Worse Than Sexual Predators

It seems that every day there’s yet another sexual predator exposed. Good. They need to be exposed and stopped.

The problem is, there’s an even worse kind of predator; a type which doesn’t have to be exposed because so few people recognize what they do as predation that it isn’t hidden. It is carried out in the open, and many people even admire them for it.

Few see it as wrong. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t wrong.

Once upon a time, few people saw slavery as wrong. But it was.

These predators of whom I speak are those who use politics “legally”. All of them. They are political predators and they are molesting you and your loved ones right this minute.

Political predators are bad guys who need to be exposed– by having the veil of legitimacy stripped from them– and they need to be stopped.

The thing with sexual predators is that sex itself isn’t inherently wrong. It can be consensual and mutually voluntary. Sexual predators are bad because they skip the consent and use the political means against their victims. Just like other political predators do.

Politics can never be truly consensual and mutually voluntary. Otherwise, politics wouldn’t be necessary. You could simply agree to a relationship. Politics is never like this. Politics is non-sexual (usually) rape. Politics is slavery. Politics is theft. Politics is the realm of the predator, exclusively. Good people use the economic means when dealing with others; bad people use the political means. Anyone who uses the political means is a political predator.

Yes, this means muggers, thieves, rapists, murderers, kidnappers, and all those people are, at the foundation, political predators. But so are people who aren’t considered necessarily bad guys by the public at large. They are the “legal” political predators.

Police are political predators.
Politicians are political predators.
Bureaucrats who work in government are political predators.

Do you want these people around your kids? Or yourself? I sure don’t.

Stop giving political predators a pass they don’t deserve.

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None Obligated to Obey Bad Laws

While I appreciate when governments express support for natural human rights, I wonder if they really understand the rights they claim to support.

Roosevelt County was recently declared a “Second Amendment Sanctuary” by the county commission. How serious are they?

Are they only concerned with additional violations of the Second Amendment by the state? What about enforcement of all the violations on the books beginning in 1934 with the National Firearms Act?

Do they understand the only purpose of the Second Amendment was to make it a crime to pass or enforce any laws against weapons?

Do they understand that the Second Amendment recognizes and protects the right to own and to carry weapons however you see fit, everywhere you go, without asking permission?

Do they understand this right existed before the first government was established and will still exist unchanged long after the last government has been forgotten?

These are rhetorical questions because I know the answers. I also realize they call the resolution “not legally binding;” a symbolic nothing.

I wonder how seriously anyone would have taken politicians in the 1850s had they “symbolically” declared their region to be a sanctuary for escaped slaves, yet continued to allow slavery in their communities, and allowed slave catchers to brutally capture and return runaways to the individuals who claimed them as property.

You aren’t a Second Amendment Sanctuary if you allow even the slightest anti-gun “law” to be enforced on your watch.

To posture over additional infringements if they are “unnecessary, duplicate, and possibly unconstitutional” is to miss the point of the Second Amendment. To try to weasel out of responsibility, claiming you “cannot determine the constitutionality of a law” is dishonest.

As pointed out in a previous column, the Supreme Court stole the power to be the final arbiter of constitutionality — this power was not theirs to claim. Constitutionality is yours to judge. Would you wait to see if the Supreme Court says the Constitution permits the federal government to murder a peaceable neighbor over the church he attends before you know it’s unconstitutional?

The federal government will never allow unconstitutionality to stand in the way of established rules and bureaucracies.

No one needs to fight unconstitutional “laws” since even the Supreme Court has ruled that a law that violates the Constitution isn’t a law at all, and no one is obligated to obey. All who enforce such non-laws are criminals.

Don’t stop at symbolism. Respect human rights; all of them, completely without reservation or hesitation. It’s the right thing to do.

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Liberty is Not An “Ideology”

I saw a headline recently, which read in part, “Ideologies clash…”

It turns out one side simply wants to exercise liberty (open a brewery), while the opponents want to violate the first side’s liberty for “reasons”. The reasons include religion, fear of negative consequences of letting people control their own lives, and prohibitionism.

One side is an ideology, the other isn’t.

Liberty isn’t an ideology. It is the acceptance of the reality of self-ownership. From this acceptance flows certain principles. It doesn’t matter to the existence of liberty whether people accept it or not– it just is, to be respected or violated.

Yes, there will be consequences for exercising liberty. Everything has consequences. But slavery’s consequences are worse than liberty’s. And you’re the bad guy when you choose slavery over liberty, no matter what “reasons” you come up with.

This is why governing others is never a valid form of interpersonal interaction. It allows people to violate the liberty of others too easily, and without the risk which should come along with such anti-social behavior.

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Mandatory National Service: “Strengthening American Democracy” by Ignoring Americans’ Rights

On January 23,  the US National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service released its “interim report”  following up with hearings for public comment in February.

The Commission’s motto, or at least the sentiment expressed in large font at the top of its web site, is “Strengthening American Democracy Through Service.” But the report itself bespeaks a working definition of “American democracy” completely at odds with both long-held American standards of freedom and basic rule of law.

The commission reports that it is “considering ways to implement universal service, such as …. Establish[ing] a norm for every American to devote at least a full year to either military, national, or public service; and Requir[ing] all Americans to serve, with a choice in how to satisfy the requirement.”

As a matter of law, that last suggestion was — or at least SHOULD have been — settled in 1865 with the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

As a matter of the values for which Americans rose up and fought their revolution, they are clearly laid out in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness …”

Put differently — and this is a universal, not merely American, moral claim — your life belongs to you, not to the state.

The state has no legitimate power to take your life, or any portion of it, from you, nor any legitimate power to force you to serve its goals rather than seeking after your own happiness.

“Mandatory national service” is slavery, full stop. It’s a moral abomination with no conceivable justification in anything resembling a free society, and under the US Constitution in particular it is clearly and unambiguously illegal.

And yes, that includes the military draft, contrary to the sophistry of the US Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Edward Douglass White, Jr. in 1918’s Arver v. US ruling upholding that institution in World War One.

If anything, a military draft is even more repugnant than non-military “mandatory national service” insofar as it goes beyond deprivation of liberty and pursuit of happiness and, as a matter of policy, places the draftee’s very life in danger.

The full brief of any legitimate National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service, properly understood as a matter of both morality and law, would be to  recommend that Congress abolish the Selective Service System and its mandatory draft registration scheme.

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Trade Peer Pressure for Past Pressure

“Tradition means giving a vote to most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. . . Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.” – G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Peer pressure is shockingly sneaky. Despite all the warnings against it, I’ve ended up falling into many of the lifestyle choices (high-consumption, etc) of people around me – even while being able to break the mold of peer pressure in other ways (skipping college, etc).

I want to try to live my own life, as fully as possible without the (unconscious) rule of following the masses. Maybe that’s possible for me. Maybe I’ll fail. But I have discovered at least one way of thinking about peer pressure that’s helping me on my way:

Even if it is impossible to break free of the sway of others, why settle for such a poor pack of peers?

There’s no particular reason I have to let the pressure of my 21st century late millennial, city-dwelling, and social-media driven peers be my only guiding light and influence.

I’m looking a little further back – and biographies have been helping to change my perspective on who my peers can be.

With the great “cloud of witnesses” of those long-dead I can pick and choose a much better cross-section of peers to pressure me.

I can look to people like Cato to learn how to resist corruption and face death bravely.

I can look to people like Frederick Douglass, who stood up to claim his manhood and freedom from slavery.

I can look to Richard Winters (of the 101st Airborne, Band of Brothers fame) to learn how to lead people well.

I can look to Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin and other Americans of the Enlightenment era for inspiration on becoming a learned and accomplished man.

I can look to Dietrich Bonhoeffer or Sophie Scholl or Pino Lella to learn how to act from faith and justice against a system of darkness.

Spend enough time around the good and dead people of the past and you will grow in their direction – just like you might grow in the direction of your millennial peers. Our brains don’t seem to mind treating the dead recorded as if they were living. Several hours listening to an audiobook about Benjamin Franklin might have much the same effect of spending time with the man himself, and being influenced by him.

Listen to the words of wise, good men and women. Read their biographies. Imitate them – play-acting if you must. This past pressure is a far better and far more productive kind of peer pressure.

Originally published at JamesWalpole.com.

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Cooperation is Libertarian

One thing I find very interesting, and a little frustrating, is how often people will try to put words in my mouth.

I guess it’s a facet of the straw man tactic.

Recently someone kept trying to say that I was against cooperation; that cooperation is against libertarian principles, so I have to be against it. Even after I explicitly said several times that I think cooperation is a great thing, and I’m completely in favor of it.

Libertarianism rejects cooperation? I’ve never made such a silly claim, nor have I ever seen anyone who understands liberty make a claim like that. It’s completely absurd.

But, because I’m opposed to stealing money to fund government or government “borders”, I must be against cooperation.

And if I am in favor of cooperation, then I must obviously see the “value” of theft and coercion in the name of government.

Yeah, I don’t get that connection either.

Government is the opposite of cooperation. If people willingly cooperate (and there’s really no such thing as non-willing cooperation) there is no need to rob them or to coerce them to do what you believe should be done. That’s not cooperation, that’s slavery.

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