57 votes

Stop complaining to the police about the guy with the loud music upstairs or the pot smokers next door.

Everyone needs to make a conscious effort to ignore the police and other "authorities". Start living as if you were already FREE and have to solve all your personal problems WITHOUT EVER contacting an enforcer. Good Article from Center for a Stateless Society.

ARTICLE:
Building on this, libertarian-minded people can begin to talk about valid and invalid reasons for contacting the police? Generally speaking, private citizens are rarely required to contact law enforcement. This should be thought of as a way to weaken the state’s monopoly on force Of course, it will be difficult to overcome the “I’m calling the cops” culture we live in. But we can start by emphasizing that once we call the police, the state takes over. Criminal defense attorney Michael Cicchini explains this in his informative book But They Didn’t Read Me My Rights: Myths, Oddities And Lies About Our Legal System (2010). According to Cicchini, “when wrongdoing is reported to the police, the police refer the matter to the prosecutor’s or district attorney’s office, which represents the state. In that case, control of the case lies solely with the state, which will often press forward with criminal litigation regardless of the wishes or desires of the complaining witness” (p.94). So people need to use good judgement before they decide to call the cops on their loved ones. They should also show some neighborly courtesy and stop complaining to the police about the guy with the loud music upstairs or the pot smokers next door.

My overall point here is that citizens need to learn to own the police departments that they are currently paying for. That’s not so radical, is it? This should not be an anti-police movement, it should be a pro-democracy movement But the kind of democracy we should be shooting for is a more robust, participatory democracy than we currently have. As progress is made, we can start to ask deeper questions. Should citizen responsibility for community security be encouraged and legally enhanced? Isn’t it possible that a society’s approach to law enforcement can evolve beyond police? Since professional police forces are not the historical norm, what are viable alternatives to today’s police? And how do we ensure that these alternatives would be a step forward rather than a giant leap backward? I hope to address these and other questions in a future article.

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Thank you go213mph for

Thank you go213mph for posting this. I read this a couple of days ago and made a note to re-read when I had more time. It's a great example of commonsense, personal things we can do to, as you said, live as if we had to solve most of our own problems.

This sort of rushing to the police for any little thing reminds me of little kids who are always tugging on a parent's sleeve with: She took my ice cream; he called me a name; he won't let me have my pillow back. Part of parenting is helping your kids deal with these inter-personal scuffles. When we adults do it, we're only pawning off our own authority and responsibility.

We'll get it, too. In the form of paying for more police to deal with the plugged up 911 system and with more nuisance ordinances created because adults couldn't work things out without a new law on the books.

We live across from a city park that's on the path of many of the downtown bar patrons. We've had a few instances in which there were a group of young men at the park, doing that thing that's almost fighting but no one's thrown a punch -- shoving, yelling, throwing things -- and a couple instances in which a man and woman were yelling and pushing each other. My husband usually goes over to tell them to lay off and go home. Meanwhile, I get the gun and the phone with intention of calling the police if the rabble rousers don't move on with my husband's encouragement and shooting into the air if I feel like my husband is being threatened.

Only one time have I called the police because it looked to me like the jerks were getting jerkier, but my husband said I'd misjudged and the idiots were just posturing to make an excuse for continuing on home. We feel like the park, in a way, is part of our responsibility, much as we would our own home or a neighbor's. If someone was getting hurt or the park vandalized, we'd call the police first then go out to deal with it in whatever way seemed appropriate to mitigate damage until the police arrived.

I think the differences, for us, is about whether a crime is being committed. If it's some drunken guys, working out an argument without hurting anyone, a neighborly reminder that shoving and yelling in a public park isn't okay. If someone is being assaulted or the park vandalized, then a crime is underway and I want the police to know about it and deal with it.

The failure of neighbors to work out there differences is also part of why we have so many ridiculous ordinances. Things like loud music and unkempt lawns aren't really crimes, at least not of the same magnitude. A polite knock on the door or a neighborly card can work wonders. We have a fight on the next block up about where the shared alley dumpster is supposed to go. Apparently, there's no city ordinance; it's just kind of gone that if you buy a house with the communal dumpster behind it, that's where it stays. A new resident didn't like that and drug the dumpster to the back of someone else's house. That person drug it to another house and so on. All those neighbors are bitching to folks who don't share the dumpster, but none of them will talk to each other.

They've started calling the police on each other. In this case the police don't care and have told them to work it out. They won't. It's silly. My husband and I offered to host a meeting of the four dumpster sharers on neutral ground, our backyard the next block down. But, at least the two who are bitching to us, don't want to take us up on the offer. They just want to keep bitching and hauling the dumpster around.

Before you know it one of them will petition the city council to make an ordinance about where dumpsters go. That's how so many of these nuisances ordinances get started -- adults who fail to just work things out among themselves. We act like children, we get treated like children.

Anyway, that's for the great post.

Self Governance

I agree that calling the cops for most things is ridiculous, but people also have to take responsibility for themselves in communal environments. I live in an apartment building, where due to "fire safety" laws we have to smoke out on the street. I have neighbors who throw their cigarette butts all over the damned place. I am a smoker and I police my butts. If people do things like this either because they don't like the laws/rules or they just don't think pretty soon we won't be able to smoke on property. Those in power just make more rules the more the rules are violated. Obey the laws while you attempt to change them, violating laws only makes those attempting change look bad. I am one of the first people to ask the question, "Where do your rights end and mine begin?", I believe in personal liberty, but with liberty comes responsibility and an obligation to those around you.

...Then they came for me —
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

-Pastor Martin Niemöller

I'm glad to see this.

In our area, we're starting to see a bit more of this old-fashioned communication. Sure, sometimes it's by electronic communication, but just being your own boss and bringing your grievences to your neighbor is so very healthy.

For anyone interested in a Biblical perspective, I forget the passage, but maybe someone can find it. It's something like...when you have a problem with your neighbor, take it directly and quietly to your neighbor. Then, if the neighbor doesn't correct the problem, bring some fellow neighbors to repeat the complaint. Then, if the neighbor still doesn't correct the problem, the whole community should ostracize him.

Michael Nystrom's fists can punch through FUD.

Where I live

It used to be common practice to knock on the neighbors door. Plus a lot of the residents were in their 30's like me.

I had some neighbors who moved in who smoked so I went outside on my porch to tell them it was okay with me to smoke outside although management wanted 30 ft away from the buildings.

So I told them I don't care if you smoke on the porch.

They got away with it for a while but someone bitched. I got the same notice for smoking cigars. I can't think of who narc'd them out, as their next door neighbors smoke tons of pot (and they got the same notice to smoke pot 30 ft away) but like I told the neighbors after they got a new sound system, don't play it after 2200 hrs, and I will knock on your door if it bugs me.

Someone ratted them out. They never smoke outside any more (good for the body) but they never smoke on the patio any more. I keep smoking a cigar ever few months. I told them not to worry about the letters. Smoking outside is not gonna kill anyone. Including my own kid. If I felt different I would let them know or never smoke a cigar again. Also, if I thought it a threat to my son's health I would knock on their door.

In any case the best thing to do is knock on the neighbors door and be civil. Be nice.

There is no situation so bad

There is no situation so bad the cops can't make it worse!

I quite calling them too. Go talk to your frigging neighbor most people will turn the music down etc. If you just ask and be polite...

-----
End The Fat
70 pounds lost and counting! Get in shape for the revolution!

Get Prepared!

There are some complications

just because of the grip the police have on things.

If I take my neighbor to court, often judges will throw something out if you haven't gone through traditional steps to resolve something first. For some kinds of things this means you'll have to attempt arbitration. For what the public considers "police" matters, the judge might throw it out for not having gone that route first.

Another thing, I've been in the situation of wanting to go over and talk to a neighbor myself. It was an un-mowed yard and the dandelion seeds were thick in the neighborhood because of it. I wasn't in a position to offer to mow it myself. However, I was afraid if I talked to him and another neighbor called an enforcer, he would assume it was me. I didn't know him well enough to know if he would become menacing. Never underestimate how crazy people can be. I just spent a lot of that summer digging dandelions out of my yard with my toddler trailing me with a toy wheelbarrow.

Also, because the police are there, there aren't other community-based ways of dealing with problems. That's why I did report when my windshield got shot out the other day. This is something the police should know because they're the ones out looking and it turned out they did catch the ones who did it and about another 50 windshields. It was very comforting to learn from the ones who were privvy to that information that we weren't the only ones targeted, that it wasn't personal. In a libertarian society, it would be a community patrol to relay that information, but this was the nature of the community patrol where we are. There will be restitution of some sort, I don't know if it'll be through a law suit or court order, but restitution is a libertarian concept, though the violent enforcement of it may not be.

However, I'd still refrain from calling, even in some situations where the police have usurped the potential for another route to solve a problem, because of how crushing the judicial system is around here. Beat-downs aren't as much of a problem in our area, but the prosecutors will throw so many charges at a person they'll take a plea deal for something worse than they originally came to the police's attention for, because the charges are so much worse and it appears the judges around here must get a cut of the prison contracts by the way they behave. I can't believe some of the stuff I've heard the plea deal offer jail time for. It's insane and I'd rather take a bit of unresolvable damage to my own property than let them ruin a person over it in most cases.

Defend Liberty!

Just throwing an idea out

Just throwing an idea out there but maybe you could have talked to your neighbor and offered to let him borrow your mower. Something along the lines of "was wondering if your lawnmower was broke because if it is, you can borrow mine." If his mower was broken, he would probably appreciate the offer. If it wasn't broken, it might serve to remind him that it is becoming apparent that his yard is being neglected. At least you approach from the position of helpful neighbor instead of a nosy busy body.

________________________________________

I stopped calling them a

I stopped calling them a couple of years ago and have vowed to never do it again!

Too many really

bad things happen when cops are called anymore. Pets and people get killed.

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign: that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. ~J. Swift

Use a Camera

Have evidence

Take them to court

I'm a big dude...

...6'5", 220 lbs., but I am also the biggest tree-hugging pacifist hippie you'd ever meet. I often wonder what I'd do in a fight (never been in one). My instinct would be to call the cops and have the instigator charged with assault, but I'd also like to think my rationality would prevail and I'd choose to not involve the State. I don't know, just thinking aloud...

And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes, I'll see you on the dark side of the moon.

I might talk to them 1st,

but if they're at all threatening you better believe I'm calling the cops. That's why they're there.

BTW, did you mean conscious or conscientious effort? "Conscience" is the wrong word.

Or

you could take responsibility for your personal defense and utilize the civil court system. A lot of the time calling the "police" worsens a problem.

I do believe you are right that it is "conscious."

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty."

Click Here To See The Candidates On The Record

conscience effort...err I mean conscious

I shall change it in the Post. Thanks!

Try calling.

But sometimes they just don't show up. Wise to figure out ways to resolve the problem on your own.

C_T_CZ's picture

Bump!

This is the kind of article that keeps me checking the Daily Paul, daily!

Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof

One of the most

worthwhile posts that I've seen recently.

Sound Complaint

Here is a recent encounter I had with police over a sound violation on my property. Funny thing is, I was well within the noise ordinance in the village. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmvdwcqZji0&list=UUK7Q9Kl6xWp...

If the neighbor would

have taken his complaints about your noise directly to you and asked you to quiet down, would you have done it? This is the hard part. Your right to make noise on your property and his right to enjoy quiet on his.

Upvote!

Good Post. So before I grew up enough, I would have 3 or 4 wild (shop parties) a year. My older neighbor would usually reciprocate by shooting his guns very early the next morning! We got along famously otherwise and I finally learned my lesson.....Kinda.

lol! Gotta love old men.

They have a way of making a point.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

I don't it can be stressed enough...

...that if we want to live without the state weighing us down, we have to live in a way that we don't depend on it.

"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds."-Samuel Adams
http://brushfiresinthemind.blogspot.com/

How about a pro-communicate

How about a pro-communicate with your neighbor movement?

A-

friggin' -men.
If you see something that offends you, "turn the other cheek." Then you won't see it any more.
My best friend is a terrible housekeeper, worse than me. Might be why she is my best friend... ;) I just LOVE watching someone come into her home for the first time. Neither of us have nasty houses, just cluttered. We like to do crafts and always have little projects on any horizontal surface.
When someone comes in and does that wide-eyed "try not to look shocked" thing, she says, "Please, make yourself comfortable in my home. If a messy house makes you uncomfortable, you'd better start cleaning."
:)
No, THAT is why she's my best friend. Cuz she's awesome.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

The sign at my door

"If you've come to see me, come right on in. if you've come to see my house, please make an appointment."

Colchester, New London County, Connecticut

Why ruin someones life when you can just go talk to them.

You are so right. Thanks for posting. When we call the cops, 90% of the time the cops go fascist and just want to harass and/or arrest someone that is not really doing anything wrong.

Revenue.

That's what a 9-1-1 call is to them. Like Pavlov's dogs, they run to the "emergency" and find out who they can charge with a crime to keep the "wheels of justice" adequately greased.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.