From the study:

Among adults, a 10% increase in the price of cigarettes is associated with a 3% to 5% decline in overall consumption, with approximately half of this decline resulting from smokers quitting [4], [5]. However, more recent studies suggest that the effect of higher prices may be diminishing [6]–[8]. For example, Farrelly and colleagues [7] found that a 10% increase in price was associated with a 0.6% decrease in smoking prevalence among adults overall and a 2.7% decrease among young adults aged 18 to 24 . . .

Recent data suggest that while the prevalence of smoking in New York overall has decreased 20% from 2003–2004 to 2009–2010, those with household incomes less than $25,000 had no statistically significant decline (26.9% to 24.3% based on the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System) [25]. This implies that low-income smokers have not been more price responsive than smokers with higher incomes. In fact, from 2003–2004 to 2010–2011, we find that the percentage of income spent on cigarettes for smokers with annual incomes less than $30,000 more than doubled (11.6% to 23.6%). This suggests that lower income smokers in New York State have not had a greater response to higher taxes than smokers with higher incomes.

Another tradeoff is that high taxes, in this case on cigarettes, invite crime, since people will try to sell some smokes for a reasonable price illegally. And when there is crime, there is law enforcement. And when there is law enforcement, there is depravation of freedom and, in some unfortunate circumstances, death.

What liberals forget as they promulgate all these laws and regulations and taxes is that these things have to be enforced. Sometimes, rough tactics are required to enforce the law. Bringing down a 350-pound man who is resisting arrest is not easy. And now, liberals don’t like the result.

Their police state, you see, requires police.


President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder seem to be barely containing their outrage about Garner’s death. Actually, Holder doesn’t seem to be containing it at all, even though he’s supposed to be neutral when a grand jury makes a decision.

But what hasn’t occurred to them is that the government removes our liberty at its peril. Taking freedom creates many problems, including the impetus to take even more freedom.

Eric Garner died because the police, under orders from New York’s Socialist Mayor, Bill DeBlasio, were trying to take his freedom. Maybe Obama and Holder will draw a lesson about the destruction their heavy hands can cause.


33 Responses to Liberals Want a Police State, but Not the Police

  1. Thanks Keith. I think it is about wresting control from local police, undermining the rule of law and using racial divide to do it. Of course the usual liberal young with not a thought in their heads or a penny in their pocket that did not come from Mommy or Daddy are useful tools.

    I see it as a larger issue and part of the plan to transform the United States. Earlier I did not believe the plan was to transform it into a police state with one party rule and an unchallenged leader. Now I do.

    Here is a useful article looking at what is behind this movement. It is light on specifics but I am now a believer that this is a systematic plan and not some of the usual liberal lefty unicorn dancing through the fields moment where the young grow up and mature and society and culture and government continues. Nope, don’t see that happening as long as Barack Obama and the ilk of the left are around and in power.

    Our strength and hope lies in the states with governors and AGs. The Republican Congress will not fulfill the wishes of those who voted for them and they will not carry out the mandate of 2014.

  2. I think, as I said, the tax issue is separate–to say if it had not been passed, he would be alive is specious–if he had not gone to work, he’d be alive, if he went to a different corner, he’d be alive, etc. He knew he was doing something illegal and could have just succumbed to arrest as a cost of doing business. He lied–saying he wasn’t selling…he was apparently. Police hate being woofed and their authority questioned. If we do not give them authority, they can’t do anything to protect us. The whole thing is unfortunate and sad and so USELESS….But once the police decide to arrest, they don’t say oh, well, maybe next time… Also the Nazi picture did not charm me.

    • The man was a walking time bomb as far as his health was concerned.
      The take down by the cops only accelerated his demise.
      He said that he couldn’t breath, yep.
      If he’d had been forced to run around the block, he would have expired in the same manner.

      • The AP is laying it on thick again today, going to the “gentle giant” card for Garner. Wasn’t Michael Brown a gentle giant, too…as well as Trayvon?? Quite a pattern there.

  3. First they bitch and moan that only the white neighborhoods get police presence and service.
    ” Crime is rampant because there ain’t no police here ”
    Police presence is increased, and the bitching and moaning begins anew.” The police are a occupying force profiling minority’s “, etc, etc, etc.
    A cartoon by Ramierz sums it up best.
    ” Holder is going to stop racial profiling, by racially profiling police departments ”
    Of course that means white officers.

    • You could (and I am not advocating this at all) assign police to neighbor hoods according to race and ethnicity. Qualifications do not seem to be an issue. So, if there is a shortage of qualified applicants, do the “summer school” version of training and since the libs don’t believe in “winning” — everyone passes. Then they are assigned — along with the competent and currently serving and deserved officers of that race or ethnicity already in place.

      And that will not be enough — there will be demands for money, for supplies, for education, for equipment etc etc All of which will be determined to be sub standard to what whitey has. And on and on and on.

      I am waiting for the MSM to notice the black female sgt who oversaw the NY arrest. She’s like a ghost.

      • Indeed. I didn’t pay enough attention to the story initially to remember that a female, black officer was in charge of the arrest nor to remember that Garner died in the ambulance although I don’t know if the latter really matters. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the autopsy showed that he had suffered bleeding in the neck tissue. (Obviously can’t spell the h word this morning.) If he died of cardiac arrest, the death was helped along not only by his physical condition by what went on right before. As I wrote to someone late last night, the “optics” really hurt the law enforcement explanation.

        • The thing is, for me, Julie as I said, two things. An increase in federal power over local and state law enforcement and a targeted effort to increase racial divide.

          With the country sufficiently distracted with that, it makes it much easier for Obama to continue his overreach through regulation and executive memoranda or orders. I

          It is all headed toward increased state control over society. And so, even though my head tells me that Republicans should wait to mount an offensive once they are in full power, my gut tells me that every opportunity to attack and protect our constitution and the rule of law should not be missed.

          I have read, but do not know, that Obama did not sign the EO or Executive Memorandum on Amnesty but that it has been passed along to DHS and that flunky Jay Johnson. Stuff like this goes on, while we try and do the right things. And as you, and others have noted, doing the right thing is wearing thin.

          I wonder myself if I was going somewhere and there were protesters allowed to block my path without permits or permission what I would do. Would I advance — slowly and cautiously, of course, — but continue moving forward. Dunno’

    • I’m looking for the right word to sum up what you are writing about here. Oxymoronic statements or just plain illogical ones?

  4. I was about to start my own protest last night, hung up forever at the Holland Tunnel because these IDIOTS thought blocking the traffic was a reasonable way to make a statement. My blood was boiling. How dare these people decide to shut down major arteries in and out of the city. If that’s not a crime, it should be.

    End of rant.

      • The Police were blocking the traffic. I suppose their point of view was to keep the protesters out of the actual tunnel as who knows what would have transpired in there. Me, had they asked, I would have made a two lane car only access to the tunnel, or even one lane for heaven’s sake, and forced protesters back. The NYC protesters now know they can do whatever they want, carte blanche, blockade, interrupt to their hearts content. Ugh. I was spitting mad. I wanted to sit on my horn and scream.

  5. On a totally non PC rant:
    Both MrBrown and MrGarner were criminals, engaging in criminal activity who chose to defy the police who are charged with enforcing the law that others have decreed. Their defiance caused events to transpire that led to their deaths by the very lot that the government allows to carry firearms and to ensure arrest by any means.
    Their deaths were not caused by racial hatred, but rather because the two Black men refused to obey the laws of our land, one of which makes it illegal to resist arrest.

    When the powers that be, and those who hide behind them, decided to make the deaths of two criminals a racial issue, they gave a get-out-of-jail card to those who seek a benefit to inciting riots and protests. This issue has nothing to do with race, nothing to do with laws against walking in the street or selling untaxed cigarettes, but rather do the police have the duty and power to arrest and detain anyone who breaks any laws of any jurisdiction.

    I stand with the police and absolve them of any wrongdoing in both of these incidents. They were only doing their job, and did so within the rules and guidelines that politicians have decreed.

    • The most succinct and to the point comment on this entire episode srdem65.
      I think it was Chip Bok who drew a picture of who was responsible for Browns death, it was of Brown.

    • Tried to explain this to someone today….went in their one ear and out the other. Big, cavernous region between those two ears.
      Well said, srdem65.

    • Lets see here…Hmmmm it took how many police officers to apprehend 1 man who was allegedly selling single cigarettes on the street..Garner was not armed was not causing a disturbance other than selling cigarettes which they did not have any evidence he was at the time…So now all these police officers who apparently had nothing else to do ..was it 4 or 6 officers in their infinite wisdom decided that they needed to cuff and arrest a man for no reason other than throwing their weight around acting like storm troopers ..they proceed to wrestle this man to the ground and now he is dead and they claim it was in the line of duty..or he should not have resisted because he was being railroaded..but now he is dead and they are free to kill again..So is it the policy of the NYPD to go around with 4 or 5 cops and bust people for basically non violent offenses…Are they going to implement this type of behavior when handing out jaywalking tickets….They are idiots,morons,cowards,and incredibly evil…..

  6. Of course they won’t learn a lesson. They will make up a fantasy to justify their mission. Socialism works if everyone just follows along and hates ‘bad’ power.

  7. Where did Garner get his cigarettes? Did he drive to an Indian reservation to pick up a few cartons of untaxed smokes? Or did he buy a pack from the bodega to sell them individually?

  8. The police did kill Garner. They pulled down a big heavy man onto the sidewalk, for what? for selling cigarrettes? Should have just given him a ticket, a summons, He said he couldn’t breathe with all these cops on top of him and still they didn’t let him go! I can’t watch that video, it is so horrible what they did to him. They should all go to the slammer, especially that one choking him and Garner said he couldn’t breathe and he still kept choking, etc. Please! At the same time I don’t like these racist protests, they want to ruin this country just like Obama does and Holder and Sharpton. Obama and Holder and Sharpton baiting them all the time with victim racism, racism, boring and not true! Some cops are bad just like everyone else and lots of them are good, so these protests are for the low I.Q. people, falling on the floor in Macys at Christmas time how do so many listen to this criminal Obama and his corhorts of hate. They are just doing this for the votes! ruin the country for votes! believe. it I will say again and again, thats what all this is about.