Friday, July 02, 2010

'Law pollution'- stop the insanity. Plus: ABQ firefighters get unwelcome news

'Law pollution'- stop the insanity. Plus: ABQ firefighters get unwelcome news

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.)

Prescription for America ("Essay to the Editor")

Note: This is a Letter to the Editor I sent to our local newspaper, The State Line Tribune. They have no online edition, so I reproduce the letter here:

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.