Tom Hurst writes on liberty, free markets, private property rights, government and the Constitution from Nevada, USA
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Police Nation

By Tom Hurst, 25 November 2007

To listen to the media these days, one would think that the police are our only true national heroes, our first and last defense against criminals and terrorists. They feature prominently in every newscast and television drama, are praised incessantly and, of course, paid very handsomely for performing what seems to be a dangerous and sacred duty to society. There's even a new name for their new found importance: "first-responders". Surely they are absolutely essential to our safety, and without them we would live in a world of fear and eternal chaos, right? Well, not so fast. When I see the media and politicians go hog wild like they do with all things police, I immediately begin wondering what the true story behind the propaganda is. So, the question is, are the men in blue (or khaki) our knights in shining armor fighting for truth, justice and the American way, or are they the self-serving, snarling face of the police state, the ones who will at some point grind their boots on our faces?

In order to broadly evaluate their character and intent, the most obvious and important thing that one should realize about police is that they are agents of the government. Yes, despite the fact that we pay their salary, they are government police, not our police, or even our community's police. They are not hired to protect you or I, but instead to protect the interests of the State. They are a modern Praetorian Guard, defending only the rulers. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has even ruled that police have absolutely no legal obligation to protect us as individuals. Of course, some individual police officers will claim to be our protectors, but when push comes to shove they will always join their colleagues and side with their masters, the government. So, when our interests differ from those of the government - which is nearly always the case - we will no doubt be trod upon by the very people we pay to ostensibly "serve and protect" us regardless of whether a law is just and Constitutional or not. The basic fact is that government police exist only to make us do things that we do not want to do, or prevent us from doing things we want to do. At the same time, of course, politicians and bureaucrats do whatever they want - legal or not - without any interference from their hired guns. So, in the end police only protect the government, not us.

Further, as government employees, they have typical government employee motivations. Most basically, since jobs well done indicate adequate staff and money, government jobs will almost always be done poorly so that more staff and money can be justified the following year. It is always claimed that the additional money will solve all problems, but it never does. And the employees, the agencies, and the entire government repeat this extortion year after expensive year until they have all of our money and we have none. So, nothing gets done, ever, but that's OK because getting things done is not the point, even for the police. This institutionalized incompetence means that the number of police and their budgets continually increase - both signs of an expanding empire - and that is the natural progression of government at all levels. On top of this culture of mediocrity, governments and their protectors - police - are ever hungry for power. And history tells us that when they get power, they will always abuse it mercilessly. More officers, more military equipment, more spy equipment, more laws and regulations, more trumped up sources of "danger" - all contribute to increasing the power of the police, and hence to increasing the power of the State. So, in the end, police are the arms of the State, selling their souls to serve and feed the beast. And we are the fodder. Already, it's clear they are not our saviors as the government cheerleader media would have us believe.

Now, let's take a look at the general nature of their duties. First, just how risky are their jobs? Are police really - as they continually remind us - placing their lives on the line as part of their normal routine? To answer this, one only need look at the statistics of the risk involved. Though most people would think the job of police officer is by far the most likely to cause death or injury on the job, the statistical fact of the matter is that there are scores of normal, everyday jobs that are far more dangerous. This is because police mostly do tedious things that involve little risk, and when rare "dangerous" situations occur they are both trained and required by their rules of engagement to avoid anything truly life threatening. As an aside, the same could be said of firemen, another fairly low risk job that disingenuously extorts praise and high pay from the taxpayers. In any case, convenience store clerks and construction workers, ironically, have a greater chance of death and injury on the job. The police, of course, add insult to injury as they claim high pay and even worship of sorts based on this fallacy they know not to be true. Truly, it is shameful that police pass themselves off as nobly risking life and limb to save citizens when in reality they are far safer than many others. In the end, with rare exceptions, police are just employees in a mundane job, not heroes who serve and protect.

Another interesting but rarely proclaimed fact that diminishes the (false) importance police claim is that short of the two extremes of having a cop on every corner or having no cops at all, the crime rate nearly everywhere is fairly independent of the number of police on the street. For the most part, crime is something that just happens, cops or not. And since in a free society police should definitely not be everywhere, that means in a practical sense that we should move as far as possible to the other end of the spectrum and have as few cops as possible (instead of the nearly 1 million local and state police we have now). Nevertheless, police departments still continually urge us to vote to hire more officers and pass more laws. Greed and power-lust is their motivation for that, of course, as they know well that the expansion of their forces will not reduce crime, but will only increase the power of the State.

To continue, since actions often speak louder than words, let's take an honest look at a variety of things they actually do while on the job. First, what about everyone's favorite, the traffic cop? They are like spiders, lurking around, even hiding, as they try to trap some prey to suck dry. Sure, things like running a stop sign or red light can be dangerous to others, but the facts of the matter are that most "traffic violations" - speeding in particular - are generally not correlated at all with danger or increased risk to others. Further, yet another interesting but unpublicized fact is that nearly every driver consciously or subconsciously notes road design, traffic quantity, weather conditions, type of neighborhood, pedestrians, etc. and adjusts their speed accordingly, no matter what the posted speed limit is. There was even an experiment recently where all traffic signs in a town were removed, and people pretty much drove in a reasonable, safe manner. The point is that traffic cops are more or less unnecessary because by nature nearly everyone drives safely, and those who don't would not be deterred by laws or the presence of police anyway. Of course, even when it costs the government $500/day for a cop, and perhaps another $500/day in overhead, a cop that can write thousands of dollars worth of tickets each day is a real revenue generator - better than money in the bank. And that is exactly what government has in mind as it routinely posts official speed limits far below natural, safe speed limits, sets unsafe short yellow light times, and even enforces school zones late at night. They are even anxious to give you a ticket for having an expired license plate, which is essentially ticketing you for not paying your car taxes. This quest for money in the guise of increased safety is entrapment and extortion, plain and simple. Might I suggest that the next time you see a gang of motorcycle cops doing some saturation ticketing - to raise revenue, not increase safety, as we now know - just look at the scene. You will see traffic chaos courtesy of government as perhaps a dozen cops swarm around harassing a bunch of more or less innocent people, while the "lucky" drivers not caught cause scores of near-accidents as they unexpectedly slam on their brakes while driving in front of drivers who haven't yet seen the threat. What a sad and disturbing sight this creating of chaos for the sake of money, and a portent of a future police state where such scenes will be common every day and everywhere as government shakes down citizens for money. And the police show their total lack of integrity by willingly participating in all of these morally corrupt practices. Again, the State and its police are the parasites who thrive and we are the hosts who are bled dry.

The federally funded "Click-it or Ticket" program also blatantly displays both the power-lust and greed of the police and the State. There you are, driving along minding your own business and, all of a sudden, you find yourself caught up in a military-looking checkpoint swarming with police who want to make you "safer". Planning to avoid the road block? Well, that's illegal in itself. The whole scene is like something right out of a communist dictatorship. And it has happened just because some bureaucrat thinks you should wear a seat belt... or else! The "else", of course, is invoking the power of the police to steal your money. Think about it, though, does your not wearing a seat belt really harm others? So what if you might be injured in an accident; that's between you and your insurance company. The bottom line is that in a free society it should be your choice whether or not to wear a seat belt. So, the obvious reality is that "Click-it or Ticket" is just another scam where the police extract money from your wallet and force you to unconditionally submit to the authority of the State, right or wrong. Unfortunately for us free citizens, military-type checkpoints where everyone is stopped are not limited the seat-belt racket, but show up as sobriety checkpoints where everyone is unconditionally considered a possible drunk driver without meeting the Constitutional requisite of probable cause. Even worse, the Patriot Act actually authorizes national internal checkpoints ala Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union just to check our "papers". Remember that piece of legislation? The one that virtually every member of the Congress enthusiastically voted for? [Postscript April 2012: And now we've got paramilitary TSA "VIPR" squads that are empowered to set up militarized "show-me-your-papers" check points at train or bus stations, truck stops, and even on highways!] Whether "legal" or not, the tactic of stopping everyone is clearly unconstitutional, yet the police gleefully continue the practice, again showing their total lack of integrity.

And, let's face it, some cops are just corrupt or emboldened by the power they wield. Not only do they take bribes and protection money, but illegal things - like drugs and guns - mysteriously go missing whenever they make an investigation that turns up something. There are even drugs and weapons in prisons - and since the prisoners are on the inside, and their accomplices on the outside, the only way to transfer the goods is via the crooked cops who run the prisons. Even innocent people are mercilessly targeted. For instance, for years traffic police in a certain Florida county would stop people - mostly out-of-towners - on some flimsy pretense and then ask to see their money. If their money consisted of mostly $1, $5, $10 or $20 bills, the police would then seize it on the pretense that those are the most common denominations used in drug trafficking, so one's money simply must be drug money. Of course, even an idiot would observe that these are also the denominations most used when shopping, too. Talk about ill-gotten gains! As I recall, these cops were stealing thousands of dollars each day for their coffers. And there are now many communities across the land that suffer this same fate. Of course, it's the power of the State that corrupts them all, and evidently it is easier and more profitable to harm and steal rather than serve and protect. And to those with big egos, it's even fun.

Actually, the aforementioned seizures are minor instances of something called asset forfeiture, yet another money game that motivates police to not serve and protect. Do you realize that if a traffic cop finds, say, one seed of marijuana trapped in your auto's carpet, or even just drug paraphernalia - placed there by the cop, possibly - they could permanently seize your vehicle in the name of the State? Yes, the State would literally own your car, and in some locales the arresting cop would actually get ownership of your property, or at least a percentage of the auction price. Even drunk driving can have that same result in New York City, where many tens of thousands of vehicles are seized every year. As for what vehicles are seized, it's actually been well documented that police tend to pull over nice vehicles that they would like to own in the hopes of getting it for themselves through the asset forfeiture process. And it doesn't stop there. Boats, homes and even large tracts of land are also stolen from their innocent and rightful owners as the federal government and local police work together to twist and exploit the RICO laws originally created to battle drug kingpins. Nationally, such seizures come to many billions - yes, billions - of dollars per year. Now, tell me, what does this pre-meditated theft by police have to do with serving and protecting?

Another thing to be avoided at all costs is confronting police in a court of law. The sad fact is that if you've been accused of a crime by a cop, you can rest assured that nearly every judge in the land will automatically accept what the police say as truth while at the same time, of course, considering your testimony suspect or even an outright lie, no matter the truth. Even the community oversight boards created to combat police misconduct are in many places composed of - you guessed it - police and government officials. Obviously there's no chance for a fair outcome there, and statistics prove the truth of that. In Las Vegas the local board has, I believe, only ruled against police once in its entire history. Now, say that you were injured because another car hit yours in a situation that was not your fault. If one were suing a private individual or insurance company, no problem. It may take a while and get ugly, but some measure of justice will ultimately be served. On the other hand, what if one were in the unfortunate position of suing the police because it was a negligent policeman in a hurry that hit you? Really big problem. You see, having established the irony that they are not legally responsible for protecting us, something called "sovereign immunity" takes over from there and actually protects police and government from prosecution for their wrongs. Recently in Nevada there have been two instances where speeding police cars, definitely not in pursuit of criminals at the time, hit citizens. It took one man, now a paraplegic for life courtesy of the police, over a year in court to collect only $50,000 (less lawyers fees) - the legal maximum award - from the State. In another incident, 4 people in a car were killed as they were hit in the rear by a cop traveling home for a meal at over 100 mph. Guess what? Only two years in jail for that cop. Of course, we all know that anyone but a cop would be in jail for life if found guilty of negligently killing 4 people. So, you see, the legal system is totally rigged to protect its own, the police. And in addition to being unjust, it encourages police to act with impunity and totally disregard the life, rights and property of "ordinary" citizens because they know there will be no retribution. So much for serving and protecting the people who pay their fat salaries.

Now, say it's late at night and you hear a criminal trying to bash your door down. What should you do? The police disingenuously would have you believe that the only possible way to save yourself is to call 9-1-1. Of course, even if you do manage to call them, their ridiculously long response time assures that the bad things that were imminent when you called will have already happened by the time they arrive - and they know this well. So, mostly it is the job of the police to take a report, or in the worst cases, break out the body bags. The sad fact is that they rarely, if ever, "solve", let alone prevent crimes. Statistically, if one is foolish enough to depend on 9-1-1, realize that you will most likely be burgled, raped, or killed. Though ironic in this age when police seem to be everywhere, that is a fact. The solution to this situation where the police, again, neither serve or protect, is to become responsible for yourself. You do this by purchasing your own gun and using it to protect your life, family, and property. Of course, the police will lie and tell you that owning a gun to protect yourself is in itself very dangerous. Nevertheless, to expect the police to be responsible for you is foolish, for not only will they not be responsible by their inaction, but by law (as I described above) they literally are not responsible. What a great loophole. If a private security company protected one so poorly, one could fire them and sue for damages, but not so with the government police. We are the captive audience in a tragic drama of passing the buck. So, in this one situation where most people really would like some protection from police, there is none.

So, what about gun control, or "victim disarmament" laws as I more descriptively prefer to call them. While Congress is ultimately responsible for allowing these totally unconstitutional laws and regulations to spew across the land, their anointed armies - police, both federal and local - enforce all 20,000 of them. Of course, the 800-pound gorillas taking people to task for breaking gun laws are the federal BATFE and FBI with their legions of armed agents and SWAT teams. Beyond them, enforcement responsibility lies with police empowered by the states, counties and cities. Here's how it works. Nationally, whenever a gun is purchased a clearance ("permission") must be had from the FBI, and once you are vetted they have 90 days, I think, to purge any data collected during the vetting process. Though I doubt that they purge it, instead preferring to illegally keep firearm ownership records for their masters, here in Nevada there is a further twist that makes whether they keep data or not moot. Here, the background check calls are, by state law, routed through the Nevada Highway Patrol. Not only do they conveniently charge a fee to fill their coffers, but since there is no legal requirement (that I am aware of) that they destroy personal data they collect, I have no doubt that police in Nevada are creating and keeping (illegal) de facto gun registration records. And that is exactly what police states-to-be such as Nazi Germany did as a prelude to a national gun collection, justified by Himmler because "guns don't serve the State". Of course, we know the horrendous tyranny and genocide that was enabled by that act. Further, handguns require yet another registration in Clark County (Las Vegas) because the Sheriff evidently believes that peaceful, law-abiding citizens are not to be trusted with guns or with protecting themselves, 2nd Amendment be damned. Of course, police do this despite the fact that they know real criminals continue to buy their guns without registration or background checks in seedy dark alleys. Some large cities like New York, and even the entire District of Columbia, essentially ban gun ownership altogether, placing citizens at the mercy of criminals, while at the same time not protecting them. Of course, criminals still have guns aplenty in those cities. So, clearly our supposed protectors, police, see the average citizen as a threat - something to be "taken care of" when the time is right. If you believe in your right to protect yourself from either criminals or a tyrannical government, police are definitely not your friends.

Of course, no matter how poor they are at actually protecting us, at contract time the police union will flex its muscles and show us how they protect and serve us by slowing down their already slow response time. Heaven forbid they give up their revenue-generating traffic stops when they can show us they mean business by failing to respond to calls for help or fighting real crime. Combine these scare tactics with the ridiculous federal union laws that mandate compromise, and police continually get fat pay raises and personnel increases. Here in Nevada, a few years back the highway patrol union even had the guts to lobby the state legislature for retirement after 14 years of service while retaining - get this - 85% of their pay until death. And this pension could be collected starting on the day they retired, not at age 65 or so. What a truly amazing pension! Wouldn't you like to be treated like that by your employer? These sorts of public servant pensions will ultimately help bankrupt the government. Obviously, police and their unions are greedily serving their own interests and protecting their fat salaries at our expense.

When it comes to serious police state antics, spying and sting operations are popular and common. Just days ago the Houston police department was caught secretly testing its new instrument-laden drone spy planes - planes that it admits will be used to spy on citizens. [Postscript April 2012: And now police in many cities routinely use drones that can taze or shoot people, and even launch grenades. But these are nothing compared to the police and TSA's recent use of large military drones (just like those used in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East) to spy on us and "control situations".] Police eyes in the sky to compliment the already numerous eyes in public places and eyes on street intersections. At least we have not yet fallen quite as miserably as the British who are, on average, each observed by over 400 police cameras every day, and even pay differential road tolls based on cameras monitoring where and when they travel. Some of their spy cameras even have speakers whereby the police can verbally warn people to not jay-walk or loiter or whatever. Getting back to the U.S., here we even have a well-funded federal agency, the National Security Agency, that was created to manage and coordinate spying on citizens. And these days, of course, we all experience the grasping tendrils of the Department of Homeland Security, ostensibly to fight terror. That agency even jokingly has an obviously ineffective Privacy Office as a desperate pretense of civility! Does the average person really want or need their phone tapped, or their house and computer searched without their knowledge? Or to be watched via cameras on streets and in the sky at all times of the day and night? Do these acts really protect us from terrorism and crime, and are they even Constitutional? Well, both studies and ethics tell us absolutely not on any count. Nevertheless, these days corrupt politicians and judges have "interpreted" the Constitution so that such obvious police state tactics are perfectly "legal" - and thus encouraged - in the eyes of the law and the police. They even spend tax dollars to fund sting operations to find out if someone is a prostitute, or if another tries to hire a prostitute. I think for the most part no one really cares about such things except the cops, the arms of the police state. After all, common sense tells one that such acts are not only none of their business, but that they have little or no impact on anyone's lives but our own.

Police brutality? Well, there's no lack of evidence on this aspect of police behavior as we continually see them on the nightly news mercilessly tasing and beating people beyond all necessity, or slamming them to the ground or into a wall. Granted, there are situations when bad people who are resisting arrest need some firm handling, but no one needs to be gratuitously beaten as we so often see on television. In fact, so many people have been seriously injured and even killed by the police officer's new coercion tool of choice, the taser, that some states are considering limiting or even banning their use. Beyond that, across the land many citizens have been unjustly shot and killed by police, as officers supposedly thought a wallet containing the identification they had just demanded was a gun, etc. All manner of excuses abound, but the ones I've heard are almost always beyond flimsy. Individuals - as threatening and dangerous as a single person can possibly be - even get shot when they are surrounded by large groups of police. How many times are people shot? Once, perhaps? No, unfortunately as many of the victim's bodies are decidedly bullet-riddled. Amazingly, the police in Las Vegas even managed to shoot a hand-cuffed man in the back as he was running away in an attempt to escape custody. Of course, even moral simpletons know there is no honor in shooting someone in the back. This unnecessary brutality is such a problem that there are many people in America who when they see police think only of the possibly of being gratuitously roughed up. Of course, as we transition into a true and obvious police state, everyone will come to think that. Police, through their abusive actions today, have themselves set the pattern for their future duties in our police-state.

The militarization of police is yet another travesty, and in recent years there has been a shocking increase in the often late-night deployment of paramilitary SWAT teams in black body armor, helmets and assault vehicles - the latest number (from 2001) is 40,000 raids per year, which is more than 100 per day. Many of these raids are mis-targeted since police often rely on irresponsible and suspect informants who have criminal records themselves. In fact, it's been calculated that botched SWAT deployments kill dozens of totally innocent people each year. Personally, I cannot possibly imagine that the citizens of this country are so evil as to require this treatment, but nevertheless police seem to get more brazen with every passing year. Just recently in Las Vegas I personally witnessed a police SWAT van, its running boards filled with ten or so body-armored, helmeted, heavily armed officers in black, cruise around a bad neighborhood. Were they responding to a dangerous situation in order to protect citizens? No, not at all, for theirs was simply an act of intimidation to keep locals in their place. I've also recently witnessed heavily armed cops in black uniforms, helmets and flak jackets, astride horses riding around a festival simply watching (and intimidating) everyone; the only things missing were black scarves covering their faces. Both of these events very eerily reminded me of what a tyrannical police state might look like: scores of armed government thugs just cruising around watching everything and everyone, occasionally barking harsh demands to see our "papers". [Postscript April 2012: It's come out that a while back the NYC Police used federal Homeland Security money to buy black leather paramilitary jackets for all of their officers; the department stated that the jackets will enhance the image of their authority in their quest to coerce citizens; talk about a nazi-like police presence!] Even the commercial names of some of the tools they use to break down the doors of citizens - Thor's Hammer, Thundersledge, and The Breacher - betray their arrogant attitude. And considering how eagerly police departments across the country have been purchasing machine guns, grenades, armored personnel carriers, attack helicopters and even tanks, I'm guessing they think it's pretty cool to control our lives. One rural county in Florida even has its own de facto air force of attack helicopters and planes (23, I believe) it got from the Department of Defense, and another smallish town counts more M-16 military machine guns in its police department arsenal than the town has stop lights! And in the subways of New York, well, police now patrol with MP-5 sub-machine guns at their side (courtesy of Homeland Security) - a sight that in the past was mockingly attributed only to third world countries. So, it would seem that militarized police have done their best to create an us versus them mentality in America. The reality is that SWAT raids and military equipment acquisitions are just an abusive show of power that serves and protects only the State. In time we will come to regret that we allowed either.

Another interesting and telling story is in what police actually did in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. Though the chaos of the flooding was one time when police might actually have helped citizens, many just ran away, shirking their sworn duty to serve and protect. And those that didn't flee assisted in going door to door doing the bidding of their government masters: collecting guns from peaceful citizens who were using them to protect their own lives, family and property when the police would not or could not. The one thing almost no police officer did was to confront the gangs and armed thugs who quickly came to rule the streets and even survivor help centers like the city stadium with impunity, looting and harming others at will. A few police even took a hand in the looting themselves. In the end, the actions of police in New Orleans were ethical and operational failures at all levels. Such a sad performance should give us all something to think about when we hear a brusque knock at the door in a time of crisis, for the pathetic police in New Orleans are no different than police in every other city and town in America. And these are the police swear to serve and protect us.

Though this article focuses on the 1 million or so local and state police, I'd be remiss if I didn't at least briefly mention the well over 100,000 federal "police" - government employees that routinely carry guns to enforce their will and various laws, both Constitutional and not. Though the 100,000 number seems large [update: 120,000 acording to a 2012 Department of Justice Report] and is rapidly increasing every year, realize it was pre-Transportation Safety Administration - you know, the rude, inefficient, incompetents that we all suffer at every airport in the land. In addition to the usual searches as we enter the airport, I've also seen them randomly descend en masse (12-15 agents) upon groups just as they were boarding a plane, thoroughly searching carry-on bags and at least half of the people; so much for making one's connecting flights. In any case, the total number of federal police must be beyond shocking. What do they do besides delay us at airports and harass us in national parks (where, by the way, "enforcement" rangers far outnumber "interpretive" rangers)? Believe it or not, such unlikely agencies as NASA, the EPA, the National Park Service, the BLM, the Fish and Wildlilfe Service, the Federal Emergency Management Administration, the Federal Reserve Bank, the Department of Agriculture, and the Small Business Administration each maintain their own militarized SWAT teams! Crazy, yes? Of course, Waco and Ruby Ridge are classic cases of the police state gone wild, and we all saw with our own eyes the wanton killing of essentially innocent people that went on at those places. And for each such extreme incident there are hundreds and perhaps thousands of other not so extreme examples that have not made the evening news, yet they are nevertheless serious police actions against essentially law abiding citizens. Publicized or not, judging from the way things are going, there is little doubt we will see ever more of these incidents of the State and its police versus free citizens.

Let's conclude by looking into the future. What do you think the police will do if and when the government or the economy gets out of control, that is, really out of control? Any student of history would confidently and correctly predict that government police will continue to serve the hand that feeds them. Yes, the police will demonstrate their lack of integrity by overwhelmingly becoming the public arms of a tyrannical government. If you or I step out of line - and using history as a guide, that could be by doing something very innocent and trivial, or even just speaking our minds - we will get to see the boots, batons and bullets of these government thugs "up close and personal", as they say. Imagine Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Communist China, or any of the dozens of other modern police states and you will know what to expect here, for "police" in all acted essentially the same. The former traffic cop will be roughing you up in a dark alley for information about friends of yours who the State finds "suspicious"; the former jail guard will be the torturer extracting false confessions; and the former SWAT team member will be breaking your door down in the middle of the night to take you away in hand-cuffs and a black hood because you said or read the wrong thing, or simply had the wrong friends. As in the past, patriots will be forced underground to defend precious liberty, and those pursuing them at every turn will be government police, the arms of the State. Simply stated, the police who simply prey on us now will be killing many of us in the future. Mark my words, this is the essence and nature of government power - particularly the police power - and WILL happen.

Now, considering all of the above, I would hope that everyone reading this realizes that we already live in a police state of sorts in that the police are almost always just a gang of roaming thugs whose main intent is to take our money and infringe our liberty under the color of law, not saviors who serve and protect us. Indeed, the old maxim of "absolute power corrupts absolutely" is borne out in nearly everything the police do. Of course, people who understand the nature of government know that the police power will always be abused frequently and mightily, and for that reason the police should ideally have only minimal power - and certainly far less than they are granted these days. As for myself, I would much rather keep my taxes and pay to have private security protect me from criminals - and from the police. My personal "police" would be more professional, more affordable, more accountable, and even legally responsible for incompetence or damages. That private security services are a viable alternative is proven by the fact that many individuals, businesses and gated communities already wisely choose to engage private security instead of foolishly depending on government police. Evidently, unlike government police, such firms really do protect and serve effectively, and our contract with them is voluntary. So, I would suggest that you go with your instinct here - you know, the feeling you get when you see a police car behind you. Do you feel safe and happy, or are you expecting to be harassed and impoverished by some government-empowered jackass on an ego trip? Myself, I'm tired of living in a Police Nation. Because of what they do, and what I expect them to do, I just don't like them very much. Nor should any patriot. Police are truly anathema to liberty.

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