Monthly Archives: May 2009

Introducing Liberty Rock

John Locke, the founding fathers, Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman and the other names of great thinkers we quote often at The Liberty Papers are not the only ones who have written amazing works concerning philosophy, liberty, culture, and government. These issues do not even have to be addressed in the form of a book, newspaper article, or even a blog post but can exist in yet another form: music and poetry.

Take a look through your CD collection or your MP3 playlist. What do your favorite music artists have to say about the issues we address at The Liberty Papers? Do any of them seem to follow a coherent philosophy? Those who do not listen to much rock or heavy metal may not realize the types of weighty subjects which are addressed which other genre would not touch with a 20’ pole. Megadeth, for example, covers political and cultural issues ranging from censorship, to criminal justice, to genocide, to nuclear proliferation!*

I believe that the lyrics of some of these songs should be brought to a different audience. It’s for this reason that I believe that “Liberty Rock” should be a regular feature at The Liberty Papers (Fridays maybe?).

Because my most recent posts have been on the topic of police misconduct (and those who approve of the misconduct), it seems natural that this week’s selection I would choose Anthrax’s “I am the Law”.

I Am the Law

Written by: Joe Belladonna, Frank Bello, Charlie Benante, Scott Ian, and Dan Spitz

Fifteen years in the academy
He was like no cadet they’d ever seen
A man so hard, his veins bleed ice
And when he speaks he never says it twice
They call him Judge, his last name is Dredd
So break the law, and you wind up dead
Truth and justice are what he’s fighting for
Judge Dredd the man, he is the law

With gun and bike he rules the streets
And every perp he meets will taste defeat
Not even Death can overcome his might
Cause Dredd and Anderson, they won the fight
When the Sov’s started the Apocalypse war
Mega-City was bombed to the floor
Dredd resisted, and the judges fought back
Crushed the Sov’s with their counter-attack

Respect the badge – he earned it with his blood
Fear the gun – your sentence may be death because…

And you won’t fuck around no more – I AM THE LAW
I judge the rich, I judge the poor – I AM THE LAW
Commit a crime I’ll lock the door – I AM THE LAW
Because in Mega-City… I AM THE LAW

In the cursed earth where mutants dwell
There is no law, just a living hell
Anarchy and chaos as the blood runs red
But this would change if it was up to Dredd
The book of law is the bible to him
And any crime committed is a sin
He keeps the peace with his law-giver
Judge, jury, and executioner

CRIME – The ultimate sin
Your iso-cube is waiting when he brings you in
LAW – It’s what he stands for
Crime’s his only enemy and he’s going to war

CRIME – The ultimate sin
Your ISO-cube is waiting when he brings you in
LAW – It’s what he stands for
Crime’s his only enemy and he’s going to war

Download the song here (legally) from Amazon

» Read more

Weird stuff happening today in Republicanville

This one isn’t too much of a shocker.  SC Governor Mark Sanford, who is often pretty good on most things (except for that little evolution thing, McCain endorsement, etc.), is taking Republicans in his own state to court.  Here’s the scoop:

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is suing his own attorney general and accusing state legislators of breaking the law as he continues to block his state from receiving federal bailout cash aimed at struggling schools.

The Republican’s federal lawsuit, posted online Thursday, says requiring him to take the money would violate the state and federal constitutions.

It “would require his agreement to these onerous federal educational mandates and unsustainable spending commitments, would further burden South Carolina’s economy and substantially increase the state’s debt in the future and therefore is contrary to the welfare of the people of South Carolina,” the governor said in his court filing, which also asks the court to block the money from heading to the state until it rules.

The lawsuit says the governor is the highest executive authority in the state and asks the federal court to declare the Legislature violated the South Carolina Constitution by requiring him to request the money.

“This is about balance of power,” Sanford, also chairman of the Republican Governors Association, said during a morning news conference.

Now Cato reports that former Representative and prez wannabe Tom “The Mexican Slayer” Tancredo wants to legalize drugs.  You may think you’ve just dropped a few hits of acid after reading this one:

Admitting that it may be “political suicide” former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo said its time to consider legalizing drugs.

He spoke Wednesday to the Lincoln Club of Colorado, a Republican group that’s been active in the state for 90 years. It’s the first time Tancredo has spoken on the drug issue. He ran for president in 2008 on an anti-illegal immigration platform that has brought him passionate support and criticism.

Tancredo noted that he has never used drugs, but said the war has failed.

“I am convinced that what we are doing is not working,” he said.

Tancredo told the group that the country has spent billions of dollars capturing, prosecuting and jailing drug dealers and users, but has little to show for it.

“It is now easier for a kid to get drugs at most schools in America that it is booze,” he said.

What’s next?  Are Dick Cheney and John Yoo going to hit the public speaking circuit to rail against torture?

UPDATE: Here’s some Tancredo video on the topic, courtesy of Stoner Jesus.

What Does it Really Mean to Respect Law Enforcement?

I know some who read my posts regarding police misconduct might not believe me when I say respect the police and the dangerous job they do. I believe that the police misconduct I write about generally are exceptions to the rule that most individuals in law enforcement do their jobs with the highest degree of integrity.

I respect those who are entrusted to “serve and protect” our communities from violent criminals but I also realize that they too are human which means they are capable of making bad choices or being corrupted as anyone else. At a minimum, the police should be held to the same standard as anyone else; I would argue that they should be held to an even higher standard than anyone else.*

What does it say about a respectful attitude toward law enforcement when seemingly a majority of people say that due to the “danger” surrounding such a hazardous occupation, that it’s okay to beat a surrendered, unarmed, or even unconscious person (see video below) senseless because of the “adrenaline” or “emotion” that comes with a dangerous pursuit? Does this show greater or lesser respect for the police?

I believe we should expect more not less than “how the average person would react under similar circumstances” from the police.

If I had a badge and gun, how would I have reacted if one of my friends was almost run over by a fleeing suspect?

The truth of the matter is I don’t know. I don’t know because I have never been confronted with a similar situation. I have not been trained on how to handle the kinds of situations police officers sometimes encounter.

The police, however, do not have this excuse. The officers who beat the unconscious person in Alabama were all veterans. Based on their training and experience, they should have known better.

The general consensus I’ve found on the message boards around the internet on this police chase is that because of the suspect’s actions, he “got what he deserved” and that these officers should not have lost their jobs, let alone be charged criminally.

Most seem to mistake criticism for the police as support for the suspect so let me say this one time: What the suspect did was stupid and put many lives in danger. The suspect should be charged for any and all crimes he committed and should be forced to pay restitution to anyone who was injured or damaged property as a result of his actions.**

The alleged crimes of the suspect and the police are two entirely separate matters which should be treated as two separate trials.

If the police are charged with the responsibility to enforce the law than it stands to reason that they cannot simultaneously violate the law and enforce the law with their actions. If ordinary citizens took it upon themselves to use unnecessary force to the point of brutality, we would call these people vigilantes or criminals. Why then do we make an exception when individuals who happen to wear uniforms do the same thing? We should not be defending these actions we should be condemning them as it is these individuals who disrespect the dignity, the professionalism, and honor of law enforcement as a whole!

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Help put Freedom Watch on Fox News Channel

While I rarely simply cut-and-paste an entire campaign or party e-mail to a blog post, this one deserves to be an exception to the rule:

Help put a libertarian news program on the Fox News Channel!

Dear Libertarian activists,

Thank you so much! Because of your support, the show “Freedom Watch” is finally being considered for an open time slot on Fox news.

You know what that means? A Libertarian television show would be on mainstream media!

Finally a show that reflects the attitudes and opinions of people like you and I who care about personal and economic liberties.

Right now there is an open time slot and Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show, “Freedom Watch” has been put forth as a possible filler for it.

But, there’s one stipulation. I just got off the phone with the producer and I heard they will make the decision so we need to bump up the number of views on the show as much as we can, AND we need as many people as possible to write an email to Fox to request it get on air.

Can you please help?

Here’s the link to the show:

It’s time for the Libertarians to go MAINSTREAM!

Send them an email here and we can get this show on air!

Here’s a sample email you can cut and paste:

To Whom it May concern:

I am writing today to request that Judge Napolitano’s “Freedom Watch” be given a chance to be aired on Fox News Channel.

There are so many people out there I believe that would watch it because there just aren’t any shows that really cater to independent minded people like me who care about things like personal and economic freedom.

Having a show like this on television would really be exciting and I would definitely watch it and get my friends and family to watch it too. Fox would be opening up a whole new market and bring in lots of new viewers! Please put it on air!

Thank you!

Again thank you all so much for all you do for liberty,


Austin Petersen
Director of Outreach
Libertarian National Committee

Let Us Fail

California’s in a world of hurt, exacerbated by the fact that we didn’t offer to give the state a whole bunch more money during our ballot propositions yesterday. There are a lot of reasons for our pain, but it really comes down to a state that never quite understood TANSTAAFL. They’ve been sold the lie that government can do everything they desire, and all of it “with NO MONEY DOWN!!!” Now the bill is due, and there’s going to be some trouble.

But the question is where we go from here. And I can tell you that there is going to be a cry to go to Washington DC, because the government of California is “too big to fail”. I’m not going to be one of the voices calling for this, but as Megan McArdle points out, there are quite a few who will:

There is a surprisingly sizeable blogger contingent arguing that we have to bail them out because however regrettable the events that lead here, we now have no choice. But actually, we do have a choice: we could let them go bankrupt. And we probably should.

If Uncle Sugar bails out California, California will not fix its problems. Perhaps you want Obama to make it fix the problems, using the same competence, power, and can-do spirit with which he has repaired all the holes in the banking and auto manufacturing sectors. But Obama is not in a good position to do this. California Democrats are a huge part of his governing coalition. All Obama can do is shovel money into the bottomless pit of California’s political system.

If California is bailed out by Washington, it will simply be another way to prop up a system that is fundamentally broken. California has spent decades building up the unsustainable and crushing tax & spending burden we now have. Income taxes are high (9.55% for most people above $40K), sales taxes are high, fees and regulations are high. About the only thing we have that isn’t high is property tax, and Sacramento keeps trying to change that.

Fundamentally, we need to be taught a lesson. We need to finally understand that you simply cannot live in perpetual deficit. Arnold Schwarzeneggar recently explained why:

“This is the harsh reality of the crisis we face. Sacramento is not Washington [DC]… We cannot print money.”

Maybe, just maybe, if we fail it will teach us a lesson. It will teach us that money doesn’t grow on trees, and that there is an economic limit to your ability to act in constant deficit. It will teach us that the abnormal — not the normal — scenario is one of constantly printing your way out of problems. Maybe, just maybe, it will restore some semblance of welcome economic sanity to California.

But I doubt it. Obama will find a way to paper over the problems, we’ll play kick the can because Sacramento is “too big to fail”, and wait until this becomes a problem so large that only a national collapse of our entire monetary system will teach us a lesson.

I need to start taking my piles of spare change to CoinStar — paper money will heat my house a lot better than coinage.

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