This Week In Hypocrisy 3/6 – 3/12/17

The Telegraph – Student Union Bans Conservative Society From Speaking Out – Because They Challenged Its Position On Free Speech

Lincoln University’s Conservative Society has been censored by its student union after it posted an image online showing that the university had been ranked “very intolerant” on free speech in a recent survey.

In response, the Students’ Union swiftly suspended the society’s social media accounts, on the grounds that highlighting the university’s ranking had brought it into disrepute.

If you think we’re intolerant now, just wait to see how intolerant we get when you point out our intolerance!

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The Guardian – Jeff Sessions Urges Prosecutors to Target Drugs in Push Against Violent Crime

The attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is advising the federal prosecutors under his authority across the US to re-intensify the nation’s drug war as part of a Department of Justice initiative to target violent crime. Citing a 10.8% increase in the number of murders nationwide, and a decline in federal prosecution for violent crime, Sessions has issued a memo advising US attorneys “to employ the full complement of federal laws to address the problem of violent crime in your district”, including the use of prosecutions under the Controlled Substances Act.

Government at its finest.  Violent crime is a problem, so in order to combat it they’re focusing on non-violent drug offenders!?  A bigger crackdown on drugs will only lead to higher drug prices, which will lead to higher profits for drug dealers.  This inevitably leads to more violent people getting into the drug trade in search of massive, quick profits.  Couldn’t we just focus on prosecuting the individuals who are actually committing violent crimes?

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The Blaze – Democrat Who Blasted Betsy DeVos Over School Vouchers is a Big Fan of School Choice For His Own Kids

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) was one of Education Secretary  Betsy DeVos’ biggest critics during her confirmation hearing. One major point of contention Franken had with DeVos was her support for a voucher system for middle-class families. This, in part, led him to claim that DeVos was “fundamentally unqualified to lead the Education Department.”

and

However, information has surfaced that shows Franken isn’t opposed to school choice at all — at least not when it comes to his own family. According to the Daily Caller, Franken sends his own children to one of the most prestigious schools in New York, where tuition is more than the yearly salary of those Franken claims he’s looking out for.

I’ve got no problem with Franken sending his kids to a prestigious school, no matter the cost.  It’s his money after all.  But to blast someone who advocates for a path to get kids out of the failing, and often times dangerous, public school system while at the same time refusing to send his own kids there, is abhorrent.

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The Daily Caller – Pelosi on Obamacare Replacement:  We Have To Find Out What’s In It Before We Pass It

The American people and Members have a right to know the full impact of this legislation before any vote in Committee or by the whole House.

That was Pelosi last week.  Of course we all know what she said in 2010 about Obamacare:  “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.” Amazing how much difference that little “R” or “D” next to someone’s name makes.

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Inside Higher Ed – U of California, Berkeley, to Delete Publicly Available Educational Content

Today, the content is available to the public on YouTube, iTunes U and the university’s webcast.berkeley site. On March 15, the university will begin removing the more than 20,000 audio and video files from those platforms — a process that will take three to five months — and require users sign in with University of California credentials to view or listen to them.

 

The Justice Department, following an investigation, in August determined that the university was violating the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. The department reached that conclusion after receiving complaints from two employees of Gallaudet University, saying Berkeley’s free online educational content was inaccessible to blind and deaf people because of a lack of captions, screen reader compatibility and other issues.

 

“In many cases the requirements proposed by the department would require the university to implement extremely expensive measures to continue to make these resources available to the public for free,” Koshland wrote in a Sept. 20 statement. “We believe that in a time of substantial budget deficits and shrinking state financial support, our first obligation is to use our limited resources to support our enrolled students. Therefore, we must strongly consider the unenviable option of whether to remove content from public access.”

Now the university has settled on that option.

I truly wish for a world where everyone has equal access to everything.  But today we live in a world of limited resources.  It’s unbelievable to me that Berkeley was providing this free service but because they don’t have the extra money and time to subtitle thousands of video and audio files, they have to deny everyone free access to it.  So now blind and deaf people still don’t have access to the content, but neither does anyone else.  Are we really better off?

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This Week In Hypocrisy comes out every week from Mike.  You can get it in your inbox, along with all his blog posts by signing up here.  It’s free and we don’t spam or give or trade your email address.  Or you can view his blog levelheadedlibertarian.com.

Libertarians Are Losing The Transgender School Bathroom Debate

Last year, President Obama’s administration issued guidance to public schools that said they must allow students to use the bathroom with the gender they identify with, regardless of their actual sex.

This year, the Trump administration reversed that order.  Now states and localities will be deciding what their transgender bathroom policies will be.

For libertarians, this is a complicated issue.  One the one hand, if there is to be a government, we’d like it to be as decentralized as possible.  So there’s definitely an argument in favor of state’s rights.  However, this particular issue deals with public property.  Since it’s public property, partially funded with federal dollars and overseen by a federal department, there’s an argument that the federal government has a duty to accommodate the needs of transgender students.

What should be the libertarian solution?  To paraphrase an old saying, “If you ask two libertarians their opinion on something, you’ll get three answers!” That quote couldn’t be more appropriate here.  Libertarians may argue over what the public school transgender bathroom policy should be, but we ultimately agree that the real solution is to privatize all schools and let the owners and customers decide.

Instead of each state or district or the entire country having a one-size-fits all policy, any school could have their own policy since they’d be privately owned.  That way no matter where you live, you’ll have options to choose from.  Just like we have many choices in grocery stores, we should have just as many options in education.

Why We’re Losing

In the sales world there’s an effective selling technique known as the Alternative Choice Close.  The idea is that you present your prospect with two choices, both of which end in them buying your product.  If you’ve ever bought a car at a dealership you’ve seen this technique in action.  When the salesperson is giving you an offer on a car, they’ll give you several different payment options and ask “Which option would you prefer?”  This technique increases the chances of a sale compared to asking the prospect a “Yes/No” question.  One where “No” is an easy option.  I.e. “Would you like to buy it at these terms?”

Or to relate it to the dating world, if you want to ask a girl out on a date it’s much more effective to say “Where would you like me to take you: Applebee’s or Chili’s?” Instead of “Do you want to go on date with me?”

On the public school bathroom issue, and many other issues, libertarians are being had by slick salesmanship from those in charge of the government.  Government presents us with a conservative and liberal choice on an issue, and we feel the need to pick the least bad side.  No matter what choice we get sold on, we’re buying a government solution.  The people in power don’t care what side ultimately wins out.  So long as they keep their control over the topic in question.  Same with the car salespeople.  They don’t care which payment you choose, just so long as you pick a payment and they get the sale!

On this issue in particular, too many libertarians are choosing to side with either the right or the left.  Perhaps some libertarians have bought into the fear-mongering involving transgender people.  Perhaps some libertarians are trying to curry favor with one side of the isle in the hopes of being seen as tolerant.  Perhaps some libertarians are just tired of being left out of the debate and want to feel like they’re being heard, even at the cost of choosing a lesser evil.  Whatever the excuse, by siding with the left or right, we’re dooming our ideology to a life of existing just outside of the Overton Window.

Unapologetic, Consistent Freedom

The two greatest salespeople for libertarianism in the last 100 years were Ron Paul and Ayn Rand.  No two people were responsible for more converts to our ideology in that span.  In spite of their extreme differences in how they lived their lives, they had one important thing in common.  They were unapologetic and consistent in their defense of human freedom.  Even when it took them to unpopular places.  Or in the case of Dr. Paul, even when it caused him to wallow in obscurity for decades before people started taking him seriously.  Ron Paul is a perfect example of the concept that it usually takes years of hard work to become an overnight success!

When it comes to the ongoing battle over transgender bathrooms and public schools, we can’t fall victim to the false narrative that it has to be one or the other.  Yes, I realize that eliminating public schools isn’t an option any time soon.  It may not be an option ever, at least politically.  Technology will most likely make public schools obsolete way before government gives up their control of education.

So why not pick a side if our solution isn’t even an option, you ask?  I see two big reason why we should stick to our seemingly hopeless guns.

First, this is how we win converts.  If we’re seen as nothing more than a centrist movement, where we take a little bit from the left and a little bit from the right, we’re not going to inspire anyone.  If we have no clear ideology on issues, or if we’re seen as being easy to throw away our ideology in order to settle for the lesser evil, we’ll always be thought of as the nerdy kid trying desperately to get into the cool kid party.

Second, we’re not going to sway the people in charge anyway!  Seriously, could you imagine a scenario where the government is deadlocked on an issue, so they come to the libertarians to make the call?  The idea is laughable!

This tyranny train is roaring full steam ahead with or without us.  Since we seem to be the only group of people on this train that can see we’re heading off a cliff, it’s our duty to ourselves and our fellow humans to do our best to point out the truth and offer the only moral solution.  Instead of advocating the conservative or liberal “solution”, we need to present the libertarian solution.  The fact that the libertarian solution isn’t even on the table for discussion isn’t an excuse to settle for the lesser evil.  In fact, that’s all the more reason to be presenting our solution far and wide, if only to move the Overton Window toward libertarian ideas.  In this case, unapologetic privatization of everything to do with education.

Originally published on Mike’s website here.  Check out his blog levelheadedlibertarian.com for more!

You may also like Government is Turning College into High School by Mike Tront

Libertarian Gun Control: Could It Happen?

As a libertarian, there’s few things I hate more than the government trying to limit our access to guns.  The Second Amendment is perhaps the most important, and effective, check on government power written into the Constitution.  Every government that has orchestrated a mass genocide against its own people banned those people from owning guns first.  I firmly believe that without the huge number of guns in private hands in America, the military would have been turned against us at some point.  With that being said, I’d like to explore the possibility of various forms of gun control that could happen in a libertarian society.

Before I get a bunch of knee-jerk hate mail, let me be clear about something.  I don’t support ANY form of government gun control.  No government has a right to pick and choose who can and can’t own guns.  What I’m interested in exploring is if we were living in a society with little or no government at all, would the free market make it harder for some people to own guns or carry guns in public?

I say yes.  In a free market, there will still be forms of gun control.

Private Property Gun Control

The easiest type of gun control to imagine is the type that you personally institute on your own property.  If you invite people on your property, you have every right to say that they aren’t allowed to carry guns.  If they don’t like it, they don’t have to associate with you.  This goes for businesses as well.  If a business doesn’t want armed customers, they can take measures to refuse entrance to anyone who is armed.  Just because we have a right to own guns, doesn’t mean we have a right to carry them onto someone else’s property without their permission.

We can argue all day long about whether a business or person is making their property less safe with this policy, but the fact remains that they have every right to do it and some people will exercise this right.

Neighborhood Association Gun Control

Some people really don’t like guns.  They truly believe that the less guns they’re around, the safer they’ll be.  With that in mind, I don’t see why they couldn’t live in their own little gun-free communities.  This goes back to private property rights.  If someone builds an apartment building, they get to choose the rules and regulations of the property.  They can make it pet-free if they like.  They can make it a retirement community so only senior citizens can move in.  And if they choose, they can make it a gun-free community.  People who rent or buy their units would have to agree to the rules and regulations of the community.  If they don’t like the rules, they don’t have to live there.

Since we know there are millions of people in America today that are vehemently anti-gun, we can imagine that at least some of them will establish and live in gun-free communities.

I would argue that having a gun-free community would be about as “safe” as government mandated gun-free zones are today, but I have no right to make them change the rules of their property.

Gun Sales and Liability

So far, nothing I’ve talked about is really controversial or groundbreaking.  I’m sure even the most ardent 2nd Amendment lover can concede that other people have private property rights.  But this section of the piece will ruffle some feathers.

Absent of government gun control laws, I think people could potentially have some liability if they give or sell guns to someone who uses them to harm innocent people.  This potential liability would lead to gun dealers denying service to many potential gun buyers, unless they can show that they are responsible individuals.  Thus reducing or eliminating the dealer’s potential liability.

The first scenario in which someone could get denied service by a seller is an easy one.  If someone comes to a gun shop to purchase a gun, and he talks about his desire to use it to shoot innocent people, and he is sold a gun, the seller could easily have some liability.  By supplying someone with a deadly weapon, while having the knowledge that he will use it to commit harm to innocent people, the seller is now an accomplice.

If someone verbally states his intent to cause harm to innocent people, I can’t imagine too many sellers today or in a libertarian future that would sell him a weapon.  But what if someone shows non-verbal signals that they may be dangerous to innocent people?  Could the seller have liability if this clearly unstable person is sold a gun and commits a crime against innocent people with it?

Take this as an example.  Imagine someone comes into a gun shop and buys a gun.  But something just doesn’t seem right about him.  He’s muttering to himself.  He seems nervous and agitated.  He doesn’t seem to possess much knowledge about guns.  He’s asking strange questions about the neighborhood clearly signifying he has little or no knowledge of the area.  This person clearly seems like someone that any reasonable person would hesitate giving a gun to.  But he never verbally states his intent to do harm to innocent people.

If that man then goes out and does something horrible with his newly purchased gun, would the seller have any liability?  Hell yeah they could.  If there were witnesses to this gun sale that can testify that the buyer was clearly deranged, and potentially dangerous, and that any reasonable person should have been able to recognize it, then the seller could easily be sued by the victims for negligence.  This fear of liability could limit the people that gun dealers decide to do business with.

It may even get to a point where after every innocent person gets shot with a newly purchased firearm, a law suit could be coming just to investigate any possibility of negligence on the part of the seller.  Most of these will probably be thrown out, and the seller would probably have insurance to defend him, but the nuisance alone will give sellers pause to do business with everyone that walks in the door.

Insurance And Background Checks

After a few successful negligence law suits, insurance companies are going to have to change how they insure gun dealers.  My guess is that insurance companies will refuse to insure any gun dealer unless the dealer agrees to only sell guns to buyers who have passed some sort of independent background check and training course.  This way if a gun buyer does harm to an innocent person, any lawsuit against the gun dealer would be stopped in its tracks once the seller shows that they did their due diligence before selling him a deadly weapon.

So will the gun shop have their own training course and background check?  Probably not.  In fact, there’d be so many independent, competing companies certifying gun owners that the shop wouldn’t have to.  What I can see happening is everyone that wants to own guns and especially anyone that desires to carry guns at their workplace, or at the mall, or at entertainment venues, or anywhere in public, would get themselves certified.

They’d go to a trusted, widely accepted certification company and request their Seal of Approval.  The company would probably have some basic test to see if the applicant understands when it’s acceptable to brandish or use a fire arm.  They’d do some sort of background check to make sure the applicant isn’t a dangerous fugitive or has a history of violence.  They might do a basic psychological exam.  They’d test their proficiency with their weapon to make sure they can effectively and accurately use it.  And after the applicant shows that they would most likely be a responsible gun owner, the certification company would give them their Seal of Approval.

This Seal of Approval could be used to satisfy the companies that insure gun dealers.  This puts the gun dealer and their insurance company at ease since any potential burden of liability would shift to the certification company if this buyer should harm an innocent person with the newly purchased gun.

Carrying Guns in the Workplace and Around Town

Another huge reason to get yourself certified by one of these companies is so businesses and workplaces will feel comfortable letting you carry a gun on their property.  Think about schools.  I definitely wouldn’t want my children attending a gun-free school.  It’d make me feel at ease if I knew teachers and security guards had the ability to defend my children against a possible violent threat.  However, it’d make me feel even more at ease if I knew that the school made sure anyone who carried guns on their campus was certified not just in gun safety, but in proficiency by a reputable company.  Not only would I know that these gun holders would be safe with their weapons, but they would be able to quickly and accurately neutralize any threat.

This could be a great selling point.  Schools could advertise that they have high standards for their security guards and teachers in order to carry guns, and thus parents could feel better about their child’s safety.

Same goes for sporting venues.  Or retail businesses.  Or workplaces.  I’m sure some of these places would be hesitant to let just anyone carry a gun on their premises, so they’d only allow people to carry who’ve been certified by a reputable certification company.  But forget about the business owner, more than likely it would be their insurance company that would be more hesitant.  After all, if a business lets just anyone carry a weapon on their premises, and a crazy person comes in and shoots up the place, the business owner could be sued by the victim’s for having a negligent weapons policy.  Therefore, insurance companies may not insure businesses that don’t have a “Certified Gun Owners Only” policy for guns.

Libertarians love to imagine their ideal world with little or no government, and they usually imagine themselves being able to carry their weapons anywhere, anytime.  However, we also have to acknowledge that in this free society other people have property rights too.  This means they can restrict what you can do on their property.

Libertarians also tend to underestimate the effect insurance companies will have on a society with little or no government.  Most of us will be relying on insurance companies to protect our valuable property as well as protect us against lawsuits.  In order for us to get the most possible insurance for the lowest possible price, these companies would give business owners incentives to have policies that would reduce potential lawsuits.  Just like drunk drivers are uninsurable, or at least have to pay enormous premiums, businesses and workplaces that don’t require certification to carry guns would increasingly become uninsurable as well.

This vision of society, where there are places you can’t carry your gun unless you’ve been vetted by some third party, doesn’t seem much different than today!  However, there is one enormous difference.  With no government one-size-fits-all gun control legislation, no one will have the right to tell you that you can’t carry a gun, so long as you have the permission of the property owner.  And no one will have the right to tell you if you can or can’t own guns, so long as you’re able to convince someone to voluntarily sell or give them to you.

Originally published on Mike’s website here.  Check out his blog levelheadedlibertarian.com for more!

You may also like A War On Guns Is Another War On Minorities by Mike Tront

Can Libertarians Justify Physical Removal?

Physical removal, so to speak, is an idea popular in a particular segment of the libertarian population.  Specifically, libertarians who consider themselves right libertarians.  Those who may sympathize with the altright and those that may be motivated by their hatred of anyone who considers themselves politically left wing.  If you’re motivated by your hatred of leftists more than you’re motivated by your love of individual human liberty, you’re probably sympathetic to the idea of physical removal.

The general idea is that if there is ever to be a libertarian world, one where personal liberties and property rights are protected, it is morally justifiable to use force, up to and including deadly force, against “people” who are deemed unfit to live in a free society.  “People” who call themselves communists seem to be the number one target.

The word “people” is in quotation marks because according to the physical removal advocates, the people who they are using force against aren’t actually people.  That means they’re not violating anyone’s rights.  How convenient!

From the Father of Physical Removal, Hans Herman Hoppe, in his book Democracy: The God That Failed, page 173

A member of the human race who is completely incapable of understanding the higher productivity of labor performed under a division of labor based on private property is not properly speaking a person (a persona), but falls instead into the same moral category as an animal – of either the harmless sort (to be domesticated and employed as a producer or consumer good, or to be enjoyed as a “free good”) or the wild and dangerous one (to be fought as a pest).

According to Hoppe, if you come across a “harmless” person who doesn’t understand economics, you have a right to domesticate them.  They may also be “enjoyed” as a “free good”.  Basically, you may treat them as a farm animal (slave).  Or, if you deem them to be “wild and dangerous” (presumably without due process), you may justifiably use violence against them.

I have no objection to fighting off someone who is actively harming you or your property, but Hoppe’s proposed treatment of non-violent people is impossible to reconcile with libertarianism.  To be fair, in any conversions I’ve had with the pro-physical removal crowd, I’ve never heard them bring up their perceived right to enslave a “harmless” person whose only crime is not understanding economics.  However, I’ve heard them say over and over again that communists aren’t people.  I’ve always took this as a joke.  How wrong I was.  I really shouldn’t even be surprised by this.  After all, if they claim to have a right to remove someone from their own legitimate property and/or murder someone who they deem to be unfit to live near them, why wouldn’t they also have the right to enslave them?

So as far as Hoppe is concerned, enslaving these unfit, yet “harmless”, people would be just as justifiable as violently removing them.

In this particular case, I’m having a hard time believing any libertarian could possibly go along with Hoppe on this.  Imagine if you will, a 30-something year old man living in his Mom’s basement.  He likes to go online and post pro-communist stuff on Twitter, so now a gang of people have a right to burst into his house and drag him off?  Or to enslave him, just because he’s guilty of the “crime” of not understanding economics?

The very basis of libertarinism is that no one has a right to initiate aggression against a non-aggressor.  Simply believing in an idiotic philosophy doesn’t make one an aggressor.  Only if that 30-something year old basement dweller actually takes up arms to violate someone’s person or property, or poses an immediate and credible threat to do so, can he be legitimately met with force.

If we turn back the clock on the definition of a person, one can justify all forms of aggression and still claim to be advocates for liberty and justice.  After all, there was a time in America where one could enslave someone, viciously beat his children, rape a woman (as long as she wasn’t someone else’s wife, i.e. property), and kill an Indian and still not be thought of as a criminal in any way.  The reason for this is that the people he committed these horrendous crimes against weren’t considered people.

We don’t get to be liberty loving, non-aggression advocating libertarians simply by magically changing the definition of who counts as a person.

Physical Removal in a Private Community

Hoppe is way off base in his assessment of who he chooses to consider a person.  However, he later articulates a vision of a completely private community, governed by an owner who leases all land to everyone in the community.  Instead of you buying and owning your land, you’d join a community and pay a monthly fee to use a parcel of land and enjoy any and all benefits of living in said community.

In this specific example, physical removal is simply a matter of contract.  Just like today, if you sign a lease with an apartment complex, but you break the lease by violating any of its terms (not paying rent, being too noisy, threatening neighbors, subletting, etc), the apartment complex has every right to kick you out of the community.

In this example, physical removal is well within the bounds of libertarian ideals.  If you voluntarily join a community that has rules against certain types of political speech, even if you are doing no harm to anyone or their property, the owner can kick you out if you violate said rules.

How does Hoppe imagine this happening?  Here’s another passage from Democracy: The God That Failed page 218:

As soon as mature members of society habitually express acceptance or even advocate egalitarian sentiments, whether in the form of democracy (majority rule) or of communism, it becomes essential that other members, and in particular the natural social elites, be prepared to act decisively and, in the case of continued nonconformity, exclude and ultimately expel these members from society. In a covenant concluded among proprietor and community tenants for the purpose of protecting their private property, no such thing as a right to free (unlimited) speech exists, not even to unlimited speech on one’s own tenant-property. One may say innumerable things and promote almost any idea under the sun, but naturally no one is permitted to advocate ideas contrary to the very purpose of the covenant of preserving and protecting private property, such as democracy and communism. There can be no tolerance toward democrats and communists in a libertarian social order. They will have to be physically separated and expelled from society.

In his example here, there’s one huge detail missing.  Due process.  From what Hoppe seems to be envisioning here, your right to stay on your land is completely at the whim of the “natural social elites” of the community.

Traditionally, before the owner of the apartment complex can kick you out, they must take you to court and prove their allegations.  If it turns out that they can’t prove that you’ve violated the terms of the lease, they have no right to kick you out.  If they kick you out anyway, they will be liable for damages from breaking their end of the contract.

Now there could be a voluntary community that has a stipulation that the owner, or the “natural social elites”, can remove anyone at anytime without due process, but I’m having a hard time imagining anyone, let alone a libertarian, agreeing to such an arrangement.

Oppressive Liberty

Finishing up the above quote from Hoppe’s Democracy: The God That Failed page 218:

Likewise, in a covenant founded for the purpose of protecting family and kin, there can be no tolerance toward those habitually promoting lifestyles incompatible with this goal. They-the advocates of alternative, non-family and kin-centered lifestyles such as, for instance, individual hedonism, parasitism, nature-environment worship, homosexuality, or communism-will have to be physically removed from society, too, if one is to maintain a libertarian order.

Hoppe’s vision of a libertarian future is a bleak one.  It appears no less totalitarian than the world we live in today.  We’re simply trading one set of rulers for another.  Instead of a government telling us what to do with our property and how to act in our personal lives, we’ll have the covenant owner dictating this with little or no recourse.

I have no problem with someone voluntarily wanting to live in such a community.  Amish communities today are very similar.  There’s very little room for individual expression or alternative lifestyles, and if one does not conform they are shunned and kicked out of their private, Amish communities.  However, if the only way to achieve a libertarian society is to violently remove single parents, homosexuals, nature lovers, and pretty much anyone who Hoppe deems is living an “alternative, non-family and kin-centered lifestyle” from their legitimately owned property, then we’ve accomplished nothing.

The essence of libertarianism is individual rights, not collective rights.  The individual is to be judged solely on their own actions.  If that individual does not initiate force against anyone’s person or property, then it is never right to use force against them, even if you think their lifestyle choices or personal views are bad for your “social order”.  “The ends justify the means” is the mantra of collectivists and should never be uttered by anyone who considers themselves libertarian.

Originally published on Mike’s website here.  Check out his blog levelheadedlibertarian.com for more!

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CNN Opinion Piece: You’re Racist If You Support Private Schools

By Mike Tront

To oppose the appointment of Betsy DeVos to Secretary of Education, opponents have brought out the old race card.  DeVos is seen as being open-minded to the idea of private schools.  She desires that more parents should have the option of choosing private schools for their children.  With that in mind, we get this opinion piece published by CNN, authored by Felicia Wong: A Vote For DeVos Is a Vote For Resegregation:

School choice is not really about freedom. Freedom, of course, is a bedrock American value. But the kind of “freedom” associated with the flight away from integration and toward racial isolation will never lead to a more truly free United States.

In her condemnation of private schools, Ms. Wong only makes one argument.  She claims that private schools cause greater racial segregation.

She goes over the history of private schools in America, pointing out that after public schools were segregated in the 50’s and 60’s there was a boom in private schools.  She also points out that even today, private schools tend to be more segregated than public schools.

Ms. Wong does have a very good point here.  Private schools show a disturbing lack of minority student enrollment.  It is a travesty that minority students don’t have the same access to quality, safe private schools that their white and Asian peers have access to.  But what’s the reason for this?  Is it because private schools are inherently racist and do their best to discourage non-Asian minority enrollment?

Minorities and Private Education

To find out why there is a lack of minorities in today’s private schools, I went right to the source linked in Ms. Wong’s above CNN article.  From the source she linked to:

White and Asian students enroll in private schools at two times the rate of black and Latino students. Private school enrollment rates are much higher among middle- and high-income families than low-income families. Differences in white and minority private school enrollment rates contribute substantially to overall patterns of segregation in many local school markets.

Amazing that someone could read this and NOT realize what the problem is.  In clear English it says that private schools are largely attended by middle and high-income families, not low-income families.  Unfortunately, black and Latino families in America today have a much lower income than white and Asian families.  It’s not racism that’s keeping minorities out of private schools, it’s lack of money.

Minorities and Public Education

Thankfully, Ms. Wong does point out that public schools are no bastion of opportunity for non-Asian minorities.  From her article:

Now, American public schools are falling back into a kind of racial segregation that is reminiscent of our country before Brown. In the last 25 years, the number of severely racially isolated schools, defined as those with 0-10% white students, has tripled. In 2010 in New York City, 92% of black students and 88% of Latino students attended schools that were majority-minority, some of which see such severely racialized and concentrated poverty that they are dubbed “apartheid schools.”

Clearly, Ms. Wong can see that the current system is terribly flawed and often our most downtrodden suffer the most under it.  This lower quality public education makes it harder for someone who happens to grow up in the wrong zip code to move up to a better zip code.  The cycles continues.  So what’s her solution? This is all she gives us:

So as senators consider DeVos’ nomination to oversee public education for every American child, they would do well to remember the deepest values of public schooling, as well as the deeper meaning of appointing a Secretary of Education associated with a more exclusive and racially exclusionary vision.

She doesn’t tell us how the Department of Education can foster a better, or more inclusive, public education system for minorities.  She only alludes to the fact that DeVos is in favor of private solutions, and the current private solutions are out of reach of many non-Asian minorities, so they therefore must be racist.

Is Betsy DeVos The Solution For Minorities?

She is a step in the right direction, but she’s probably not the solution.  As long as we have a massive, one-size-fits-all federal bureaucracy in charge of our children’s education, costs will continue to rise and quality will continue to fall.  Especially in our poorest communities.  There’s just too many special interests who stand to loose too much money if the system is significantly changed in any way.  So relax DeVos opponents, even if she tries her best to allow children to escape their zip codes for a better education, bureaucratic stagnation and special interest lobbyists will likely halt any progress.

However, if the Department of Education does miraculously allow public school students and their parents to escape the system with some kind of Voucher Program or Education Savings Account Program, it will result in more integration.  Not less.  Not to mention more choices and competition in the education field.  Like any field that allows choice and competition to flourish, i.e. electronics and cell phones, prices go down and quality goes up.

But how will this help non-Asian minorities specifically, Ms. Wong may ask?  Since zip codes and pay checks will no longer determine where their children are forced to go to school, any parent could choose to enroll in any school.  Sure, there will still be elite secondary schools that only the very wealthy will be able to attend, and they will probably be largely white and Asian like they are today, but if this generation of black and Latino children could just get a chance at escaping their “apartheid schools,” the next generation will be able to afford to send their kids anywhere they choose, even the most elite and expensive private schools.

 

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Private Criminal Justice: Who Will Protect The Homeless

By Mike Tront

In a continuation of my series on criminal justice in a libertarian world with private police and courts, last week I wrote about how crimes against a poor person could still be solved.  Even if the victim couldn’t afford any upfront costs or crime insurance.  You can check it our here.

This week, I’m going to write about a specific, unfortunate situation and how it could be effectively solved without government.  I’m talking about how could a murder against an absolute friendless, family-less, homeless, penniless, insurance-less, destitute person ever get solved?

In today’s world, we know that solving violent crime falls on the government.  They have a monopoly on police and courts and jails, so we have to use them for better or for worse.  If you’re wealthy, it tends to work out better for you and if you’re poor it tends to work out worse!

The Problem

Without taxes to fund a government police department and court system, the murder of a destitute person seems destined to go unsolved and unpunished.

I imagine most people would have violent crime insurance, so their beneficiary would get paid by the victim’s insurance policy.  The insurance company would then pursue the matter to find out who committed the crime in an attempt to recoup their losses in the form of restitution from the criminal.  Even a victim who didn’t have insurance, but who does have a spouse, child, parent, close friend, etc who could be considered a beneficiary, could have the murder solved without upfront payment.  The potential beneficiary could hire a detective willing to take the case on a contingency basis in the hopes of getting a hefty percentage of the restitution.

But what about the homeless person with no family, friends, or beneficiary?  With no one to pursue the criminal, how can this case get solved and the proper criminal get punished?

The Solution

The best solution to this problem is the homesteading principle.  Traditionally, homesteading is something we think about when we’re talking about previously unowned or abandoned land.  The idea is that if a plot of land is undeveloped and no one owns it, you can become the owner by mixing your labor with the land.  Either by clearing it out and farming it, or building a house on it, or building a road, etc.

So what does this have to do with a homeless guy getting murdered?  The way I see it, if this victim has no beneficiaries available to collect the debt owed to his estate by his murderer, then that estate becomes abandoned property.  At this point, anyone who mixes their labor with his estate can own it.  In this case, successfully finding out who murdered our unfortunate victim, prosecuting the criminal, and collecting the debt would be considered mixing labor.

Competition

One of the most beautiful aspects of this is the idea of a competition among detectives to find the killer.  Since there is only one estate to be had, it will be a race among local detectives to gather the necessary evidence to obtain a conviction.

Gaining a conviction is just a start though.  Multiple detectives may get a conviction.  So who would be the rightful owner of the estate if more than one agency gets a conviction?  At this point, it would go to whichever agency actually tracks down and apprehends the criminal.  With the criminal and conviction in hand, it’s going to be hard for the other detective agencies to claim they have any rightful ownership to the estate and subsequent restitution payments acquired from the criminal.

Acquiring the Restitution

Here we come to the hardest part.  Once the criminal is found and prosecuted, how will restitution be acquired?  Odds are that this criminal has little or no assets.  With this being a murder case, the restitution could and should be somewhere in the millions of dollars.  How do we get this payment?

Today, this criminal would be thrown into a prison at great expense to the taxpayers.  The prisoner is now in a terribly unsafe environment and will acquire no job skills that could help him stay away from crime should he be released one day.  No restitution is paid to the victim’s estate.  It’s a no-win scenario for everyone.

In a private system, prisons like this couldn’t exist.  No one would fund them.  Criminals who commit smaller property crimes, or violent crimes that don’t cause great bodily harm, could probably negotiate a settlement without resorting to going to a heavily monitored work camp to pay their restitution.  Something similar to a work release program or a probation type of program, like we have today, could be used to these smaller crimes.

Murderers, rapists, and other people who do great bodily harm to their victims probably wouldn’t have that kind of luxury.  These types of crimes would require huge restitution payments, and the perpetrators of these crimes are clearly violent people.

This leads me to believe that these criminals would require a 24/7 prison type environment.  But instead of the prison being forcibly paid for by the victims, the prisoners would pay for it through their labor.  There could be farm camps, construction camps, factory camps, etc for people that have little or no job skills.  For people that have more technical skills or computer skills they could have their own camps too.

The goal of these camps would be to make them voluntary.  Someone who is there voluntarily would clearly make a much better worker.  Not to mention the prison would be much more cost effective.  Now why would a convicted criminal voluntarily sign up for a work camp he can’t leave until his restitution is paid?

Since these camps would be voluntary, there would be competition.  They’d compete on how quickly they could get restitution back to the victim, and thus how quickly the criminal could become free again.  They’d compete on their safety record.  They’d compete on their education programs that would make it easier for the criminal to re-enter society and get a job.  Or, in the case of a person who would likely never see freedom again due to their crimes, they could compete on keeping them at least safe and somewhat comfortable.

For those unwilling to go to a work camp, perhaps there would be more of a traditional, forced prison option like we see today.  Since it couldn’t be funded with taxes, perhaps it would be funded through donations.  Maybe they could make it a tourist attraction where people can pay to visit “Violent Prison World” and see these criminals through two-way mirrors.  Maybe they’d film it all and make it a reality TV show.  Either way, there would still be ways to house these violent, terrible people and possibly still get some restitution payments to their victims.

No system is perfect.  Just like today, some crimes will go unsolved.  Victims will go without restitution.  Not everyone is going to be walking away from these interactions satisfied.  However, a private system would allow for many victims, even the poorest and most downtrodden, to receive some kind of restitution.  It would also incentivize people and companies to actually compete with each other to solve crimes.  Even crimes committed against society’s most downtrodden people.

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Related Posts:

7/20/16 – A Private Criminal Justice System

7/29/16 – Capital Punishment in a Libertarian Justice System

8/11/16 – Crime Solving, Libertarian Style

1/27/17 – But Without Government, Who Will Prosecute Criminals That Hurt The Poor?

But Without Government, Who Will Prosecute Criminals That Hurt The Poor?

By Mike Tront

In the past I’ve written about how a completely privatized, free market criminal justice system could look.  One basic theory I’ve proposed is that it would largely be based on insurance and restitution.  You’d have an insurance company that covered you for any losses you’d incur from violent crime, fraud, and even murder.  The insurance company would pay you whatever it’d take to make you whole.  They would then have the responsibility to find out who committed this crime against their client, prosecute them, and hopefully collect what they are due.  Everything from the restitution paid to their client, to the costs of capture and trial, and the costs associated with collection/imprisonment.  You can read about it here.

In theory, if you have the proper insurance, this should work out pretty well.  Whether or not your insurance company actually catches the criminal, you are at least given a settlement from your company to cover your losses.  However, something has been sticking in my craw.  What about a person that is too poor to afford this insurance?  Or what about someone who could probably afford insurance, but just doesn’t bother with it.  What happens if they are a victim of a violent crime?

How Will They Pay For A 911 Service?

The idea of a violent crime or home invasion taking place, and a private policeman refusing to render service unless he’s paid on the spot by the victim, is an image used to scare people away from a world without government police.  To me, I see this as one of the easiest problems to solve.  Unless you live out in the middle of nowhere, or you like the idea of fending for yourself, I imagine most neighborhoods would have some kind of association that would keep up with the basics like security, fire protection, roads, sidewalks, parks etc.  Instead of paying a government property tax, you or your landlord would pay a monthly homeowners association fee to cover the basics.  This isn’t perfect of course, because just like today a wealthier neighborhood would have better security and services and a poorer neighborhood would have lower quality services.  But the big difference is that the neighborhood could at least choose their provider.  Today, they are stuck with the local police department whether they are effective or not.  Not to mention the competition among providers would drive the costs down and the quality of the service up.

Solving Crimes Against The Poor In A Libertarian World Without Government

Every libertarian that’s talked to a normal person has also heard that without a strong, centralized government, poor people will have no access to courts.  We need a government, they say, so that poor people will have access to court services and so that criminals that wrong them can be prosecuted.

I could argue that under the government monopolized police and court system of today’s world, the poor actually fear the police and courts more than they fear the average criminal!  Police are constantly locking up poor people in prison for non-violent activities, police rough up and even shoot unarmed people, courts lock them in prison if they can’t pay a traffic fine, and police can even seize what little assets they may have even if they aren’t charged with a crime.  But I’m not going to argue any of this.  Even if the current police and court system worked well for the poor and downtrodden, a private system would still work much better for them.

The main reason is competition.  Instead of having just one local police department to rely on for crime solving, a free market could have countless individuals and businesses solving crime.  With a monopoly, a government justice system doesn’t have to produce results to get paid.  They get their pay check whether they solve a crime or not.  In fact, often times the more crime there is in a particular area, the more money they get!  It could then be argued that they are incentivized not to solve crimes!

Without government taxes to rely on, any private crime solver would have to produce results to get paid.  But how would they get paid if the victim is poor and/or doesn’t have insurance, you ask?

The beauty of a free and open market is that we can’t possibly imagine what entrepreneurs will come up with to solve problems.  But this is a problem that has a solution that is already in use for civil cases today.  That’s contingency lawyers.  When you’re wronged, and you’re due for a payday from the person or company that wronged you, lawyers will line up to take your case for free and will only charge you if the win.

Problems With Crime Solving Contingency Lawyers

The first problem is that this probably won’t work for small crimes.  If someone keys your car, there’s not a huge payday coming.  Especially if you’re car isn’t worth much to begin with!  However, with the ubiquity of security cameras everywhere, and with the cost of surveillance cameras going down every year, it’s becoming cheaper and cheaper to solve even small property crimes.  With small crimes, if the victim deems it’s worth pursuing, he’d probably gather the evidence himself and hand it off to an attorney to do the prosecuting in a local court for a percentage of the recovered funds.

For grievous crimes, crimes that involve great bodily harm where there would be the possibility of a large restitution payment, a free market would be much more preferable even for an income challenged person.  We can imagine a scenario where word gets out that someone got shot who was uninsured, so it would be a race among local detectives and attorneys to be the first to gather evidence and find out who committed this crime.  The victim could get shot on Friday, and by Monday he could have multiple people soliciting his business with evidence to show that they would be able to get a quick conviction.

Of course, there is one other huge hurdle to overcome.  Let’s say we’re able to convict someone of this grievous crime, and the judge rules that the crime is worth a $150,000 restitution, how do we collect?  I’d image most violent criminals aren’t exactly wealthy!

I touched on this briefly in my above linked article.  Since we couldn’t have government funded prisons for criminals to rot away in at great cost to society, a new business model would have to spring up.  Something like a voluntary work camp where the criminal could work off his debt, have room and board taken care of, and possibly learn new skills so he can re-enter society as a better person when his debt is paid.  I say voluntary because once found guilty of a grievous crime, if the criminal is unable to pay restitution, he is at the mercy of his victim.  It would be in his best interest to work with his victim on a settlement arrangement.  The two sides could come together to find the best possible scenario to find the optimal work camp for the criminal.  One where his skills could be utilized to make the most money in the quickest time.

These camps would compete with each other to provide the safest, most profitable camp to get restitution payments flowing quickly.  It’d be in the best interest of everyone to make sure it’s a safe camp.  Having a situation like today where prisoners are involved in gangs, where they’re constantly afraid of getting stabbed, beaten, and raped wouldn’t make for a profitable business model.  A prisoner can’t make money if he’s recovering from a stab wound.

Plus it’d be in the best interest of the camps to teach their inmates new and valuable skills.  This would ensure higher and quicker payments, but it would also attract more customers to use their camps.  The victims would want to get their money quicker, and the criminal would want to be free quicker and have a new skill to use to get legitimate work once his debt is paid.

Government prisons as we know them today offer none of this.  They are violent places where people sit and rot their lives away.  They learn no new skills, other than skills associated with being a better criminal once they get out.  They are often forced to join gangs for their own safety and are constantly exposed to illicit drugs.

If someone should find themselves victim to a violent crime, even if they are without any kind of insurance coverage, a completely private, libertarian system would be far superior to the government monopoly system we see today.

Next week, in a companion article on this topic, I will go over how the murder of a homeless person with no friends, no assets, no estate, and no insurance would get prosecuted and solved in a libertarian world without government.

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Canadian PM Justin Trudeau Glowingly Eulogizes Fidel Castro, Twitter Makes Him Pay

By Mike Tront

Amidst the jubilant celebration of Cuban Americans upon hearing of Fidel Castro’s death, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a very different take.  Here is the full eulogy from the head of the Canadian government:

“It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest serving President.

“Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.

“While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for “el Comandante”.

“I know my father was very proud to call him a friend and I had the opportunity to meet Fidel when my father passed away. It was also a real honour to meet his three sons and his brother President Raúl Castro during my recent visit to Cuba.

“On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and many, many supporters of Mr. Castro. We join the people of Cuba today in mourning the loss of this remarkable leader.”

No mention of Castro’s firing squads, the extreme poverty he’s forced upon the Cuban people, or the fact that he’s brutally done everything he can to stop people from freely leaving his giant prison camp of an island he’s developed.

Thankfully, the people of Twitter have made Trudeau pay with countless hypothetical eulogies Mr Trudeau might have given for histories most brutal people.  I’ve pulled some of the best and put them here for your enjoyment, including one of my own:

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For more head to Twitter and follow the hashtag #TrudeauEulogies


mike

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A Vote For Hillary is a Vote for Freedom…in 2020

By Mike Tront

Being a libertarian around election time has its ups and downs.  On the positive side, election time is the only time when people actually care about what libertarians have to say!  On the other hand, being a third party means we have to listen to cries of “supporting your team means the bad team will win!”  The “bad team” being the Democrats or Republicans, depending on who we’re talking to.

This election is unique, though.  Never have there been two more hated people running for president.  This hatred, coupled with the normal derisiveness of politics, pretty much ensures that whomever wins in 2016 will lose in 2020.  The cruel fact is that the only person who can lose to Hillary Clinton is Donald Trump, and vice versa!  So unless we have a repeat of Trump vs. Hillary in 2020, we’re going to have a new president in 2020.

If Trump Wins

Although it seems like a long shot for him to win now, Trump has come back many times before after being counted out.  So what if he does win?  What would four years of Trump really look like?  Well, if you’re thinking that he will change Washington in any way, shape, or form, you will be disappointed.  Just like Obama had every intention of putting his mark of “change” on the country, while failing miserably, so too will Trump.  Whether it’s the entrenched bureaucracy, enemies on both sides of the isle, or just simply his own unwillingness to give up the power he just won, government will only get bigger.  Not smaller.

Troops will continue to be engaged abroad, thus creating more enemies and more attacks on the U.S.  The currency will continue its inflation and inevitable march toward disaster.  Unfunded liabilities will only get worse.  The debt will continue ballooning.  The War on Drugs will continue to rage, thus creating more problems and distrust with police in our inner cities. Trump has no plans to tackle these problems with small government solutions.

In other words, a Trump presidency will be looked at as a failure.  This is particularly bad because Trump is seen as a true “outsider.”  So instead of blaming the system for the inevitable decline, the country will collectively blame Trump himself.  This will lead to a resurgence of the establishment candidates.  This will also lead to people generally being gun shy about supporting newcomers and outsiders.  The Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders types will have an even harder time after a Trump presidency.

A Trump presidency will not only make things worse during his four years in power, but it will also make it harder to bring support behind an actual candidate friendly to human liberty in 2020.

If Hillary Wins

We all know that Hillary is doing her victory lap right now.  The media, and the general public, don’t care about her “pay to play” allegations.  And Trump is an increasingly unlikable man for larger parts of the public with each passing day.

So, as my title suggests, how will Hillary bring an even larger freedom movement in 2020?  First, she will have the same failures that Trump will have.  Increasing war, debt, unfunded liabilities, inflation, police violence, etc will lead to the U.S. being worse off leading into the 2020 election.  But with one important distinction.  Hillary is the ultimate establishment candidate.  Her failures might just be the straw that breaks the camels back.

The big government policies of Bush II led to the Ron Paul movement.  Now we actually have a few libertarian republicans in Congress.  The big government policies of Obama has led to the Bernie Sanders movement.  Even though Bernie is a big government type as well, some of his supporters seem to be friendly to many aspects of libertariansism.  In fact, Hillary is so scared of these democratic voters leaving her for Gary Johnson that she’s actually running attack ads against Johnson.  Who would have ever thought that libertarians would be relevant enough in politics to run attack ads against?  This is great news for our movement.

So what would happen after we have another four years of establishment, big government policies and people running the show?  Especially from a president as widely disliked as Clinton?  We can only hope this will be enough to push people from both sides of the isle to really look at smaller government solutions.  Rand Paul has already shown his desire to become president.  In 2020 he won’t have his Senate race to worry about, and hopefully he’s learned that embracing liberty is a much better selling point than his strategy of courting the republican establishment.  Justin Amash has also hinted at his desire to run for president at some point in the future.  There’s no one more consistent than him in Congress when it comes to defending liberty.

Then of course we have the rise of the Libertarian Party.  Gary Johnson, for all his faults, has propelled the Libertarian Party into the mainstream media.  There’s a very real chance that he could get 5% of the vote this year, which would be five times more votes than they’ve ever received.  This would also mean the Libertarian Party would become eligible for federal matching funds.  The combination of more press and more money to campaign with could lead to more libertarian ideas entering the news cycles, thus leading to more liberty friendly candidates getting a shot at the presidency.

Either way, we’re in for another four years of big government.  I’m not ready to start a Libertarians for Hillary movement, but there’s no doubt that she’ll create more dissatisfaction with big government, and thus more people seeking out libertarian solutions in 2020.

mike

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Darrell Castle is No Libertarian

By Mike Tront

Understandably, many libertarians are not enthused about Gary Johnson being the Libertarian Party’s nominee for president this year.  He has many good libertarian views, but he just doesn’t seem to apply these principals across the board.  To make matters worse, his running mate, Bill Weld, is on record supporting many anti-libertarian policies over the years.  For these reasons, it is becoming trendier in libertarian circles to throw their support behind other candidates.  Darrell Castle, the Constitution Party nominee, is one of them.

I can respect someone who isn’t supporting the Johnson/Weld ticket on the account of their flaws.  What doesn’t make sense is to say Johnson isn’t a good enough libertarian, but then support someone like Castle!

To be fair, Castle says many good things in his platform.  Right away he talks about ending the federal reserve system as well as ending overseas interventions.  However, just like Johnson, he has many core beliefs that are directly opposed to libertarianism.

Immigration:

Darrell Castle’s immigration policy looks like it was stolen from Donald Trump!  In an interview with LibertyHangout.org, when asked about immigration, Castle said this:

I believe that securing the border, i.e. protecting it so that no one enters without consent and halting immigration completely until that is accomplished is one of the most important issues America faces. The halt to immigration would last until we could be sure who is coming in and with what intent.

Castle doesn’t say build a wall, but I’m not sure how else he’s planning on “halting immigration completely.”  For a guy who’s interested in smaller government, this immigration policy would amount to a massive federal bureaucracy.  To be effective it would need powers beyond our imagination.

Even when asked this: “Should the government increase or decrease the amount of temporary work visas given to high-skilled immigrant workers?” he replied with “decrease.”  What is libertarian about using force to stop American companies from hiring much needed engineers, doctors, designers, and scientists?

LGBT Issues:

His party, the Constitution Party, holds this view:

The law of our Creator defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman. The marriage covenant is the foundation of the family, and the family is fundamental in the maintenance of a stable, healthy and prosperous social order. No government may legitimately authorize or define marriage or family relations contrary to what God has instituted. We are opposed to any judicial ruling or amending the U.S. Constitution or any state constitution re-defining marriage with any definition other than the Biblical standard.

Sounds like same sex marriage is off the table!  Castle himself said this: “Take the government out of marriage and instead make it a religious decision.”  Libertarians can agree that government shouldn’t have any role in defining marriage, but religion has nothing to do with it.  It is simply a contract made between two people, one that can’t be stopped by any government or church.

His stance, then, seems a bit murky.  He seems to want government out of the way, but he stops short of saying same sex couple should have the right to get married if they wish.

When it comes to same sex couples adopting children, however, he is not murky at all!  He flat out says “gay couples should not be able to adopt children

Whatever you personally believe, I can’t imagine any libertarian worth their salt that would say we need government to flat out ban adopting children to same sex couples.

Eminent Domain:

Another big issue is eminent domain.  Self-ownership and private property are the two basic principles we libertarians adhere to.  Eminent domain, the ability for the government to take private property without consent, is the opposite of libertarian.  Castle supports eminent domain as long as “fair market value is paid to the property owner.”  Value is subjective, however, and if someone is not willing to voluntarily sell you something, that means they personally value it more than what you’re offering.  Just because you take something by force, and give the victim what you feel is “fair value,” it doesn’t make it right.

Marijuana:

Although Castle supports ending the drug war, he apparently doesn’t want marijuana legalized.  In his own words when asked “Do you support the legalization of Marijuana?his response was “i support decriminalization not legalization

This is a pretty big distinction.  Decriminalization means the government can, and most certainly will, fine people for consuming marijuana.  This will also keep it on the black market, as legitimate companies wouldn’t be able to sell marijuana.  Thus the crime and violence associated with prohibition will continue, just with fewer prisoners.  This is hardly a libertarian position.

Death Penalty:

Whether or not you think capital punishment is moral, I think we can at least agree that government shouldn’t ever administer it.  I myself wrote that in a completely private criminal justice system, capital punishment may be used from time to time for certain heinous acts.

Castle, however, fully supports government use of the death penalty.

Women in Combat:

This is a bit off the wall, but apparently he was asked “Should the military allow women to serve in combat roles?” and he said “No”!  

If the U.S. is ever attacked, I don’t see any reason why anyone should forcibly stop a woman from defending herself, her family, her property, and her community.

Castle vs. Johnson

Clearly if we pick and choose there’s plenty to like and dislike about both of these candidates.  If you just happen to like one more than the other based on your personal ranking of importance on their different issues, I can respect that.  But if you’re in the “We need a true libertarian candidate and Gary Johnson isn’t it!” camp than there’s no way you can support Castle either.  He is far from a libertarian.

 

mike

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