Archive for February, 2018

Doesn’t Add Up

Posted: February 22, 2018 in Uncategorized

By R.C. Seely

THE PARKLAND SHOOTING HAS been cast as unusual but it’s not. The activists for gun control go on their rampage and call for measures that make no sense. I could get into the argument about the futility of gun control but instead let’s look at the possibility of it.

The renewal of Assault Weapons ban of the Brady Bill is one of the greatest pushes by these advocates. Since the firearm involved in this shooting is the AR-15–one of the so called assault weapons–it has gained traction. So, let’s just ban those for now.

From the logistical stand point alone, this is not improbable but impossible. There are 51 million AR-15 rifles in the United States. Think about that for a moment. 51 million of just one type of gun. And this isn’t a cheap gun, it’s over a thousand dollars. That means there are a lot more handguns and shotguns–because of cost for one thing, in the $200-$400 range for most. The total number of firearms in the US is 300 million, or basically a gun for every one of it’s citizens. That’s just the registered firearms, that doesn’t include “ghost guns” or illegal ones.

This is part of the logistical problem. The land mass of the United States is approximately 3,800,000 miles. Europe’s largest country, Russia, isn’t as large as the United States.

Gun control activists bring out Australia, the UK and now the Netherlands for examples that it works. But the math isn’t right here either. The population of the UK is approximately 65 million, Australia is about 24 million and the Netherlands is only around 17 million. Of course, there will be more crime in a country with such a larger population density.

Voluntary relinquishing your firearms is the only methodology that could even come close to being feasible, a forced home-to-home theft (and it is theft!) would be impossible. If it were, Senator Dianne Feinstein would have already done so.

In a 60 Minutes interview in 1995 Feinstein had this to say:

“If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them . . . Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ’em all in, I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren’t here.”

At least she saw how pointless that would be and still is. As much as gun haters hate to admit it, a confiscation of firearms in the United States doesn’t add up in any way. The size of the country, the population, the number of firearms, make it quite challenging. But there’s still the problems of enforcement.

Many state lawmakers in states strong on the second amendment would be essentially ending their careers if they tried any type of seizure or even restrictions. If that did happen, the next hurdle is law enforcement, many refuse to enforce the strict and unconstitutional restrictions in place already. It would again come down to a voluntary relinquishing of the owner’s firearms, an act that I personally would have no intention of doing.

The youth of the nation are being used as pawns by the gun-grabbers. They are scared and naturally inclined to emotional responses over logical ones. It’s easy to either look at them with scorn or pride, but in the end they simply want “something done.” That’s why it’s important to not give in to their proposals and show them the adult way of handling situations is logically and not act brash because of fear.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has written books on pop culture, with an upcoming new book Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible.

Consent

Posted: February 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

By R.C. Seely

RECENTLY THERE HAS BEEN a fracture within the Libertarian Party, caused by it’s current leadership. It was due to controversial comments by Vice President of the Libertarian National Convention (LNC) Arvin Vohra that make the party appear to favor pedophilia or at the very least accept it. This is an example of why the Classical Liberal libertarians in the party advocate “limited government” and not complete abolishment. It’s a “necessary evil” as Thomas Jefferson had said but at times it stops even greater evil.

The fire was flamed when LNC President, Nicholas Sarwark, defended Vohra and didn’t distance himself and the party from such declaration. Others haven’t had such trepidations, including rising stars Larry Sharpe and Merrisa Hamilton–both dropping out of the Libertarian Party and their races for political offices of their states.

While the party has always been about tolerance towards others, the stipulation has always been between consenting adults. There’s a valid reason for that. Age eighteen is when humans are considered capable of fully comprehending the ramifications of their actions, the stage when brain development is at that key stage. So the age of consent is supported scientifically not just legally. Deviation from consent laws ends up putting minors directly in harm’s way, a stance that violates non-aggression, the cornerstone of libertarianism.

All this is further compounded by the last Presidential election, with the Johnson/Weld campaign. The in party fighting never stopped from their nomination for the president and vice president for 2016. Many were alienated, for starters because they were both converts to the movement, just a couple of Republicans playing the role of Libertarians. To be fair, the US Libertarian Party was founded by a group of disenchanted Republicans in the 1970’s so that doesn’t necessarily dismiss their dedication to the cause.

What did raise concern was their understanding of freedom, especially with voluntary association, when Johnson agreed that the Christian bakery had to bake for a gay wedding, for one example. No matter how you feel on the issue, they have the right to refuse service to whoever they want. That’s freedom of association and it’s critical for a free market.
Some libertarians will claim I’m homophobic for saying that. No, homophobic would be if I said I agreed with this, that’s making it moralistic standard and not a principled one. I disagree with the bakery but stand behind their decision.

Even those who supported Johnson were concerned with Weld. I always had been and still am. He seems too establishment for my taste.

Then there is the internal bickering about what is limited government. Should we support the social safety net or not? Or maybe there shouldn’t be any government at all. Then we leave ourselves vulnerable in regards to private property issues and the original topic of consent laws. That’s the continued argument between the Classical Liberal and anarchists wings of the party. Other libertarians believe we should adopt the social libertarian–a mix of socialism and libertarianism–or a quasi-communist variety.

Sharpe and Hamilton left their association with the party because they felt the leadership isn’t listening. Sarwark, Vohra and Weld are too focused on the growth of the party that they are distancing themselves from the ideals of the party and risk further alienation. Or worse turning it into a safe space for NAMBLA. Either way, it appears the Libertarian Party is facing an identity crisis and hopefully it can correct it and become the much needed third-way the nation needs.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture with a new one–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible–expecting to be released this year.

Premium Scam

Posted: February 11, 2018 in Uncategorized

By R.C. Seely

IF YOU SEARCH YOUTUBE and other social media sources, you would come to the conclusion that pretty everyone is a conman or liar in one way or another.

One such story declares that premium gasoline is a clear deliberate attempt to fraud the consumer. Investigators state that since there is no additional benefit to purchasing premium fuel, it must be a scam. Shame they aren’t so skeptical of organic foods! Are they right though? Well, yes and no.

For some consumers it is a waste of money but calling it a scam is kind of a stretch.

First off, let’s consider a concise definition of a scam: It’s the intentional effort to mislead, generally to profit off of others, with questionable or non-existing benefit for the consumer. That’s not exactly the case with premium fuels.

There are benefits to be gained with premium fuel, if you use your vehicle excessively. So clearly there is a proven market. For general use by most people, yes, it is a waste of money. But whether or not that constitutes a “scam” is debatable.

Another question is the manner of its marketing, is that intentionally misleading. Many high-end vehicle manufacturers recommend premium because it does protect the engine and increase performance. The line of thinking here is that since you are buying the best, you will want to protect your investment. I’m sure they also figure that if you’re spending that kind of money on the vehicle you won’t be oppose to spending more on fuel. That sounds logical and not nefarious.

Average vehicles don’t have such recommendations. Most say you should buy what you feel most comfortable with. This sounds like simply offering choices in a free market. If you want to extend the life of your vehicle, premium fuel could do that, it’s as simple as that and hardly malicious.

Premium fuel is about choices, that’s not a bad thing for the consumer and there’s nothing to suggest that it fits the definition of a scam. Just more sleeping media conspiracy theories.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has written books about pop culture and has a new book–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible–is set to be released soon.

Is that so “Progressive?”

Posted: February 3, 2018 in Uncategorized

By R.C. Seely

THE RESPONSE TO Donald Trump’s State of the Union address was not unexpected. A few Democrats in the Senate and the House saying they were not going to attend is neither a concern nor a valid threat. Neither is the fact that they won’t give him credit for the state of the economy and that workers are seeing benefits from their employers–that would go completely against their understanding of reality.

What was unexpected was a statement from Charles Payne in a discussion group on Cavato on Fox News. He was questioning the consequences of companies offering their employees extended benefits such as, paid maternity leave and paying for their expanded education. Claiming that this is simply more big government style progressivism and they should instead be focused on hiring more employees.

I like Charles Payne–although I’ve never met him personally–and have great respect for him and generally agree with him, but not this time. He does have a somewhat valid point, I’ll give him that, but he’s missing the bigger point.

The progressive movement is a big government movement, one of intervention into business and the personal lives of others. This is one major step away from that, making it as about as anti-progressive as possible. The goal here has always been to get government to step aside and let businesses and individuals spend their money, their way. Or did I miss that memo?

Wages are going up, unemployment is going down and everyone should be celebrating that regardless of who gave us the booming economy. When it comes to the economy limited government is winning out and the authoritarians are worried and for good reason. Everything they have told the public about laissez faire is being shown to be untrue.

But why can’t Charles Payne celebrate? Because rewarding senior employees is against economic theory? Trying to keep a proven employee who’s pregnant isn’t valid for the bottom line? It’s not those policies that were wrong it was how they were presented, through federal intervention. Because someone on Capitol Hill believed they had the right to mandate how a company conducts itself and what it can give it’s employees. That they are offering them such benefits proves progressives wrong and that maybe the government intervention isn’t as necessary as we’ve been led to believe.

The Trump administration has so far been about what I expected, I don’t need to hear him speak to know how things are going. The economy is doing excellent but on social issues a lot of work is needed. A huge step would be letting Jeff Sessions go, even if you agree with Sessions on the failed War on Drugs, he is a proponent of Civil Asset Forfeiture and expanding surveillance on Americans.

Then there’s the border wall, the one that “Mexico is going to pay for.” The one that won’t curb illegal immigration and is a security blanket but keeps us from a meaningful secure border and restrict freedom of movement. Illegal immigration will continue with the wall since they are finding other ways across and the Northern border isn’t even being addressed. Mexicans are a no go, but Canadians are okay?

Progressivism isn’t about offering the individuals more choices or freedoms, it’s also not about what employers benefits to their employees. It’s about the authoritarians appearing benevolent to the American citizenry. And the appearance of false security. Once all the “general welfare”, “national security”, and “well intentions” are stripped away, then it’s clearing all about control. So while Trump is progressive, he’s not so on the economy or company benefits.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has written books on pop culture with a new one–Confused Yet? Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible–scheduled to be released this year.