Category Archives: libertarianism

Judge Napolitano’s Left-Libertarian Confusion

libertarianism, Paleolibertarianism, Political Philosophy, Race

Recently, on TV, Judge Andrew Napolitano sort of walked back his earlier assertion that in Ferguson we saw “the error and perversion of the grand jury,” and a “toxic mixture of a black underclass and a white power structure and the corrupt advantages people on the make and people on the take can exploit from it.”

Napolitano’s early position:

In Ferguson, the law enforcement case is far more straightforward than the racial complexities. A white cop put 10 bullets into the body of an unarmed black youth with whom he was wrestling for control of his gun … The tragedy is the result of the governmental use of race as a basis for decision-making. When cops are hired because they are white, when police suspect criminal behavior on the part of youth because the youth is black …

His is a hot mess of a column.

Napolitano’s later reversal:

Napolitano drew a stark distinction between the Garner case and that of Michael Brown, in which there was a “struggle for the gun.” Instead, he said, “This is a case of a poor, sorry individual doing nothing more than selling untaxed cigarettes and as a result of government intervention, he’s dead.”

Perhaps Napolitano has taken to reading more coherent libertarians, who can draw distinctions free of crappy postmodern, inorganic theorizing?

In any event, that’s left-libertarianism for you: In-thrall to lefty constructs like “power structure,” “white privilege”—the left-libertarian’s tinny, rigid adherence to bogus theory is often foisted on facts that don’t fit. The result: a mass of contradictions their adulating readers, in the habit of celebrity worship, fail to pick up.


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UPDATED: Eric Garner: 100% Innocent In Libertarian Law (Note On Natural Law)

Free Markets, Justice, Law, libertarianism, Natural Law, Private Property, Regulation, The State

To the libertarian, the case of Eric Garner is as simple as it is sad. In libertarian law, Eric Garner is innocent as a newborn babe. It all boils down to the distinction between the natural and the positive law. Here again it is useful to contrast the Garner case with the case of Michael Brown (see “Don’t Conflate The Michael Brown And Eric Garner Cases”).

The good libertarian abides by the axiom of non-aggression. Michael Brown, the evidence shows, initiated aggression. He had aggressed against the store keeper and the policeman, who protected himself from this rushing mountain of flesh. In libertarian law, the individual may defends himself against initiated aggression. He does not initiate aggression against a non-aggressor.

Eric Garner, on the other hand, had aggressed against nobody. The “law” he violated was one that violated Garner’s individual, natural right to dispose of his own property (“loosies”) at will. When the enforcers of the shakedown syndicate came around to bust him, Garner raised his voice, gestured and turned to walk away from his harassers. He did not aggress against or hurt anyone of the goons.

“Liberty is a simple thing. It’s the unassailable right to shout, flail your arms, even verbally provoke a politician [or policeman], unmolested. Tyranny is when those small things can get you assaulted, incarcerated, injured, and even killed.” (“Tasers ‘R’ Us.”)

Garner obeyed the libertarian, natural law absolutely. He was trading peacefully and he attempted to walk away from a confrontation peacefully. (More evidence that goes to his character: Prior to his murder, Garner had broken up a street fight.)

The government has a monopoly over making and enforcing law— it decides what is legal and what isn’t. Thus it behooves thinking people to question the monopolist and his laws. After all, cautioned the great Southern constitutional scholar James McClellan, “What is legally just, may not be what is naturally just.” “Statutory man-made law” is not necessarily just law.

Unlike the positive law, which is state-created; natural law in not enacted. Rather, it is a higher law—a system of ethics—knowable through reason, revelation and experience. “By natural law,” propounded McClellan in “Liberty, Order, And Justice,” “we mean those principles which are inherent in man’s nature as a rational, moral, and social being, and which cannot be casually ignored.”

Garner was on “public” property. Had he been trespassing on private property, the proprietor would have been in his right to remove him. However, Garner was not violating anyone’s rights or harming anyone by standing on the street corner and peddling his wares—that is unless the malevolent competition, which sicced the cops on him, has a property right in their prior profits. They don’t.

UPDATE (12/6): Natural law is an ancient philosophy rooted in very real, non-abstract civilizations, going back to ancient Greece, Rome; Ten Commandments, the Scholastics, Thomas Aquinas, Thomists, English common-law, etc. (NOT Rousseau.) It has always been a bulwark against tyranny—that of monarch and mob.


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On Michael Brown, Libertarians Line-Up Like Mainstream

Crime, libertarianism, Media, Paleolibertarianism

With the exception of Professor Walter E. Block, libertarians, lite and hard-core, have lined-up like a monolith—much as mainstream media has—on the side of conspiracy and counteract, in the matter of Michael Brown’s shooting by Darren Wilson. (At least Reason.com has been willing to entertain differences of opinion.) Broad patterns of police transgression exist. However, each “cop killing” must be decided on the merits of the facts. Regrettably, this libertarian column had also expressed the opinion that Brown was the victim of “murder-by-cop.” I was wrong and have corrected myself.

Mentor and friend Walter Block did not fall in lockstep. Here’s the lovely comment received after the publication of “Ferguson: Thankful for Founding Fathers’ Legal Legacy”:

Dear Ilana:

Yet another eloquent, beautifully argued, magnificently written article, greatly informed by a libertarian sense of justice. Congratulations once again.

Best regards,

Walter

Walter E. Block, Ph.D.
Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics
Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business
Loyola University New Orleans


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UPDATE II: The McCulloch Remarks Nobody Bothered To READ (Coulter’s Blame-Liberals Reductionism/Rubbish)

Ann Coulter, Justice, Law, Left-Liberalism, libertarianism, Race, Racism

Regrettably, at the time of the Michael-Brown shooting, this libertarian column had expressed the opinion that Brown was the victim of “murder-by-cop.” As the evidence subsequently demonstrated, I was wrong.

Part of my conversion lies is the remarks of St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch, a Democrat. These were, well, remarkable. (More about that in the weekly, WND column, tomorrow.) McCulloch’s remarks revealed the exhaustive scope of the search for truth undertaken by a grand jury that was left to its own devices.

Since the text of the statement has not been disseminated, I’ve transcribed and summarized some of it for interested Americans. Particularly brilliant is the manner in which McCulloch co-opted the DC “RIC” in support of the rule of law, in Ferguson, Missouri:

St. Louis county police conducted an extensive investigation at the crime scene together with agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, at the direction of Attorney General Eric Holder. Together they sought out witnesses and gathered additional information over a period of three months, beginning on the day of the shooting death of Michael Brown. Fully aware of the growing concerns in parts of the community that the investigation and review of the death would not be full and fair, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch decided to hand over to a grand jury all physical evidence related to the case, all individuals claiming to have witnessed any aspect of the events and any and all related matters. The grand jury comprised of 12 members of the community.

Federal investigators worked closely with local law enforcement, with the St. Louis county police and persecutor and Attorney General Holder and his department vowing to follow where the evidence led. These federal investigators shared information with St. Louis county investigator and vice versa. In addition, the Department of Justice conducted its own investigation and performed its own autopsy. Yet another autopsy was carried out by the Brown family and all information was shared and collated. All testimony before the grand jury was immediate forwarded to the DOJ. Eyewitness accounts were compared with the physical evidence. Many witnesses contradicted their own statements and the physical evidence.

As an example of witness testimony that contradicted the physical evidence McCulloch offered numerous statements that claimed to have seen Officer Wilson stand above Michael Brown and fire many rounds into his back. Others claimed that Officer Wilson shot Mr. Brown in the back as he was running away. Once the autopsy was released showing that the deceased did not sustain injuries to his back, statements to that effect were retracted. Others admitted they had, in fact, not witnessed the shooting.

All statements were recorded and presented to the grand jury before the autopsy results were released. There was no “document dump,” as some media claimed. Two of Bob McCulloch’s assistants presented the information to the jury in an organized, systematic manner. All jurors heard every word of testimony and examined every item of evidence presented. McCulloch described a proactive and engaged group working since August 9th to do their due diligence. In the course of 25 days, the jury dissected over 70 hours of testimony and listened to 60 witnesses. They heard from three medical examiners and many other DNA and forensic experts. They examined hundreds of photographs and looked at various pieces of physical evidence. They were instructed in the law and presented with five possible indictments. Their burden was to determine, based on all the evidence, if probable cause existed to determine that a crime was committed and Daren Wilson committed that crime. There is no question that Officer Wilson caused the death of Michael Brown by shooting him. However the law authorizes an officer of the law, and all people, to use deadly force to defend themselves in certain situations. The grand jury considered whether Officer Wilson was the initial aggressor, or whether he was authorized to use deadly force in the situation and acted in self-defense.

They were the only people who examined every piece of evidence and heard every witness. They debated among themselves. After an exhaustive review of the evidence the grand jury deliberated further over two days to arrive at their final decision. And it is that no probable cause exists to file any charges against Officer Darren Wilson. They returned a “No True” bill on each of the five indictments. All the evidence, witness statements included, was made public.

[SNIP]

UPDATE I: I abbreviated without explaining: RIC is the “Racism Industrial Complex,” originated by Jack Kerwick. More in the weekly, WND column, tomorrow.

UPDATE II: Coulter’s Blame-Liberals Reductionism/Rubbish. As I always argue, in the structure of argument—and thus the source of culpability— there is no difference between conservative, lite-libertarian, and left liberal. That structure is: The Dog/Society/State/Liberals Ate the Criminal’s Homework. This, Ann Coulter proves. She blames liberals for rioter actions.

“‘Absolut’ Libertarian Lunacy” touches on this blame the society/state/liberals reductionism: “For the sins of man, hard leftists blame society, and hard-core libertarians saddle the state. ‘The State made me do it’ is how such social determinism can be summed-up.”


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UPDATE IV: A Remarkable Legal Process Unfolds In Ferguson (Individualism Vs. Collectivism)

Individualism Vs. Collectivism, Justice, Law, libertarianism, Race

A remarkable process unfolded in Ferguson, Missouri, where St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch has just detailed the grand jury’s lengthy fact-finding mission, executed impressively, the upshot of which is that Darren Wilson, the police officer whose fatal shooting of the unarmed Michael Brown “sparked days of turbulent protests,” will not be indicted.

As infuriating as ever is that the entirety of the text of an official statement is no longer released to media, right away. No one reads any longer. However, McCulloch’s remarks (précised here) were impressive in the exhaustive scope of the search for truth they reveal, undertaken by a grand jury that was left to its own devices.

Nor did the unethical intervention of Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama on one side of the dispute serve to sway the grand jury. This is a good day for American justice. Unfortunately, many of the vested interests do not understand that the law is a search for facts; truth, and not about an abstract idea of social justice that exists in the minds of the perpetually aggrieved.

UPDATE I: Documents:

* Ferguson grand jury documents, courtesy of the LA Times.

* President Obama’s remarks after the Ferguson grand jury announcement.

UPDATE II (11/25): In the absence of text, I had to transcribe, but will keep the written material for the weekly column.

UPDATE III: FACEBOOK Thread:

Myron Robert Pauli The grand jury most likely acted properly (I say most likely since I was not presented with all the evidence) and any rioting is inexcusable. But I will slightly digress in saying that I read a long but interesting article by “libertarian” Radley Balko on how the local governments (politicians/lawyers/cops) exploit the lower classes (mostly black) in St. Louis County by extorting $$$ to support their parasitical power base using petty traffic crimes, etc. When government goes from protecting lives and liberty and property of people to just bleeding people to support itself (e.g. Inspector Javert meets Lucky Luciano) – it is a sad and tragic overreach. A long article but it raises interesting questions.

Ilana Mercer: Dog ate my homework, Myron Robert Pauli, from left-libertarians. The government robs me too. Blind. It robs you as well. More so than those who get back from the state (aka the taxpayer) more than they pay in. This is a prime example of confusing the argument. Lite libertarians make the mistake a lot. “‘Absolut’ Libertarian Lunacy” touches on this blame the state for individual flaws: “For the sins of man, hard leftists blame society, and hard-core libertarians saddle the state. ‘The State made me do it’ is how such social determinism can be summed-up.”

UPDATE IV (11/26): FACEBOOK Thread:

Myron Robert Pauli:

I always like to caution those on the right OR left when dealing with statistics about people. Yes, in my business, it might mean something to say that “Sensor X has an 80% of detecting Vehicle Y and Range R in Atmospheric Condition Z” – models and data points can be validated to some degree and one can draw conclusions. People are a bit different – so when the left says “look, Group N is underrepresented in Activity M” (Vietnamese women in the NBA, Black women in physics departments), it is not per se a proof of some deep conspiracy. Similarly, if 0.01% of Thai women are pathologically violent but 2% of black men are pathologically violent, it still means that 98% of black men are NOT pathologically violent even if it is far more likely to see that group rather than Thai women behind bars. However, statistical generalizations aside, Ferguson’s Kristallnacht is a reason to be depressed about the “melting pot ideal” working in America.
3 hrs · Like · 1

Ilana Mercer:

Actually, Myron Robert Pauli, sorry to burst the Bubble you’ve retreated into, but check that book, “Into the Cannibal’s Pot.” I gave it to you personally. If only 98% of black men were non-violent, we’d have our Jeffersonian republic. South Africa would be one too. Your stats are way OFF. Still, you are right about treating individuals as individuals, something I’ve preached too for as long as I can remember. Coming from a “black” country, my book is dedicated to 2 black ladies the likes of which cannot be matched among whites: ladies of the finest upbringing and nobility of character!!!! My dad’s caretaker is a gem: a black man. Kind and sweet like nothing I’ve seen among whites. Myron Robert Pauli, you are right about your reminder, not your numbers.


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UPDATED: SeaWorld SUCKS (Secede From It)

Environmentalism & Animal Rights, Ethics, Ilana On Radio & TV, libertarianism

While this libertarian would never ever suggest any state regulation; she does advocate vigorous, voluntary attrition, and NOW! Stay away from SeaWorld! I’m with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals):

Animal rights advocates outraged that a SeaWorld float is included in next week’s lineup for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade unveiled plans on Wednesday for a naked protest outside the landmark store.
Demonstrators wearing nothing but black and white body paint to resemble orcas will squeeze into a bathtub outside the midtown Manhattan store on Thursday to mimic orcas held in captivity and to repeat last year’s demand – which was denied – that the float be excluded, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said.
“It is unacceptable to confine orcas to barren tanks that, to them, are the size of a bathtub,” said Delcianna Winders, PETA’s deputy general counsel.

And just this once, I’m with CNN, which screened a devastating documentary, “Blackfish,” on what befalls the huge and highly evolved Orca, when kept in a tiny tub of water.

Understand, I have no doubt that SeaWorld imagines it treats these animals as “humanely” as possible under the cincumstances. As the silly SeaWorld spokeswoman Aimée Jeansonne Becka has promised, “SeaWorld’s animals are well cared for and their health and well-being is a responsibility we take extremely seriously. We are proud of our world-class standards of care.”

The issue, however, is this and this only: It is worse than cruel and barbaric to keep a giant, sentient creature possessing of a sizable intelligence and complex social needs, in a small enclosure, for the mere amusement of the masses.

To those gung ho readers who disowned me when I penned one of my favorite columns, “Just A Girl With A Gun; Not A Gratuitous Killer, remember this: I’m also the writer who had written—I hang my head in shame—in defense of Michael Vick (I & II). While I regret the columns that got me on the Sean Hannity nationally syndicated radio show, I have not changed my views on natural rights. I have, however, become convinced about our moral and ethical obligation to treasure animals and the natural world and to shun those who don’t.

Secede from SeaWorld.

UPDATE: Facebook Thread:

James Huggins: Animals were put on earth for us to use and preserve. Not use and abuse.
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Ilana Mercer: Why does the Orca need to be “used” by human beings? Haven’t we evolved enough to entertain our effing selves?


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