December 4th, 2014
For Background see:
Wave of Protests After Grand Jury Doesn’t Indict Officer in Eric Garner Chokehold Case
(For those who don’t care to read all the qualifying verbiage included to support the proffered/suggested protest for this highly inflamed and sensitive subject, those readers can skip down to the bottom of this entry and start reading there.)
Let me first say that I support the Police Departments of our nation and recognize they often have a difficult job to perform. I also think excessive force used by law enforcement officials is an abomination of justice, as well. I further realize that accidents happen, especially if a party seems overzealous in their pursuits. Additionally, this blog entry is not intended to make light of the deceased in anyway either. This blog entry is not intended to disrespect the deceased nor to appear as opportunistic – as I am aware that many additional facets could be at-play in this matter. Many of the possible scenarios suggested below may not be any actual reflection on the actions of the deceased or the actions of the police for that matter either. However, all the potential hypotheticals below are utilized to make the point of this blog entry. I should also add that I have many a ‘liberal’ friend and many who may even be considered ‘ultra-liberal’ with their political leanings. So, I am not some ultra-conservative nor am I any ultra-right-wing intolerant type.
That all being said:
As for the choke-hold induced death of Eric Garner at the hands of the New York City Police officer, I have to ask as I have with other seemingly similar incidents in the past: what first brought the NYC police to bear down on Garner, let alone with such force? At least one of the answers appears to be that Mr. Garner was allegedly illegally-selling individual cigarettes. Could it have been the illegal sale of dreaded cigarettes that fueled such lethal zeal in the NYC police, compounded by the possibility that those cigarettes might have been untaxed by NYC?
I don’t know Garner’s personal situation or much of the specifics of his actions on that fatal day. But I am aware that very little has been told to the news-media viewing public as to why so many cops (five cops on-scene in video) seemed so overzealous to apprehend/attack Garner in this incident. Los Angeles Fox 11, KTTV, “Good Day LA” reported today – Dec 4th at 0900 – that this situation was in fact set in motion because Garner was selling untaxed cigarettes and the police were out to stop Garner’s selling of those untaxed cigarettes.
Can we ask, why was Mr. Garner allegedly illegally-selling individual cigarettes in the first place? I can only surmise as to his personal reasons. But, was there a market for the sale of single cigarettes at the Staten Island Ferry entrance? If so, why? With the average pack of cigarettes costing $13+ in NYC, would it not make for a temptation for one with potentially and comparatively little-to-lose to disregard the law and sell cigarettes for a dollar a piece or so – especially when one could buy cigarettes someplace like Virginia or North Carolina for $3 per pack (a pack contains 20 cigarettes) and then sell each cigarette for a dollar in NYC? With such a potential profit to be made, could anyone truly fault any possibly destitute other for the seemingly benign albeit illegal sale of individual cigarettes – especially given the latest Great Depression of the New Millennium?
Who is to blame for the illegal sale of any individual cigarettes, ultimately? The potentially destitute or unemployed individual making the sales? Maybe. Or is some amount of fault due to the outrageously high taxes on cigarettes in New York City (and NY State) and the politicians who levied and still support those cigarette taxes on the cigarette-smoking public? Who is to blame for the continued demand for these illegally sold individual cigarettes? Who voted for the politicians that continue to support the exorbitant $10+ tax per pack on cigarettes? And, for that matter, for which politicians did those who currently protest the death of Mr. Garner vote?
I ask all these questions because:
It seems odd to me that many of the public figures that appear to be most incensed by the death of Garner appear as the same individuals who likely continue to support the excessive taxes on any cigarettes sold in NYC. It also seems odd to me that many ‘liberals’ who support those taxes on NYC cigarettes also seem to support an all-out ban on the smoking of cigarettes anywhere and everywhere. (If one wonders how I can make such a statement, I would counter with the fact that it is doubtful one can point to any ‘conservative region’ of the nation that bans the smoking of cigarettes while on one’s own property; but I can point to many an intolerant ‘liberal region’ that does forbid the smoking of cigarettes in one’s own home and even bans smoking cigarettes anywhere in public for that matter too. Additionally, did not the ‘liberal’ Clinton presidential administration appear to try to make smoking cigarettes esentially illegal?) Of course, the widespread modern-day ban against smoking cigarettes seems similar to the ostracizing of lepers throughout history. Nevertheless, is not any ban against smoking cigarettes also a form of intrusion into the lives of otherwise law-abiding citizens and also potentially an attack on the constitutional rights of these individuals and how those folks pursue their happiness? (I will put aside supposed ‘second hand smoke’ issues from the matter for the point of this argument – an issue which likely amounts to significantly less carcinogens than what is contained in the average amount of vehicle exhaust spewed forth at any red traffic light in NYC.)
(Ok. Bear with me just a little bit longer, if you would. I'll soon be at my ultimate point and suggested protest.)
So could it not be that the attack on Garner was a show-case attack on those attempting to deprive NYC of its $10+ tax per pack of cigarettes? Could it not have been that the NYC police have been conditioned or trained to attack the illegal sales of cigarettes with overzealous and potentially brutal force? (This assuming, arguendo, that the cigarettes Garner was selling were not bought legally in NYC in the first place which they reportedly were not. And, if so either way, is Garner not entitled to resell his own property? Probably not, if not paying the NYC taxes due on the sales of it all, huh?)
Could it not also be that the attack on Garner was an attack on cigarette smokers in general? Such would be in keeping with the witch-hunt against smokers in NYC (and elsewhere in the nation) over the last decades or so. (See: NYC C.L.A.S.H. at http://www.nycclash.com/ .) Who has orchestrated this long-standing witch-hunt against smokers in NYC? I would proffer that this anti-smoking witch-hunt was brought about by the same tax-loving ultra-liberal intolerants that insist on telling others how to live their lives and do so with such zeal, arrogance, and intolerance that the inspiration of those liberals appears to border on extreme fascism the likes of which would warm the heart of the dead Italian fascist Bernardo Mussolini. (I would include ex-Mayor Bloomberg in this group of liberal intolerants for his part in enabling this current situation to come to bear as well, regardless of his actual political leanings one way or the other.)
I also must ask, is it merely coincidental that the power structure that exists in NYC and the nation allows the death of Garner to appear as yet another death by a cop who showed no restraint due to the race of the deceased and the different race of the cop as well, per chance? Is it not possible that such an appearance of racism is also maintained to hide the motivation of the attack on the sale of untaxed cigarettes? Is it not to the benefit of the leaders of the nation who might also appear as extremely liberal and quick to levy extreme tax burdens to hide the possible fact that this latest death and attack by the police was merely a show-case event to display what happens when anyone tries to buck the fascist and extreme taxes passed onto the people in the form of ‘sin taxes’ or whatever? (Mind you, I use the term “leader” loosely - given the apparent vacuum of leadership in our nation and NYC as well.) Of course, being a realist, I am not saying that race was not a factor to consider in what transpired with this matter either.
[SKIP READING TO HERE,FOR THOSE THAT DON’T CARE OF MY SUPPORTING RATIONALE]
So, anyway and at last, as for a proper protest of the choke-hold death of Mr. Garner that many freedom-lovers in the nation could support, I would suggest:
To protest the death of Garner who was allegedly ‘unlawfully’ selling individual cigarettes, an endeavor which was likely depriving the NYC powers-that-be of their cigarette taxes and tax monies, I would suggest that those who seek to protest this unnecessary death to bring to NYC illegal cigarettes by the truck-loads and sell those cigarettes (which would be untaxed by NYC) throughout the city, thereby depriving cigarette tax monies from NYC politicians who support the witch-hunt and excessive taxing of cigarettes. Remember, it could just have likely been these same politicians who enabled the culture that brought about the choke-hold death of Garner in the end because of his possible illegal selling of untaxed cigarettes, anyhow. Short of repealing the 11th Amendment to the US Fed. Constitution and similar state constitutional amendments which would make the governments liable for all their actions including liability for their discretionary actions as well, to hit these politicians in their tax-coffers seems the most appropriate form of protest relevant to the death of Garner, in my opinion. What’s more, I might even be willing to bring the protestors the truck-loads of untaxed cigarettes to sell in NYC and would encourage others to send/sell boxes of untaxed (or lesser taxed) cigarettes to NYC cigarette retailers/resellers for those cigarettes to be sold tax-free also. However, if I were to do so, I probably would only bring the cigarettes to the New Jersey side of the bridge or tunnel for pick-up; from there any protestors looking to protest in such a fashion likely would be on their own to take the untaxed cigarettes into the city. I don’t think I would risk my health to bring illegal/untaxed cigarettes across any river to sell in NYC! But then again….
Regardless, we are all too well aware of how our governments prefer to gather/squeeze their monies from the otherwise law-abiding citizens (in the form of taxes, fees, etc.). So the proper protest in this matter seemingly would be to deny the NYC government the cigarette taxes for which the NYC government potentially seems willing to kill to collect! What’s more, given the totality of the circumstances, a protest such as the smuggling and sale of untaxed cigarettes in NYC would likely make the nation’s Founding Fathers proud – such as the smuggler John Hancock, as but one example. Not only could such a protest as importing and selling untaxed cigarettes in New York City prove to be a worthy protest, such could make a lot of money for many in addition to saving a lot of money for the cigarette-smoking consumers in NYC. Moreover, such a political stance as is reflected in this suggested protest could prove to get many a libertarian and even conservatives elected in the seemingly ever-increasing fascist NYC as well – and I would be willing to spearhead that initiative for any freedom-loving and people-first type politician that cares to ask me to do so.