Archive for the ‘Political’ Category

By R.C. Seely

I’VE ALWAYS BEEN AN OPPONENT of Socialism and recent events are one of the biggest reasons why. A few days after Halloween, Rene Boucher, brutally attacked Senator Rand Paul at his residence in Kentucky. The attack has left the Senator in extreme pain and he has five broken ribs from the encounter, which could end up life threatening.

Even with the continuing feud between the neighbors, the motive for the attack was reported as political by the FBI. Boucher is a Bernie Sanders supporter who took his passion to an action and a reprehensible action at that.

This is not a condemnation of Sanders supporters, not all are like this and the ones I know personally wouldn’t do this. But this is bigger than Sanders, it’s about the inherent violence in a Socialist society.

Violence as a source of control is part of the movement because people–such as myself–will never succumb to it any other way. If this is the path to establishing Socialism, what would the Socialist society of the United States be like? Pretty much like Venezuela or Brazil. A state of limited resources and a constant authority presence. A state where basic needs, like toilet paper, are as valuable as gold because of their scarcity. Where innovations are gone and prices are sky high.

And violence has truly become the “new normal,” not from an armed assailant but from a federalized police force. In other words, the violence that anarchists used to institute their beloved social order of collectivism is nothing compared to what is to come if they succeed in the agenda.

Fellow supporters of the cause dismiss such actions as their passion getting away from them. I’m so sick of hearing that! While such heinous acts do happen from the right, they are not common; from the left, they are part of the playbook, literally. Saul Alinsky, author of Rules for Radicals, not only didn’t shy away from violence but encourages it. Neither do Unions, another vessel of Socialism. Or race activists or feminists. Or environmental zealots. It’s difficult to find activist groups of the left that dont advocate or at least tolerate violence for the cause.

One could argue that such violence was used by the nation’s founders, that these attacks are valid now. The acts of violence back then was a response to violence already used against them by the representatives of the King. Rand Paul was mowing his front lawn while beaten. Does that sound like the same thing to you? Does the Senator seem the monarch that stripped his neighbor of his rights? Violence during a revolution is at times necessary but it only holds validation when in selfdefense, which far too often is lacking by Socialism’s advocates.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books about pop culture the most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

ALONG WITH UBER AND AIRBNB, THE MONOPOLIES to traditional markets have another rookie to bring competition to another market–housing. Like other monopolies, the status quo titans are not giving up their power without a fight and the standard weapon of choice is the law.

    From Curbed.com, a housing business website:

“Despite the growing enthusiasm for tiny houses, it still isn’t easy to legally build them for full time use. Zoning laws and building codes by and large, require a minimum square footage for new construction homes, and progress to reduce that square footage is slow. 

Cities and towns that have started to accommodate tiny houses have typically been pushed by grassroots organizers asking government officials for changes to local building and zoning codes.”

    A little about “tiny houses” you should know, they are either a type of recreational vehicle or have a solid foundation like regular buildings. It’s the ones with the foundation that seem to have state legislatures in a frenzy. Many states are only allowing tiny houses to build within a tiny house community, if at all. The strict construction codes have mostly come from the same source, the International Residential Code (IRC) with such requirements as 70 square feet for room size and 7 foot tall ceilings, and a minimum 1,000 square feet for construction, all fairly common zoning guidelines. Also absurd for tiny houses.

    “Construction codes tell you how to build your home,”Andrew Morrison, of Tiny House Build says. “Zoning depends on where you build your home.” There are some states choosing to embrace the movement. Certain counties in the states of California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon and Texas–but again still check out the zoning laws beforehand since it’s only select counties within those states. For more information, the American Tiny House Association has compiled a list of state regulations and state chapter leaders. They might even be of assistance in getting a variance for your state or county.

    The state of Utah might be joining the list, all with the help of the Utah based legal activist organization, The Libertas Instititute. Along with the other economic and civil causes on their long list, the right to build on your property free from the zoning gestapo. With the trend of the smaller dwellings popularity with millenials a reevaluation might end up being more than something to consider, but a necessity. Options for housing could help reinvigorate the housing market for the demographic most cynical about the idea of being home owners. Because of the economic incentive and not just the novelty of tiny houses, it appears to be more than “just a trend.” And the first step is to reconsider is the zoning laws. “There’s plenty of momentum to continue changing zoning regulations at the local level. But there’s movement on the national level, too. Tiny house advocates are currently pushing to include a tiny house code in the International Residential Code,” explains Morrison.

    Adapting the zoning and construction regulations would not only make sense economically but is protecting the homeowner’s right to utilize their property in the manner best for their needs. Control obsessed state and county legislatures shouldn’t have more say about what is built on your property or how you use it than you do. If you live in a planned community you have certain bylaws you agree to, that’s a voluntary transaction. You can always leave if you want or petition the board and your neighbors to change the rules. But you still had the choice. With these sort of laws you are robbed of that choice, whether it’s a traditional home or tiny one.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture, his most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available on Amazon

By R.C. Seely

NEVADA JOINED THE STATES TO FULLY LEGALIZE marijuana at the state level and it’s already seeing a problem come up, one that is very old and common–the monopoly. 

    From the Las Vegas Review Journal:

“A Carson City district court judge … refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought by liquor distributors against the Department of Taxation over the distribution of recreational marijuana to pot dispensaries…. One of those disputes involves the Department of Taxation’s intervention in a licensing process by liquor distributors in Clark County who were seeking to participate in the distribution process.

The decision could delay the start of recreational marijuana sales originally set for July 1 via the existing medical marijuana dispensaries operating throughout Nevada.

Issue is whether liquor distributors have the first right to distribute marijuana from grow facilities to the dispensaries.”

 

  According to the alcohol distributors the law clearly stipulates they get first shot and a temporary restraining order was issued against marijuana distributors from a lawsuit brought on by the Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada.

    It should be mentioned, that the tax agency had concerns of lack of interest by the alcohol distributors in the marijuana business–spokeswoman for the Department of Taxation, Stephanie Klapstein stated there was only one liquor wholesaler who applied for a license at the time the restraining order was issued, and it came the morning of the lawsuit–the attorney for the liquor distributors, Kevin Benson, claims five have applied for the licenses. It would be difficult to not see this as suspicious. But let’s leave Nevada for a moment and go to Iowa.

From Reason.com:

“In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, there is a fully outfitted outpatient surgical center that could be used to treat patients with eye problems and improve their vision.

It sits empty, unused, a monument to government imposed artificial restrictions on the supply of medical care.

The prohibition has nothing to do with Dr. Lee Birchansky, who owns the surgical center and the doctor’s office next door. He’s allowed to operate on patients at nearby hospitals, but he can’t do those same surgeries in the facilities that he owns.”

 

   So what’s the problem? The doctor has been the victim of a CON. No, not a scam artist, but a state sanctioned scam. The con in this case is Certificate of Need, so literally a CON. Essentially it’s a license that some states require the business to obtain demonstrating the need for the business or for the industry to expand in the area. It’s used by large companies to keep out competitors. “It is ridiculous that I have an outpatient surgery center that is … ready to go, but I have been denied a certificate of need four times because established hospitals do not want competition,” said Birchansky.

    In order to reopen Birchansky would need to obtain the CON from the Department of Public Health, which he would have to file another application and a $21,000 fee.

    All is not lost for Dr. Birchansky he has help. On Birchansky’s side is the Institute for Justice, a law firm noted for challenging such laws. “Patients and Doctors–not the government–are in the best position to decide what medical services are needed,” said Joshua House of the Institute. Also joining Birchansky in the right is Governor Terry Bradstad of Iowa, who fights to reform CON laws in the state. As for the marijuana distributors of Nevada, right now it appears they are stuck in legislative limbo. For now, the medical marijuana dispensaries will be serving as recreational distributors while all this gets sorted out. When going up against the monopolies, even a single victory is a great one and in time, maybe the Nevada Department of Taxation will see through the smoke.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. His latest book, Victims of White Male: Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available on Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

IF YOU SEARCH THROUGH LIBERTARIAN GROUP PAGES on social media sites one of the most common openings from trolls would have to be the question: “What is the libertarian stance on…” You don’t often see this on duopoly pages and it’s not only odd but demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the party by the online passerby, or is drive by a more accurate description? Usually those who post such comments are not looking for a discussion, but to cause trouble, libertarians do this all the time as well, so I’m not condemning the behavior simply find the common socially accepted opening extremely amusing. It’s at a level that would be even less than sophomoric. Which also appears to match their understanding of the movement they so eagerly mock.

A far more effective phrasing would go along the lines of: “From your understanding of libertarian principles​, what is the party’s stance on…” or even better “What is your stance on…” Not only is it more respectful but demonstrates an understanding of those being addressed and the desire for an actual exchange of ideas.

The manner in which you conduct yourself both online and in person is entirely up to you, but if you want to have an actual discussion, statements such as “that’s a typical response” will get a typical–and well deserved–response of hostility. A piece of advice is simply don’t do it. If it would offend you, why do you think it wouldn’t offend others? And yet, they are surprised by the lack of engagement from the other person–go figure!

Critics of online social commentary claim that the anonymity makes them more brazen and hostile–and what’s your point? Of course it makes us more daring, it also spreads ideas and views that are contrary, and protects us from unreasonable consequences of rogue government agency enforcers. Just because we have the freedom of speech, doesn’t mean that those in power–who in general are not exactly advocates of constructive criticism–won’t enact laws to censor that said right. The law of Civil Disobedience for one, think it’s a coincidence it is open for interpretation? Or the Seditions Acts that have been introduced, and reintroduced, and reintroduced. Or how about the future laws from the current administration and social media compliance to curtail “fake news.”

What those who make their drive-by remarks don’t seem to grasp is they are not wrecking havoc on the libertarian party, in fact they are probably helping. Yes, there will be many who react to the intruder, but others will actually answer and engage, even when it’s clear the one who posted has fled. The libertarian prespective is less one of a collective view and more principles with an open dialogue to get back on the road of limited government. Some see that as keeping the death penalty, others abolishing it; some are pro-life, others pro-choice; some want a strong social safety net, others want it completely dismantled. Some are hard core environmentalists and feminists. Some voted Gary Johnson, others Hillary Clinton, and others Donald Trump and they are not any less libertarian for it.

The libertarian Party is not one that believes in ownership of the individual in any fashion, that’s why the common views are the draft is tantamount to slavery, why “taxation is theft”, and the wall is more of a tool to restrict movement than protection for the citizenry. That also means that the party doesn’t own the libertarian and the question “what is the libertarian stance on…” is a logical fallacy, it can’t really be answered, because that makes the implication the party owns you and you have to fall in line with their political dogma. So what is the libertarian stance on that? I don’t know but this is my stance.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture, the most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.

 

By R.C. Seely

“MR. O’REILLY’S DISMISSAL AMOUNTS TO AN enormous shift in cable news … the move has the potential to open up a cable news war that for more than a decade has been dominated by Fox News, ” reported the New York Times. Their analysis also suggests that Fox News is hardly social roadkill, and “that Fox’s viewers are loyal … [they] certainly will not be switching over to CNN or MSNBC.” The New York Times was the source that reported the allegations of sexual harassment charges against O’Reilly and the millions in settlements.

    Former CBS News president Andrew Heyward, had similar comments, claiming “Fox News is vulnerable with O’Reilly’s departure” and because of the circumstances “there will be resentment among his loyal base.” You mean the same ones who voted for Donald Trump, who isn’t exactly a paragon of virtue? Mr. Heyward does concede, however, the news network serves as an alternative to the majority of TV news, which could let it ride out the storm. 

Presidential contender John Kasich denied seeing anything inappropriate at Fox News or in O’Reilly’s previous conduct. “It was fine. If it wasn’t fine, I wouldn’t have stayed, ” Kasich said in an interview with Business Insider. Kasich does have knowledge of the environment of Fox News, having hosted his own show “Heartland,” but that was in the early 2000’s and a lot could have changed since. O’Reilly himself adamantly denies the charges, calling them “completely unfounded claims.”

The Sleeping Media has been doing all it can to neutralize and silence Fox News for years and jumping on this yet one more feeble attempt to return to “the good old days of media.” When dry, crotchety windbags told us we can trust the government. If O’Reilly shifted his capitalist stances just a little, he might have been welcomed. If the goal of the American progressives was to get rid of O’Reilly, they truly failed miserably. Early this week he did his first podcast and is considering his other options, among them; Newsmax, the One America News Network, The Blaze and Sinclair Broadcasting. He’s not going anywhere and that’s actually a good thing. I can’t stand O’Reilly and have never hidden that, but the only worse action, is muffling his voice. I doubt he would reciprocate but I stand behind O’Reilly’s right of free speech. That’s the libertarian way, I don’t​ have to agree with you to defend you.

Attempting to restore the media safe space vacuum is not the only way this is a black eye for progressives, it also clearly proves capitalism works and they are nothing but hypocrites. O’Reilly wouldn’t have been fired if sponsors hadn’t pulled their financial backing due to his violations of moral standards. O’Reilly’s viewers more than likely would have stood behind him and even tried to dismiss the allegations, there was little risk for the sponsors. They put principle over profit, exactly what the critics of capitalism claim they never do. The progressives, on the other hand, demonstrated they care only about your rights if you’re on their side, by pushing the highly organized and effective campaign against the commentator–with little to show for it, I might add. This will have little impact on Fox or O’Reilly, and won’t swell their ranks. By all measures the culture war is once again going to the culture warrior on the right.

Heyward and the New York Times are right in their analysis that Fox News will be fine without O’Reilly, yes, there will be some “resentment among his loyal base,” but that comes with being a moralist commentator accused of impropriety. Probably the most accurate prediction is from the New York Times piece, that the viewers won’t being going to CNN or MSNBC anytime soon. They might abandon O’Reilly or Fox News but that doesn’t mean they will turn into so-called “liberals.” Most likely they will look to the Constitution Party, Libertarian Party or other independent alternative news sources. They might even check out this one and you are more than welcomed here.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has written books about pop culture, the most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society, is available on Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

APRIL 22ND HAS BEEN DESIGNATED TO BE yet another holiday an evergrowing list of pointless identity holidays–Earth Day. A day specifically put aside for environmental activists to remind us what horrible people we are, not like the other 364 days of the year, when they are so silent. As I’ve made clear in previous written works–in both articles and in books–I have little respect for the current pop culture variety of the green movement, in no small part because of its take over by groups like the EPA. At one time these organizations did perform legitimate acts of public service and make the environment cleaner and safer, with regulations that made sense, now it’s all about creating division and maintaining power. The extremists​ in the movement have taken control. Green Peace, the Sierra Club, EPA, were on the right track at least, others like, ALF and ELF have always been essentially eco-terrorists. 

    Then we have celebrities in Greenism, Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio, John Kerry, Barack Obama and Micheal Moore, as only a small sample of environmental profiteers. The ones that would demand the rest of us live green but demonstrate an aversion to it themselves, I applaud activists such as Ed Beagley Jr and Darrell Hannah for living their principles even though I disagree with them. Not only does not doing so make the others hypocrites, but it appears the sense of urgency is entirely manufactured for them. Live according to your principles or sit down. This year the green elite have a new platform as well, in the March for Science, a “nonpartisan” March for environmental justice–but you’re not invited if you support Trump, real “nonpartisan!” On the website March for Science displays this loudly stating an “American government that ignores science to pursue ideological agendas endangers the world.” And what of an organization that does the same? The group says support “evidence-based policy making” and government funding for scientific research, so essentially state sponsored scientific endevours are the only ones that will considered valid. Maybe another round of eugenics​ will be in the budget as well, getting rid of the deplorable critics of Greenism. A 2010 editorial in Nature magazine calls attention to “a growing anti-science streak on the American right” and it needs to be cured, which “depends on more education, science and technology,” all taxpayer funded too, I’m sure. In an article for Scientific American, author Shawn Lawrence Otto comments that “it is hard to know exactly when it became acceptable for U.S. politicians to be anti-science” since so many of our previous presidents and founding fathers were men of science. Many were also men of freedom, and a few of the men of science, who occupied the white house were borderline Authoritarians. To be fair Trump did call climate change a hoax, promised to continue with the Keystone Pipeline, and gutted Federal agencies involved in environmental issues. 

    Headlining the March for Science are Bill Nye, Mona Hanna-Attisha, and Lydia Villa-Komaroff, none of which are climate scientists. Nye is a mechanical engineer, Hanna-Attisha is a pediatrician​, and Villa-Komaroff is a molecular and cellular biologist, so their opinions on the matter are no more valid than yours or mine. NASA on the other hand, is full of experts on the climate and there is no common consensus on the human impact on the planet. 

    Whether they truly believe it or not, all of them are missing an opportunity, the chance to be more effective and return to the path of sane, rational environmental policy. Make the movement more about economy than ecology, capitalize on green capitalism. There are a few environmental policies that can save the individual, and in certain circumstances whole companies, money such as certain recycling programs. Control seems always be the agenda, whether it’s controlling how we live or population control. That’s what many also advocate in the environmental movement, lower the population, like they have the moral authority to do so.

    While researching this article, I saw a glimmer of hope from earthday.org with a common sense suggestion for activism–reforestation. “Trees for Earth… it’s goal is to plant, or inspire the planting of 7.8 billion trees worldwide… one for every person projected to be on earth,” is one of the proposed initiatives on the site. Finally, pushing an agenda that makes sense and encourages individual effort. Unfortunately they couldn’t help but cater to the extremists: “The scientific evidence is clear and irrefutable–human activity is causing our planet to warm at an alarmingly high rate. Not only is this warming climate trend happening right now, it could have serious outcomes on our food supply (especially if they want to outlaw GMOs), lead to mass migration and conflict, and without being an alarmist, it may very well threaten the future survival of the human race.” That doesn’t sound like an alarmist. Oh, by the way don’t forget to donate. Also it seems they want to silence their critics, but Earth Day was created for the zealots. Starting out as a United States holiday it was proposed by peace activist John McConnell in 1969 and sanctioned by the U.N. in 1970. A month after that, Wisonsin Democrat Senator Gaylord Nelson, founded a separate Earth Day and started a tsunami of new environmental activism. He could have started a green capitalism movement but that wasn’t his goal, which he made clear when he said that “the economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the other way around.” What? That’s absurd, the economy is the key to human culture, no matter what form it takes. It’s also the methodology to get a green economy, many corporations went green because their customers wanted it and went beyond the EPA guidelines, at least if it didn’t hurt their company. That’s all the EPA does anymore really, create economic stagnation but that’s what happens when the agenda is control and not prosperity.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV and has written books on pop culture. For more on environmental issues read Unconventional Wisdom: Behavior Modification For the Modern Age and Victims of White: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society both available on Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF IN PARTY FIGHTING going on amongst libertarians, the most common issues of contention seem to be trying to define what makes one a “true” libertarian and what the stance on abortion should be. The problem with the first issue: How does one accurately assess and quality a movement based on voluntary interaction? I really don’t have a good answer for that, which is why I tend to embrace the simplest of solutions and don’t try to define them. Unless the proposed solution increases the size of government I will listen. That’s why I’m pro-choice, I disagree with abortion and think it’s used far too often, but the debate has come up because the temperance movement invited government into the debate by demanding its prohibition. When does federal intervention actually work? One argument that has been tossed around: How can someone be pro-life and in favor of capital punishment? That has some validity from a policy concept free from emotional bias. Essentially the person’s life-whether a convicted criminal or innocent unborn-is decided for them, is this moral? Let’s examine it.

    Arguments in favor of abortion-on-demand center around the threat of children being born with certain physical or mental irregularities-many undetected until after six months, which is why the “need” for partial birth abortion. According to a Huffington Post article in 2013, “The two main reasons for late-term abortions are lack of access to better, earlier care and biology. A 20 week abortion ban would make problems worse by criminalizing them… Pregnancy is riskier for women over 35. Amniocentesis, the test for anomalies, is not done until 15-18 weeks, and ultrasounds for congenital malformations are done at weeks 18-20.” Other arguments are because the child is simply unwanted. Part of the problem is that adoption is costly and not an efficient process in many areas, reforming that process would help. Adoption reform is rarely included in the discussion and a big part of the problem many are adamant in their perspective of the issue. Most have adopted the two polar opposite sides on abortion; either full legalization or total prohibition. It wouldn’t be reasonable to have some restrictions-such as, limited time period in which the procedure can be performed and no more taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood-but most restrictions won’t make abortion end, simply go underground. Oh good, another black market, just what we need. There has been a reported increase in the number of women suffering depression afterwards, that too should be in the discussion. Afterabortion.org offers this on the matter: 

“A study of the medical records of 56,741 California Medicaid patients revealed that women who had abortions were 160 percent more likely than delivering women to be hospitalized for psychiatric treatment in the first 90 days following abortion or delivery.

In a study of post-abortion patients only 8 weeks after their abortion, researchers found that 44% complained of nervous disorders, 36% experience sleep disturbances, 31% had regrets about their decision, and 11% had been prescribed psychological medicine by their family doctor.”

 

    A study by JAMA refutes these claims and finds that “abortion denial may be associated with psychological harm to women.”

“The longitudinal cohort study observed 956 women semiannually for five years… [The] women who were denied an abortion reported significantly more anxiety symptoms and lower self-esteem and life satisfaction, but similar levels of depression, as women receiving abortions; outcomes improved or remained steady over time.”


     JAMA further concludes:

“In this study, compared with having an abortion, being denied an abortion may be associated with greater risk of initially experiencing adverse psychological outcomes. Psychological well-being improved over time so that both groups of women eventually converged. These findings do not support policies that restrict women’s access to abortion on the basis that abortion harms women’s mental health.”


    What is considered more moral: A policy that ends the life of an unborn and arguably puts the woman’s life in risk, not just physically but mentally; or one that increases the government’s input in the matter, which will more than likely still put everyone in more danger but might not? 

    As for the death penalty, I do agree with its critics in federal cases, as for local that’s where the debate should continue. With local control, it’s easier to curtail the abuse within the justice system. A higher burden of proof for death penalty cases and updating interrogation tactics by law enforcement is part of the solution. Does this eliminate all the problems? Probably not. The justice system is based on a meritocracy of conviction rates not seeking justice or bringing down crime. Until that changes as well, false convictions will remain the norm, and that means the debate should continue. It’s critics argue that granting any government the right to decide who lives and dies is far too dangerous, going off history they have an excellent point. Even imprisonment or investigation of accusations, has been used as a potential weapon against supposed threats. This danger was born in the United States with President John Adams, in the form of the Alien and Sedition Acts, included in the Acts were pieces of legislation that made it illegal for anyone-including journalists-to criticize the administration without threat of incarceration. Doesn’t this sound familiar? During both World Wars the Sedition Acts were revived, but not for Korea, Vietnam or any current engagements. The illusion was created that the American people largely supported the World Wars after the attacks on the Lusitania and Pearl Harbor and that might not have been the case. By controlling the narrative, they controlled everything. We can banter about the specific semantics involved in the American wars but what is clear is the control created. If the government puts that much effort into keeping it’s war machine going, what would it do to its critics? Falsely incarcerate them, kill them? It’s not like the US government is above those kinds of tactics if one of its citizens is deemed “unpatriotic” or a “subversive.” Remember McCarthyism? And Trump has already started an enemies list. So, all things considered, is it really so imprudent to start reconsidering your perspective if pro-capital punishment?

    So, it appears the people of the United States do have room for further discussion and evaluation about the morality of these issues. Is the more morally consistent stance the one that grants a federal entity more control and yet devalues human life? Isn’t that essentially what you’re agreeing to if you abdicate for legalization of either? Can you be in favor of human life if you’re pro-choice but not the death penalty? Or vice versa? What would happen with a complete moratorium on the death penalty? Are there unintended consequences? We know that prohibitions generally end up with adverse effects, most common being the foundation of black markets, making society as a whole far less safe. The prohibition of alcohol, the War on Drugs and the restrictions on abortion, all had illegal underground markets, offering the desperate these bootlegged goods and services at inflated prices and unsafe conditions. Would a total death penalty ban end up with a black market? Could it result in a real-life punisher? Or possibly Lynch mobs, seeking vengeance instead of justice? We have a historical record to look at with abortion restrictions but not with the death penalty, so all this is speculative. We can study the crime rates in each state, to get an idea of the end results and hope it’s​ not catastrophic if nationally implemented. Deathpenalty.info has a side by side comparison of murder rates in states with the death penalty vs those without, and shows the murder rates are actually lower in the states without. While it fluctuates between a 4-46% difference in the span of 1990-2015, the death penalty states have a higher murder rate. According to their research “the average of murder rates per 100,000 population in 1999 among death penalty states was 5.5, where the average… non-death penalty states was only 3.6.” It appears the evidence is on the side of life in this matter. A certain amount of consensus is required to go forward in changing either policy, which I don’t see coming up in the near future.

    Questions of ethics are-and undoubtedly should be-difficult, they require juggling our perspective of the head and heart. What seems logical can also be construed as cold and callous, and the emotional can be viewed as weak or frivolous. No matter your view, you have to be able to live with what transpires. You didn’t end a life but your advocacy puts the guilt on your hands, doesn’t it? You could argue the death row inmate deserves it, what if he was innocent and succumbed to police interrogation? That means an innocent person still died and you had a part in it. If you call for an abortion prohibition which doesn’t work and simply creates a black market, does that make you guilty? And what if further federal intervention is advanced because of such prohibitions, does that negate the morality? The government has a bad habit of using such actions to validate its encroachment and expand its efforts of control. Is the risk worth it and once down that road can we make the U-turn? From my view, having the federal oversight in either matter is a major ethical violation but trying to squash any contrary opinions is an even bigger one, so let’s continue the debate.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He also has written books about pop culture and his most recent is Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society, all his books are available at Amazon.com.