• Tag Archives Rand Paul
  • No, Rand Paul Didn’t Have It Coming

    I read Elie Mystal’s article on Rand Paul’s assault, which suggests such violent encounters are the inevitable result of libertarianism in practice. He makes two errors. First, he contends Rand Paul ignores the rules of his HOA based on his libertarian philosophy. Second, he contends basing a legal framework on the libertarian non-aggression principle (NAP) is unworkable.

    Private Contracts

    Regarding the first error, libertarianism is based on the sanctity of voluntary contracts. An HOA is a perfect example of what libertarians would replace zoning regulations with – an enforceable contract voluntarily entered into by every individual, instead of a set of rules imposed on the whole by a supposed majority. Mystal conflates voluntary contracts with regulations near the end of his piece, writing, “Rand Paul’s broken ribs are a g**damn case study in why we need regulations.” This begs the question, “Why do we need regulations, rather than just enforcement of the HOA?”

     

    Neither Mystal nor I know the terms of Rand Paul’s HOA contract, but if they prohibit either pumpkin patches or compost heaps, then Rand Paul appears to be in violation of that contract. Libertarians would side with the HOA, not Rand Paul. However, the HOA contract also provides penalties for violation of the terms, which I’m fairly certain don’t include bum-rushing him and breaking his ribs.

    This all assumes there is any truth to reports Senator Paul used his property in ways his neighbors found offensive, whether compliant with the letter of his HOA agreement or not. Several of his neighbors have come forward since Mystal’s piece was written to refute those reports.

    Even in the absence of a written agreement, libertarians recognize longstanding local conditions as binding on new property owners. Thus, I cannot come into a quiet community and build an airport on my land, subjecting my neighbors to the noise and other inconveniences of having an airport border their land. By the same token, I cannot buy the land next to an existing airport and then demand the airport stop making noise or doing the other things an airport must do to conduct its business. This principle extends to all sorts of questions, including air pollution, zoning, etc. Murray Rothbard wrote about this concept many times. Here is an example.

    The Non-Aggression Principle

    Second, Mystal’s article includes this passage:

    You can do what you want and I can do what I want and, so long as we’re not hurting anybody, the government can do nothing.” It’s… cute, as theories of social interactions go. It’s not a workable basis for law and governance.

    I would refer the writer to this passage from Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural address:

    With all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow-citizens — a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities. [emphasis added]

    In fact, Jefferson reiterated the NAP as the basis for law and governance many times over the course of his life. Examples include thisthis and this.

    Rather than a “cute theory of social interaction,” the NAP was the guiding principle of American liberty for well over a century until Woodrow Wilson specifically called it out as no longer adequate for what he considered too complex a society for the NAP to govern. Libertarians disagree with Wilson. Mystal may not. But it would be a much more valuable discussion if libertarianism would at least be represented correctly when criticized, rather than presented in the cartoonish fashion our sound bite media so often resort to.

    Reprinted from tommullen.net


    Tom Mullen

    Tom Mullen is the author of Where Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? and A Return to Common  Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America. For more information and more of Tom’s writing, visit www.tommullen.net.

    This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.


  • Rand Paul rallies House GOP to oppose $10 trillion deficit with no guarantee of Obamacare repeal


    Senate Republicans passed a budget resolution Wednesday that would repeal parts of Obamacare. However, the resolution would also add $9.7 trillion to the national debt, and for that reason Sen. Rand Paul voted against the measure:

    “I’m disappointed that the first action out of a new Republican Congress that has the majority in the Senate, majority in the House and the White House that their first action will be a budget that never balances and adds $9.7 trillion to the deficit,” Paul told CNN Wednesday. “I just can’t vote for a budget that never balances and adds so much new debt.”

    In effort to thwart the resolution, Paul met with 25 House Republicans Thursday morning — mostly members of the staunchly conservative Freedom Caucus — to convince them to oppose the measure. But while House Republicans were open to Paul’s concerns, they aren’t sure of their vote just yet…

    Paul has made it clear that he wants to repeal and replace Obamacare in full. However, he believes that repealing the law doesn’t have to come at the price of an unbalanced budget.

    Source: Rand Paul rallies House GOP to oppose $10 trillion deficit with no guarantee of Obamacare repeal –


  • Sen Rand Paul: Hillary Clinton Should Not Be Above the Law

    It is said—and most of us have spent our lives believing—that we are a nation of laws.

    If the FBI’s decision to not prosecute Hillary Clinton is accepted, we will have become a nation of two sets of laws: one for the Clintons, and one for everyone else.

    On Tuesday, FBI Director James Comey held an astonishing press conference in which he delivered a scathing rundown on Clinton’s wrongdoings in handling classified information and national security during her tenure as Secretary of State.

    The FBI showed clearly that Clinton violated classified procedures and carelessly, recklessly endangered national security—and did so repeatedly, over 100 times.

    The FBI then announced she would face no charges. This is an outrage, and the rule of law has been shattered.

    Any career civil servant or military offer who had been so “careless” with national security and classified information would have had his or her security clearance stripped at a minimum, possibly been fired, and certainly have been open to criminal charges.

    In fact, when one ambassador chose to use his own email server to send his traffic, in violation of a multitude of laws and procedures, the State Department cited it as one of the main reasons for his ouster. The Secretary of State at that time? Hillary Clinton.

    The Justice Department prosecuted NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake with charges that could have led to 35 years in prison.

    General David Petraeus was charged and pled guilty to similar classified breaches; he faced two years probation and a $100,000 fine.

    There are plainly written laws about this—Title 18 USC Sections 793 and 798, among others. The FBI director singlehandedly changed the meaning of the law Tuesday when he decided that if the intent to harm was not present, then there is no violation. That’s clearly wrong both by plain reading of the law and by practice of previous prosecutions. Gross negligence is the standard, not intentional harm. The top law enforcement officers in our country should know this.

    But the rules and laws are apparently for the other people, not for Clinton. It’s disgusting, and it should preclude Clinton from ever holding high office again.

    How can we trust someone to be Commandeer in Chief who would not even qualify for a security clearance if her name weren’t Clinton?

    Source: Sen Rand Paul: Hillary Clinton Should Not Be Above the Law | TIME