Saturday, March 21, 2009

New Mexico gets rid of death penalty

New Mexico gets rid of death penalty

The rulers of the territory of New Mexico recently decided to do away with the "death penalty". Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. I am one of those who feels the only legitimate death penalty is carried out at the moment of the attack by the intended victim or a rescuer.

There is no government anywhere that I feel is honest enough to be trusted with power over life and death. They demonstrate time after time, year after year, that they can't be trusted with small things, why on earth would we entrust them with the most important thing there is? Too many on death row have been vindicated, after decades of imprisonment, by DNA evidence. Getting a conviction, so as to appear to be "doing something", is more important than finding the truth to those who depend on an active "criminal justice system" to make money. Lastly, governments always turn to their court system to punish those who oppose or annoy them. Those like you and me.

"What about crime?" you may ask. I don't believe that keeping the death penalty as an option really reduces crime; every attacker thinks they will be the exception to the rule; the one who gets away with it. Once a person is captured they are no longer a threat to the general population. When the killer is no longer a threat, killing him is revenge rather than justice. It doesn't return the victim to life. Nor does it truly protect any future victims. The only thing that does that with any success is a universally armed population, which New Mexico can, and should, have.

Fellow prisoners should be protected from the truly violent predators (rather than the "crime of passion" types). Of course, no one but violent attackers should be in prison in the first place. Others, those whose crimes are of a financial nature, should be working on their restitution rather than living off the stolen money of the state. Those other people who were kidnapped by the state for counterfeit "crimes" which harm no one (in other words, the majority of those in prison) should not be incarcerated to begin with. Not in a rational society, anyway.

Light of liberty illuminates the failures of authoritarianism

Light of liberty illuminates the failures of authoritarianism

The quickest way to see that libertarianism is correct is by reading the views and opinions of the opposition. The inconsistencies in any adherent of authoritarianism should be glaringly obvious to just about anyone who takes the time to look with open eyes and an engaged mind.

Authoritarians always have exceptions to their "principles". Evil actions are disguised behind euphemisms: It is wrong to steal, unless you are doing so under the guise of "taxation", for one common example.

The consistency of libertarians is frightening to some authoritarians. They keep trying to find exceptions by proposing increasingly bizarre scenarios to libertarians; saying "but what if....".

These scenarios are normally either of the "deserted island" or the "powerful warlord" variety. Of the two, the "powerful warlord" scenario is the more realistic, since that is the situation we find ourselves in now.

A powerful band of warlords, calling themselves "government" has declared that they own us and the products of our lives. We are told we can choose which of them is the anointed figurehead for a certain number of years, but are not allowed to officially opt out of the system entirely. A choice that makes no difference is not a real choice. They demand to be paid tributes for "giving" us the privilege of having them rule over us. They pretend to be protecting us from the very sort of threat that they themselves pose to our lives, our liberties, and our pursuit of happiness.

Since authoritarianism failed to prevent a gang of powerful warlords from taking control, why keep looking to the same misguided delusions in an attempt to protect us from yet another powerful warlord? The answer lies in accepting and exercising responsibility for your own life, and in the determination to not let anyone usurp that self-ownership under any pretext.

These scenarios are no problem for a libertarian grounded on a solid foundation of self-ownership, non-aggression, and responsibility for one's own actions. If real exceptions exist, I have yet to find one.

Libertarians defy the usual labels

Libertarians defy the usual labels

One rather humorous invective that gets hurled at libertarians occasionally is that we are "just liberals who like guns". Being outside the traditional political "right vs left" nonsense confuses those who wish to insult us. "The Right" calls us "bleeding heart liberals"; "The Left" calls us "heartless right-wingers". The truth is we are the only ones who remain consistent.

Not all libertarians agree on all the issues, so I can only speak for myself here. On the "liberal" side I oppose the death penalty, since no government is worthy of being trusted with power over life and death. I am against drug prohibition since if you don't own your own body, to dispose of however you please, you own nothing. I am against "laws" regulating or controlling sexual activity between responsible consenting individuals for the same reason.

On the traditional "conservative" side I oppose any attempts by any government to regulate weaponry. The right to bear arms ("to own and to carry weapons") existed before the Second Amendment and will still exist after the USA is a historical footnote, no matter what the prevailing legal environment demands. I am against government becoming a burden on business, through "taxation" or regulation. I am against penalizing people and businesses for success. I am against government interference with any sort of religion; believe what you want, just don't pass "laws" attempting to control non-coercive behavior based upon those beliefs. I am for property rights; it is your property, do with it as you wish as long as it doesn't escape your property to harm others. You may have noticed that by my yardstick there are no longer any "conservatives" in government at the national level, regardless of their claims.

There are some things that "both sides" disagree with me over. Democracy is not the Holy Grail of freedom; it is "the tyranny of the majority". There are very few things that should be subject to a vote, and a vote should never determine whose rights to violate.

I recognize that taxation of any amount is blatant theft. It doesn't matter how much you love to see the money spent on your favorite program. Theft is always wrong.

I accept that there is no right to not be offended. Stop running to government every time someone says or does something that offends you. Get a thicker skin.

Public schools are a disaster and are indoctrinating children to accept socialism without question. They are financed by ransoming the homes of the people in the area. You can't teach children to be good people with stolen money. Real education is much too important to leave to government bureaucrats.

National borders are a handy way to control people. Anything that can keep "them" out can keep "us" in. A fence works both ways and really only helps the farmer to control his livestock until it is time to butcher.

Immigration is only a problem if welfare is available. End it. Return to a time when charity was the safety net, instead of weaving one from theft. Charity is voluntary. You get to help whoever you like for whatever reason you have.

So, as you see, when libertarians are accused by one branch of authoritarians of belonging to the other camp of authoritarians, they miss the boat so completely as to appear silly. It is your choice to laugh as you walk away, or to try to correct them. Good luck.