Security Without Loss of Liberty

On the threat of terrorism:

One threat of terrorism is that the government may use the threat to justify trampling on our individual rights. As to the threats of violence, whether foreign or domestic, the events of 9/11 reminded us that the people are the ultimate defense of our lives and liberty. The professional military muddled in an intelligence vacuum and sent the only two available fighters out over the Atlantic to protect against an imagined attack. Meanwhile, the unarmed passengers on the fourth plane used their hand-held devices to gather information from personal and public sources and pooled their resources to bring down the plane. The obvious conclusions are to bring the military home to guard our country, to make intelligence summaries available to the public, to keep our citizens well-armed, and to stop infringing on individual rights in the name of security.

Abortion Bans Violate the Right to Privacy

On abortion:
We all have equal birthrights. Your birthright includes a right to privacy, not because of where you were born, but because you are human and all humans have that birthright. Your right of privacy covers your medical records, including conversations with and treatments by your medical provider. If anyone is required to disclose that information, then no one has a right to privacy, and your medical records become public information. If the right to privacy is secured, then abortion may not be disclosed, and a ban on abortion is not enforceable in any straightforward manner. I support all efforts to reduce the frequency of abortion, including advocacy of abstinence, private distribution of contraceptives, promotion of adoption, and private support of young mothers.

Punishment Without Due Process

A relative of mine was just arrested and spent a night in jail among sick people for a charge that likely will be dismissed. Isn’t that punishment without due process? Shouldn’t an arrest require a warrant? Shouldn’t the court refuse to issue an arrest warrant or a search warrant until the subject has been notified and given an opportunity to argue that the grounds are insufficient?

Money in Politics

On keeping money out of politics:
I tend to take our Declaration of Independence as the culmination of 18th Century Enlightenment thought about politics. It is short and worth a careful reading. Our Declaration claims certain truths are self-evident. I do not think it means they are obvious. It was certainly not obvious at the time that all men were equal. I think it means that once read or heard, these statements have the “ring of truth” and therefore are their own evidence of truth.
Our Declaration does not list all of our rights. Even the Bill of Rights says that other rights are retained by the people (9th Amendment). Our Declaration says that among our rights is the right to pursue happiness. I take that to include an absolute right to privacy.
Let us consider an analogy by an opponent:

” If you bring a salad to a potluck,with expectation that others will share your food and you theirs, everyone can reasonably expect that anyone asked would divulge the ingredients of what they brought; we all have have a right to know if a dish has something in it might affect our health and well being even though you bought the ingredients with private funds and prepared those ingredients in the privacy of your own kitchen. It is not unreasonable to know who financially backs a candidate and with what amount of money, and isn’t law based on the reasonable expectations of a reasonable person?”

Yes you may have a reasonable expectation that I would divulge the ingredients, but suppose I do not? You have choices. You might just skip the salad. Others may choose to trust my salad without the information. You might make disparaging remarks about my behavior. You might snub me. You might take me off your subsequent guest lists.
You may not have me arrested.
Continuing the analogy, you may expect that a candidate wanting your vote will disclose financing and subject records to an independent audit. If the candidate puts personal privacy first, you still have the choice of voting for or against.
Keeping candidates off the ballot because they put a greater emphasis on personal privacy is keeping a political position off the ballot. In particular, the Libertarian Party has difficulty fielding candidates because of disclosure requirements.

Support for Free Speech is not Support for Prejudice

It is OK to hate white men and wish they were dead and say so. It is OK to hate redheaded women, believe they are witches, and say so. It is OK to hate Texans or Swedes or Presbyterians. We defend your right to hate anyone and make silly statements, but we do not have to be your friend. But we do require that you grant equal political status to everyone else, regardless of belief, physical characteristics, or place of birth or residence. Remember, bureaucrats are people, too.

People are not Corporations

People are not corporations. Corporations have no right to privacy.

Even in a state of anarchy, an association may publicly and voluntarily declare a limit on its financial liability. Should society honor that limit? Anyone voluntarily engaging in a financial transaction with that association accepts its liability limit. If the association has publicly reported its financial status and transactions and has committed no crime, then society should honor the liability limit. In the United States, these associations are called corporations, and the courts may honor liability limits when appropriate. Why risk lending money to a limited-liability corporation? Lenders want assurance that resources exist to make repayment. The public reporting makes a corporation seem a safer borrower than a private individual.

Incorporating is a voluntary act. Corporations have no right of privacy. In exchange for the limit on liability and favorable banking, a corporation reports its transactions, making them vulnerable to regulation and taxation. Corporations voluntarily accept labor laws, employer taxes, receipts taxes, and income taxes, among other burdens.

People are not corporations. We do have a right to privacy in all of our activities, financial or otherwise. Interactions among consenting adults are not public matters, provided that they respect the rights of others. We do not consent to having our private activities taxed or regulated.

Democracy requires free speech. We oppose restrictions on individual contributions. To have “equal say,” communication must be unlimited. Candidates are more important than detergents, beers, or cereals. To have democracy, you must accept chaotic discourse. Although our campaign is impoverished, we defend your right to contribute to our opponents as you see fit.

Open the Border

Open the border. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

An example in the Declaration of Independence of the King’s tyranny is that he refused to encourage immigration. Consistent with that, the Constitution omits immigration regulation from the powers granted to Congress. The Tenth Amendment reserves any such power to the states and to the people, but the Supreme Court consistently interprets the Constitution to expand the powers of Congress, such as its egregious decision upholding the 1889 Chinese Exclusion Act.

Enforcement of immigration law leads to unspeakable injustices. “Detention” is imprisonment, imprisonment of those who have committed no crime. Stateless on Netflix is a drama about an Australian detention center, and U.S. detention is much worse.

People with the gumption to leave their families and friends and journey to the border are eager to work hard and buy nice things. Immigrants stimulate the local economy and create new jobs, jobs that require good English skills and familiarity with the community. When receiving many immigrants, American cities have thrived economically: Boston, New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Los Angeles, San Francisco. New Mexico had trade centers until the United States closed its Southern border. Reopening that border would bring many complications, but the influx of workers and consumers would boost the New Mexico economy and create new jobs. It also would be decent and humane.

Individual Responsibility for Covid-19 Safety

Governors are losing the consent of the people that is necessary for just power.

The societal changes wrought by Covid-19 will not be undone soon by vaccines or treatment. We still await medicinal magic for the viruses of the common cold and influenza. Empty theaters and home deliveries will be persist. This scourge is a long-term problem, not an emergency. It is not an excuse for tyrannical power.

Research is being monitored by the public. There is now evidence that smaller droplets from coughing or sneezing, which may or may not contain the virus, may travel up to 12 feet. Cloth masks are probably best at absorbing droplets. We do worry about infecting others and stay home if coughing or sneezing. We stay far away from anyone who is coughing or sneezing, even if we are both wearing cloth masks. If neither party is wearing a cloth mask, but not yelling or singing, you want a 12-foot separation. With a cloth mask on one of you, 6 feet is probably sufficient.

If two consenting adults want to be closer together, without masks, there is no victim and therefore no crime. If a person, sick or not, is in public space among strangers and unmasked, that person is claiming unnecessarily much personal space, which is rude. That person should be ostracized, but not threatened with force. Edicts authorize enforcement, increasing force in the face of resistance, and potentially lethal force if perceiving total resistance. The people do not consent to the death penalty for not wearing a mask or exceeding the speed limit or firing a gun into the air (or breathing while black).

When government becomes destructive of the rights of the people, they have the right to alter or abolish it. The people are in charge of the government, not the other way around. Governors have no special wisdom. The “consent of the governed” means a consensus, not merely a majority. Governors must end their “states of emergency.”

Constraints on Government Maintain Freedom for Individuals

A political Libertarian extends to his government the prohibition against initiating force, neither aggression against outside entities nor force against its people. It may only use force to defend the rights of its people. Consistent with these principles, Libertarians oppose government interference in any interaction involving consenting adults.

The inherent rights of each individual should never be subservient to any vision of a better society. When everyone is free to live in one’s own way, the result is a very successful society. Just partial adherence to the inspiring Libertarian principles in the Declaration of Independence has produced a society with great individual freedom and great wealth.

Letting Him Talk …

As the Libertarian candidate for US Senator from NM, Bob Walsh has been invited to participate in a live debate 5 Oct. on Ch. 4.