and other minor questions…
By Walter E. Williams @ Townhall
Last month, I celebrated the beginning of my 81st year of life. For nearly half that time, I have been writing a nationally syndicated column on many topics generating reader responses that go from supportive to quite ugly. So I thought a column making my vision, values and views explicit might settle some of the controversy.
My initial premise, when looking at all human issues, is that each of us owns himself. I am my private property, and you are your private property. If you agree with that premise, then certain human actions are moral and others immoral. The reason murder is immoral is that it violates private property. Similarly, rape and theft are immoral, for they, too, violate private property. Most Americans will agree that murder and rape violate people’s property rights and are hence immoral. But there may not be so much agreement about theft. Let’s look at it.
Theft is when a person’s property is taken from him — through stealth, force, intimidation, threats or coercion — and given to another to whom it does not belong. If a person took your property — even to help another person who is in need — it would be called theft. Suppose three people agreed to that taking. Would it be deemed theft? What if 100,000 or several hundred million people agreed to do so? Would that be deemed theft? Another way to ask these questions is: Does a consensus establish morality?
Self-ownership can offer solutions to many seemingly moral/ethical dilemmas. One is the sale of human organs. There is a severe shortage of organs for transplantation. Most people in need of an organ die or become very ill while they await an organ donation. Many more organs would become available if there were a market for them. Through the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984, Congress has made organ sales illegal. Congress clearly has the power to prevent organ sales, but does it have a right? The answer to that question comes by asking: Who owns your organs? One test of ownership is whether you have the right to sell something. In the case of organs, if it is Congress that owns our organs, then we have no right to sell them. That would be stealing from Congress.
People have the right to take chances with their own lives. People do not have a right to take chances with the lives of others. That is why laws that mandate that cars have brakes are consistent with liberty and seat belt laws are not. You might say, “Aha, Williams, we’ve got you there because if you don’t wear a seat belt and you have an accident and turn into a vegetable, society is burdened with taking care of you!” That’s not a problem of liberty. It’s a problem of socialism. Nobody should be forced to take care of me for any reason. If government assumes the job of taking care of us, then Congress can control just about every aspect of our lives. When I was a rebellious teenager, my mother frequently told me, “As long as you’re living in my house and I’m paying the bills, you’re going to do as I say.” That kind of thinking is OK for children, but not for emancipated adults.
I have only touched the surface of ideas of self-ownership. The immorality associated with violation of the principle of self-ownership lies at the root of problems that could lead to our doom as a great nation. In fiscal 2015, total government spending — federal, state and local — was about $6.41 trillion. That’s about 36 percent of our gross domestic product. The federal government spent $3.69 trillion. At least two-thirds of that spending can be described as government’s taking the property of one American and giving it to another. That’s our moral tragedy: We’ve become a nation of people endeavoring to live at the expense of others — in a word, a nation of thieves.
COPYRIGHT 2016 CREATORS.COM
Just thought I’d bring a little light reading to your Saturday morning! – Guffaw
I was reviewing some old posts for inspiration, and a pioneer’s name leapt from the page. We all are familiar with John Browning, Jeff Cooper and company, but I also remember others, perhaps less lauded…
Mel was an early (1970’s) survivalist, who wrote of prepping and related matters. He, Jeff Cooper and others wrote of such things, when most folks were remembering their family’s bomb shelters of 10 years earlier, and pooh-poohing such concepts.
…He then wrote a monthly column on survival topics titled “Survival Notes” for Guns & Ammo magazine. Shortly before his death, he also wrote a few monthly columns as the Survival Editor for Soldier of Fortune magazine. Through these publications and his 1977 book Survival Guns – which as of 2010 is still in print after more than 32 years – he became an influential spokesman of the “armed-defense” wing of the Survivalist movement. The back cover of Survival Guns quotes Laura Cunningham of The New York Times as describing Tappan as “The Survivalist voice of reason.” (Wikipedia)
He passed way-too-young at age 47 of heart failure.
Other pioneers and geniuses came to mind.
Jim Cirillo was a noted firearms trainer and former member of the NYPD’s elite Stakeout Unit (often called the “Stakeout Squad”). He died on July 12, 2007 as a result of an automobile accident versus a semi tractor-trailer.
In his five years on the Stakeout Unit, from 1968-1973, he was involved in seventeen gunfights.
In more recent years, he was involved in firearms training for police and civilians, publishing books and videos on the subject through Paladin Press, and teaching classes at a number of private schools.
Cirillo also worked on bullet design, creating bullet noses designed to “dig into” a target rather than deflecting from them. (Wikibin)
I’m fond of quoting him when the subject of handgun bullet stopping power is raised. Jim said, “Stopping power begins at 12 gauge.” With is real-life experience, I’m inclined to believe him.
Bruce was a retired law enforcement officer, one of the top holster makers and leather craftsmen in the country. A renowned firearms and police officer survival instructor, Bruce was one of the founders of the International Practical Shooting Confederation and a well-know author, gun rights activist and community leader. (Tucsoncitizen.com)
Bruce had been a California narcotic’s officer who tired of the cheap leather crap being foisted upon him to use to carry his .45 automatic. He solved the problem by designing (and later selling) a holster of his own design christened the Summer Special. Later, he sold the design to Milt Sparks, who has been selling variants of the original design ever since. Many holster manufacturers have copied it.
Bruce was married to firearms-activist (and later NRA president) Sandra (Sandy) Froman, a pioneer in her own right.
Bruce, too, passed at age 47.
When I originally was forming the idea for this post, I was going to also include people of the leech variety – the names of Karl Marx (who never worked a job a day in his life, and sponged off co-author Friedrich Engels) and Bernie Sanders (whose first paying job was at age 40 – helping folks apply for public assistance) came to mind.
Then, I decided against it.
Doing so would sully the name of such individual rights pioneers
Hell, it’s MY blog…
(FTC – Mel, Jim and Bruce imparted wisdom to me. No money exchanged hands – except from me for holsters and magazines. Karl and Bernie? Not so much…)
No, not the birds and bees with your children, or the inane TV show.
(from the USCCA and Kevin Michalowski)
Sooner or later you will have to talk to your non-gun-owning friends about why you carry. You might be asked not to carry at someone’s house. Or you might be grilled on gun safety at your house when people come to visit. I can’t give you the exact words; they are your friends, not mine. But understand that…
SO…it’s NOT just about Safety.
It’s about rights, and protection, and so much more.
There have been a few places I’ve chosen to not carry, and not by government edict, either. It’s been about respect, perceived security, and sometimes plain ol’ convenience.
But sometimes having a civil Talk is just what seems appropriate.
Associate Supreme Court Justice Scalia has passed away.
Having said this (from The Wall Street Journal)…
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died Saturday at the age of 79, will be remembered as one of the court’s most influential, trenchant and controversial voices. Below are a few outtakes from some of the more influential and notable opinions from his storied, 30-year career on the court.
•D.C. v. Heller (2008) By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court struck down Washington, D.C.’s blanket ban on handguns, ruling for the first time that the Second Amendment confers a right to bear arms in one’s home. Justice Scalia wrote the majority opinion.
There are many reasons that a citizen may prefer a handgun for home defense: It is easier to store in a location that is readily accessible in an emergency; it cannot easily be redirected or wrestled away by an attacker; it is easier to use for those without the upper-body strength to lift and aim a long gun; it can be pointed at a burglar with one hand while the other hand dials the police. Whatever the reason, handguns are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home, and a complete prohibition of their use is invalid.
• Kyllo v. U.S. (2001) The court ruled that the government couldn’t use thermal imaging technology to detect a suspected marijuana-growing operation without a warrant. Justice Scalia wrote that the use of sense-enhancing technology not in public use to gain information within the home constituted a search under the Fourth Amendment.
We have said that the Fourth Amendment draws “a firm line at the entrance to the house…That line, we think, must be not only firm but also bright which requires clear specification of those methods of surveillance that require a warrant. While it is certainly possible to conclude from the videotape of the thermal imaging that occurred in this case that no “significant” compromise of the homeowner’s privacy has occurred, we must take the long view, from the original meaning of the Fourth Amendment forward.
• Printz v. U.S. (1997) The court held, 5-4, that a federal law requiring local law enforcement to conduct background checks on gun purchases was unconstitutional. Justice Scalia wrote that the federal government may not compel the states to enact or administer federal programs.
Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the States’ officers directly. The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policymaking is involved, and no case by case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty.
• Vernonia School District v. Acton (1995) The court ruled 6-3 that public schools could randomly drug test student athletes. Justice Scalia wrote that the privacy interests compromised by giving urine samples under the district’s policy were negligible.
Just as when the government conducts a search in its capacity as employer (a warrantless search of an absent employee’s desk to obtain an urgently needed file, for example), the relevant question is whether that intrusion upon privacy is one that a reasonable employer might engage in, see O’Connor v. Ortega, 480 U. S. 709 (1987); so also when the government acts as guardian and tutor the relevant question is whether the search is one that a reasonable guardian and tutor might undertake. Given the findings of need made by the District Court, we conclude that in the present case it is.
• RAV v. City of St. Paul (1992) Justice Scalia wrote the majority opinion in which the court struck down St. Paul, Minn.’s crime banning “hate-crime,” for violating the First Amendment’s free-speech guarantee.In so doing, the court tossed aside charges against a group of teenagers that burned a cross in the yard of an African-American family.
The dispositive question in this case, therefore, is whether content discrimination is reasonably necessary to achieve St. Paul’s [p396] compelling interests; it plainly is not. An ordinance not limited to the favored topics, for example, would have precisely the same beneficial effect. In fact, the only interest distinctively served by the content limitation is that of displaying the city council’s special hostility towards the particular biases thus singled out. [n8] That is precisely what the First Amendment forbids. The politicians of St. Paul are entitled to express that hostility — but not through the means of imposing unique limitations upon speakers who (however benightedly) disagree.
* * * *
Let there be no mistake about our belief that burning a cross in someone’s front yard is reprehensible. But St. Paul has sufficient means at its disposal to prevent such behavior without adding the First Amendment to the fire.
The Internet is rife with both praise and derision for this Justice. I shan’t post the hateful texts here. There is Great Fear amongst the conservative and libertarian elements of society that without his swing vote, and Constitutionally-measured opinions, that ‘we’ (civil libertarians, gun owners/carriers, and American Society at large) are doomed. Doomed to the progressive, post-Constitution era of further governmental intrusion on rights, and final loss of the America in which we were raised.
His body wasn’t even cold, when The President announced he would find a suitable replacement, and (some) Republicans suggested The Senate block ANY appointment for the next eleven months (until the next President could be sworn in)!
In other words, politics as usual.
God Save The United States Of America (while I’m still allowed to post this!)
I’ve posted numerous times in this blog regarding governmental malfeasance, lying, fraud and other misconduct.
Usually titled ‘I’m Shocked’, coupled with a photo of Claude Raines (as Captain Renault in the film Casablanca). Youngsters, ask your parents – or watch a classic movie once-in-a-while!
Now, we come to THIS report (from Jeffrey in The Feral Irishman):
So the IRS funneled a kickback to a law firm that backed democratic candidates. Microsoft and Congress demanded an investigation and the courts told the IRS to preserve all relevant information. The IRS turns around and deliberately erases a hard drive central to the court ordered data protection. Will anyone see jail time? Will anyone be fired? Will anyone be fined? What’s the penalty for government bureaucrats when they break the law?Another fine example of “one law for THEE and another law for ME”. Read the story HERE.A big Hat/Tip to Alan in Cullman!
Government corruption has become rampant:
- Senior SEC employees spent up to 8 hours a day surfing porn sites instead of cracking down on financial crimes
- Nuclear Regulatory Commission workers watch porn instead of cracking down on unsafe conditions at nuclear plants
- An EPA employee who downloaded 7,000 porn files, then spent 2-6 hours each workday watching porn. He’s been doing it for years … but the EPA never fired him. Another EPA employee harassed 16 women co-workers … and then was promoted to a higher-paying job with more responsibility, where he harassed more women.
- NSA spies pass around homemade sexual videos and pictures they’ve collected from spying on the American people
- NSA employees have also been caught using their mass surveillance powers to spy on love interests, such as girlfriends, obsessions or former wives … and to eavesdrop on American soldiers’ intimate conversations with their wives back home. And see this(“routinely shared salacious or tantalizing phone calls that had been intercepted” … “‘Hey, check this out … there’s good phone sex’”)
More @ Zero Hedge
There was a time many of us (well I) trusted ‘the authorities’ to generally do that which was ‘right’. Sure, mistakes were made, but people took oaths and policies were in place, yatta…yatta…yatta.
Not so much, anymore.
“Absolute power corrupts absolutely” – Lord Acton
A day set aside to remember those who fought in service to this country. many of whom still remain with us, many still fighting demons, bureaucracies and political enemies. And those who are not.
The Living Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Seamen and Marines. Some remaining in service; some who left it, but all who have not forsworn their oaths.
As we take time to remember those who have passed in service on Memorial Day, please take a moment today to remember The Living.
Call, visit, and if possible shake the hands of those with us, and say, “Thank you for your service!”
Rob, Lonnie, Glenn, Glenn, Mark, John, Stan, Jim, Jodie, Ardith, John, and Gloria.
“People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” – George Orwell
♫…nowhere to hide…♫
Who posed (in part) this idea…
To me, the US – and most of the supposedly free West – increasingly looks like a truck being systematically filled with Semtex.
But it’s easy to counter cries of alarm with the fact that the truck is stable – because it’s true: you can hurl more boxes into the back without any real danger. Absent the right detonator, it is no more dangerous than a truckload of mayonnaise.
But add the right detonator and you’re just one click away from complete devastation.
We can see how fragile the U.S. is now by considering just four tendencies.
The Four Tendencies
There used to be a time (in my mind, anyway) that this constitutional republic strove to be the best. The best physically, academically, militarily. The best as a shining example to the rest of the World of individual liberty, rights and responsibilities.
A truly Norman Rockwell Nation.
We fed the rest of the World. EVERYONE relied on AND TRUSTED, the Dollar! People didn’t ‘just take a pill’ for every perceived ailment. And, while differing dogmatically, we strove to treat others as we ourselves wished to be treated.
The times, they are a changin’.
…or, rather, a dis-member!
(from Joel, in part)
In a year when Donald Trump is the GOP frontrunner, you have to dig deep to find political news that’s considered weird. But leave it to the intrepid Libertarians to fill that void…
Adrian Wyllie, chairman of Florida’s Libertarian Party, resigned his post Thursday to protest the party’s U.S. Senate candidate, accusing the rival of supporting eugenics and for being expelled from a cult group for “sadistically dismembering a goat in a ritualistic sacrifice.”
The dispute between the two has brewed for months, but finally came to a head after Wyllie was unable to persuade the Libertarian Party of Florida’s executive committee to publicly disavow Invictus, an adopted name that means something like “Invincible Sun Emperor.”
In other news, spokesmyn(sp) for the National Libertarian Party say they simply don’t understand why nobody takes Libertarians seriously.
And people ask me why I’ve never joined (aka filled-out-forms and sent money to) the National Libertarian Party?
For whom have I voted? My standard answer is, “The Australian Secret Ballot is one of our most cherished possessions!”
And I’m certain even MORE ridiculousness is evident in the skeleton closets of the two major parties!
Full disclosure – I have stumped for some of their candidates (especially back in the 70’s), but I have never dismembered a goat (even to make tacos)!
Long time readers of my drivel know that one of my go-to sources for life hacks is The Art of Manliness.
When it comes to stuff my father didn’t teach me (because he didn’t make the time, or didn’t know – he wasn’t malicious in his errors) TAoM covers many of the bases.
Everything from how to shave to how to escape quicksand (and more) are covered!
Sometimes, the subject matter in basic, i.e. how to balance a checkbook. Other times it’s more philosophical…
Surely a delicate and difficult issue for most of us.
There are people in my own history whom I have offended, and to whom I’ve made amends. Some have returned as friends, others have not.
The important thing is to not remain in toxic relationships, lest they damage your own psyche!