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Scott Lazarowitz's Blog Posts

On Harassing Government Apparatchiks

Robert Wenzel writes:

Anthony Scaramucci, Trump’s former communications director, says of the harassment facing Trump Administration officials and other high-ranking government officials:

“I would say it’s burning people out.I just think there’s so much meanness, it’s causing some level of, ‘What do I need this for?’ And I think it’s a recruiting speed bump for the administration. To be part of it, you’ve got to deal with the incoming of some of this viciousness.”

Burning people out from government work? Well, good!

As far as I am concerned, government officials who advance the cause of the state should have no protection under the law. They are the reason the state expands and they should not be protected from verbal harassment by those objecting to implementation and expansions of state power.

Mitch McConnell, Steve Miller and the rest are no friends of liberty. Now the problem is that the harassers, for the most part, do not want to eliminate power centers but rather to take over control of the power centers themselves. And after a takeover by them of power centers, I would cheer if they were also harassed.

These harassment tactics are low-level skirmishes that hint that evil is done by some in power but the skirmishes don’t come close to featuring the real problem: the existence of the power centers in the first place.

What Is “Democratic Socialism”?

Jacob Hornberger of the Future of Freedom Foundation and Richard Ebeling of the Citadel discuss “democratic socialism.” The flaky self-described democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won the Democrat party’s nomination for Congress in New York for this November’s election, and New York Democrat party Cuomo challenger Cynthia Milhaus Nixon has just announced that she is also a democratic socialist.

Against Brett Kavanaugh

No surprise that Donald Trump (the police statist, drug warrior, militarist and central-planner-in-chief) has chosen D.C. Circuit appeals court Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be the next U.S. Supreme Bureaucrat to replace the terrible Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh is a True Believer in the legitimacy of the centralized powers in Washington, a rubber-stamper of the national security state and the “war on terror,” and an obedient defender of the men in blue.

What we need more than ever is the opposite of all that, the opposite of authoritarianism. We need a true radical defender of liberty and of the lives, persons and property of individuals to be free of the aggression of others, especially free of the aggression and intrusions of the State. The early Americans, after all, were abused, their lives, homes and property criminally invaded and searched by the British soldiers. The ones who insisted on a Bill of Rights with rules that government bureaucrats and enforcers must follow, knew from their own experiences that those with the powers of the State could not be trusted!

This Kavanaugh person has spent much of his whole life surrounded by Washington, D.C. power. Kavanaugh was born in Washington, D.C.! His mother was a prosecutor and judge in Maryland. During the 1990s and 2000s Kavanaugh’s wife was the personal secretary to then-Governor and then-President George W. Bush.

So, Kavanaugh is a very ensconced and enmeshed inside-the-beltway apparatchik, in my view. Stuck in the centralized State apparatus.

Regarding his judicial decisions, in at least 3 cases Kavanaugh rubber-stamped the holding of terrorism suspects without charge or even actual suspicion at the Guantanamo prison. (al-Bihani v. Obama, Uthman v. Obama, and Omar v. McHugh.)

One thing that authoritarian government apparatchiks don’t seem to understand is that, in a civilized society, those who are accused of something morally have a right to require the accuser to present evidence, and to have a process by which the accused can refute such evidence against him. And to not be held in a prison without charges or after one was randomly apprehended without suspicion and handed over to an invading military.

No one should have the authority or power to just sweep someone away and lock him up, without charges or a reason to suspect him of criminal acts. Most of the suspects detained at Gitmo were innocent of terrorism and uninvolved and released. Many of the detainees were apprehended by Afghan villagers who were being paid bounties by mostly the CIA and the U.S. military.

This is why “war” can never be used as an excuse to suspend anyone’s right to due process! Not in a moral and civilized society, no.

Authoritarians believe that we should just blindly trust government rulers’ judgment. But, as I wrote in this article, we shouldn’t just blindly believe the government when it claims that someone is a “terrorist,” because the ruling bureaucrats could say that about any one of us, and have us detained, tortured, indefinitely imprisoned or killed, and for any reason.

And why should we trust the government in Washington? A bunch of liars, crooks, extortionists, parasites, and worse, lawyers. After all, we know how the U.S. government bureaucracies have gone after conservatives and Tea Partiers, such as through the IRS. And we know how the Obama DOJ and FBI went after the Trump campaign and then his associates following Trump’s election. They went after Trump because they didn’t like his openly criticizing and questioning the legitimacy of the wars that the national security state and the Bushes started.

So due process is important, and everyone has a right to due process. Not just U.S. citizens, but everyone. The Declaration of Independence refers to unalienable rights. Obviously, all human beings have unalienable rights, not just “citizens.” The unalienable right to liberty isn’t a right that is given to people by the government.

With this so-called “war on terror,” we have good reason to get judges who will strike down each and every criminally invasive and liberty-violating policy and procedure whether its against Americans or against foreigners. And that includes AUMF, NDAA, and especially the Patriot Act. And I wouldn’t rely entirely on the Constitution, either. Past Supreme Court decisions have given weight to the Declaration of Independence.

We need someone who rejects the government’s “war on terror” as a legitimate “war.” It is not legitimate.

The apparatchiks of the centralized apparatus in Washington were anguished by the threat of reducing their powers when the Cold War ended, and they had to invent a new Enemy. Which they did especially when George H.W. Bush sent the military to invade Iraq in 1991 and stir up trouble with sanctions and bombings that caused hundreds of thousands of deaths leading up to 9/11.

Another reason to reject Kavanaugh is his deference to the State’s rulers and their enforcers. Most of the American Founders believed the exact opposite of that, which is why they insisted on a Bill of Rights. At least the Anti-Federalists did. They believed in the idea of self defense and the right to keep and bear arms, not dependence on, submission to and obedience toward armed police authorities. We need someone who rejects entirely the idea that government has any moral authority to monopolize community policing and security in the first place.

And on issues such as immigration, health care and abortion, I suspect that Kavanaugh will be a judicial “technocrat,” like Anthony Kennedy and John Roberts, finding this or that part of the Constitution that justifies this or that governmental intrusion or criminality.

But what we need is someone who actually can see the forest for the trees, and can see that the “land of liberty” is one in which one’s liberty isn’t dependent on a bureaucrat’s interpretation of some document. We need someone who recognizes the non-aggression principle and the concept of self-ownership, and understands private property rights and presumption of innocence, and who will thus overturn all anti-liberty decisions, and strike down all bad laws the enforcement of which violates the persons or property of innocent people.

Obviously, Judge Kavanaugh is not that guy.

2018 Candidates for State-Wide Offices: New Hampshire

So far I have written about the 2018 candidates for Massachusetts, Utah, and New Jersey. It looks like Willard Romney did win that primary race in Utah for U.S. Senate. I hope the people of Utah can take a serious look at the Libertarian Party candidate, Craig Bowden. If you really believe in free markets and freedom of association, abolishing victimless crime laws, removing the U.S. from the UN and NATO and withdrawing troops and closing foreign military bases, then consider voting for Bowden and not the socialist globalist warmonger drug warrior Willard Romney.

But now I want to take a look at New Hampshire. Obviously I’ve been trying to promote Libertarian Party (or otherwise libertarian) candidates when I can. In New Hampshire, the “Live Free or Die State,” libertarians seem to be emphasizing bitcoin and marijuana legalization. But we need libertarians who “hate the State,” as Murray Rothbard would say. Libertarians who recognize the truth that the State is a criminal organization, especially the centralized racket in Washington.

The state primary election is September 11th. Incumbent Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, son of former New Hampshire governor (and George H.W. Bush Chief of Staff) John Sununu, is running unopposed.

But, regardless of which candidate will be the Libertarian Party nominee, there are big reasons to vote for the LP nominee, rather than either of the two Government Party statists.

Sununu is said to be a “conservative,” good on eliminating many regulations and reducing taxes, and good on “constitutional carry.” But he definitely turns outright socialist, in my view, on “increased funding by $57 million for the developmentally disabled community,” “greater healthcare access for veterans,” and “increased funding to provide better care for seniors,” according to his campaign website. And he’s pandering to Democrats on Medicaid expansion.

However, on the freedom side, Sununu signed a bitcoin-friendly bill, exempting Bitoin from money transfer regulations, according to Reason.

And he signed a bill legalizing recreational marijuana.

But what about other drugs? We know that drug prohibition in all forms doesn’t stop people from getting drugs. In fact, prohibition creates a black market that contributes to increased violent crimes associated with the underground drug market.

There is a moral case for drug freedom. And I don’t do drugs, by the way. I don’t even drink. But the government has no role in telling people what they may or may not put into their own bodies. If so, then the government owns your body, not you.

But here is where Sununu has gone waaayyy off the rails, and not only is he not “libertarian,” but he can’t even claim to be a conservative.

Sununu signed the “transgender rights” bill. So obviously, Sununu doesn’t grasp the importance of private property rights and freedom of association (and freedom of non-association).

And, as I wrote in this article, one can make a case (albeit a non-libertarian one) to ban discrimination based on race or gender even on privately owned property, but when it comes to this LGBT stuff, we’re talking about lifestyles, sexuality, and personality issues. The gender identity issue has nothing to do with how one was born such as one’s race or one’s sex. And as I wrote in that article, the social activists are working their way into attempting to force acceptance via legal compulsion, and now forcing access into others’ private lives and private property. So, with the LGBT activists, it’s getting personal, and much more intrusive!

Sununu stated that “If we really want to be the ‘Live Free or Die’ state, we must ensure that New Hampshire is a place where every person, regardless of their (sic) background, has an equal and full opportunity to pursue their dreams and to make a better life for themselves and their families.” Well, sure, Gov, but not on MY property. But he says no, I must associate with or allow onto my property someone who is confused about himself and his gender, or who rejects the gender as he was born and who claims to be someone of the opposite gender. I may NOT discriminate against this person.

In other words, Sununu believes that someone has a “civil right” to force others to associate with or allow onto one’s property those who are deeply confused and living a life of a lie.

The bottom line for me is (and the true libertarian answer to that is) that people have a right to discriminate for or against others and for any reason on their own private property. It doesn’t matter if the property is someone’s home or someone’s business, a hotel or restaurant or place of employment. If it is privately owned, then it is privately owned. It is not public property. No one has a right of access onto other people’s private property. Except they do have that right of access, via “civil rights” laws.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 should only have addressed public property and government-run functions, not private property and privately owned businesses and functions.

Now, regarding the libertarian non-aggression principle, which side is being the aggressor in these cases? The private property owner or business owner who doesn’t want to hire someone or doesn’t want to allow males in his gym showers designated for females? Or the rejected possible worker or gym customer who gets the armed force of government to compel the businessman to allow him in? We know the answer to that question. And that’s the bottom line.

The 1964 “civil rights” Act began the process of officially making private property really public property. It is only privately owned on paper.

And to say that someone’s reasons for discriminating against others are relevant, then we are really talking about thought crimes.

Sadly, two Libertarian Party state representatives voted for the transgender “civil rights” bill. One was Joseph Stallcop, who was elected in 2016 as a Democrat, and switched to Libertarian last year. The other one was Brandon Phinney. At the end of this post, I wrote this about Brandon Phinney:

The Reason article states that the new LP member, Brandon Phinney, works in the “Carroll County Department of Corrections.” Yech. You know, Brandon, it would help the libertarian cause if so-called, self-described “libertarians” didn’t have actual employment by the government. Especially being a part of the whole apparatus that locks up innocent people for disobedience, i.e. disobeying unjust laws inflicted by the nanny state, the police state, and the regulatory state. Can you find something less loathsome?

So, do those two “libertarians” and LP members in the New Hampshire state legislature want to be like Gary Johnson, who wants to force a Christian baker to have to do extra labor to serve the lesbian couple? And, like Gary Johnson, do they want to force a Jewish baker to bake a Nazi wedding cake?

But I digress. This is about the governor’s race right now.

Speaking of transgender-related thought-crimes legislation, Gov. Chris Sununu signed into law a ban of “conversion therapy” for transgender or sexual orientation. This is major league stuff, and I can’t believe that a governor of the “Live Free or Die” state is doing this. This law says that if a teenager is confused about his sexual orientation or gender identity and wants to become more what he think he should be, and wants to seek guidance from a professional therapist, then he may not do that, and the therapist can be disciplined by the state’s licensing authority.

In this chapter, ‘conversion therapy’ means practices or treatments that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same gender.  Conversion therapy shall not include counseling that provides assistance to a person undergoing gender transition, or counseling that provides acceptance, support, and understanding of a person or facilitates a person’s coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including sexual-orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices, as long as such counseling does not seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Thought crimes much, Gov. Sununu? Micromanaging and central planning much?

The social activists’ are succeeding in their push to legally force people into acceptance of certain lifestyles and acceptance of other people’s personal issues that others shouldn’t have to accept if they don’t want to!

And why did Sununu sign into law a bill that says private campgrounds and hotels must pay out $500 per bingo game or $2,000 for more then one game per day? “Shall not exceed”? Who is the state government to tell private bingo game venues they may not pay out more than a certain government-designated amount?

He might as well be a Democrat. Too bad he’s running unopposed in the primary.

Like most Democrats, the two Democrat candidates for governor, Steve Marchand and Molly Kelly, are typical Democrats. Think Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. You get the idea.

But there are two Libertarian Party candidates for governor.

Jilletta Jarvis is good on gun rights, asset forfeiture, and being against sending New Hampshire National Guard to the border. However, she is vague on immigration and seems to be against sanctuary cities. On education she seems to support the continuation of government schools, not a word about privatization and decentralization in education. And finally, she wants to “reform” occupational licensing for “fair and equal opportunity for entrepreneurship to all people.” “Reform”? Do you mean abolish licensure?

But not a mention of the libertarian non-aggression principle, self-ownership, private property rights, voluntary exchange, freedom of thought and conscience, or freedom of association there.

We need a radical who will really defend the life and liberty of the individual, as the Libertarian Party did in 1984 and 1988.

And Aaron Day, a former Republican, is the other LP candidate. Day has had several controversies, including being sued for defamation in his participation in displaying billboards which called three businessmen “heroin dealers” and extortionists. In the lawsuit, Day apparently settled the suit for over $1 million. His alleged co-conspirator Michael Gill, who didn’t settle, was a no-show at the trial, and then the jury decided to award plaintiffs $274.5 million for the billboard defamation.

Day may also have contributed to U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s losing her reelection bid to Maggie Hassan. Given just how bad Ayotte is on just about every issue, even though Hassan is a far-left loony, then I am glad Day was able to do that, if it’s true.

Aaron Day is apparently running against Sununu mainly because of the Medicaid expansion issue, but also the transgender rights issue.

Day’s views are generally libertarian. But Jarvis, not so much, according to the Live Free or Die Alliance.

But which one of the LP candidates could possibly have a chance to bring libertarian views to the attention of New Hampshire voters (and maybe even oust Sununu)? Day, with all his controversial baggage? Or Jarvis, who seems to be vague on some issues? Who knows?

New Hampshire is one of only 7 states in which the state’s attorney general is appointed by the governor, state legislature or state supreme court. So with the election of governor you get, at least in new Hampshire, the governor’s own crony for attorney general. Is there a Judge Napolitano in New Hampshire?

No Justification for Trade Retaliation

Economist Donald Boudreaux has this article on trade retaliation being unjustified and unjust. Here is an excerpt:

Do producers really have rights — property entitlements — to at least some minimum volume of consumer demand for their outputs? The answer given by Anglo-American common law has long been a clear no.  Under this law, economic competition is neither tortious nor criminal. Indeed, far from being wrong for producer Smith to lower his prices or to improve his product quality in ways that result in economic losses for producer Jones, such competitive actions by producer Smith are positively praiseworthy.

Examined from the perspective of consumers, under the law consumers are free to spend their incomes as they choose, and to change how they spend their incomes. And while businesses are free to offer for sale new goods and services, and to make their existing product offerings more attractive to consumers, businesses are not presumed to be entitled to any minimum volume of consumer demand.

Quite the contrary. The recognition is widespread that each and every business is always at risk of not succeeding, of losing sales, and even of going bankrupt. Implied in this recognition is the absence of any obligation on the part of consumers to spend their money in ways that improve or protect the economic well-being of particular producers.

Dr. Boudreaux makes a very good case for consumer sovereignty.

Contrary to Donald Trump and his government-control-obsessed anti-market trade restrictions, the free market provides the best conditions for a higher standard of living.

PC Government Media the Racist Pots Calling the Kettle Black

David Gornoski has this post on how the “PC media,” a.k.a. mainstream media, a.k.a. government media, projects their racism onto Ron Paul. It appears that a staff member of Dr. Paul placed a (what some people believe to be) racist cartoon in a tweet by Dr. Paul.

What Gornoski points out is that Dr. Paul has spent a lifetime opposing the racist drug war (in which a much higher proportion of minorities are put in prison for drug-related “offenses”), opposing the wars and bombings of predominantly Muslim countries, and opposing collectivism in all forms. Racism is a form of collectivism. But the government media have not spent any time at all condemning the wars, the drug war, and so on.

Gornoski writes that “Politically correct media is a minority oppressing cartoon – shilling for inflation-financed wars and a nanny state backed by imprisonment and fines. These media-enabled policies harm minorities and the poor the most.”

People Have a Right to Discriminate

Laurence Vance has this article on discrimination, referring to the recent Supreme Bureaucrats’ gay wedding cake decision. And he says that leftists are hypocrites when they oppose discrimination like the Christian baker refusing to bake a cake for a lesbian couple, but the leftists then going on to support a restaurant owner kicking out Sarah Sanders.

I’ll have more to say about this anti-discrimination stuff soon in my next state-wide elections profile in which I have found one political hack candidate pandering to the LGBT activists — and he’s a conservative Republican!

People Are Worried About the Supremes Overturning Roe v. Wade

In the discussions over who will Trump’s nominee be to replace Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court, it seems that Trump and others are pandering on the abortion issue. Oooh, I won’t ask candidate if s/he might vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, and so on. “Precedent is important,” and all that. No, precedent is not important, because so many past cases were wrongly decided, including Roe.

Of course Roe v. Wade should be overturned. In that decision, 7 robed bureaucrats decided that the “High” Court was authorized by the U.S. Constitution to micromanage every stage of development of a human being, at least from conception up to birth. This “precedent” thus gives the State the authority to micromanage every stage of any human being’s growth and development, right?

So, in this older post, I wrote,

I’ve seen references to “personhood,” “viability,” “sentience,” and “consciousness, “ and I have some questions.

What is the viability of a born baby? If baby is left alone for a particular amount of time, one cannot survive for very long, because at that early stage of development one is dependent on one’s caretakers for feeding. The same can be said of a 2-year-old, maybe even older children, although the older the child, the more able one is to go out and seek food, unless one is locked inside and can’t get out. Is there a difference between the viability of a born individual and an unborn individual (at whatever stage of development)?

What about “sentience” and “consciousness?” How do we know whether or not a two-month-old “fetus” or a 2-day-old “fetus” can have any physical sensation or conscious awareness? If it is important whether or not that individual has sentience or consciousness in considering whether that individual has any right to life and liberty, and self-ownership, then, what about a born human being or a grown adult who has a neurological disorder and has no “sentience” or who is in a “persistent vegetative state” and has no consciousness, but is still “alive” (or can be kept alive via artificial means)?

I can’t say for sure that a human life begins at conception (although I believe that to be the case and have believed that for 20 years now), but I can sure say without any doubt that, IF a human life begins at conception, then self-ownership begins at conception. And IF that actually were the case, then those of the female gender would have an extra burden–and responsibility–that those of the male gender just don’t have.

In Roe v. Wade, the two dissenting Justices wrote, “I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court’s judgment.” Exactly. But many, many people are sooo worried that the decision might be overturned. If it is, then let the states handle that. If one state makes abortion illegal, then girls and women who want to kill their offspring can go into a different state that keeps it legal. I know, I refer to such actions harshly. And that’s because I’m not going to whitewash these issues or see as valid our culture’s dehumanizing of pre-born human beings in order to have the “freedom” to extinguish them out of convenience. In our culture today, we see powerful groups dehumanizing other human beings and acting against them. Not good.

Benefits of the American Revolution

Economics professor Jeffrey Rogers Hummel says that a strong case can be made “that without the American Revolution, the condition of Native Americans would have been no better, the emancipation of slaves in the British West Indies would have been significantly delayed, and the condition of European colonists throughout the British empire, not just those in what became the United States, would have been worse than otherwise.” He discusses the case at length in that article at the Library of Economics and Liberty.

The Revolution was a good idea for those roughly 1/3 of the Colonists who wished to separate themselves from the King and secede from British authority, which they sort of did do. But the new American founders’ forming of an entire nation, a political unit that all the inhabitants of the colonies would have to be a part of whether they liked it or not, and to be ruled over by a centralized regime in “Washington,” was not a good idea. Political centralization is never a good idea. The new U.S. Constitution empowered the centralized regime over the masses, created a Bureau of Elites with monopoly power, and it should have been foreseen that the Bill of Rights at some point would be ignored by the regime and all its apparatchiks (like ICE, which isn’t even authorized by the Constitution).

So in my view, I think the post-Revolution new political Union, at the expense of private property and self-rule, was really the beginning of the tearing down of the Enlightenment and the principles and values it attempted to promote. Revolution good, Union bad.