On Civil Liberties

I think that I finally have the concept of “civil liberties” (and thus, “civil rights”) figured out. So long as the state has coercively prohibited a peaceful activity for every race, gender, sexual orientation, and religious belief equally, then civil liberties have not been violated. However, as soon as the law makes something illegal for one group and not another, the hue and cry from those who believe in civil liberties will be heard far and wide. As examples: prohibiting the consumption of marijuana = not a violation of civil liberties; prohibiting the consumption of water by blacks from a whites-only water fountain = a major violation of civil liberties. And there you have it, so long as the liberty in question is violated equally, it cannot be said to be violated at all, or so the story goes. (SMH.) And that’s today two cents.

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On Qualified Immunity

Of all the things I’m pessimistic on, the abolition of the doctrine of qualified immunity is probably at the top. I do not expect to see any significant progress made on abolishing this horrible statist practice in my lifetime, or the lifetimes of my children. I’m more optimistic on the police becoming obsolete in some way and simply disappearing in any form requiring qualified immunity. Qualified immunity is protected by police unions, and police unions are protected by their willingness and ability to cause major disruptions in society. If we think social justice rioters are bad, imagine organized police union protests in the name of protecting qualified immunity. Talk about a civil war. And that’s today’s two cents.

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On Police Brutality IV

George Floyd did not find himself with a knee on his neck for almost 9 minutes because Derek Chauvin is a racist. No, he found himself being killed because Derek Chauvin, and his many cohorts, are authoritarians. A racist without (pseudo) authority is just an asshole. A racist with it is a paranoid, ill-trained, unfeeling killer. The worst part about the current prostests is the nearly total lack of understanding on why Derek Chauvin was anywhere near George Floyd, a person at the time not engaged in violence against anyone. Derek Chauvin may be a racist, but he’s definitely a True Believer in the civil religion of statism, and was obviously willing to kill for it. That sort of dangerous fundamentalism should not be tolerated by society writ large, but alas, it is. Too bad, and that’s today’s two cents.

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On Parenting

An insight I had recently is on who we are raising as parents. We are not raising children, rather, we are raising adults. Childhood is a very small part of life for us. It only constitutes the first 15 years, or so. The importance of this insight, that we are raising adults, is a reminder that how we engage with our children and the behavior we model will determine the type of adults that they will be. I am not an authoritarian parent. I try hard to always be the type of parent who treats my children with respect. This entails, among other things, trying to understand the causes of any behavior incompatible with my preferences, clearly communicating (on their level) and negotiating with my children when our preferences are in conflict, and ensuring their safety as they satisfy their curiosity about the many marvelous things around them. Will this create adults who respect others, have empathy, negotiate for mutual benefit, and are always curious and learning new things throughout their life? I absolutely believe it will, and that’s today’s two cents.

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On Police Brutality III

It’s difficult to emphathize with a protest against racism if empathy, at it’s core, is projection. To my knowledge, I have never been the victim of racism, nor have I ever victimized another on the basis racism. I do not believe that I have a racist bone in my body, but I have been, according to my perception, brutalized. No, not by the police, but certainly by authority figures, and mostly from early in life. Plus, I loathe authoritarianism. A protest against police brutality I can get behind and support and empathize with, but it’s driving me crazy that the narrative surrounding the current episodes of protests are focusing on racism, and not the authoritarianism inherent in monopolistic policing practices. Minneapolis City Council is pledging to dismantle their police department. Let’s hope this reduces the disgusting and shameful authoritarian impulse and spreads around the country. And that’s today two cents.

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On Riotous Looting

One of the many foundational reasons for the strong possibility of police brutality is the fact that people have either willingly or under coercion outsourced their own security to a group of people who claim not to have any duty to provide it. In actuality, security is the prerogative of each and every individual, not some legal mafia who are more interested in enforcing their prohibitions over peaceful and nonviolent activities in order to fill their bank accounts. The sooner society realizes this, the sooner it will do something to curtail, among other things, the possibility of riotous looting as a result of police brutality. And that’s today’s two cents.

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