Libertarian Commentary, 05JAN2016, #16-01B
By Nathan BartonFor decades, we have seen individual liberty and responsibility for our daily, even hourly, actions whittled away by a tsunami of government edicts of all kinds, from laws “legally” passed by councils and commissions, legislatures and congresses, to regulations and rules adopted by bureaucrats and appointed boards and elected dictators, to “executive orders” (decrees), and even to changes in interpretation to existing rules, regulations, orders, decrees, permits, statutes, ordinances, and even “resolutions.” Today’s news commentary illustrates some of those we must live with in 2016 – or, must we?
Schwitzer officials, even their military, still seem to believe in individual liberty and responsibility. What a contrast to the FedGov. I cannot imagine USMC General Joe Dunford saying anything like this, at least not in public. Zero Hedge reported0 that the Swiss Army’s chief has called upon Swiss citizens (civilians) to ARM THEMSELVES to prepare for the social unrest sweeping Europe, which he compared to 1939-1945 (World War Two).
Here in the Fifty States, we need to gain a fresh appreciation for liberty and personal responsibility, and like my first commentary of the year advocates, decide when we should disobey the law. Both Breitbart and Bloomberg News are warning us that the new year will bring more dictatorial demands and “executive orders” (Imperial Decrees) from the squatter in DC to implement gun control, despite a refusal by Congress and the Courts to go along with gutting Americans’ rights in this particular matter. According to Monday the 4th’s Laissez Faire webzine, the current squatter at 1600 PA is working with Miz Hillary. First will apparently be a requirement for anyone “in the business of selling firearms” – even if that amounts to selling your old gun to your son or a buddy – to use the instant background check system. After that, more will be introduced as opportunity presents itself (usually in the form of mass shootings, though I wonder if the current occupation of a National Wildlife Refuge headquarters in SE Oregon will not be used as an excuse, too. (See below.)
Individual liberty can even been seen AND APPLIED in international markets, like launching stuff (and people) into space. For example, the Russkis say that Musk is “stepping on their toes,” but that they admire and support his efforts to reduce the cost of space travel. Bloomberg reports on a public announcement by the Russian defense chief. Good for them! Maybe the Russians can privatize space travel completely! The only way that US companies will be able to go into space freely and economically will be to break more and more laws and ignore more and more government dictates, even while trying to get government business. I think that their balancing act will soon have to end.
Liberty needs AND encourages communication. Free speech is NOT just a letter-to-the-editor or standing on a soapbox on a street corner, it is the ability to communicate quickly and accurately, ESPECIALLY about things that other people (and the government) find offensive. So this is good news. And hope for the New Year. Wow. Wired discusses new technology from Google now being tested that may improve cellular service AND improve competition and reduce prices. Provided, of course, that we can work around government to do it, an ability to use multiple phone companies at once, and to regain privacy. But this is happening in more and more ways. Yesterday in a City Market (one of the Kroger chain of supermarkets), I saw flip phones selling for five dollars (plus tax), and a 90-day, 90-minute phone, text, and data card selling for twenty dollars (plus tax): that $25 would be the equal of about $10 in 1980 or so, when long distance calls cost at least 25 cents a minute: this is about 11 cents a minute in 2016 bucks. Amazing! And encryption wasn’t even a dream for most of us back in 1980. But with liberty comes responsibility to use these tools wisely: to use things like this wisely and NOT squander the opportunity to get out from under the thumb of government.
Even the government thugs themselves sometimes feel the pinch of the loss of liberty. True Activist reports that a POLICE UNION has filed suit, saying that mandatory drug testing for police officers VIOLATES the constitutional rights of the police officers! Way to go! I am fully in support of these cops. May liberty be restored! A civil rights grievance has been filed against the city, claiming that officers being required to undergo mandatory drug testing is not only a violation of their contract but of the Constitution as well.
Curiously enough, it appears that this unconstitutionality only applies to police officers, not to the public that they are meant to protect and serve. The officers argument is that a urine drug analysis constitutes an illegal search and seizure, and police would be forced to forfeit their constitutional rights to protect the city from a civil liability. I suspect that whatever the official stance, a few of these folks in blue can see the writing on the wall: liberty is for everyone!
Freedom and liberty include the right to reject the common knowledge and what we SHOULD do as good citizens and true believers, whether believing in religion or in science. And for that, we are often condemned as evil or just stupid. Consider this from Popular Science: How the Term Anti-Science Distorts Americas Relationship With Technology. James McWilliams writes in part, “Placed in historical perspective, the popular opposition to things like GMOs and vaccines, much like 19th-century opposition to fertilizers and insecticides, reflects less an overt rejection of science, than a distrust of experts [sic] who peddle it…”
I have written about this article in the context of being set up as hicks and modern Luddites, but consider that government (statists and tyrants and Tranzis and their ilk) and the pro-science groupies (Popular Science, National Geographic Society, Smithsonian Institution and the like) want to FORCE us to accept whatever they pour down our throats. It is NOT wrong to distrust the experts and indeed, it is our God-given liberty to distrust them and reject whatever they teach.
Speaking of experts, this sounds, at first, like a really neat idea. True Activist reports on a biogas unit that we can supposedly put in our backyard and which will turn our waste food and even the waste from our pets (dogs and cats, at least) into cooking fuel and fertilizer. Wow! BUT we already have garage-size pyrolysis units and composting bins and all sorts of other goodies we can buy on-line (or from the back pages of Grit Magazine or your local Thrifty Nickel type paper) to do all these things. But they require space, time, and attention, and most people are not really going to go through with it. And of course, government will find all kinds of reasons (excuses) to regulate, control, and/or ban such things (as they already do so many things. Do YOU live in a city of 25,000 or more and raise chickens in your front yard? Or even your back yard?) But things like this, IF sold on a free market and with the freedom to buy and use them, offer opportunities and alternatives for free people to live better and most important, live like they want to!