Pardon if this is a bit lengthy; important to see the distortion/lack of willingness to understand what your political colleagues MEAN:
OFF [Oregon Firearm Federation} listed this post today:
Democrats in the Oregon Legislature are demanding an apology from Republican Senator Dennis Linthicum. What was Linthicum’s transgression?
Dennis issued a statement pointing out that exorbitant taxes on cigarettes in New York contributed to the death of a man on Staten Island who was selling individual cigarettes.
The man, Eric Garner, died while being arrested for selling the cigarettes to people who presumably could not afford to buy whole packs because of New York’s high taxes.
In his original statement, Linthicum said : “Eric Garner’s death shows us exactly how disproportionate and abusive state power can become.”
Linthicum’s statement was clearly a commentary on the unintended, but very real consequences of out of control government actions.
So what was the problem? Well, the man who died while being arrested was black. And so, in the predictable and twisted minds of Oregon’s Democrats, Linthicum’s statement had to be…you guessed it, “racist.”
Never mind that Senator Linthicum was bemoaning Garner’s death and its needlessness.
Democrats, as is so often the case, ignored Linthicum’s obvious points in an attempt to smear him.
Linthicum responded with a follow up release in which he said:
“The attempt to shut down an honest conversation about the disastrous impacts of flawed public policy and abusive power of the state is doing a disservice to Oregonians, especially for the people who are disproportionately harmed by the nexus between the two. I am welcoming a rational conversation about tax policy, and the tragedies like Eric Garner’s needless death because we need to fix a broken system in our state that is hurting underprivileged communities.”
But “rational conversations” no longer have a place in Salem.
Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick immediately issued a news release saying:
“Earlier this week Senator Dennis Linthicum released a statement that outrageously connects the tragic death of a man of color in New York with the existence of a high cigarette tax. When he was called on his callous behavior, Senator Linthicum doubled down, arguing in a second release that his comments should lead to a ‘rational conversation.’ His statements are reprehensible and an insult to all Oregonians, who deserve better from their elected leaders. Senator Linthicum must apologize now.”
House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson wrote :
“The invocation of Eric Garner’s tragic death for a press release on taxes is completely abhorrent. Unequivocally, Eric Garner did not die because tobacco taxes are too high in New York. He died because law enforcement officials engaged in an act of brutality against a black man and then watched him die on a sidewalk as a direct result of their actions… This press release is a low point. I think Sen. Linthicum owes everyone an apology and explanation.”
Senator Linthicum is one of the most thoughtful and honest people ever to serve in the Oregon Legislature, so it is no surprise that the Democrats would seize on any opportunity to silence him. That is to be expected.
What is a surprise, and a disappointment, was how quickly “Republican” leaders jumped on the bandwagon.
As soon as Burdick’s mindless attack was made available, a “joint statement” was issued by Senate Minority Leader Herman Baertschiger, Jr. and Senator Jackie Winters.
Was it a defense of their colleague and fellow Republican? Was it a request that members of the legislature engage in a thoughtful exchange of ideas?
No. Baertschiger and Winters doubled down on Linthicum and joined in the baseless and politically motivated bashing. Their press release said :
“Senator Linthicum’s recent rhetoric has no place in Oregon politics, and does not reflect the opinions or beliefs of the Oregon Senate Republicans. Using the death of a human being to make a policy statement is offensive and serves no purpose. We are deeply saddened by the death of Mr. Garner, and would like to apologize for any additional pain or suffering this may have caused.”
Republicans in the Oregon House chimed in too.
“We are prepared, because it’s horrific,” said Greg Stiles, a spokesman for the House Republican Office. No purpose is served in relating a cigarette tax request to the tragic death of a man of color,” their official statement reads. “At best, the remarks are unsavory and offensive. Such a comparison is indefensible and has no place in Oregon political discourse.”
(It’s interesting to note that even the deceased man’s widow believed that his death had nothing to do with his race.)
At at time when the Republicans are struggling to have any relevance, when the Democrats have total control over committees and process and are cutting Republicans out of any chance to represent the people who elected them, when they are steam rolling policies that will send this state further into a downward spiral, when they have announced their plans to make the lives of gun owners a legal hell, the Republican “Leadership” is crucifying one of the most committed, pro gun members of their party......
"Nothing like a Battleship appearing in the horizon to spur diplomacy"
COTEP # 362
I was under the impression that the man died as a result of the force the police had to use to overcome his resistance to being arrested. How is arresting someone for violating the laws passed by the people who hired the police to do just that “abusive state power”?
Yes, the offense was trivial, but we don’t want the police to have the discretion to decide which laws they will enforce. If the law shouldn’t be enforced, it shouldn’t be a law in the first place. When the police are given that discretion it soon goes from not enforcing trivial or even stupid laws to not enforcing laws for other reasons such as if the offender is another police officer or the son of the mayor or the color of his skin or her sex.
If the voters of New York don’t like the tax on cigarettes, they can change that whenever they want. If the guy who originally made the statement just wanted to bitch about high taxes, then why not just say that? It seems to me that none of the parties to all that bruhaha understand what they’re talking about.
“I can’t give you brains, but I can give you a diploma.”
— The Wizard of Oz
|safe & sound|
I'd say that "abusive state power" has everything to do with having so many laws you can't live a single day without unknowingly violating them.
I get what the man was saying. More government equals more oppression. And in the specific case he cites I'm on the record here for already blaming the deceased. He wanted to resist, which led to the extra force, which ultimate led to his death. But as the Senator rightfully pointed out, has all of those crazy rules and regulations not been in place, that incident wouldn't have occurred. At least not at that place, at that time, and over that issue.
His point may have been that we shouldn’t have high taxes (that pay for all the things people want and expect these days), but what he said was, “Eric Garner’s death shows us exactly how disproportionate and abusive state power can become.” It’s a far stretch to blame his death on the ability of the state to tax what it wants, but that’s exactly what he’s doing. Mr. Garner could avoided dying by 1. not breaking the law, 2. by not resisting the police attempt to enforce the law as they are paid and expected to do, and 3. (probably) by not being in such poor health that his resistance led to his death.
If we’re looking for scapegoats to blame rather than the man’s own actions, why not blame the cigarette manufacturers for producing the cigarettes that were taxed that forced a poor man to sell them on the street that forced the police to arrest him that forced the poor man to resist all in the house that Jack built?
I agree that the positions and comments by the Democrats and other Republicans are just as stupid, if not more so, but sometimes a stupid seed bears stupid fruit.
“I can’t give you brains, but I can give you a diploma.”
— The Wizard of Oz
|Lawyers, Guns |
I agree with what Linthicum says and I think it is brave of him to standup and say so.
There is nothing "racist" about it.
Yes, I understand the duty of the police is to enforce the law, not to make the law.
Yes, a1abdj is right about that.
The "proximate cause" of this man's death was his violation of law and his resistance of arrest, probably compounded by his overweight condition. Be that as it may, it is also true that when laws become too overbearing, too burdensome, too ridiculous they will simply be ignored by a substantial number of people which leads to widespread disrespect of authority and a weakening of civil society.
Before the revolution, our patriots were lawbreakers in a similar fashion:
"Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible."
-- Justice Janice Rogers Brown
"The United States government is the largest criminal enterprise on earth."
|Laugh or Die|
Not only do I not agree with that, but that is not what I was taught in police academy(before I went active duty in the army). We specifically went over officer discretion and laws that you had no choice but to enforce.
Why wouldn't we want police to use discretion? Especially when they're able to recognize an "offense" to be something trivial or not against the "spirit" of the law.
"...a nine millimeter only kills your body. The .45... that kills your soul."
Jester814 on YouTube
One of the wisest things I heard in an academy: "Exercise the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law".
I hear you both. I think we want police to have some discretion (That guy has a brake light out, but I’m going ignore that to focus on more important things going on right now), but certainly not the kind of discretion that a previous pResident exercised (not going to enforce any MJ laws). I’m not going to argue for the laws, but the fix for broken laws is to change them, not ignore them.
|Powered by Social Strata|