Apr 16, 2014

Anti-Government Militia Will Support Nahshon Shelton and His Anti-Tax Stand... {cricket chirps, cricket chirps}

Refusal to pay taxes while brandishing guns only works when owing over $300,000, not for 22 cents which gets you jail time without bail.

Income Tax is viewed by many within the anti-government movement as theft through  coercion, since if you do not pay it then the government will seize your person and imprison those who refuse to pay their income taxes. Sales tax being transactional in nature, is just as coercive since it is not at all voluntary, even if one wishes to actively avoid it one could not without the retailer participating in a tax avoidance scheme. Fees for service are the least coercive since they can be avoided outright, though an extremist may take the outlook that any government is too much government.

This past weekend Chicago resident, Nahshon Shelton, claimed that since he lived in the neighborhood he was exempt from sales tax, in response the retailer informed him that he was not and refused to let him purchase a bottle of diet pepsi without the 22 cent sales taxes being paid. Mr. Shelton went home and took a strategy straight out of the Bundy Ranch Playbook and returned brandishing firearms believing that would alter the outcome (as it altered the outcome in Clark County and the return of trespassing cattle), but instead resulted in Mr. Shelton being held without bail.

Ammon Bundy when presented with Federal Court order for the confiscation of the trespassing (for the prior 20 years) cattle on federal land, part of the herd was eventually confiscated up until firearms brandishing anti-government supporters of the renegade ranchers confronted BLM agents with Cliven Bundy demanding that Clark County Sherrif's department confiscate all of Federal agents' firearms and brought to him. BLM stated that due to fear for the physical safety of the agency's employees as well as the general public decided to back down and release the trespassing cattle back to the Bundy Ranch.

What started Bundy Ranch from being law abiding to law breaking? In 1993 Cliven Bundy chose to ignore the existence of the Federal Government, therefore began to withhold fee for service that he and his family had been paying his entire life. At no point has the 600,000 acres been owned by anyother landowner other than the Federal government, so the claim that Bundy Ranch has ownership to the land is wholly without merit. The defense of the Bundy Ranch usurping NOT HIS LAND, is an amalgamation of a longtime history of grazing on that land (ignoring the fact that they paid for such service) and the federal government is overreaching in other segments of the American society. The same individuals that prioritize property rights over rights to life and life sustaining resources can not acknowledge the inconsistency that housing stock far out strips the homeless households-- but that banks that own vacant houses have a right to withhold their property from those that are homeless people. Then turn around and say that the Federal government doesn't have a right to withhold access to it's land for non-payment of grazing fees.

To avoid paying Federal grazing fees has a very simple solution-- keep your cattle on your land otherwise join the 16,000 of ranchers that pay agreed upon grazing fees. So just remember, if you don't want to pay your rent or mortgage just simply take the stance that you don't believe in your landlord's or bank's existence and roll up with your buddies while strapped implicitly threatening violence to anyone that dares to challenge your delusion... and don't be black.

Apr 11, 2014

Law Abiding Rancher? Or Criminal Trespasser?

Dave Bundy , son of rancher, shown kicking law enforcement canines
This week the Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) repossessed 900 head of cattle over a dispute regarding grazing rights. Back in 1993, BLM and the Bundy Ranch to continue grazing as long as the ranch remained less than 250 head of cattle and a restricted 150 acres land while paying federal grazing fees. The Bundy Ranch agree to the compromise and then almost immediately ignored it growing the herd and grazing range past the agreed upon limits, while refusing to pay the grazing fees. Clive Bundy, the owner of the Bundy Ranch, claims that the ranch had been grazing on the open range since the 19th century and therefore is his right to continue to use the land without limit since the Ranch predates the BLM. Then where is Bundy's title to the land? Claiming that he has unlimited grazing rights to public (ie government owned land) lands just because he always has had that right. Based upon that logic Native Americans would really like their continent back, and is unlikely that the Bundy Ranch will revert back to the tribes that lived there in the pre-Colombian era. Mr. Bundy is even quoting acknowledging that federal agency is usurping state rights when regarding to the Federal Government owned land:

“I’m a producer,” Cliven said. “I produce edible commodity from the desert forage, and all of these things are governed under state law. So, in other words, this type of government has eliminated all of our state law, eliminated our state sovereignty, and has took control over our public lands and even took control over our Clark County sheriff. They’ve taken the whole county over. The whole state, almost.”

How dare the Federal Government tell him whether or not his cattle can trespass on Federal owned land?!?
Sarcasm aside, the militia movement and other right-wingers have come to support this self-entitled interloper but mostly just to spit in face of the Federal Government (which they have a right to do) but pragmatically speaking how do they transition to their ideal of no or very limited government while still maintaining property rights? The government owned lands, that had been being utilized by the Native Americans for a millennia though without the Western styled property rights, the title of those lands came into existence only from federal government action not ranchers declaring it be. Government activity (whether US Federal government or Royal Spanish forces) forced onto the land the Western concept of private property, reserving vast lands of the Western states to remain under the stewardship of the Federal Government whether the individual rancher that buys a fraction of land necessary to maintain a herd sized to their desire. How ever many acres the Bundy Ranch actually owns should be the limitation of how large the herd is, and his whining over not being able to trespass as he has always done is simply a thief demanding he is entitled access to someone else's land.

So Federal Government that made the concerted effort to attain these lands should just be handed over to private owners without payment? The Bundy Ranch should get title and deed  because they need it and the government has it? "From those with abilities to those of need", is absolutely evil according to the right-wingers except when those with abilities happens to be of the Federal Government. Individual rights seem to be doled by right-wingers entirely based on race, imagine an African-American disputing with the government over a million dollars (only $300,000 had the Bundy Ranch paid the grazing fees and kept the herd within restrictions agreed upon in 1993), would the militia movement come to their aid or would they simply characterize as welfare-queens with a million dollars of ill-gotten goods? Mitt Rommney, Paul Ryan, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Bachman, et al have been bashing government programs such as Medicaid, SNAP, Section 8, Headstart, and any other program that benefits the least among us as being freebies given away as a means to get their votes; when a white man gets a million dollars of government benefits and expected to pay for those benefits there is nothing but incredulity "The Federal Government has overreached, demanding that this law-abiding* citizen can't let his over-sized herd graze on public (ie Federally owned) land!"

Even if the government was overreaching when trying to wrest control back of their land from a rancher that had gotten used to using someone else's land (or at least not his own land if you want to consider government land to be owned by the public), where the land his herd was trespassing on was privately held land would it have been overreaching after 20 years of the herd trampling the rights of the private landowner for that private landowner to take the herd as his own? If the title owner of land kept having to deal with a herd of cattle from down the road grazing on his land, the title owner has the right to the herd after the rancher welshes on paying for the access to landowner's land for 20 years straight. To assume the opposite ignores a right to property just because the entity that owns the land is the Federal government, moral relativism at it's worst.

But libertarians are adamant to never acknowledge the practical existence of the government, they believe in the Pollyanna-ish view of the world that there is a magic wand where government will no longer exist and never consider how to pragmatically transition  to that ideal. Federal government activity was essential to existence of property rights being imposed on the Western states before the wagoners made their way to those states, just to remind you that Lewis and Clark were hired by the Federal Government while the contemporaneously the American hinterlands were modern day Tennessee. So to claim that one doesn't need the government now, also needs to accept the benefits and assets that have been accumulated by the government prior to the epiphany that the government should be disbanded. Libertarians need to come up with a path to transition from our current status of "overreaching" government to disbanding of that government with all the property dispersed in a fair and equal manner-- you know if they actually believed in fairness and equality.

Mar 28, 2014

Unanimous Supreme Court Decision: Too Bad There Is No Means Of Enforcing It In Majority Of The States

Common sense prevailed this week deciding that those convicted of domestic violence forgo their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, and with a unanimous decision. Convicted violent criminals can be universally understood, at least by reasonable individuals, to be individuals that can not be trusted with firearms. This comes along with criminal stats that 94% women who are murdered are victims of a male perpetrator were known to them, and two thirds of all murders from the same FBI statistics are committed with firearms. Firearms utilization in two thirds of American homicides has been a consistent percentage within the FBI statistics for nearly a decade, undercutting the primary argument for gun rights advocates that access to firearms isn't determinative to effect homicides. Though if firearms couldn't kill people effectively, the Department of Defense should see if they can get a refund for all of their small arms.

The Supreme Court decision barring convicts of even a "misdemeanor domestic assault" charge is enough of a violation to legally posses or purchase firearms. This is clearly a decision with 2nd amendment's "to ensure security" in mind rather than the "right of the people to keep and bear arms" clause. I still hold the belief that writers original intentions of the Second amendment was intrinsically tied to conscripted local militias to ensure slave revolts would arise (often refered to as 'slave patrols') and the since the passage of the 13th amendment alleviated the original intentions that necessitated the 2nd amendment it would be perfectly within a state's right to ban all firearms similar to the universal ban of firearms in the Wiemar Republic after Treaty of Versailles until 1928 when a firearms registry was instituted and that was done away with in 1938 (for all of those that believe Nazis against gun rights, they actually did the opposite in 1938, stop believing that misguided claptrap).

But on to the actual point, so the Supreme Court ruling that those convicted of non-felony violent crimes would be included being barred by Federal statute from buying and possessing firearms. If only a minority of states have instant universal background checks, what prevents the local wife beater to drive down to Virginia and purchase a firearm legally without ever even showing ID? If you guessed 'nothing' you are absolutely right! What would the gun manufacturers' lobby have against violent criminals accessing their wears? Will that where the expanding market is, of course. It's actually a two pronged viscous circle with two different expanding markets. The first market is for those convicted of crimes whom have had their firearms justifiably confiscated by law enforcement -- they are itching to get replacement guns when released from whatever correctional facility they come out of. The second market is for the woman that are now justifiably afraid that their convicted male acquaintance might have them at the other end of the right to bear arms-- therefore if there was an universal instant background check national implemented they would be able to play off the fears of women and relying on just law abiding male citizens is just not quickly expanding as much as the shareholders are demanding to be. So we have the acknowledgement of some the most conservative legal minds in the free world that violent people shouldn't be given any access to "boom-sticks", while the National Rifle Association (also known as NAMBLA) exerts force on Congress to do the will of gun manufacturers all for the sake of maximizing profit regardless of the 8,000 or so lives that are loss to homicides by firearms.



Mar 27, 2014

Re: Free Birth Control and Unfree Photographers


So everyone has a right to the market when they open a business, and a right to withhold services and resources based upon nothing more than spite? That is an opinion that could only be held by individuals who have the privilege of being a member of the dominant class. Acceptability of excluding all those that do not meet the majority's expectation is a sign of irrationality; and Jacob Sullum is free to proselytize the right to refuse your fellow Americans without a viable reason, but to appear on a venue such as Reason.com is abundant with irony.

The individual has a right not to offer consumer services to the general public, but once you take the endeavour to provide those consumer services the only way that it encroaches on the business owners right is when the owner choses to profess the withholding of services are based upon the demographic group that the consumer belongs to. The action, overt by the choice of the business owner, to choose to withhold while offending the perspective customer is impractical and unnecessary since the business owner could have simply stated “sorry, we aren't available that week, could I refer you to so-and-so they would be able to help you out.” Most of the readers of Reason.com will likely agree with the sentiment that Title II of the Civil Rights Act which bars discrimination within businesses that are available to the public is utterly irrational, but the social contract that provides government services to businesses implies that the businesses should be for the public that paid for the infrastructure the businesses utilize on a daily basis. Would it acceptable if businesses that did discriminate, that the local government would roll back the roads that lead to the business? To discriminate against counter parties that did business with the discriminating owner? If there is a right to discriminate then any business exercising that right would have a lot more to lose than just one gig for a betrothed couple that the business owner despised. You have a right not to participate in any market, but once you choose to enter said market it is no longer your right to discriminate; and once you do choose to infringe on the rights of individuals for simple practicality find any other excuse to withhold services or goods and return to under whatever bridge you come from. Every market relies upon public goods, and deny that fact is irrational and unreasonable.

In regards to Hobby Lobby, they are receiving tax credits (which they free are to reject) when they provide their employees with health-care insurance that happens to include birth control. If they were so adamant they would refuse the tax credits and pay for health insurance that did not include birth control (which would be difficult to find since birth control has such a great epidemiological benefit that any insurance company denying birth control would see their expenditures go up and so the market and reason has spoken and few health insurance policies are offered sans birth control at reasonable rates) as well as the difference in costs that are being set by the for-profit insurance companies. Hobby Lobby, while paying lip service to their right to principle, would rather bemoan their inability to access government services and benefits on their own terms. But when your cant stick to stated principles because inconvenience, and you would rather have them subsidized than pay the true costs of those principles they are no longer principles but just a hobby.