Category Archive 'Law Enforcement'

16 Nov 2013

” I Have Seen the Future, and It Is Idiocy”

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Theodore Dalrymple reflects, in Taki’s magazine, on the modern state’s law enforcement priorities and their deeper meaning.

A couple of American filmmakers came to Paris to interview me—it always surprises me that anybody would take so much trouble to interview anybody, let alone me—and decided that the little park opposite my flat, with a pretty little bandstand, would be a good place to do so. They set up the camera, but a few seconds later, before they could ask me a single question, a municipal policeman arrived. They were not allowed to film here without a permit from the mairie of the arrondissement, he said. I explained that these were Americans, come all the way from Texas expressly to interview me. He, a very pleasant and polite man of African origin, phoned his chief to see whether an exception could be made. As I suspected, it could not.

I told the film crew that we should make no fuss; the man was only doing his job, silly as that job might be. As it happens there were several drunks in another part of the park making aggressive-sounding noises and breaking bottles, but them he did not approach, perhaps wisely, as they were several and he was only one. He thought he would have more luck with someone wearing a tweed jacket and corduroy trousers as I was. We found a café willing to accommodate us.

The contrast between the authorities’ alacrity on one hand in preventing innocent filming for a matter of a few minutes (the policeman said authorization was necessary because it might cause a disturbance, and, being kind, I refrained from laughing), and on the other their slow response to a nasty incident that might have ended in murder, was emblematic of the modern state’s capacity to get everything exactly the wrong way around, to ascribe importance to trivia and to ignore the important. There are, of course, many more employment opportunities in trivia, since there is much more that is trivial in the world than is important.

France is not unique in this respect, or even the worst example I know. In London I once parked outside a hotel where I proposed to stay. Parking was forbidden outside, but I stopped only to take my baggage inside. I received a parking ticket within sixty seconds, a miracle of efficiency (I genuinely admired it in a way), though it was perfectly obvious from my car’s open doors that I did not propose to stay long and was only taking my luggage into the hotel. But on another occasion when my wife telephoned the police to inform them that youths were committing arson in our front garden before her very eyes, they had no time to attend to it. A more senior officer, however, did find the time a quarter of an hour later to complain to my wife that she had wasted police time by complaining in the first place.

It often seems, then, as if modern state authorities live in a looking-glass world: What normal people regard as important is for them of no importance, while what they regard as of supreme importance normal people regard as of no importance. For them the respectable are suspect and the suspect respectable. A tweed jacket is a sign of menace, while a broken bottle is a sign of harmless intent.

One must not exaggerate the degree to which official idiocy impinges on our lives. The exaggeration of misery is one of the royal roads to political disaster. Still, I have seen the future, and it is idiocy.

Read the whole thing.

Hat tip to Bird Dog.

28 Apr 2010

Pima County Sheriff Won’t Enforce Immigration Law

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Pima County


ABC15
:

An Arizona sheriff is the latest person to speak out about the state’s new immigration legislation, saying he does not plan to enforce the divisive law.

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik calls Senate Bill 1070 a “stupid law” that will force officers to start profiling. He is one of the first local law enforcement officials to rebel against the law.

“We don’t need to enforce it. It would be irresponsible in my opinion to put people in the Pima County Jail at the taxpayers expense when i can give them to the Border Patrol,” Dupnik said.

The Sheriff admits he could get sued for failing to obey the law, but says that’s a risk he’s willing to take.

The controversial bill was signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer last Friday.

Sheriff Dupnik’s stance is undoubtedly good politics in Tucson, the home of the state university and Arizona’s most prominent liberal community of fashion, but he is making a point that persons familiar with law enforcement already know.

Illegal immigration is just another victimless crime, a violation of arbitrary current regulations not an intrinsically evil act. Police always have real crimes involving genuine evil and victims who have sustained injury to deal with, and crimes with victims always have priority over victimless crimes. Only a cop with time on his hands and nothing useful to do is going to stop people looking for green cards.

In border locations like Pima County, a casual trans-border culture has existed since the time of the Gadsden Purchase. People cross the border casually all the time to visit relatives, to shop, or for recreational activities. Attempting to investigate everyone guilty of looking Hispanic in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood would be insanity.


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