The Great Man: Style and Statism in Southeast Texas

Barely a month had passed since Chief Clydell Duncan stood before the Beaumont ISD board of managers and made his case as to why he and the other twenty-three officers of the school district’s police department should keep their jobs. It was a big issue for the Southeast Texas town, and the room for that night’s board meeting was packed. There were even a dozen BISD officers in the crowd, but that was hardly surprising. It was their necks on the chopping block, after all.

The police chief wasn’t about to let the officers’ presence go to waste. Before leaving the podium, Chief Duncan asked his colleagues to stand. He then turned to the board of managers and pleaded with them to give his department one last shot. According to a report, about half the people in the room applauded.

The chief’s appeal to the board’s sympathy may have had an effect, albeit a temporary one. The seven-member board agreed to postpone the vote on whether or not the school district would keep its police force. Chief Duncan himself, on the other hand, got the axe that very night.

But it was only a matter of time for the officers, and everyone knew it. The move had ample support from the community, and many viewed the department’s existence as a luxury in the first place. There was momentum. The board had adopted a new budget just three weeks before Clydell Duncan took to the mic on September 18, and part of that budget involved cutting $650,000 from the police department. Those cuts were placed on hold, however, while the district put the department under the microscope in search of a reason, any reason, to justify its continuance.

But by October 21, a month after the firing of Chief Duncan, time had run out. The board of managers voted unanimously to move forward with the cuts to the BISD police department approved of in September. For the department, the $650,000 in lost funding amounted to the elimination of nine officer positions as well as eight police vehicles and a motorcycle. What’s more, the board instructed Interim Police Chief David Hall to look for even more areas where funding could be slashed, up to and including department staff.

It was a confirmation of what everyone already suspected—the district police force was on its way out. If it survived at all, it would be a shadow of its former self.

But hey, such is life. When times get tight you have to prioritize. And times are tight all over. Nothing special about this place, right? That’s just how it goes, yeah? Yes.

And no. Because to truly understand what’s going down, and has been going down in Beaumont, Texas for quite some time, you have to ask yourself a very simple question…

Why a board of managers?

Or, perhaps even more simply…

Why not a board of education? Or a board of trustees? Or why not a good old fashioned school board? Why wasn’t Chief Clydell Duncan fighting for his job before a duly elected panel with a name we’ve all come to associate with local school governance, instead of something that sounds like it belongs in a conference room on the top floor of corporate headquarters?

These questions strike at the root of the district’s troubles. But to answer them, we have to go back to when the troubles began—or when they officially began, at least.

AN UGLY YEAR

In June of 2013, the BISD sent out a press release stating that, after a “detailed review of the entire operations of the Beaumont Independent School District by the Texas Legislative Review Budget Board,” the Texas Education Agency would be launching a special accreditation investigation into the district. The release further stated that one of the many areas to be focused on by the TEA would be finances. The inquiry kicked off on October 28, when investigators from the state agency began visiting campuses in the district.

Less than a week and a half later, the FBI conducted raids on the homes of two high level district employees, chief financial officer Devin McCraney and comptroller Sharika Allison. Feds also spent eight hours rummaging through district offices that day and walked out with over twenty boxes of evidence, including computer hard drives. A TEA spokeswoman stated that the agency had been unaware of any ongoing FBI investigation, a claim confirmed by a State Board of Education member.

In January of 2014 McCraney and Allison were indicted for conspiracy and fraud. The two former BISD employees were accused of embezzling $4 million from the district, beginning in 2010. On Monday, April 14, they entered a federal courtroom and pleaded guilty to the charges.

Ten days earlier, in a completely unrelated event, the FBI had raided the home of BISD purchasing agent Naomi Lawrence-Lee. Five months after the raid Lawrence-Lee was formally indicted on a charge of felony theft. The former district employee was accused of falsifying football game concession sales reports for personal profit. Lawrence-Lee was arrested, released on a $50,000 bond, and her trial date is currently pending.

A week after the warrant was signed for Lawrence-Lee, embezzlers McCraney and Allison went to court for sentencing. McCraney received better than five years in prison, while Allison received four. Both were ordered to pay restitution.

Which brings us to Daryl Glen Johnson.

In August of 2014—roughly a month before Naomi Lawrence-Lee bonded out of jail—a federal grand jury indicted former BISD warehouse supervisor Johnson and two others on charges of conspiracy and fraud. Johnson, who as supervisor had authority to hire warehouse employees, was accused of adding his wife, Erin Gibson Johnson, and his “sometime girlfriend” Kailyn DeShondra Pete, to the district payroll. Thing is, the two women never actually worked for BISD.

All told, the feds alleged that from mid-2009 to mid-2012 nearly $300,000 was funneled out of the district. And like with Naomi Lawrence-Lee’s case, the activities of Johnson and his cohorts were unrelated to those of Devin McCraney and Sharika Allison. The three have all pleaded not guilty to the federal charges, and jury selection for their cases has been set for December.

But this was round two for the Johnson Gang. The trio had been indicted for the same charges two years before, back in August of 2012, only to have those charges dropped by the Jefferson County DA in July of this year (except for “sometime girlfriend” Pete, whose single charge stuck). The federal hammer was brought down a month later.

If you had trouble following all that, try living through it. The slashing of the police budget in October of 2014 came almost a year to the day after the TEA investigation launched in October of 2013. That’s a solid year of accusations, arrests, indictments, headlines, letters to the editor and all-around community outrage. This was taxpayer money being syphoned off through fraud. Money that, in theory, was supposed to be going toward educating the children of Beaumont.

There was a consensus among the people, and that consensus was that the BISD school board had either been incompetently oblivious to the corruption or powerless to stop it. Either way, it needed to step aside and make way for what had come to be seen as the answer to everyone’s prayers—the state-appointed board of managers.

THE GREAT MAN

On November 10, 2013, just days after the FBI raids on the homes of McCraney and Allison, the Beaumont Enterprise ran a scathing editorial on the district. The article, titled “Rousing the BISD from a state of denial,” condemned the school board’s behavior as “shameful” and ended by suggesting the only “reasonable alternative” was a state takeover of the district. The seed had been planted, and from that point forward the outcome seemed inevitable.

Beaumont city councilmembers began discussing the possibility of a TEA takeover in early February, and by the end of that month two Texas state representatives had gone on the record as supporting the move. For BISD board member Mike Neil, the takeover became an unofficial reality in April, when TEA Commissioner Michael Williams held a teleconference with members of the community. After listening to the comments from area residents, Neil was left feeling as though a takeover was imminent.

Days later Commissioner Williams announced his intention to install a board of managers to govern the district.

The day after the announcement the Beaumont Enterprise ran another editorial, and the title said it all. The article—“Bold move by Williams can finally save BISD”—talked about how “for the first time in years” the community could breathe a sigh of relief because the TEA commissioner had “made the one bold move that can finally rescue the Beaumont ISD.”

Save. Rescue. You know, stuff heroes do. Or great men.

And thus began a months-long infatuation with Michael Williams, the savior of the BISD, that reached its crescendo at the swearing-in of the new board on July 21. That very day the Enterprise ran a gushing piece on Williams and his road to the TEA (and by extension, Beaumont). The article is loaded with phrases like “not one to shy away from a challenge” and “looked his boss in the eye, summoned silent courage,” which are both used to convey Williams’ grit as a prosecutor while handling an especially tough case in the 80s.

But the fever was never higher than at the ceremony itself. Williams, who traveled to Beaumont to witness the swearing-in of his board, is a bow tie aficionado. He has more than seventy in his collection and is even a member of a bow tie club. Since the late 90s, in fact, the bow tie has been the focal point of his signature look. And in support of their deliverer—and as a testament to just how desperate the people of the district had become—dozens of attendees at the packed ceremony actually wore or bought mock bow ties of their own.

After addressing his faithful, the commissioner handed the baton—literally—to the new board, then sprang atop his noble steed and rode off into the perilous night. Or so the legend may one day go.

And in case you’re wondering…no, the old board didn’t go down without a fight. In a move that was immediately looked upon as selfish by everybody and their mama, the ousted board of trustees—who through ignorance and mismanagement had run the district into a nearly $20 million hole—chose to appeal Williams’ decision. In the end, however, the three-month fight served only to highlight why the old administration was getting the boot in the first place. They were simply too stubborn too see they never had a prayer, and the appeal wasted another $360,000 of district money.

A final, vomit-inducing exclamation point to the whole takeover process involved outgoing BISD Superintendent Timothy Chargois. The superintendent, who had announced his resignation on Friday, June 27—weeks before the board’s final appeal was denied—rescinded that resignation the following Monday. The reason? Because that Monday afternoon, Commissioner Williams sent out a directive limiting BISD expenditures to $10,000.

Chargois, whose contract extended to 2016, was looking to score a $244,000 separation agreement from the old board—his board—before the new one came to power. Williams’ directive put the kibosh on that idea. The commissioner had denied Chargois his loot, so Chargois would deny the commissioner a quick clean ending to the drama. That was the BISD school board.

Chargois would hang around to the end, forcing the new board’s hand. In a way it was fitting. The old superintendent’s firing—on the night of the swearing-in ceremony, no less—became the board of managers’ first official act. But his obstinacy seemed to pay off. In exchange for agreeing not to bring legal action against the district, Chargois was able to walk away with a $62,000 separation package.

Call it the price of a fresh start. In any case, the old guard had been vanquished and the new, state-appointed guard was poised to right the ship. Finally, it seemed, the people of the Beaumont Independent School District could look to the future.

A NEW ERA

No one can say Williams’ board of managers didn’t come out swinging. The day after being sworn in, new BISD Superintendent Vern Butler made a presentation to district employees in which he outlined his behavioral standards and code of ethics.

A week later the cuts began. On July 29 the board voted unanimously to eliminate four administrative positions, including the special assistant to former superintendent Chargois.

Two days later the managers cut over eighty support staff jobs from the district payroll. This, combined with about 250 retiring or resigning contract workers (such as teachers and counselors) whose positions the board voted not to fill, meant BISD would have roughly 330 fewer employees than it had the year before.

Indeed, by August 6 the Enterprise was reporting that through workforce reductions alone, the new board had slashed nearly $17 million from the district budget. A good start, but not nearly enough.

The weeks that followed played out like one might expect, with talk focusing on ways to further shave spending and raise revenue. It was in this period, for instance, that eyes began to turn toward the BISD police department.

Then, on the morning of September 18, the sentencing of embezzlers Devin McCraney and Sharika Allison raised as issue for the board of managers. Did the BISD have any rights to the $4 million the court had just ordered the duo to pay in restitution? And if the district was entitled to that money, would they claim it?

If the answers to those questions seem head-slappingly obvious, they should. After all, the $4 million embezzled by McCraney and Allison had been drawn from district funds. And it should be at least as obvious that in a truly just society, the only entity entitled to restitution from an aggressor would be the victim of that aggression—in this case, the district. So where’s the issue?

The issue, with regard to restitution, was tied in with Calvin Walker. Who’s Calvin Walker, you ask? Well he’s another criminal, of course, on par with McCraney and Allison. But unlike the two high level employees, Calvin Walker thieved his $4 million from the district all by his lonesome.

On December 7, 2010, the FBI conducted searches on the home and business of Walker, the electrician of record for BISD. That same day, the Eastern District of Texas U.S. Attorney’s office revealed that the school district may have been the victim of overbilling by Walker.

In May of 2011 Walker gets hit with a 37-count federal indictment for charges ranging from mail fraud to money laundering. It’s alleged he stole nearly $4 million from BISD through inflated invoices, to which he claims innocence. His trial begins on December 5.

Just ten days later a mistrial is declared when the jury becomes deadlocked. The case, which had attracted the attention of the local media, left the community feeling robbed of both closure and compensation. Talk immediately turns to a new trial.

In July of 2012, facing the prospect of another court battle, Walker strikes a deal with the feds. In exchange for all of his other charges being dropped, Walker agrees to plead guilty to one misdemeanor count of failure to pay income tax. In addition to probation and a fine, Walker would also have to forfeit over $3 million in ill-gotten gains. The electrician is sentenced on December 12, 2012, but the plea deal isn’t finalized until April of 2014—just two weeks before Commissioner Williams announced the state takeover of the district.

The timing is important. You might even call it the death nail in the board’s coffin. Because the finalizing of Walker’s deal, aside from essentially letting a swindler skate on a catalogue of felonies, recast light on what was perhaps the board’s greatest failure.

You see, after it was reported that Walker had reached an agreement with prosecutors, the board had to decide whether or not it would try to recoup the stolen funds when the time came. Seems like a no-brainer, right? Amazingly, however, once Walker’s deal was cemented in April, the school board actually voted against seeking restitution. The reason? Board members refused to admit the district had been the victim of Walker’s fraud.

Pride? Defiance, perhaps? After all, the trustees were under no illusions about the fact that their days were more than likely numbered. Whatever the case, the decision to leave money on the table was, by any standard, insanely irresponsible of a board entrusted to manage district finances. And when it came time for the new board of managers to make a similar decision, they didn’t hesitate. Soon after McCraney and Allison were sentenced, the board voted unanimously to seek restitution. Unfortunately for the taxpayers, it was revealed in October that nearly all of the embezzled money had been spent. Hey, no one said this story would have a happy ending.

And maybe not for Calvin Walker, either. Back in July he was once again indicted for felony fraud, this time by the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office. He’s due in court on December 15 to either request a trial or enter a plea.

And that’s pretty much where things stand. Williams’ managers are still working to fix the district, and the community still thinks the managers walk on water. And why not? It’s hard to argue with the initial results. Indeed, in the midst of the current love affair between government and the citizens of Southeast Texas, to suggest that the state takeover was anything other than the right move—or that, say, the nature of government itself is what led to the problems in the first place—would be to court hostility. I mean…you’d have to be a madman to even try.

I’ve been called worse.

A DIFFERENT TAKE

The Great Man theory holds that history is largely a timeline of extraordinary individuals impacting their surroundings. Thomas Carlyle, the man who popularized the theory in the mid-1800s, cited people like Shakespeare and Napoleon as examples. According to Carlyle, it’s possible to bring out the best in one’s self simply by studying the lives of such “great” men.

If only it were that easy. If only it were true that we, the witless masses, could sit back and have a sandwich while heroes guide us through the millennia. I’ll admit, it would be nice. But that’s just not how it works. One has only to look around the world today to comprehend that no hero’s hand, no great man’s benevolence, has led us to this place in which we find ourselves.

As for the theory, it was soundly rejected almost as soon as it gained recognition. Noted 19th century thinker Herbert Spencer slammed the idea as being childish and unscientific. He essentially said that Carlyle had it backwards, that so-called “great men” were products of the social forces surrounding them. As he stated in his book The Study of Sociology, “Before he can remake his society, his society must make him.”

Michael Williams isn’t a great man. He isn’t a hero or a savior. He isn’t even a leader. He’s an administrator, a bureaucrat. He’s a guy whose job it is to objectively look at a situation and figure out the best way to move forward. In the case of BISD, he made the one and only decision available to him that made any sense at all—he removed an incompetent school board. Fifty out of fifty people would’ve made the exact same call.

Michael Williams is a number cruncher in a bow tie. He might be a swell fella, but he isn’t a great man.

And the same logic can be applied to the board of managers. When it comes down to it, what has the new board really done for the district? The answer, when you cut through all the backslapping and praise, is that they’re only doing what the old board should’ve been doing in the first place. They’re trying to act responsibly with district funds, nothing more. It’s not that the board of managers is made up of great individuals, it’s that the old board was made up of clowns.

And yet, the love affair goes on. An especially strange love affair, in fact. Strange because the people of Beaumont don’t actually see the thing in which they’ve placed their faith. It isn’t in the board of managers, or Michael Williams, or even the Texas Education Agency. No, the people of Beaumont have pinned their hopes on the invisible entity that thrives on the belief in the Great Man theory—the state.

In any other religion, faith is placed not in the priest, but in the higher power. A priest is merely the instrument through which the higher power operates. But such is not the case with that most permeating of religions, statism.

Statists don’t look past the cop, the judge, the lawmaker. They believe these “authority” figures have somehow been imbued with the right to force their will on the citizenry, even if they can’t pin down exactly where that right comes from. Statists have been conditioned to accept, not to question. They stand quiet, lower their eyes, and wait for some great man to save them. But when people place their faith in an authority like TEA Commissioner Michael Williams (or in his board of managers, for that matter), whether they realize it or not they’re actually placing their faith in the higher power of the state.

That’s great and all, you say, but the district’s troubles are grounded in the real world, not in philosophical reasoning. To fix the situation, you say, we have to look at the hard facts.

Indeed.

THE FAULTY FOUNDATION

Fact number one is that government, in all of its varied forms, is an artificial construct. It’s a system that has to be calculated and willfully put into place, as opposed to one that occurs naturally. This is true even of legitimate governmental structures (ones that are voluntarily recognized) such as you might find in a commune. The system is still artificial in the sense that it didn’t exist before, and won’t exist after, the society that constructed it.

By contrast, the things we see in the natural world are there because they’ve proven themselves worthy. Be they organisms or systems (such as pollination, for instance), they exist today because time has shown them to be the best-suited for a particular task. And if there were issues with their functionality, they’ve had eons to work out the kinks.

Government, when acting as a mechanism of the state, is subject to no such vetting. It’s simply thrust upon a society and the people are made to adhere to it. Any flaws built into the system will inevitably manifest themselves through the ills we’ve come to expect in government. Words like inefficiency, corruption, and arrogance come to mind. Others, too. Aggression. Violence. Tyranny.

Calvin Walker didn’t game the system because he’s a gangster or some sort of criminal mastermind. The same goes for Devin McCraney and Sharika Allison. Ditto for Naomi Lawrence-Lee and Daryl Glen Johnson. These people are opportunists, not thugs. They gamed the system because the system is game-able.

Were this discussion being held in a group setting, it’s at this point that the “yeah, government is flawed but it’s better than nothing” argument would be tossed into the mix. This assertion is wholly reactionary, a product of programming rather than analysis.

Perhaps because the concept of government as a necessity is indeed so heavily ingrained in us from birth, people tend to think in absolutes when the idea of a society without government is broached. They demand an explanation as to how operating under such radical conditions would produce a perfect civilization—as if that’s at all what’s being suggested.

Of course a society without government would have problems. Eliminating authority figures wouldn’t fundamentally alter human nature. You’d still have your trouble makers, your liars and your bullies and such. And you’d still have criminals. The difference would be in the way society responded to that element.

Take Calvin Walker. Sweetheart deals with the feds aside, this is indisputably a dishonest man. Not only did he admit to the overbilling in order to avoid prison, it was revealed during his trial that Beaumont ISD wasn’t his first victim. According to the testimony of a former insurance investigator, Walker was charged with and pleaded guilty to insurance fraud back in 2003. It seems that years ago, after a car accident, our slippery electrician submitted bills for medical services to his insurance company. The only problem was that the bills were actually two years old—and for services received by his mother.

So perhaps, had the old board of trustees done their due diligence, Walker would’ve never been hired by the district in the first place. But hey, everybody makes mistakes. Happens to the best of us. Surely, though, once the extent of Walker’s criminality became known, the board would immediately move to sever his contract. Right?

Not so much. The opposite, in fact. Back in July of 2011, with his first trial looming, Walker’s contract with BISD came up for renewal. The board voted 4-3 in favor of extension. Okay. Innocent until proven guilty and all that. But then, a year later—just days after it was reported that Walker would avoid prison by forfeiting the millions he stole from the district—the school board again voted to extend the man’s contract. Their justification for this ludicrousness essentially amounted to “Hey, the guy wasn’t convicted.”

But conviction or not, any rationally thinking individual would agree that Calvin Walker is not a man worthy of trust. In a stateless society, unrestrained by an arbitrary and cumbersome legal system and uninhibited by social norms that require deference to some ethereal authoritative body, Walker would be met with cold shoulders, not contracts. Having been revealed to be a thief and a liar, his reputation would be tainted. And who would hire a man with a reputation for dishonesty? Walker would be faced with two options—either leave the community and start over somewhere else, or dedicate himself to regaining the community’s trust. Either way, society wins.

Shame, as any child forced to sit alone at the cootie table can attest, is a powerful motivator.

A SYSTEM EXPOSED

When the housing bubble burst a few years back, the solution arrived upon by our betters was the now-infamous bailout. It was lovingly explained to the commoners that society simply couldn’t function if the banks and corporations who had helped guide us into the mess were allowed to fail. But there were many who saw the thing for what it was…

Any way you slice it, when banksters and megacorporations are able to dump their losses onto the people, that’s fascism.

When people hear that word their mind usually jumps to a sprightly little man with a funny mustache who did some very bad things in the 1940s. They tend to think of fascism as some evil form of government that was snuffed out, never to be seen again. But fascism, as with any other ideology, will survive as long as there are those wishing to adhere to it. Like with the bailout frenzy of the previous decade, signs of a fascist society aren’t hard to spot, and they pop up everywhere—even on the local level.

The first move of the BISD board of managers (after canning Superintendent Chargois) was to start cutting jobs. It’s unfortunate that the downsizing was a direct result of the old administration’s mismanagement, but there it is. Had to be done. But those initial cuts were a passive first step. In the weeks that followed the board began taking proactive measures to “fix” the situation.

A month after the board was sworn in, for instance, the managers voted to raise the district’s tax rate by two cents to help pay down BISD’s debt. Not long after that, they voted to begin charging for parking at football games and to initiate fees for using the district natatorium.

Imagine that. A failing organization passing their losses on to the people. It isn’t billions upon billions going to prop up megabanks and it isn’t a psychopath with delusions of grandeur ravaging a continent, but it’s there. Fascism, on a smaller scale.

In fact, the statism gripping Southeast Texans now is crucial to a fascist society. The ideology hinges on absolute devotion to the state, and the state hinges on the absolute belief that some people have been endowed with the authority to force their will onto others. Think about it. There’s a reason people connect Hitler to fascism in their minds. He was the Great Man, after all.

But wait, you say. America isn’t a fascist society. We practice capitalism in these parts. Says so in all the textbooks. Yeah, but they also say that Lincoln wanted to free the slaves and that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

The United States is a hopelessly fascist society, in every respect. From the hyper-nationalism shoved into our faces at every turn to the corporatist economy purported to thrive on the free market to the police state with its boot on the neck of dissention, we’ve got it all. So it makes perfect sense that the system in place in one corner of one state would be a microcosm of the overall structure.

And wouldn’t you know, mentioning the police state brings us right back to the BISD.

Don’t worry. I’m not going to drone on about police brutality and the culture that largely condones it, although I certainly could. When the protests in Ferguson, Missouri broke out and the media was finally beginning to comment on the militarization of police forces around the country, even the Beaumont Enterprise ran a piece detailing the hardware buildup in Southeast Texas. So I won’t go there—again.

What I will do is demonstrate how a true free market economy would handle the situation with the BISD police department.

From the beginning, the idea of eliminating district cops was never about eliminating security for the district. It was about finding a more cost-effective way to provide that security. Unfortunately (and in typical statist fashion) the minds working to come up with alternatives can’t see past the badge. At the moment, it seems the only solution being seriously considered is that of contracting off-duty police officers from surrounding departments to provide security on an as-needed basis.

I have several problems with this, not the least of which involve police unions. But for the sake of brevity I’ll confine my commentary to a single point. It goes a little something like this: What kind of security can you expect from an off-duty officer, already gainfully employed elsewhere, who (let’s face it) is merely looking to make some extra cash on the side?

Where’s the motivation? If the safety of the district’s students and staff is really the number one priority of the board—and I’m not suggesting it isn’t—then wouldn’t it make better sense to hire the most highly-motivated people for the job?

In a true free market economy, as opposed to the fascist, crony capitalist system we currently suffer under, private security firms would compete for the BISD contract. This competition would drive prices down and the quality of service up, since the winning bidder would be the one offering the best product at the most reasonable price. And once they won the contract, the firm would of course be highly motivated to keep it. And common sense tells you that the best way to keep a job is to do it well.

Reputation would play heavy in the board’s choice, too. Just as Calvin Walker’s reputation for dishonesty would prevent him from finding work, a security firm’s reputation for excellence and dependability would ensure that the firm finds employment well into the future.

For a good example of what the free market can accomplish in a similar situation, one need only look to Detroit. There, where hard financial times have left the once-shining city gutted and crime-ridden, the government has all but checked out. People have been forced to fend for themselves, and for a wide range of needs, free market solutions abound.

One such need is security. The police response time in Detroit is about five times longer than that of the national average. And in a city with one of the highest violent crime rates in the country, this simply will not do.

Private security firm Detroit Threat Management is focused on prevention. Unlike cops, who usually show up just in time to take pictures of the corpse and smile for the cameras, these agents are working to create a community that deters crime through preparedness. In addition to offering bodyguard services and straight up giving away their time, the folks at Detroit Threat Management offer training to community members of all ages. True to their mission statement, however, they refuse to train anyone with a history of violence.

Who would’ve thought? A security force that protects. And serves.

Not that I wish the coppers would do the job they’ve always claimed to be doing. I don’t. I wish the coppers would go away. I wish they’d go away and take the whole festering sore with them. And not out of some personal grievance (excepting the fact that those of a mind similar to my own have long been the target of statist ire). No. I want it to go away because it’s ugly. And a lie. And because it’s holding humanity back.

We’re not there yet. Not quite. The transmissions pouring out of Southeast Texas have made that all too clear.

But the tide is turning. The market for truth is growing. And if there’s anything I’d like a statist to take away from this reading, it’s the knowledge that no matter the law or regulation, no matter the high talk from politicians or the amount of blood spilled down here in the street, the market—eventually—will always win.

Each…and every time.