Libertarian News & Commentary #15-20B, 21 May 2015: Government Dictates and Stupidity

By Nathan A. Barton

The hubris of government is awesome indeed: the dictates of the state are usually foolish and based on myths and warped perception of reality.  Consider this: The Guardian reports that Los Angeles is the largest US city to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour, to be done in steps through July 2020.  The City Council ignored decades of data showing that the minimum wage damages the well-being of marginal workers and the very people it is “supposed” to help.  Sadly, even relatively conservative jurisdictions have bought into this garbage, creating problems for their own people.  South Dakota voters, for example, last year approved an increase, part of which the legislature ameliorated with a law establishing a lower minimum wage for minors, which otherwise would have been priced out of the essential summertime tourist industry jobs with which hundreds of thousands of South Dakotans have started their working lives.  Expect more of this sort of nonsense, which together with ever more demanding regulations will further damage American businesses and the economies of cities, regions, and states.

Sadly, it is NOT only government that is unable to tell what is real and what is not. recently published a satirical piece claiming that the squatter at 1600 PA had signed an executive order rechristening “Peace Officers” and “Police Officers” as “Police Heroes.”  Several sites, including Freedom’s Phoenix (normally pretty good about such) picked it up as a real report: I expect to see more do so, including many sites which are more concerned about sensational headlines than accuracy and truth. When will we learn?  Let governments lie: lovers of liberty tell the truth, or say nothing at all.

I don’t know if this next story is of a similar nature or not.  Appearing in Slate and written by a professor at the University of Denver law school (both suspect sources, I admit), the story claims that Wyoming has passed a law criminalizing the obtaining of “resource data” from “open lands” (public and private) in the state, when that data (including photographs) is provided to state or federal agencies.  On the face of it, this would seem to interfere with the enforcement actions of Wyoming’s own state agencies, including Department of Environmental Quality and the various agencies involved with property taxes.  The track record of the Wyoming legislature in recent years has NOT been a good one involving liberty of its people from oppressive government, so why would it suddenly pass a law hampering such action? The Slate article has NO links or even citation to the supposed Wyoming law.  And once again, certain “libertarian” news aggregating/reporting sites have picked up on the article with no comment, apparently as proof that Wyoming is conspiring with Big Business (especially those evil ranchers) to steal freedom of speech.

There have been numerous reports, including this one, that a federal judge has again ruled the District of Columbia’s concealed carry law is unconstitutional, placing undue burdens on a basic constitutionally-protected right, but I frankly see little chance of anything happening soon that will allow hundreds of thousands of residents of that cesspool to arm themselves inside or outside their homes.  Meanwhile, DC will continue to play “people, not laws” when it comes to who can violate their stupid, immoral, and unconstitutional laws.  And many residents and visitors to the imperial capital will risk murder and mayhem with no easy way to defend themselves.

The Caliphate (ISIS or ISIL) is demonstrating that it shares the trait of stupidity with other governments.  AOL reports that with the fall of Palmyra, ancient ruined city in central Syria, the Caliphate controls more than half of Syria, as well as its recent expansion in Mesopotamia (Iraq).  However, the stupidity of mainstream media is on full display as well: at least three AOL stories are far more concerned about the fate of the ancient ruins and artwork than about the killing and loss of liberty (what little liberty Syrians have under Assad) caused by the Caliphate’s conquest.  And this seems to be the case with the “international community” and agencies as well: more concerned with ancient monuments than with real lives of real, living people.

Remember?  There is a massive war still going on in Mexico, many-sided.  This week, another battle killed almost as many people as died in that biker bar fight in Waco, Texas. That hit ALL the media, but this one was only picked up by a few news outlets, like Yahoo. In a clash in Jalisco State, where cartel members shot down a military helicopter on 1 May, killing six soldiers, at least eight people were killed in battle on Tuesday.  It is a war which the US holds as much (and probably much more) responsibility for as anything going on in the Middle East.

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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1 Response to Libertarian News & Commentary #15-20B, 21 May 2015: Government Dictates and Stupidity

  1. Bear says:

    The Wyoming “resource data” bill is ‘SF0012-15LSO-0003 Trespassing to collect data.’ The article l/i/e/d/ mischaracterized the bill. It does NOT criminalize collecting data on public land. It does specifically criminalize trespassing on private open land (i.e.- private land that isn’t fenced in) to collect data “relating to land or land use, including but not limited to data regarding agriculture, minerals, geology, history, cultural artifacts, ” and so on.

    It specifically exempts from this restriction statutory, contractual, or other legal authorization. It makes any such illegally gathered data inadmissable in court or administrative proceedings (except for the trial of anyone charged with violating this law). It does not specifically ban providing resource data to the feds.

    Basically, it’s much like several other laws passed by states to protect private property from wanna-be environmental warriors who take pictures of fenced in animals and the like. It’s scope is greater than most I’m aware of, but is also better than Florida’s in that it criminalizes trespassing while Florida’s law makes taking pictures of farm operations from the road unlawful.


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