Libertarian Commentary on the News, 03 July 2015, #15-26D

By Nathan Barton

In Oklahoma, members of the state legislature have begun the process of impeaching the majority of the state Supreme Court which ordered the removal of a Ten Commandments monument from the Statehouse grounds, according to KOCO. At least one US senator has supposedly advocated civil disobedience of the SCOTUS marriage decision; another has called for a constitutional amendment to subject federal judges to retention elections, as many states already do (and which does VERY little to control the law-clergy).

Mama’s Note: What a shame that none of them – and few of their victims – ever even consider the possibility of leaving everyone alone to do what seems right to them as individuals, negotiating any disagreements among themselves. As for all these “monuments” and statues, knock them all down and use the rubble to pave some of the rotten roads here and there. If individuals and their voluntary associations want to build such things, they can waste their own money doing so.

Can you believe this?  According to Safety News Briefs, we can “Strike Up the Band and Pass the Earplugs!The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has published a new guidance to help musicians and those who work in the music industry protect their hearing. According to the agency, it’s not only rock concerts that exceed recommended sound levels; you might want to think twice before sitting near the percussion section at the next orchestra concert. Gee, do you think that NIOSH just MIGHT have more important things to do?  Time-weighted averages (TWA) for noise are a permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 85 dB for a 40-hour week, based on five eight-hour days or four ten-hour days.  Not even professional orchestras are going to be hitting THAT level, or the maximum 130 dB limit for ANY sound.  Don’t fear the percussion section, fear the SPEAKERS!  And the government nannies.

Huzzah! Huzzah! Celebrate the restoration of Liberty! Personal Liberty tells us that after a four-decade prohibition, White House tourists can do this: take pictures! Now you can take selfies on the White House tour. Visitors strolling through the executive mansion will be allowed to take photos for the first time in more than four decades. The one time I was in the White House, which must have been in 1971 or 1972, I could take pictures, with an Instamatic – remember those?  It was my second camera: my first was a little Polaroid I bought with money earned as an illegally-employed ten and eleven year old as a campground attendant outside of Custer City.  Nixon was in power, and the guards had those opera type uniforms, and as I recall, people could play Frisbee on the lawn.  Apparently it became illegal to take pictures in 1975, just a short time later.  I had been there once, and no desire to go back, although I was stationed near DC a number of times.  Give me the Smithsonian and Jefferson Memorial anytime.

Nanny state?  Well, some government johnnies in the U.K. want to ban spanking according to Personal Liberty. The arm of government that steers policies that affect children in the United Kingdom is seeking an outright ban on spanking.  Many places already have this, as do many places in the Fifty States: defacto if not de jure. “Spare the rod and spoil the child” is no less true in 2015 than it was in 1000 BC.

I feel safer now, don’t you? A tech security firm says government carelessness has made agency passwords available online. IF we can believe the “Firm.”  According to a report from a CIA-backed cybersecurity firm, federal agencies could prevent breaches by simply strengthening login credentials for their networks.  Why do I feel safe (no, I wasn’t being sarcastic)?  Because if the agencies are THAT stupid, then we all have an opportunity to use simple, reasonable encryption and security to keep their noses out.  Seriously, simple steps like using 16-character passwords and NOT writing them on stickies that you paste on your screen can make a wonderful difference.

Repeal by Informal Nullification?  According to World Net Daily, “The people of New York state who have been calling for a repeal (of the SAFE Act) have decided to repeal it on their own by not complying,” Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, said. Less than 24,000 of an estimated 1 million “assault weapon” owners in New York have complied, in a population of 19.5 million.  In Connecticut, the similar post-Sandy Hook law also passed early in 2013 has just over 50,000 compliant slaves out of a population of 3.5 million.  So, why are not Cuomo and Malloy rounding up all these dangerous felons?  Maybe because Connecticut only has about 1600 state troopers and New York only about 4600. Visions of Little Big Horn, perhaps?  I pray that this kind of nullification grows more common and I suspect something similar is happening in Colorado and even in places like Chicago and DC.

A college kid has his life savings of $11,000 stolen at an airport in Ohio, according to the Washington Post, and while he is trying to get it back, the thieves and their buddies are squabbling over it.  The thieves are the airport police and the various members of the area’s “Drug Task Force,” apparently Ohio’s answer to the Mafia.  This is, of course, the infamous practice of civil asset forfeiture, in which local, state, and federal “law enforcement” can line their pockets with money stolen from travelers merely accused of some crime (usually related to drugs) but never charged.

Hundreds of millions are stolen each year; and for decades Americans have permitted this, a practice which should be more associated with the corruption of the Third Reich than a supposedly free nation. It may be, in the words of one attorney, “policing for profit” but the definition of “policing” seems to equate “piracy” or “parasitism” instead of the usual definitions.  The drug task forces claim that this heinous practice aids their war on some drugs, but what it REALLY seems to do is ensure that drug supply remains low relative to demand and therefore is a price support program for recreational drugs, even when the seizures are really from people involved in drugs other than as a recreational, retail user. In the case of the Cincinnati airport, even while departures have dropped from 12 million down to 2 million per year, seizures of money have increased from a few hundred thousand to $3 million per year, over 13 years.  As I’ve pointed out before, the highway robbers are in uniforms and taking it easy in offices and airport terminals, instead of hustling out on the highways and byways.  How long will we put up with this?

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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