The Ignorance of Politicians on Social Issues and A Quick Comment on Michael Moore’s Documentary

I really do not know where Romney gets the information that the founding  fathers made clear in the Constitution that marriage is between a man and lady. The  veteran has a point though, by not allowing equal marriage, one is limiting the rights of gays. I guess you can make the ‘Bachmann’ argument in saying that it is just the law that gay’s cant get married to each other, but they still can get married, just to the opposite sex, thus, they still have ‘equal’ rights. But as I have shown, this is hardly a good argument.

One has to give Penn credit for his frustration here. This is indeed true, we have Obama admitting to have taken drugs (even drugs harder than marijuana) and yet he is still a strong opponent to at least decriminalize drugs. If I had to choose what is the strong suit of libertarianism, I would have to say it would be on social issues, like this on drugs.

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I just finished seeing Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story and I got to admit some of it is worth considering, namely the connection between Wall Street and the government. Moore does a good case in pointing out that Wall Street plays a big role in government policy. What is disappointing though, is that he does not have the same criticism for Obama or his administration. Keep in mind, Moore criticizes the government officials’ connections to Wall Street, but fails to mention that some of those people are in the Obama administration! Clear two examples I thought of after I saw the ending credits to the documentary were Tim Geithner and Larry Summers, two big officials to consider, given that they probably play a big part in advising Obama. I am not going to say it is a crime to have Wall Street people in a president’s administration, but Moore should at least criticize Obama for it, he has about the same number of Wall Street people in his administration as previous presidents. For example, those connected to Goldman Sachs includes Gary Gensler, Gregory Craig, Sonal Shah, Rahm Emanuel*, Stephen Friedman, Robert Hormats, Mark Patterson, Adam Storch, and Alexander Lasry. Keep in mind, these are just people connected to Goldman Sachs. This is why it shocks me when Obama or anyone else claims to be the anti-Wall Street type of guy. I mean if this were seriously true, would he really have people, who have done really well in Wall Street, advising him?

*another person Moore directly criticizes in his film but leaves out the info that he is part of the Obama admin.

To Hell With Habeas Corpus In Certain Situations

“The Constitution’s guarantee of due process is ironclad, and it is essential, but … it does not require judicial approval before the president may use force abroad against a senior operational leader of a foreign terrorist organization with which the United States is at war, even if that individual happens to be a U.S. citizen,” – Eric Holder

Stossel -v- Typical Republican

I feel bad for Stossel because for some reason he gets a harsh wrap in some libertarian circles, but I never really understood why. Many believe he is some Fox News puppet, pretending to be libertarian in order to bring libertarian viewers to Fox. But I do not this is the case for a couple reasons: 1: He is  very critical of the Republican establishment, just watch his show, 2: There is no evidence to support this claim, and 3: He is an open agnostic. But what I want to talk about in this post is the point of being critical of the Republican establishment, and this is quite clear if we look at the Drug War debate he had with Ann Coulter.

Clearly Stossel exposes Republican irrationality in this debate. Coulter’s basic premise of ‘we need to control what people do because we live in a welfare state’ is insane because this extends to what we can do in our daily lives, and not just what drugs we may consume in our own homes. But also her facts are all wrong. Coulter claims that death rates decreased during the times when alcohol was illegal because it reduced alcohol related deaths, and that murder decreased but as Stossel showed, murder rose during times of Prohibition. And what is the typical Republican response when facts contradict their beliefs : I don’t believe that!

But let me get back to Coulter’s premise – we need to control people because we live in a welfare state. She further justifies this position by saying because she is a tax payer of the welfare state that she has a right to control the lives of what people are doing because she assumes that people that takes drugs will lead to a higher dependence of public services. I do not know if this is necessarily true, as a lot of successful people have taken drugs before (and since she is the one making the claim, I would love to see evidence of this claim), but legalizing or at least decriminalizing drugs would reduce the amount of money we spend in prisons, that I can say for sure. They would reduce the policy programs that target solely drug users. The United States currently puts a lot of money into funding prisons and police drug programs and this would surely decrease if drugs were legal.

Also, in an economics perspective, according to Milton Friedman, an economist that is supposedly praised to the right wingers, criminalizing drugs generally brings drug users that use mild drugs to more heavy drugs. For example, in the case for weed,  where it is a bulky substance, thus relatively easier to detect, thus increasing the cost for it, has led people drugs like cocaine where it is less bulky. Also on top of that, making the drug costs more, leads people to create more harmful versions of hard drugs. For example, Friedman points out that one of the reasons for the creation for crack was because cocaine was too expensive.

In conclusion, it is going to be nearly impossible to convince the typical Republican on the issue on drugs, simply because they have this predetermined idea of their ‘perfect’ conservative society….sick and Coulter is the one calling us kooky, can you say ironic?

-Isaac Marmolejo

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Freedom Watch is Off The Air

It is pretty known by now that this show is cancelled. Many libertarians, like myself, find it horrible since Freedom Watch was one of the few libertarian shows on mainstream media. No doubt Fox News will lose a lot of their libertarian audience now, but I guess this is good since Fox News constantly bash libertarians like no other. Its quite sad that libertarians have to deal with all this bull that Fox News spits out at us. Anyway here are a couple of Freedom Watch vids, and as a concluding thought, I wonder how long John Stossel has on Fox News.

The Welfare State Is Socialism?

This is Ludwig von Mises in ‘Liberty and Its Antithesis’

In fact, the Welfare State is merely a method for transforming the market economy step by step into socialism. The original plan of socialist action, as developed by Karl Marx in 1848 in the Communist Manifesto, aimed at a gradual realization of socialism by a series of governmental measures. The ten most powerful of such measures were enumerated in the Manifesto. They are well known to everybody because they are the very measures that form the essence of the activities of the Welfare State, of Bismarck’s and the Kaiser Wilheim’s German Sozialpolitik as well as of the American New Deal and British Fabian Socialism. The Communist Manifesto calls the measures it suggests “economically insufficient and untenable,” but it stresses the fact that “in the course of the movement” they outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionizing the mode of production.”

Later, Marx adopted a different method for the policies of his party. He abandoned the tactics of a gradual approach to the total state of socialism and advocated instead a violent revolutionary overthrow of the “bourgeois” system that at one stroke should “liquidate” the “exploiters” and establish “the dictatorship of the proletariat.” This is what Lenin did in 1917 in Russia and this is what the Communist International plans to achieve everywhere. What separates the Communists from the advocates of the Welfare State is not the ultimate goal of their endeavors, but the methods by means of which they want to attain a goal that is common to both of them. The difference of opinions that divides them is the same as that which distinguished the Marx of 1848 from the Marx of 1867, the year of the first publication of the first volume of Das Kapital.

Mises is dead wrong about the welfare state.

1) Welfare States are not a method to transform a market economy to a socialistic one (which he implies that a socialistic economy is one without markets). This is not a goal for advocates of the Welfare State. They are currently one of the biggest market supporters, I am specifically talking about the Nordic countries.  The Welfare States that are currently successful have strong property rights, enforce contracts, and low regulation on business. They accept the capitalistic mode of production, something that socialists reject. In fact, Welfare Statists take major criticism from Marxists and other socialists because they accept the capitalistic mode of production. So to equate socialists with Welfare Statists is a fallacy.

2) It is also a fallacy to call Bismarck a socialist. A quick google search on Bismarck demonstrates that he actually debated and was cautious about socialism. He even banned socialistic books and made it illegal for socialists to meet.

3) What separates communists and Welfare Statists IS the ultimate goal of their endeavors. Their goals are not the same at all. The biggest difference is that one supports a capitalistic mode of production and one supports a socialistic one. One wants to keep the market system in place while the other wants to revolutionize the mode of production.

In conclusion, I am by no means advocating the Welfare State. I just think that we should critique it fairly and not straw man it. And calling the Welfare State socialistic (in the Marxist sense) is a straw man.

Bachmann Fails at Logic

As an avid reader on Aristotle, I think I know a bit of logic. Or at least I know that my understanding of logic is far better than Michelle Bachmann’s understanding of the subject. Let me show you what I mean:

Here is a video showing a student asking Bachmann on what she would do for the gay community in America. Bachmann responds by saying that no one group of people have rights over other people. Every America has the same civil rights. This I agree with, no one group should have special rights that other people outside of the group don’t have.

But then, the student asks,” Then why can’t gays marry?” and Bachmann responds, “Well they can get married,” she goes further to say that gay men can marry women and gay women can marry men, so therefore the law is still equal across the board.  The student then responds, “So heteros have a privilege.” Bachmann of course replies no because the law only permits for opposite sex marriage, therefore we have to respect the law as stated.

So in Bachmann’s view, she first assumes the law is stated as civil as it should be, in this case, opposite sex marriage is legal. Then she assumes that since the law is civil as possible that everyone has equal right to this law. But here is her flaw, while she gives equal rights to everyone under the given law, the law in itself is advocating hetero marriage over homo marriage, that is, the law is advocating a special right to one group. Now knowing this, Bachmann must reject the premise that ‘no one group of people have rights over other people outside of the group’ in order to stay consistent with her conclusion.

Also, I want to note that she makes the argument that the law permits only opposite-sex marriage and we must respect the laws of America. But then this begs the question: Does she imply that we can never question our laws since this is a way of disrespecting a law? So if we keep consistent with the argument that we must always respect the laws and not question them, does that mean that if she was a politician in the 1960’s, that she would have been an advocate for segregation, since that was the law at the time, or in the 1910’s to 1920’s would she be opposed to the women’s sufferage movement, since the law only allowed men to vote? Hey, if it wasn’t for women back then demanding for the right to vote, Bachmann would not be a presidential candidate.  Maybe she forgot that Thomas Jefferson, a person she claims to admire, once said that if the law was unjust, it was our duty as citizens of this country to protest against it.  A true admirer of Jefferson would have never said to follow the law because that is the law and we must respect it.

I think I have shown Bachmann’s inconsistent claims, but probably the best way to approach Bachmann’s position is by simply turning the situation around, that is, lets say the law only permitted same-sex marriage. Would Bachmann’s position still be the same? Under this law all men, regardless of sexual preferences, have the equal opportunity to marry men and all women have the equal opportunity to marry women. See the law is equal… and since the law doesn’t grant opposite-sex marriage, it is illegal for men to marry women, and we must respect this because it is the law of the land. So Mrs. Bachmann, I ask, would your position be this?

Mrs. Bachmann fails at logic. I would have more respect for her if she just came out and said, “I am opposed to gay marriage because I dislike gays because it is an immoral action. I know best and I am just trying to make my views into law.” At least if she said that, she would be logically consistent, and not making such an absurd claim that ‘ this is law and we must respect the law.’

-Isaac Marmolejo