Thursday, January 15, 2015

Four years after l'affair TJIC

Four years ago a storm was brewing in Massachussets:
I've linked several times to posts over at the blog Dispatches from TJICistan.  TJIC is an outspoken (some might say extremely so) advocate of smaller government.  He's also a firearms owner in the People's Republic of Massachusetts.  While he owns guns, it appears that he's no longer allowed to possess any:

ARLINGTON (CBS) – A blog threatening members of Congress in the wake of the Tucson, Arizona shooting has prompted Arlington police to temporarily suspend the firearms license of an Arlington man.

It was the headline “1 down and 534 to go” that caught the attention. “One” refers to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head in the rampage, while 534 refers to the other members of the U.S. House and Senate.

Police are investigating the “suitability” of 39-year-old Travis Corcoran to have a firearms license
TJIC's blog is still down after all these years.  The bureaucrats won.

Foseti had a post a month previously that ironically quoted TJIC on the dynamic in play:
TJIC linking to a piece on bureaucracy:
In the long run the rule of aristocracy has been succeeded not by the rule of democracy but by the rule of bureaucracy. Let us examine this pallid aphorism a little more closely. If one does not like aristocracy one is, most probably, a democrat by preference; or the other way around. But one’s exasperation with bureaucracy is a different matter: it is at the same time more superficial and more profound than our dislike for either form of government. The democratic exercise of periodic elections does not compensate people sufficiently against their deep-seated knowledge that they are being ruled by hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats, in every level of government, in every institution, on every level of life.
These bureaucrats are not the trainees of a rigid state apparatus, or of capitalist institutions, as their caricatures during the nineteenth century showed them. They are the interchangeable, suburban men and women of the forever present, willing employees of the monster Progress
Progress!  I mean, you don't want to stand in the way of progress, do you?  Do you?


Anonymous said...

I am a federal bureaucrat, but I don't get to rule anyone. I have no power even to change the toner in the copy machine. It's probably best that way.

Ken said...

You know, I kinda think I do.

Glen Filthie said...

I understand the freedom of speech. I get it. But I wonder...shouldn't there also be some kind of responsibility that goes along with it BP? Imagine if I cracked a contemptuous joke about your father when he passed away - you would be within your rights to shut my mouth for me, with violence if necessary.

That joke was in very, very poor taste, it was made at the exact wrong time to the exact wrong people...and stupidity ensued. I see it all the time and when it happens everyone loses. TJ looks like a heartless a-hole and a possible loon, the cops look like meat heads and nannies, and the politicos....well they look like they usually do, I guess.

I wonder: is there more here going on than meets the eye? I wonder if the cops know something about TJ that we don't? Cops have been known to trump up charges to get bona fide threats off the street and to scare others straight. There is a time and a place for tactics like that because our laws protect the abusers far more than they protect the abused.

I don't know TJ but I know cops...and something is not adding up here. They have far better things to do than harass grumpy old men and gun club duffers.

Rev. Paul said...

"you don't want to stand in the way of progress, do you?"

Why, yes. Yes, I do - and at every opportunity (as rare as those may be).

Jeffrey Smith said...

I seem to remember TJ ended up moving to New Hampshire in the wake of that. There was also a comment posted (at Tam's?) in which he spoke of enjoying the ability to fire his rifle in his own back yard again.

My impression of him was that he had a somewhat abrasive personality, and I have to wonder about his relationship with his neighbors, but anything further would be speculation.

Brad said...

As genericviews points out: your typical federal bureaucrat has no freedom of action. That is part of the problem: the rules are executed without regard for common sense or human decency, whether or not the rules make sense, or are even legal. Zero tolerance, because to do otherwise might endanger that comfy job, or the next promotion.

@Glen: responsibility? Yes, but only in a social sense. Make an a**hole comment, reap the social consequences. However, the government must respect freedom of speech. The government has zero business imposing consequences on people who make tasteless comments.

TJIC's comment may have been tasteless, but it was not a clear and immediate threat. Anyone with half a brain could see that. However, see above about the way the rules are executed by bureaucrats.

TJIC said...

> I don't know TJIC but I know cops...and something is not adding up here. They have far better things to do than harass grumpy old men and gun club duffers.

I think the flaw in your equation is that you think that cops (a) have any common sense, (b) aren't politically motivated to create good headlines in the media for their bosses, (c) aren't personally motivated to stomp the shit (either literally or figuratively) out of someone who holds them in contempt and says so.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

I think the flaw in his equation is the belief that anyone would have the right to use physical violence in response to mere words. Or that it's in any way acceptable for agents of the government to curtail someone's rights without due process, no matter how suspicious or offensive that person has been. Or that he seems to believe that it's ever okay for cops to "trump up charges to get bona fide threats off the street" if they can't get the evidence to get them off the street the proper way.

Goober said...

Glen - please tell me that you aren't FOR cops "trumping up charges" to get a guy off the streets that they don't like... Even if they have a "reasonable suspicion" don't you think it'd be better to, you know, actually INVESTIGATE and find out whether the suspicion is valid, then prosecute?

You know, the way our legal system is kind of SUPPOSED to work?

At the time, I posted exactly this:

I think TJIC put up a joke that was way off color. I think it was wrong. I think that if I'd been Ms. Gifford's husband, I'd have punched him in the nose for what he said. It was a shitty thing to say.


There is a huge difference between saying "freedom of speech should be curtailed with good judgment and decency" and "IF freedom of speech is not curtailed with good judgment and decency, the full weight of the state should be used to punish any individual that does not comply."

You've got to be kidding me, Glen. Have to be.