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Political Opportunists and Central Planners in Massachusetts Like Never Before

Besides promising to sign the transgender bathroom bill, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker seems to be wrong an just about every other issue as well. Either he doesn’t understand basic principles of law and justice, economics and liberty, and/or he is just pandering to this or that important bloc of voters in anticipation of his next election or reelection bid. And the state’s attorney general, Maura Healey, is also wrong on just about every issue. She is in part ideological with being a militant lesbian/Social Justice Warrior, and part political opportunist. I am sure she will be the Democrats’ nominee for governor in 2018, and that she probably can’t wait to be the first “openly lesbian governor.”

Gov. Charlie Baker’s latest is his pandering to the police unions. He filed a bill to increase the penalty for assaulting a police officer. But whatever happened to equal justice, equal treatment under the law? In other words, the government’s penalty for assault against someone should be the same regardless of who the victim is. We are supposed to have equal value under the law. “Justice is blind,” you know. If someone assaults or shoots a police officer, then that assaulter should be given the same penalty as if he assaulted any other victim. Morally and legally, the victim’s occupation shouldn’t be involved in determining punishment.

And some people have been using the rationalizations such as “Police officers have a dangerous job,” “Police officers save lives,” and so on. But so do firefighters have a dangerous job and save lives. You’ll have to have special protections for them, too, and add more to the punishment for assaulting firefighters. And EMS workers also save lives. What about them? In fact, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert just signed into law giving emergency medical responders extra protections. But what if someone assaulted a patient on the ambulance but not the responder? And also, last year a doctor was shot and killed at a Boston hospital. Doctors save lives, so therefore they must be like police and firefighters and be given a higher degree of value by society than the rest of us, no?

We really need to segregate certain classes of people into groups of those more deserving of protection and those deserving of less protection. Yup.

And now Gov. Charlie Baker is pandering to the anti-immigration crowd, because he wants their votes, too, in 2018. His new policy is to allow Massachusetts state police to detain immigrants, supposedly not as a primary purpose of enforcing immigration law on behalf of the feds, but, Baker says, “they will now be able to assist in detaining for our federal partners individuals who pose a significant threat to public safety or national security.” In other words, the state police will have carte blanche to act on their own personal prejudices when they are dealing with immigrants and will have new powers to harass them and turn them over to the feds.

In defiance of Baker’s new order, Boston’s mayor Marty Walsh stated, “Our police officers do not enforce immigration laws, and we will continue our policy to not detain anyone for immigration purposes that is otherwise eligible for release.” While I disagree with Mayor Walsh on most things, I agree with him on this issue. I doubt that his views on immigration are the libertarian views but probably from the leftist viewpoint, but that’s okay.

As I have stated many times here, all human beings have a right to their freedom of travel and freedom of movement, and a right to sell their labor to anyone who is a willing and able buyer, as long as it’s all voluntary and as long as they are peaceful. Government borders and the immigration police state are obstructions to a prosperous, free-market capitalist society and free trade which is part of what “made America great” in its first century of existence. Too bad the socialists, like today’s immigration socialists, came to power and have taken much of that freedom and prosperity away. So, Gov. Charlie Half-Baker is wrong on the immigration issue as well.

Besides Baker’s immigration police state, a further issue which shows what a police statist he is, like the attorney general Maura Healy, is the marijuana legalization issue. Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh are both opposed to legalization, despite all the destruction, the deaths and financial costs caused by the drug war, certainly far worse than the negative effects of drugs themselves on the society. The drug war itself is, in fact, a criminal racket. As Jacob Hornberger observed, “Here in the United States, we periodically learn about payoffs to law-enforcement officers and judges by drug cartels. Of course, most of the corruption never comes to light. One part of the corruption that exists in plain sight, however, involves the program known as ‘asset forfeiture,’ by which federal and state cops are stealing money and property from people in the name of the drug war, appropriating it to their own use, and never charging the victims with a crime.”

The drug war is a criminal racket, with corrupt government officials profiting from it and law enforcement officers breaking into the homes of innocent people and terrorizing them and killing them or their dogs, and in many cases stealing money and property from innocent people. And for what? Being in possession of a damn plant or consuming some drug is not a crime. Why don’t they go after all the damn boozers out there? How many drunk-driving accidents and deaths were caused by alcohol consumption? Does it matter? Nope. And how many illnesses, cancers and deaths are caused by cigarette smoking? Does it matter? Nope. The police statists focus on just street drugs like a religious obsession, for some reason.

As Laurence Vance has written, the war on drugs is a war on freedom. Vance also noted:

The number of annual deaths caused by all drugs — legal and illegal — pales in comparison with deaths caused by tobacco. And likewise the costs to society and the economy. If smoking tobacco is as bad as the government says it is, then it only makes sense to ban the cultivation, processing, sale, and use of tobacco, and to do so immediately. It is tobacco traffickers who should be sentenced to long prison terms. It is tobacco dealers who should be arrested and whose lives should be ruined. It is tobacco peddlers who should be fined and scorned. It is tobacco users whose property should be confiscated.

Now, lest there be any misunderstanding, I am not in favor of any government at any level banning tobacco. That is because I am not in favor of any government at any level banning the buying, selling, growing, processing, use, or possession of any substance. And that is because, as a libertarian, I believe in individual liberty and personal responsibility instead of a nanny state run by bureaucrats looking out for my health and safety.

And police statist/nanny statist Gov. Charlie Half-Baker now has his new law meddling into the lives of medical patients and their relationships with their doctors. The new law is central planning on steroids, with the government limiting doses of prescription opiate pain killers to 7 days, regardless of what an actual doctor thinks. It mandates a state-wide database of all medical patients being given opiate drugs. Hmmm, bureaucrats love vast databases of the people’s private information, so I’m sure they will expand it to include other forms of drugs, treatments, categories of conditions and diseases, and who has what conditions and is receiving what treatment, etc. It appears, however, that the legislature decided to remove Baker’s proposal to involuntarily detain and incarcerate “hospitalize” for 72 hours drug addicts going into the emergency room. Whew, that was a close one, but we now have a clue as to where Gov. Bureaucrat’s mentality is. It’s for our own good, after all.

And the state’s attorney general, “Meddling Maura” Healey, is also a police statist/nanny statist, in which Healey now has the state banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, and she wants to intervene in the fantasy sports arena. And her authoritarian anti-free speech fascism is shown in her going after organizations and think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation whose research and publications express climate change/global warming skepticism (referred to by the Left as “denial”). So these socialists and fascists on the Left oppose not only the 2nd Amendment, but the First Amendment, Fourth Amendment and Fifth Amendment as well.

So Gov. Charlie Half-Baker and attorney general “Meddling Maura” Healey are even worse than Michael Dukakis and Scott Harshbarger, and worse than Deval Patrick and Martha Coakley as well. They seem to be political opportunists and are doing a lot of pandering to law enforcement groups and other social activist groups. Central planners and authoritarians who just don’t get the ideas and principles of freedom that were the basis for the formation of America right there in their own state of Massachusetts, where supposedly a Revolution was fought to bring freedom to the people.

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