Who is the aggressor? Cop or criminal? Officer Lisa Mearkle vs. David Kassick

I wanted to take a few moments to comment on a police shooting which occurred in the town where I work.


Today, Hummelstown, PA police officer Lisa Mearkle was found not guilty of all charges against her for the February shooting of David Kassick.

I have worked in Hummelstown for about 8 years. I’ve seen Lisa many times over the years either driving by or eating in one of the many favorite lunch spots of the HPD. I never had any personal interaction with her but I knew which cop it was when small town buzz shocked me with the news that a female cop from the HPD had shot a man.

I have never meet or heard of David Kassick before the name became popularized by the circumstances of his death. I know nothing of his character or record. I do, however, feel very sad that he was killed. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

The video from Mearkle’s stun gun was released today. During the trial the judge ordered that it not be released. I just watched it for the first time.

The video is graphic. After being tased repeatedly, David Kassick, lying face down in the snow, was shot twice in the back by officer Mearkle. She was afraid he had a gun though by watching the video it is clear that he had given up as a result of the shocks. At one point he even spoke the words OK! OK! With his palms showing as she finished administering the non-lethal stuns.

Of course the video and the fact that the charges were dropped have a lot of people talking. Was she justified? Did she overreact? Was he reaching into his jacket? On an on it goes, back and forth ad nauseam.

The comments I’ve heard and read on the subject seem to be rather shallow and predictable. I have a very different outlook on issues such as this; views that I have not heard expressed at all regarding self-defense and use of force as it pertains to this particular incident.

I am a market anarchist, libertarian, and advocate of a statesless society. I believe in liberty. I understand the desire to be free of the restrictions and limitations placed on otherwise free individuals and how regulation, manmade laws, and enforcement of those laws are threats by one class towards persons of another.

It’s all simple in my mind but admittedly I’ve never done too well explaining or convincing others of my views. But I feel compelled, as the sun sets over the verdict of not guilty, to share a few thoughts.

Cops and politicians are people. People just like every other human on this planet. People have Rights. These rights are present as a result of the state of Nature, the laws of nature, or in other words Natural Law.

The Rights at play in this situation are property rights and the right to self defense. The right to self defense is simply an extension of property rights. Property rights are derived from the axiom that each person owns the self. In other words, we all own ourselves and as such, our self is our property. Any attempt by force or threat of force, to control someone other than oneself, is a violation of the property rights imbued in each individual by the very state of being human. This translates into the idea that no person has the Right to initiate harm on another person. The initiation of harm on another person is an act of aggression. Libertarians believe a principle known as the non aggression principle does a great job at discerning morality across the gamut of possible human action. NAP states that all aggression is illegitimate action. There is no justification for aggression – EVER!

Logically then, if all people have the right to live free of aggression, any person who violates that right is in the wrong and has acted immorally. Self defense then is simply the logical right to defend oneself against aggression.

No Rights are added to a group of people. A group is nothing more than a gathering of individuals. The rights afforded each individual by Natural Law are not added to magically when a group of people gets together. The reason being; A right cannot justly be granted to another that is not originally the right of the individual.

Consider this. If 10 people get together and decide that they want to endow 1 member of their group with the special right to kill and conquer people outside the group, there is no moral, ethical, foundation for doing so. The reason again is simple. A right cannot justly be granted to another that is not originally the right of the individual. Since no person in the group has the right to kill and conquer who they choose naturally, they cannot give that nonexistent right to another.

If you are with me so far I’ll make the leap into the present day situation.

Lisa Mearkle belongs to a group who works for another group. Well actually they are just one big group. Some people in the group were actually picked by people outside the group. Others outside the group wanted to pick different people to be in the group. Others still want to choose to put no one in the group. Nevertheless, the group is formed and they claim that they serve all people – even those not in the group. Hypothetically, they decided at some point in the past that everyone in a certain area has to buy a sticker and put it on their forehead (not really but go with it). Part of the group was tasked with coming up with the rule and another portion of the group was tasked with making sure that everyone complied.

Now of course some will rush out eagerly to comply because they believe in the authority of the group and that it’s moral and ethical for non compliant people to be coerced into cooperating. It’s people stuck in this mindset that argue whether or not the enforcers are just in the amount of force they employ to gain compliance. This small region of thought is where most or possibly all of the talking points surrounding Mearkle and Kassick reside.

As I see it, we have what amounts to aggression by one portion of society against the other. Yes, even people outside the group engage in aggression from time to time. And yes, it’s this fact that largely convinces people outside the group that the group is needed for their own safety. That’s another topic and I’m not going down that path here tonight.

The picture I’m trying to clarify here is that Mearkle is a human being. She poses no special authority or rights above and beyond those she may justly claim under the laws of nature. Consider her actions out of uniform. It may be easier to see the truth that way.

A person who believed it was her duty to uphold and enforce the rules made by the people who pay her salary, forced another person to the ground, electrocuted him, pointed a gun at him (a death threat) and ultimately delivered on that threat by burying 2 bullets into his back. For what? Because he didn’t have the right sticker. When pursued, he fled away from the source of the aggression, in self defense.

Mearkle initiated aggression. No person, regardless of the costume, has the Right to initiate aggression on another person. Kassick was justified to act in self defense since it was he who was being aggressed upon. He chose to flee. He would have been morally justified to stand and fight back as well – to subdue the illegitimate and immoral threat against his person for failure to comply with the arbitrary rules of individuals who are not morally equipped by nature to enact or enforce them.

Mearkle claimed she feared for her life and that fear justified her actions which she and others incorrectly classify as self defense. Kassick was not armed. He no doubt feared for his own life given that he was chased, tased and had a screaming person pointing a loaded weapon at him. Perhaps, if Mearkles act was justified due to her fear of losing her life, there is room to see how Kassick’s behavior in the video could be resulting from the same justified fear for his own.

RNC Cheated Paul at Republican National Convention: New Evidence

If I’ve learned one thing over the past year as I’ve watched the Republican nominating process unfold, it’s that our “choice” is an illusion. In light of the facts surrounding Mitt Romney’s nomination at the Republican National Convention, I’m left questioning everything I thought I knew about American Democracy.

The Facts

Updated: September 22, 2012

Six Delegations officially submitted forms to nominate Ron Paul at the Republican National Convention; Nevada, Minnesota, Maine, Iowa, Oregon, Alaska and the Virgin Islands[1]. The party rules at the time of the convention stated a candidate needed a plurality of delegates from at least five states to be nominated.

RULE NO. 40 Nominations
(b) Each candidate for nomination for President of the United States and Vice President of the United States shall demonstrate the support of a plurality of the delegates from each of five (5) or more states, severally, prior to the presentation of the name of that candidate for nomination. Republican Party Rules

Additionally, all paperwork  had to be filed with the convention secretary at least one hour prior to roll call.

“Wayne Terhune, chairman of the Nevada delegation, reported that his state joined at least four others in submitting to the secretary of the convention, Kim Reynolds, valid and timely documents nominating Ron Paul. Minnesota delegate Gary Heyer confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that his state joined Nevada, Minnesota, Iowa, Oregon, Alaska, and the Virgin Islands in submitting the forms to Reynolds.” The New American[5]

See also Wayne Terhune Press Release.

Until recently, it was delegates’ word against National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. But new video footage of the paperwork being submitted to Kim Reynolds has surfaced. The forms to nominate Ron Paul were given to the convention secretary (Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds)[2] on August 28th, during the speech of Rick Berg, Congressman from North Dakota. See video evidence below. You can hear Rick Berg speaking in the background. Corresponding footage of the convention on C-Span places the time of delivery at exactly 3:41 PM. That means the paperwork was in the convention secretary’s hands 1 hour and 24 minutes before the roll call which occurred at 5:05 PM the same afternoon.

From there the paperwork should have been presented to the Convention Nominating Committee. However, at some point the paperwork wound up in the hands of Ben Ginsberg, Chief Attorney for the Romney campaign)[3]. Either the paperwork never made it to the GOP Nominating Committee or the committee simply ignored them.

John Sununu, a member of the Republican National Committee, the Convention Nominating Committee and Bush II’s Chief of Staff, nominated Mitt Romney for president. Ron Paul was never nominated[4]. There was no official explanation as to why.

Rule Changes

There were changes to the party rules during the convention that stated that eight delegates were required to be nominated. Many believed these rule changes made Ron Paul ineligible since he only had six. There is only one problem with that theory. The new rules has no bearing on this years convention. Perhaps the GOP was content to let the misinformation persist as it handily took the focus off of them to provide any substantive explanation.

The misinformation seems to have stemmed from articles published by the New York Times and the Las Vegas Sun. Reason.com posted “The New York Times and the Las Vegas Sun Times mislead their readers on the exact cause and effect of the rule change and refusal to nominate Paul, since the rule change from five to eight, which did happen, is not meant to go into effect until the next national convention. While rule change and denial of nomination both occurred, they are not directly causally connected.”

So the question remains. Why was Ron Paul not nominated?

Reince Priebus, the Chairman of the Republican National Committee was asked to explain why Ron Paul was not nominated. In light of the evidence in the first video, one can watch this video knowing full well that he is lying through his teeth.

Is the picture starting to come clear for you now? Are you starting to see the lengths that the party elites went to the make sure that Ron Paul was not the nominee? Is this how you want your presidential candidate to be selected; brute force, lying, and cheating?

I know there are people who just don’t like Ron Paul. I’m fine with that. But I can’t imagine any American, knowing the facts of how Mitt Romney came to be the party’s nominee, could not be outraged at the Republican Party’s behavior. Even Michael Steele, former RNC Chairman said, “What the Republican National Committee did to Ron Paul was the height of rudeness and stupidity…This is crazy! … They are afraid of that which they cannot control.

1. New York Times: “Delegates from Nevada tried to nominate Mr. Paul from the floor, submitting petitions from their own state as well as Minnesota, Maine, Iowa, Oregon, Alaska and the Virgin Islands.”

2. Las Vegas Sun: “At the last moment, Paul supporters handed the petitions to the convention secretary.”

3. Slate: “I’ve got your guys trying to put Paul’s name into nomination,” he said, pointing at the papers. “Right here, buddy.” ~Ginsberg to Rand Paul’s Chief of Staff, Doug Stafford

4. Slate: There would be no nominating Ron Paul from the floor. John Sununu—who had just gotten the new rules pushed through the committee—nominated Mitt Romney for president. Nobody nominated Ron Paul.

5. The New American

Mind control

Me: I don’t need you convert you to be an anarchist. I just find it hard to imagine why it’s so hard for you to just admit you prefer freedom; that freedom is the preferable state; that freedom isn’t dangerous but spurs prosperity and ingenuity.

Reply: There is really no such thing as freedom because even if the government did not exist it would be some other group of people who would be stronger and have more weapons that would take control.

Belief & Disbelief & Burden of Proof. Oh My!

In this post I dive deeper into my thoughts about belief and disbelief. See how my conclusions reveal the atheist.org definition of Atheism to be self-contradicting nonsense.

If I were to propose to you that the sky looks blue, you could believe me, in which case your belief could be phrased in at least two ways.

1. I believe the proposition.
2. I do not disbelieve the proposition.

Saying I believe the proposition means you lack all disbelief.
Saying I do not disbelieve the proposition also means you lack all disbelief.

In either case, you are expressing the same belief. First by positively affirming your belief that the statement “the sky looks blue” is true and second by ruling out the possibility that you believe the statement to be false.

Disagreement could also be phrased in at least two ways.

1. I disbelieve the proposition.
2. I do not believe the proposition.

Saying I disbelieve the proposition means you lack all belief.
Saying I do not believe the proposition also means you lack all belief.

Again, either phrasing expresses the same belief. Two phrases; one meaning.

So we see that belief is a lack of all disbelief and disbelief is a lack of all belief in regards to a single proposition. We can say that belief and disbelief are opposite in meaning.

Every proposition that can be made is two propositions: it and it’s opposite.

The sky looks blue. The sky does not look blue.

Because the two propositions are opposite in meaning it is not logical to believe in both or to believe and disbelieve each. That would be an obvious contradiction. So it must be the case that believing the first requires disbelief in the second and believing the second requires disbelief in the first. Additionally, to disbelieve the first requires belief in the second and to disbelieve the second required belief in the first.

For this reason, it is not logical to reply to the proposition “the sky looks blue” by saying:

I disbelieve both that the sky looks blue and that the sky does not look blue.

because to do so is no different than saying:

I believe that the sky looks blue and that the the sky does not look blue.

The contradiction is quite obvious.

Now lets briefly consider the modern definition of Atheism according to Atheist.org (American Atheists)

They define Atheism as: not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.

Recall the conclusion above regarding disbelief.

Disbelief is a lack of belief.

So essentially the definition of Atheism can be equated to this:

Atheism is not a lack of belief (disbelief) in gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.

That is simply nonsense.

What if we drop of the first part and define Atheism as a lack of belief in God.

The proposition here is God exists.

The atheists is replying by saying:

I lack belief that God exists.

We know that to lack belief that God exists requires belief in the proposition that God does not exist.

So we can phrase the definition of Atheism in two ways.

1. Atheism is a lack of belief in the proposition that God exists (as they put it)

2. Atheism is a belief in the proposition that God does not exist. (rephrased but same meaning)

Either way we’ve remained logically consistent.

Let’s compare our definition again to the one that atheist.org presents.

Atheist.org: Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.

Remember I used the second part of their definition to derive my definition which states:

Atheism is a belief in the proposition that God does not exist.

So, so far as I can tell, Atheist.org’s definition is self contradicting. It amounts to nonsense through and through.

There is not escaping the postulation of a belief by asserting a lack of belief. Anyway you cut it, the atheist belief is clear. Atheism is a belief in the proposition that God does not exist. As such the burden of proof is as much a part of atheistic belief as it is deistic beliefs. You say God does not exist. I say…Prove it.

The Homosexual’s Delusion of Freedom

Human beings who choose to engage in homosexual acts cheer today as they are finally FREE to reap the 1,138 benefits, rights and protections provided on the basis of marital status in Federal law.

Long denied by the all mighty human beings who together we refer to as Government, the homosexual is no longer oppressed and treated unfairly by the all mighty, all knowing ruling elite. Free at last!

Yes the same force who once assumed the moral authority to define marriage and bestow favor on the few for compliance with it’s edict, now retreat from the posture of aggression and rescind their threat of aggression for any and all who dare disobey by claiming the right to file joint income tax returns or visit a sick loved one in the hospital.

While homosexuals were pandering to their masters for equal treatment (which they deserve) I have been asserting the notion that these people in government have no special power, no Rights above and beyond that of any man, to decide what marriage is and who can and cannot participate in it.

I say, as a married person, I don’t want your special treatment. I don’t want your so-called perks. You Mr. Senator; You Mr. President; You Mr. Judge do not have a single iota of moral authority to define marriage for me and hand out favors which flow from the endless theft of the productive portion of society under the supposed right to tax. You are not deity. I don’t worship you’re religion of Government.

These people who cheer today believe equality, freedom and rights flow down from government. I understand government to be force. I’ve encouraged both the Christian and Atheist, the Homosexual and Straight, men and women of all backgrounds and religions to take back what is Rightfully ours and stop running to a pretend authority called Government to grant them a wish.

As long as we look to the human beings who rule us for approval, they assume the power to answer by way of laws. Every man-made law is a threat. A threat that if you do not comply will bring you face to face with the barrel of a gun.

Homosexuals, you think you’re free to marry now. What you don’t realize. What no one seems to realize is that you’ve always been free to live and be and declare whatever you want outside of the shackles which accompany the delusion of supreme authority in government.

Christians who honor these men and women of government as deity, don’t cry to me. You sacrificed your Right to be free to live according to you’re definition of marriage when you applauded DOMA. Couldn’t you see that you gave the authority to define marriage away to mere men. For what? To soak up the tax breaks. To enjoy financial benefits? The pendulum of Government’s force has shifted away from you and now that power you once admired is a knife to your throat.

It’s time to stand for Liberty and turn the other cheek rather than co-opting the force of men in government to force others to comply to you own moral code. Only when individual Liberty is maximized and Government control is minimized or abolished can you enjoy the Freedom bestowed on you by God.

All those out there who think they’re more free today than before because SCOTUS ruled that you too should be eligible for the grace of the master’s in DC. Enjoy it now. It is always short lived. So long as you worship the God of Government and give away your Natural Rights to other HUMAN BEINGS, you will, I promise you, be the target of government force at some point again in the future because rather than choose to take back the authority to get married your way, you  sacrificed it for government’s perks.

Does knowing nothing make you Right?

No matter what you’ve heard, atheism is a belief; a belief that God does not exist.

Atheist – Etymology: 1570s, from French athéiste (16c.), from Greek atheos “without god, denying the gods; abandoned of the gods; godless, ungodly,” from a- “without” + theos “a god”

Of course the problem with beliefs is that they make assertions and assertions can be questioned. Then you have to explain, and provide evidence, and logic… What a hassle, right? Agnosticism, on the other hand is the lack of belief so it’s nearly impossible to debate against because the other side has nothing to defend, nothing to say, and nothing to prove.

Note: this is not to say that Agnosticism is a superior logical position. It is not. It is untenable and utterly useless as a world view. That’s another topic all-together.

At some point atheists started using the agnostic position of doubting the existence of God to further their own agenda – to get more people self identifying with Atheism. People know that Atheism is a disbelief in God. If the atheists can project the impression of winning the argument, people will call themselves atheists and deny God’s existence in droves.

Under the cover of agnosticism they can say that they don’t believe in God without actually saying it. They say they lack belief that God exists but they don’t deny God exists. Clever, Huh? It sounds like they don’t believe that God exists. Maybe they do believe that, That’s not the point. The point is they’re not backing it up. They’ve weaseled their way out of the need to provide support for the belief by denying they have a belief at all. It’s intellectually dishonest and lots of people just are not aware.

All people see and hear is how deist fail time and time again to prove that God does exist. The deist is on the offensive and the atheist position looks bullet proof. It looks convincing. It seems like doubting God is the wise choice.

This no doubt has contributed to what I perceive to be an increase in the number of individuals who self identify as atheists – stating openly that they don’t believe in God – thinking the battle has been won; believing the atheists to be more logical, more scientific and superior debaters.

I want to be one of the “wise” people. I want to feel superior and intellectual. I’m going to be and atheist. That small doubt in God’s existence becomes bold statement of supposed sophisticated philosophical evidence that that God is a myth.

Of course they’d be surprised to find out that the champions of atheism define atheism explicitly as “not having a disbelief in gods or denial of gods”. That’s right. You heard me. According to their own definition if an atheist states affirmatively that they don’t believe God exists, they fail to meet the criteria for atheism. But they are expressing atheism’s beliefs. They are denying God because they don’t know the game and they aren’t paying attention.

Let’s examine the claim that atheism is a lack of both belief and disbelief in God and see where it leads.

Consider any proposition; any statement that can be made. Pumpkin Pie is delicious. You can 1. Believe it to be true. (Lack disbelief) 2. Believe it to be false. (Lack belief) 3. Claim ignorance. (Lack belief and disbelief)

Hmm? Claiming to lack both belief and disbelief in an assertion is nothing more than claiming ignorance. And you denied God because you thought someone was winning an argument about God’s existence when all they were doing was claiming to know nothing.