Posts Tagged ‘civil liberties’

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

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.

By R.C. Seely

THE 2016 ELECTION CYCLE HAS ALREADY begun and early on it took the turn of one authoritarian progressive versus another authoritarian progressive, with the only major noteworthy distinction being one is a Republican and the other a Democrat. Is that even a big distinction anymore?

With the populist fervor surrounding the Donald–while the “extremist” Rand Paul was practically ignored, by all but his few supporters on Fox Business–it looks like it is becoming more and more immaterial. Maybe an update from the “Party Of the People” and the “Grand Old Party” is in order; how about, for the Democrats the “Party Of the Progressives” and the Republicans, the “Grand Old Populists”. This has not been a recent change in standards by any means, but not all the candidates changes in policy platforms have been either. Most of Trump’s have been, yes, but many of Hillary’s started in college. In college she fell in with her hippie, progressive, popular kids crowd and meet a man who would change her life, George Soros. Soros is a sick a demented human being who enjoys playing God with nation’s economies, simply because he can and has done so many times.

He put the U.S. in his crosshairs when President Bush the Second was in office. He feared the “reckless Texas cowboy” would bring the world endless wars… Ok, so he got that one right. That doesn’t give him the right or moral authority to intervene, especially when his new puppet politician is going around criticizing the Republican candidates for the same thing. Hillary gets money from many different big corporate donors, as did Obama, Soros being a huge donor to both campaigns. They also get lots of money from unions and environmentalists groups, and the (gasp!) Koch brothers, who donate to both Republican and  Democrat campaigns. To the credit of Bernie Sanders, at least he is honest on not receiving corporate donors.

This is not the only common cause for Trump and Clinton, neither are exactly tolerant of free speech. The Donald wanting to revive the Sedition Acts–a set of laws that journalists could be jailed for being critical of politicians or their policies–an idea that Hillary would no doubt support for the Democrat elite. So we should take these candidates at their word, they won’t railroad the general public with a tsunami of new pointless legislature? Yeah, that has worked well in the past. Hillary has her own set of censorship laws to answer for as well, going after “gangsta rap” and trying to give the government the right to decide the content of what is on the air. She pushed for laws to give government entities carte blanc disclosure over the ratings system on TV programs and movies. The past showed how well that worked, when the FCC  was in charge of the enforcement of such guidelines for radio, it nearly killed the industry! Because such guidelines have never been used to protect people from objectionable content, just objectionable ideas, both that are open to interpretation. Making any laws of this kind dangerous.

Besides a labyrinth of confusion, trying to find out where these two candidates stand on the issues, comes their propensity to drift with the “winds of change” of populist opinions. Most notable, Clinton’s support of gay marriage and Trump’s pro-life stance. Trump’s odd defensive of funding Planned Parenthood and Eminent Domain laws, demonstrates a clear sense of cognitive dissonance when it comes to the Constitution in both the parties. With no evidence to suggest that Clinton would be any different, it looks like the most wasted vote would be for one of the duopoly candidates.

If you Liked this article get my new book, VICTIMS OF WHITE MALE: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society, or any of my other books at Barnes and Noble.com, Amazon.com, or other online stores.

By RC. Seely

WITH ALL THE CONCERNS ABOUT INTERNET security, because of the hacking of Sony to be more specific, the Obama administration has been pressured into action by progressive groups such as Openmedia and Demand Progress. The groups claim that Comcast and other greedy corporate entities have kept the internet in chains and need to be reined in. Apparently, from their perspective only the federal government can save the day, making Obama superman? That’s a scary thought! Obama as superman, he would apologize for interfering with the criminal and then assist him in blowing up the building. Is that too inflammatory? I thought I was allowed to make such comments in this country, but maybe I was wrong. With the fundamental misunderstanding of the role of government in our lives, our “superman” Obama has been eagerly waiting to advance a law to curtail freedom of speech and in the Net Neutrality extensions he would have it.

On February 26, the FCC is going to be reviewing its position in our lives. If Tom Wheeler – the current head of the FCC – agrees with the Obama administration that new restrictions and regulations are needed, this will basically be a reincarnation of the Fairness Doctrine. What are the implications of this? Well, nothing good, unless you are an Obama lapdog. When the Fairness Doctrine was in place during the Roosevelt administration, it nearing killed radio, because the general public was losing interest. They didn’t want to hear from the social democrats or progressives emotional preaching. The claim was that because the results weren’t the same, his progressive policies must not be given equal treatment by the radio industry – it never occurred to him that maybe the public didn’t care to hear it. This is what Obama believes is the case with the internet. The public loves him, so there must be something non-egalitarian in the internet, right? Sorry, superman the internet is already open and free, it’s just a lot of people don’t agree with you.

The internet, under the new guidelines, would mean censorship and higher prices for all. Despite the promises made by the Obama administration or the FCC, there will be no distinctions between the small no-budget blogger and those who manage the large power house media organizations. The fees will be less, but those who weren’t charged before, would be now. It’s also a very unnecessary move, the free market already regulates itself. Many internet organizations already offer free options for their sites, with fees only for additional features. Some say this is unfair. That doesn’t make sense, you should have to pay for extended services.

Freedom of speech is such a cherished and needed right, it is the pillar for a free society, something that we take for granted and others covet. Our nation has always been unique that we have that freedom and our leaders have been looking for ways to curtail our speech when it becomes “inconvenient.” Starting with John Adams, our second president, who wrote the sedition acts. Jailing journalists and pamphleteers writing scathing editorials about Adams. During World War I, president Wilson brought these laws back, incarcerating critics of America’s involvement in the war. Roosevelt also used such laws during World War II. That’s why the criticism of the Vietnam World seemed so intense, it was actually allowed! Our freedom of speech is so valuable, that so many fought to death for it and our most egotistical representatives fought – and continue to fight – to destroy it. The internet is the last refuge for such freedoms and worth fighting for, if we let the government neuter it we will regret it.

uncon

In this book R.C. Seely examines how the federalist stance – that everything has to be managed by the government has messed up our country. Are we any safer with a preemptive strike policy? Is the drug war keeping drug usage down? Is the green movement really about saving the planet? Are whistleblowers a threat or protectors of our nation? Are the third parties dividing us or fixing the country? So has federalism worked or has it failed, read UNConventional Wisdom and find out.