Libertarian Commentary #16-15C By Nathan Barton
In Mississippi, Governor Bryant signed a controversial “religious freedom” bill. As reported by the BBC News, “The governor of Mississippi has signed a controversial bill that allows businesses to refuse service to gay couples based on religious beliefs. Governor Phil Bryant signed HB1523 into law on Tuesday amid opposition from equal rights groups and businesses. He said the bill ‘protects sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions.’ Protesters say the bill would allow for lawful discrimination of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. The bill comes at a time when numerous US states are passing or considering similar laws.” People are screaming, but not everyone. Steve Trinward noted: In reality, under “freedom of association” constraints, the government has no justification for denying this; [but] affirming it with legislation? That might be an overstep. I agree, but understand the reasoning.
Once upon a time, “Everything which is not forbidden is allowed” was a constitutional principle of English law (Common Law) —an essential freedom of the ordinary person; you and me. At that time, the converse principle—”everything which is not allowed is forbidden”— was supposed to apply to GOVERNMENT, to the public authorities, whose actions were limited to the powers explicitly granted to them by law. BUT TODAY the roles are switched. The second principle now applies applies to you and me.
Mama’s Note: It doesn’t work either way. Once a ruling class (politicians and bureaucrats) are given the power to decide what is “allowed” or “prohibited,” the tyranny begins. It is not possible, illustrated by all of human history, for those politicians and their minions to be limited in the scope of their power once it is given to them. And that false promise of limited power of government is the evil lie that all electoral politics is built upon. How can people believe that they can be controlled – virtual slaves – and in control of the slave masters at the same time?
We see the same idea in this next story, from North Carolina, where NC: PayPal has withdrawn its plans for Charlotte expansion, according to the Charlotte Observer, “PayPal has withdrawn plans for a new Charlotte operations center because it opposes North Carolina’s new law that limits the legal protections of LGBT individuals, the most dramatic display yet of corporate opposition to House Bill 2 and one that will cost the city more than 400 jobs. The payment processor’s move Tuesday led to renewed calls for Gov. Pat McCrory and the state legislature to overturn a law passed last month that has drawn criticism from big companies such as Bank of America as well as sports organizations such as the NBA.” In other words, PayPal is trying to PUNISH the government (and people) and trying to FORCE them to change what they decided. Well, certainly PayPal has every right to try and do this, but are they wise in doing so? First, this law (at least as I read it) does NOT “limit the legal protections” but merely removes the power of some governmental entities to grant special privileges to these people: in other words: “everything which is not allowed for the governments under the authority of the State of North Carolina” is forbidden. To me that EXPANDS the legal protections that ALL people in North Carolina have.
If my wife (a functional human female, just to clarify things) is in a women’s toilet, and a human (to give benefit of the doubt) walks in and started to use the toilet next to her, but that human has a penis, no matter HOW that person is dressed and no matter WHAT that person thinks that they are under the skin, is not SHE (my wife) allowed equal protection under the law? An equal enjoyment of the right of privacy that we supposedly ALL have? And are seven or so members of some city council allowed to say, “No, ma’am, you aren’t a “protected class” but this person over here is, so ‘his/her’ right to pretend something is more important than your right of safety and privacy.” So I think that PayPal is full of it: the pressure it is putting on the State of North Carolina is NOT in support of liberty, as they claim, but of tyranny.
Mama’s Note: I most certainly don’t want any government entity attempting to provide or dictate my “privacy.” In 70 years, I’ve never seen any indication of a transgender (of any kind) person in a public rest room. There are partitions around each toilet, and who/what is on the other side is simply not my business or my problem. IF anyone, of any “gender,” were to attack me there they’d be treated no differently than any other attacker. I don’t need some government entity looking up skirts or pulling down pants to decide who can and can’t enter the rest room. I don’t care who comes in, as long as they behave themselves.
And all the “laws” and signs are every bit as effective at creating gender specific zones as the gun picture with the circle and slash is at keeping “gun free zones” free of bad people with guns. Each individual is ultimately responsible for their own privacy, as well as their own safety.
Which brings me to the next point, regarding these principles. T.H. White, in his Arthurian novel The Once and Future King, postulated that the principle of totalitarian society is “Everything which is not forbidden is compulsory.” This is the attitude of the Tranzis, of the managers of such as PayPal and all the other firms and organizations that have come out against North Carolina and Mississippi. It is the concept of the uber-nanny-state, together with applying “everything which is not allowed is forbidden” to individuals. It is the guiding philosophy of the “helicopter parent,” of the micromanager.
And it leads to things like this, in California: The Bennington Banner states that “A lawmaker wants to allow California addicts to use heroin, crack and other drugs at supervised facilities to cut down on overdoses, joining several U.S. cities considering establishing the nation’s first legal drug-injection sites. The proposal introduced Tuesday comes as San Francisco, Seattle, New York City and Ithaca, New York, weigh ordinances to set up the facilities, citing the success of a site operating in Canada since 2003.” Ah, Brave New World.
But there is more: Consider this commentary by Stephen DeAngelo. “New cannabis rules will double prices, crash California system” in Smell the Truth (from the SF Chronicle). “Last session, California’s legislature finally did what the voters instructed them to do when they passed Proposition 215 almost twenty years ago: regulate the cultivation and distribution of medical cannabis. Unfortunately, the bill that was ultimately passed in a last minute midnight session (the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA)) contains serious flaws. If those flaws are not corrected, the retail price of medical cannabis will double or triple — and California’s legal cannabis industry could collapse, along with all the public health and safety benefits, jobs and tax revenue it provides. The key issue is a completely novel, experimental regulatory approach: the introduction of a mandatory distributor level into the supply chain.”
It took the tyrants and thugs in the General Assembly that long to figure out exactly HOW to both pervert the decision AND monetarily rape the people and economy of California once again. Not that it is anything new: about six months ago, the price of LEGAL marijuana in Colorado was only 1/10 that of California. Lots of stories come to mind: killing the goose that laid the golden eggs is one. But it is also about mandating anything NOT forbidden, and of not making it clear (for government) that anything not permitted is forbidden.
Mama’s Note: The key issue is really the fact that no government has any legitimate authority to mandate or prohibit anything at all. Once people realize that, they can begin to build a society of individual liberty and begin to live in peace and prosperity.
Honestly, with nearly 250 years of hind-sight, we can look back at those folks who drafted and passed the Bill of Rights, and tell them: you didn’t even scratch the surface. Is it POSSIBLE to write a document that effectively limits the power of government AND ensures that it is enforceable and enforced? I don’t think so. Which is why I find government more and more disgusting and evil every day.