Libertarian Commentary on the News, #14-40B: Human life – any value?

By Nathan Barton

Good morning!  Sometimes, the news just seems to be dull and boring, and today is one of those:  the news and the talk shows all seem to be Ebola and the Caliphate.  Oh, and the Supreme Court (and I really don’t want to rile my stomach by talking about the Nazgul today).  So here are a few items of interest that remind us, good and bad, that there is a world around us.  Several seem to make it natural to talk about respecting and protecting human life.

Self-defense/community-defense: Four armed men entered a bar and demanded money, but one patron instead pulled his weapon, killing two of the thugs. Smart man: he didn’t stay around for the cops.  And people in the bar can’t or won’t identify him.  We honor and welcome more unsung and anonymous heroes like this. People in the bar said that he was quiet and often waited until closing then escorted the barmaids to their cars for safety.  This unknown man clearly understands the value of human life, and being a gentleman. And being prepared.

Why do we need to be prepared?  Consider this situation. When a friend gave a poke in the ribs to his girlfriend, he punched the guy to death he got sentenced for this killing. Four years?  No restitution?  What a crime.  And it does remind us that some people do NOT understand the value of human life.

Speaking of which: Abu-Jamal (who gave a commencement address by recording from prison to a northeastern Tranzi liberal arts college) is definitely a scumbag, but the Philly cops’ vigil is marred by how much they look like Brownshirts, and the way they abuse the citizens and visitors of Philadelphia.  In the many years since Abu-Jamal gunned down the young police officer, they have become far more like Abu-Jamal than honorable men and women who value human life and seek to serve and protect it.  I have no idea exactly how these college graduates see their Tranzi philosophy matching with that of this killer, and really don’t want to know them or their beliefs.  But once more, as during the “late unpleasantness” in the 1940s, we see respect for human life hitting a new low.  Consider the following:

The rise of ‘green burials’: No casket, no embalming, no tombstone: As baby boomers head toward the hereafter, they’re thinking about what will become of their remains.  Maybe this is a good thing, and maybe not.  The death industry is sickeningly commercial and just plain icky, but how much of this change is worshiping the earth and showing no respect for human life?  Why not just throw the body out with the trash?

Mama’s Note: Why not? For the same reason one would not toss the carcass of a horse into the trash. Respect for life must come while there is life present. The dead can be respected in many different ways, of course, and everyone should be free to do so in whatever manner they choose. But that is not the same as respect for life. Seems to me that people need to use their time, energy and strengths to respect and preserve life rather than worry overmuch what happens to the dead husk once life departs.

Here are a couple of random stories to wrap up for today.

Self-defense or destruction of property? A man, upset with his neighbor’s drone crossing onto his property, shot down the drone with a shotgun, and now the lawyers are puzzled.  Was this legal?  Is mere trespassing justification for the destruction?  A drone is not a football OR a person.  What do you think?

Mama’s Note: I think people who do not want their drones shot down need to make sure the device is not invading someone else’s property or privacy. I want a sign that says: Trespassers will be shot. Survivors will be shot again. Guess these days I’ll need to add, “and their drones” after trespassers in the first part.

Americans give a LOT to charity (including churches) but supposedly only 3%.  And the rich are giving less (a smaller share of their income) during this Crash of 2009, while the middle class are giving more. You can see the breakout geographically here at this map.  I’m a sucker for interactive maps and this is okay.  But looking at counties and zip codes that I know, it is obvious that the data is incomplete and in error: in part because it is based on income tax returns – specifically for those who itemize.  So a LOT of the giving especially by relatively poor people just won’t get reported since they use 1040A or 1040EZ or don’t file.  You can see that in Shannon County (Pine Ridge) and Mellette County (part of Rosebud) in South Dakota, as well as in Dolores County, Colorado.  A lot of the giving in those counties just don’t show up, because of how the giving and the culture are.  But why just 3% nationwide?  BECAUSE government sucks up so much, looting the nation more each year.

Citing some recent cases, Political Outcast discusses the “liability insanity stripping US playgrounds” of their equipment. We’ve seen giant slides and merry-go-rounds go away, and now it appears that swings are the latest to be banned by schools and recreation departments.  The excuse is liability, but too many “helicopter” parents are deathly afraid that their children are going to get hurt, even a little bit, by these traditional playthings.

About tpolnathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (christian), Pahasapan, Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer.
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