Tag: Featured

Desecrating the Flag From a Libertarian Perspective

By. Joshua D. Glawson

As of the past few years, the issue of desecrating the U.S. flag has intensified. Some are saying it is illegal, some are proclaiming it is free speech, others are maintaining that it is immoral. Many will say they are ostracized to the middle of this issue.

Videos on social media are showing demonstrators burning the flag, standing or walking on them, ripping them down, and more. There are videos of, so-called, patriots defending the desecration of the flag by means of removing the flag from ashes, taking the flag out from under people’s feet, or even the use of physical violence and threats. Accompanying these videos are swarms of commenters suggesting prison time for the offenders, laws preventing the desecration of the flag, or physical violence as much as death threats.

So, is it illegal for people to desecrate the U.S. flag? Perhaps in some areas, there have been local laws created for the desecration of flags or arson of any sort, in general. Federally, ‘United States v. Eichman,’ 1990, overturned ‘Texas v. Johnson,’ 1989, where it was decided that desecrating the flag was protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This has remained as protected speech since the Supreme Court’s decision in 1990, but it has been an ongoing issue since the first laws passed in 1968 with the Federal Flag Desecration Law. This will continue to be a battle for many.

Among the protections of the First Amendment is freedom of speech. This freedom, protected by the Constitution, is protecting the people from government. Furthermore, freedom of speech is not just speech that everyone agrees with, as one can easily find in Communist countries. This freedom is prelegal and protects individuals for speech that is despised by the masses and government. Freedom of speech without the right to offend is no freedom at all.

What about all of those that died for the right to speak freely and to live in a protected land? The desecration of the flag is one of those rights fought for, as it is a freedom of speech. It is not always the most prudent or tactful form of protest, and it is not the most economical. Nevertheless, a demonstration of criticism or condemnation by an individual, even of those that fought for that very right, is still a needed right among a free people. To say that one is not legally allowed to do such creates a dynamic and ever-growing oppressive state controlling the people, rather than the freedoms being proclaimed previously fought for by those that died in its defense.

Mere legality means very little when it comes to the philosophy of Liberty. Many restrictive and harmful laws have existed, and still exist, but that does not mean they are justified or that they should even exist. There have been countries and dictators that have changed all of their laws in order to carry on their destructive agendas, just so that they precisely follow their created laws. This does not mean they are right in doing so. Victimless “crimes” leave a lot of room for subjectivity in law.

“Well, if you don’t like it, you should leave!” This is an all too common phrase echoed by many Conservatives and Republicans, especially when it comes to criticisms of the state or desecration of the flag. This is an informal fallacy known as “argumentum ergo decedo,” also known as “The Traitorous Critic Fallacy.” Much like the “tu quoque” fallacy, it does not address the criticism or topic at hand, rather it points to the person speaking. It is similar to a mafia running a neighborhood, and when one shopkeeper voices an opinion of disapproval for the practices of the mafia, the shopkeeper is told to either pay and obey or leave. The best practice is to have open debate and peaceful discussion with people rather than restricting criticism or freedom of expression.

To threaten violence or even death for someone voicing their opinion, or in this case, desecrating the flag, is exactly how governments become larger and more oppressive. To threaten banishment as a means of coercing submission to the state and only allowing speech that the majority deems appropriate is what regimes use regularly.

If the protestor owns the property they are desecrating, in this case, a U.S. flag, that is theirs to do so. For others to dictate what one does with their property is contradictory to Liberty. Our property rights are essential to Freedom. Without our property, we are not free. Even when we may disagree with what one does with their property, as long as it does not infringe on the Life, Liberty, or Property of others, we have no justification for limiting them. If the protestor is desecrating the property of someone else, then there is a reason to do something in response. The flag is not public property when one purchases it on their own. Therefore, they have the right to do with it as they please.

In the end, every individual will decide what they find to be moral or immoral, in regards to the desecration of the U.S. flag, as that is not a Libertarian position to take. Just as other forms of speech can be extremely distasteful or hurtful, they are to be protected- this includes the desecration of the U.S. flag.


Free Markets Are The Ultimate Tool To Destroy Bigotry

By Indri Schaelicke | United States

If you turn on the news today, you will likely see stories of the most recent case of racism, sexism, or another form of terrible discrimination. Just over 3 weeks ago, national news blew up when the story of 2 black men being arrested at Starbucks Coffee was widely reported. Or take the infamous story of a Christian baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding.

Should the government make laws that force people to go against their beliefs? There is a simpler solution that does not require legislation, enforcement and protects everyone’s rights: Let the forces of the market interact to boycott what the public views to be bigoted behavior by companies.

If a business it engaging in bigoted practices that the public does not agree with, they can boycott the business to deprive them of income. If the owner is smart, they will realize their profits have decreased and cease their discriminatory practices. If not, they will be driven out of business and discrimination will no longer exist in the community.

We now live at a time when many people have access to the internet and social media, which makes it especially easy to organize boycott efforts and raise awareness of bigoted behavior by companies. The online outrage can be manifested by mass boycotts that will send a clear message to the organization affected.

The Civil Rights Act of 1968 mandated equal housing opportunities regardless of race, religion, or national origin and made it a federal crime to “by force or by threat of force, injure, intimidate, or interfere with anyone … by reason of their race, color, religion, or national origin.” This act is a clear violation of private property rights because it prohibits people from doing certain things with their own property. The government should never be able to dictate what people can and cannot do with their own legally purchased and owned property. This can easily lead to conscription or forced labor as the government is forcing people to do things.

A concern of solving issues of discrimination through legislation is that it expands the size and scope of government. Whenever a piece of legislation is enacted, a government agency is usually responsible for overseeing the enforcement of the regulations and mandates. Issues of discrimination often do not have an agency to enforce them (otherwise there would be no need for the bill), meaning yet another agency must be created.

Issues of discrimination can be solved by manipulating market forces to send a clear message to the business or entity engaging in the bigotry. This avoids issues of the encroachment of rights and expansion of the government.

Personal Responsibility and The Quest for Blame

By Fritz | United States

As the year 2018 continues ahead into the Summer Season, we have yet again in America come across what has become a rather typical news story: multiple teenagers dead in a shooting carried out by a lone gunman in a high school. Not even an hour after such news breaks, before there are even details that have been disclosed, the politicization of the event is underway.

That is true on both sides of the spectrum: Immediately there are those offering condolences, thoughts, and prayers. They are almost always quickly scrutinized and belittled by a segment of individuals who are angry (rightfully so, it is quite sickening to read or watch a breaking news story in which children are dying), but they are more than angry, a quick search of whatever hashtag is being branded on the incident will show you some pretty vile responses to someone expressing their sorrow.

Then there is the wave of gun control now statuses, where you typically will read lines such as “all assault weapons need to be banned,” “we need common sense gun control,” and now even more so, the bolder “ban all guns.” The latter is becoming more and more prevalent, as the most recent shooting which claimed the lives of 10 people, most of whom were young teenage students, was not carried out with the usual AR-15 Rifle, rather this time it was a .38 revolver and a shotgun, two guns that a few weeks ago any gun control advocate would have probably argued are completely fine because they aren’t “assault weapons.”

After a few days, what then happens is what I call the “quest for blame.” It is a natural occurrence because we all typically agree that no decent, sane human being carries out such acts of unspeakable violence. In the latest case, a number of issues have been brought up for discussion, including alleged bullying of the culprit, ease of access to guns for the culprit (they .38 and shotgun in question were legally purchased and owned by his father) and even Ollie North, the next NRA President, suggesting a combination of overexposure to violence and prescribed medication as a factor.

This is exactly what it becomes: Who or what caused this to happen? And the answer, unfortunately, is not a simple one. Some people try to pin it on a culture of violence: Television is more violent, movies are more violent, video games are not only violent but nearly at the peak of realism. Yet despite these facts, almost every major study conducted on video game violence shows no data to suggest that consumers become more violent due to the content of the games themselves.

Glenn Beck and numerous voices at The Blaze are arguing that still, culturally there is an overall lack of respecting the sanctity of human life. Beck argues that it boils down to the very issues such as abortion, where everything has been stripped down to the simple mechanics of a woman having the absolute right to control anything to do with her body, including whether or not she completes a pregnancy or terminates it. (Note: I am not arguing for or against the issue here, merely presenting someone’s opinion.)

My argument is that it well may be a blending of multiple things. Take myself as an example: At the time of High School, I had already experienced losing a parent, my father, when I was merely 4 years old; when I was 9 my 12-year-old sister was diagnosed with cancer and months later passed away; I was shy, introverted, not outgoing, quiet, kept to myself, played video games and struggled with my religious beliefs. Technically, you could profile me with that information.

At that time, I probably suffered from depression, but I dealt with the issues that life threw at me in my own way. My outlet was discovering music, and I fell in love with bands that people have never heard of and discovered Power Metal, which is my musical getaway from the world and helps me tackle my spiritual struggles.

During that time, I never sought to blame something or someone for life. It simply was. I never had a violent thought in my head, yet I played the first installments of Call of Duty and God of War. I went to the gun range with Scouts. Because of my religious beliefs and personality at the time, I was kind of an outcast and a weirdo. I dealt with my fair share of bullies, but never did I want to wish harm on people because that was the complete opposite of key things I was taught growing up.

As we all continue on, the struggle remains the same: Nobody wants to wake up and see a story of kids getting killed, but not everyone believes stricter gun laws will actually accomplish the goal of reducing violence. We then remained stalled, where we currently are, and that is not a good thing either.

You can never find a true solution, but we seemingly do not examine the entire picture in trying to find several solutions that could work for the better.

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Stop Making A Big Deal About The Royal Wedding

By Nick Hamilton | United Kingdom

In case you weren’t one of the over 29 million Americans to care enough about the Royal Wedding to tune in, Prince Harry of Wales and Meghan Markle, an American, were officially married in England this weekend, just outside of London. The Royal Wedding is cool and all, but as Americans, why do we care about two public figures getting married?

Keep in mind, Prince Harry isn’t a political figure. He has virtually no political power as of now. He’s not a Prime Minister. Also keep in mind that England spent about $43M on this wedding, which is going to come back to bite the taxpayers across the pond when they can barely afford to keep their healthcare system up and running. You may recall that a few weeks ago, the UK Government mistreated Alfie Evans, a toddler, by barring him from leaving the UK to seek medical assistance in Rome. The hospital made a decision to take Evans off life support, without the consent of his parents. A UK court then agreed with the hospital. And now, this same government is putting on this Royal Wedding, spending a bit less than $43M.

What’s also quite concerning is that the guards were, you guessed it, armed. Yes, a nation that has taken as many weapons as they can from their people is now arming guards who protect the Royal Wedding. But I thought guns weren’t good for defense, England? I have no problem with the Royals being protected the best they can be, but it’s just another example of the hypocrisy of the UK Government. It just further proves that the United Kingdom doesn’t exactly care about their people, but they’ll do anything for the Royal Family.

Also, if you were to criticize Islam at this wedding, you better think again. Remember, criticism of Islam is illegal in the United Kingdom because the United Kingdom doesn’t believe in free speech. Don’t forget that just a couple of months ago, Canadian right-wing journalist Lauren Southern was denied entry into the United Kingdom because of her criticisms of Islam. I happened to enter the UK that same day, and I guess call me lucky that I didn’t get denied access because I’ve criticized Islam many times. Britain has arrested its own citizens on numerous occasions for criticism of Islam but doesn’t seem to care when people criticize Christianity. We should be celebrating acts of freedom and liberty in America, not a country that doesn’t seem to represent American values.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. I honestly hope they do well for this planet, and I hope they’re happy. But honestly, why should so many Americans care. The UK has a past of not advocating for freedom, so why are we jumping all over this?

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Roger Stone: Trump May not Run in 2020

By Jason Patterson | United States

Political Activist and former key member of the Trump campaign, Roger Stone, has pledged to have someone challenge Mike Pence in 2020 if he were to run. While making this statement he suggested that Trump might not run for re-election. Instead, the President, satisfied with what he accomplished in one term, may back a Pence/Haley ticket.

Stone slammed Pence calling him an “establishment” Republican who is controlled by lobbyists, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and the GOP Chairman.

When he was later asked about his thoughts on Nikki Haley he responded: “she loves wars and doesn’t hold polices putting our nation first.”

“I don’t think that it is a foregone conclusion that the president will definitely run,” Stone said. “If at the end of the next three years the economy is very strong, he has built the wall, sealed our borders, he’s reformed our immigration policies, he has redone these trade agreements so that they are beneficial to the United States, that he has got a peace agreement in Korea — I could see him saying, ‘You know what? I don’t need this anymore. I made America great again. I have kept my promises to the American people. I’m heading off to the golf course.'”

However, Trump has technically already started his campaign for re-election and came up with two slogans, ” Keeping America Great” and ” Promises Made, Promises Kept.”

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