Edwin Lyngar of Salon.com attempts (and fails) to make a reasonable case against Cliven Bundy

It brings a smile to my face that I can tell that Edwin Lyngar writes a new article because I start getting page hits on my critique of his “Why I fled libertarianism—and became a liberal” piece. Because of that post, I currently hold a top five spot on Google when you search for “Edwin Lyngar”. It’s the little things in life that brings one joy, isn’t it?

Okay, so enough bragging about myself, I think I should critique this new article as well, called “Fox News’ demented poster boy: Why angry rancher Cliven Bundy is no patriot” on Salon.com. I’m not going to defend Fox News here or whether or not a person should be a “patriot” because of the implications of support of the state. Rather, I want to focus on how poorly Lyngar understands a lot of concepts that he uses to criticize Bundy. For the sake of some brevity, I cannot comment on all of his terrible logic, so I picked the major ones.

Lyngar complains that Bundy isn’t paying grazing fees to the government and is using public resources for free, going so far as accusing Bundy of being “clearly a straight up communist.”

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The White Rose

I don’t go around preaching liberty all day, but most of my friends know my position or at least have an idea of what I think.  Politics come up from time to time and if time permits, I generally do not bite my tongue.  My thoughts are definitely outside of the mainstream so I don’t usually get agreement right away.  When I say taxes are backed by violence some people think I’m crazy, some people get visibly upset, and sometimes people are intrigued.  The people who show some interest usually ask more questions and by the end of a long conversation I’ll hear something like “This all sounds great, but Continue reading

Remembering the case of Warren v. District of Columbia

Do the police have an obligation to provide protection to the individual? To answer this, let’s remember the case of Warren v. District of Columbia. According to Wikipedia:

In the early morning hours of Sunday, March 16, 1975, Carolyn Warren and Joan Taliaferro, who shared a room on the third floor of their rooming house at 1112 Lamont Street Northwest in the District of Columbia, and Miriam Douglas, who shared a room on the second floor with her four-year-old daughter, were asleep. The women were awakened by the sound of the back door being broken down by two men later identified as Marvin Kent and James Morse. The men entered Douglas’ second floor room, where Kent forced Douglas to perform oral sex on him and Morse raped her.

Warren and Taliaferro heard Douglas’ screams from the floor below. Warren telephoned the police, told the officer on duty that the house was being burglarized, and requested immediate assistance. The department employee told her to remain quiet and assured her that police assistance would be dispatched promptly.

Warren’s call was received at Metropolitan Police Department Headquarters at 0623 hours, and was recorded as a burglary-in-progress. At 0626, a call was dispatched to officers on the street as a “Code 2″ assignment, although calls of a crime in progress should be given priority and designated as “Code 3.” Four police cruisers responded to the broadcast; three to the Lamont Street address and one to another address to investigate a possible suspect.

Meanwhile, Warren and Taliaferro crawled from their window onto an adjoining roof and waited for the police to arrive. While there, they observed one policeman drive through the alley behind their house and proceed to the front of the residence without stopping, leaning out the window, or getting out of the car to check the back entrance of the house. A second officer apparently knocked on the door in front of the residence, but left when he received no answer. The three officers departed the scene at 0633, five minutes after they arrived.

Warren and Taliaferro crawled back inside their room. They again heard Douglas’ continuing screams; again called the police; told the officer that the intruders had entered the home, and requested immediate assistance. Once again, a police officer assured them that help was on the way. This second call was received at 0642 and recorded merely as “investigate the trouble;” it was never dispatched to any police officers.

Believing the police might be in the house, Warren and Taliaferro called down to Douglas, thereby alerting Kent to their presence. At knife point, Kent and Morse then forced all three women to accompany them to Kent’s apartment. For the next fourteen hours the captive women were raped, robbed, beaten, forced to commit sexual acts upon one another, and made to submit to the sexual demands of Kent and Morse.

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An Uzi in play keeps the riots away

The arrival of well-armed militias in support of the Bundy Ranch against the BLM gave us a reminder of why it is important for individuals to be able to arm and defend themselves as they see fit. Had the supporters of Cliven Bundy and his family not had guns, the agents of the state would have had a much easier time imposing their will. It is of course true that if the government wanted to outgun them, they could have very easily done so, but they did have a PR battle to worry about. I’m not sure it would have been in their best interest to escalate things, so they backed off.

This display by ordinary people reminded me of another example of when heavy weaponry was necessary. I remembered video I saw some time ago of the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles. Many people took the situation as an opportunity to loot businesses, attack passersby, and cause general chaos. In many places, the police were nowhere to be found.

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What does it take to move the world?

Now, the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you may not be right for some. A man is born, he’s a man of means. Then along come two, they got nothing but their jeans.

Everybody’s got a special kind of story. Everybody finds a way to shine. It don’t matter that you go not a lot, so what. They’ll have theirs, and you’ll have yours, and I’ll have mine. And together we’ll be fine.

Because it take Diff’rent Strokes to move the world. Yes it does.

Yes, those are the lyrics to the theme song of the 80’s sitcom Diff’rent Strokes. Don’t ask me why I started thinking about the theme song of Diff’rent Strokes the other day, but the lyrics really struck me. Is there anybody out there who thinks these lyrics send a bad message? No, almost nobody does. So why do people become incensed when you suggest that it would be better if people actually lived that way?

Whatchoo talkin bout, Rollo Continue reading

Prohibition, not the prohibited, causes violence

There are a number of films that we’ve all seen that depict a dystopian, maybe post-apocalyptic world where some sort of gang controls much of the society and/or economy. Many times the gangs are super-violent, enjoy casually murdering innocent people, and get their funding from the sale of illegal drugs or engage in some other black market. The hero of the story is usually a lone soul fighting evil in the name of the law.

The markets these gangs do business in are always illegal. Whether its drugs or prostitution or any other unsavory activity, they work to operate above the law to meet the demand of their customers. The stakes are high. Competition is often relatively low, so prices can get high.

What is their tool for solving problems? Violence.

Is it the substances or services that are violent by their own nature? Do narcotics or prostitution cause violence by themselves?

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Gun restrictions and the Irrationality of Politics

This evening, I came across a link on Twitter to an article explaining that kids are more likely to be killed in bicycle accidents than by gun violence. Despite this fact, the government is always quick use instances of gun violence as an excuse to restrict gun ownership and liberty in general. The gun violence problem (especially of the so-called “assault” weapon variety) is generally overblown by the media and the government. With so many other issues plaguing our society and given the notion that most gun violence is committed by governments themselves, it does not make sense to view gun ownership by private individuals as the root of the problems—it is an irrational view.

This immediately put me in mind of a TED Talk given by Michael Huemer called “The Irrationality of Politics.” In the presentation, Huemer gives a few examples of the irrational policies of the government and then proceeds to explain why people have irrational political views. Finally, he identifies the symptoms of having irrational views.

Huemer absolutely nails it:

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