Thursday, July 26, 2007

Another Thug With a Badge


"Flag-defiling charge ends in fight, arrests" by Mike McWilliams, Asheville Citizen-Times, July 26, 2007
A couple who said they were protesting the state of the country by flying the U.S. flag upside down with signs pinned to it found themselves in jail following a scuffle with a deputy Wednesday morning.


If a member of law enforcement is alerted to an American flag flying upside down at a residence, I think it would be perfectly reasonable for them to pay a courtesy visit to see if the residents are truly in distress rather than violently barge in to someone’s private home and manhandle them into submission and captivity. That would be the American thing to do.

The arrogance of government and police power is staggering.

It saddens me to hear responses on the AC-T bulletin board calling for greater uses of force and violence against peaceful protests, greater restrictions on the speech of authentic patriots, greater losses of individual liberties to the reach and powers of an authoritarian state, and a greater inversion of the sovereignty of the individual in favor of the brute force of government control.

Pinto Kroger smirkingly wrote in the AC-T bulletin board:
"Get this, the Kuhns must be fun-loving REPUBLICANS. The picture of them shows a Ron Paul for President sign!"

It is more likely that they are libertarians, like me, who would like to see Ron Paul in the White House, regardless of his party affiliation.

I agree with them that this country is in distress; severe distress. I don’t believe that the Kuhn’s method of communicating that fact is particularly effective, but this incident graphically demonstrates their point quite well.

I was assaulted by a sheriff's deputy in Atlanta. He was off-duty, in uniform and commanded me to get on the ground with his ASP raised. I justifiably refused. This self-righteous monster put me in the hospital. I was treated at Grady Hospital (under arrest and in hand-cuffs for eight days without access to a phone), released in a wheelchair (in custody). I later recovered at home and removed my own stapled stitches from a split kneecap and fractured, exposed tibia.

I sued and won two settlements. The officer was fired.

I know for a fact that a law enforcement officer will lie to their supervisors, their peers, the press, and a judge when they know they have broken the law by assaulting an innocent citizen under the color of authority.

I don't care if you have a uniform, a badge and George freaking Bush's signature on your rosy red ass, you cannot break the law and assault an innocent citizen engaged in a peaceful protest!

In this case, the deputy sheriff broke the law. He was there on a personal mission fueled by irrational, volcanic emotion. Buncombe County should be sued and the officer brought up on charges.

Here's my list so far, in order:
  1. Breaking and Entering (forcibly gaining entry)

  2. Damage to Property (broken window)

  3. Criminal Trespass (entrying another's property without right or permission)

  4. Assault with a Weapon (pepper spray, ASP baton, Taser)

  5. Abuse of Power (assault "under color of authority")

  6. Unlawful Detention (illegal arrest)

  7. Conspiracy (colluding on false account of incident)

  8. Filing a False Report (Sheriff's Office report)

  9. Obstruction of Justice (diverting investigation of facts)

  10. Theft (flag taken, later return not mitigating)

The Kuhn’s, in their peaceful protests, have a valid criticism and are defending not only the flag but what it supposedly stands for.

The thug that forcibly entered their home “under color of authority” and out of personal vendetta and anger is the criminal and deserves a criminal’s reward.


"N.C. flag law rarely enforced" by Mike McWilliams, Asheville Citizen-Times, July 27, 2007.

"Charges dropped in flag desecration case" by Mike McWilliams, Asheville Citizen-Times, August 2, 2007.

"Charges dropped in flag-desecration case" by David Forbes, Mountain Xpress, 08/02/2007.

"Flag charges dropped" by By McWilliams, Behsudi, Asheville Citizen-Times, August 3, 2007.


News Report, WLOS News 13, July 25, 2007:

News Report
, WLOS News 13, July 26, 2007:

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Libertarian Synthesis


From the book "The Age of Abundance: How Prosperity Transformed America's Politics and Culture" by Brink Lindsey
What has emerged, then, in the broad center of American public opinion is a kind of implicit libertarian synthesis, one which reaffirms the core disciplines that underlie and sustain the modern lifestyle while making much greater allowances for variations within that lifestyle. Though reasonably coherent and sturdy, it remains implicit because it cuts across the ideological lines of left and right that still dominate the definition of cultural and political allegiances and discourse. Lacking affirmative articulation as a mainstream public philosophy in its own right, the libertarian synthesis operates as a largely unspoken modus vivendi, a compromise between the overreaching of the left and right’s conflicting half-truths.

Video: View the author discussing this book on The Daily Show.

Podcast: Listen to the author discuss this book.

Webiste: Brink Lindsey

Excerpt: Read the introduction to the book.


"Good News" By John Stossel, July 25, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Gay Marriage

Some are using religion to justify discrimination against gays while others use religion to justify acceptance of gays. Both are wrong.

I don't think religion should be used as a rationale for either side of the debate. This is an individual rights question. Religion should have no bearing on the law in a pluralistic, secular and constitutionally-governed freedom-loving nation.

Free individuals have an inalienable natural right to engage in voluntary, peaceable private behavior that does not violate the rights of others.

No gay marriage (or union, agreement, contract) violates in any way or brings injury to the rights of any others.

This then brings up the question of government involvement in the institution of marriage. Some claim that marital protections and privileges are unevenly distributed between heterosexual couples and homosexual couples who wish to marry. That is, that the law is discriminatory based on sexual orientation.

This is true. The law is discriminatory because the government is forever in the business of choosing favorites and picking winners and losers in both social life and the marketplace. This is not the proper function of government. Its proper function is in the protection and preservation of individual rights.

The solution to discriminatory marital law is to completely remove the government's interest in promoting or denying marriages of any kind and confine its involvement in marital agreements to the enforcement and adjudication of contract law.

This solution maximizes liberty while respecting the individual rights of free people.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Fabtastic Four

[click graphic to enlarge]

"The Fabtastic Four" by The Asheville Disclaimer, July 18,2007.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Got Liberty?

"Got Liberty?" is a new live television show being cablecast on the Asheville public access channel URTV.

Got Liberty? (Live)
Local roundtable discussion on libertarian politics generally and the Presidential campaign of Ron Paul in particular. Cablecast on URTV television, Charter cable channel 20. Wednesdays, 7:30 - 9:00 PM

Monday, July 16, 2007

Referendum Petition

At 5:00 PM on July 16, 2007, the "Let Asheville Vote" coalition delivered referendum petitions containing 6,192 signatures to the office of the Asheville city clerk.

The city has 10 days to validate the signatures through the Buncombe County Board of Elections.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Split Tax Solution

In the letter “Lite’s approach to growth is just what council needs” (July 15, 2007), B.J. Snow stated,
“Several City Council members have said that we cannot limit growth in Asheville, because the developers will just move out to the county and further desecrate our mountains. Since, currently, there are no substantial growth control measures in Buncombe County, I think they’re right.”

But, rather than hoping that the county will cooperate in helping to push density toward the center of Asheville, we should adopt tax policy that will draw density toward the center of Asheville.

This can be accomplished with the Split Tax, where land values are separated (split) from the values of improvements and are taxed at six times that of the improvements in a revenue-neutral way.

I support Elaine Lite's candidacy for city council. Her perspective on growth and development is one shared by a great number of citizens.

However, without Home Rule -- that is, local political autonomy -- there is little that can be accomplished regarding land use, development and growth.

Yes, some cleverly crafted piecemeal ordinances can be adopted, but without local legislative authority and a comprehensive regional approach, these will be reactive, stop-gap measures that will ultimately be unsatisfactory. Damage, once done, is not easily undone.

I wish Ms. Lite good luck in working with the county. And with fighting the state legislature.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

LTE: Spanish News

The Asheville Daily Planet claims that they will publish a Spanish language newspaper to "meet the news and information needs of the Asheville area's burgeoning Hispanic community," entitled El Eco De Las MontaƱas (The Echo Of Mountains).

However, they leave it unclear -- and, I think, purposely so, if not defiantly so -- whether their target audience is intended to be legal immigrants or illegal aliens -- an important distinction that local media often attempt to obscure. Legal immigrant Hispanic American citizens would certainly not need a newspaper written entirely in the language of the countries they chose to vacate.

I think it's fine to publish a niche newspaper with content that would interest Hispanics. But why in Spanish? Would not an English-language special interest newspaper serve that purpose?

Foreigners who come to this country without English language skills are called tourists. The only reasonable explanation for this is that the Daily Planet intends to actively support and enable criminal entry into this country, exacerbate cultural and racial division, and further arrest the prospect of the naturalization and assimilation of people who knowingly violate the law.

By publishing a local newspaper that caters to the language deficiencies of illegal Hispanic aliens, the Daily Planet is not doing this so-called "burgeoning Hispanic community" a service, but a thoughtless and disastrous disservice. Indeed, the Daily Planet does a disservice to our entire community.


Monday, July 02, 2007

Freedom versus Whimsy

Response to Commentary by Susan Ihne on Freedom:

In her July 1, 2007, Asheville Citizen-Times op-ed piece Freedom is a grand concept that should be enjoyed daily, Susan Ihne advises such things as:
Do you hate going to work each day? Get off your bum and find a job you enjoy.

Did your mother once tell you that pink wasn’t your color, so you’ve spent your life never buying anything pink? Go buy pink.

Do you nearly fall asleep each week in church because the pastor is boring? Find one you like, get something out of it.

Do you have a dining room you never use and can’t sleep upstairs at night because it’s so hot? Bring the bed down and sleep in the dining room.

Is your car ride home each evening so routine that sometimes you arrive and don’t even remember taking the exit? Drive an extra two miles and find an alternative route to make your life interesting.

Who says you can’t eat dessert first? Just once, start with the sweets and work your way back to the salad.

Does anyone understand the difference between Freedom and Whimsy?

Freedom, in a political sense, means to be free from the coercion and predation of other individuals and especially the government. Under a system of Freedom, the only proper role for the government is the protection of individual rights. An ideal that America has not yet achieved - and may not.

Whimsy is a personal, range-of-the-moment psychological urge that carries no political content and little meaning outside of a person's own momentary and shifting consciousness. Much like the tips given by the writer of this article.