Category Archives: libertarianism

Why The Warring About War: What The Moron Media Don’t Explain

Constitution, Just War, libertarianism, War

This past Friday, CNN was festooned with the usual bobbing heads kibitzing about whether or not the administration had committed the country to war or not. The quarreling parties did not explain to the viewers whose brains they addle daily, why this distinction mattered. I doubt they know. I mean, if the president indeed possesses all the powers CNN journos often claim for him—why must their Almighty Mulatto bother to seek consent for his actions? Republicans are pretty much on board when it comes to executive overreach, although they’d prefer their guy to be doing the overreaching.

Here is a typical exchange, times 10 a day:

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Is the United States at war with ISIS. It sure sounds from the president’s speech that we are.

JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I think that is the wrong terminology.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make no mistake. We know we are at war with ISIL.

BURNETT: Is this war?

MCCHRYSTAL: Well, I mean, you can trip over and argue about whether it’s a war for congressional purposes. If you are on the ground and people are getting killed, to a soldier it feels like war and to the population it feels like war. So it’s a struggle.

[SNIP]

And here’s the logical extension of the “to war or not to war” debate, which the Moron Media seems incapable of deducing: It matters whether the president has committed the country to war or not, because:

1) While the power to declare war under various statutes like the War Powers Act, the Iraq Resolution, and the Use of Force Act was shifted to the Executive, to comport with a trend toward centralization of power in this branch—according to these statutes, the War Powers Act, in particular, “he cannot lawfully pursue any military action whatsoever after 180 days.”

2) War declared by executive order may be legal, but it is still unconstitutional. It flouts the obligation to get “the consent of the governed,” to quote the Declaration of Independence.

The libertarian’s duty is to reject the law of the state when it is at odds with natural justice. The process adopted so far by the Bush and Obama executive flouts both the U.S Constitution and the natural law. But Just War principles are for another debate, another time.

As for the Constitution, over to James Madison: “‘Those who are to conduct a war cannot in the nature of things, be proper or safe judges, whether a war ought to be commenced, continued, or concluded.’ Thus it is Congress that declares a war. The U.S. government is beholden to the Constitution, which prohibits the president from declaring war.

Explains Louis Fisher, senior specialist in separation of powers at the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress: ‘Keeping the power to commit the country to war—and to all the costs of war—in separate hands from the power to wage war once declared was a bedrock principle for the framers.'”

Modern statutes like the War Powers Resolution, the Iraq Resolution, and the Use of Force Act do not displace the constitutional text and the framers’ intent. (From “UNNATURAL LAWLESSNESS”)


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Rand Paul Opportunistic—And Wrong—On Race

Barack Obama, Drug War, Fascism, Justice, Law, Left-Liberalism, libertarianism, Race, Racism, Ron Paul

“Rand Paul Opportunistic—And Wrong—On Race” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

Police brutality? Yes! Militarization of the police force? You bet! “A Government of Wolves”? Yes again! “The Rise of the Warrior Cop”? No doubt! But racism? Nonsense on stilts! So why have some libertarians applied this rhetoric to the murder-by-cop of black teenager Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri? The same people who would argue against color-coded hate-crime legislation—and rightly so, for a crime is a crime, no matter the skin pigment of perp or prey—would have you believe that it is possible to differentiate a racist from a non-racist shooting or beating.

Predictably, BBC News had taken a more analytical look at the “unrest in Ferguson,” pointing out that liberal outrage had centered on what the left sees as racial injustice. Libertarian anger, conversely, connected “the perceived overreaction by militarized local law enforcement to a critique of the heavy-handed power of government.”

As its libertarian stand-bearers, the BBC chose from the ranks of establishment, libertarian-leaning conservatives. Still, the ideological bifurcation applied was sound. With some exceptions, libertarians have consistently warned about a police state rising; the left has played at identity politics, appealing to its unappeasable base.

As refreshingly clever as its commentators are, BBC is inexact. The very embodiment of political opportunism, Sen. Rand Paul has managed to straddle liberal and libertarian narratives, vaporizing as follows:

“… Anyone who thinks that race does not still, even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention. …”

The senator from Kentucky is considered “one of the leading figures in today’s libertarian movement.” Even so, on matters libertarian, Rand Paul is a political pragmatist; not the purist his father is. Alas, Rand has imbibed at home some unfortunate, crowd-pleasing habits—the leftist penchant for accusing law enforcement of racism. In 2012, in particular, during the debate between Republican presidential front-runners, in Manchester, New Hampshire, Ron Paul lurched to the left, implicating racism in the unequal outcomes meted by American justice:

“How many times have you seen the white rich person get the electric chair?” he asked. “If we really want to be concerned with racism … we ought to look at the drug laws.”

Laws prohibiting the individual from purchasing, selling, ingesting, inhaling and injecting drugs ought to be repudiated and repealed on the grounds that they are wrong, not racist. But statism is not necessarily racism. Drug laws ensnare more blacks, because blacks are more likely to violate them by dealing in drugs or engaging in violence around commerce in drugs, not necessarily because cops are racists. …

Read the rest of the column. “Rand Paul Opportunistic—And Wrong—On Race” is now on WND.


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Standing By As East Ukrainians Die

Foreign Policy, libertarianism, Russia, UN

Western countries approved sending aid to Syria without obtaining the approval of the Syrian government. Why can’t the hypocrites of the UN and the international community allow Russia’s delivery of humanitarian aid to Ukraine?

Lugansk and neighboring areas have been repeatedly shelled lately, which resulted in casualties among civilians. Because of damaged infrastructure in Lugansk, there is no water and electricity supply, and phone and internet lines are also down.

We can argue as to who exactly has paid for this aid to east Ukraine, and whether Russia has acquired it at the point of a gun from its taxpayers; a no-no in libertarian law. It is, however, a mistake for libertarians to conflate the act of helping dying people with the act of policing a region. Non-interventionism need not mean standing by as people die. You don’t have to go to war to help people.

RT: According to the Red Cross, there is an “urgent need for essentials like food and medical supplies” in Lugansk, east Ukraine.

You won’t hear this account in the American media, but Nebojsa Malic has provided the “Russian Statement on the Aid Convoy”:

The endless delays hampering the initial deliveries of the Russian humanitarian relief aid to southeastern Ukraine have become intolerable.

A lorry convoy with many hundreds of tonnes of humanitarian relief aid, urgently needed by the people in these regions, has been standing idle for a week now on the Russian-Ukrainian border. Over this period, the Russian side has made unprecedented efforts in all areas and at all levels in order to complete the required formalities. We have met all conceivable and inconceivable demands of the Ukrainian side and have submitted to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) exhaustive lists of food, drinking water, medications, essential items and diesel generators due to be delivered to Lugansk, where they are urgently needed by women, children and the elderly. These people are experiencing the horrors of daily artillery attacks and air strikes that have resulted in an increasing number of killed and wounded and destroyed the entire vital infrastructure in the area.

Time and again, we met requests to check and recheck the shipment route, to coordinate procedures for the shipment’s delivery, and have signed the required documents with the ICRC. We have provided all essential security guarantees and have ensured similar guarantees on the part of the self-defense forces. These guarantees apply to the Russian convoy as well as other humanitarian relief aid being sent to Lugansk by the Kiev authorities. …

MORE.


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UPDATE II: Racism Rhetoric Is Rubbish (Catchall Phrase For The Feeble-Minded)

Crime, Fascism, libertarianism, Race, Racism, Reason, South-Africa

Police brutality? Yes! Militarization of the police force? You bet! “A Government of Wolves”? Yes again, and worse! “The Rise of the Warrior Cop”? For sure! But racism? No! That’s bullshit. So why have some libertarians adopted this rhetoric? The same people who would argue against (color-coded) hate-crime legislation—and rightly so, for a crime is a crime—are suddenly accusing white America of racism (thought crimes).

Sheepishness? No doubt, but racism? Enough of this nonsense:

This doesn’t mean that racism is not also involved. Polls show that a majority of white Americans are content with the police justification for the killing. Police apologists are flooding the Internet with arguments against those of the opposite persuasion. Only those who regard the police excuse as unconvincing are accused of jumping to conclusions before the jury’s verdict is in. Those who jump to conclusions favorable to the police are regarded as proper Americans. …

Could it be that the ordinary Americans Paul Craig Roberts maligns as likely racists are really, truly waiting for more information, or suffer an authoritarian, submissive frame-of-mind, or are uninformed about “police state USA,” or have simply experienced “black crime” first hand, or are fearful of experiencing “black-on-white violence” in all it ferocity”?

UPDATE I (8/23): Et Tu, Stossel?

John Stossel mars a perfectly reasonable column, separating the “liberal from the libertarian response to Ferguson,” with a nod to the endemic racism meme:

Yes, centuries of white people abusing the civil liberties of blacks have left many blacks resentful of police power, and in recent years, white police officers have shot, on average, two young black men every week. But none of that justifies violence and looting like that which followed Michael Brown’s death. Criminals who ransack stores are always wrong to violate the rights of innocent third parties.

It reminds me of the root-causes excuse offered up by lily white liberals for the dysfunction of many young black South Africans, who were born well after the end of apartheid.

UPDATE II (8/24): Racism: The Catchall Phrase for the Feeble-Minded. Jack Kerwick explains why:

… anyone who is interested in thinking clearly and honestly must realize that “racism” is the rhetorical ware of bumper stickers and t-shirts: Because it means—and is intended to mean—all things to all people, it has become meaningless. All that we do know is that “racism” is a dreadful, probably the most dreadful thing, of which a white person can be accused.


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Liberal Vs. Libertarian Response To Ferguson (Rand’s Just An Opportunist)

Britain, Intellectualism, Law, Left-Liberalism, libertarianism, Racism

“Liberal outrage over what some see as racial injustice” vs. libertarian anger “that connects the perceived overreaction by a militarised local law enforcement to [a libertarian] critique of the heavy-handed power of government”: As expected, BBC News adopts a more analytical angle on the “unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting death of Michael Brown by a police officer.”

Expected too is BBC’s take on the libertarian scene. As its libertarian stand-bearers, BBC News has chosen from the ranks of Beltway libertarians, conservatives and Republican congressmen and senators.

“The state is big and powerful and violent and can hurt you, whether it’s the FDA, the state prosecutor or the local police force,” writes Hot Air blog’s Mary Katharine Ham, concisely summarising the gist of this libertarian argument.
Breitbart’s John Nolte puts it a bit more sharply: “The media hate police but without them, who will ultimately force us to buy ObamaCare and confiscate our guns?”
On Wednesday night Congressman Justin Amash, a libertarian-leaning Republican embraced by the grass-roots Tea Party movement, tweeted that the news from Ferguson was “frightening”, asking: “Is this a war zone or a US city? Gov’t escalates tensions w/military equipment & tactics.”
One of the leading figures in today’s libertarian movement, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul

In his response to Ferguson, as is his wont, Sen. Rand Paul managed to straddle liberal and libertarian narratives, vaporizing idiotically as follows:

“Anyone who thinks that race does not still, even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention.”

Rand is the very embodiment of political opportunism.


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UPDATE II: Navy SEAL’s Bad Karma Continues (LIBERTARIAN LAW of Libel)

Ethics, Free Speech, Justice, libertarianism, Military

Deceased Navy SEAL Chris Kyle lived by the sword and died by the sword (BAB 02.03.13). “Or, in hippie speak: Kyle had bad karma”; he was “shot point-blank” by “another soldier who was recovering from post traumatic stress syndrome.”

In a book detailing his life as Uncle Sam’s assassin, Kyle libeled another Navy man, former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura. It proved the wrong move. “Kyle’s estate,” reports The Daily Caller, “which is run by his widow Taya,” will be liable for “$500,000 for defamation and $1.3 million for unjust enrichment.”

UPDATE I (7/30): Soldiers Against Due Process. Fox News, predictably, reports “Outrage After Jesse Ventura Wins Lawsuit Against Chris Kyle”:

Ben Smith, Kyle’s roommate during SEAL training, still disputes that his friend lied about the confrontation, which occurred at a memorial service for a SEAL who had been killed when he jumped on a grenade.
Smith said he’s having trouble “grasping” how the American judicial system could come up with a verdict like this, recalling that Kyle had told him about the confrontation with Ventura.
“He was running his mouth and saying some really vile stuff, saying we should lose more men, more heroes, more guys out there who were fighting the fight. Is that not almost treasonous? Like you’re anti-American, saying we should lose? [Chris] said ‘you say that again, I’m going to pop you in the — I’m going to get ya.’ And he did and he came over and did it,” said Smith. … Later on the show, the hosts expressed their own thoughts on the shocking ruling, questioning how Ventura could go after the widow of an American hero.

MORE.

UPDATE II: LIBERTARIAN LAW of Libel. There is the controversy over libel in libertarian circles. Most of us think that speech ought to be unfettered and that a person has no right in his reputation. I suppose I ought to have mentioned the libertarian law of libel, which I like a lot and support. Instead, I got carried away with my feelings about this much-worshiped killer.


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