Libertarian Commentary on the News, 21 September 2015, #15-37B: Babies and Government

By Nathan Barton

While reviewing stories this weekend, some odd stories popped up concerning infants. All the time we hear a constant drumbeat of excuses or “justification” for the nanny-state, the police-state, the omnipotent god the state. So compare this news to this claim.

From the UK comes a well-publicized story, reported in CNS News about a baby born prematurely at 23 weeks, which is one week before the “standard” expectation of survivability, and also one week before (in the UK and many American states) abortion is banned. (The range is from 22 to 25 weeks, I understand, but many US states have no limit on the maximum time of gestation before abortion is not allowed.)  The child was released from intensive care and the hospital a few weeks short of the normal 40-week period, but with good weight and health.  The obvious purpose of the story is to challenge the law allowing what are basically late-term abortions, laws based on “viability outside the womb” as being a definition of human life.

I guess this hits close to home.  My mother, born in 1927, was a “preemie” baby, and obviously lived, although it was estimated that she was born at only about 22-24 weeks.  And in those days, there was no neonatal ICU: she was brought home the day after she was born and her first crib was a shoe box – a small shoe-box.  Of course, maybe she really was NOT viable: she only lived to age 64, dying of cancer, far less that the usual lifespan of her family.

I should make the point that as a libertarian, I see (a) human life begins at conception (based on science and religion), and (b) abortion is unprovoked aggression against another human (based on religion and political philosophy).  That child in the womb is not responsible in any way for his or her “trespassing” in the body of another (the mother), he/she is not responsible for the actions of the rapist or the relative committing incest, or the mother in her decision to have sex voluntarily in other cases.  He or she does not deserve to die for any of these crimes or actions by others, whether or not their body or body parts gets used for “humanitarian purposes” in research or experimentation. (I realized that I am in a minority as far as “libertarians” and even free-market anarchists go.)

I think that it is, today, generally, a waste of effort to argue about viability or even partial-birth abortion, because to many supporters of abortion the real issue is the “right” of people to kill other people for their own convenience, whether it is a child in the womb, a child new born, or a “defective” child or an elderly person in ill health.  We see increasingly claims that children are not really “human” until some arbitrary age AFTER birth: some as long as age three!  The real point with the present debate is often overlooked: government facilitates these killings, and often (as in the case of Planned Parenthood) funds them: just as much as it facilitates and funds the killing of innocent people at weddings in Yemen or Afghanistan or Pakistan, or gunning down an average of three people – innocent until proven guilty and not engaged in a criminal act – by cops right here in the Fifty States.

Mama’s Note: I would go even farther… no government has any legitimate role in this – any more than anything else. Government intervention is the fly in the ointment… always.

A cane-wielding ‘pacifist’ homeowner in New Mexico killed a “suspected” intruder with the intruder’s own gun, as reported by Fox News. Mama Liberty comments, “Maybe the victim needs to re-evaluate his understanding of the word “pacifist.” Either that, or live with the incongruity here. He’s very lucky, and has more guts than he probably thought he did… I’m glad he really wasn’t a real pacifist, willing to die instead of defend himself.”

So am I.  Don’t know if this fits into Heinlein’s definition of “small-mouthed pacifist,” or not.  Perhaps this guy means (like most of us) that he will use violence as a last resort. Or his faith in the philosophy wasn’t as deep as he thought.

Honestly, I have no truck with real pacifists, especially those who will let innocent people (including their own flesh and blood) die or be tortured and otherwise abused because they refuse to fight back. But fighting back does not always mean using physical violence, as the next story points out.

Freedom News Daily headlines the story from Christian Science Monitor as “Volkswagen admits to cheating both consumers and environment,” but frankly I fail to see how “consumers” are cheated. Indeed, I see this as a reasonable response to government aggression that BENEFITS consumers. CSM tells us, “Volkswagen [has] admitted to intentionally cheating the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act standards in over 500,000 of their diesel-powered cars. The German automaker installed what EPA calls a ‘defeat device,’ a software patch that masks the car’s true emissions during testing. The cars in question ‘contained software that turns off emissions controls when driving normally and turns them on when the car is undergoing an emissions test,’ Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, explained to Reuters.”

Cheating the EPA is like not telling the highway robbers that your money and your wife’s jewels are in your boots: except, of course, the EPA is more morally bankrupt than the worse highwayman or most mobsters. They MUST be fought in every possible way. For the sake of the children.

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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