Posts Tagged Liberty

Good Idea, Bad Idea

If the country wants to infringe on the citizen’s right — not just the citizens who have been perfect, but also citizens who have done wrong — to keep and carry arms, then we should amend the constitution. As it stands now, an accurate reading of the second amendment clearly forbids infringement by the government on the citizen’s right to keep and carry. Yes, sophist (and often ridiculous) reasoning has resulted in a wide variety of constitutionally unauthorized legislation along the lines many are suggesting, but again, as these laws are in fact unauthorized, there is no salient reason — outside of fear of unauthorized, coercive violence on the part of the government — for any citizen to respect them, much less obey them.

I am not — repeat, not — in favor of the second amendment as it stands today. But I am even less in favor of allowing or encouraging the government to ignore the constitution under any circumstances. That has led directly to torture; complete inversion of the commerce clause; surveillance, search and seizure without a warrant or even probable cause; repression of speech; direct government support and fostering of religion; ex post facto law; de facto double jeopardy; the taking of land for commercial purposes; and much, much more along the same lines.
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On "The Price of Freedom"

The price of freedom is risk.

The price of safety is conformity, restriction, and repression.

You can bank on it. Our leaders certainly have.

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Well, that didn't take long.

President Obama has publicly sided with the Bush administration on the question of whether the President should be allowed to establish warrantless wiretapping programs designed to monitor US citizens.

The fourth amendment is very clear on this. Obama should be very clear on this, as he has claimed the hat of a constitutional law professor.

So here we go, sliding yet further downhill, and it only took two days.

Sigh.

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If I were elected president, on my first day:

I would…

o Order the heads of the military to immediately commence an orderly and rapid withdrawal of all troops and equipment from Iraq and Afghanistan.

o Issue a formal, succinct apology to the people of Iraq for all acts of violence and coercion under the aegis of George Bush and his cronies, and formally disavow those acts.

o Order the heads of military to plan orderly and rapid closure of all military bases outside the borders of the United States and its possessions, including the return of all troops, the return of all equipment that is practical, and to execute the immediate sale or destruction of all weapons and defense systems that cannot be transported within a 90-day period.

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Should there be a law?

Here in the USA, when we think about existing or proposed legislation, we should put it through various processes that test it for problems that make it bad law. One of the most important of these tests needed for any legislation that is directed towards action by individuals is testing for violation of personal liberty.

This chart provides a path for just such a testing process; if this test cannot be passed, then legislation should not be enacted, or it should be discarded if it has already been made into law.

If the legislation in question can pass this test, then it is reasonable to begin considering other disqualifying factors, such as compliance with the constitution’s bill of rights, commerce clause issues, if the law violates the ex post facto provision, enactment and enforcement costs, and so forth. If it cannot, then if the law exists, it should be discarded, and if proposed, the proposal abandoned.

Start by examining the chart below. This gives an overview of the process I suggest should be used to determine if we should be considering laws, or not, with regard to any particular act or acts that are matters of informed, personal or consensual choice. Below the chart, I discuss some of the terms and ideas behind the chart.

Should there be a law?

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On Privacy

What’s the problem?

 

It has come to my attention that many people feel that privacy is difficult to define. I was quite surprised to encounter this claim, because the nature of privacy seems quite obvious to me. Yet, Professor Daniel Solove of George Washington University Law School says bluntly that the question “What is privacy?” has “long plagued those seeking to develop a theory of privacy and justifications for its legal protection.” Apparently, I’m either quite confused, or I owe it to the world to write down what privacy is. The thing is, I really don’t think I am confused, so I suppose I had best put fingers to keyboard. After all, if I am wrong, I’m sure someone will take a few moments to explain why.

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