8-29-15 Hodgepodge

Saturday, August 29, 2015


From an article about a woman who, after six years, finally beat the tickets she received from a ridiculous traffic stop, comes a possibly useful term:

The case shows how easily a traffic stop can lead to someone being jailed -- a scenario that turned tragic one state west, with Sandra Bland in Texas. The case also exemplifies a suspicion that, at times, law enforcement's motive is profit. Mother Jones, in a recent article titled "Police Shootings Won't Stop Unless We Also Stop Shaking Down Black People," suggested a term for this: "policiteering." [minor format edits]
The term is more generally applicable than to stops of blacks, and it is a symptom of a more general need to reform government at the local level. As I once said, "[T]he use of the police as tax collectors is improper." Not only do I oppose taxation, I also oppose government ownership of roads. That said, until we can get the government out of road ownership, we should at least work to make such things as speed limits reasonable. St. Louis, where I live, seems especially ridiculous in this respect, with major thoroughfares often sporting 30 mile-per-hour limits. (That said, following the link in the excerpt will reveal other sources of loot than traffic stops.)

Weekend Reading

"Leaches never cured a fever, and zero interest is not curing the global financial crisis." -- Keith Weiner, in "Move Over Entrepreneurs, Make Way for Speculation!" at SNB & CHF

"Elderly people who thrive with a positive point of view are the most interesting and admirable psychological entrepreneurs." -- Michael Hurd, in "Think Young, Age Gracefully!" at The Delaware Wave

"It's sort of ironic: If you ultimately don't gain enough from the person to enjoy a sustained friendship with them, then this calls into question how sustained a romantic relationship might have been." -- Michael Hurd, in "When Romance Isn't a Two-Way Street" at The Delaware Coast Press

My Two Cents

Michael Hurd elaborates further on his term "psychological entrepreneurism" in the first of his two pieces.

Word to The Wise on Silent Phone Calls

I've mentioned our land line before -- which we have mainly due to my wife's professional obligations: Due to the high volume of robo-calls, I unplug it when my children are napping -- and I keep an eye out for nuggets like this:
Here's an experience some of us have had. The phone rings. You pick it up and say "Hello. Hello. Helloooo." But nobody answers.

It turns out there could be someone on the other end of the line: an automated computer system that's calling your number -- and tens of thousands of others -- to build a list of humans to target for theft.
It doesn't stop there. Other calls build on the information so obtained to ultimately enable an identity theft attempt. Read the whole thing.

-- CAV


Anonymous said...

Hi Gus,

Along the same lines, Scott Bullock co-authored a paper back in 2010 that was titled, "Policing for Profit".


It was in reference to the police abuses of asset forfeiture - although one wonders if asset forfeiture under any circumstances except restitution AFTER a civil or criminal trial can be anything but abusive of individual rights - but has since expanded to include traffic tickets, arbitrary arrests, and their remunerative sequelae, including rent-seeking parasites in the rehab, parole, arrest-monitoring, and bail-bonds arenas.

If the police officers faced the eventuality of punishment and restitution in their own persons - NOT at taxpayer expense - then we might make some progress in this area. But this will not happen unless the whole notion of court-constructed immunity for actors in the 'justice system' is destroyed. And I include judges and prosecutors along with police officers in that necessity.

c andrew

Gus Van Horn said...


Thanks for pointing that out. I'd heard of that problem ages ago, but so long ago that I though it had been addressed or perhaps wasn't that serious. I'm glad to see that it's on the web.