Libertarian commentary on the news, #15-11A: Worldwide woes?

By Nathan Barton

Good morning!  While still fighting some lingering affects of illness (7 weeks!), and being able to work more, that is in turn sucking away time from commenting on the news, and frankly, often the news is a source of stress that I’ve needed to cut back on a bit.  But here are some odd stories and some more lengthy comments on a few things!

The Fuehrer and minions mull forcing Americans to vote The Washington Times reports: “President Obama, whose party was trounced in last year’s midterm election due to poor turnout among Democrats, endorsed the idea of mandatory voting Wednesday. … Mr. Obama raised the subject during a discussion of curbing the influence of campaign donations in U.S. elections. The president said he had never discussed the idea publicly before, but said Australia and some other countries have compulsory voting. The president didn’t commit to pushing a mandatory voting initiative at the federal level but said, ‘that may end up being a better strategy in the short term’ than finding a solution to curbing campaign donations.

Tom Knapp writes: So; set up a one-party system disguised as a two party system; then force people to choose from one of the two options offered by the single party; finally, boast about “consent” as shown by high voter turnout! Frankly I hope this IS implemented, preferably as either an Imperial Decree (Executive Order) or law passed by Congress, making failure to vote a FELONY punishable by at least three years in Federal Prison, so that either the system crashes from the minimum of tens of thousands who WILL resist such an outrageous act, or the juries rebel.

Mama’s Note: As with so many other things, I suspect we’d all be interesting in seeing this applied to the legisgators first… how about a mandatory vote on each and every issue across the board? In writing, in the open, recorded for all time?

But this “mandatory” voting thing could present some folks with interesting opportunities to spike the gears, I suspect. I once knew a man who had a self inking rubber stamp thing that left an impression of a bright red Simon Jester (Like this) He would stamp the ballot at random with this, fold it and put it in the hopper. That would be a load of fun… and I can think of lots of other places for it. Posters and stickers too… Anyone think that project would be worth revisiting? I’ll buy one of those stamps.

Beef!  It’s what’s for dinner, NOT!  Bad as things are here in the Fifty States, they are worse elsewhere: In India: Mumbai (Bombay) bans beef. “With a strict ban on beef in Mumbai that has closed down meat sellers across India’s most cosmopolitan city, this nation is dealing with a sacred cow issue — literally. The new ban is the strictest ever in India and includes penalties even for possessing beef. Breaking the law, which languished for five years before getting passed under a conservative ruling Hindu party, brings a fine and up to five years in prison.” This is the sort of thing that liberals and atheists often accuse certain “christian” sects of wanting to do, but it is odd that Hindu (beloved of those liberals and their ilk) are the ones who are forcing their religious beliefs on an entire city.

Gun bans do work?  For decades, Sweden (though with relatively “high” gun ownership rates) has virtually prohibited civilian carry of firearms.  But news from there is that there are two dead, 15 injured in restaurant attack. Fox News reports: “A shooting inside a restaurant in Sweden’s second largest city killed two people and left up to 15 wounded — three or four of them seriously, police said, adding that the incident was likely gang-related. Spokesman Bjor Blixter said Thursday the eatery in Goteborg was full when men with automatic weapons opened fire late Wednesday, and some of those wounded may have been ordinary guests. … Blixter said there were known gang members inside the restaurant in the suburb of Biskopsgarden, adding the shooting spree was likely related to gang feuds. The neighborhood is known for a history of gang violence.” As usual, laws disarm the peaceful and honest who need to be able to defend themselves, while all sorts of thugs ignore them and are armed to the teeth.  If these gangsters had expected to face a cafe full of armed citizens, the attack would probably have never been launched.

Although I was raised by a historian and history teacher, who taught me much about how the history books and historians lie about what really happened, and just plain make things up about WHY things happened, I still find myself surprised now and then to find just how big the lies were, and how incredibly self-serving and ideological historians are.  The latest example of this comes from a nice, if bizarre, little blog called Bionic Mosquito, talking about the “liberal” (in the old sense of the word, almost synonymous with libertarian) society hidden from modern view in the so-called Dark Ages.  I’ve always known (from my father) that the Dark Ages were not really “dark” (as contrasted to the “light” of both the later Roman Imperium and the Renaissance era) as much as “hidden” and “unknown.”  But Bionic Mosquito explains the way that law and social relationships, in feudal societies and cultures, worked and were used to maintain a society free of many of the evils of both civilizations before and after.

This is not saying that people between 400 and 1400 (AD) were free, as we Americans had been in the 1700s and early 1800s, or as we want to be today, but very much with liberties recognized and protected and exercised more than a “Roman Citizen” in 200 or 400 AD, and certainly more than a typical burgher or even part of the nobility or gentry in, say 1500 or 1600.  Some of this is clearly visible in documents and other sources looking back a thousand years, but much of the true picture is hidden by the propaganda of those in the Renaissance and especially those who write from the points of view of modern European and even American societies (1800 on).

For those of us trying to see how to both establish and sustain liberty now, and in a future time of collapse of the current system and regimes, this article and related ones (like “Decentralization in the Middle Ages“) may give some valuable insight to do a better job.

Now, who do we believe?  Another government agency is either being “more accurate” or “spreading fearmongering” by announcing that “scientists” have until now underestimated the probability of a more powerful (scale 8 or more) earthquake in California sooner or later, because they did not take into account that a quake in one fault can trigger a quake in another fault, or another section of the same fault.  This sort of thing is important to all of us  planning for emergencies, and for where we might want to settle down or just be.  The way the USGS words this, it comes across as a “leap” in potential, but like flooding and other natural events, it is still a matter of probability AND circumstances (data and conditions) that we do not know and cannot possibly know given available technology.  At the same time, the “reason” for upping the risk is actually a rather dubious claim:  ANYone who has even a first- or second-year understanding of geophysics and tectonics knows that energy is transmitted though solid masses (like, oh, the earth’s crust) and that a release of energy in one location CAN send a “shock” to other locations which can in turn trigger yet another seismic event.  So maybe part of this “leap” is due to the hubris of the scientific establishment, just like fossilized beliefs in such things as global warming and cooling, macroevolution, and of course, the benefits of government schools and a planned political economy.  Just accepting a government agency’s claim on something, whether it is NASA or CDC or your local Congressman’s office, is rather stupid: USGS might be trustworthy on maps (but go out and check on the ground, anyway, believe me!), but when it comes to most controversial matters, they are at the plate with two strikes and three balls.  Don’t bet on them.

Two stories which ARE related come from Alabama, where State Chief Justice Roy Moore is defying the federal Nazguls (of course, he is a Nazgul, himself).  It seems “convenient” that this drug bust would happen just now: : Son of chief justice charged with drug possession, AND that it would be national news, especially in California (Source: San Francisco Chronicle). “The son of Alabama’s chief justice (who has made national headlines recently for his efforts to block gay marriage in the state) has been arrested on drug charges. Court records show 24-year-old Caleb Moore, the son of Chief Justice Roy Moore, was arrested Sunday in Troy and charged with felony possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Police, responding to a complaint of a possible break-in, found Caleb Moore and four other men near a white pick-up truck. A police report says an officer smelled marijuana and searched the vehicle, where he found marijuana and Xanax pills on top of a wallet containing Caleb Moore’s passport.” A set up?  To try and denigrate Moore and his stand on same-sex “marriage”?  or just a lucky coincidence.  Especially given this story also from Alabama: Federal judge won’t stay order requiring judge to “do his job” “A federal judge is not backing off her order to an Alabama probate judge that he must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. U.S. District Judge Callie Granade on Monday refused to stay her order to Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis. Granade in January ruled that Alabama’s gay-marriage ban is unconstitutional and told Davis that he could not refuse licenses because of a couple’s sexual orientation.” This is the controversy in which CJ Moore is embroiled.  Public sentiment in Alabama seems to be strongly in favor of Moore’s and Davis’ position.

Mama’s Note: Not that it is anyone’s business to start with, of course.

Is this going to help our balance of trade?  In Mexico: Homegrown, gourmet pot on the rise. “Once upon a time, Mexican marijuana was the gold standard for U.S. pot smokers. But in the new world of legal markets and gourmet weed, aficionados here are looking to the United States and Europe for the good stuff. Instead of Acapulco Gold, Mexican smokers want strains like Liberty Haze and Moby Dick – either importing high-potency boutique pot from the United States, or growing it here in secret gardens that use techniques perfected abroad.” Free American markets generally are able to outproduce and outsell foreign markets, even if relatively “free” themselves.

NC: Homeowner faces weapon charge after shooting two home intruders “A homeowner who shot two intruders who broke into his home has been charged with gun possession. Harold Williams, 42, of Fayetteville, North Carolina shot the two men, Roy Lee Hawk, 27, and Martize Douglas, 23, who said they were armed, as they forced their way into his home on Friday evening. …Police said the homeowner is a convicted felon and is not supposed to be in possession of a gun — he has since been charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Hawk and Douglas have been charged with breaking and entering, common law robbery and felonious conspiracy.” See, in modern America, in the Fifty States, convicted felons, even after serving their time, are NOT entitled to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” they are unable to defend themselves against others, and by golly, the state will punish them for even daring to do so.

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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