Monday, December 24, 2012

Blame the Person Not the Object

Another tragedy has enveloped the country and as usually the wrong suspects take the blame. At the time of this writing only two have come up; 1. Guns and 2. Video Games (or for some the entertainment industry as a whole). Predictably those who blame these two want the state to engage in some sort of enforcement to restrict if not outright ban law abiding people from obtaining either object. This type of outrage is misplaced and is not grounded in logic.

Video games and guns alone don't commit the horrors that is the Sandy Hook shooting and the shootings before it, someone does have to pull the trigger. Some may view the phrase "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" as a cheap argument but it's the truth. Guns aren't possessed by demonic spirits that brainwash the user into going into public and shooting as many people as possible no the gunmen know exactly what they're doing when they slaughter innocent people. Do we all of a sudden call for bans of vehicles in order to prevent car accident deaths? Vehicles can be made into weapons to you know? No we don't and anyone who would make such a ridiculous argument would be laughed at and rightly so. It's a human right to be able to defend yourself and in these times a gun whether it's a pistol, a shotgun, a rile, etc is the most likely solution. One could make the case for swords, axes and other melee weapons but from the looks of things it doesn't seem that modern society has to worry about attacking mongol hordes (or any other hordes on horseback for that matter) anytime soon. However it is good to have at least a knife around.

Gun restrictions only help the criminals and contribute to the murders of innocents. In addition the amount of mindless red tape that your run of the mill law abiding person has to swim through in order to get a pistol borders on being criminal. One shouldn't have to go through government approval in order to exercise a right. The right to bare arms should not be on the same level as the privilege to drive a vehicle. For example I present to you two pictures from the pistol permit application from Orange County in New York state.

Picture one looks pretty normal for your standard government red tape form

Here is picture number 2 when one goes down the list

Not only is the concept of having to get the state's approval to exercise one's right is absurd but the fact that a government needs to know your race because you wish to have a way to defend yourself is pathetic. What purpose does it serve for the government to know your race? Is their a special type of gun that is tailored to a specific race or some other absurd idea? One can draw their own conclusions but it's just another reason on how the government is not colorblind despite what the media and it's own cadre of lapdogs say.

In Orange County the process from filing the application to getting your actual permit from the county takes on average three to six months. Obviously this varies depending in which state and possibly county one lives in. If one feels that their life or those around them is in danger, three to six months is an awful long time to wait. Criminals don't like fair fights and aren't going to wait for their victims to gain equal footing against them. Like the drug war if people want to get a banned or restricted object or substance they will find a way to get it and commit the crime anyway.

Gaming and for some people the entertainment industry as whole has become the second whipping boy in the wake of Sandy Hook. Like guns the blame is fueled by emotion and lack of logical thought. Reports came out that shooter Adam Lanza played video games, so those who lack critical thought quickly tried to pin point gaming as one of the causes of Lanza's rampage. The problem with that is that Lanza wasn't some small child, he was a twenty year old man. By the time one is that age, one can tell the difference between right and wrong. There isn't a grey area in the question of killing innocent children. If there is one I sure as hell would like to see it. When it comes to gaming, the responsibility is on the parent. The old saying goes; "If you don't like it then turn it off/don't buy it/don't listen to it, etc." and throw in some good discipline for good measure.

Prohibition doesn't work no matter how good the intentions are the law of unintended consequences will rear it's ugly head sooner or later. In a true free society one must recognize that bad things do happen and that utopia is not an option.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Campaign for Liberty Ditching Foreign Policy?

As per a post on Tom Woods' blog

A friend writes:
My source was a participant at the C4L annual cadre training meeting in Florida last week:  John Tate and Mike Rothfeld were featured and at the final full session Tate emphasized, without any real explanation, that C4L was to have nothing to do with foreign policy. It will only deal with domestic issues like audit the fed and will be supporting the Rand Paul agenda. Wead, Hunter, Benton and Tate are all already enlisted in the effort and are on the Rand PAC’s payroll.

Obviously there would have to be more evidence to show that Campaign for Liberty is giving up a key pillar in libertarian philosophy. However with what has happened in C4L over the course of the election cycle in regards to Benton and other C4L leaders it doesn't surprise me. Adam Kokesh has covered C4L slow erosion of libertarian principals here, here and here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hard to be a bigot when...

Every once in awhile libertarians will be accused of being racists by liberals and conservatives. Lew Rockwell himself has been accused because of the supposed tie to Ron Paul's newsletter controversy. It's awfully hard to be a full fledge racist when you allow pieces like this on your site:


December 10, 2012

One Reason Why Hispanics Vote Democrat

There are many reasons, but one of them is that the anti-immigrant movement, which is pandered to by the GOP, is largely in agreement with this latest screed by Ann Coulter. Coulter repeats all the usual talking points used by conservatives as part of their imperishable faith in the idea that if they'll start winning elections once they can get a few more white (i.e., WASP) males voting Republican.
Coulter's position is that Hispanics are all lazy moochers who vote Obama because they hate freedom and love welfare. She repeats a lot of "data" that have become articles of religious faith among anti-immigrant types. All those stereotypes about Hispanics being decent people are wrong, Coulter tells us, they're actually a bunch of awful, awful, people. Coulter goes on:
It seems otherwise, Murray says, because the only Hispanics we see are the ones who are working — in our homes, neighborhoods and businesses. "That's the way that almost all Anglos in the political chattering class come in contact with Latinos," he notes. "Of course they look like model Americans."
Murray's talking about himself and Coulter of course. Rich Anglos have Hispanic servants, you see, and they all look so civilized in those maid and landscaper uniforms.
Those of us who are actually related to Hispanics know the real story. Hispanics are barefoot and pregnant leeches who hate freedom and they contrast so greatly with the industrious WASPs in our midst. Or so say Murray and Coulter.

(We could also note that Coulter's conclusions assume that all Hispanics are either immigrants or recent immigrants. This assumption has no basis in reality. Here in the West, many Hispanics are descended from people who came to what is now the United States 400 years ago. But for the sake of argument, let's just assume that this conflating of immigrants and all Hispanics is workable.)
Coulter's column contains nothing new, and is just a rehashing of talking points from hundreds of conservative books and columns written over the last 20 years.
So why would a Hispanic not rush to vote for the GOP? It must be because they're idle socialists. And who wouldn't want to go to meeting of conservatives and hear all about how the wetbacks are ruining this country?
The policy response on the part of the anti-immigration movement, not surprisingly, is to embrace big government. They advocate for fences and more border control agents and regulations on private business and instructing police to spy on people and demand their papers. That's the "pro-freedom" position, apparently. And in the mind of those opponents of immigration, the Hispanics who vote for the party that they perceive as being more likely to leave them alone, are, amazingly, the "anti-freedom" group. This is the logic of the anti-immigrant mind.
The conservative anti-immigrant position is simply a part of the larger conservative program: more government power, more nationalism, more police, and more control, while being sure to pay some lip service to "freedom" while supporting the latest authoritarian form of prohibitionism.
Prohibition of certain drugs and prohibition of certain people go hand-in-hand philosophically. The same sort of mind that sees nothing wrong with government declaring some kinds of plants to be "government-approved" while some other plants are not approved, is the same sort of mind that can accept that idea that some people should be government-approved while other people are not government-approved and thus verboten. Indeed, some anti-immigrationists are so misguided, that they are in favor of punishing small business people who hire non-government-approved labor, and are even in favor of punishing landlords who rent apartments to non-government-approved people:
The 69-year-old landlord was arrested and charged with dozens of crimes, including harboring fugitives and conspiracy — because his property manager rented to illegals. Although acquitted by a jury, he could have spent the rest of his life in prison, and been forced to forfeit the 60 or so units he owned jointly with his son to the State of Kentucky.
The fact that people who support this war on private enterprise in the name of driving immigrants out of the country, are then also able to convince themselves that their knee-jerk police statism is pro-liberty, is impressive to say the least."

Obviously a post like this won't silence Rockwell's critics from the left and right but it shows how the charges of racism against him are a pretty weak argument.