Libertarian Commentary #16-05C 04 February 2016 by Nathan Barton
Are we recognizing the signs of the times? Is society really winding down in much of the world, or are we just getting ready for a massive change in attitude and action? Today’s stories make me wonder.
Although crime rates overall in the Fifty States are declining as gun ownership and other factors have their effect, urban areas are still NOT exactly law-abiding places, as their conditions worsen. Situational awareness is critical, especially in danger areas like inner cities. The Blaze reports how a man became an example of why some of us prefer concealed carry over open carry of a self-defense weapon: two black males knocked this man down in broad daylight and stole his pistol out of the holster on his belt. Come on! Pay attention to what you and the people around you are doing!
Mama’s Note: While open carry would obviously be a potential problem in bad urban areas, where the person is alone and surrounded by such predators, the same would be true whether he was carrying or not in all reality. It just doesn’t make the news. So the fact remains that this does NOT happen in a great many other places where open carry is acceptable and unremarkable. If these gun grabs were happening here in Wyoming, or Arizona, etc., it might be relevant to open carry… but it just doesn’t happen here. And yes, situational awareness is vital, as is the old rule: Don’t go stupid places, with stupid people and do stupid things. This prevents a lot of bad things from happening; theft of one’s gun being a very minor part of it.
Old-fashioned? A sign of the collapse of society and civilization? The Blaze also reports that the “Iraqi” government has started building a ten-foot-high wall around the entire capital city of Baghdad, to prevent terrorist attacks against Muslims by other Muslims. It is indeed something out of ancient or medieval history, like so much of Arab society and culture. Even though the old American “Green Zone” was in effect a walled “Forbidden City” in the heart of Baghdad. Of course, this wall gives us ideas: could we build a wall around the inside of the Beltway around DC to keep all the bureaucrats and politicians inside and away from the rest of us? It does tie in with an idea I’ve been working on for several weeks: Coventry. More on that later.
Speaking of keeping people in, or out, Western Journalism reports that the four occupiers still in the Mahlour Standoff in Oregon continue to hold out, and are ratcheting up tensions by calling for more protests in nearby Burns, to memorialize the slain rancher, as well as demanding that FBI and Oregon State Police responsible for what more and more people are calling an assassination be arrested and charged with murder and conspiracy. So, is this a sign of breakdown of society, or the beginning of a major movement of revival? Several hundred people were present for the protests earlier this week, and more are supposedly coming the end of this week.
Mama’s Note: This is the first time I can recall where many of the “patriot” organizations have actually communicated and even discussed potential actions and consequences, most refusing to engage in action because they could see the traps, as well as recognize the very real problems with the original protest and subsequent actions of the Bundy bunch. Instead of everyone rushing headlong into the fray, wiser heads are prevailing and mostly restraining the hot heads. The OathKeepers have contributed largely to this effort and are to be commended. Most people involved seem to understand, at last, that none of this is a “black or white” deal, and that they must pick their battles very wisely.
Let’s talk about some good news. Several people and commentators are stating that 2016 may see some very important medical breakthroughs in our continuing fight against various genetic disorders, disabling diseases, and cancer. One example is Raw Story which reports that new footage may show healthy cells “recruited” into helping tumors form, thus leading to a better understanding of how to combat cancer. “Though we’ve known about cancer since as far back as 3000 B.C., how mutated cancer cells grow into full-on tumors has largely remained a mystery — until now. Researchers from the University of Iowa (UI) claim to be the first to have 3D video proof of how a tumor moves and grows in real time. The study, which was published in the American Journal of Cancer Research, looked at a type of cancerous stem cell known as a tumorigenic cell, and aimed to show how it works in real time. Their video showed how the tumorigenic cells, whose sole purpose is to form tumors, built a so-called bridge to ‘recruit’ both healthy and cancerous cells.”
[Steve Trinward notes: The metaphor is intriguing; do they have “recruitment centers” as well?] Does this mean cancer IS or CAN BE an infection? To me, it resembles very much the political process, especially here in the Fifty States in 2016. And for that matter, how government itself metastasizes. Which brings me back to the overall theme and a bit of pessimism: cancer virtually always kills itself off by killing off the host. As does government. And one of the ways that happens is because the body (body politic?) is weakened and so susceptible to new infections.
For the modern nation-state, one of those infections is again, an old one found often in history: religion. (Thanks to Scott for this one.) The Telegraph reports that China, land of anti-religious AND anti-Bible propaganda and laws for half a century, may have the largest population of christians within another 15 years, as evangelism continues and people revolt against the atheist stand that was an essential part of Communism. I don’t know whether the growing economic troubles in China are also causing people to seek out reassurance and voluntary community. The voluntary and nonmandated “government” of independent congregations trying to live in a godly manner IS indeed one of the few alternatives to the kind of regimentation that government, whether Communist or “democratic” or anything else, always leads to. But it is hard to tell whether this is just another face of the government of the heirs of Mao. And whether this is a worldwide phenomenon: is Europe finally falling to Islam and China converting to Christianity?
(Apologies in advance if I’ve commented on the next story already, but it fits in with this theme.)
We all understand the fear of infection (as we can see in the latest medical scare about the Zika epidemic, which has caused the UN to declare a worldwide emergency). But governments and similar authoritarian institutions fear both actual (medical) and spiritual/social infections. In California, a school was dragged to court for their fearful response to even a potential for infection. Wired reported the story: A boy who was kicked out of school in 2012 because he had the genetic markers for cystic fibrosis (although he didn’t have the disease) and his family filed an appeal on their suit against the school for “genetic discrimination.” The school apparently responded to claims by a family who had two students WITH cystic fibrosis that having the boy in school with them endangered their children. I can see multiple fears all coming together.
Mama’s Note: Utter insanity, of course. Cystic fibrosis is not an infectious disease. It is a genetic condition that can’t be spread to anyone else. The good news part of this is that the child is removed from the truly poisonous government school and the parents will have to find alternatives for his education.
Isolation is often a very good way to prevent infection, by the way. Which lets me plug for the commentary I’m working on, all about Coventry.
Mama’s Note: First we would have to determine who is “infected” and with what… and then “we” would have to decide just who has the authority to condemn those persons to isolation. There is much more promise in dealing with such people as individuals, helping the healing of those willing and defending ourselves from those who do not.