Archive for May, 2014

Outrageous police brutality? Police behavior will improve if even a small % of damages must be paid from police pensions.

May 28th, 2014 2 comments

A few thoughts, that I have posted on Twitter (and Facebook):

May 28 at 2:38pm

The best way to get cops to self-police their “bad apples” (and retired cops to help) is to make local pension pools contribute 10% or more of every damage award or settlement. Then personal skin in the game will incentivize them to rein in the damage done by “rogue” cops.

More on the idea here, if you don’t mind following a link or two:


Police,inclg retired cops,will police themselves when their pensions are hostage to misbehavior.10% contribution @DavidCorreiaABG


How to police the cops?


How to police the cops? @DavidCorreiaUNM


Vigilantes With A Badge: The War Against The American People Headcams and make their pensions liable.


If cops had to wear cams+their pension funds were on the hook for part of damage awards/settlements, then cops old+new wd police each other.


When will cops finally police their own ‘bad apples’? When cops’ PENSION pools are used to contribute to paying damage claims.


Must make cops interested in policing their own ‘bad apples’ — We must insist tht police pension plans pay 10% of all damage claims awarded


Best way to police the police is to require pensions be used to defray % of damage awards resulting from misbehavior.


Outrageous police brutality? Police behavior will improve if even a small % of damages are paid from police pensions.

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What are the “commons”? Are they un-ruly, without central formal management?

May 14th, 2014 No comments

[cross-posted from #CCC, the Collaborative Center Community group on Facebook]

What are the “commons”? Are they un-ruly, without central formal management? (Is #CCC similarly unruly, and require top-down management?)

Below is a comment I posted in the #WBOS group, spurred by various comments by others (I’ve tagged those who are also members here):

CB: “To me, any such claim [to property rights] is only valid because of its direct dependency on [an individual’s] rights over their own life.”

“This is actually one of the key libertarian points that I am still struggling to fully grasp. I have asked a number of people about this and gotten (what feel to me, at least, like) a number of different answers. Specifically, could you go over the reasoning that connects a person’s right to life (and/or control over that life) to the ownership of property?”

TG: “The only problem I have with private ownership is that it can, and currently IS, conflicting with the issue of the commons. If we can somehow ramp down on the me me me and exclusivity issues of private ownership, it will be less of a challenge to the notion of the public trust or good.”

NB: “Most of the commons is held as public land, not private. The worst cases of abuse are occurring on public land (and sea).”

JH: “The problem with the commons is that, supposedly owned by all of us, not all of us can be there to make each decision, so we have to delegate to an agent – that agent of “The People”. The agent starts making decisions based on what he says is the general interest, but there’s an interesting correlation between what the agent represents as the public interest and what lines his own pockets.”

Allow me a few quick thoughts.

– There is much that “New Institutional Economics”, “Public Choice” economics and “Austrian” economics researchers and thinkers bring to the perception and understanding of our “commons.” See especially Nobel Prize-winning Elinor Ostrom and her husband Vincent and their enormously influential and collaborative research and thinking.

– Our commons are not “simply” the pervasive commons which are our physical environment and the ubiquitous, deep and extensive informal/formal institutions/practices/norms in which we all swim and that undergird all of our interactions. Our languages themselves are commons (which grammar Nazis provide a crucial and selfless function in protecting :P); so too are much of what I consider to be “social capital”. We are born wealthy, thanks to millions of years of evolution, and millennia upon millennia of social experimentation in myriads of changing environments.

– I am a practical commoner; I see much (but certainly not all) of the “libertarian” effort to structure principled bases for human interaction to be shallow, self-deluded and convenient for a few people who actually run the show. In this, libertarians are very much like (yet not as bad imho as) the statists who scorn them.

– There is something to the “self-ownership” concept, but “property” flows not from “principles”, but from MUTUAL ACCOMMODATIONS in particular societies/environments. As I said elsewhere:

“My key point is that it is cooperating individuals in societies with shared values, mores and customs who come up with “property rights” in the form of agreed practices that they find mutually suitable, not thinkers who are coming up with “principles”, and using them to tell others how stupid they are.

“Societies of cooperating individuals are the sine qua non of ALL property. Those who focus on the “principles” but ignore the need to build community are trying to grow trees at the risk of damaging the forest.”


– Much of what passes for “property” isn’t principled at all, but rammed down our throats by the 1% via “our” governments.

For example, without government-made corporations, our dialogue on what claims by others we should recognize as legitimate/worthy of respect would be much clearer.

Further, most of us fail to see that allowing our governments to claim ownership of our commons — whether physical ones like our public lands, waters, air and the resources within them, or less tangible ones like our self-defense, welfare, communities and the right to use and allocate our personal or shared financial resources — is in many cases simply a scam and a device to privatize and destroy our commons, which, left to our own devices without large central governments and bureaucracies, real life shows IN FACT that we are quite capable of managing collectively (after all, we live in and need our commons!).

The history of our governments is in fact one deep in the gore of the theft of the commons from native peoples and other commoners; see the “enclosure” movements, see the acquisition of and gaming of the allocation of US/state “public lands” for the benefit of the wealthy, see the ongoing #Avatar situations at home and abroad where central governments claim ownership, accept corrupt extraction deals from faceless govt-made “corporation” fronts for more elites, and then use their army/police etc. to arrest/steamroll/kill/starve protesting locals.

– even “self-ownership” is a shorthand and not absolute; societies all differ, but in none are infants/toddlers/juveniles accorded full rights to make their own decisions, and curtailed rights for others of limited mental capacity are similarly ubiquitous.

As “ownership” is essentially shorthand for what individuals, either alone or in groups, will act to defend, the ownership of oneself and personal physical objects differs only in extent (not nature) from the “ownership” of children, of commons, or even of friends or other community members.

I hope the members here will dedicate themselves to a better understanding of, and greater love and defense of, our many shared and overlapping commons.

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