Lamenting Liberty Lost

Unless we have a radical change, we will continue our march toward the federal destruction of the presumption of liberty.

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A British author, residing in the United States for the past 30 years, created a small firestorm earlier this week with his candid observations that modern-day Americans have been duped by the government into accepting a European-style march toward socialism because we fail to appreciate the rich legacy of personal liberty that is everyone's birthright and is expressly articulated in the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

Os Guinness, the author of more than a dozen books defending traditional Judeo-Christian values and Jeffersonian personal liberty, argued that we should embrace individual liberty and personal dignity and reject the "no givens, no rules, no limits" government we now have. He went on to opine that the government today is not the constitutionally restrained protector of personal freedoms the Framers left us, but rather has become the wealth-distributing protector of collective interests the Founding Fathers never could have imagined.

Yet the problem is a deep one. The Framers believed in the presumption of liberty, which declares that we are free to make personal choices, and the government cannot interfere with our liberties unless we violate the rights of others. Stated differently, the federal government cannot interfere with our personal choices by writing any law it wants; it can only regulate behavior or spend money when the Constitution authorizes it to do so.

But for the past 100 years, the federal government has rejected the Madisonian concept that it is limited to the 16 discrete powers the Constitution delegates to it, and has claimed its powers are unlimited, subject only to the express prohibitions in the Constitution. Even those prohibitions can be gotten around since government lawyers have persuaded federal courts to rule that Congress can spend tax dollars or borrowed money on any projects it wishes, whether authorized by the Constitution or not. The courts even have authorized Congress to use federal tax dollars to bribe the states into enacting laws that Congress is powerless to enact, and Congress has done so.

The Declaration of Independence defines our personal liberties as inalienable aspects of our humanity, and the Constitution prohibits the government from interfering with those liberties—like thought, speech, press, association, worship, self-defense, travel, privacy, due process, use of money, and private property, to name a few.

The teaching of these founding documents is that our liberties are natural—their source is not the government—and they are personal, not collective. We don't need a government permission slip to exercise them; we don't need to belong to a group to enjoy them; they cannot be taken away by a congressional vote or a presidential signature.

Even though everyone who works for the government takes an oath to uphold the Declaration and the Constitution, very few are consistent with what they have sworn to do. We know that because on the transcendental issues of our day—life, liberty, war, and debt—the leadership of both political parties and the behavior of all modern presidents have revealed a steadfast willingness to write any law and regulate any behavior or permit any evil, whether authorized by the Constitution or not.

Take life. Abortion is the most deadly force in America today. Abortions lawfully kill a baby a minute—that's 1.1 million babies a year and 45,000,000 killed since the Supreme Court issued its Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. A simple one-line statute—"The fetus in the womb is a legal person"—could have been enacted by a simple majority vote in Congress and signed into law by any of our so-called pro-life presidents, thus stopping the slaughter. It never happened.

Take liberty. Both parties support the Patriot Act and the secret FISA apparatus, which together invade privacy, infringe upon free speech, permit federal agents to write their own search warrants and allow domestic spying on all of us all the time. This demonstrates that our political leaders do not believe that our rights are inalienable, but can be interfered with and regulated by them. They have written laws that literally permit federal agents to do the very acts the Constitution was written to prohibit.

Take the lethal combination of war and debt. Both parties support perpetual war and perpetual debt. The leadership of both parties has permitted every modern president to kill whomever he pleases in foreign countries without lawful declarations of war and to do so by going into a $17 trillion hole of debt, with no end in sight. Today, 20 cents of every tax dollar collected goes to interest on pre-existing government debt. Today's taxpayers are still paying interest on the $30 billion Woodrow Wilson borrowed to finance World War I in 1917.

The British author is correct. Unless we have a radical change in the direction of government—its size, cost, focus, intrusiveness and rejection of first principles—and unless we elect people to the government who truly believe the Declaration and the Constitution mean what they say, we will continue our march toward the federal destruction of the presumption of liberty.

It is a slow march, but a steady one.

NEXT: Brickbat: Don't Go There

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  1. Even though everyone who works for the government takes an oath to uphold the Declaration and the Constitution

    I like the Judge and all, and I assume that he has taken an oath of office before. Perhaps the oath he took was different than those listed here.

    1. The Declaration clearly states that four score and seven years ago we pledge allegiance that no freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished or in any way destroyed. You need to listen at swearing-in ceremonies more carefully.

      1. What about slowly braised. Maybe with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.

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    2. Don’t forget the Pledge of Allegiance!!

    3. The Judge is starting to sound a little senile.

  2. Take life. Abortion is the most deadly force in America today

    He wouldn’t lament the loss of a woman’s autonomy it seems.

    1. Gene,

      Would you agree with me that the moral issue of abortion would be settled for most of us if we could “scientifically prove” when human life begins?

      Regards,

      Charles

      1. I really don’t know the answer to this. It may sway some, many others not so much. I guess it depends somewhat what the ultimate proof is, if it is the moment of conception or when two cells divide into four I think it likely that there would be disagreement.

        1. He is suggesting that reality, once clearly established, is not a democracy.

        2. Thanks for answering, Gene.

          Charles

      2. I don’t mean to speak for Gene, but the answer to your question is ‘No.’

        Few political issues are resolved on the basis of scientific fact. Abortion would not be one of them.

        1. +1 !

        2. Additionally, I see that you asked ‘moral issue’ rather than ‘political issue.’

          For many abortion supporters, the concept of when life begins is not the issue. Supporters make arguments weighing the ‘right of the woman’ vs. ‘the rights of a fetus’ or make arguments that a fetus is basically not subject to the protections of the constitution until they are born. Whether or not a fetus is ‘a living thing’ is not part of the calculus, and many would concede the point. So to quote one of the only intelligent things said by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, ‘The question is moot.’

          1. I didn’t want to start a debate over this, yet based on Gene’s comment I was interested in his opinion regarding my own thoughts.

            I agree with much of what you’ve written here, except that I think it can be a political and moral issue simultaneously.

            Have a great day and try to avoid the groin punches which are no doubt headed our way,

            Charles

      3. No, because the idea that you could scientifically prove when life begin is a moronic gotcha trap used by fundies.

        The question at hand for abortion is categorically NOT when life begins. The question is what are the criteria where we begin to recognize a legal right to have your life protected by the state.

        In otherwords abortion is not EVER a question which can be answered by science, it is PURELY a moral question.

        Now if you are pro recognizing a right to life strong enough for legal protections you are going to have to come up with a rationalization for why it is not necessary to treat every woman who has a miscarriage as a murder suspect and her womb as a crime scene.

        If you can’t you’re going to have a hard time justifying treating abortion as a crime.

        1. easy, miscarriages have absolutely no intent behind them.

          Got any serious challenges to anti-abortion laws (having them protect a fetus at some point in the pregnancy generally)

      4. Maybe for him, but not for me. To me it doesn’t matter whether it’s human, only whether it minds being killed.

      5. Would you deny that a fetus has it’s own human DNA? Human DNA means human fetus, even if the fetus looks like a clump of cells. And what’s more, that DNA is different from the mother’s just as your DNA is different from your mother’s. Why you aren’t a carbon copy of her, so as soon as the fetus has it’s own DNA, it is it’s own human person.

        1. why do you keep bringing up the DNA canard? You’ve been doing this for years. You’ve been told it’s a silly argument.

          That something has DNA has no bearing on the relevant questions like “At what stage does a fetus become a baby?” and “Does the state have a role in regulating this?”

          1. DNA establishes that an individual exists. I oppose the initiation of force against individuals. All individuals have the right to continue living.

            1. More so, the developmental path from clump of cells to voting adult is a continuum. Trying to define what something is based on where it is and how old it is has to be, by nature, a political argument. It’s certainly not a philosophical or moral one.

              That being said. no woman MUST carry another human being inside of her. Women are not incubators with legs. Is it a loss of a person? Yes. Is it a woman’s right? Yes.

              The only thing that could ever fall to legislation is what do when the developing child comes out. That some are just tossed in the garbage whilst still kicking is pretty damn sickening. All efforts should be made to save the child, no matter how futile.

    2. “He wouldn’t lament the loss of a woman’s autonomy it seems.”

      Gene, I don’t know the Judge but I reckon he would lament anyone’s loss of autonomy to the highest degree.

      But he would not lament diminishing a persons right or opportunity to murder.

      That is what the abortion debate is:

      If the fetus/child is a human, then abortion is murder.
      If the fetus/child is not human, then abortion is the purging of meaningless tissue.

      Nobody gives a rat’s ass about “controlling” women just for controlling sake.

      And all those repressive white christian men.. You really think their lifelong objective is to have more brats running around?

      1. Nobody gives a rat’s ass about “controlling” women just for controlling sake.

        Aw, come on! That’s exactly what is is! White Christian men want to control women and take away their freedom of choice! What? Charter schools? How dare you suggest parents should have the right to choose where their kids are educated?!?!

        /femiderp

        1. It’s not like any woman would seek to be ‘controlling’ of the men in their life, or anything.

          1. Principals, not principles.

            If you get all principled about it, then it’s the act of controlling that matters.

            But that’s not what matters.

            What matters is who is doing the controlling and who is being controlled.

            Principles, shminciples.

            Principals are what matter.

    3. Regardless of how you feel about the subject, it does seem extremely odd this paragraph on abortion just shoe-horned in the middle of this article on liberty.

      1. Agreed.

      2. idk. i think it’s more to point our the hipocracy that an organization formed to protect people’s right to life specifically allows the taking of life in that situation.

        1. or that the SCOTUS stepped outside of its bounds in Roe v. Wade, which it clearly did.

          I mean, I get the no- cause-to -interfere- with-doctor- patient-relationship argument, but don’t the states have the basic right to define murder charges? Did the prosecutor in the case not bring that up?

    4. He wouldn’t lament the loss of a woman’s autonomy it seems.

      What loss of autonomy? A woman is pregnant for 9 months. Maybe 5 of those months are inconvenient, and 1 month might be severely so. But the baby once born can be given up for adoption.

      That’s a very small loss of autonomy to give up protecting human life for.

  3. Even though everyone who works for the government takes an oath to uphold the Declaration and the Constitution

    Sorry, but no.

    1. I swear to protect, preserve, and defend the Constitution against all crossposts, foreign and domestic. I can haz more coffee?

      1. Commence impeachment proceedings.

  4. IIRC, the oath that I swore when I joined the military mentioned nothing at all about George III.

    “My ox! My ox!”, is not a rallying cry for liberties lost.

    No mentions of the siege of the 2nd? How about an Amber Alert for the 4th, abducted and slowly being dismembered and the parts buried by SCOTUS? Breathtaking abuses of the commerce clause to rationalize intrusions large and small into the lives of citizens? The additions of “except for…” to the 1st championed by the victim creation industry?

    1. I don’t think the essay was meant to be an all encompassing list. The good Judge has touched on your concerns in previous writings.

      1. He did this without making me want to gag … “What if America had freedom and what if someone where to question it and what if a meteor hits me in the head and what if no one cares….”

        1. That was likely the most poorly written essay ever posted on this site. So bad that I, too, am unable to not think of it every time I read his posts.

        2. I hope he doesn’t return to that kind of writing.

  5. A British author, residing in the United States for the past 30 years, created a small firestorm earlier this week with his candid observations that modern-day Americans have been duped by the government into accepting a European-style march toward socialism because we fail to appreciate the rich legacy of personal liberty that is everyone’s birthright and is expressly articulated in the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution

    I think the guy has a point no matter how convoluted things get past this statement. I have a theory that the problem in America is that, generally speaking, we don’t have principles we have talking points. Most people can tell you what they are for or against, but they can’t connect the dots behind the “why.” Abortion is good example of this. I know some had corps communist, er I mean democrats, that are 100% for abortion because a woman has a right to choose. However, they are more than willing to tell me the government needs to tell me to live my life because if not I might “choose” wrong. Maybe not the best example but I am pre-coffee at this point.

    1. Liberty? You mean chaos, right? Because that’s what you get when people don’t have as strong government to give permission and issue orders. True freedom is asking permission and obeying orders. Anything less is anarchy. Duh. All thinking people know this.

    2. It’s a pretty good example. And you’ve correctly identified a key problem. If anything I’d say it’s worse than you state: Americans don’t just lack principles, they openly oppose the very idea of having them.

      I’ve lost track of how many times someone has responded to a principled argument with bullshit like “the Constitution isn’t a suicide pact!” or just lame exclamations that having principles is “extremist”.

      1. Agreed. Perhaps it symptomatic of the talking head way many people get information. Essentially, people are surrendering their ability to think by being a sock puppet.

        And before the regulars chime in, both sides are equally guilty. My brother-in-law (far right) is as obnoxious as my uber-progressive mother. Both of them manage to frame every argument in terms of what we should be afraid of.

        I for one like to keep my fear for legitimate things … like produce from China and 1st Lts.

      2. Americans don’t just lack principles, they openly oppose the very idea of having them.

        Yes! They consider -isms to be at best useless, at worst dangerous, and pride themselves on their pragmatism & lack of ideology. This tendency has helped individual liberty for the most part, because, as RAW wrote, “Convictions make convicts.” Most ideologies lead to strife & disimprovement of society.

    3. Most people can tell you what they are for or against, but they can’t connect the dots behind the “why.”

      Thinking is HARD!

      /American Barbie

      1. Not only is thinking hard, but it is discouraged. When was the last time you heard someone ask “What do you think?” as opposed to “How do you feel?”

        No one really cares about thinking. It’s all about the feelz.

        1. That’s not true. Thinking is hard, so people save it for whatever they anticipate will have a likely positive payoff. That’s why you don’t often find an individual who is simultaneously an engineer, doctor, lawyer, and linguist. People can study only so much, pay att’n to only so many things. Of everything else, we’re rationally ignorant. The time & effort you spend on one thing can’t be spent on another.

          1. Sorry to hear that Roger.

            To paraphrase Vince Lombardi: Thinking isn’t the most important thing, it’s the only thing.

            I think about everything I encounter in my life. I do not need to “save” my thinking for just a few tasks.

            The more I think, the more I am able to think more.

    4. It’s a question of what maximizes well-being for people. In such conversations we’re almost always talking about public policy. If it’s about some harmless activity you undertake in your own home, there’s usually not a controversy. So whether abortion is legal, or whether you’re allowed to drive without a license, etc., are questions about things that affect other people. People are pro-choice not just out of a libertarian concept of leaving women alone (that’s half of it), but because the alternative is a society in which women are injured and killed in botched unregulated abortions and are, in theory, put in prison for murder en masse (1/3rd of women have an abortion). It’s about what makes for the best society. What else is public policy–and conversations about it–for?

      1. If we assume that women would 100% comply with abortion regulations, and never try homemade abortions or go to jail, then would you possibly amend your position on abortion? After all, the only reason left would be that silly libertarian “leave women alone” part.

        If you wouldn’t, then it would seem that, at least to you, that the libertarian part is more than half of it.

        If you would change your mind, then I’m surprised your such a bad feminist.

        1. I don’t believe in extracting considerations of reality from such discussions. Women will always seek abortions. The fact of “back-alley” abortions in an environment of prohibition is an intrinsic part of the legal and moral case for legalization. Whether leaving women alone (the right to privacy invented in Roe) succeeds as an argument depends on whether you think abortion is okay or whether it should be illegal. We don’t leave people alone who are doing inhumane and illegal things.

          1. Tony:

            I don’t believe in extracting considerations of reality from such discussions.

            Yes, you do, when it suits you: “What if everyone discriminates against insert aggrieved minority?

            Extracting considerations is necessary if you want to make claims like “leaving women alone” is only half of it. What does that imply, if it doesn’t mean that, without those other considerations, it changes the issue? If that’s the claim, then let’s examine it. If it isn’t, then I’m not sure what the point is.

            Extracting considerations is a great way to gain insight. For example, lots of people oppose the death penalty, and will say their reasoning depends on their lack of faith in the ability of the state to accurately determine guilt. However, when you ask people to assume that the state does have 100% accuracy in determining guilt, you find that people still disagree, some favoring the idea, and some not. Extracting the consideration leads to insight on how people really think about executing guilty people, and why, or why not, they think that way.

            That’s the entire point: to gain insight into why someone takes the position they take. It frequently leads to insight, and isn’t really denying reality in any way. It’s perfectly fine to continue factoring in reality into your final position, while understanding that, under different circumstances, your position would change. You’re just dodging the question, and it’s obvious why.

            1. Okay, I’ll try. So the thought experiment assumes that all women refrain from having abortions, not because they don’t need or want them, but because for some reason they are all extremely compliant to a law that outlaws abortion? Is that right? In that case, there remain significant practical concerns beyond a woman’s right to privacy. One I can think of is millions of unwanted children, probably more often in poor households, and all the social consequences of that. Not to mention rape and incest babies.

              Again, I don’t think a right to privacy alone is sufficient because people who think abortion is murder won’t accept that, nor should they. Murderers don’t get to use a right to privacy in their defense. Of course, they also think that abortion itself is the primary social concern and presumably are willing to accept all the negatives that come with prohibition.

              1. Good try, but we’re still missing the issue.

                Let’s assume there are no social, economic consequences other than “leaving women alone.” For example, let’s assume we have a glorious social democracy that can scoop up any child in a bad situation, love them, and care for them, and see them off to a wonderful college and professional career in adulthood, as wonderful, productive tax payers, who increase government revenue and stimulate the economy. Does your position change? Does it suddenly become irrelevent to you? A big “I don’t know” now?

                1. Of course the calculation changes depending on the practical outcomes, same as with anything else. But this is not difficult for me, even if we assume that there are no negative social consequences to consider. I am not only pro-choice, I am pro-abortion. I simply don’t think society has any good reason to consider a fetus a rights-bearing person. The only defenses of this position that are really offered are religious in nature. So yeah I’d favor privacy for its own sake, because I don’t believe abortion to be a social problem. On the contrary, I think it’s a social boon. The world hardly needs more people in it.

                  1. I am not only pro-choice, I am pro-abortion. I simply don’t think society has any good reason to consider a fetus a rights-bearing person.

                    Great, so fetuses don’t have rights. So aborting them, or not aborting them, isn’t good or bad.

                    OK then, why, then, is it still bad to ban women from having abortions, under this scenario? Is it irrelevent either way? Why, given that fetuses have no rights, is the final conclusion to “leave women alone” rather than “let democracy decide”? Funny how, without a good reason to ban something, the default answer is to “leave people alone.”

                    In other words, you’re implicitly agreeing with the libertarian position, although you probably don’t know it. Even when the other important circumstances are completely taken away, given no good reason, you default to “leave people alone”. Seems like “leaving people alone” is an important concept, given that all those other reasons go away, and it still results in the same decision.

                    1. Have I ever indicated that I support government meddling in people’s lives for no reason? Of course leaving people alone is an important consideration for a free society. I don’t support any regulation or law that doesn’t produce better social outcomes than the absence of such would.

                      You also seem to be asking if I think democratic majorities ought to be able to ban abortion. That’s a tougher one for me, but of course I’m fine with presuming a constitutional right to privacy that precludes this (I don’t think abortion is a trivial thing as you suggest but a basic human right that ought to be protected from simple majorities like other body-ownership principles).

                    2. Of course leaving people alone is an important consideration for a free society

                      Thanks.

                    3. Unborn women would like to be left alone.

      2. “If it’s about some harmless activity you undertake in your own home…”

        All of those acts affect individual health prognoses, which is a collectivist concern and a perfectly valid subject for strict federal regulation and the imposition criminal penalty as it affects interstate commerce, err i mean we can tax it.

        1. So is your sarcasm intended to argue for a system in which people are allowed to do harm to others with impunity on a more widespread basis?

          1. You do not really believe that people should be free — even in the privacy of their own homes. You often act and speak as if you do believe people have a right to privacy, and/or to some measure of inalienable personal liberty, but, in fact, you believe these are mere privileges which the state can, and does, and should revoke from time to time — whenever the state deems that limiting (or eliminating) such rights will benefit the collective.

            You will tell me there is no basis to believe in natural rights, and you will make a good case, but it’s revealing that you hide your disdain for such rights. You could say: “I don’t believe humans have any ‘rights,’ all we have is temporary license from the state to act…” Your rhetoric shows that, like Professor Gruber, you think it’s A-ok to conceal truth when building support for policies you find beneficial.

            1. I’m not sure I understand the value of this distinction. Does it make you feel better to think that rights precede the governments that enforce them? Why should I care about that? We get to roughly the same place with respect to which rights we believe should exist, so the question of where they come from is pretty academic. The difference between libertarians and me is I don’t have a knee-jerk reaction to the word “government.” It’s a neutral word to me. Government can function well or poorly. But it’s always going to be there, and if you want to actually have rights to enjoy, you better hope it is.

      3. The lenght of time that Kermit Gosnell was allowed to stay in business after serious complaints were made against him strikes me as a strong argument that the “Pro Choice” people include at least a smattering of comitted believers in eugenics. They didn’t care if Gosnell was killing bown women, so long as he was also killing brown fetuses.

      4. “It’s a question of what maximizes well-being for people”

        no it’s not. That is a secondary concern of government in minor regulatory issues, given that the regulations aren’t too onerous in the first place. The first concern is freedom; that’s the idea this country was founded on

    5. What reason would there be for many people to learn about such things, when there’s no way most of them could act on that knowledge to make a difference?

  6. Not one damn “?” in the whole essay, and the Judge still gets raked over the coals! He can’t win.

    1. What if we run out of coal? What if all rakes are destroyed? What if nobody wins?!?

      1. Everyone wins and gets a medal. Everyone.

        Oh wait – this is Reason.
        There will be no meddling.

        1. I see what you did there! Bazinga!

    2. Now if only he’d cut out the “stated differently” and replace it with something different.

  7. ” The fetus in the womb is a legal person”?could have been enacted by a simple majority vote in Congress and signed into law by any of our so-called pro-life presidents, thus stopping the slaughter.”

    I generally agree with the judge, and I do agree with the proposal itself, buy I do not see the authority to determine when life legally begins listed in the Constitution(perhaps a tortured reading of 14A) and therefore conclude it is up to each state to make its own laws regarding murder, man slaughter etc.

  8. Well Andy, you finally lost me with your rant on abortion. You are showing your true colors. You are fine with minimal government intervention in our lives, until its one of YOUR issues that YOU feel strongly about. Then you want nanny to impose your will on everyone.

    According to Gallup, only 21% of Americans say abortion should be illegal under any circumstances, while 28% say legal under all circumstances, and fully 78% say legal under some circumstances. So, Andy, you would advocate for passing a federal law that 78% of Americans oppose? Sounds like you have “I know what’s best for all” syndrome, just like those you criticize.

    You are the worst kind of hypocrite. Reason is starting to look and sound just like all the other lamestream media.

    Gallup polls here http://www.gallup.com/poll/1576/abortion.aspx

    1. 1) majorities existed for slavery and interning Japanese at one point. Are we going to let majoritarian impulses control the law?

      2) it seems a bit disingenuous to call anti-abortion legislation a cut against limited government unless you’re an honest-to-God anarchist. Even a “nightwatchman” minarchy would have laws against murder (abortion is considered murder by those who advocate against it).

      I don’t understand how you can call napolitano a hypocrite for this one.

      1. Every person Gallop polled was already born.

  9. Laissez-faire advocates do not have a monopoly on the concept of liberty. If there is some stark difference in the amount of freedom modern-day Americans enjoy and that of modern-day Europeans or Americans of 100 years ago, I’d like an actual description of this difference. Because I’d rather be alive now than 100 years ago, and I don’t really think Danes and Swedes are meaningfully less free than us. Since they lack the stress that comes with not having guaranteed healthcare, for example, they are actually more free in concrete ways.

    I really wish you guys would be precise in your language. All you are talking about is the trivial amount of freedom that comes to a very wealthy person paying some amount less in taxes. Stop extrapolating that to be the one and only definition of freedom.

    1. It is now 102 years ago, but the biggest difference is the national government’s legal ability to directly plunder property (income) of its private citizens. This new “revenue” source has enabled all kinds of mischief by our handlers in DC. We now fund the Military Industrial Complex and Foreign Aid to make us less safe abroad, the NSA to make us less free at home, food (e.g. sugar) subsidies to make our food more costly and thousands of other things that are all small losses in liberty

      1. Bitching about the income tax (among all the other taxes people pay) is to do just what I said: focus only on that one complaint in life rich people have. It’s a con job. A sales tax is still taking money out of your pocket, only it’s going to disproportionately take the money of the poor instead. The reason for the income tax is to balance the other, regressive, taxes that apparently you are OK with despite the fact that they are still money taken from people by government–no meaningful difference.

        We can debate the specific activities of government, but it’s still a very narrow definition of freedom when you focus only on taxes (and then only on certain types). Some things taxes pay for greatly increase people’s freedom.

        1. You asked a question and I answered it. I don’t consider that “bitching” but whatever. There are huge moral and practical differences between how consumption taxes and annual levies on property affect and our freedom. When I pay my income taxes, I do so under threat of force while providing all sorts of personal, private information. When we pay consumption taxes, we do so anonymously, knowingly in return for the assurance our transactions will be reasonably free of fraud and threat to our persons and property.

          1. Not only that, but to a certain degree you have a choice when it comes to consumption taxes. You don’t pay until you buy something. No income tax means people are free to invest their income without a penalty. To Tony that is terrible, because when people invest then they might get rich. That must be stopped.

            Here’s the thing. Tony is driven by envy. He hates the rich. He hates them because they invest in factories that create jobs for people. He hates them because they produce products that people buy of their own free will. He hates them because they don’t compel people to buy their products, and because people work for them of their own free will. He hates them because he hates liberty.

            In his ideal world government runs everything. There are no rich and there are no corporations. You do your assigned work and you receive your allotted goods. Everything is tightly controlled. There is no liberty. You must ask permission and obey orders.

            That is Tony’s idea of freedom.

            1. Nothing you wrote is true or contributes helpfully to this discussion. Really, it’s tiresome. I don’t hate or envy rich people. Given the choice, I’d hang out with rich people over poor people any day of the week. They have much better liquor.

              1. Yet you want to tax and regulate them into oblivion. Yeah right. Fucking idiot.

                1. No I don’t. If I did, you’d have a mote of a point as you fall all over yourself and the cliches and bullshit you’ve employed in order to defend plutocracy.

          2. That’s certainly a valid distinction to make, though I’m not so sure it’s as valid as it might have been in the past considering none of us has much anonymity anymore anyway. To me it becomes a question of priorities then. Is it worth sacrificing all that income taxes make possible in the name of protecting anonymity in transactions? Possibly. I like a strong federal government though.

            1. The privacy issue is just one big plank in a rather large, obvious, stable platform against the national income tax.

              More planks:
              * The rates are arbitrary, and are now a political football
              * The collection mechanism is unwieldy and costly
              * It is immoral, a la “Thou shall not steal”; democracy does not excuse immorality, but often can promote it.
              * It opens the door for government mischief, boondoggles and corruption
              * Tracking who owes how much and when has become a big business. Ironically this “business” delivers nothing productive in and of itself: no infrastructure, no safety, no security, no aid services, etc… If those resources were available to spend elsewhere, our standards of living would increase accordingly.

              Why does anyone like a “strong federal (sic) government”? You realize a federated government would be very weak at the top by definition, right?

        2. Tony:

          The reason for the income tax is to balance the other, regressive, taxes that apparently you are OK with despite the fact that they are still money taken from people by government–no meaningful difference.

          If that’s what you think the reason of the income tax is, then you don’t understand the subject very well.

          The federal government has no sales tax. States have sales taxes, to fund state spending. The federal government primarily has income taxes, which fund federal spending, which goes to completely different things.

          Your argument might make sense at a state level, in some states, but, in general, it fails completely. Most state income taxes aren’t progressive enough to even balance out the fairness of the sales tax; it merely exists as an additional form of revenue. And, as the previous commenter pointed out, the federal income tax goes to pay for a bunch of monstrous things (i.e., military industrial complex), for which there are no sales taxes to support.

          The feds created the income tax and raised it over the years precisely to have more power and direct capital to where they want it to go, instead of where people would have it go. There was and is no consideration for “balancing out” sales taxes out of fairness.

          Also, fairness doesn’t equal freedom, so it’s irrelevent. Progressives tend to miss that, though (i.e., Eric Garner isn’t a tragedy only because he’s black, and we don’t have enough white strangle videos).

          1. So we’re being even more specific and talking about the federal income tax. What’s the real complaint here? Not taxation generally, not even income taxation generally, just the federal government being more powerful than you like? That’s fine, it does a lot of things I disagree with too, but it does a lot of things I like that state and local governments can’t or won’t do. I struggle to see how modern civilization is possible without a strong federal government, but you’re entitled to prefer a different system.

            I think fairness is at least part of the freedom equation. If poor people are sacrificing half their wealth to pay for necessary government services so that rich people are less burdened, that makes a lot of people less concretely free.

            1. So we’re being even more specific and talking about the federal income tax.

              If you’ll notice, I talked about state income taxes, too.

              If you’re not going to read for comprehension, then I’m not sure what the point is.

            2. If poor people are sacrificing half their wealth to pay for necessary government services so that rich people are less burdened, that makes a lot of people less concretely free.

              This is just question begging: you’re merely claiming that wealth taxation should be progressive, and if it isn’t, then you claim people are less free.

              1. I think money provides people with freedom. Taking half the income of a poor person makes them struggle to address basic needs. Taking half the income of a rich person means he’s still a rich person. The whole point is freedom. I care about maximizing it; you seem to prefer to maximize it only for the wealthy.

                1. I think money provides people with freedom. Taking half the income of a poor person makes them struggle to address basic needs. Taking half the income of a rich person means he’s still a rich person. The whole point is freedom. I care about maximizing it; you seem to prefer to maximize it only for the wealthy.

                  Nice try, again, but you’re still question begging.

                  If money provides people with freedom, then the rich person will always be more free than the poor person, no matter how you tax them (unless, of course, the idea is to tax personal wealth into oblivion). Again, you’re just substituting fairness for freedom, because feels, or something.

                  Your argument would be more coherent if you frame it in terms of wealth redistribution, not merely taxation. Perhaps you should give that a go.

                  1. I think taxation and wealth redistribution are the same process and that there is no meaningful moral distinction between the process of taxing someone and redistributing that money to a defense contractor or redistributing it to poor elderly people (though the activities we pay for may be morally distinct).

                    1. Technically, they are, but wealth redistribution can go both ways.

                      it seems your argument is more coherent if you assume a system which redistributes wealth from rich to poor. Not an arbitrary system that just happens to tax rich people more. You could cut all social spending, eliminate sales taxes, and keep the progressive federal income tax, and you’ve have your wonderful progressive tax system. What you wouldn’t have is any distribution from the rich to the poor.

      2. To that, I would add the drug war and the police state. I’m not sure what the stats are 100 years ago, but I’m pretty sure the incarceration rate for victimless crimes was a lot lower 100 years ago, and I’m not sure that’s progress.

    2. Laissez-faire advocates do not have a monopoly on the concept of liberty….
      All you are talking about is the trivial amount of freedom that comes to a very wealthy person paying some amount less in taxes. Stop extrapolating that to be the one and only definition of freedom.

      Wow. That’s a whole lot of stupid, that is.

      Yep. Laissez-Faire means low taxes on the rich and nothing more. It doesn’t mean the freedom to buy and sell without asking permission and obeying orders. No. It doesn’t mean being free to trade with whomever you want to trade with without asking permission and obeying orders. It doesn’t mean producing products without asking permission and obeying orders. Nope. It only means lower taxes for the rich.

      What a fucking idiot you are.

      1. And fewer regulations on their industries, fine. It’s still only a system that benefits people who already have the wealth and power.

        1. Yeah. Because wealth and power are the same thing. Because a wealthy person can coerce me into working in their factory and coerce me into buying their products. Yeah. Those evil wealthy people have so much power.

          What a fucking idiot you are.

          1. Do people really freely choose to work in sweatshops? An appreciation of this nuance is the difference between libertarians and liberals. People are only ever free with respect to the options available to them. A laissez-faire system, the evidence shows, leaves most people with far fewer options (and a very few people with a lot more money).

            1. Tony:

              Do people really freely choose to work in sweatshops? An appreciation of this nuance is the difference between libertarians and liberals. People are only ever free with respect to the options available to them. A laissez-faire system, the evidence shows, leaves most people with far fewer options (and a very few people with a lot more money).

              If people are only free with respect to their options, then how do you make them more free by banning options?

              1. If people are only free with respect to their options, then how do you make them more free by banning options?

                For the same reason minimum wage should be fifteen bucks an hour. If the option isn’t good enough to please Tony, then the poor should not have it.

              2. You restrict poor options with the goal of opening up better options. It’s better when you can choose among restaurants that all have to comply with health codes, even if it means restricting the freedom of restaurant owners to cut corners by poisoning a few patrons here and there. It’s an elevated overall system. Of course there is a conundrum in that it’s quite possible that wealthy western societies might never have been able to enjoy the elevated set of options they have without someone doing cheap and underregulated labor, which we’ve now simply outsourced to developing countries.

                1. You restrict poor options with the goal of opening up better options. It’s better when you can choose among restaurants that all have to comply with health codes, even if it means restricting the freedom of restaurant owners to cut corners by poisoning a few patrons here and there.

                  So healthy restaurants only open up as an option when you ban unhealthy restaurants? Are we strictly considering reality now?

                  1. So healthy restaurants only open up as an option when you ban unhealthy restaurants? Are we strictly considering reality now?

                    You don’t understand. No one does anything voluntarily. Tony has said so on multiple occasions. So restaurants will all serve poison unless the government tells them to serve healthy food. He even said that the only reason parents take care of their kids is because the government says they must. Now in his case I imagine the only reason his parents took care of his retarded ass is because the government told them to, but for most people that is not the case. He’s a fucking idiot.

                  2. I suggest that more restaurants would cut corners if they were allowed to. The whole principle behind regulations, minimum wages, and a social safety net is to put a floor on the level of misery in society. I defend a system that has actually done so. You support a theoretical system you promise will do even better, even though there are no examples.

                    1. You support a theoretical system you promise will do even better, even though there are no examples.

                      Ah yes. I’m sure that if you were alive at the time when kingdoms ruled, you would say self government cannot do better because there are no examples.
                      Or a thousand years ago you’d say that a society without slavery could not exist.
                      Ten thousand years ago you’d say that growing grain was impossible.
                      Your utter lack of imagination makes you… and idiot.

                    2. I have a good imagination, I just don’t think there’s much point in talking about fantasy societies. I am well aware that you put little stock in the value of evidence, though.

                    3. I am well aware that you put little stock in logic or reason. Probably because you are capable of neither.

                    4. I defend a system that has actually done so. You support a theoretical system you promise will do even better, even though there are no examples.

                      There are lots of examples where libertarian principles do much better than socialist ones.

                      Really, action and inaction are equivalent. A government or a system shouldn’t be judged by just what it does, but also but what it doesn’t do. When you consider all the ways that governments act in accord with libertarian principles, the results are often outstandingly better, when compared to alternatives.

                      For example: capitalism. Capitalism isn’t the brain child of socialists, and, at this point, socialists have even redefined themselves to adopt it as their own, i.e., after their own models of centrally planned societies completely failed in the 20th century. Of course, you still find the occasional socialist whiner, who would much rather have no food than pay market prices for food, etc. But, in general, that debate is over.

                      Free speech. That’s generally a good idea. Freedom of association, freedom of travel, etc.

                      To the degree that there are no pure libertarian society examples, then, really, there are no pure democrat/republican/socialist examples, either. However, if the idea is that you get to claim the entire world, despite it’s departures from your preferences, while libertarians are forced to find some anarchic society somewhere, then that’s not really fair.

                    5. However, if the idea is that you get to claim the entire world, despite it’s departures from your preferences, while libertarians are forced to find some anarchic society somewhere, then that’s not really fair.

                      It’s a common tactic that leftists use when talking with libertarians. They demand to see an example of a perfect libertarian society, and then smugly sit back and wait since they know it is impossible. Then they claim victory.

                      They’re fucking idiots.

            2. Do people really freely choose to work in sweatshops?

              Yes. Yes, they do. They do so because the alternative is usually subsistence farming, otherwise known as grinding poverty. Working at the sweat shops allows them to raise their standard of living. Otherwise they wouldn’t do it. Over time as more people work at the sweat shops, and buy stuff with the money they earn, the community gets richer. Before long the factories can afford to be safer and pay the workers better. It’s called progress. That’s why the garment factories move from country to country. They go to places where they can pay the least, but after time as the communities get richer, the factories can no longer afford to operate at the low cost level that consumers demand. So they go to another country, raise their standard of living, and then move on. Meanwhile companies that can afford to operate with better conditions and better pay move in. Quality of life goes up.

              Sweat shops are actually a wonderful thing. They bring people out of poverty. I know you cannot comprehend this, but I’m not posting it for you. I’m posting it in case someone with a brain is reading this thread.

              Fucking idiot.

              1. If the only alternatives are subsistence farming or sweatshops, you can be pretty safe betting that we’re talking about a laissez-faire society. You dogmatically not liking government doesn’t mean that in reality it hasn’t played a large role in raising people’s standard of living.

                1. If the only alternatives are subsistence farming or sweatshops, you can be pretty safe betting that we’re talking about a laissez-faire society.

                  Because the governments of the countries where sweatshops and subsistence farming exist have done such a brilliant job at bringing people out of poverty…

                2. If the only alternatives are subsistence farming or sweatshops, you can be pretty safe betting that we’re talking about a laissez-faire society.

                  Um, no. You can be pretty safe betting that it is a socialist paradise. Laissez-faire reforms are what allow the sweat shops to enter the market and create wealth for the people.

                  You dogmatically not liking government doesn’t mean that in reality it hasn’t played a large role in raising people’s standard of living.

                  Governments have no wealth. They produce no wealth. All they can do is take from one and give to another (while taking a cut for its workers). Government getting out of the way is what creates prosperity and wealth, because all governments do is stop people from conducting productive enterprises while taking away their wealth. No prosperity is created by government. None.

                  Fucking idiot.

                  1. That’s just dogmatic nonsense. Governments building a transportation infrastructure has nothing to do with creating prosperity? Universal education has nothing to do with increasing prosperity? Putting thieves in jail has nothing to do with creating prosperity?

                    1. Governments building a transportation infrastructure has nothing to do with creating prosperity?

                      Nope. That presupposes that only government can make roads, and that all government roads make people prosperous. A glance at history shows that roads do not need to be created by government, and the ones that do create prosperity will indeed be made by private parties.

                      Universal education has nothing to do with increasing prosperity?

                      Again, that presupposes that only government can provide education, and that absent government the poor would have no access to education. A quick glance at history shows that that too is a tall tale.

                      Putting thieves in jail has nothing to do with creating prosperity?

                      Nope. Putting thieves in jail is justice. One of the few legitimate duties of government.

                      Fucking idiot.

                      I’m going to go do something productive now.

                    2. If you feel free to simply make bullshit up, then what’s the point of having a conversation? Where on earth and at what point in history have private entities created a transportation infrastructure or universal education?

                      Nope. Putting thieves in jail is justice. One of the few legitimate duties of government.

                      You keep saying “fucking idiot” while crapping out question-begging nonsense like this. Does a system of justice have something to do with creating prosperity or not? Or are you just defining terms now in different ways depending on now they need to support your ridiculous dogmatic conclusions?

                      And I’ve noticed how you always claim you’re bored and want to move on just as you’ve cornered yourself into a preposterous argument.

                    3. And I’ve noticed how you always claim you’re bored and want to move on just as you’ve cornered yourself into a preposterous argument.

                      No, I’m just tired. You keep moving the goalposts, and I’m tired.

                      Idiot.

                    4. Fine Tony. One for comment.

                      Where does the money come from to build the roads?

                      Where does the money come from to fund the schools?

                      Government has no resources. All it has is force. It produces nothing. It doesn’t make the roads. It takes money by force, and then pays people to build roads. Same with schools. If I don’t pay property taxes to fund the schools, they take my house away from me and sell it. If I don’t go willingly they send the cops. If I fight back then they kill me. Governments produce nothing. All it has is force.

                      Then there’s opportunity cost. As in what productive purposes could that appropriated money been put to had government not taken it away? Would we be better off? We’ll never know.

                      Idiot.

                    5. Governments produce nothing. All it has is force.

                      What’s your point? I know rich people who don’t produce a whole lot except carbon dioxide. It’s not government’s job to be a cog in the capitalist machine; its job is to be the entity that enforces rules and manages the distribution of resources society-wide. How exactly do you expect capitalism to work with no enforced rules? Why do you think you should be able to get away with not paying your share in taxes?

                      Then there’s opportunity cost.

                      True, but it’s not like it’s that difficult to figure out where resources would go if government weren’t directing them to building highways and scientific research. We have had low-tax, small-government eras before, and much of the wealth in society went to building grotesque Palladian mansions. I am willing to sacrifice the extreme luxuries of the Gilded Age if resources can be directed toward educating children and keeping them from starving, if that’s the necessary tradeoff.

                    6. I know rich people who don’t produce a whole lot except carbon dioxide.

                      I bet their wealth is producing something of value in the form of working capital.

                      It’s not government’s job to be a cog in the capitalist machine; its job is to be the entity that enforces rules

                      Yes…

                      and manages the distribution of resources society-wide.

                      No. That’s what prices do. Supply and demand. Supply goes down someplace while demand remains constant, then the price goes up. That higher price creates incentive to get goods there and make a profit. Before long supply is where it was, and price comes back down. When government distributes resources, all it can do is fuck things up.

                      The rest of your comment is just plain stupid. Who are you to decide what the rich do with their money, as long as they got rich through voluntary transactions with consenting members of society? Unless a person is in government, the only way to get rich in a free market is by making peoples’ lives better.

                      The Walten family that you hate so much has gotten wealthy by making millions of Americans richer. They provide jobs while selling goods at lower prices. They provide people income while giving people the opportunity to purchase cheaper goods, which makes their income go further. They are American heroes.

                      Yet you hate them because they are rich.

                      Fucking idiot.

                    7. Seriously? The Waltons? *They* are American heroes? For what? For being the product of rich sperm? Getting handed billions of dollars from daddy is not what I call productive work. Could you be any more of a bootlicking apologist for plutocrats?

                    8. Putting thieves in jail has nothing to do with creating prosperity?

                      Putting thieves in jail isn’t exactly against libertarian principles, either.

                3. If the only alternatives are subsistence farming or sweatshops, you can be pretty safe betting that we’re talking about a laissez-faire society.

                  Actually, that’s completely wrong.

                  1. Actually, that’s completely wrong.

                    As a typical leftist, he feels that free markets mean a two-tiered society comprised of slave laborers ruled by wealthy corporate overlords.

                    He’s an idiot.

                    1. And that, somehow, all state societies which avoid laissez-faire policies never result in subsistence farming or sweatshops. Sounds like a great description of pre-liberalized China, and I wouldn’t describe that as a laissez-faire society.

            3. A laissez-faire system, the evidence shows, leaves most people with far fewer options (and a very few people with a lot more money).

              What evidence? Hong Kong and Singapore?

              Fucking idiot.

              1. If you’re allowed to define laissez-faire as including a bunch of safety net programs and even systems in which the government owns all the property, then that’s not really fair.

                1. Laissez-faire means the government stays out of markets. That’s it. You like to define it in absurdly false ways like low taxes for the rich, because you are too stupid to understand the concept of liberty.

                  Fucking idiot.

            4. Do people really freely choose to work in sweatshops?

              Yes. In places where sweatshops exists, working there is a better option than things one might otherwise be doing. Methinks you have a problem with voluntarism.

              A laissez-faire system, the evidence shows, leaves most people with far fewer options

              Citation?

              and a very few people with a lot more money

              “Money” =/= “Wealth”
              Additionally, the contents of income brackets are in a state of constant flux. In other words, people routinely move into and out of different levels of income.

    3. Hi Tony,

      I feel like your question got derailed in talking about taxes. A fair conversation, but not a great deal of it.

      Here are some ways we are less free than we were 100 years ago. Given, I am talking about late 1800s, but this fiasco started around WWI.

      * The long list of police brutality concerns. Things like no-knock entrances, SWAT teams to deal with minor infractions, etc.
      * The Drug War. Related to above, of course, but separate. Illegalization of many substances.
      * Control of food/alcohol production. There was a time when a private farmer could have a dozen chickens or a few cows and sell his neighbor what his anymals produced.
      * The Draft. (Isn’t that one enough?)
      * Open borders. My Granddaddy came through Ellis Island, 2 years old, by his parents. He would be called a Dreamer now, and would have needed “special dispensation” to stay.
      * Free Speech Zones. It used to be, on a college campus, quoting Nietzsche lost you friends. Now quoting the Bible can get you removed from campus.
      * Gun control laws.
      * World-wide wire tapping and spying. Though not a direct reduction of freedom, being monitored has a chilling affect on freedom.

      I could go on. But I don’t want to. Does this help?

      1. Unless, of course, you were anything other than a white man with money.

        1. Yeah, in some ways, some people are more free than before. However, you didn’t ask that question.

          Personally, I’m really happy that, one way or another, people figured out how to abolish slavery and give women property rights. If you wait long enough, some governments and democracies adopt libertarian principles in many ways. Personally, I think it’s surprising how long it takes to grant basic freedom to entire classes of people. Then again, my philosophy is based on the idea that harming people through violence is wrong, instead of “democracy fuck yeah derpy derp.”

    4. //Laissez-faire advocates do not have a monopoly on the concept of liberty

      yes we do. Throughout your years of posting here you have made it explicitly clear that you do not at all value liberty in and of itself, and care only for your idea of “the general good”

      You just usually deny it since that’s more convenient to your dialogue

      1. I believe in liberty that people actually get to enjoy, not the theoretical trickle-down kind you guys talk about.

  10. A simple one-line statute?”The fetus in the womb is a legal person”?could have been enacted by a simple majority vote in Congress and signed into law by any of our so-called pro-life presidents…

    And they never will. Keeping the issue around as a wedge issue to divide and concquer as well as to whip up certain portions of the base is too important for both parties. I highly doubt anything will ever change regarding abortion, which is why I consider single issue abortion voters (pro-life and pro-choice) to be some of the biggest morons on the planet.

  11. The almanac has designated The US as capitalist/socialist for the past may decades. Isn’t every government that taxes a little socialist? It’s just a matter of degrees, right?

  12. I’m trying to figure out that picture. If I could make out what the object in the sky at the top and a bit left of center was, maybe that’s the joke.

  13. Societies and economies grow out of shit, expand, thrive, prosper and then people forget they grew out of shit, start trying to fuck them to death with statist socialism and then glacially they dive back into the depths of shit – whether they are remembered depends on technology.
    Most of the developed world is completely unprepared for the eventual face-plan that is coming. IMHO

    1. Free societies prosper, and when they prosper their governments can afford to extract more blood from their host. Before long the government claims to be the source of prosperity, and stupids like Tony believe it. As the government grows, liberty shrinks. As liberty shrinks, so does prosperity. This means less blood in the host, but the parasite sucks even more. Before long the host dies, and the cycle starts anew.

      1. It’s almost a law of nature . . .

        1. I am starting to believe that it is. Governments are organized violence. Everything they do is predicated on organized violence. That’s how they plunder society. Society is comprised of individuals, and organized violence will always triumph over individuals. And there will always be some group of men employing organized violence for the purpose of plunder. The only way to stop organized violence is with organized violence, so the best you can do is knock down one plunderer and replace it with another. Either way, the parasite will always exist, and it will always kill the host. It’s the cycle of history.

  14. “Both parties support perpetual war and perpetual debt.”

    All American parties support perpetual war and perpetual debt.

    fify

  15. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for 74 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail
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  16. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
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  17. …the government today is not the constitutionally restrained protector of personal freedoms the Framers left us…

    It never was. Congress was given the power to tax.

  18. In spite of Napolitano’s statement, the majority of libertarians are in favor of abortion rights, according to the Pew Foundation. “The U.S. Libertarian Party political platform (2012) states: “Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.”

    The offical position of the Association of Libertarian Feminists is “The basic human right to limit one’s own reproduction includes the right to all forms of birth control (contraception, including sterilization, and abortion), recognizing the dual responsibility of both sexes. ALF therefore opposes all practices and all governmental actions that restrict access to any of these means of birth control, and advocates the elimination of all laws and practices that would compel any woman to bear a child against her will.”

    Napolitano does not speak for the majority of libertarians on the issue of abortion!! Unlike conservatives, we care about what happens to women. Our first concern is with the woman who suffer and die without legal abortions.

    1. I would like to see a recent survey on libertarian opinions on abortion. You can be fully libertarian and support abortion restrictions or even outright bans, in the sense that a legitimate function of government is to protect persons from aggression, and abortion is certainly a major aggression, although experience shows that the personal and societal troubles of excessive restriction or prohibition are arguably as bad or worse than the abortions themselves. Libertarian philosophy is silent enough on the issue of “personhood,” but that is the key issue, upon which the abortion controversy hinges, so consistent libertarians of good will and good faith can fall on either side of the question, depending upon where they each draw the “personhood” line.

      I suspect that the vast majority of libertarians still oppose MOST restrictions on abortion, while only a small minority support strong restrictions or complete prohibition. But I would bet that Ms. Presley might be surprised by the number of excellent libertarians who could accept — and even promote — SOME limitations on abortion. It’s a very tricky and contentious question, as she no doubt knows.

  19. In less developed countries in Africa and Southeast Asia, as well as other countries, the human cost of having abortion illegal is very high. According to the World Health Organization, there about 20 million unsafe abortions per year, mostly in countries where abortion is illegal; about 68,000 of these women die every year.38 An additional estimated 2?7 million sustain long-term damage or disease. Of those damaged by unsafe abortions, 20?40 percent result in secondary infertility. Do not their lives matter? Human beings, both woman and children, are suffering and/or dying in the millions every year in large part because abortions are illegal. Any so-called right that results in this much harm and death must be seriously questioned, if not declared outright monstrous.

  20. “A simple one-line statute?’The fetus in the womb is a legal person’?could have been enacted by a simple majority vote in Congress and signed into law by any of our so-called pro-life presidents, thus stopping the slaughter.”

    As if passing a law stops something or makes something happen against the will and the habit of the people.

    If the Judge’s statistics on this matter are correct — if a baby is aborted every minute in this country — then that strikes me as a horrifying overuse (abuse) of this option. Still, passage of the “simple one-line statue,” as expressed by the Judge, above, would perhaps create an even more horrific world. It is already true that people who deliberately or negligently harm a pregnant woman can be charged with additional offenses or given greater punishments, if the woman loses the baby due to that harm. How much more litigation — and how many more draconian laws — would we see, if it were the government’s FUNCTION to save the life of fetuses in the womb, or prevent or redress any harm done them? Surely the Judge knows that, as stated, the “simple one-line statute” would open a Pandora’s Box of troubles, equal to, or greater than the problems inherent in widespread abortion. So why taunt “pro-life Presidents” and legislators for their failure to enact such a straw man law? That’s just not playing fair.

    I truly appreciate the Judge’s dedication to our founding documents and principles, but for me, he seemed over the top in this case.

  21. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link,
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  22. We really need to stop abortion as part of the effort to roll back women’s sexual freedom because, frankly, that experiment has turned into a social disaster. Women lack their own strength and agency, despite all the nonsensical propaganda to the contrary. When women reject the authority of fathers and husbands, they don’t mysteriously become “empowered.” Instead they turn to the state as a substitute for the strength and agency of men in private relationships, and they vote for politicians who offer to redistribute wealth to them.

    Napolitano, like other social conservatives thinks like an economist about freedom: Increasing women’s sexual freedom doesn’t give us a free lunch, but instead costs men in other areas, namely, in our political and economic freedom.

  23. You want to go on vacation with a small budget? There are many countries where it is possible to live like a king with 25 or 30 dollars per day….. Liberty aint lost
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