U.S. Seizes Kim Dotcom Assets

Kim DotcomI’ve been following the saga of Kim Dotcom since January of 2012 when New Zealand police raided his home and charged him with copyright piracy. Things took another disturbing (at least for Libertarians) turn this weekend when a U.S. court decided that because he was a “fugitive” that the government was entitled to seize all of his personal assets despite the fact he hasn’t been convicted of a crime.

I’ve written about this entire misguided prosecution several times before and I don’t want to reiterate all my objections and will focus on this latest travesty today.

What happened is that the government of New Zealand, where Kim Dotcom resides, raided his house and took his property but the courts in that country decided that after nearly three years and no trial they needed to give him his stuff back. The United States then invoked a new legal proceeding claiming that Dotcom was a fugitive and as such they could seize his assets.

How Dotcom is a fugitive of the United States when he never lived in this country and never did business in this country boggles the mind. How the United States is entitled to steal … er seize … the assets of a person who was arrested, but untried, in another country is frightening. What can’t the courts decide? Who can’t they bankrupt?

The United States now owns $67 million worth of what used to be Dotcom’s property. His business is destroyed and he has yet to face trial three years after his initial arrest. The United States now owns his bank accounts, none of which resided in the United States! They own them! The accounts legally belong to the United States Government because a U.S. court decided the accounts of a man from another country was a fugitive.

There has been no trial and Dotcom wasn’t even legally allowed to defend himself in this latest phase. He now has no money to pay his lawyers to continue his case.

Who is safe from such rapacity?

Are you?

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition

Saudi Arabia has Lost their Trust in Us? What-What-What

saudi-arabia-terrorAhhhhhhhh!!!!

Anger rising. Rant uncontrollable.

Republicans in Congress are apparently angry that Saudi Arabia has conducted bombing raids in Yemen without the United States joining in.

This is a sign, they say, that Saudi Arabia doesn’t trust the United States and hence, President Obama.

THEY DON’T TRUST US!?!

Osama Bin Laden was a Saudi Arabian who learned his hatred of the United States in schools funded by Saudi Arabia. He learned it next to thousands of other Saudi Arabians and others around the Arab world who go to schools funded by Saudi oil. Fifteen of the nineteen scum that carried out the September 11th attacks were from Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is the chief financier of terrorist attacks on the United States in the world. They created ISIS with their schools and now it’s coming back to haunt them. Cry me a river.

I repeat again in case you missed the all-capital scream from above. They don’t trust us? They don’t trust President Obama?

How about, now this is a crazy idea, how about we don’t trust those murdering, backstabbing, useless fake friends? How about we stop ferrying them out of the country on private jets while the rest of the country is grounded after the September 11th attacks? How about we stop sending them weapons and money? How about that?

It’s all because we want oil. Oil, oil, oil, oil, oil, oil, oil, oil. We debase ourselves for it. We degrade ourselves, we feed our enemies cash, we sell our honor, our integrity for it.

I generally despise Democrats and Republicans with the same venom but today my hate is for just you, Lindsey Graham, and your Republican friends.

Ahhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rant not over. Heart still raging.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition

 

 

Gal Gadot is too Skinny to portray Wonder Woman?

Gal GadotI like to fancy myself a bit of a plain speaker and a story from the entertainment world about an actress named Gal Gadot burns my britches.

First a little background. An upcoming Batman/Superman movie will feature the iconic character of Wonder Woman. The actress chosen to play the role is Gal Gadot. Here is the result of an image search so you can peruse the pictures of this attractive woman.

I’ve also included a picture of her in the blog if you don’t want to go to the trouble of clicking the link.

People are upset because they think Gadot is too skinny to play Wonder Woman. So they say.

Now here’s my problem with that assertion.

Shhh. Make sure no one is looking. Check behind you. Is it safe?

The problem people have is not her weight, it’s that her breasts aren’t large enough. Oh my goodness! What horrors have I spoken? The delicate ears of United States citizens everywhere aren’t mature enough to hear that.

This kind of mealy-mouthed double-speak bothers me. Personally I don’t think Wonder Woman needs to have large breasts although it’s undeniable that she is generally portrayed that way in comics and the most famous Wonder Woman, Linda Carter, had a full figure.

When people say Gadot is too skinny they get to say her breasts aren’t large enough without actually saying it. If you think Wonder Woman must have large breasts then say it! I disagree with you but at least show the courage of your conviction.

This sort of pretend speak just annoys me to no end.

Too skinny? Ha.

Rant over.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition

Phil Robertson’s Story of Murder, Rape, and Dismemberment

Phil RobertsonThanks to my Facebook friends I just read an interesting story about Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson.

Robertson examines the thought processes of a family who is brutally murdered, raped, and dismembered by a group of insane people. He does not mention a second family but the comparison is there, if not overtly mentioned. One family is an atheist family while the other is presumably Christian. Robertson thinks his story is about the world not having a right and a wrong without God, but surprisingly that’s not what it’s about at all.

The real idea is that the family being murdered, raped, and dismembered must be dismayed to know that the men doing this will not be judged in heaven. That a Christian family will take comfort while they are being murdered, raped, and dismembered in the fact that the perpetrator of the crime will eventually be judged and thus can apparently be less distressed about their murder, rape, and dismemberment than can the atheist family. The atheist family must simply go through the torment without the satisfaction of knowing the horror they face will be visited a thousand fold on the people murdering, raping, and dismembering them. The Christian family is thus less distressed by their own horror knowing that their god will inflict a worse punishment. Thus they are likely fairly happy to be murdered, raped, and dismembered.

On a second level it is interesting in that an atheist family will also not be comforted by the fact that god is standing right there, watching, experiencing, and allowing the murdering, raping, and dismembering to happen because there is a purpose behind it. One of the purposes apparently being that eventually the murdering, raping, and dismembering men will go to hell where they will suffer eternal torment and burning because god allowed them to murder, rape, and dismember the Christian family. The Christian family will be comforted by the fact that god is standing at their side, watching and allowing, because it is part of The Plan!

The third and final level I find interesting is that the murdering, raping, and dismembering parties will have the rest of their lives to realize what they did was wrong and genuinely confess their sins. Then those people committing the murder, rape, dismemberment will get into heaven where they can presumably apologize to the family for all the murdering, raping, and dismembering and both groups can live together in eternal bliss.

Perhaps that’s even why God allowed all that murdering, raping, and dismembering in the first place. So that the person committing the atrocities would feel remorse and turn their life around. Thus the murdered, raped, and dismembered family will have served their purpose in the eyes of the Lord.

Hooray, everyone wins.

The poor atheists on the other hand will know that their murder, rape, and dismemberment was not part of God’s plans but just the actions of a group of insane people. Thus they will somehow suffer more.

What does this story really tell us? That Robertson, and anyone who agrees with him, are sick people.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition

$375,000 Fine from FCC for Fleeting Porn

wdbj7-tv-stationA lot of my Libertarian friends are up in arms about the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Net Neutrality these days but I spotted another story that, to my mind, illustrates a more significant problem. The FCC has just laid out a $375,000 fine against a television station in Roanoke, VA for accidentally displaying pornographic material, in the very corner of the screen, for about three seconds during a newscast.

The FCC was created in 1934 for the following purpose:

Regulating interstate and foreign commerce in communication by wire and radio so as to make available, so far as possible, to all the people of the United States a rapid, efficient, nationwide, and worldwide wire and radio communication service with adequate facilities at reasonable charges, for the purpose of the national defense, and for the purpose of securing a more effective execution of this policy by centralizing authority theretofore granted by law to several agencies and by granting additional authority with respect to interstate and foreign commerce in wire and radio communication, there is hereby created a commission to be known as the ‘Federal Communications Commission’, which shall be constituted as hereinafter provided, and which shall execute and enforce the provisions of this Act.

It was amended in 1996 so as to have jurisdiction over the Internet as well.

What’s important here is that the FCC was created to help spread television to the people of the United States. The ability to communicate broadly across the country was seen as advantageous and the FCC was created to try and help in that process. Somewhere along the way it has become an agency which decides what is decent and what is not.

I have an enormous issue with this. If a television station wants to broadcast something they should be able to do it. If an audience doesn’t want to watch it they don’t have to watch it. If a station deceives and shows something lewd when they promised not to do so then they should lose advertisers and viewers who are outraged. It’s not up to the government to protect our precious little ears and eyes from things we don’t want to see. It’s up to us.

But, for the sake of argument, let’s say they do have such a right. Within their own guidelines the base fine for indecency is $7,000. So exactly how and who came up with $375,000? It’s smacks of the arbitrary arrogance of unchecked power. Rules? We make the rules says the unanimous vote of both Republicans and Democrats on the FCC.

When you don’t follow your own rules then there are no rules.

Good luck finding their salaries. I couldn’t. The commissioners and their deputies get feted in fancy dinners paid for by various media companies. This is, of course, but the tip of the graft iceberg. I’m quite certain the commissioners and their families are well-taken care of by the various lobbying groups when it comes to vacations, sporting event tickets, and much more.

The bottom line?

This is the agency we created to help spread communication across our great country. Communication has spread. Their job is done.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition

Rape, Assault, Murder, Cooperate .. the Rene Enriquez Story

rene enriquezThe War on Drugs makes my stomach turn and I just read another story that brings me close to vomiting. Our police agencies are ferrying around a man convicted of rape, assault, and murder because he is has been cooperating with authorities for the last twelve years.

A fellow by named Rene Enriquez grew up in a middle class neighborhood with a businessman father but, for whatever reason, took up criminal activity. His first crime was raping an intoxicated woman as a juvenile and his list of misdeeds just gets more heinous from there. He helped organize the violent Mexican drug cartels and is clearly responsible for countless murders.

All this violence is fueled by money from the illegal drug trade. I’m not going to pretend there aren’t violent people who would commit crimes even if all drugs were legal but the level of violence and the organization of those who manufacture and distribute drugs is fueled by money.

That being said it’s not point of my blog today. Enriquez was essentially tortured in prison by being sent into isolation for twenty-four hours a day. After about tens years of this he decided he was willing to help police understand how the Mexican gangs operate and began cooperating with the FBI and local California police agencies.

He has acted as a witness in numerous occasions and is essentially on a speaking tour to promote his book. That’s what the original story is about. He was recently released from prison to give yet another speech. This time the paperwork wasn’t filled out properly and all the money spent to protect him from possible vengeful cohorts has come to light. The speech was for business leaders and top level law enforcement officers.

These same business leaders and law enforcement officers are speaking out on his behalf begging for this murdering rapist to be released. Why? Because he is cooperating. If released he will be moved into Witness Protection, given a new identify, and go on about his life.

I’m angry because it was drugs and their attendant money that led him down this vile path. I’m furious that this murdering, rapist is the darling of supposedly “tough on crime” high-ranking police officers and business leaders.

This is the place the War on Drugs has led us. We created Enriquez with our misguided laws and now we want to reward him for his criminal past. How many has he killed? Who knows and apparently who cares? He can help us perpetuate the War on Drugs so we can breed a thousand more just like him so let’s forgive him, let’s grant him parole. Yay!

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition

Daredevil Motorcycle Rider Arrested

Daredevil Motorcycle Rider ArrestedI just saw an interesting video at Yahoo News about a fellow that was riding a motorcycle while standing on the seat. He was chased down by the police, pulled into a gas station, and was arrested.

My question is what was he doing wrong? From the video he was keeping in his lane properly and wasn’t speeding. Now, that doesn’t mean he wasn’t breaking traffic laws while not on video but, from what I saw, I see no reason to arrest the guy.

I think the initial reaction of most people will be that he was riding recklessly and endangering those around him. That was certainly my first thought. I’ve been on the highway when motorcycle riders were engaging in reckless actions. Speeding, dodging between cars, and other violations that I think warranted a ticket.

After watching the video a few times I don’t see this arrest as warranted. He seemed to be as much in control of his vehicle as anyone else. He didn’t seem to be speeding. He wasn’t wildly changing lanes or doing anything that appeared to endanger those around him. There’s no doubt that what he was doing had a higher potential for causing an accident than driving from the normal seated position but can we start arresting people because it appears they might be doing something that could be dangerous but isn’t?

Can a police officer arrest you for steering with your leg if you are maintaining your lane properly? Can a restaurant be shut down for looking dirty but obeying the various regulations that govern the food service industry?

There are laws in various states about distracted driving but this fellow was clearly pretty focused on what he was doing.

I’m not opposed to traffic laws. I’m certain that the greatest danger I face on a daily basis is people in their cars who are driving poorly. That being said, if this guy was sitting in the seat no one would think that he was driving dangerously. His driving is solid. He obeys the traffic laws.

There is certainly the possibility that he was driving dangerously at some point earlier and if such video comes out I’ll understand the arrest. But, barring that, I think the arrest was an example of the police state in which we live. We live in a nation in which an officer who doesn’t like the way you’re doing something can decide to arrest you even though what it is your doing isn’t against the law.

What do you think?

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition

The Chocolate Chip Cookie Misleading Headline

ChipsRuinCookiesFooled again!

Those darn headline writers got me, although this time I can’t complain too much because whoever wrote the story has a good point. It’s a bit of a double-misdirection whammy because the actual headline on the story is accurate, it’s just its re-imagining in Yahoo News that lures in the unwary (me).

Boring, bland: Why chocolate chips ruin cookies! screams the headline drawing immediate outrage and surely the clicks of many chocolate chip cookie lovers like myself.

The real story headline is Do Chocolate Chips Ruin Chocolate Chip Cookies?

That’s the real story. That those making chocolate chip cookies should purchase premium chocolate chunks and chop it up themselves to create a less even distribution and better melted version of the treat. Apparently the chocolate chip isn’t so good at melting uniformly. The author even filters the chopped cookies to weed out the smaller chunks.

Yes, I want one of those cookies and I want it now!

What sort of foolio thinks a story about chocolate chip cookies needs a misleading headline to get clicks? Mmm, cookie.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition

What if Atheists Proclaimed lack of Faith in Satan?

god_vs_satanI was watching a video from the Amazing Atheist on YouTube just now, he’s rather humorous although a bit free with the profanities for my taste, when something he said caught my attention.

In the video he is railing against a True Believer, we’re not really sure if Christian or Muslim. The person accused him of not being an Atheist but being a Satanist. It’s a ridiculous comparison of course. Anyone who is an Atheist believes the chance the devil is down in hell is equal to that of god being up in heaven, that being no chance at all.

That wasn’t what struck me though. I suddenly asked myself a question. What if all Atheists started to proclaim their non-belief in the devil rather than their non-belief in god? Would that make a difference to the religious community? Certainly Judaism has no devil at all so they might actually consider it an acceptable idea but what about the Christians and the Muslims?

Would they be happier if we Atheists went around railing against the stupidity of the devil? How worship and/or fear of such an imaginary creature is irrational. What if Atheists marched with “There is no Satan” banners? If they said things like, “Hiding from your imaginary devil friend again?”

I think the answer is self-evident. The lack of belief in Lucifer would be as abhorrent to someone of faith as is the lack of belief in god. To deny the existence of Satan is one in the same as denying the existence of god. To deny one is to deny the other! A Christian or Muslim has to believe in the devil as much as they believe in god.

Still, the image of Atheists parading around with anti-devil signs made me laugh a little. It’s all the same to an Atheist after all. Why not?

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition

Tom Schweich and the Comments of Hate

Tom SchweichThere a story that’s been ongoing here in my beloved home state of Missouri for the last few months ever since a man named Tom Schweich committed suicide in the early stages of a nasty political campaign.

Former senator John Danforth gave a moving eulogy for his friend in which he laid the blame squarely on the vicious attacks that are now regular fare in a primary campaign and general election. There is no doubt attack ads are on the rise and the vast sums of money from anonymous sources have contributed to this rise.

I’ve talked about all that in the past. What I want to talk about today was the tone of the comments section in the article. I’m sure you can guess. It was one political attack after the next. Name calling? Check. Character assassination? Check. Lies? Check? Straw Person arguments? Check. It only took a few minutes perusal to see almost every comment decrying the death of Schweich was actually perpetuating the very thing they were supposedly arguing against.

Why is there so much vitriol and hate in U.S. politics? Because there is so much vitriol and hate in the hearts of the citizens of this country. The people of this nation are filled with fear of the other party and this leads them inevitably to rage. It leads them to childish name calling. It leads them to think their very lives are in grave danger if the person from the other party gets elected.

Most disturbingly, candidates and activists from both parties immediately began to look for ways to capitalize on the suicide to advance their own chances in the next election. Nauseating.

The good, decent words of John Danforth? It’s as if no one heard them.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition

On Arranged Marriages and Math Tests

Indian Bride Math QueryThere’s an interesting story making the News of the Weird rounds and I think it’s worth discussing. A woman in India walked out of her arranged marriage when she determined that her potential husband did not meet minimal education standards.

For most of us in the Western world it seems impossible that a woman could not know the intelligence of her husband-to-be just a few short minutes before they were to be married but in India many marriages are arranged by the parents of the couple. In these sorts of marriages the parents pick an appropriate spouse and the two do not meet until the ceremony itself. There is no doubt, from a statistical perspective, that such marriages are more likely to succeed than are so-called autonomous marriages. Even in the United States small groups like the Amish practice arranged marriages and they result in far fewer divorces.

Divorce rate comparisons actually play a role in what I want to talk about today. The idea of an arranged marriage is that the parents of the two participants are slightly more level-headed than the bride and groom. Passions do not cloud judgment. The parents look at things like education level, social status, and general compatibility before other factors like physical attraction.

I find myself largely in agreement with the concept of an arranged marriage although the reality of it not so much. I  harbor no illusions that we here in the United States will suddenly embrace arranged marriages but I found the article interesting nevertheless. What I found most intriguing was the bride’s insistence on giving a mathematical test to her husband in the moments before the wedding. It’s clear she was concerned that her parents had been duped by the groom’s family. I was actually a little surprised by the simplicity of the question (What is 15 + 6) although I don’t know the education level of bride. I would have expected, if she were a college graduate, a more difficult question.

It also makes me wonder if perhaps this sort of duplicity is becoming more common in India, as the bride was clearly wary. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that, in the future, more arranged marriages require that the parents meet with the proposed spouse before making any agreements.

What struck me the most was the groom’s family lying on such a scale in order to gain a favorable marriage. It’s clear to me that the woman would likely never have been happy with such an uneducated man. In a culture where arranged marriages are the norm it is the responsibility of the parents to find the most likely match for their child. In this case the groom’s family failed him badly, as did the bride’s although that was because of lies told by their counterparts.

That’s a real shame. If your parents aren’t looking out for you, who will?

No profound revelations here today. I do applaud the bride’s diligence and adherence to Libertarian Principles. Always look out for yourself.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition

Michael Diggle and the School Bras

southfield-school-michael-diggleThere’s a fascinating story making the news in England involving a drama teacher named Michael Diggle who has been fired for asking two female students to take off their bras in order to apply body make-up and take pictures.

It sounds like an easy decision to make but I don’t think so and I’m going to tell you why. I suspect a lot of people are going to disagree with me.

Diggle was a respected drama teacher and his students were practicing to perform a play called Crave. I’ve never seen it but it clearly involves some dark and sexual themes. He applied bruise make-up to one of the girls on her upper back and neck requiring she remove her bra. During this time he apparently commented on the girl’s figure. He also took sexy, or what is being called provocative, pictures of the girls because such photos are used in the play. Said pictures were used in the play. He did both of these things without supervision and while alone with the girls.

School administrators spoke with both of the girls in question and others in the play. All apparently describe Diggle as excellent at his job as Director of Creative Arts at Southfield School in Kettering. He is described by students as being devoted. He is the sort of teacher who apparently asks his students to stretch their ability and become better. His actions were determined not to be sexually motivated. He has a good history with the school and apparently no other disciplinary problems.

Another important factor, from my eyes at least, is that Diggle maintains he did nothing wrong. He merely wanted to help his students become better actors, to apply themselves in difficult ways. Being a great actor requires such ability and it seems clear to me that Diggle is the sort of teacher who helps young people reach their potential.

I’m not completely on Diggle’s side in this. He should have had other people present when applying the makeup and taking the photos; perhaps the parents of the girls or at least another adult. That being said I think firing him is totally inappropriate. He is the sort of person who should be teaching our children. He is clearly not frightened to take on difficult topics and forces his students into unfamiliar situations. This is something a great educator must do.

I’m not opposed to a reprimand or lesser punishment but does it help the children of Kettering to lose such a teacher or does it hurt them? Isn’t that the bottom line? Is a teacher effective? That’s the question. We all make mistakes and such draconian punishment ensures that those who are bold, those who take risks, those very people we want to motivate children are driven from the field of teaching. We are left with those who don’t take chances, who don’t ask tough questions, who go down the easiest path, and take their charges with them.

I understand the investigation but I don’t agree with the final decision. Others may disagree.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition

Refused Chemo in Remission – Misleading Headline

Connecticut Teen RemissionThose darn misleading headlines! I’m aware and wary but this one got me!

Connecticut Teen Who Refused Chemo Now in ‘Remission,’ Seeks Freedom blares the headline. There have been a number of stories in the news in the last few months about young people who did not want to get chemotherapy. In several cases the parents of the teen essentially ran off to avoid the state forcing medical care their child.

This was not one of those cases. In this case the state took Cassandra C. (full name not released to protect the minor) from her home, strapped her to a hospital bed, and forced chemotherapy on her. It worked and she’s now in remissions. She says she’s committed to finishing her treatment and wants to go home.

The headline was clearly designed to draw in people who thought the girl refused chemotherapy and is now in remission. The reality is that if she had been allowed to refuse such care she would likely be dying or already dead. The statistics on chemotherapy are overwhelming. I’ve had discussions with people on this subject and I’m not going to get into a debate today. Look up the one year, five year, and ongoing cancer survival rates for those who take chemotherapy and those who don’t. You can choose to disbelieve the numbers, that’s your call, me, I’ll go with the statistics.

Back to the story; it’s interesting for a number of reasons. Does the state have the right to force medical treatment on a minor who refuses such? Minors don’t have the same constitutional rights as adults so it’s not a simple question for a Libertarian like myself. A parent unquestionably has the right to force an underage child to take medical treatment against their will. This goes without saying. Does the state?

If a child has a 90% chance to die without taking the treatment and a 99% chance to live with the treatment is the state obligated to step forward?

I discussed this issue more fully in a post about child endangerment but I’ll recap quickly. If parents imprison and abuse their children can the state step in? If you agree with that then it’s hard not to agree with stepping in for medical treatment. The child will likely die unnecessarily without said treatment. Child abuse is not usually fatal although the long term outlook is certainly awful.

I’m not going to cover all my points again today, please read that post if you’d like know my opinions.

This story is really just about another misleading headline that lured me in!

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off from a Libertarian Perspective

Charlie Sheen Ferris BuellerMy favorite comedy show these days is The Goldbergs and every week I look forward to the day Hulu releases the next episode. This week they paid tribute to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and, as usual, there were some great moments not the least of which was Charlie Sheen’s conversation with Erica.

Anyone who has seen the movie remembers the astounding advice Charlie’s Sheen’s character gave to Jeanie (Shana, Jennifer Grey) and watching it again sent chills down my Libertarian spine. In a few short sentences Sheen gets to the root of why Jeanie is so angry and points out why it is wrong, so very wrong. That scene is an Objectivist Libertarian anthem.

The entire movie is really about taking advantage of life’s opportunities. I’ve heard people say it’s about kids pulling one off on adults but that’s not it. The parking lot attendants demonstrate this with great clarity. It’s about not being mad at your brother because he gets to do stuff you don’t get to do. It’s about doing things yourself!

“Your problem is you,” says Sheen and he’s right. “You ought to spend a little more time dealing with yourself and a little less time worrying about what your brother does.”

I say we should spend a little less time worrying about who is smoking marijuana or who is getting married to whom. We should spend a little less time worrying about who hired an illegal nanny, a little less time worrying about one sentence in one speech by one politician. We should spend a little less time blaming the other political party for everything that is wrong in this country. We should spend a little less time worrying about who got what kind of plastic surgery.

We should spend a little less time listening to wild-eyed fanatics who predict the end of the world if someone they don’t support is elected to a political position. We should spend a little less time listening to pseudo-scientific claims that have no evidence to back up their conclusions.

What is wrong with this country when Charlie Sheen has got it right and the fanatics to whom you listen and watch in the media have got it all backwards?

Now, I recognize Sheen was reading lines, acting. I’m under no illusions that he’s got the right idea about how to lead your life. But, by golly, for one moment there at least, he got it totally right. He nailed it. He summed up that movie.

Go out there, Jeanie’s of the world. Don’t complain and blame everyone else. Achieve great things! It’s inside you. You can do it. I believe in you and so does “Boy in Police Station”.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition

Police Contrived Conspiracy against Douglas Dendinger

dendinger-cell-phone-video-summonsI read a lot of stories about abuse of power from law enforcement officials in the news these days but this one ranks near the top. A fellow named Douglas Dendinger served a summons concerning a police brutality case involving his nephew.

The police officer, two prosecutor, the police chief, and three other witnesses described the handing over of the summons as a physical assault. Written testimony from multiple witnesses stated clearly that Dendinger assaulted the officer in the course of serving the summons. Dendinger has a prior drug conviction.

I want you to imagine the comments you might have made with just that information. What you might have thought about the story right at that moment. The police chief and six other witnesses accused a convicted drug user of assaulting an officer. It’s impossible they’re all lying. The guy is a convicted felon. The case involved his nephew.

I wonder how many times this exact same scenario has occurred all across this great nation of ours? There’s something new today. People have phones and can easily take video. I think you know where this is going.

The case finally got tossed out of court when the prosecutor’s office was forced to recuse themselves and the state took over. With the case dismissed Dendinger is now free to discuss the events in public. There is video. The police chief lied. The officer lied. The lawyers from the prosecutor’s office lied. Dendinger handed over the summons and walked away.

I want you to think about this case the next time you blindly support police officers against suspects. I’m not saying all police officers are bad. But when the bad officers are supported by the good officers we are all in trouble. The entire system may not be broken but it’s not working properly anymore. It is my opinion that good police officers are being driven from the force because they won’t go along with this sort of thing.

This antagonistic relationship between law enforcement and citizens is driven by the War on Drugs. The fact that municipalities increasingly rely on Seizure Laws to finance not only the police department but the entire city government. For all those great police officer out there; be aware that I’m not trying to attack you, I’m trying to save you!

This must stop. Police must return to Protecting and Serving, not intimidating, stealing, and using their position of power to attack anyone who dares question their authority.

When the citizens of this nation no longer trust the police force the entire country is in danger. We’re not there yet but it’s not good out there.

End the War on Drugs. Write the seizure laws off the books. City Hall finance your police department with what they need not the other way around. This is serious business.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition