All the BATF's (was: Re: The Weavers)

Arjen Kamphuis (
Thu, 18 Sep 1997 17:35:39 +0200

I wrote:
>>Even though I cannot confirm the accuracy of the movie I'm beginning to
>>understand why so many people on this list distrust the governement the
>>way they do. I still do not agree but your point is much clearer to me now.

EvMick responded:
>Seems pretty accurate to me...I'd heard all the particulars long before
>the movie..many of them while occuring ...
>About once a month the BATF breaks into the wrong house....almost always
>causing damage...often causing injury or death...
>I'm glad you are beginning to understand why we mistrust big government.

Maybe you should say: "why we mistrust *our* governement"
The interesting question (If you want this to stop) surely becomes: Why you
need a BATF (some sort of SWAT-team I suspect) so much in the first place?
In the last ten years or so there has been only 1 accidental death of a
civilian by a Special Arrest Team over here. That's not because our police
force consists of supermen (they only wish ;-) but because the SAT's over
here are very seldom needed. If a policeman fires his pistol it's most
often national news. I'm pretty sure this was discussed before and I'm
sorry if I'm repeating myself, please bear with me.

Can you imagine that our Prime Minister (sort of like The President in the
US) lives in a normal house among ordinary citizens and goes to work on his
bicycle, alone, without a single bodyguard, everyday? Even if it rains? ;-)
And there's no reason why he should not. Last time a Dutch polititian was
shot at in-the-line of duty was in the 17th century to the best of my
knowledge. We had a terrorist drama in 1972 that ended with much violence
(3 dead civilans and all seven or so terrorists dead). It's still being
talked about today, it's *that* special.

We have 'big' governement, it spends a lot of money (almost 50% of GNP), it
makes mistakes (they *are* human). I can think of many reasons to be
critical toward them, some quite personal. But I have no reason to mistrust
them in the sense that they are 'out to get me' or have big hidden agenda's.

The last governement made a really big mistake about elderly-care and were
promply voted out-of-office. The newly installed govenement corrected it
and went on with it's program. They have done very well in the last few
years. Holland is now the most healty economy of the EC, and one of the
best coutry's in the world to invest in, because of it's stability,
according to a recent survey. This in spite of the somewhat restrictive
laws (very high minimum wages, stringent environmental laws and so on...).
Big governement does not neccesary lead to economic collapse, we seem to be
doing OK.
I'm pretty sure I'll vote for another term of the current cabinet.

Call me a nationalist if all this irritates you, but when I read your posts
about all the violence going on in the US I just can not help thinking our
governement is doing something right. I'm not saying Holland (or it's
populace, or it's political system) is 'better'. It's not, just different.
But maybe we could learn from each other. Please consider that. if we can
do it so can you.

And in another message:

><< As for solving drugs problems.. there
> aren't any drugs problems, there are only law enforcement problems (and I'm
> not talking about problems with enforcing law. >>
>YES! Drugs don't kill people....DEA agents kill people! Drug DEALERS kill
>people...drug law enforcement kills people....
>Finally...someone gets it.

Here we have something we agree on very much methinks (albeit from
different perspectives ;-). Are you familiar with the Dutch drugs-policy?
It's not without problems but vey few people get killed (either by the
drugs themselves or police). I think that's a good measurament of the
quality of any policy. Holland would like to legalize more drugs (marijuana
is already legal for practical purposes) but other EC-countries are
opposing this right now. Even though every research organisation in Europe
(and some the US) investigating the effectiveness of drugs-policy's hails
Dutch policy as beeing the most humane to *all* victims.

I don't want to start another thread on gun-ownership or how much money
should be spent on 'social issues' , I don't think we'll agree on that in
this millenium. That's OK. But would you please *consider* that the way
things are arranged over here could work (do work here!). The average
income in the US is higher then in Holland. Maybe America could learn
something from Holland when it comes to certain aspect of crime-control, we
sure could learn from your deciveness and ability to innovate (something we
lack in seriously at times). Holland has lost every war it has fought in
the last 200 years, three (one of wich was really not a war but a
de-colonisation mess). here we can learn from you, should it ever become
necessary again.

Most Respectfully,


Arjen Kamphuis | Learn as if you will live forever. | Live as though you will die tomorrow.