Libertarian Commentary on the News, #14-52C: Christmas Eve!

By Nathan Barton

Christmas Eve Gift!  And a Merry Christmas.

If you look, although there is a lot of bad news, there are plenty of good things around.  Between storms and shootings and bombings, we still find a lot of things that are good:  a few more people have jobs and have found a way to get a bit more income, people are showing a holiday spirit in giving, and travel to see family and friends is cheaper this year than for many years.

On to some news:

The next medical scare?  Ebola has nearly dropped off the radar, although there are reportedly more than 1700 Americans being tracked for it, stateside, and cases worldwide have risen to more than 18,000, with a reported 7,000 deaths.  However, the horrific predictions of hundreds of thousands of cases by mid-December have proved wrong: either that, or the information is being buried by agencies (a claim made by a few websites).  This Bourbon virus may be the next fad. Like all potentially-epidemic diseases, common sense to prevent infection is the answer.

Now, another cop shooting incident hits the news.   In Berkeley, Missouri, Tuesday night, a policeman shot and killed another black teenager outside a convenience store after the 18-year-old pulled a gun on the cop.  The incident is recorded on the store’s video, but of course, the immediate screams of outrage transformed into “protests” in which four police officers were injured.  Photos are on-line of shattered windows, damaged cars, and what appears to be looting.  The family protests that he was a “good kid,” At the same time, the media embraced (and then had to back water) a bogus “eye-witness” who claimed the cop ordered him and his dead friend to stay on the ground and shot them like that.  I suspect that it will not matter what the truth is.

In Wisconsin, there will be no charges for the Milwaukee officer who shot man 14 times. BUT he did get fired.  “A former Milwaukee police officer will not be charged with a crime for the shooting death of a 31-year-old man with a history of mental illness that has spurred protests, the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office announced Monday. … Police Chief Edward Flynn fired Manney in October, stating that the officer had identified Hamilton as mentally ill, but ignored department policy and treated him as a criminal by frisking him. The Milwaukee Police Association condemned Manney’s firing as politically motivated, and members voted no confidence in Flynn soon after the firing. Manney is currently appealing his dismissal.” You know, this and the events in New York City should raise more questions about exactly what role police unions have and should have.

Islamic wars don’t slack off during El Eid, despite attempts to make it seem like an equivalent of the “christian” Christmas season. In Nigeria, twin bomb blasts in a bus station kill 20 . “Two bomb explosions at a bus station in the northeast Nigeria on Monday killed at least 20 people and wounded 40, an emergency services official said, and witnesses said many of the victims had rushed in to help those wounded in the first blast. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack in the city of Gombe. Boko Haram insurgents have repeatedly set off bombs targeting civilians, especially in the northeast where they are trying to carve out an Islamic state.” The senselessness of these bombings is stark in this case.

Just as the senselessness of shootings on the Home Front is:  a firefighter was wounded in a drive-by shooting in Jacksonville, Florida, apparently specifically at firefighters as they refueled their vehicle by a fire station. As with many drive-by shootings, the gunner realized he had nothing at risk since his intended victims are not armed (most states ban firefighters from carrying weapons).

For now, at least, the EPA can’t regulate the lead in bullets, according to a federal judge, who writes that the agency can’t regulate the bullets without regulating the shells, which Congress explicitly forbade the agency from doing.  This, of course, assumes that the Fuehrer is going to pay attention to the law.

What is Christmas without a few Grinches or Scrooges?     Source: Christian Science Monitor is trying, with a column on “The burden of Colorado’s pot tourism” to do just that.  “In the nearly 12 months since Colorado became the first state to allow legal use of recreational marijuana, it has seen more than $300 million in sales of state-regulated pot. Any number of problems have cropped up with this experiment in government advancement of a harmful drug. Yet one problem should not be tolerated: the spillover burden placed on neighboring states from an increase in ‘marijuana tourists’ who are either high or smuggling pot after a trip to the Rocky Mountain State.

[Steve Trinward noted: And whether or not the Monitor wants to accept it, this will soon no longer be an issue.)  Clearly, the CSM is unable to discern between allowing people liberty to make their own choices and “government advancement.”  I do not use marijuana in any form, and never have – don’t drink alcohol or smoke, either.  But the state has no business telling anyone what they can or cannot buy and sell, and the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma must learn not to do this either: and especially not to try and dictate to the people of another state.

But opponents are not giving up: a story in CNS News shows the latest fearmongering regarding legal marijuana in Colorado: it encourages homelessness and the homeless, shelters are filling up with pot-users.  The details aren’t quite so bad: the claim is that the attraction of legal marijuana for medical and recreational use is getting homeless people to relocate from other states, and that as many as 30% of homeless people who relocated to Denver did so for cannabis.

Again, this reminds me of the old days when some states had legal drinking ages of 21 and others of 18, and a lot of young people killed themselves (and others) by driving drunk after going across the stateline to buy and drink booze.  The solution implemented was to standardize the legal age of 21, which has worked OH so well.  Why?  Because politicians want sound-byte solutions, and not REAL solutions.  The real solution is to allow even homeless people the liberty to make their own choices regarding what they buy and consume, whether in Minnesota or Tennessee or Colorado.

Mama’s Note: The “state” has zero legitimate authority to tax or  control the sale or purchase of anything, nor the age at which people consume or do anything. The responsibility for these things rest in the individual, or the person who assumes responsibility for them. Young people who have survived to the teen years are seldom truly under any control by their families and if we look closely at the facts we find that there are many thousands of arrests and imprisonments for engaging in these prohibited activities, not for any actual aggression by those arrested. The murder of a helpless man for the “crime” of selling  single cigarettes – in defiance of the prohibitions – is a prime example.


About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (a christian), Pahasapan (resident of the Black Hills), Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer, Evangelist. Successor to Lady Susan (Mama Liberty) at TPOL.
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