Posts Tagged ‘libertarian’

By R.C. Seely

NEVER HAS A PRESIDENT CAUSED SUCH A RUCKUS WITH mere rhetoric as Donald Trump. Take his “fire and fury” remark to North Korea, threatening to react in kind if North Korea turns violent towards the US or other nations. Oh no, he’s saying he will retaliate! How is that any different from say, “the red line” for Syria by Obama? And so far Trump hasn’t added any new military interventions, sadly he hasn’t ended any either, but he hasn’t added any. Ending a few would be a welcome change. 

    Many were led to believe that because of his inflammatory campaign trail soliloquies he was essentially declaring war with the world. Trade wars maybe, but military entanglements, not really. The only exception could be his comments about Mexico. Continually saying he would have “the wall built and Mexico would be paying for it,” is a promise I hope no one expects to come to fruition. Iran is a slight possibility, if he rescinds the nuclear deal made by the previous administration. Personally the major issue I had with the Iran deal wasn’t the sanctions being lifted, more that we would be paying for another country’s nuclear development. That’s simply insane.

    If he ends up going to war with North Korea, Iran, Mexico or any other new country–on top of the list of Middle East nations we are currently still fighting from the Bush adminstration’s “War on Terror”–he will simply be continuing the tradition of almost every US President. While most statistics I question, the ones claiming “the US has been at war 222 years out of the 239 of it’s existence” sounds about right. That’s 93% of our history in conflict with other nations and itself. 

    The “anti-war” presidents were not an exception, ask Lybia how much of a “peaceful president” Barack Obama was. It hasn’t been the same since Gaddafi’s assassination. How about Bill Clinton’s trek of violence in Bosnia and Kosovo? Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt reneged on their promises to keep the country out of the World Wars. No president kept the US out of Korea or Vietnam. Why not? To look powerful in the eyes of the rest of the world is a part of it but also to accomplish their agendas without any barricades. 

    Despite knowing better US citizens are not all that reluctant to trade liberty for security, and war is an excellent excuse for spending and putting those pesky rights on hold. Why should we need a legal writ or warrant before having our homes searched–call a whistleblower a subversive and it’s considered acceptable. If you’re critical of the government, that’s the case anyway isn’t it? So what if you disagree with a police action in another nation, you’re getting drafted. You’re now officially a slave of the US government and no longer own your mind or body. If Hillary Clinton had won it would be both your sons and daughters getting drafted. That kind of implies she may have intended to start a fight. So much for the peaceful anti-war progressives of the United States.

    Not to defend his decision but the point is, if Trump does go after North Korea he is no different than any other president. At least he has demonstrated restraint so far, hopefully that status remains the same and the president does not go to war with North Korea. Another president to adopt this policy was Reagan, he didn’t have to start a war with the soviets and he openly called them the “evil empire.” That’s a foreign policy that works. Not off the dictator and force American values down the throats of every nation. Let’s not stir the hornets nest any more and instead leave the hornets alone unless they provoke us. It’s difficult to defend the “land of the free” title when in a perpetual state of warfare.

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

By R.C. Seely

FEBRUARY OF 2017, ON THE WAY TO MY REGULAR workout a PT Cruiser with an Arizonia license plate hits into the driver’s side of my Mustang. At first it didn’t seem like a big deal–only appearing to be dented but still operable–on closer inspection it was far worse, the whole front of the car had shifted and the hood locked in place. The passenger side door scraping against the frame, when I opened it to get my bag, is how I found out. In short, the car that was paid off, that I  had for over ten years, what I considered really my first car, was totaled. That ended up being the least of my worries.

    Because of an error with the paperwork upon purchasing the vehicle, the title was in limbo. And when trying to figure out what had happened before, had lead nowhere. It’s difficult to raise hell when you don’t know where the foul up took place. Now back the present.

    So now I have two options: Wait for the settlement to get a new car, or get a new car now by borrowing the money for the down payment. Thankfully, I went the second route! The next couple of months were spent making phone call after phone call, multiple trips to the DMV, all because the dealership put the wrong bank down as the financier. The original financial institution petitioned for the loan turned it down and the mistake was never corrected. 

    Eventually the documentation that was needed was delivered, but not after being given the run around by both financial institutions, trying to cover their assets rather than deliver excellent customer service. Adding to the frustration was the day when–a couple months later–I got my first statement for the new car; before the settlement check! The insurance company kept calling about the missing title and I had to tell them, “I don’t have it or even know for sure where it is.” 

    Finally I got everything from the DMV and the Power of Attorney from the insurance company together and sent off. This headache would be over at last! A couple of weeks go by and another call from the insurance company–asking for the title! NO! You already have it! So thinking I got the wrong document–or that it was supposed to go to the DMV–I went back to the DMV, AGAIN! Just to discover that I had done everything right. So, I called the insurance company, AGAIN, only to find out that they had the copy of the title in their records. So I waited–expecting yet another problem to emerge. Then it happened, an email stating that the payment of $5,953 has been approved. Now it is over.

    So why am I telling you all this? Well, this is a site for social criticism and this is an event worthy of criticism! The anti-capitalists who read this will probably gloat. Oh look, this little libertarian, defender of free markets has to admit he was wrong. Yes! Actually, as a capitalist, I never said the market would solve all problems. Or that everyone in business are entirely ethical, many are not. Besides, part of what caused the complication was that there is a third party, in this case the DMV. That’s what happens when we invite federal “do-gooders” to try and fix things. They make them worse. When others get worked up about privatizing the post office, I’d prefer privatizing the DMV.

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

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

EVERY JULY 4TH WE CELEBRATE THE ANNUAL birthday of the United States of America. Against all greater odds this great nation was formed, to give the world an example of what freedom could be, or that’s what we were told. Where did it go wrong? To avoid the majority rules, it was built as an amalgamation of constitutional republic and democratic order. And it was working but somewhere we, the people failed. The majority started wanting “free stuff” and freedom became less important. That’s the entire reason Bernie Sanders was even in the running for president.

    The question is: Can people change their thinking and return to the path of individual choice and personal accountability? There have been a few positive signs. Another widely popular presidential contender was Rand Paul. While not a “true libertarian” he has always been an ally to the party and his presidency would have been a way for the Libertarian Party to get invited to the adult table. Talking to progressives who supported Sanders, Paul would have been a welcomed option and polls showed that he could have carried enough support from the Democrats and Republicans to have bested Clinton even without the “rigging from the electorial college.” Is this the last time that Rand will run? Or will he pick up where his father Ron left off? I hope so, either Paul would be a welcomed–and accurately named–the true “hope and change” president. Maine passed a “food sovereignty” law which means the cities and towns of the state “may regulate by ordinance local food systems, and the state shall recognize such ordinances.” It applies solely to local markets “who sell directly to the consumers” for the time being but it’s a start. Nevada joins the growing number of states that have full legalization of marijuana and have started selling. Uber and Lyft are also spreading, opening up into Alaska now, a very positive sign for the future of the shared economy. Oregon lifted a restriction that their bars couldn’t​ post their happy hour special prices. And love him or hate him, Gary Johnson brought attention to the Libertarian Party and more were considering the alternative. If not for the presidential debates commission upholding it’s ruling against third parties, who knows what could have happened. Oh well, maybe things will go better for the Larry Sharpe 2020 campaign.

    With the good comes the bad, such as Minneapolis passing the $15 minimum wage completely ignoring the consequences of it from Seattle. Obamacare is still not repealed and Trumpcare isn’t looking like a better option. How about repealed and don’t replace, let the market take over. TSA is talking about expanding their security measures but books are not included. So you won’t loose your place in that paperback but you also won’t be leaving the security lines anytime soon, so better stock up on reading material. Trump plans more punitive tariffs, making sure all your consumables are labeled “Made in America” putting it at prices you can’t afford. Trump continues his war on the media and in the Middle East, both which appear unending. As does the federal prohibition on marijuana so watch out for the feds when in a Las Vegas pot shop. 

    All the bad mentioned have one thing in common, the absence of independence and the adoption of the collective ideals. The abandonment of the independent soveriegn individual’s right of personal choice. Whenever a law is passed that robs the individual of their right to make a personal choice–as long as it doesn’t harm another–then this is a loss of freedom. We have to get out of the mindset that independence is about defending our choices; but instead defending everyone’s choices. As long as those choices don’t cause physical injury to another person or damage property–even if you find those choices morally reprehensible–stand up for another’s right to make those decisions free from unreasonable federal consequences. That is independence. 

    Keep in mind that someone, somewhere will find a personal choice you make objectionable and might find it proper to try to strip you of that right. Don’t be like them, be better. Anyone who does so is in the wrong, even if it’s for the right. Dictating your personal morality on others by supporting prohibitions and “sin taxes” are the easy ways to force society to conform to your norms. Besides the fact such laws are not effective, they are also a violation of the principles of liberty. The principles of America. There are also enormous costs of fortune and freedom because of these actions. I’m no anarchist and not advocating the abolishment of all government, just shrinking it back to it’s proper manageable size and scope. Much of what has been granted as the duties of the government can and should be managed in a far superior manner by the states, which is why our Constitution specifically stipulated that it was the state’s duties. That way it’s far easier for tyrants be to managed and individualism protected. This is not anarchy, this is not madness, this is independence!

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

By R.C. Seely

“WARNING SIGNS OF UNSAFE OR LOW-VALUE CARE are detectable with existing data but often are overlooked,” charges Dr. Andrew M. Ibrahim. “Rather than duplicate and collect more data, health care leaders should renew their focus on better use of available data.” Sounds logical and makes perfect sense.

Ibrahim goes on to say, in his article for JAMA, that the laproscopic gastric band is one example of the necessity of more due diligence from the medical community in regards to safeguarding the public from faulty medical equipment.

“The advent, increase, and decrease of the laproscopic gastric band to treat morbid obesity … was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2001 and peaked in usuage in 2008. However, use of the device gradually declined as reports emerged describing complications and variable effectiveness [leading to the need to] … remove the device.” The FDA approved the device and the device failed, also makes sense. Under the FDA 100,000s of people die annually because of their guidelines keeping drug choices low. Dr. Ibrahim has more faith in the agency than I do.

“Before a class III medical device in the United States can be brought to market, it must undergo a series of premarket trials that are submitted by the FDA,” typically performed on a sample of sufferers of the condition being treated by “experienced clinicians.” But due to limited sample size and inefficient follow-up the trials results are somewhat unreliable. That is also true, most studies have extremely small samples making it difficult to properly gauge their merit as a measuring tool.

What’s the proposed solution? More post approval monitoring by the FDA. Increasing the awareness of the health care device manufacturers and hospital care givers of the monitoring system currently in place for medical devices, and encouraging faster reporting of malfunctions to the FDA. A congressional evaluation of the current system ended with concerns. Mostly tied to backlogs of data from so many reports coming in and not being addressed.

Another solution is increasing the number of medical devices with a “unique device identifier,” the before mentioned gastric band doesn’t have one. Obviously such a marker would make cataloguing complaints easier. “Legislation that would require all FDA approved devices to be trackable within data that are already collected could be a useful strategy to help ensure that … the warning signs of … widely adapted devices are not missed,” Ibrahim states. If Ibrahim is right, the news on solution number two is not great.

“The majority of medical devices used in practice today … cannot be identified within existing administrative data because they lack device specific … Current Procedural Terminology codes.” So the same agency that has such a horrible track record should be trusted with providing a situation to a problem they more than likely caused? Sorry doctor, but the FDA is not the right direction to turn for monitoring medical devices, they have difficult enough time with what they have to do now. Ready to explore free market alternatives yet?

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 of Victimizes Society is available on Amazon.

 

By R.C. Seely

RECENTLY COMEDIAN KATHY GRIFFIN MADE a serious faux pas with a pictorial depiction of herself holding the severed head of Donald Trump and she unleashed a massive amount of backlash for it. Surprisingly it has not only been ardent Trump supporters to voice their disapproval but those who despise Trump as well. Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton referred to the picture as “vile and wrong.” In a Twitter post she went on to say “It is never funny to joke about killing a president.”

    CNN Communications tweeted “CNN has terminated our agreement with Kathy Griffin to appear on our New Year’s Eve program.” And this is not the only job opportunity rescended to Griffin, the company that produces the Squatty Potty–a line of toilet footstools, if you were curious–has also dropped her. In part of his statement, chief executive Bobby Edwards declared, “It was deeply inappropriate and runs contrary to the core values our company stands for.”

    It’s not only her career that could be in jeopardy for this stunt that Griffin admitted, she “went too far.” This has attracted the attention of the presidential body guards, the Secret Service. Tweeting that “threats against @SecretService protectees receive the highest priority of all our investigations.” Would you mind telling where the actual “threat” is? Griffin never said she was going to commit the actual beheading of the president, the picture could be loosely interpretive to that, but even that’s a bit of a stretch. And a statement of the death of political leaders in effigy is part of this country, even before the country in fact. To rally support of independence dummies of England’s King were basically tortured and “killed.” An act like this is at least partially responsible for the founding of this nation. Apparently the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) doesn’t see it this way. VFW Commander Brian Duffy, argues that it “was not humourous nor should it be protected speech or expression.” Well, the first part I do agree but not the second. I’m not going to dispute how much of an “incredibly revolting attack on the President of the United States,” as Duffy puts it, that this picture represents. It’s his right to say that and I support and defend that right. This is what Griffin’s critics get wrong, that because “their guy” is being figuratively assaulted that amounts the same thing as an actual assault. Did you know that you can get 10 years in prison for threatening the President? For threatening him! A bit excessive for a statement I’d say. I get it, the death–especially a successful assassination–of the President would send the nation into turmoil but this still seems extreme. And no matter what, if an assassin is truly dedicated to “getting rid of the tyrant,” they will find a way. Many in the past have sent letters to their intended victims before hand, but generally it’s been multiple volumes, not a single ill-advised letter or picture.

    Much of the criticism was aimed at how grotesque and not humourous the image. This Griffin admitted in her apology on Instagram, “I’m a comic. I cross the line. I move the line, then I cross it. I went way too far. The image is too disturbing…. It wasn’t funny. I get it.” Thing is, it was never really supposed to be funny. It was a satrical piece that was intentionally provocative. That’s​ why she collaborated with photographer Sheilds who has made his mark in the world of art through similar pieces. His comments confirm this, “she [Griffin] said, ‘I’d love to do something political. I’d love to make a statement.” Congratulations, Kathy Griffin you did just that.

    With freedom of speech comes the acceptance that, at times there are consequences. Some are valid like losing a job, others not so much, like losing your freedom because of a strictly hypothetical “threat.” Griffin and possibly her co-conspirator, Sheilds may have to suffer both. The first is simply part of the free market at work, second is part of the authoritarian state flexing it’s muscle. No one who truly believes in the First Amendment should be applauding the possibility of Griffin facing incarceration. It’s Sheilds that puts it the best, “I love the idea we have freedom of speech. The fact that I’m allowed to make an image like this says a lot. To me, that’s a powerful thing … nobody’s killed me for this image.” And hopefully it never comes to that.

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

By R.C. Seely

WHY DO WE CELEBRATE MEMORIAL DAY? IS it more than simply a Monday holiday? Yes, actually and it’s a tradition that goes a long ways back. 

    Despite being an American holiday the traditions go further back–before America–or even before Christianity. One of the earliest known accounts of honoring the fallen soldier was in 431 B.C., when the Athenian General Pericles delivered a speech that marked the dead of the Pellonesian War. The ancient Greeks and Romans performed similiar observations for their fallen warriors; with festivals, feasts and adorning the markers. 

    Even in the US, those who died in battle were honored with unofficial days of rememberance. The first organizers were the recently freed slaves. The particapants sang hymns, distributed flowers on the graves, and performed readings, dedicated to the “Martyrs of the Race Course.”

    The founder of the holiday–originally called “Deorations Day”–was the commander-in-cheif of the Union, John A. Logan, who issued a decree on May 30, 1868 that a nationwide day of rememberance should be observed for the 620,000 dead of the Civil War. On this “Decoration Day” flowers were to be placed on the graves of the war dead, same as today. 

    It’s speculated that Logan got the idea from the women’s groups who were already adorning the stones of Confederate soldiers. Even with all this, it was not marked as an official holiday until 1971 and at this time period it was somewhat controversial of a move because of the antimosity of the Vietnam War.

    No matter how you may feel about the cause, or the politicians promises that they will stay out of a war or the lie of it being “the war to end war”, it’s important to show respect for those offer the greatest sacrifice–their very lives. They put themselves in harm’s way because they view it as what is right. They do it for honor and they do it for freedom. The war or police action, might not be right, but the solider is as long as he conducts himself to protect others and deserves our respect. If you want to learn more check out, history.com “8 Things You May Not Know About Memorial Day”.

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