A Military Career -- A Wasted Life?

by Will

Liberty Minute May 23 2014

The Afghanistan war didn?t end soon enough to spare the life of Sgt. Maj. Martin Barreras, who died last week after being shot in combat. Barreras spent more than half of his 49 years in the military, serving 22 years in the Army Rangers following five years in the Marines. He was deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan, and took part in missions to Panama and Haiti.

Barreras?s most notable mission, however, was the rescue of Private Jessica Lynch from an Iraqi hospital in 2003.

Lynch, who had no business being in a combat zone, was part of a military convoy that got lost and was ambushed during the early stage of the Iraq invasion.  She and another female soldier, Private Lori Piestawa (a mother of two), were taken by Iraqis to a hospital, where they were given priority treatment for injuries suffered in a collision. They were treated as patients  and Iraqi officials tried to return Lynch to US custody after her friend tragically died from her injuries.

The ?rescue? was an unnecessary military engagement staged for pure propaganda value. Tragically, something similar could be said of most of the missions to which the late Sgt. Maj. Barreras devoted his career.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

If Someone's In Trouble, Don't Call the Police

by Will

Liberty Minute May 22 2014

Alarmed that a customer appeared to be suffering from a drug overdose, Portland restaurant owner John Langley called 9-11 to request medical help ? and to insist that the police stay away.

?We don?t allow police in here so we can totally accommodate the fire department and other emergency personnel,? Langley explained over the phone. When the dispatcher said that he was ?required to send everybody,? Langley replied, that ?if the police try and come in here there?s going to be another problem.?

After discussing the situation with the police, paramedics responded to the call. After arriving at the Red & Black Café, they rendered aid to a customer who was experiencing a heroin overdose. He was taken to the hospital for treatment, and then released without being arrested or charged.

Langley describes himself as an anarchist and an advocate for the homeless. Whatever else can be said about his ideology, he understands the concept of property rights and is well-informed about the potential risks to innocent people when police are summoned to deal with emergencies. Yes, police are trained to render emergency aid, and many do so when necessary. Their chief function, however, is to engage in violence on behalf of the state, which isn?t helpful to people facing a medical emergency.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

When Police Agencies Combine, Liberty is Extinguished

by Will

Liberty Minute May 21 2014

Canyon County, Idaho Sheriff Kieran Donahue used a speech at the May 15 Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony to acknowledge that local law enforcement is officially extinct.

On hand at the ceremony, which was part of a national observance, were officers and agents from dozens of city, county, state, and federal law enforcement bodies. Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden participated, as did Wendy Olson, the US Attorney for Idaho.

In his remarks, Sheriff Donahue emphasized that all of these agencies are on the ?same side,? and criticized what he called ?turf wars? that undermine the unity of law enforcement efforts.

?Those boundaries are gone, and it was high time ? that happened,? declared Sheriff Donahue. ?And we?re very fortunate that we can be a part of that.?

The boundaries Sheriff Donahue found so objectionable are necessary to protect the rights of individuals and the reserved powers of local officials. They are the administrative equivalent of the political checks and balances imposed by the Constitution on the three branches of government. The Constitution never contemplated nor authorized a federal role in local law enforcement.

Donahue, whose duties include holding back overreaching federal officials, sees himself as their colleague. From such collegial relationships, police states are born.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.

Cops Shoot Dogs; Why Don't Mailmen?

by Will

Liberty Minute May 20 2014


Practically every day the public is informed of an incident in which a dog is shot and killed by a police officer, often in front of its owner's residence. In most cases, the dog doesn't pose an immediate risk to the officer or anybody else. And they're rarely held accountable because ?officer safety? is regarded as the most important consideration in such episodes.


Police officers are hardly the only people who routinely come into contact with unfamiliar dogs. Postal carriers and private couriers have occupations that involve regular visits to private homes and encounters with dogs that may or may not be friendly.


In 2013, there were more than 5,500 incidents in which postal carriers were bitten by dogs while delivering the mail. It's likely that more than a few private couriers had similar experiences. Yet the public record is barren of stories describing a panicky mail carrier or UPS of FedEx employee gunning down a dog and then insisting it was justified because he was scared of the animal.


Rather that killing a threatening dog, deliverymen will simply refuse to provide their services until the owner reins in his pet. Police could do likewise, but they see their role as controlling, rather than serving, the public.


Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.

Open Discussion of Firearms a Public Safety Risk?

by Will

Liberty Minute May 19 2014


The presence of a single, non-violent citizen openly carrying a firearm is sufficient to cause panic in people habituated to the evil idea that only state functionaries should be armed. They are so alarmed by the presence of a single armed stranger that their first reaction is to call the police, thereby inviting the intervention of additional armed strangers who are more dangerous than the first.


The actual presence of armed citizens is not necessary to induce a panicked reaction. All that is required is public discussion of  the right to armed self-defense.


On May 16, two student groups sponsored an event at the BSU Student Union building featuring Dick Heller, a resident of Washington, D.C. whose lawsuit resulted in a Supreme Court ruling recognizing that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own firearms. Just hours before the event, BSU officials demanded that the sponsors pay an additional $510 to hire extra security in the form of 20 additional police officers, who were on hand for the specific purpose of harassing any attendee who was openly carrying a firearm.


For those whose minds are shackled by statism, even discussing the concept of private firearms ownership constitutes a threat to public safety.


Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.

Joe Biden Builds an International Dynasty

by Will

Liberty Minute May 16 2014


In Russia, they are called ?oligarchs?; in China, they are known as ?princelings.? By whatever designation, the people under discussion are elites who are placed in charge of immensely profitable enterprises as a result of family relationships with political figures, rather than through their own industry or private inheritance.


Hunter Biden, the youngest son of the sitting vice-president, is a splendid example of an American princeling. He was recently appointed head of legal affairs at Burisma, a major government-aligned Ukrainian natural gas company. He describes his role as consulting with the company ?on matters of transparency, corporate governance and responsibility....? A more honest assessment would be that he is positioning himself and his family to profit from Ukraine's energy sector if the country becomes a major energy exporter to the European Union.


Vice President Biden has been an outspoken proponent of involvement in Ukraine's conflict with Russia, and his son's position presents him with an obvious conflict of interest. Our Constitution, laws, and traditions require neutrality in conflicts between foreign nations, like the one building between Russia and Ukraine. Joe Biden obviously cannot be a neutral party in that dispute. But oligarchs and princelings aren't bound by the rules that apply to the rest of us.


Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.

"Check Your Privilege": A Totalitarian Refrain

by Will

Liberty Minute May 15 2014


The phrase ?check your privilege? is among the most obnoxious expressions of recent vintage. This demand is an implicit accusation routinely directed at white, male students, who are supposed to feel guilt over being the beneficiaries of the institutionalized advantages that come with being part of an ?oppressor class.?


Beginning this fall, first-year students ? we dare not call them ?freshmen? ? at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government will be required to undergo an orientation session dealing with power and privilege. [It's not much of an exaggeration to describe this kind of thing as a variant of the ?struggle sessions? employed in Communist China during the Cultural Revolution. Those exercises were designed to induce ?self-criticism? among people regarded as class enemies or suspected of ideological impurity.]


Collectivism, especially of the left-wing variety, is entirely obsessed with identity. All social relationships are divided between oppressor and victim classes. Those assigned to the former group can never eradicate their inherited guilt; those designated as victims, on the other hand, enjoy a limitless supply of inherited virtue, which can be drawn upon by political figures who claim to act on their behalf.


This is a variant of the ideology that fed the guillotines in Revolutionary France, and filled the killing fields of Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge.


Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.


The DEA Carries out a Mini-Kristallnacht

by Will

Liberty Minute May 14 2014


Ilana Lipsen and her sister arrived at their store in Alpine Junction, Texas before business hours, but a handful of unpleasant-looking strangers were already there. One of them brusquely ordered Ilana?s sister to produce a key. As she explained that the building was locked with a security code, the man directed a subordinate to break down the door.


The invaders were from the DEA, and they claimed to be executing a warrant in search of synthetic drugs. They confiscated computers, hard drives, security cameras, and firearms, all of which were legally owned. As they ransacked the business, the intruders ordered the sisters from their property. After Ilana?s sister hesitated, an agent threw her to the ground, and when she made incidental contact on the way down, he accused her of assaulting an officer. This supposedly justified a retaliatory strike to the prone woman's face with the butt of an assault rifle.


Lipsen?s sister was charged with assaulting the officer who attacked her. Despite photographic evidence of the agent's assault, the DEA denies that the attack took place.


The raiders described this atrocity as a victory in the war on drugs. Rational people would see it as kindred to the behavior of the Nazis on Kristallnacht.


Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.

Who is the Biggest Threat to Girls in Muslim Countries?

by Will

Liberty Minute May 13 2014


Michelle Obama and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Malala Yousafzai both joined the worldwide social network protest demanding the return of 276 Christian schoolgirls who were abducted by Muslim militants. The Twitter-based campaign encouraged people to pose with signs reading #BringBackOurGirls.

This will do nothing to pressure the kidnappers into releasing the hostages, but that really isn't the point. The objective is to build public support for a ?humanitarian? military operation in Nigeria.

Unlike Mrs. Obama, Malala Yousafzai has consistently condemned both Muslim extremism and Western militarism. She survived being shot in the head by Taliban gunmen as punishment for promoting education for young girls. During a White House visit last October, Malala pointedly said to President Obama that his drone strikes in her native Pakistan are killing innocent people and ?fueling terrorism.?

Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of innocent girls in the near East and northern Africa have been killed by US drone attacks. In Syria, US-backed Muslim radicals are driving Christians from their homes when they aren't raping and slaughtering them. The Nigerian terrorists who prompted the #BringBackOurGirls movement are vile, but the evil they do is contained to one country. The apparatus of state terror over which Michelle Obama's husband presides is global in scope.


Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.

Emily Letts: High Priestess of the Molech Cult

by Will

Liberty Minute May 12 2014


Those who defend the practice of discretionary child-killing generally insist that abortion is a matter of tragic necessity for women who chose that option only after grave reflection. This claim was dispelled by the actions of Emily Letts, an abortion clinic escort and horror movie actress who videotaped her recent abortion.


In an essay written by Letts for Cosmopolitan magazine, she made it clear that the decision to destroy her developing child was made for reasons of pure convenience: She had become pregnant as a result of a casual sexual encounter, and didn't want to be encumbered with a child. Her decision to make a video record of the procedure that killed her baby was intended to provide ?inspiration? to other women, presumably to provide more business for the child-killing industry.


After the lethal deed was accomplished, Letts kept a sonogram of the destroyed child as a memento. This was an odd decision if she regarded the child as a trivial wad of tissue: People who undergo tonsillectomies don't keep X-rays of their inflamed tonsils.


Some radical feminists have referred to abortion as a sacrament. Emily Letts validated that view by displaying the same murderous indifference exhibited by ancient Canaanites who sacrificed their children to Molech.


Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.

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