For those of us who love liberty and freedom, who believe that each person owns himself, who hold the idea that a person can do whatever he wishes with his life and property as long as he does not infringe on the rights of another person or his property, we find ourselves beset on all sides by a State that is oppressive of our rights and the most violent and consistent aggressor against life and property.

The State, media, and government run schools are all working to teach our children a near blind obedience to government and its agents.

In an effort to combat all the State propaganda and ensure my children receive a more enlightened education, I began recording short podcast type lessons for them. The lessons are all designed to be about 5 minutes long and to teach the ideas of liberty in a language they can understand.

I'm posting these lessons online so that others who might find them useful can share them with their own children.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The greatest crime against the State is disobedience.

Garner State Park is one of the more popular outdoor areas in Texas. The Frio River, with clear, cool water, and a limestone riverbed, runs though the length of the park. The river offers family friendly tubing, and a short dam near where the river exits the park offers a large area for swimming with calm water about 3-4 feet deep. There is a wildly popular nightly country dance that is attended by scores of families in an open pavilion beneath old oak trees. The park is popular among hikers, with several miles of challenging hike up craggy hills.

It was after completing a two hour hike around one of these hills that my family experienced the most unforgettable part of our trip. As we drove from the parking area back to our campsite, I inadvertently drove the wrong way down a one way street. The parking lot we used was about half way down this street, and when I left the lot, I had forgotten that it was a one way road.

Now I'm typically a safe person. I work in an industry where accidents can cause major injuries or even be fatal, and can cause damage to equipment than can cost tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair. We are constantly being trained and retrained about working and living safely. All this safety training has overlapped into my home life and driving habits. 

I also tend to follow most traffic regulations for several other reasons. I have no desire to finance the government any more than I already do involuntarily through taxes, permit fees, and licensing requirements, by giving them a reason to issue me a traffic citation.  Because I film police performing traffic stops and arrests in my area, and because I often hold a sign warning drivers of police manning a speed trap near my home, I'm aware that the police know my face and vehicle and I assume that they watch me more closely to find me breaking one of their traffic rules. 

I haven't been pulled over in probably 10 years. So I was at first surprised when the police truck headed towards me flashed his lights at me, swerved in front of me, and motioned for me to roll down my window. But then it flashed through my head that I was in a one way street, headed the wrong way, and he probably just wanted to give me a heads up. This is pretty much what he did, except he added instructions for me to turn around and head the correct way. This surprised me because I was about 40 feet away from the two way road, and there was no other traffic. So I was technically breaking a rule designed for safety, but I wasn't actually being unsafe. If I were, I would have understood the instructions to turn around and I would have complied.

Now I understand the reason this road is designated for one way traffic.  It is about 3/4 as wide as a normal two lane road with, has no shoulder, and there are campsites packed along this road where families with young children camp.  It can be a busy place since it is in the most popular area of the park.  It might have made sense for me to turn around, even though I was so close to the beginning of two way traffic, if the area had been busy at the time.  But it was a Tuesday morning with no traffic and many empty camping sites.  And the first opportunity that I had to make a u-turn was actually about 15 feet from from the multilane road.  So as an adult who can determine what is safe and what is not and who can reason out what is sensible, I decided to ignore his instruction to turn around, drove the remaining distance to the terminus of one way traffic, and immediately pulled into the camp store parking lot to buy some ice.

I was in the store for several minutes, plenty of time for the cop to approach me and scold me if he choose to.  But he choose instead to follow me for a mile after leaving the store before pulling me over.  I suspect that he wished to avoid having a crowd of people see him reprimanding or citing a park guest.  Instead, he waited until I left the parking lot, then trailed about 10-15 feet behind me up and down steep roads until we reached a secluded spot before signaling with his lights for me to pull over.

Ostensibly,  the entire reason for this stop was because I created an unsafe condition by driving opposite the flow of traffic on an empty road.  But consider this:  the police officer swerved his truck into my path to originally get my attention, tailgated me as we drove steep roads with blind curves, and parked his truck in the flow of traffic as I pulled off the side of the road.  So this servant of public safety responded to my apparent breach of safe driving by putting me and other park guest in jeopardy three times.

Luckily, I have prepared my family for police encounters.  I have talked with my wife and daughters countless times about what their rights are when interacting with the State's law enforcement agents are, how to safely interact with them while exercising their rights,  and to always film any interactions they or their friends have with police.  So all it took was a simple reminder and we had 4 iPhones recording as the officer interacted with me.  The video tells the rest of the story. (Unfortunately none of the video was of the quality I would like, so I have posted the significant portion to Youtube.  Our family has reviewed the video and using this as a learning experience.)

I'll take the officer at his word that he usually writes a ticket.  But I don't believe his explanation as to why he didn't in this case.  He claims it's because I'm with my family.  But so are about 85% of the guests of the park.  So if he let people off when they are with their family, my guess is that he would almost never write tickets.

So why didn't he write a citation this time?  I suspect, but obviously can't prove, that it is because he saw 4 cameras recording him, and he choose not to take the chance of becoming a Youtube star for being a jerk at a park that is trying to attract families to visit.  This is not the outcome I expected.  When I chose not to roll my window down fully, control my voice so that I didn't sound like the sycophant I am sure he is normally used to dealing with, and to film him, I fully expected that I would be receiving a citation if for no other reason than to teach me some respect for law enforcement officers.  But, I was willing to pay the $150 for the opportunity to show that it is not only poor, young black people who are fed up with their gestapo tactics and violence, but also middle class, middle aged, white men too.

"Ordinarily I'd write you a ticket for not doing what I instructed you to do."  This statement by the officer is the most interesting of the entire experience.  He was considering issuing me a ticket not because I was unsafe or had harmed anyone or damaged any property, but because I had disobeyed him.  It is telling that an officer of the State views disobedience as a more dangerous crime than endangering public safety.

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