Libertarian Commentary #16-02C By Nathan Barton
We find so many examples today of how false beliefs have dominated the news and politics. Here are a few, and we quickly find that they are limited to just conservatives or liberals – or even to non-libertarians.
Rain, rain, go away? National Geographic answered a burning question as to whether El Nino will end California’s drought, and stated that four things are necessary to end the drought, even with all the rain and snow: 1. Reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions by 90%. 2. Reduce California’s population by 90%. 3. Stop electing ANYONE but Democrats to the California legislature. 4. Execute all global warming deniers. No, seriously, it isn’t quite THAT bad; just the deniers in Californa, Oregon, and Washington. (Seriously, the NG article talks about needing several seasons, cool temperatures (to keep snow from melting too quickly), storms to drop their moisture in the right places (most coastal valleys and the west-facing slopes of the Coastal Ranges have no reservoirs) and the need for ground water to be replenished.
Mama’s Note: All utter BS, of course. I used to respect and appreciate the National Geographic Society, but they have gone completely over the rainbow and unicorn cliff these days. But California, especially the ultra liberal Los Angeles and San Francisco areas, are right in tune with the nonsense. The storms and drought and all the rest of the weather will continue just as it has for all of history… without their permission or approval.
Most people know about the Cargo Cultists of the South Pacific Ocean, but we have our own version of that here in the Fifty States. Actually, we have quite a few versions; here is one, called “Downsize DC” which is promoting the “Read the Bill Act.” In other words, “just say the right magic words and everything will be okay.” This is the attitude of the tax protesters, absolutely positive that if you say exactly the right words to a federal judge or a jury or even that nasty ole IRS gal, they will apologize for telling you that you really had to pay anything.
ANOTHER example of people believing utter nonsense: that high gun ownership means high crime rates. The CBC gives a list of countries with the most guns (small arms). They list the usual, the Fifty States, Yemen, or Switzerland, but it is a surprise to find Finland, Serbia, Norway, and Sweden – and Canada listed! – in the top dozen. Business Insider has still more information, although several of their charts strike me as inaccurate, using statistics to tell lies. In several cases, the charts do NOT support the text (the claims in the text, particularly as applies to supposed regional and state correlation between gun ownership and gun deaths. We also are not given enough information on the KINDS of deaths, not just suicide versus homocide, but justifiable (that is, in self-defense or defense of others) versus aggressive killings. But in many locations, both in the Fifty States and around the world, places with the most homocides do NOT have the most guns. Getting guns “off the streets” (see the story from Philadelphia and other stories on guns and self-defense, below) is NOT a solution for gun violence.
Mama’s Note: Of course none of them mention that the more guns taken or prohibited to ordinary people, the more they will become victims… not only to those with guns, but every other weapon including bare hands. The whole rhetoric about “guns” totally ignores the fact that dead or serious injury is a real possibility for helpless victims, regardless of the weapon used. The fixation on deaths from the use of guns alone makes no sense whatsoever.
Thanks to Scott for this one. National Public Radio reports “Judge Strikes Down Idaho ‘Ag-Gag’ Law, Raising Questions For Other States” with similar laws. There has been a fad and states have made it a “special crime” (kind of like a hate crime) for people to say or claim something that is not true about agricultural operations and operators (farmers, ranchers, and other livestock growers). These laws are based on a number of fallacies, including the idea that farming and ranching deserves (and needs) more protection than other businesses and occupations. But it also falls RIGHT into the Tranzi idea that “offensive speech” should be prohibited. And of course, it is based on the belief that you can outlaw something you don’t like, and it will go away.
All sides in Oregon at the Mahlour Standoff seem to be mistaken about a lot of things, and their supporters are, as well. Here are some more thoughts on that situation, now underway for nearly two weeks.
In AntiWar.com, Justin raises some interesting questions and facts about what he calls “The War Against the Cowboys,” and points out some of the inconvenient facts that each side ignores, and some of the mistaken beliefs about land.
Meanwhile, Personal Liberty reports that the US Representative for that district has spoken up in Congress explaining WHY these folks are occupying the national wildlife refuge, providing MORE of the past history that led to the frustration of people like Bundy. AND this congressman, as well. Perhaps MOST interesting, he accuses the Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management of intentionally breaking laws passed by Congress and signed into law, as they continued to grab land and harass neighbors.
Right now, Fox News claims that the Harney County (Oregon) Sheriff accuses armed protesters of intimidating federal employees. An Oregon sheriff accused members of a small, armed group occupying a national wildlife refuge of attempting to intimidate federal employees and law enforcement officers. Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward told a community meeting Monday night that officers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife employees have reported being followed to their homes and observed while inside and that self-identified “militia members” have tried to engage them in debates about their status as federal employees.
Mama’s Note: I think it is very unwise for the militia folks to follow the fuds, or attempt to engage them in discussion informally. We all know that frightened dogs are most apt to bite… but I have not yet read of any real threat to any of the cops or fuds.
Nathan:The info from the sheriff may have been taken out of context. Some indication he is trying to either play the middle or keep from being viewed by the fuds as an enemy. Engaging those folks “in debates” actually is not a bad idea but it needs to be in a public place, and not in their homes (or offices) to avoid exactly this sort of accusation. At the same time, it is again clear that the occupiers are not thinking things through. This business about tearing down fences may be a good thing, but NOT done secretly. Same thing but double about going through files: that should be done only with neutral observers, and probably video recording. The business about personal data being revealed is a red-herring which they should have anticipated and had an immediate response prepared; there is VERY little reason that a NWR should have any of that kind of data on anyone but their own employees: if such were discovered, it would be best to protect it but ALSO to publicize that the FWS is keeping files on Americans’ personal data – with a strong implication that they are therefore SPYING on those non-government employees.
Mama’s Note: A lot of very important information about the groups involved here at the OathKeepers website.
Guns and self-defense (and efforts to prevent both) have been in the news much in the past couple of weeks. Here are some more stories: each of these illustrate fallacies in people’s understanding and thinking.
The relative of a “gun violence victim” expressed his opinion of the White House gun control proposals in CNN last week, and the opinion was touted by a number of near-libertarian and conservative commentators because of the statement and headline that the controls proposed would not have prevented recent mass killings. But the Fineman column is actually counterrevolutionary, demanding that the FedGov ignore or “work around” constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms, specifically jumping on the squatter at 1600 PA for not declaring a state of emergency so that more and more people can be prevented from buying or owning guns, and other measures not just unauthorized to government but negating the very purpose of government and the Constitution.
Mama’s Note: So many people still ignorant, or ignoring the absolute fact that individuals have total natural and rational authority to defend themselves in any way they see fit. Self defense is never legitimately the object of any vote. It can no more be rationally “controlled” than the right to breathe. Of course, there are always some who would even go that far to control the lives and property of others.
I touched base on this previously: the Philadelphia mayor who is so amazed at the courage of his cops claims that the ambush of one was NOT motivated by or done for the cause of Islam, but simply took place because there are too many guns on the street. Breitbart discusses this in detail; it is a clear example of both pandering and politicizing such an incident. When you get right down to it, WHY the guy laid in wait and tried to kill a cop isn’t really important as far as the crime was concerned. It was not self-defense; he certainly was not attempting to stop a crime in progress (unless the crime was driving around using tax money). Supposedly, the gun was stolen, so why is the mayor playing this game? Because he can.
Mama’s Note: Just more grist for their evil mill. We all know that there would not be anywhere near the level of hysteria if the attacker had used a knife or even a bomb, regardless of his motives. Remember: They want to confiscate our guns because they want to do things to us that we won’t allow as long as we have guns. Think about that…