Those who want you to doubt that anarchy (self ownership and individual responsibility) is the best, most moral, and ethical way to live among others are asking you to accept that theft, aggression, superstition, and slavery are perhaps better.
Feel like using the witching hours to do some haunting, but prefer to do your haunting in cyberspace? Then pop on over here to visit some comments. Witness someone who just hates me, and someone else (I suppose) who hates all gun owners in general (and admits it).
Since the post was about being ruled, and ruling, by fear, Halloween seems an appropriate time to scare the sheep.
In honor of Halloween, and to give you a bit of a fright, here is my personal philosophy in a nutshell:
The individual is the atom of humanity.
All rights reside inside, are centered upon, and flow from, the individual, alone. Your rights do not overlap anyone else's rights- your rights end where the other person's rights begin. No one can have rights over another individual's body. A mutually-consensual contract can be valid as long as it does not violate anyone's rights to their own property, self, or rights.
No group can have any right that each individual in the group does not have.
You have a right to do anything that does not initiate force, or take or damage another's property. It isn't always a good thing to do everything you have a right to do. Everything has consequences, even doing the right thing.
You should not do anything that initiates force upon any individual.
You should not do anything that takes or damages any other individual's property.
If you go ahead and do something you have no right to do, you should expect consequences, and to be a good person you must accept and deal with those consequences without using the consequences as an excuse to do something else wrong.
Evil is any action that harms someone (or their property) who is not attacking or stealing from anyone. People aren't evil; actions are. However a person who is engaging in evil acts could be called evil without stretching the truth too far.
(My weekly Clovis News Journal column for September 30, 2011.)
Libertarianism rests upon the answers to a few questions. Which is better: Freedom or slavery? Honest possession or theft? Truth or falsehood?
For any random individual the answer might be "it depends". For one thing, define "better".
Society prospers as individuals prosper. It is not right to make different rules for different people. This isn't to say "one size fits all", but that if something is true, it is true for all people for all times. If it is wrong for me to do something to you, then it is also wrong for you to do the same to me. It is universal.
One individual might be harmed by freedom. Either his own or someone else's. Should he be able to infringe on the freedoms of other people to prevent himself being harmed? Yes, but only if those others wish to express their freedom by attacking or stealing. Should other people be able to infringe on his freedom to prevent him from hurting himself? No. That individual has the choice to exercise his freedom, or not, even if his choice would harm himself. It's the same choice we all have.
If you claim slavery is better than freedom, that means you believe everyone should be a slave to someone else. Even the slave owners. That's socialism. Yet, there are always individuals, those who make the rules they are willing to enforce with violence, who aren't forced to follow those rules. Those who are most insistent on imposing this system on everyone else exempt themselves, either openly or in practice. Slavery is not best, even in the eyes of the would-be slave master.
A random individual might claim theft is better as long as he is the one receiving the stolen goods. If this were actually true, then as soon as the tables were turned, and everyone began taking advantage of the new morality and stealing his stuff, he would probably change his mind. Once again you can reverse roles to see through the propaganda.
Some people obviously prefer lies over truth. "Do these jeans make me look fat?" or "Do you think my sister is cuter than me?" Those are questions that are not always safe to answer truthfully. Not quite a "verbal grenade", but very close. But are lies "better"? No. All things, even the truth, come with consequences.
So, for most individuals, freedom, property rights, and truth- the foundations of libertarianism- are preferable to the alternatives. Libertarianism is still the most ethical way ever discovered for dealing with others.
This is always an interesting podcast, and I highly recommend it.
FREEDOM FEENS Podcast - Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi’s fun 'n' feisty weekly chat about Constitutional, libertarian and voluntaryist issues, abuse of authority by police, the War on Drugs, self-defense, States' Rights, Natural Rights, Austrian Economics, DIY art, low-budget filmmaking, digital recording, activism, punk rock, hip-hop and more.
Great content, great production values, high-quality audio, and radio safe.
Americanism. I guess that's what I'd call the mental problem infecting a large percentage of those around me.
You know the type:
Stuck in a fictional myth of the 1950s as The Golden Era. Borderism. Religionism. Militarism. Guns "from my cold, dead hands"... but only as long as we can keep them away from the "wrong people". Infected with just a tinge of "White supremacism". A deep fear of "brown people" or change of just about any sort. A love of punishment and revenge. An abiding belief that Democracy, along with The Constitution, is the Alpha and the Omega of freedom. Clinging to the demonstrably false belief that cops are the good guys. Symbols of the USA are worshiped, and no fault can ever be found in the global actions of the US government.
It is nostalgia elevated to religion. Kind of like the Amish.
When I am tired or distracted it would be so much easier to just "lay down the law" with my daughter than to think things through, that it becomes a great temptation.
It is more time-consuming and requires more thought to pursue libertarian parenting. It is a lot of work to be logical, consistent, reasonable, and listen to (or consider) counter-arguments. It's easier to just say "because I said so", even in cases where you are operating from a flawed perspective or with insufficient data. Because I have seen the harm that comes from that style of "parenting" I try to avoid that trap.
But, like I say, it can be a lot of work. Most worthwhile things are.
On the other hand, a little effort now saves a lot of trouble in the future.
(My Clovis News Journal column for September 22, 2011.)
What is it you most would like to do if you had no onerous regulations and laws holding you back? What would you do with liberty?
This is a question libertarian author and novelist L. Neil Smith has posed in the past. It is still one of the best ways to awaken to the potential that liberty has in store for you. Just think about it.
I seriously doubt that you would daydream of a career as a robber or attacker. Nor would I. Why imagine the worst of others? Even if someone else did have those types of ambitions, there would still be the equal and identical rights of others, backed up by an absence of restrictions on self defense and defense of property, to prevent him from becoming a real problem. It isn't as if laws, and the chance of being caught by the enforcers, stop bad people from being bad now.
Many of us would probably dream of starting a business or pursuing a hobby that is just too difficult with government looking over your shoulder; demanding you jump through certain hoops for permission, and then demanding a cut of your efforts if you make a profit. Or, even when you don't.
The trick is that you need to come to the realization that your wishes depend on you leaving the other guy alone to pursue his dreams as well. Do you want to follow your dreams enough to stop preventing him from following his? You only get as much liberty as you respect in the other guy.
Do you want to keep your guns bad enough that you will stay out of your neighbor's marriage? Do you enjoy your raw milk products enough that you will stop worrying about what the cancer patient across the street is smoking? Do you value your religious beliefs enough to stop trying to interfere with the other guy's religious practices? Do you want to keep your own property enough that you stop justifying the theft of someone else's property? Do you want to live your life as you see fit enough to fight for the right of your enemy to do the same?
If so, start now. If not, perhaps you need to get out more and develop some interests. What's stopping you? Life is waiting.
Regardless of what some people seem to believe, right and wrong isn't a "political agenda". It just so happens, though, that libertarianism is intimately concerned with right and wrong in a consistent way that no other philosophy can be. And that translates into a logical way to organize our interactions, which means "politics" to a great many observers.
Yes, that disturbs people who have no ethical foundation for their politics, but that isn't my fault. They could look to improve themselves. We all have to start some time.
I saw a news article that quoted some puppetician who said the Social Security [sic] increase was a good thing.
What I don't get: "Drug dealers" are treated like criminals, even though their customers are consensual. Welfare advocates are treated as heroes, even though their customers and those who actually provide the product are coerced.
Both "drug dealers" and politicians are pushing dependency. Yet, only one of those "pushers" are using coercion to obtain the product and keep the customers.
Remove the negative effects of prohibition and I'll tell you which sort I'd rather have as a next-door neighbor. And it is NOT the tax parasite.
I can't join the majority in the celebration over the killing of Gadhafi.
Yes, he was a very, very bad guy. Almost everyone who seeks political power is. Any one of his victims would have been fully justified in killing him in self defense. But... the old monster was not a credible threat any more- he was no longer the ruler and was not engaged in an initiation of force at the time he was killed. He was killed in revenge, not in self defense. I also don't see any justice in it.
I think revenge is wrong. Understandable, but wrong. I'm not saying I would never again do anything in revenge, myself, but if I did I would be wrong. I have done a few things in revenge in the past. I was wrong.
When I smeared poison ivy all over the toilet seat, and my wife's vibrator, before I abandoned my house to her and her new boyfriend, I was wrong. If I had it to do over again I hope I would make the right decision this time. I have the benefit of years of libertarianism to guide my actions now.
The rebels, who are now falling all over themselves in the rush to set up another State to abuse them and violate their liberty, were wrong for killing Gadhafi. And they are wrong for allowing a new government to be established. Actions have consequences. Watch what happens next.
As is always the case when the psychopaths who work for government choose to violate their very clear operating instructions, the "Fast and Furious"/ Gunwalker scandal is not an announcement that there need to be more "laws". Only idiot congresscritters could see it that way. No, it is a clear call to repeal all "laws" (and agencies) that made the scandal possible.
Say you were born into a neighborhood where one guy has declared himself the head of a homeowners' association that you never agreed to join, but existed before you were born. Maybe 50% of your neighbors either agree, or at least are under the impression that somebody "needs to be in charge". Vastly fewer actually think he should be "the one" or that what he does is good. Anyway, the "head guy" insists that all houses remain unlocked so that he can check them at will for burglars. When you discover that HE is the main burglar in town do you let him then make more rules that don't address the problem, do you insist on replacing him with another power-mad maniac who wants the "job", or do you install locks and arm yourself against his next intrusion?
This is as clear an illustration as possible that government is not your friend and is not necessary. It is the problem, not the solution. It needs to be abolished, or ignored to death. However, as a compromise, I would suggest the following steps the government can take to show "good faith":
Repeal any "law" that seeks to violate the Second Amendment. And that is every "law" that applies to guns in any way. Yes, even the "pro-gun laws". The government is forbidden from addressing guns. Obey or die.
Abolish any agency or bureaucracy that deals with enforcing any of the forbidden "laws" that affect guns. And don't try to be cute by shifting the "job" to someone else. The "job" is illegal. Treat it as such, with enthusiastic fervor.
Repeal any "law" that makes it a "crime" to resist or kill any government employee who tries to violate any person's rights or property in any way.
Repeal, repeal, repeal. No, there shouldn't be a "law". Anything less shows that government is only sorry its tools got caught.
Follow this path and there would never be another scandal like Gunwalker. Follow a similar path every time government breaks its own rules, those which govern its existence, and before long we'd actually live in a free society.
I am not being facetious; I am completely serious.
Please ask this of your Christian friends who vote. Especially pose the question to ones who, like some of my family members, say they will vote for Perry, Cain, or Romney because they "have to vote for someone".
Who would Jesus vote for? Do you really think he would vote for the "lesser of two evils"? Isn't that like choosing to commit the lesser of two sins? Do you really think he would want you to vote for the lesser of two evils?
I just saw another news report of a kid who was taken from his family by government force because it was claimed he was abused. Now he has been taken from the foster family that he was placed with because it is being claimed they also abused him.
Do some kids attract abuse?
I'm not saying he "deserved it" or brought it upon himself in any way, but I have to wonder if some kids trigger a sort of "immune response" in ethically-weak adults around them that makes abuse more likely.
If I were in charge of placing homeless kids with families (in a free market sort of way), I'd first make sure the foster family members were all followers of the ZAP. Obviously the current "system" doesn't work.
(My Clovis News Journal column for Sept. 16, 2011. As written, not as published.)
Last weekend America observed the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Apparently few Americans have learned anything in the past ten years. At least, that is the lesson I take away from what I saw of the commemorations.
If the terrorists hate us for our freedom, they must love us now. The US government has cancelled freedom and only allows us to exercise certain privileges, at their discretion and within "sensible" limits, in place of freedom now.
The only part of the Bill of Rights that isn't obviously violated by the federal government on a daily basis across America is the Third Amendment. Yet, I believe even the spirit and intent of that one is violated by having a standing military and unendable wars. The rest of the Bill of Rights is a laughingstock to those who work in government.
In other words, the federal government did the terrorists' "work" for them. Why are Americans not gathering goose feathers and heating pots of tar? Or taking up pitchforks and torches? Can Americans really be so afraid of a phantom menace that they think trading priceless liberty for false security is a good trade?
Governments cause terrorism just as surely as a virus causes smallpox- and the solution is the same. Most of the "9/11" commemorations seemed to celebrate the cause rather than notice the solution.
Want to defeat terrorism? Abolish gun control and stop making it hard for the first line of defense (that's you and me, folks) to do its job. Stop meddling in the affairs of other people around the globe. Not "isolationism", but non-interference. Close the Department of Homeland Security and the TSA. In fact, abolish any government agency, program, or law which diminishes liberty in any way. Take away the ability of the US government, and all its local co-conspirators, to infringe on any individual right from this moment on. Learn a lesson from history rather than seeming determined to repeat the worst mistakes.
You can also change the way you think. Refuse to be afraid. Don't fly flags (either the federal "Stars and Stripes" or a more authentic American flag) at half-mast in defeat, but from the top of the pole as a display of determination. Stand tall and unbowed when remembering that America survived the pathetic attempt to destroy it. Stop giving terrorists what they want!
I saw where someone was having a hissy fit because they read someone who was comparing communists and nazis and not making a big deal about the "differences" between the two.
The hissy-fitter was mainly upset that people who were commenting on the "Occupy" protestors don't know that communists are on the "extreme left" while nazis are on the "far right". As if that imaginary distinction makes a difference!
Does it really matter if the rabid animal chewing your throat is a cat or a dog?
In a past century it was called "the white man's burden". Now it isn't the burden of the "white man", but of statists of every "race" who feel the "burden" to spread their particular brand of State- be it democracy or Islam- in order to rescue everyone else from their own "depravity" or chaos.
Well, Statist, is your burden too heavy? I can relieve you of your burden right now. Your "statist's burden" is all in your head. You are unwanted. Go away and take your misplaced "burden" with you. You don't need to "save" us wretched anarchists from freedom.
We don't need your police. We don't need your "laws". We don't need you to "protect" us from contaminated food, or from the improper use of our devices. We don't need you to try to direct traffic. We don't need you to imprison people for eating or smoking whatever they choose. We don't need you to provide for "the common good" or "public" anything. We don't need you to keep us safe from (other) terrorists or to secure the borders.
We don't need YOU. Seriously. We really don't need you. So just stop being a dick and get on with your life and don't force us to defend ourselves from your unwanted attention. It's the only way to avoid the approaching unpleasantness.
Recently I again ran into the erroneous belief that government employees pay "taxes". This is a myth that just keeps on walking around, undead and looking for brains to munch.
The fact of the matter: Government employees pay no taxes. Ever. Zero. Period.
The pretense that they do is the financial equivalent of a perpetual motion device that keeps the economically ignorant among us (more) content with the status quo.
All government employee pay comes from government-confiscated "taxes", and all the "taxes" they pay go "back" to government. (The money never actually left the government's bloody hands in the first place.) Plus some money is always lost in the shuffle between parties. The lost money is equivalent to the waste heat in a mechanical system.
Put another way: If I paid you $100 dollars, but then demanded you pay a "tax" of 20% back to me, did I just give you $100 or did I give you only $80? Contrast it with this scenario: If I paid you $100 but you immediately paid a third party $20, I have actually, in fact, paid you $100 even if you passed some of it along to someone else. There is a difference.
A dad was speaking to some other parents and said "I will raise these girls way different because I have a different end result in mind."
On the surface I'm not sure why it disturbed me. We all "raise" our kids in the way we think will produce the best results. As if we could ever know which "results" would be "best", or what would produce those results.
But there was some type of arrogance to that statement that really got to me. To think you can have any "end" in mind for your kids- it just seemed creepy to me. Added to the fact that the guy was sporting a semi-military haircut, wearing a T-shirt with a military logo, and going on and on about different Republican presidential candidates without mentioning that they are all authoriturd puppeticians (with one sorta-exception whom he never mentioned) - it all added up to a control-freak authoritarian in my mind.
Maybe I am wrong.
I didn't know the guy and wasn't sitting that close to him. I forced myself to sit and not speak up or snort in derision. It was hard. I've grown as a person.
I am angry. Exposure to idiots has that effect on me. I know I shouldn't let it get to me, but it is difficult to ignore. I am only human. So, since my "rants are disgusting and very difficult to take seriously" I might as well give the statist perverts a real rant.
This time it is the really stupid comments from those who see nothing wrong with agents of the State entrapping people and charging them with sex crimes against "children" (15 years old is NOT a child) who did not exist. Even if the LEO predators never initiated contact, and never said anything to lead the alleged "pedophile" on and escalate the sexuality of the situation, what they do as a part of their "job" is still wrong. Two wrongs don't make a right.
I would like to scream at the commenters "Look, Moron! Your stupid belief that you must either choose between The State or having your child molested is ridiculous and false." But statists are apparently too dumb to understand that obvious fact.
There is a better way to combat this problem. One that doesn't require you to become the bad guy or support the actions of bad guys.
There is only one person who will always be there when my daughter is in trouble. I want that person to be able to protect her. And that one person is she, herself. Sure, I would prefer to always be there to protect her, myself. That isn't possible and to act as though it is sets her up for tragedy. To train her to rely on agents of the State is child abuse. It is teaching her helplessness. I won't do that!
So, to any statist perverts out there: I do NOT support pedophiles who act upon their desires by actually attacking or deceiving children in order to take advantage of them. But that doesn't mean I support agents of the State who are paid with stolen money, lie, attack, kidnap, and murder- as well as often sexually attack the innocent. You can oppose both types of bad guys, and in fact, if you are consistent and ethical, you WILL.
Just as there is actual child pornography- which involves the abuse and exploitation of innocent children, as opposed to the majority of "child pornography" which does nothing of the sort- there is actual sexual solicitation of children, as opposed to the vast majority of acts which are called "sexual solicitation of children" which most absolutely are NOT.
This recent case stinks to "high heaven" of entrapment. Some ignoramuses will whine "but if it saves one child it's worth it to entrap a few innocent people". BS! Two wrongs don't make a right, no matter how desperately you wish that were the case.
Added to this absurdity is the fact that a 15 year old (like the completely imaginary human in the above case) is almost never still a "child"- except in the eyes of the ignorant State (which would prefer we all remain helpless children under its "laws"- to be "protected" and controlled to death).
Teach your children about reality. Teach them that there are bad people out there who will seek to exploit them if they can. Teach them how to stay alert. Earn and keep their trust! Teach them to defend themselves with the most effective tools ever invented for that purpose. And don't ever, ever rely on the predators of the State to "protect" them from freelance predators.
Sexually abusing or exploiting anyone is never right. Regardless of age. You are subject to self defensive actions by your victim or a rescuer. You could legitimately be killed and I wouldn't shed a tear. But there is no "one size fits all" formula that can be used as a broad brush to decide who to target for punishment- and NO VICTIM- NO "CRIME"!
And, then, when your children have grown up (whether you want to accept it or not) and take the responsibility to make decisions (sexual or otherwise) you don't like, show that you are also an adult and don't use The State as a way to punish the object of your anger.
(My Clovis News Journal column for September 9, 2011. As written, not as published. Judging by facebook "shares", this one was very popular!)
The system is broken. Almost every law, particularly every new law passed in the past several decades, is not based upon right or wrong, but upon opinion or value judgments. The US imprisons, or traps in its "justice system", more people, percentage-wise, than did Stalin in the USSR, and more than China ever has.
You, yes YOU- even if you are a kindergarten teacher, a police officer, a pastor, or a quiet grandmother- commit an average of three federal felonies every day of your life. That average number will inevitably increase as more things are made illegal, and as already illegal things are made "more illegal".
It doesn't mean you are bad; it means the laws are wrong. America is suffering from law pollution. Back in a somewhat more liberty-respecting era, the Supreme Court declared that a "law" which violates the Constitution is not really a law and can't be enforced. It doesn't even need to be repealed. Any law which violates Natural Law is even less legitimate; it is counterfeit, even if it is "Constitutional". Yet, look how many people now believe you must obey a counterfeit "law" until it is repealed.
This doesn't mean the situation is hopeless, unless we keep doing the same dumb things that led us to this point. When you find yourself standing in a hole, it's not time to use a different shovel, it's time to stop digging.
The solution is at hand and is demonstrated by how we each normally live our lives. Freedom of association. Respect for other people's property. Self defense. Mind your own business. Embrace voluntaryism (note to editor: spell check doesn't like the word "voluntaryism", but that is the correct spelling) and make decisions by unanimous consent. Pay for what you use, don't use what you are not willing to pay for, don't force anyone to pay for, or participate in, anything they'd rather not. Consider how a group orders a pizza- those who want it, and are willing to pay for it, decide which toppings to get, and those who can't compromise on toppings can't be forced to pay for a pizza they do not want.
If you are only paying for what you want, just like everyone else is, it won't even matter if those things cost more. You'll still come out ahead, since you will be paying for so many fewer things in total. And those things no one wants bad enough to pay for would go away. It's simple and it works.
Some day, sooner or later, this kind of evil/stupidity will be the nail in their coffin (or the dirt on their mass grave). Maybe not this time, but it is inevitable. It will happen.
This is a fight they can not win. Not in the long run. Why do they insist on fighting it? Because they are dumb enough to believe in the permanence of a State. Something that has never been and never will be. A delusion. And they are betting their very lives on it.
Some day this sort of thuggish behavior will bring out the defensive nature of their targeted victims. It is right to defend yourself and your property. No "law" can ever change that fact. When the tipping point is reached it will be a sad day for the families of the enforcers.
But, there is time. Enforcers can either start serving and protecting their masters, rather than victimizing them on behalf of insane control freaks in DC (and locally)... or they can quit their tax-parasite "jobs" and go straight. They have a choice and no one knows for sure when the time to make that choice has expired. It might be tomorrow. It might be the day the thugs move to shut down the first dispensary. Or, it might have been yesterday.
Imagine there is a button you could push to immediately make every law enforcement officer in the world instantly drop dead. Or maybe drop dead as soon as he or she wasn't doing something like driving a car, to avoid innocent deaths. I would not push that button.
On the other hand, imagine the button has been reprogrammed so that it will make any cop drop dead the instant he or she initiates force, theft/fraud, or commits that specific-to-enforcers-crime of enforcing a counterfeit "law". Would I push that button? You'd better believe it.
If the vile, verminous tax parasites known as "law enforcement officers" can murder people on the pretext of "officer safety", then why shouldn't those who hold dangerous jobs be protecting themselves from the consequences of their career choice as well?
Shouldn't fishermen be allowed to drain the oceans using "fisherman safety" as justification?
Shouldn't farmers be refusing to plow, plant, and harvest (and probably salting the earth) in the name of "farmer safety"?
Loggers should start forest fires to get rid of all the trees with the excuse that this increases "logger safety".
Of course those with honest jobs- the fishermen, farmers, and loggers- aren't extorting money from the fish, fields, and forests. If they destroy the things they depend upon they know they have destroyed themselves. Cops aren't smart enough to figure that out.
If a cop is concerned with "officer safety" to the point he feels the need to murder those he depends upon for his career, then he needs a different job.
I'm seeing some "buzz" this morning about Hank Williams Jr. being "disassociated" with Monday Night Football by ESPN over a comment he made. A comment that wasn't a fawning love-fest for Obama.
The comment he made was utterly insignificant. For anyone to get worked up over it they had to be as brittle as a freeze-dried rose petal. "Oh, but he said 'Hitler'!" Once again, if the analogy is true, it is true. If it is not, then it won't stand.
I have absolutely no use for football, or any other team sport. I can't boycott something I never cared about. But this whole thing is just so silly. The NFL's use of the TSA gate-rapists against their customers is a much bigger deal.
What I have seen here is two factions of the Authoritarians pointing fingers and calling names; trying to show the other faction is worse. Guess what: both are anti-liberty and that's all I care about.
(My Clovis News Journal column for September, 2, 2011. As written, not as published.)
Some of America's founders were scientists- and were very good ones to the best of their ability, considering the prevailing culture they lived in, and to the extent their understanding, available resources, and equipment would allow. They had some ideas that are very quaint, and wrong, as we can now see clearly because of advances made since then, looking back as we do from the early 21st century. Electromagnetism, DNA, and quantum physics were beyond them. However, no one could reasonably claim they didn't try.
Most of the founders of America were also libertarians, although the term hadn't yet been coined. They were libertarians to the best of their ability and to the extent that the world they were immersed in allowed them to understand liberty. Sure, they had some inconsistencies that are pretty obvious to us now. No one is immune to the culture they find themselves a part of. That doesn't mean we discount the huge philosophical leap they undertook, over and beyond their contemporaries, but it also doesn't mean we should be content to remain where they were and not put our better understanding into practice.
For the time in which they lived, those who founded America were probably even more radical about liberty, compared to their neighbors, than I am compared to the average person today. That is pretty incredible.
What bothers me is that too many people today claim to value liberty, but can't seem to move beyond a late-18th century conception of its principles. They still believe some people are exempt, or unqualified for self-ownership. "Liberty is OK for me, but I'm not so sure you can handle it" seems to be a prevailing notion. That may have been fine for most people back when America was founded, but it is antiquated today, plus it invariably leads to egregious violations of basic human rights.
The founders even understood that rights did not depend on where you lived. Nowhere in the Bill of Rights will you see any claim that the listed rights- actually "non-negotiable prohibitions on government actions" would be a more accurate description- depended upon the citizenship of the person. Rights were rights, and things that were prohibited to government were always prohibited no matter who the government might have been targeting.
That is one thing the founders got dead-on right. Even if those who have governed since then have managed to obscure the truth.
So, I tried to educate him (or, at least, anyone who might read the article). This is my response:
If you don't understand why anyone other than a cop needs a gun in a city council meeting (or anywhere else), then you really don't understand why anyone, including a cop, ever needs a gun anywhere. It isn't even about "need". Those "ill-mannered and volatile" golfers you golf with (why associate with that type of people?) would be better behaved if everyone around them were armed. I've seen it in real life, more than once. Bad people straighten up when their boorish behavior could have consequences. Mayors included. Bad people will also NOT obey prohibitions on guns, so a gun ban only gives them free rein. Good people outnumber bad people, so any attempt to create a "gun-free zone" just levels the playing field to the benefit of the bad guys. It gives the predators among us an advantage. Why do this?
I think you have a complete misunderstanding of the First Amendment issues surrounding speaking to the city council while wearing a hat- it has nothing to do with "the assumption you can’t talk with a bare head". Words are only a part of the right of freedom of speech. The hat is also part of the expression of opinion. The mayor feels he and the other government employees deserve "respect" that is demonstrated by the removal of the hat. Leaving the hat on is making a political statement (the exact kind the 1st Amendment was written to protect) that government employees are the lowly servants, not the exalted masters. That right existed before the 1st Amendment was written, and will continue to exist no matter what "laws" are passed or enforced. Rulers and tyrants (even petty ones) might not like it, but truth remains truth.
Thursday, when I first saw these 12 pairs of shoes hanging from the power line at the park where my daughter and I went to feed the ducks and vermin, I thought "Idiots!"
I thought that some parents were probably very unhappy, if they even knew that the shoes had been lost.
That made me think about how many parents "give" things to their kids, yet still feel a sense of ownership over things that are not their own. If the kids own the shoes, even if the parents gave the shoes to them, then the shoes are not the parents' property. Neither are the kids.
Then I wondered if the shoes' owners had tossed them up there, or whether people had done that to other people's shoes as a "joke" or just to be nasty. If you own something, it is yours to use or destroy. If someone "lost" the shoes for someone else, even as a "joke", that is theft and destruction of property.
Then I got to thinking a little more.
If the shoes were thrown there by their owners, then the only real issue is that the owner of the power line has been violated. People have made a mess on someone else's property that will have to be cleaned up. They are not taking responsibility for their actions.
My thoughts had gone full circle back to "Idiots!"