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Friday, July 30, 2010
The government's tools, fools, and cheerleaders just don't get it.
The news stories say an Albuquerque police officer was hospitalized after he was "attacked" by a person he was arresting. That's unlikely and almost impossible.
Let's be honest- an "arrest" is a kidnapping by a government employee who is on the clock. It is "legal", but it is still an initiation of force unless the "suspect" actually attacked the LEO (or another person present at the scene) before the arrest was set in motion. A forceful resistance to a kidnapping (or any other initiation of force) is self-defense, and self-defense is never an "attack". It is a response to an attack.
If the person being kidnapped had done nothing to harm any other person- if he was being arrested for violating some counterfeit "law"; often known as "victimless crimes"- then he was within his basic human rights to fight off the kidnapper as soon as he knew an arrest was intended. And to continue to attempt to escape throughout the ordeal. Even if it wasn't the smartest move he could have made.
Of course, I have no idea what the person had actually done to trigger the State's actions. Perhaps he is a violent thug who steals from orphans. Perhaps he smokes prohibited salad. That information isn't seen as important to the narrative. Instead we are supposed to automatically empathize with the injured kidnapper. Sorry, but that is not automatic and I'd need some critical information, which is lacking, before I could do that. I already know for certain that the kidnapper receives stolen property in the form of his paycheck. Is the other guy that bad? As reported, it still appears to be an act of self-defense against a kidnapper. One for which his punishment will be swift and sure, I am certain.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Guess which comment from "the left" irritates me the most. Anytime any liberty-respecting writer makes a point critical of Obama and his tyrannical proclivities, some lefty will pipe up: "Where were you during the eight years of Bush?"
I'll tell you where I was. Right here opposing, either in writing or in how I live my life, every single evil act he committed. Just as I am with Obama. And every other libertarian/anarchist/sovereign individual was doing the same thing; some much louder and longer than me. What I want to ask these myopic "progressives" ("regressives" would be a lot more accurate, since what they really advocate is a return to the worst traits of failed governments of the past) is "I have been here all along. Where did you go when Obama revealed himself to be 'Bush III'?"
Of course, I'd also like to point out that being "of the left" is a position so full of internal inconsistencies as to lose any chance of "working" in the real world, but I'll be nice and let them figure that out for themselves. Just as those "of the right" will have to do. Someday.
I don't worry so much about government acting like government these days. To expect otherwise would be delusional. In that case I might as well become a "Tea Partier". There is only one "Tea Party" worth your time, which hasn't been derailed by "more-of-the-same-ism", and you can find them and get involved without moving from where you sit: The Boston Tea Party. For the most part I prefer to avoid and ignore government when I can, and I certainly don't wish to spend my time thinking about it. I'll warn others of things I see that I think they need to be aware of, and point out the real solution that respects individual rights and liberty, but life is too precious to let The State spoil it.
An Albuquerque man is being sought after supposedly forcing a teen into prostitution in his home. It would be more accurate to describe her situation as slavery, rather than prostitution. I seriously doubt she was getting any money from her efforts, which puts the lie to the "prostitution" charge. It would have been just as wrong for him to force her to wash dishes for others while he kept the money she earned. I'm supposing the State is reluctant to charge people with slavery; that would be self-incriminating for the government, since most of its actions are aimed at enslaving the population and forcing us to support the government with the labors of our bodies.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
One common justification for the "climate change" hysteria, is that even if the climate change believers turn out to be wrong; either that there is climate change, or that it is caused by human activities, there is little harm in taking the prescribed corrective measures. Bunk!
Little harm? The "solution" for "anthropogenic global climate change", demanded by the collectivists who falsely call themselves "environmentalists", destroys the ability of regular people to earn a living. It puts the world's very worst polluters, governments, in charge of telling everyone else how to live, and punishing those who disobey. It does worse than sending humanity back to the stone age, since at least back then they had fire with which to cook food, light the dark, and heat themselves. It sets up a new caste system, where the politically powerful, rich, and/or connected get to maintain a modern lifestyle, while "the little people" are expected to sacrifice most of the advances of the past several hundred years for "the common good", while still being expected to not be as "messy" as our forebears. It also terrifies some people much like the "nuclear annihilation" threat of an earlier generation did. That is an awful lot of harm.
Modern society is remarkably clean. Only government deals and favoritism (corporatism) keep the big polluters (BP) from taking full individual responsibility, and making full restitution, for their mistakes and misdeeds. The modern individual leaves less mess behind than the primitive individual did. It is just that there are an awful lot of us humans now, and we are being artificially forced, by government fear and inertia, to stay in our planetary cradle instead of being allowed to naturally spread out from Earth.
The best way to do what you can for the environment hasn't changed: Don't soil your own nest, and take full, individual, responsibility for the mess you do make when it harms the property or lives of others.
In the interest of full disclosure, I would be happy to live in a cave under primitive conditions. Or in a tipi or a dugout. No electricity or running water (or, as I used to tell my first ex-wife "we'd have electricity during thunderstorms, and running water when it rains....") The thought doesn't bother me at all. However, I know most people don't feel that way. Many people depend on modern advances for their very lives. I have no business taking their non-coercive choices from them. Neither does anyone else.
You would think that if government can do any good, it would be able to prevent bad things from happening right under its nose.
A security guard at the Department of Human Services in Albuquerque called 911 because of a woman who was said to be beating her baby by slamming him against a wall inside the women's restroom. What good is a security guard if he is not allowed to provide security? One spokesperson claimed the guard was not authorized to intervene because he is not a police officer. Supposedly this goes for anyone who is not a LEO and who sees an attack occurring. “Certainly in an incident like this, they do need to act quickly, as well. But they are not police officers. So they need to call law enforcement immediately." Has no one heard of "citizen's arrest"? Does no one step up to protect a victim from an attacker anymore? At one time the police had no authority beyond that held by the rest of the population. It was simply their "job" to do what the rest of us could do on our own. It needs to be that way again, if that has been foolishly changed by "law". After all, this is why "cops cause crime".
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
For every situation there is a smart way to rebel, and there are lots of stupid ways to rebel. I don't always know the difference myself, but I see some people who seem committed to rebel in the most stupid ways possible. They seem to be saying "Here I am! Notice me and strike me down! Quickly, before I can accomplish anything!" It really isn't for me to judge how another person decides to rebel or comply, as long as they don't initiate force, fraud, or theft. It just makes me wonder- Is it useful to sacrifice yourself without making any gain? Who am I to judge what another sees as "gain"? I personally see a lot of value in having lots of living people exercising their liberty and withdrawing consent from the "system". Sure, if you are dead you are not consenting, but you really aren't much of an irritation to the Rulers that way, either.
They'll still tax your corpse.
If you can't find any way to resolve your issue other than coercion or initiating force, including using a "law", you have failed.
What can you use to accomplish your goals instead of a State, a government, or other types of coercive evil?
If you want to accomplish something, do you automatically think of a way to do it using coercion? Or theft or fraud? Or, do you not even consider those things, knowing that they are wrong even when convenient and you "really, really, want to do this"?
In a previous column I ended by saying "My job is to offer a map for your use."
MamaLiberty commented "Who made this your job?
Well, there have been many times in my life when I have taken on tasks that I was not asked to undertake, but that were within my rights to work on. Usually without any sort of pay or recognition. Sometimes even to be met with scorn or opposition. It is not what I'd prefer, but it does seem to be the way things are.
Albuquerque has another candidate for "Mother of the Year". Her 6-year old autistic son was found wandering outside, in the rain, after midnight, and she denied being his mother until her tattoo of his name on her neck gave her away.
I would bet she may be willing to give him up to someone who might actually care about him. Maybe a monetary trade could be made to grease the wheels. "Laws" prevent this for "the child's own good" of course, but how could that be worse than being handed over to government and placed in foster care or even back with a mother who might not really want him? Let real, mutually beneficial solutions be found; not blocked.
Don't forget to check out my books, including how to get them for free. I am switching the free ebook versions to Lulu.com. I think that may work better than the other way I was doing it.
Monday, July 26, 2010
I was noticing a story in the Albuquerque news about the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad receiving donations from businesses and individuals to help repair or replace the trestle that was damaged in a fire. The railroad is "owned" by the states of New Mexico and Colorado.
This brings up a point. If businesses and individuals are needed to donate money to help a state-"owned" attraction keep going in a crisis, why is the state "needed" at all? Obviously people think the railroad is important enough to help it over a rough spot. Why shouldn't these same people profit from the operation of the railroad more directly? Cut the state out of the equation.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
My recent Albuquerque news link, about the robbers who have been shooting their robbery victims for no apparent reason, elicited a comment by "Roger Young" that really stuck in my head, and keeps reverberating there. He says:
The police advice to victims (to give robbers what they want) reflects the same
attitude the state, in general, encourages among its citizen-serfs: “Don’t
resist. Pay your taxes. Obey our commands.” What is the state but just another
bandit looking to steal our property AND our freedom.
He is so right. It makes me wonder if, deep down, the agents of the State don't realize what they really are, and seek to protect themselves by indoctrinating us all on how to behave in all similar situations. It sure sounds like they do.
Instead, I suggest staying alert and aware, and treating all robbers and aggressors the same. If they don't like that, they can go straight
(Notice the "missing" period at the end. Did I mean "go straight"? Or did I mean they can go straight to somewhere that I "forgot" to write down to complete the sentence? You decide.)
Friday, July 23, 2010
Suppose that every government official and enforcer, from the president to your friendly neighborhood Taser-monkey, suddenly gets a conscience and eliminates themselves from the category of living beings as a long-overdue gesture toward decency.
Would you celebrate by looting, raping, and killing? No? Would your family members take the opportunity to act on secret desires to start doing these things- the values and principles of a lifetime tossed out the window like a squashed spider? Or, if your family isn't being held in check by government guns in their faces, perhaps it is your friends who are the reason that the 5000-year long failure of externally-imposed government is still believed to be a necessity. They must be the ones you fear if the threat of arrest or death by Duly-Authorized Coercion Professionals weren't a guaranteed result of being a "criminal". Right? No? Well, I'm sure most people would blame "others".
Unless you would stand by and let the suddenly unshackled bad guys live out their coercive fantasies, what is the danger?
Sure, you wouldn't bother, or even be able, to enforce the unnumbered millions of "necessary" counterfeit "laws" that the Rulers have seen fit to impose on me, but you'd be able to recognize when I was doing something actually wrong; initiating force, fraud, trespassing, or theft. And you'd have the right and the ability to take the initiative to stop me, exactly like those recently-extinct enforcers would have possibly done. In fact, you and I would be better able to do that effectively, since "Average Joe (or Jo)" is the person present when these acts are committed.
Without the silly and evil anti-defense "laws" making people second-guess whether being attacked now by the "criminal" is safer than being attacked later by "The Law", more people would be inclined to do what is right.
Clinging to the notion of government is an admission that you wouldn't do the right thing in a crisis. You want someone else to carry that burden for you. Yet, as has been clearly demonstrated since the dawn of history, that doesn't work. Either each of us does what is right to the best of our own ability, or it simply doesn't get done. Hiring others to do it for us is abject failure. Government is the physical evidence of that failure. Take back civilization.
From the Albuquerque news comes this story out of Santa Fe. Robbers who were given what they demanded, "thank" their victims by shooting them. Killing some.
Cops and other anti-self-defense opinionizers are always insisting that victims of theft "just give the robbers what they want", suggesting that cooperation will keep you safe. "Your money isn't worth your life" they say. However, some thieves don't "just" want your money, as these two thugs demonstrate. Anyone willing to steal from you should be assumed to also have no objections to killing you if it suits their purpose. Don't take the chance. Fight back with all the determined violence of a cornered wildcat. But with more focus.
It doesn't matter if the trespasser is a transient (with or without government permission papers) "just passing through" or an agent sent by the government for some "legal" purpose.
If the trespasser cuts a fence or kicks down a door to gain entry this is above and beyond the trespass; it is another wrong in addition to the trespass. Destruction is not a prerequisite to trespassing.
It is not possible to trespass on "government property" since government can't actually "own" anything. Government doesn't possess anything it did not steal from the real owner, or "purchase" with stolen (including counterfeited) money. A thief does not own that which he possesses, and has no say in what is done with that property.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
The world is an interesting place. Not a smooth, featureless plain, but a varied landscape of hills, mountains, swamps, rivers, oceans, and cities. And for that I am glad. Many people are under the mistaken impression that the best path is straight. No, the best path follows liberty, and it must go around some obstacles, over some, and through others. The path that we each take through the world can wander back and forth. We will cross other paths as we travel along our journey, but all others lead to less-wondrous destinations.
Sometimes that path to liberty goes to the "right" and sometimes it goes to the "left", but it is always taking the shortest distance to liberty. We can call this path "libertarianism" among other things. It is the only path you can follow and not be doing something wrong to someone.
When you are trying to follow the path of liberty, any detour from that path- to the left or to the right- will end up getting you lost. The "Right" is content to follow the path as long as it heads right, and the "Left" is content to follow the path as long as it heads left. Both wander astray when they continue right or left beyond the edges of the path. They continue on their set course, in spite of where the trail lies, and end up in the brambles when confronted with certain issues. This is unfortunate and self-defeating. It always leads to authoritarianism and tyranny.
As long as someone is not harming any other innocent individual no one has a right to try to use coercion to force them to alter their course. Don't steal, defraud, trespass, or attack anyone- and as long as a person is not doing one of these things, leave them alone or you will be the guilty one. In order to do one of those bad things, you must get off the path to liberty somewhere.
Stray too far and you may have trouble seeing the path from where you stand when, or if, you realize how far you've wandered. My job is to offer a map for your use.
Three people are accused of stealing an elderly Albuquerque woman's money. That is terrible. What is the difference between what they did, and what the thousands of people who "work for government" do? Taking money that belongs to another is still theft, no matter how you attempt to justify it.
It started out as a dependable 1 cent per page view, although Examiner denied this was the case. They claimed it just kinda worked out that way. Usually.
Then it was reduced to 9/10 of a cent per page view for a while. During this time they began paying a dollar per column, with a maximum of $5 per week. That was nice. It more than made up for the reduction in per-view pay.
However, recently I have seen my per page view pay drop to 7/10 of a cent. Yes, I am still getting more there than I would be making otherwise, and getting more page views there than my blog generally got (other than the "Hot Slut of the Day" spike).
I'm not planning to quit, but it does take away some of the motivation for producing columns.
It can be physical such as scrapes, bruises, broken bones, or other manifestations of applied force.
It can be financial such as a loss of your money or other property through theft, fraud, or damage to your property. Being successful while others are not is not a case you you harming them.
It could be emotional if you are subjected to psychological abuse while being held prisoner and not allowed to escape, but it does not include "being offended" when escape is physically possible.
Can government approval make one individual thing good while another identical thing, only lacking this approval, is "so bad" it is worth committing murder over? No. But government's tools, fools, and cheerleaders believe their approval has this power. Immigration, the War on (some) Drugs, "gun control"... the list of examples crosses every human activity.
This is my 420th Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner column, so, appropriately enough, it deals with marijuana. Medical marijuana in particular.
Because the state of New Mexico is so hesitant to license medical marijuana growers, the supply can't meet the demand. Even for those few people (2000 in the entire state) that the state decides "legally" deserve the medical benefits of using marijuana. That's evil.
The state medicine rationers are afraid of letting "too much" be grown, for fear some might find its way into the hands of people who are without the "proper" permits. Yet, the people with the permits can't get the amount they need, so they are forced to do without or go to providers who are not government-approved; risking false "arrest" or worse. This ridiculous keystone cops melodrama would be funny if the same government that licenses patients and providers didn't, on a regular basis, murder people who use or provide marijuana without the proper permission slips. Drug prohibition kills. All prohibition kills.
A marijuana plant doesn't know if it is state-approved or not, and the paperwork makes no difference in the medicinal properties- except in cases where government-bred strains are too weak to work. A license or a permit doesn't change the right or wrong of anything, ever. And, although it is not relevant to the discussion at hand, neither does medical need or recreational desire. You own your own body and life, and can determine what goes into it, or you own nothing and are the property of another. Who owns you?
Monday, July 19, 2010
You have probably noticed the fetish LEOs have for flashlights. It is more serious than you thought. Now that flashlight could also be secretly recording everything you say and do. The first place in the Albuquerque area that these privacy-invasion wands have been admitted to being used is with the Rio Rancho Police Department.
Cops are always anxious to spy on you and me, yet, as has been seen in so many places in so many ways, if you take video of cops, they will often "arrest" you. Or worse. Many people across the country have been charged with "wiretapping" when recording the misdeeds of cops.
Sometimes the charges are dropped and replaced with some other lie if the cops realize they can't get away with the original bogus charge. Just look at the case of George Donnelly for confirmation. If it is wrong for us to do to them, it is wrong for them to do to us.
Besides, cops, like all government employees and agents, are supposed to be our servants- we outrank them and they seem to have forgotten that fact. The most pathetic drunk passed out in the gutter outranks the biggest swaggering cop on the force. By leaps and bounds.
I wonder, if a cop records something inside your car, when you did not consent to a search, isn't that illegal? Not that I expect government to abide by the laws that limit it (while it demands you and me to obey the "laws" that it imposes on us).
I recommend following the link to the KOB TV story and learn to recognize these new tools of tyranny. Just in case one is ever aimed at you. I wish to thank KOB for exposing this secret weapon in the State's war against liberty.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Due to the recent pay cutbacks, some Albuquerque firefighters are choosing to retire early. That's their decision to make, but I wonder if they have considered getting together to form their own, private, fire fighting organization.
I realize the "law" probably prevents it in some way. Just imagine if it didn't, though.
They could offer their services and experience to customers, both fighting and preventing fires and fire damage. They could experiment with different options and discover which works best, and let customers buy the services they want.
Those customers would still be forced to pay for the city-provided "service" that they no longer needed, though, just as home-schoolers and those who choose private schools are still forced to support a system that has failed and that they don't want or need. That's the problem with a coercive system that doesn't allow competition or an "opt out". It is also why most "public services" are unresponsive to actual customer needs; the pay doesn't depend on customer satisfaction, but only on the fact that it is there and you are going to pay for it or else.
Just remember: for any problem, there is always a liberty-respecting solution. Government may prohibit it, but that's government's flaw, not the solution's.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
And this provides justice.... how? A toddler left in a van in the Albuquerque heat, for over two hours, has died. This is a tragedy. I can't imagine how any parent could be so stupid and negligent. Things like this make me very angry.
What I really don't understand, though, is just how charging the mother with a crime fixes anything.
Do the authorities really think this will teach her a lesson so she won't ever do this again? Or do they think this will warn other parents not to repeat this woman's mistake, as if people don't think it will never happen to them? Do they believe this will bring the dead child back or "give her peace"? Will this improve the life of the woman's surviving child in some nebulous way? Or does none of this compare to the importance of "upholding the law"?
Whatever justification is used, the authorities show their mindless stupidity every time they add punishment on top of tragedy. Not every mistake, even really horrible ones leading to suffering and death, "need" to become legal matters. I don't believe for a second this woman intended to harm or kill her child. For The State, the prime "provider" of tragedy and death throughout history on a global scale, to self-righteously seek revenge on an individual who is already suffering more than I can imagine, is sick.
Added: On the original column at Examiner.com, MamaLiberty added this insightful comment: "In thirty years of nursing I've seen a great many stupid and lethal mistakes. I don't recall a single one that could have been prevented by sending others who made that mistake to prison."
I have never seen it expressed better!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I suppose it is time to once again remind people what rights are, and what the purpose of the Bill of Rights was.
I say this because someone has posted a comment demonstrating beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have no clue what a right is, and don't understand what the Bill of Rights had to do with rights; specifically the right to own and to carry arms mentioned in the Second Amendment.
A right is something you can do, without asking permission from anyone, simply because you are alive. Anything that does not violate another person's identical and equal rights is within your rights to do, whether trivial or monumentally important. A right can not be limited, regulated, restricted, licensed, or taxed. It can only be respected or violated. A right does not place an obligation on anyone else on your behalf, and "having to put up with being offended" by your actions does not equal an "obligation" on anyone else. In other words, as long as you are not harming or threatening to harm any innocent person while you exercise your right it doesn't matter how upset, offended, or "scared" someone gets by your actions, they have no right to try to stop you.
The Bill of Rights was misnamed as it did nothing to "give" you rights, but was simply written and ratified to make it illegal for government, at any level (yes, even without the 14th Amendment- read the Constitution if you don't believe me. Article IV, Section 2) to make any "laws" in an attempt to violate anyone's pre-existing rights (a redundant phrase).
You don't have "Second Amendment rights", the government has "Second Amendment limits". That they choose to illegally and illegitimately ignore and violate those limits doesn't affect your rights in the least. It only affects your liberty, which is the freedom to exercise those rights.
Private individuals are not prohibited from violating your rights by the Bill of Rights, but by the nature of rights and by the fact that your rights do not exist at their whim. Their rights do not nullify your rights in any way. Anyone, whether a government thug, a private individual, or an employer, who chooses to violate your rights in any way, using any justification, is not your friend, but a mortal enemy. If they do not trust you as a fully-functional human being with all your rights intact, they do not trust you at all and you should not trust them either.
Would being armed have saved the victims of the jealous murderer in Albuquerque Monday? There is no way to know, as there seems to have been no warning before the shooting began. One thing that is absolutely certain is that being unarmed, whether by Emcor Corp. policy or through irresponsibility, saved no lives. Your life is in your hands. Protect it.
Monday, July 12, 2010
A person violated the Zero Aggression Principle in Albuquerque and people are dead. I would also be willing to place money on the odds that Emcor, where he shot and killed his victims, has a "no guns at work" (except for "professional security" or LEOs, of course) policy.
The only effect a "no guns" policy ever has is to make certain that a bad guy, who by definition refuses to obey the rules, will have his pick of unarmed targets to kill at his convenience.
Murder is "illegal", yet that didn't stop him. Why would anyone with even a handful of functional neurons inside their cranium think that prohibiting guns to those inclined to obey such stupid policies would make a person intent on killing people change his mind?
It is your responsibility to ensure your own safety. Regardless of rules or "laws" to the contrary. If any person or business doesn't trust you as a fully self-responsible person with all your basic human rights intact, then they do not trust you at all. Avoid these people and places as if your worst enemy were there, because that is the reality of the situation. They value their "feel-good" and "sensible" policies above your life.
Gun control kills again. Will the lesson be learned this time?
If an act is right for one person, it is right for everyone, and if it is wrong for one person, it is wrong for everyone. That sounds simple, right? So why is it so hard for statists to grasp? I must conclude it indicates they don't want to understand.
Just take the example of Oscar Grant's murder-by-cop. The cop who killed Grant pulled a gun and shot Grant, who was handcuffed and face-down, in the back. The murderer later claimed he "only" meant to use his Taser on Grant. That would have still been wrong since Grant was cuffed and face-down. When someone is no longer a threat to your life or property, specifically when you have them pinned and cuffed, it is wrong to harm them. Tasers cause harm and can kill (as has been demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt).
Does anyone honestly believe that had the roles been reversed Mr. Grant would have gotten off with only "2 to 4"? Just imagine if Oscar and some of his friends had cuffed a LEO and put him face-down on the ground, and then simply Tasered him. What consequences would Mr. Grant be facing? What if instead of electro-torturing the cop with a Taser, he had "accidentally" shot and killed him?
In another example an 82 year-old man in Colorado was charged with attempted murder for shooting a thief who was fleeing from him.
As I commented on that article:
His only error was in calling the cops to report the crime.
Cops shoot and
kill people on a daily basis with much flimsier justification- such as a person
who is doing nothing wrong, but simply hesitates to obey an unreasonable order
from a badge bully. If they can charge this man, who was defending his property
rights, with attempted murder, then every cop who has ever shot anyone who
wasn't an immediate lethal threat should also be charged with murder or
attempted murder. Otherwise cops and "the law" are hypocritical beyond
Cops, if they are to be trusted with weapons AND a badge, must be held to a much higher standard than the rest of us. The consequences for their destructive behavior must be much more harsh than it would be if they were not a LEO. Refusal to hold them fully accountable for their actions is only facilitating our headlong descent into the police state America is becoming.
Speaking of cops never taking any responsibility for their actions, police say they are searching for two suspects who are "believed to be responsible for a high-speed chase" on I-40. So, the cops who were chasing them share zero responsibility for the high-speed chase? Of course.
Move along... nothing to see here.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Albuquerque cops caught a thief with 30 stolen guns. Now the question remains- were those guns returned to the owners, or are they now stolen by the police department instead of the freelance thief? After all, as long as the guns are not back with their owners they are still stolen. If the police still have the guns, then the police are accessories to the theft and are no better than the burglar who originally stole the weapons.
The whole "holding as evidence" excuse is just that: an excuse. Photographs and serial numbers would be just as condemning during a trial- completely sufficient as long as the records were destroyed immediately after the trial. There is no reason to leave the information in the wrong hands where it can be abused.
When a theft occurs, justice demands that the victim be returned to his "pre-violation" condition. This means his guns in his house and no record of what he owns in the computers of the police department. Will there be justice?
Friday, July 09, 2010
Libertarians are often accused of "whining about government instead of offering solutions". That's just silly. I offer solutions all the time. If statists refuse to hear me, or if they ridicule the solutions I offer, I have still offered solutions.
As they say about leading horses to water; the same applies to people. There is no problem that can't be solved by a liberty-respecting solution. The libertarian solution is usually more immediate than the coercively imposed "solutions" the State prefers, and is cheaper or even free. But, obviously the solution is different. So different that apparently many people tune it out. The real solution means looking at things from a different perspective. Not what's expedient, but what's right.
So the statists refuse to hear and continue to accuse you of never offering solutions. Makes me want to say something about getting the car key out of their ear and listening for a while. Just because they don't want to implement the solutions doesn't mean they aren't real, operational, solutions.
Exposing the problems caused by government, the practice statists call "whining", is also part of the solution. Until you understand that the current path is the source of most of the problems it is hard to choose another path. Until you understand that "this doesn't ever work", and realize that doing even more of the same will not work either, it is difficult to abandon the failed method and try something totally different.
Therefore, I try to expose the fact that the status quo is causing the problems and then offer a way out, in language that most people can understand, without relying on references that would only be understood by the "in-group. Even in my little town full of "religious conservatives" it seems to be making a dent.
I see a new report claims that "illegal immigrants" cost Americans $113 billion per year. Yet, reading the article I notice that it isn't the immigrants costing Americans, it is the US government's socialist programs that are costing us. If the theft ended today, the cost would go away. Problem solved.
An Albuquerque city councilor wants to take away a homeowners association's authority to enforce rules that require a homeowner to have some type of "lawn" in their front yard.
Personally, I despise "homeowners associations" and "lawns". However, as long as you joined voluntarily and any new rules are only enacted by unanimous consent, it is no one else's business what the rules are. Not even to reduce water usage in the desert. As I have pointed out before, if water is being wasted, it means it is priced below its actual free-market value, and the ABQ water monopoly needs to die. Problem solved.
Monday, July 05, 2010
In the latest issue of The Libertarian Enterprise (you do read it weekly, right?), A.X. Perez said, in a letter-to-the-editor exchange regarding the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Second Amendment: "I might, maybe, concede that people should not own weapons powerful enough to literally blow the planet apart without special licenses."
That statement stopped me in my tracks. Who could possibly have the authority to issue such licenses? Not government, although they will be the ones to claim the authority.
Personally, I don't think people should "own weapons powerful enough to literally blow the planet apart" at all. Neither as individuals nor as a collective of insane individuals we know as "government". Yet, because of cost and difficulty, governments are the only ones actually in possession of such weapons now.
Regardless of who has, or may in the future have, doomsday weaponry, there is no justification for allowing the only ones who currently have them to "permit" or deny them to the rest of us. To pretend that these people have any authority to "license" the rest of us to own any sort of weaponry is crazy. That's like saying your insane uncle can give you permission to lock your door at night to keep him out of your bedroom while you sleep.
Obviously, there would never be any right to use any such weapon as long as you were on Earth. It would be impossible to use it without harming innocent people. That is not the case with guns; even fully-automatic .50 caliber rifles.
Also, notice my most recent submission to The Libertarian Enterprise, which you may have already caught at my blog.
Another reason firefighters should be privatized: so they don't act as agents of the State.
Albuquerque firefighters patrolled the streets inspecting fireworks vendors; looking for violations of fireworks "laws". If anyone inspects the vendors' stands, it should be their insurance company (if any). Does the State not see the irony in regulating the celebration of the biggest anti-government holiday? Does no one see the irony in cooperating?
Fireworks, as explosives, are covered by the Second Amendment; therefore government is prohibited, by law, from making any regulations regarding them. No authority; no "crime".
Sunday, July 04, 2010
Happy Independence Day!
Back in 1776 some fairly radical folks wrote a good document that told a meddling, overbearing government where to stick it. We call that document "The Declaration of Independence". Then, they backed up their words with guns to get the point across clearly enough that statism-addled brains would understand. Their secession succeeded. So far, so good. But...
Just a few short years later they took back everything they said with the Constitution- or as it might more honestly be called- "The Declaration of Dependence". Or, maybe "The Anti-Declaration of Independence".
The Declaration of Independence's points still apply today, and the abuses of the government that resulted from the Constitution are now much worse than those that led to the original Declaration and secession ("The American Revolution").
So, go out and celebrate liberty on this Independence Day 2010, but keep in mind that doing so will probably make you a "criminal". Just like those hardened criminals who, in blatant violation of the ruling government's "laws", wrote and signed the Declaration of Independence.
Enjoy your scaled-back, government-sponsored, "tax" financed, officially licensed, with explosives and freedoms prohibited to you and me, Albuquerque fireworks show. Sad how "liberty" and "independence" have been outlawed unless you celebrate them in a government-approved way, isn't it.
Saturday, July 03, 2010
This morning a panelist on a Fox news discussion said "Just because some old men in knickers 200 years ago said we could bear arms doesn't mean it's right for today".
And just because someone a few hundred years ago said gravity causes things to fall to the ground doesn't mean things still fall. But they do. An observation of a pre-existing condition doesn't cause the condition. Nor does a denial of the condition invalidate it in any way.
But he's right in a way he probably wasn't smart enough to understand. "Just because some old men in knickers 200 years ago said", and wrote, that they recognized that the right to own and to carry weapons was inherent in being human "doesn't mean" it is right for today. Their opinions have no bearing on it at all. That is fortunate, since opinions are always subject to change.
Before the first human was human, the right to use weapons was already fully formed. It doesn't matter if those weapons are a body part or something carried in the hand. Horns, fangs, venom, claws, sticks, stones, knives, spears, arrows, guns- it isn't the tool that is important; it is the absolute right to defend your life, liberty, and property. No other creature would ever even question that fundamental fact of life. It is, and should always be, recognized as a given; a necessary condition of life.
A gun is not good or bad; it is the context. If a bad guy is holding a gun on me I am not stupid enough to blame the gun- I blame the thug holding it. If he was holding a knife or a stone or a "law" he would still be just as bad. No matter what tool he is holding, I want the best, most effective tool available to me to defend myself from his aggression. I want the same for you. At this point in history, that tool is a gun. It is still right for today. It will still be right 200 years from now. Or even a million years from now when guns as we know them might seem quaint.
The right is, and always will be, a right, even as the tools for exercising that right progress. The opinions of people 200 years ago, or today, have no bearing on that right; only on whether the right is respected or violated. I choose to respect it.
Once again, remember that New Mexico is a "Gold Star" open carry state and that even cities like Albuquerque have no authority to forbid the open carry of guns. Of course, they don't have the authority to regulate the concealed carry of guns, either, but they do lie about that one, and so far have gotten away with it.
Friday, July 02, 2010
How many "laws" will be enough? I know I have mentioned this a lot, but it is because law pollution is an ongoing, and constantly increasing, serious problem.
I am hearing about a passel of new "laws" that just went in to effect in New Mexico. Each year, more and more "laws" are enacted, without the old ones being eliminated. "Laws" on top of "laws" until every breath you take is either mandatory or forbidden. Your inability to obey all the compiled and contradictory "laws" results in "crime" (obviously, by definition) which is used as justification for more enforcers occupying your home town. When will there be enough "laws"?
Not every "problem" needs a new "law" to making something else "illegal". Criminalizing everything solves nothing. There is no way to criminalize your way to Utopia. When the thought "there oughta be a law" occurs to you, remind yourself that, no, there ought not. No matter what the imagined problem might be. If it is wrong, it is already illegal. If it is annoying or potentially dangerous, deal with it like a self-responsible person.
There are no new wrongs. There is aggression, which has been illegal for thousands of years. There is theft, which has been illegal just as long as aggression. There is fraud, which has also been illegal as long as the other two. There is trespassing, which is also just as illegal and has been since time immemorial. Then gangs of thugs came along, set up shop among the productive people, claimed legitimacy and exempted themselves and their representatives from the laws against all the real wrongs, and started finding excuses to punish people for acts that were never wrong to begin with. That is not a recipe for a civilized society. It is, however, a perfect description of a government.
Firefighters in Albuquerque are upset that the city is cutting their pay. This should just drive home the point that the current coercive way of providing "fire protection" is not anywhere near the ideal solution.
In my opinion, there should be free market competition, with people paying for what they need, from the provider of their choice. Voluntarily. Obviously, there are infinite ways the details could be worked out in a free society, but I have a few thoughts.
It could be handled like insurance, and any damages the fire department fails to prevent they would pay for. Therefore, prevention would be the driving motivation. Someone will invariably balk over "free riders", but that is a non-issue I have dealt with previously. It only "must be done this way" if you refuse to consider better options. The current system is just about the worst imaginable "solution". Time for a change.
(If the KOB article hasn't been corrected, notice that it says "...a district court judge recently ruled that the city can impose the best and final offer that comes up during negotiations if medication fails." I'd like to know what kind of "medication" that would be, and if it shows up in "drug tests". I kept a screen shot. It's good to find humor in reports of socialism and tyranny.)
I agree with Mike Pomper (publisher of the local paper) that America is in a terrible situation at this point in history. My solutions, however, differ somewhat from his.
The solutions are known by many, and are studiously avoided at all costs. They are self-evident if one has learned from history and from human nature. Yet, they go against the current in such an obvious way that many refuse to even acknowledge that the problems of America are solvable- easily, cheaply, and immediately. No new taxes or bureaucracies are needed. In fact, the solutions are free. Yes, the solutions are scary to those who think government is legitimate, but that doesn't make the solutions less true. So what would it take to save America?
Step one: End the War on Drugs. Completely. Re-legalize it all, once again, as it was before. Don't "regulate and tax"; just get out. It isn't "giving in" when you realize you have been heading the opposite direction from where you need to go and you turn around; it is "coming to your senses". The only ones opposed to this are those whose jobs, status, and livelihoods depend on rushing full-steam down this wrong track, and those they have fooled. The War on Drugs has failed to reduce drug abuse. Addiction rates are unchanged after about a century of prohibition.
Either you control your own body, or you do not. It has never been within the legitimate authority of anyone to decide what another person can put into his body. Trying to assert that false authority causes tragedy. Abusing drugs is a stupid thing to do. Yet, so is abusing food, electronic entertainment, or "authority". Of these, only the abuse of "authority" harms other people more than it harms the abuser. If you have a problem, and you want to solve it, seek help. Without fear of the life-destroying consequences of the legal system that is inherent in prohibition.
The crime associated with drug abuse, and used as the justification for the war, is actually caused by the prohibition, and has skyrocketed. Violence always goes hand-in-hand with prohibition, whether it is the "Mexican cartels" or the turf wars between gangs in America. Prohibition raises prices, which gives incentives to take the risks and attracts risk-seeking personality types who don't worry about consequences. Violence is used among these people in order to protect their share of the market; that violence often spills over into the rest of society, and creates justifications for violating the rights of people who are not even using the prohibited substances. If a person attacks another person or steals property, address that issue and stop the violations of our human, and Constitutional, rights that come from a war that is wrong at its very foundation.
Step two: Eliminate the Federal Reserve and stop its printing presses. Counterfeiting isn't any better when government (or a quasi-governmental gang) does it. Through the Federal Reserve's actions, the dollar has lost around 96% of its value so far. Look for the trend to continue to erode those last four cents. Each new dollar that is printed or electronically created makes the dollar in your wallet or bank account worth just a little less. The mountains of fictitious money handed out in the bailouts will devastate your financial future as soon as it trickles down and permeates society. Thanks to the "bailouts" and the "stimulus", it is now unavoidable.
Only a gold standard, preferably with no "official currency", can save America's financial future now. This solution would take power from the US government and its pet "banksters", so it will not even be considered.
The good news is that you can still protect yourself from the worst of the consequences, even without "official" sanction. When the hyperinflation that will result from the US government's counterfeiting operation hits, stop accepting US dollars as payment for anything. Immediately; without worrying that you will offend someone or look crazy. Otherwise you will be working for free- trading value for nothing. Only by taking this action, or by stocking up on silver, gold, and non-perishable goods now, can you protect yourself in the coming collapse. Hoarding, saving, or investing "dollars" will not help you when those dollars lose the last bit of value they still retain.
Step three: The "Border" and the tangentially related crusade of "national security", especially the so-called "War on Terror", are killing America. Stop the insanity now and hope it isn't too late.
You have an absolute right to control who you allow on your property. However, you have no right whatsoever to control who your neighbor allows on his property. If his guest leaves his property and steals from you or attacks you, you have a fundamental human right to defend yourself. It is the act of aggression that is the problem, not where the person committing the aggression came from.
All property should be privately owned. Look at the Farwell city park to see the "tragedy of the commons" illustrated here in our own town. People take care of that which they own and trash that which they consider someone else's responsibility. Government can not legitimately own anything since it acquires nothing it did not steal from the original owner or purchase with money it took by force or threat of force. A thief does not own the stolen possessions he holds. Therefore government has no legitimate say in any trespassing dispute; only the real, individual owner of the property does. It doesn't matter where the trespasser originated. On private property a census worker is just as much a trespasser as an unofficial migrant from Mexico. And property without a real, individual owner can not be trespassed on.
Many people point to the existence and abuse of "social programs" as a reason to allow government to control immigration, but this only points out that socialism is unsustainable anywhere it is tried, and under whatever name you give it. It is essential that all welfare end, even the parts you personally approve of or benefit from. That a cure exposes another fatal disease that also must be dealt with doesn't discredit the cure. It just shows why liberty is not a piecemeal proposition.
As far as "The War on Terror" goes, do you really think US troops in other countries are making America safer? Might they instead be giving new generations of people in those occupied countries a reason to grow up resenting, or even hating, America? How would you feel if troops from North Korea were occupying Farwell, even benevolently, and trying to "win hearts and minds"? I assume most of us would be shooting them and setting "IEDs". If there is a need for a military beyond the Constitutional militia, which is doubtful, the place for them to be is inside America, on military bases, ready to "defend us" here, not scattered around the globe ensuring job security for the next generation of "terrorism fighters".
These are the first things that must be addressed. Of course, there are more solutions available to those brave enough to look. Not "instead of" these first three, but "in addition to". Yes it's a radical suggestion, but it is necessary. Anything less "radical" is like putting a band-aid on a gaping, gushing bullet wound.
Don't look to government for the solutions any more than you'd ask a coyote to design a good chicken pen for you. Every time government tries to "fix" something, it inevitably makes it worse. Mr. Pomper is concerned about "small business", for good reason. Government doesn't need to "help" small business, it just needs to get out of the way and stop actively hurting it.
The answer is never more government intervention. The answer is more personal responsibility. You can't legislate that, no matter how hard you try or how severe you make the penalties. You will only make things worse by denying the facts. Stop using government as a crutch; you don't need it and if you continue to lean on it you will soon forget how to walk on your own.
These three steps I mentioned would make the greatest and most immediate positive difference to your quality of life, improving it more than you dare dream. But only if you have the courage to start walking in liberty, against the current, today.