The Veal Pen

The Veal Pen… aka What Clover Believes

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A reader submitted the following in response to an article I wrote deriding “for profit” law enforcement: clover lead

“Clover (for newbies, the term is inside baseball; it refers to a persistent troll who is also an authoritarian control freak … in other words, the the typical American today) could likely come up with the idea that his safety is ‘protected’ by these ticket pitchers.”

Yes, indeed. This is exactly Clover’s argument, though he articulates it much less coherently.

Clover regards hypotheticals as actuals. He uses generalities to justify absolutes applied to individuals, irrespective of specific facts in a given situation. And absent any evidence of harm caused.

Thus – as an example – it is justified (in Clover’s mind) to treat every single driver who happens to be traveling down a given road as a presumptive “drunk driver” – because one of them might be a drunk driver.

As Clover sees it, his putative “safety” justifies pre-emptive aggressive violence against any and every potential “threat” – no matter how generalized, no matter how abstract and non-specific. Even if Clover is never actually harmed.

The asserted possibility that he might be harmed is sufficient.

This is the core of his position – and the basis of the American matrix today.

It is the reason for random checkpoints – on the road and elsewhere (soon, everywhere).

It is the reason for random – and blanket/universal – filching (and caching) of our private correspondence, electronically and otherwise.clover lead

It is the reason for the seizure of “excessive” cash discovered in our possession.

“Someone” might be a “drug dealer.”

Or, a terrorist.

Therefore, everyone must be presumed a terrorist … until otherwise demonstrated.

It is why Americans have accepted – even cheered – the government’s brazen admission that its agents torture people – including people not known to have done anything (but who might have or could have).

Can’t be “too safe”…

It is why Americans now accept – welcome – being “locked down” in their own homes and places of business and being frog-marched out of them, hands up and rifles pointed at their chests.

Whatever’s necessary to catch an offender. Even if it means treating everyone as an offender.veal pen

Since hypotheticals will always exist, there will never be an end to these tyrannies – which (to Clover and his kind) are not tyrannies at all because they make him feel “safe” … in the same way that a veal calf is “safe” in his pen.

The Libertarian position, of course, is the opposite of Clover’s: Each individual is entitled by right to be left in peace, free to make decisions for himself, and to be held accountable as an individual.

If he causes a harm, then he – and he alone – is accountable. His actions may not be used as the basis for holding others accountable.

Thus, if Jones loses control of his car (whether he’s sober or drunk being immaterial, the relevant fact being he lost control of his car) and causes damage to someone else’s car, Jones is responsible. Hold him accountable. Fully and completely. No leavening of the costs onto “society” – that is, onto the backs of other people who had nothing to do with it.

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