MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘free society’

Biden’s Rules-Based Order

Posted by M. C. on March 28, 2022

By Stephen Cox

On March 26, in a speech in Poland, President Biden attempted to be inspiring, and as usual when he does that, he emitted string after string of platitudes.  It was the kind of thing that political speechwriters create in their sleep.  But Americans should be careful not to nod off.  Clichés can be very dangerous, just because they are clichés—the stuff that everyone is supposed to know and believe.

I invite your attention to the passage of Biden’s speech in which he tried to say how a free society differs from an unfree one.  He claimed that at some time in the mythic past

we emerged anew in the great battle for freedom. A battle between democracy and autocracy. Between liberty and repression. Between a rules-based order and one governed by brute force. In this battle, we need to be clear-eyed. This battle will not be won in days or months either. We need to steel ourselves of [sic] a long fight ahead.

And so on.  But notice how the synonyms line up.  The synonyms for lack of freedom are autocracy, repression, and “brute force”; the synonyms for freedom are democracy, liberty, and “a rules-based order.”

Now, hold on.  In our world, the most brutally forceful regimes happen to be rules-based orders, regimes that are filled with rules.  Chock-full of rules.  And freedom and liberty are so far from being synonymous with “rules” that their very definition is, well, the absence of restraints, commands, and rules.  Freedom is the ability to do what you want, not the obligation to follow somebody’s rule.

The signers of the Declaration of Independence had no idea that rules were the foundation of the “new order of the ages” they were creating. Their idea was a rights-based society.  The document says that clearly.  It says that all men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” and that “to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men.”  So rights come first, last, and all the time.  Rules and governments, if you insist on having them, are justified only in support of rights.

With this in mind, we can see that almost all of the real order that exists in the world—the order we see in families, businesses, churches, and social organizations of every kind—results from free people working together with respect for one another’s rights.  This is the spontaneous order of which great economists have written.  And we can see that almost all of the inconvenience, poverty, distress, and terror in the world are created by people who have a libido for imposing rules. Hitler and Stalin were deeply attached to rules and rules-based order.  And so are the bureaucratic tyrants who have destroyed so much of the world during the past two years of the New Order of Covid.

If there were anything that could make Biden’s idea about freedom and rules look even worse, it would be the reflection that his speech, like his presidency, was the product of vague amorphous movements among vague amorphous organs of the governing class.  The speech says what the members of the governing class believe, what they believe so deeply and automatically that to them his daringly false statements about the relation of liberty to order are just random clichés, mere throw-away lines.  Yet these are the clichés by which the rest of us are supposed to order our lives.

Stephen Cox is Distinguished Professor of Literature, Emeritus, at the University of California, San Diego.  He is the author of many books and is the editor of Liberty magazine, available at https://libertyunbound.com/.

Stephen Cox is Distinguished Professor of Literature, Emeritus, at the University of California, San Diego.  He is the author of many books and is the editor of Liberty magazine, available at https://libertyunbound.com/.

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A New Way to Fight the Drug War?

Posted by M. C. on February 14, 2022

Settling for reform can, at best, only result in an improvement of our condition as serfs. To achieve the free society, we have to dismantle and repeal, not reform, all infringements on liberty. That necessarily means making the consistent, principled case for the free society, including ending, not reforming, the drug war.

by Jacob G. Hornberger

A letter to the editor of the Las Vegas Sun yesterday shows how important it is to raise people’s vision to higher level — one that goes beyond reform and instead goes to the principles of a free society.

The letter was written by a man named Michael Westerhaus. His letter brings up some of the important points about the government’s decades-long war on drugs:

1. “Our failed war on drugs” has brought on deaths of people from corrupted black-market drugs.

2. Charging the sellers of drugs with murder is just political posturing.

3. No-knock raids have killed innocent people. 

4. Drug laws bring into existence drug cartels and gang wars “with more murders.”

5. Drug laws are not going to prevent addicts from doing whatever is necessary to get drugs. 

To those points I would add the following one: People have the fundamental, God-given right to ingest whatever they want to ingest, no matter how harmful it might be. That’s an essential aspect of a free society.

But then here’s the kicker. Westerhaus cannot bring himself to see the solution to all this drug-war mayhem. He writes, “We need to find a better way to solve the medical problem of addiction.” The title of his letter to the editor is, “Find a new way to fight drug war.”

Oh so close, but yet still so far. Westerhaus is clearly on the verge of recognizing the only solution to America’s drug-war woes, but obviously still can’t bring himself to see it. The solution is not to find a new way to fight the drug war. The solution is to end the drug war. That necessarily means repealing all laws that criminalize the possession and distribution of drugs. 

Prohibition of alcohol produced the same consequences as the prohibition of drugs. While there were those who called for new ways to enforce Prohibition, Americans finally came to the realization that the only solution was to end Prohibition. That’s what we need with the drug war. 

Thus, the importance of raising people’s vision to a higher level — not on reforming the drug war but instead to the principles of a free society. Settling for reform can, at best, only result in an improvement of our condition as serfs. To achieve the free society, we have to dismantle and repeal, not reform, all infringements on liberty. That necessarily means making the consistent, principled case for the free society, including ending, not reforming, the drug war.

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Will Treason Mania Destroy America? – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on June 8, 2021

Politico, one of the most respected Washington publications, printed a piece titled, “What Ulysses Grant Can Teach Joe Biden about Putting Down Violent Insurrections.” The piece stressed, “Grant’s approach relied on a combination of brute military force and a drastic curtailment of civil liberties, yet it nevertheless has relevance for the current moment.” The article stressed the need for “overwhelming force” to suppress the type of people who violated the sacred space of the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/will-treason-mania-destroy-america/

by James Bovard

At the start of the Biden era, America is being torn apart by more allegations of treason than at any time since the Civil War. Historian Henry Adams observed a century ago that politics “has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.” And few things spur hatred more effectively than tarring all political opponents as traitors.American politics is increasingly becoming toxic because presidents nowadays are elective dictators.
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The Founding Fathers carved the Constitution in light of the horrific political abuses that had proliferated in England in prior centuries. That was why there was a narrow definition of treason in the Constitution: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.”

After the end of Reconstruction, treason charges became relatively rare in American politics. Wars were probably the biggest propellants, with anyone who opposed American intervention abroad being tagged with the scarlet T. But by the late 1960s, when the futility of the Vietnam War was becoming clear, treason charges had largely lost their political clout. Gen. Alexander Haig, who later became Richard Nixon’s last White House chief of staff, denounced the Pentagon Papers as “devastating … a security breach of the greatest magnitude of anything I’ve ever seen … it’s treasonable” But the Nixon administration’s protests failed to sway the Supreme Court to block the New York Times from publishing the secret official records of decades of U.S. government deceit on Indochina.

Unfortunately, the political exploitation of the 9/11 attacks included reviving treason accusations against anyone who did not cheer George W. Bush’s promise to “rid the world of evil.” On December 6, 2001, Attorney General John Ashcroft informed the Senate Judiciary Committee, “To those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: your tactics only aid terrorists, for they erode our national unity and … give ammunition to America’s enemies.” At that point, Bush had already suspended habeas corpus and his underlings were busy sabotaging laws limiting federal surveillance of American citizens. But regardless of how many civil liberties were actually destroyed, critics were traitors.

Run-up to 2016

While Bush was rehabilitated by the mainstream media in recent years as a reward for criticizing Donald Trump, his 2004 reelection campaign relied on tacit treason accusations to tarnish Democrats, liberals, and even a few libertarians. At the 2004 Republican National Convention, keynote speaker Democratic Sen. Zell Miller implied that political opposition was treason: “Now, at the same time young Americans are dying in the sands of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan, our nation is being torn apart and made weaker because of the Democrats’ manic obsession to bring down our commander in chief.”

There was no evidence that such criticism of Bush’s foreign policy was ripping America asunder — but trumpeting the accusation made Bush critics appear a pox on the land. Other Republicans used the same theme. John Thune, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate in South Dakota, denounced Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle: “His words embolden the enemy.” Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman condemned the Kerry campaign for “parroting the rhetoric of terrorists” and warned, “The enemy listens. All listen to what the president said, and all listen to what Senator Kerry said.” Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik, stumping for Bush, told audiences, “Political criticism is our enemy’s best friend.” Six weeks before the 2004 election, the Washington Post noted, “President Bush and leading Republicans are increasingly charging that Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry and others in his party are giving comfort to terrorists and undermining the war in Iraq — a line of attack that tests the conventional bounds of political rhetoric.”

In 2006, the New York Times revealed that the Bush administration was illegally seizing personal financial information of millions of Americans. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, declared, “We’re at war, and for the Times to release information about secret operations and methods is treasonous.” Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) also labeled the Times guilty of “treason.” Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tex.) suggested that the Times had become the “Benedict Arnold Press.”

After Barack Obama was elected in 2008, treason allegations simmered down, except for occasional allegations that Obama was a secret Muslim scheming to impose Sharia law on America. Former NSA employee Edward Snowden’s leak of NSA documents was the biggest treason boomlet of that era. Numerous congressmen called for Snowden to be charged with treason, though the Founding Fathers neglected to include “embarrassing the government” in the Constitution’s definition of treason. House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and former NSA chief Michael Hayden publicly joked about putting Snowden on a government kill list.

But the Snowden uproar was a kerfuffle compared to the Pandora’s box opened by the 2016 presidential campaign. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton repeatedly effectively asserted that Republican nominee Donald Trump was a Russian tool, betraying the nation.

Treason in the White House

See the rest here

This post was written by: James Bovard

James Bovard is a policy adviser to The Future of Freedom Foundation. He is a USA Today columnist and has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, New Republic, Reader’s Digest, Playboy, American Spectator, Investors Business Daily, and many other publications. He is the author of Freedom Frauds: Hard Lessons in American Liberty (2017, published by FFF); Public Policy Hooligan (2012); Attention Deficit Democracy (2006); The Bush Betrayal (2004); Terrorism and Tyranny (2003); Feeling Your Pain (2000); Freedom in Chains (1999); Shakedown (1995); Lost Rights (1994); The Fair Trade Fraud (1991); and The Farm Fiasco (1989). He was the 1995 co-recipient of the Thomas Szasz Award for Civil Liberties work, awarded by the Center for Independent Thought, and the recipient of the 1996 Freedom Fund Award from the Firearms Civil Rights Defense Fund of the National Rifle Association. His book Lost Rights received the Mencken Award as Book of the Year from the Free Press Association. His Terrorism and Tyranny won Laissez Faire Book’s Lysander Spooner award for the Best Book on Liberty in 2003. Read his blog. Send him email.

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The Present Libertarian Priority – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on April 28, 2021

This ambivalence, and this stupidity, by libertarians, is contributing to the destruction of society. That’s right. Supporting face masks, the Covid-19 vaccine, and any of the other things I mentioned above is contributing to the destruction of society. The present libertarian priority is the condemnation and elimination of these things, not just because they are unnecessary, but because they are destroying society.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/04/laurence-m-vance/the-present-libertarian-priority/

By Laurence M. Vance

“The idea behind advocating for libertarianism is to introduce a more civil society, not the destruction of society.” ~ Robert Wenzel

I have previously written about libertarian priorities. There I began:

The libertarian goal is ultimately a free society where the non-aggression principle is the foundational principle and individual liberty, laissez-faire, and property rights reign supreme. Standing in the way of that goal is the state. And if that weren’t already a formidable enough obstacle, the state is also actively seeking to increase and expand its power and its interventions into the economy and society.

Under the guise of the Covid-19 “pandemic,” government at all levels is succeeding to increase and expand its power and its interventions into the economy and society as never before.

Yet, some libertarians not only still don’t get it, they are aiding and abetting the state in its destruction of society as a result of their ambivalence or their stupidity.

Libertarians generally recognize that there are core priorities that take precedence over most other issues. Here are ten of them:

  • The drug war
  • Foreign wars
  • The U.S. empire of troops and bases
  • The warfare state
  • The welfare state
  • The national security state
  • The size and scope of government
  • Government control of education
  • Government wealth confiscation
  • Government income redistribution

Eliminating the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and privatizing local garbage collection take a back seat to these much more damaging things.

Because of the events of the past year, in addition to the above core priorities there is one issue that libertarians must make their priority for its duration: the bogus government Covid-19 “pandemic” and draconian government response to it. The libertarian priority at the present time should be the condemnation and elimination of:

  • Lockdowns
  • Curfews
  • Face masks
  • The Covid-19 vaccine
  • Mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations to attend school, travel, or go to work
  • Social distancing
  • Capacity limits in stores, restaurants, churches, theaters, arenas, and stadiums
  • Quarantines
  • Plastic shields in front of all cash registers
  • Contract tracing
  • CDC recommendations and guidelines relating to Covid-19
  • Covid-19 testing
  • Vaccine passports
  • Travel restrictions
  • The closure of, and restrictions on, “unessential businesses”
  • Government and corporate propaganda in support of these things
  • Censorship of opposition to these things

It doesn’t matter if it is private entities that are promoting and practicing these things. They should still be opposed root and branch. Business that are requiring masks, limiting the number of people in their stores, and making announcements about maintaining social distancing are generally only doing so because they are following government mandates and/or CDC propaganda about “the virus.” They wouldn’t even be thinking about these things were it not for the government’s draconian response to the “pandemic.”

But as I said, some libertarians (generally self-proclaimed left-libertarians) still don’t get it.

One libertarian asks: “What does it mean to be libertarian now? I would say that the purer forms of libertarianism are evolving: from a set of policy stances on political questions to a series of projects for building entire new political worlds.” After praising “the importance of Operation Warp Speed in getting the U.S. out of the pandemic” and dismissing the Great Barrington Declaration as “fatally flawed,” he says that “much of the intellectual effort in libertarian circles is concentrated in two ideas in particular: charter cities and cryptocurrency.” I don’t know what libertarian circles he is running in, but the intellectual effort of its members is being wasted while society is crumbling around us.

Another libertarian, even while criticizing Democrats and liberals for panicking over the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions in Texas, spouts a bunch of Covid-19 nonsense that could have come from the CDC:

Masks have been an important tool in slowing the course of the pandemic. There’s a strong case to be made that the unvaccinated should still wear them when they gather in large numbers in indoor spaces.

Fully vaccinated people are essentially immune from serious disease or death, and according to the latest data, they are very unlikely to carry or transmit COVID-19 at all. The message to the unvaccinated should be: Go get vaccinated. The message to the vaccinated should be: Rejoice! You can go back to normal life.

If we don’t want pandemic restrictions to become the new airport security, there needs to be pushback: Get vaccinated, and then get back to normal.

This ambivalence, and this stupidity, by libertarians, is contributing to the destruction of society. That’s right. Supporting face masks, the Covid-19 vaccine, and any of the other things I mentioned above is contributing to the destruction of society. The present libertarian priority is the condemnation and elimination of these things, not just because they are unnecessary, but because they are destroying society.

The best places to find the valuable information you need about the bogus government Covid-19 “pandemic” and the draconian government response to it are LewRockwell.com, Lifefacts by LifeSiteNews, the daily Tom Woods e-mail, the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), TargetLiberty, and my Covid-19 insanity page. There are other places, of course, and I apologize in advance for omitting to mention them, but these places will give you more than you can possibly use to combat the lies, nonsense, and propaganda about all things relating to Covid-19—even when uttered by libertarians.

Laurence M. Vance [send him mail] writes from central Florida. He is the author of The War on Drugs Is a War on Freedom; War, Christianity, and the State: Essays on the Follies of Christian Militarism; War, Empire, and the Military: Essays on the Follies of War and U.S. Foreign Policy; King James, His Bible, and Its Translators, and many other books. His newest books are Free Trade or Protectionism? and The Free Society.

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What Jeb Should Have Said – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 25, 2020

Education in a Free Society is a collection of essays written over the past ten years for the Future of Freedom Foundation and LewRockwell.com. Throughout these essays, there are ten things relating to education that resonate:

School Choice for Whom? is a collection of essays written over the past 15 years for the Future of Freedom Foundation and LewRockwell.com. Throughout these essays, there are seven things relating to educational vouchers and school choice that resonate:

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/08/laurence-m-vance/what-jeb-bush-should-have-said/

By

Former Florida governor and failed Republican presidential candidate, Jeb Bush, was recently interviewed for Education Week by Frederick “Rick” Hess, a resident scholar and director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

Here is how Hess introduced Bush:

Gov. Jeb Bush has been a leader on efforts to improve schooling for more than two decades. He has mentored a generation of governors, carried the banner for reforms including school choice and accountaility, and launched ExcelinEd, a hugely influential voice in the world of K-12 schooling. During his tenure in office and in the many years since, Gov. Bush has wrestled with the practical challenges of how elected leaders can help make schools work for kids. I reached out to see how he is thinking about coronavirus and education.

I have read the interview so you don’t have to.

I want to focus on the fourth question that Hess asked Bush and Bush’s response:

Rick: As a former governor, what else do you think Washington and the Department of Education should be doing right now?

Bush: We are a bottom-up country, and that’s one of our greatest and most enduring strengths. We’re 50 unique and individual states, growing and thriving in different ways. The states are “incubators of democracy,” because that’s where great ideas are developed and tried—and where citizens have a strong voice in shaping their future.

To be candid, Washington’s role is to support innovation. Let the states and communities lead and determine what is best for their families. Governors and state legislatures can, and often do, act quickly to solve problems. I encourage them to jump in with bold ideas that can get their education systems moving forward, even better than before.

Wrong, Jeb, so wrong. Washington’s role is not to support innovation. Washington’s role is to do absolutely nothing. No Pell Grants, no student loans, no school breakfast and lunch programs, no Head Start funding, no educational vouchers, no research grants to colleges, no Higher Education Act, no Elementary and Secondary Education Act, no bilingual-education mandates, no math and science initiatives, no Title IX mandates, no school accreditation, no anti-discrimination policies, no standardized-testing requirements, no Common Core standards, no Race to the Top funds, no No No Child Left Behind Act, no desegregation orders, no special-education mandates, no oversight, no Department of Education, and not one dime of the taxpayers’ money spent on education.

Every state has provisions in its constitution for the operation of K-12 schools, colleges, and universities. The federal government has been given no such authority by its Constitution. If there are to be any public schools; that is, government schools, they should be limited to state-government schools, fully supported and supervised by state governments.

Jeb Bush should have recommended my two new books on education.

Education in a Free Society is a collection of essays written over the past ten years for the Future of Freedom Foundation and LewRockwell.com. Throughout these essays, there are ten things relating to education that resonate:

  1. The problem with public schools is that they are government schools.
  2. Public education is socialistic.
  3. Charter schools are still public schools.
  4. Education is a service just like car repair and hair styling.
  5. All schools should be privately operated and privately funded.
  6. It is the responsibility of parents to education their children.
  7. The Constitution nowhere authorizes the federal government to have anything to do with education or even mentions education.
  8. It is an illegitimate purpose of government to educate anyone or pay for anyone’s education.
  9. Republicans are just as responsible as Democrats for the mess that is public education.
  10. No government at any level should have any control whatsoever over any school or the education of any child.

School Choice for Whom? is a collection of essays written over the past 15 years for the Future of Freedom Foundation and LewRockwell.com. Throughout these essays, there are seven things relating to educational vouchers and school choice that resonate:

  1. If it is not the business of government to fund public schools, then it is certainly not the business of government to fund private schools.
  2. Education is a service just like car repair or hair styling.
  3. Giving some Americans the choice of where to spend other American’s money to educate their children is wealth redistribution.
  4. He who pays the piper calls the tune.
  5. Vouchers are not an intermediate step toward a free market in education.
  6. Conservatives and libertarians who oppose government housing vouchers (Section 8) and food vouchers (food stamps) are terribly inconsistent when they support government education vouchers.
  7. In a free society, all education vouchers for “school choice” would be privately funded.

Republicans used to talk about abolishing the federal Department of Education. Now they just want to reform it. Jeb Bush is clueless.

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Rand Paul: It’s Time To Demilitarize the Police – Reason.com

Posted by M. C. on July 23, 2020

https://reason.com/2020/07/21/rand-paul-its-time-to-demilitarize-the-police/

The line between peace officer and soldier of war has become far too blurry.

In a free society, citizens should be able to easily distinguish between civilian law enforcement tasked with keeping the peace in our communities and the armed forces tasked with protecting our country from foreign adversaries.

Unfortunately, thanks to the federal government flooding our neighborhoods with billions of dollars of military equipment and property over the years, the line between peace officer and soldier of war has become increasingly blurry.

Police officers have an incredibly difficult and often thankless job where they lay their lives on the line every day. Without the rule of law, a civilized society cannot exist, and our officers deserve our gratitude. The horrific actions of a few bad actors should not erase all the good done by the vast majority of these brave and hardworking men and women.

But as the federal government has enabled our local police to become more and more militarized, it has placed them in greater danger by eroding the community trust crucial to doing their jobs well.

While I respect the determination to preserve law and order, sending in federal forces to quell civil unrest in Portland further distorts the boundaries, results in more aggression (including pepper-spraying and repeatedly striking a Navy veteran whose injured hand will need surgery), and has led to reports we should never hear in a free country: federal officials, dressed in camouflage, snatching protesters away in unmarked vehicles.

Sending the feds into Chicago won’t make the situation there any better, either.

Nothing you’ll read here excuses the actions of those who have destroyed lives and property in a mockery of peaceful protest—actions I have condemned. But many of us have been inspired by seeing protesters confronting these rioters, making the difference between righteous cause and opportunistic destruction even more stark.

Restoring lost trust is essential to reducing the tension and returning to peace. This means stopping the federal militarization of our local law enforcement and keeping federal agents and troops on the national posts where they best serve our country.

According to the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), which operates within the Department of Defense, “More than $7.4 billion worth of property” has been transferred to law enforcement through the Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) program. DLA also reveals that “as of June 2020, there are around 8,200 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies from 49 states and four U.S. territories participating in the program.”

Back in 2014, NPR reported the federal government had sent out 79,288 assault rifles, 205 grenade launchers, and 11,959 bayonets from 2006–2014.

Yahoo recently reported that “the California Highway Patrol received what appeared to be a drone worth $22 million in 2016. The Howell Township Police Department in New Jersey received an MRAP [mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle] worth $865,000 in 2016. An MRAP provided to the Payne County Sheriff Office in Stillwater, Oklahoma, cost $1.3 million.”

As the Senate debates the latest National Defense Authorization Act, I joined a bipartisan group of senators to introduce an amendment based on my Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act, which I originally introduced with Sen. Brian Schatz (D–Hawaii) in 2015 and have reintroduced in each session of Congress since.

Our amendment would have limited the transfer of certain offensive military equipment including bayonets, grenade launchers, and weaponized drones—all without prohibiting the continued distribution of defensive equipment, such as body armor.

It would also have ensured that communities are notified of requests and transfers by posted notices throughout the area and on a public website, and it would have required that a jurisdiction’s governing body approves of the transfers.

Though the Senate voted against these common-sense changes, my standalone legislation goes even further to reform the system, and I will keep working to advance it through Congress.

Our bipartisan approach takes seriously the idea that cops on the beat can only do their jobs well when they are well-known by their neighbors and trusted by their communities.

The Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act will help build that relationship, making our citizens, police, and neighborhoods safer.

Rand Paul is a U.S. senator from Kentucky.

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Secession Is the Answer to Building a Free Society – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 22, 2020

It would lead to actual freedom simply due to the fact that separating from the federal government would break the current command that exists in this central power, and would for all those participating, eliminate the central authority. Without the power to use its taxing “authority” and restrictive laws, the federal government would wither and die.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/01/gary-d-barnett/secession-is-the-answer-to-building-a-free-society/

By

“Once one concedes that a single world government is not necessary, then where does one logically stop at the permissibility of separate states? If Canada and the United States can be separate nations without being denounced as in a state of impermissible ‘anarchy’, why may not the South secede from the United States? New York State from the Union? New York City from the state? Why may not Manhattan secede? Each neighbourhood? Each block? Each house? Each person?” ~  Murray N. Rothbard (2004). “Man, Economy, and State with Power and Market, Scholar’s Edition”, p.1051, Ludwig von Mises Institute

The question seemingly always raised is that the idea of true freedom sounds good, but how do we do it? What is the single plan to fix everything? Obviously, there is not one answer or any legitimate short answer to this question, and those that ask it, are usually not really interested in real freedom in the first place. In fact, most people do not want the responsibility of freedom, and that makes the government’s job easy, because as a rule, the only thing required by the state to keep the apathetic public at bay, is to offer them safety and benefits. They are happy to remain slaves, so long as they can get the things they want without much effort, and can through their proxy government, use others to gain for themselves.

But what is going to happen when this system fails, and this economy breaks down, which is imminent in my opinion? What will the people do when their welfare stops? What will they do when transportation shuts down, and fuel becomes scarce? What will they do when their money becomes worthless? What will they do when there food supply dwindles, and what will they do when there is civil unrest, riots in the streets, and widespread chaos? Waiting until the inevitable happens to take action will be too late.

The elimination of government and tyranny, a stop to all the wars of aggression, of all the murders due to those heinous wars, and an end to the slavery by the state that exists in the United States today seem impossible, but is it? The ensuing freedom that would result from an end to this governing system is almost beyond imagination, and does appear to be elusive, but what if there were a way, a way that had been tried before and had been successful? That way is secession, and is exactly what the people did in order to form this country in the first place.

So if real freedom is desired and sought, why not try secession?

Secession is simply breaking ties. This term comes from the Latin word secedere, which means to go apart. In our country, the initial breaking apart was from England and the king. When the southern states seceded, they decided due to the massive abuses of a tyrannical central government to leave that union, and become independent, as was their right to do. The secession of the southern states did not cause the Civil War, as the evil Lincoln decided to war against his own country in order to retain total control of the tyranny that was the federal government; that central government designed and created by the so-called founders. His acts of war were proof that the federal governing system created in the late eighteenth century had nothing to do with freedom, but was designed to build a centralized power that was to hold sovereignty over the states and individuals in favor of a political ruling class.

Secession today is not only viable, but also necessary in order to regain freedom for the individual. It would lead to actual freedom simply due to the fact that separating from the federal government would break the current command that exists in this central power, and would for all those participating, eliminate the central authority. Without the power to use its taxing “authority” and restrictive laws, the federal government would wither and die.

This could be done in several ways, and would not have to be a universal plan or strategy. That is part of the beauty of secession. The top down approach would begin with the states, but since many if not most of the state governments are tyrannical as well, bypassing the state governments might be a better option. But with enough support from the general population, any states that were hesitant, may feel forced to go along in order to retain some form of structure. Secession is any separation from the ruling class, so this can be done at any level. States can secede from the federal union, counties can secede from the state, cities and towns can secede from the counties, and so it goes. This can also work in reverse from a bottom up position, where the smallest entities, including individuals, could begin the secession movement.

This does not have to be nationwide in order to work. Once this process begins, the fear that will consume the federal rulers will become obvious, and as the federal system becomes more exposed, its weaknesses will also come to light. Consider the snowball effect, and know that the higher the pressure from the people, the more concessions that will be forthcoming from the central government. The only other option for the government would be violence, and that could easily cause an awakening of the rest of the common population, an awakening that would never be desired by the governing elites. This is not 1860, it is 2020, and given the technological advances in communications, and the fact that almost every citizen can be reached instantly, the advantage lies with numbers.

I do realize that this sounds not only radical, but also very far-fetched, but is it really? One of the great advantages of any secession, and at any level, is that the people would have to work together, and this alone could break the horrendous pattern of division that allows the rulers to continue to hold power and control over the masses. The division of the people was planned and implemented over a long period of time, but any solidarity would break the hold of this evil authoritarian system. Fighting amongst ourselves; democrats against republicans, black against white, all against all, can only force us to remain in a state of slavery, whereas working together builds strength, and a way to escape this fascist oligarchy where the few control everything. Isn’t secession and independence a better way?

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States Seceding from the Union : Can We? Should We ...

 

 

 

 

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In Defense of Price Gouging – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on September 10, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/09/laurence-m-vance/in-defense-of-price-gouging-2/

By

As a resident of Florida, I was naturally concerned about how the state would be impacted by Hurricane Dorian. But now that the storm has passed, I am still concerned about something that happened in Florida after Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, August 28, for several counties in the hurricane’s path.

But first note that according to Florida Statutes, Title XXXIII, “REGULATION OF TRADE, COMMERCE, INVESTMENTS, AND SOLICITATIONS,” Chapter 501, “CONSUMER PROTECTION,” Section 160, “Rental or sale of essential commodities during a declared state of emergency; prohibition against unconscionable prices”:

(1) As used in this section:
(a) “Commodity” means any goods, services, materials, merchandise, supplies, equipment, resources, or other article of commerce, and includes, without limitation, food, water, ice, chemicals, petroleum products, and lumber necessary for consumption or use as a direct result of the emergency.  (b) It is prima facie evidence that a price is unconscionable if:

1. The amount charged represents a gross disparity between the price of the commodity or rental or lease of any dwelling unit or self-storage facility that is the subject of the offer or transaction and the average price at which that commodity or dwelling unit or self-storage facility was rented, leased, sold, or offered for rent or sale in the usual course of business during the 30 days immediately prior to a declaration of a state of emergency, unless the increase in the amount charged is attributable to additional costs incurred in connection with the rental or sale of the commodity or rental or lease of any dwelling unit or self-storage facility, or regional, national, or international market trends; or
2. The amount charged grossly exceeds the average price at which the same or similar commodity was readily obtainable in the trade area during the 30 days immediately prior to a declaration of a state of emergency, unless the increase in the amount charged is attributable to additional costs incurred in connection with the rental or sale of the commodity or rental or lease of any dwelling unit or self-storage facility, or regional, national, or international market trends.
(2) Upon a declaration of a state of emergency by the Governor, it is unlawful and a violation of s. 501.204 for a person or her or his agent or employee to rent or sell or offer to rent or sell at an unconscionable price within the area for which the state of emergency is declared, any essential commodity including, but not limited to, supplies, services, provisions, or equipment that is necessary for consumption or use as a direct result of the emergency. This prohibition is effective not to exceed 60 days under the initial declared state of emergency as defined in s. 252.36(2) and shall be renewed by statement in any subsequent renewals of the declared state of emergency by the Governor.

What happened in Florida was that Attorney General Ashley Moody activated the state’s “price gouging hotline” so residents could report businesses violating the state’s price gouging law if they charged “too much” for lodging or goods during the period of the state of emergency. Business caught charging elevated prices for goods, could face “civil penalties of $1,000 per violation and up to a total of $25,000 for multiple violations committed in a single 24-hour period.”

The Attorney General’s office says that more than 2,000 cases of price gouging were reported. Typical commodities involved are water and gasoline.

Now, there are many economic arguments in defense of price gouging:

  • Higher prices help prevent a handful of consumers from hoarding the majority of supplies.
  • Higher prices create incentives for suppliers of goods to help to restore people’s lives.
  • Higher prices encourage conservation among end users.
  • High prices can bring much-needed supplies into a disaster zone.
  • Higher prices send a signal to market actors that something is scarce and that profits are available to those who produce or sell that something.
  • Higher prices set off an economic chain reaction that ultimately remedies the shortages that led to the price gouging in the first place.
  • Higher prices tell suppliers what their customers want most.

You can read articles here, here, here, and here. I have even written this.

This, of course, doesn’t mean that it is just, right, moral, or ethical to raise prices on essential goods and services during the time before a hurricane hits. It just means that it should not be against the law. If you don’t like the price of a gallon of gas at your local gas station during the time that a hurricane is approaching, then you can choose to not only not purchase your gas there, but also to never patronize that particular gas station again. What you should not have the option of doing is calling a price gouging hotline and having the state fine the business and force it to lower its prices.

Economic considerations aside, there is an important philosophical reason why I write in defense of price gouging…

The ability of a business to raise or lower its prices on a particular good or on all the goods it sells is one of the essential things that distinguishes a free market from government central planning. The reason why a business raises or lowers its prices is absolutely irrelevant.

Free and unfettered interaction between producers and consumers, buyers and sellers, lessors and lessees, owners and renters, and businesses and customers is always to be preferred to government intervention.

Once it is accepted that the government has the authority, knowledge, and competence to establish arbitrary price ceilings during the onset or aftermath of a natural disaster, no reasonable or logical argument can be made against the government’s setting prices during ordinary times.

Price-gouging laws are an assault on private property, free exchange, freedom of contract, free enterprise, free markets, and a free society.

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Libertarianism’s Place In Society – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on July 20, 2019

When Buck Johnson recently asked Paul Gottfried whether the Left or the State was the chief enemy in our time, Gottfried quickly responded: “what’s the difference?”

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/07/no_author/libertarianisms-place-in-society/

By CJay Engel
Austro Libertarian

The thesis here is that libertarianism as a political theory only carries the veneer of importance and centrality due to the strength and power of the democratic, administrative, state in our time. Everywhere we look, we see the influence and effect of the state as an apparatus that guides and oversees the machinations of modern civilization. We speak not merely of the obvious libertarian issues like taxes and regulation but we see in the modern western state a cultural force. We so often push the idea that politics is downstream from culture, that we have lost the culture and therefore the state has followed the path of destruction.

But as was hinted on the AL editor’s blog, it is far more likely that Paul Gottfried has it right: the state has morphed into something much more sinister and it now leads the culture toward its own ends. The modern administrative state is the creator of culture and culture is now downstream from the state. Gottfried is especially succinct as to his meaning in his short excerpt:

Contrary to an older understanding of culture, what we are referring to is a process of moral and social radicalization. It is a process that didn’t come about unbidden but which powerful, pervasive administrative rule promoted. And the social engineering function of public administration here and elsewhere in the West has been particularly evident since the 1960s, with governmentally encouraged immigration and an accelerating war against discrimination. Presumably, when Hillary Clinton assured a gay rights group that she was addressing last year (October 5, 2015) that she would use the IRS to force recalcitrant religious institutions into endorsing gay marriage, she was not simply responding to a cultural condition. She was working to create one.

We have entered into a full politicization of society; there is nothing that the state-cultural complex does not touch. It guides the way we interact with others, the way we process and interpret events, and the way we think about social norms and basic social units and institutions.

Now then, to bring this back to the thesis: “libertarianism as a political theory only carries the veneer of importance and centrality due to the strength and power of the democratic, administrative, state in our time.” Since the state is everywhere we look, and libertarianism has a set of particular ethical critiques against the state, it seems to follow that libertarianism plays such an important place in our lives…

This creates the illusion that libertarianism plays a fundamental role in society. That political theory itself is of primary importance for a people who wish for a better world, a world that is both more ethical and more free. And from this, we work to create a libertarian political strategy and a libertarian movement as well. And thus, the disease of modern administrative statism, which takes over our minds as the lens through which we find meaning, produces the impulse that one ought to dedicate himself to libertarianism as a path toward social preservation.

But it should be made clear that the only reason libertarianism as such seems to play such a fundamental role in the self-identity and life-meaning of so many in libertarian circles is due to the politicalization of society. We live in the administrative state’s world and thus we even put our path toward social improvement strictly in terms of the political. It is not just that the state formally speaking is everywhere we look, it is that there is hardly any longer a culture that is distinct from the state. When Buck Johnson recently asked Paul Gottfried whether the Left or the State was the chief enemy in our time, Gottfried quickly responded: “what’s the difference?”…

Men form society not on the basis of a unifying legal theory, but the legal theory is adopted post-society. Libertarianism is a helpful tool in the development of peaceful civilization; it is neither the spring nor the engine from which society flows. Libertarianism as a unifying spirit is only conceivable because we operate in a world that has experienced the imposition of a political society. But perhaps, to presuppose this statist-world moving forward, and to subsequently work toward a bigger libertarian political movement, is to have already made the very mistake that continues to undermine our efforts toward a free society.

Reprinted from Austro Libertarian.

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Your Property – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on April 9, 2019

If you can’t prohibit someone from entering or using your property, or controlling what takes place on your property, then your property is not your own; it belongs to the government.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/04/laurence-m-vance/your-property-is-not-your-own/

By

Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado, was accused by Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission in 2013 of discriminating against a homosexual couple because he refused to bake them a cake for their wedding. An administrative law judge issued a lengthy written order finding in favor of the couple, which was affirmed by the Commission. The decision was appealed to the Colorado Court of Appeals, which affirmed the Commission’s decision in 2015. A petition for a writ of certiorari was filed with the Supreme Court in 2016, and was granted in 2017. The Court, in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (2018), in a 7-2 vote, ruled in favor of Mr. Phillips because “the Commission’s actions here violated the Free Exercise Clause.”

Phyllis Young was not so lucky…

The Supreme Court last month refused to hear Young’s appeal of lower court’s ruling that she violated Hawaii’s public accommodation law, which bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, when she refused to rent a room to the lesbian couple. Since the ruling stands, Young now faces some sort of penalty for freely exercising her religion.

She thought she could do what she wanted on her on property. She thought she lived in the land of the free.

If you can’t prohibit someone from entering or using your property, or controlling what takes place on your property, then your property is not your own; it belongs to the government.

Religion has nothing to do with it.

In a free society, the property rights of business owners are no different than those of homeowners.

In a free society, business owners have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason on any basis.

In a free society, discrimination by a business against a potential customer in any form and for any cause must be permissible.

In a free society, business owners have the absolute right to hire only certain people and give discounts to only certain people.

In a free society, every person has the natural right to think whatever he wants about any other person or group.

In a free society, every person has the natural right to associate with any other person who is willing to associate with him.

In a free society, there is no right to rent or live where you choose.

In a free society, no one has any legal recourse if a business refuses to hire him or serve him.

In a free society, there are no “public accommodation” laws.

In a free society, there are no civil rights commissions.

In a free society, there are no anti-discrimination laws.

In a free society, property rights are supreme; in an authoritarian society, your property is not your own.

 

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