Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”     Benjamin Franklin

May 29, 2008

Quote Of The Day

by Doug Mataconis

Jerry Pournelle on the Texas polygamy case:

Punishing people without charging them with any crime or allowing them any defense is a pretty serious thing. I would say that protection from that kind of arbitrary authority is more important than the alleged protection of no more than a dozen kids among the 400 from the allegations of sexual abuse — allegations, by the way, that now turn out to have been made by an anonymous accuser who may not even exist. It may have been a malicious neighbor.

If we are going to establish that precedent — that I can call the police and allege that you are abusing me and your children — and never come forward to confront you, or give any real specifications, but they will come and take your children for their own protection, I have the power to ruin your life.

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6 Comments

  1. Um, no.

    Pournelle conveniently omits the fact that the whole raison d’etre of FLDS is to celebrate incestuous polygamous statutory rape. They openly and notoriously declare this to be so.

    The only questions here are: (1) whether “celebrate” metastasized into “practice” at YFZ, and (2) what credible evidence did — or did not — exist to suggest as much?

    Reasonable minds can argue over the second paragraph, but not the first.

    Also, it’s worth remembering that this is a child welfare matter first and a criminal matter second. So the whole “whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty” lament is a bit of a non sequitur.

    Comment by KipEsquire — May 29, 2008 @ 6:59 am
  2. Kip,

    If this is a “fact” then why is it that the State of Texas was unable to provide sufficient evidence of the same to a judge ?

    Frankly, I think the FLDSers are nuts, but the idea that the state can come in and take away 400 children from their parents based on allegations with no evidence scares the heck out of me.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — May 29, 2008 @ 7:49 am
  3. Pournelle’s quote can be applied to many more situations than just the Texas case. Its a sad commentary about the current state of America. And not just in regards to the out of control state, but also that plenty of people in our society aren’t content to mind their own business and think nothing of trying to ruin someone’s life through lies and accusations.

    Comment by Ben — May 29, 2008 @ 8:05 am
  4. Ben,

    And if nothing else the Texas case should be a signal to law enforcement to actually do their job right.

    If it’s true that children are being sexually abused in this compound, the fact that the State of Texas is too incompetent to protect them is a stain on the authorities.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — May 29, 2008 @ 8:09 am
  5. >Pournelle conveniently omits the fact that the whole raison d’etre of FLDS is to celebrate incestuous polygamous statutory rape. They openly and notoriously declare this to be so.

    No, the raison d’etre of the FLDS is to have high status in heaven. This requires a minimum of three wives (problematic in itself) but there is nothing in their history or their theology that requires underage wives or incest. It seems that Warren Jeffs himself is the source of much of this recent perversion.

    Far too many of the government actions in this case have been based on rumor and hyperbole. I’m hoping to see more facts and less hype.

    Comment by Concerned Dad — May 29, 2008 @ 1:53 pm
  6. the raison d’etre of the FLDS is to have high status in heaven. This requires a minimum of three wives

    Three ?

    I’m way too busy with one ;)

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — May 29, 2008 @ 2:49 pm

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