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Politics & Law

Individual Rights: Paul Hseih Makes The Case Against Government Vax Mandates

In “Not Everyone Wants To Be Vaccinated. I’m OK With That“, Dr. Paul Hseih (who voluntarily chose to be vaccinated) writes:

For the record, I do not support making the vaccine legally mandatory. You have a right to decide what goes into your body. That’s one of the core principles of medical ethics – and of individual rights. As a corollary, others have the right to decide whether or how to interact with you in person, based on your decisions. A private business may choose to only allow vaccinated people to attend their indoor events, or a private employer may set vaccination as a condition for any in-person work with others. They also have that right.

And of course, everyone has a free speech right to encourage (or discourage) others to becoming vaccinated. Those who wish others to be vaccinated can make their best possible case in favor of the vaccine; those who oppose it can do likewise.

Paul Hseih also makes an interesting point, that just as the principle of individual rights means that private businesses (individuals) can require vaccination as a condition of employment (and association), they can also do the reverse:

For example, one private school in Florida is reportedly requiring that teachers not be vaccinated as a condition of employment, citing safety concerns. This is their right, and this is the flip side of a school’s right to require vaccination as a condition of employment. Similarly, media personality Joe Rogan has publicly encouraged young people not to get vaccinated. I don’t agree with these positions, but I respect their rights to express their views – and the rights of others to offer their best counterarguments (which many are doing.)

Ultimately, if the purpose of a vaccination campaign is to help the country return to “normal,” then a crucial part of that normal is a respect for individual rights and personal medical autonomy.

What about the case for vax mandates in legitimate government organizations, such as the police, military, and courts? That is a thorny issue, I lean on the side that the state can require such vaccines as a condition of employment, especially, in the case of the military (which is voluntary) to protect them from enemy viral attacks. (There could also be exemptions for those with natural immunity.)

Ghate & Bayer: Roe vs Wade and the Right to Abortion

Philosophers Onkar Ghate and Ben Bayer have a timely discussion on Roe vs Wade and the right to abortion.

Topics covered include:

  • A brief history of abortion jurisprudence since Roe v. Wade;
  • Ayn Rand’s view of Roe and her support for abortion rights;
  • Why abortion rights are not grounded in a right to privacy;
  • Why activities don’t need to be concretely enumerated to be protected by fundamental rights;
  • Why we need abstract principles to state fundamental legal principles;
  • Why conservative sympathy for the reversal of Lochner v. New York implies a presumption in favor of government power;
  • Whether the potential to feel pain is the basis of rights;
  • How Roe v. Wade tries to balance competing interests, not to protect rights;
  • Why regarding life as sacred from conception is a baseless religious viewpoint;
  • Why it’s arbitrary to regard viability as the limit for justifiable abortion;
  • Whether religion or judicial philosophy motivates Justice Thomas;
  • Whether “individual responsibility” means a woman who chooses to have sex should carry a pregnancy to term;
  • The Supreme Court Justices’ unphilosophical approach.

Mentioned in the discussion are Leonard Peikoff’s essay “Abortion Rights Are Pro-Life,” Ben Bayer’s essays “Ayn Rand’s Radical Case for Abortion Rights” and “Science without Philosophy Can’t Resolve Abortion Debate,” and Tom Bowden’s “Justice Holmes and the Empty Constitution.”

CNN Reports the News: Sara Sidner on the Kyle Rittenhouse Not Guilty Verdict

Once upon a time, CNN was the world’s leading news organization. Times have changed, as the once admired news organization, is referred to as the leading source of “fake news,” and perhaps deservedly so. Such is not the case of CNN Senior News Correspondent Sara Sidner who regards the reporting of facts as the only means of ascertaining the truth. Sadly the same cannot be said of some of CNN’s editorialists and reporters who apparently are ignorant of their own news coverage.

 

Transcript:

SIDNER: …We learned a lot of things in this trial that we should sort of go over. And I was just kind of reviewing some of the things that we learned in the trial that were not necessarily public knowledge before that. One, there has been a lot of talk, especially by politicians, about where Rittenhouse was the night of this shooting. And it turned out he was already in Kenosha, that he had family here, including his father, that the gun was here in Kenosha. He did not bring that over state lines. It turned out during this trial that we learned that the gun that he had a hold of, he actually could legally possess, according to the judge, and according to the law here, because of the measurements of the gun. Had it been shorter and a short-barreled gun, then it would have been illegal. But because it wasn’t, the judge said that that needed to be thrown out. And, indeed, that charge of a minor in possession of a gun illegally was thrown out in this case, the jury only looking at those who were injured, those who are endangered and those who were killed the night in August that Rittenhouse ended up shooting people.

We also learned that he was working here that night, that he had stayed over that night here. ….

…. we did learn a lot of things from that video because it was very clear what was going on. There was a video of Rosenbaum chasing after Kyle Rittenhouse during this time when he had his gun.

And at one point Rittenhouse levels his gun at Rosenbaum. Rosenbaum continues towards him. And as he gets close to Kyle Rittenhouse, Kyle Rittenhouse fires his gun several times. We learned also in the trial that he was hit four times. And, obviously, this is an AR-style rifle that has the capability of firing very quickly.

….we heard from Gaige Grosskreutz. And that — this was a pivotal moment in the trial, hearing from the one defendant who was shot, but survived Kyle Rittenhouse shooting at him.

And he said that — when asked whether or not Kyle Rittenhouse shot at him when his hands were up, he said no. And then he was asked by the defense, did you point your gun at Kyle Rittenhouse, and then he said shot you? And he said, correct.

[13:25:01] That was a big moment for the jury, for sure, because that could be self-defense.

….When you go through each one. Anthony Huber, who was who was also shot before Grosskreutz, he had a skateboard. And he attempted and you can see on the video hitting Kyle Rittenhouse.

….the jury clearly thought that, in this case, after Kyle Rittenhouse tripped and fell and turned his gun and people started coming at him, that he was only defending his own life or from great bodily harm.

….This has been a political football, if you will. It has been — the right has looked at Kyle Rittenhouse this whole time as a hero. The left often or the far left has looked at Kyle Rittenhouse as a devil.

….And it is pretty clear that people are sticking to their side. But they were not in this court. And many folks did not watch this trial. We did. We were in court watching every second of it. And the jury looked at all of the evidence.

….And so it seems that, in this case, yes, Gaige Grosskreutz was an important witness, but the video seemed to be the star in this case, because the video shows you exactly what happened that night…

Another Transcript:

…There is so much vitriol that is out there right now on all sides of this. Depending on where you stand, and what you believe. One of the things, I think, that a lot of people who are making some of these very strong statements, some of them, which are factually incorrect. They didn’t watch the trial and they didn’t look at the same evidence that the jury looked at.

Weiss on the Outright Lies About Kyle Rittenhouse

Bari Weiss dismisses the lies by the Democrats and their press in The Media’s Verdict on Kyle Rittenhouse:

Writes Weiss:

  • There was zero evidence that Rittenhouse was connected to white supremacist groups at the time of the shooting.
  • In addition to having a job in Kenosha, Rittenhouse testified that much of his family lived there: his father, his grandma, his aunt and uncle, and his cousins.
  • Kyle Rittenhouse did not travel to Kenosha to oppose protesters. He testified under oath that he had traveled to Kenosha for his job the night before the shootings, and was staying at a friend’s house.
  • Rittenhouse didn’t bring the gun to Kenosha. The gun was purchased for Rittenhouse months earlier by a friend and stored in Kenosha at the home of that friend’s stepfather, as then-17-year-old Rittenhouse was too young to purchase it. Under Wisconsin law, 17-year-olds are prohibited from carrying rifles only if they are short-barreled. The weapon Rittenhouse was carrying was not short-barreled. Which is why, during closing arguments, the court threw out the charge.
  • [T]here’s no clear indication that Rittenhouse sought to kill anyone. What we know is that he showed up with a first aid kit and an AR-15-style rifle. Video evidence, and Rittenhouse’s own testimony, indicates that he offered medical assistance to protestors and ran with a fire extinguisher to try to put out fires—and that later, after being pursued, he killed two people, Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and severely wounded a third. Both video evidence and the only living person that Rittenhouse shot that night, Gaige Grosskreutz, undermined the idea that Rittenhouse was simply an aggressor looking for a fight. During cross examination Grosskreutz acknowledged that Rittenhouse shot him only after Grosskreutz had pointed his own gun at Rittenhouse.

Read the rest.

How Government Regulation Created The COVID19 Pandemic

The centrally planned government response to the COVID19 virus is the cause of the pandemic. What should have been an isolated episode has become a global crisis.

From the introduction of the virus to the world from Communist China (possibly from a Wuhan lab) under the approving eye of WHO (which disregarded the warning signals provided by Taiwan) to the U.S. CDC banning PCR tests that worked, in favor of its own test that did not work, etc.

If the COVID19 response was ‘managed’ by a free market it would have been long over by now as it is in the interests of producers and consumers to not die from COVID19.

There are many ways to attack COVID19 (in addition to masks, lockdowns, and vaccines) such as creating a drug that treats COVID19 and prevents death.

Under central planning, there is only one option: the government one with non-approved solutions banned.

Observe that U.S. regulators chose to:

(1) lockdown the healthy;

(2) banned the sale of cheap rapid antigen tests for over a year resulting in the failure to identify the infected;

(3) banned the sale of the COVID19 vaccine created in February 2020 (until after the 2020 US elections), etc.

Under a free-market competition, we would have a plethora of rapid tests & treatment options — such as a drug that treats COIVD19 rendering it harmless, and who knows what else.

What is required is innovation under the freedom of laissez-faire capitalism and not regulation under the authoritarianism of the fascist medical state.

Instead, of medical freedom, we have the expansion of a totalitarian, fascist regulatory government — that expands into all aspects of our lives. – Mark Da Cunha

Bari Weiss: Say No to the Woke Revolution

Writing in Commentary magazine in “We Got Here Because of Cowardice. We Get Out With Courage,” Bari Weiss provides an excellent summation of the “core beliefs of the Woke Revolution,” and asks, “Why are so many, especially so many young people, drawn to this ideology?”

If you have ever tried to build something, even something small, you know how hard it is. It takes time. It takes tremendous effort. But tearing things down? That’s quick work.

The Woke Revolution has been exceptionally effective. It has successfully captured the most important sense-making institutions of American life: our newspapers. Our magazines. Our Hollywood studios. Our publishing houses. Many of our tech companies. And, increasingly, corporate America.

Just as in China under Chairman Mao, the seeds of our own cultural revolution can be traced to the academy, the first of our institutions to be overtaken by it. And our schools—public, private, parochial—are increasingly the recruiting grounds for this ideological army.

And then asks “How did we get here?”

There are a lot of factors that are relevant to the answer….[b]ut there is one word we should linger on, because every moment of radical victory turned on it. The word is cowardice.

The revolution has been met with almost no resistance by those who have the title CEO or leader or president or principal in front of their names. The refusal of the adults in the room to speak the truth, their refusal to say no to efforts to undermine the mission of their institutions, their fear of being called a bad name and that fear trumping their responsibility—that is how we got here.

Her solution?

All that had to change for the entire story to turn out differently was for the person in charge, the person tasked with being a steward for the newspaper or the magazine or the college or the school district or the private high school or the kindergarten, to say: No.

If cowardice is the thing that has allowed for all of this, the force that stops this cultural revolution can also be summed up by one word: courage.

[…]

George Orwell said that “the further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” In an age of lies, telling the truth is high risk. It comes with a cost. But it is our moral obligation.

Read the rest.

“Let Racism Die the Death it Deserves.”

“Putting critical theory into our classrooms is not combating racism. It’s fanning the flames of what little embers are left. I encourage you to support this resolution. Let racism die the death it deserves.”

Pro-Capitalist Immigration Laws Matter

According to a report by the National Foundation for American Policy:

American “Immigrants have been awarded 38%, or 40 of 104, of the Nobel Prizes won by Americans in chemistry, medicine and physics since 2000….In 2021, three of the four U.S. recipients of Nobel Prizes in medicine, chemistry and physics were immigrants to the United States. Between 1901 and 2021, immigrants have been awarded 35%, or 109 of 311, of the Nobel Prizes won by Americans in chemistry, medicine and physics.”

Among the other findings in the NFAP research:

  •  “The proper immigration laws matter, particularly in determining whether the United States gains from increased globalization and rising educational achievement in the world. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 eliminated the discriminatory national origin quotas and opened the door to Asian immigrants, while the Immigration Act of 1990 increased employment-based green card numbers. Those two pieces of legislation have been essential factors in drawing international students to the country and enhancing the ability of America to assimilate talented individuals into our culture and economy.
  • “The rise in immigrant Nobel Prize winners reflects an overall increase in the reputation and capability of American institutions and researchers post-1960, and a greater openness to immigration has helped make the United States the leading global destination for research in many different science and technology fields, including computer and information sciences, cancer research and others.
  • “One can see the increasing influence and importance of immigrants on science in America reflected in Nobel Prize winners. Between 1901 and 1959, immigrants won 21 Nobel Prizes in chemistry, medicine and physics but won 88 prizes in these fields—more than four times as many—between 1960 and 2021.
  • “The pre-1960 immigrant (and U.S.) Nobel Prize total would have been lower if not for the many Jewish scientists who overcame significant restrictions against immigration in the 1930s and fled to the United States to escape European fascism.
  • “Since 2000, immigrants have been awarded 44% of the U.S. Nobel Prizes in physics, 37% in chemistry and 33% in medicine.”

For more coverage on immigration click here.

Tom Bowden: Justice Holmes Undermining of the U.S. Constitution

Writes Tom Bowden at New Ideal on “Justice Holmes and the Empty Constitution“:

Scholars have called it “the greatest judicial opinion of the last hundred years” and “a major turning point in American constitutional jurisprudence.” Today, his dissent not only exerts strong influence over constitutional interpretation and the terms of public debate, but it also serves as a litmus test for discerning a judge’s fundamental view of the United States Constitution. This means that any Supreme Court nominee who dares to question Holmes’s wisdom invites a fierce confirmation battle and risks Senate rejection. As one observer recently remarked, “The ghost of Lochner continues to haunt American constitutional law.”

What heinous offense did the Lochner majority commit to provoke Holmes’s caustic dissent? It was not the fact that they had struck down a New York law setting maximum working hours for bakers. Holmes personally disapproved of such paternalistic laws and never questioned the Supreme Court’s power to strike down legislation that violated some particular clause in the Constitution. No, in Holmes’s eyes the majority’s unforgivable sin did not lie in the particular result they reached, but in the method by which they reached it. The majority interpreted the Constitution as if it embodies a principled commitment to protecting individual liberty. But no such foundational principle exists, Holmes asserted, and the sooner judges realize they are expounding an empty Constitution — empty of any underlying view on the relationship of the individual to the state — the sooner they will step aside and allow legislators to decide the fate of individuals such as Joseph Lochner.

 

Dershowitz: Is Biden’s Vaccination Mandate Constitutional?

Writing in Newsweek, Alan Dershowitz asks: Can the Federal government compel vaccinations?

There is a Supreme Court decision on compelled vaccinations, but it is a 1905 state case that carried a small fine for noncompliance.

Can Biden mandate vaccinations without explicit authorization from congress?

[T]he constitutional authority of the presidency has been expanding since the New Deal and its limits are constantly being tested by presidents of both parties. Presidents generally cite broad and vague congressional authority for their actions. […] It would surely have been better if Congress had explicitly authorized the mandates—better for democratic values and easier as a matter of constitutional law.

Sadly, Dershowitz resorts to the rubber-band concept, “the public interest”,

One point is clear: both sides are exaggerating their constitutional claims. Some proponents of the Biden mandate assure us that its constitutionality “is completely clear,” while some opponents are certain that it is “utterly lawless.” The reality is that the question could go either way. In such a close case, President Biden is justified in doing what he believes to be in the public interest and leaving it to courts to decide.

(In other words, the executive makes the law, and the courts possibly rewrite the law, totally circumventing the authority of the legislative branch.)

Commenting on the concept, Ayn Rand wrote in “The Fascist New Frontier”:

There is no such thing as “the public interest” except as the sum of the interests of individual men. And the basic, common interest of all men—all rational men—is freedom. Freedom is the first requirement of “the public interest”—not what men do when they are free, but that they are free. All their achievements rest on that foundation—and cannot exist without it.

The principles of a free, non-coercive social system are the only form of “the public interest.” [The Ayn Rand Column, 111]

and similarly in her essay, “The Monument Builders,”

Since there is no such entity as “the public,” since the public is merely a number of individuals, any claimed or implied conflict of “the public interest” with private interests means that the interests of some men are to be sacrificed to the interests and wishes of others. Since the concept is so conveniently undefinable, its use rests only on any given gang’s ability to proclaim that “The public, c’est moi”—and to maintain the claim at the point of a gun. [The Virtue of Selfishness, 88]

Trump Booed For Recommending Vaccines

From NBC News (Aug. 22, 2021):

Former President Donald Trump was booed at a rally Saturday in Alabama after he told supporters they should get vaccinated.

“And you know what? I believe totally in your freedoms. I do. You’ve got to do what you have to do,” Trump said. “But I recommend take the vaccines. I did it. It’s good. Take the vaccines.”

Some boos rang out from the crowd, who were largely maskless.

“No, that’s OK. That’s all right. You got your freedoms,” Trump said, echoing rhetoric from opponents of mask and vaccination mandates. “But I happened to take the vaccine. If it doesn’t work, you’ll be the first to know. OK? I’ll call up Alabama, I’ll say, hey, you know what? But [the vaccine] is working. But you do have your freedoms you have to keep. You have to maintain that.”

Such is Trump’s alleged power to control and determine the views of his supporters.

Trump is viewed as a cause (as opposed to an amplifier, or effect) of the rise of populism and nationalism, when he, like most politicians who seek power, is simply responding to concerns of the electorate — legitimate (vaccine mandates) or not (anti-vaccination on principle) — that are out there. Trump being booed is an illustration of this principle of the horse being driven by the alleged cart.

Peikoff & Chayes: Democrats Using Big Tech To Control ‘Misinformation’ Is Totalitarian

Write Peikoff and Chayes on this issue in Democrats Using Big Tech To Control ‘Misinformation’ Is Totalitarian (The Federalist):

Not so long ago, a “Ministry of Information” was an institution unique to socialist “utopias,” which required rigorous establishment and enforcement of official truth to maintain state power. As absurd as such an institution may have once seemed to us in the West, we are unfortunately seeing signs that it can indeed happen here.

The authors examine how the bill might work — banning open discussion on “settled topics” and replacing it with “the party line”, and concluding:

In times of fear and insecurity, the pull to appeal to authority might feel irresistible. But if we keep our wits about us, we will recall that we in the West have largely resisted this fallacious approach, both in science and politics, since the time the Catholic Church censored Galileo. (As if Socrates being forced to drink hemlock wasn’t enough!)

Are we now ready to feign amnesia once again and to obediently accept a truth proclaimed from the top down? Or is intense debate and controversy — ah, those uncomfortable disagreements that we experience in abundance in a pluralist society — an integral component of the scientific mindset, and approach which has brought us unprecedented wellbeing?

[…]

Government officials telling private companies to censor disfavored viewpoints on vital issues is the stuff of totalitarian regimes, not of a free country built on the homage of reason.

The entire article is required reading.

The recently proposed “Health Misinformation Act” can serve as a stepping stone for a total “Misinformation Act” once the principle is accepted that it is the government’s job to determine the “official truth.”

It must be opposed on principle.

There is no “no-man’s land” between opposite principles, no “middle of the road” which is untouched by either or shaped equally by both. The fact is that man cannot escape the rule of some kind of principles; as a conceptual being, he cannot act without the guidance of some fundamental integrations. And just as, in economics, bad money drives out good, so, in morality, bad principles drive out good. To try to combine a rational principle with its antithesis is to eliminate the rational as your guide and establish the irrational. If, like Faust, you try to make a deal with the devil, then you lose to him completely. “In any compromise between food and poison,” Ayn Rand observes, “it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit.” [Leonard Peikoff, Why Should One Act on Principle?]

 

Mossoff: Sonos Win in Patent Battle Against Google is a Victory for Intellectual Property Rights

In a tweet commenting on “Sonos Scores Legal Win in Patent Battle With Google“, legal philosopher and intellectual property expert Adam Mossoff noted that Google being “held accountable for its predatory infringement of @Sonos patented technology” is an “important win for innovative startups against the deliberate piracy of their disruptive technology. The [U.S. International Trade Commission] has long been attacked by Google & other predatory infringers (& by their policy activist proxies). With this latest ITC decision, expect another round of attacks in the press & in DC pushing the ‘patent troll’ narrative & calling for so-called ‘reform’ of the ITC.”

Related:

Peikoff & Chayes: Can Trump’s Lawsuits Prevent Big Tech from Becoming Big Brother?

“Never-Trumpers” Amy Peikoff & Benjamin Chayes have an interesting article on the Trump Lawsuits against Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube; the application and scope of Section 230 (“while correct in principle, has, according to Justice Clarence Thomas and others, been applied in an overbroad manner”); and the government pressuring private companies to behave as state actors (fascism). Write the pair in Real Clear Politics:

“In its rebuttal to The Social Dilemma, Facebook insisted that, contrary to the documentary, it does work to remove “misinformation” and “hate speech.” In multiple hearings before legislators, Facebook and other platforms were warned that they must remove more such content — or else. And now, after revoking former President Donald Trump’s executive action concerning the legal protections for online platforms in Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, it seems the Biden Administration is calling in the favor by encouraging Facebook and other platforms to remove coronavirus “misinformation.” Yet the removal of some of this content — and the de-platforming of some who posted it — forms the basis for Mr. Trump’s lawsuits. Why? Because much of this content is, however baseless or offensive, nonetheless legal, and therefore protected by the First Amendment against censorship by state actors.”

[…]

Our politicians, unfortunately, seem to approve of this arrangement, so long as they get credit for pressuring the platforms to remove content they and their “base” find undesirable. And the tech companies seem happy to continue the charade, self-identifying as private actors operating in a free market.

Read the rest.

How Would Judge Narragansett in Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” Fix The U.S. Constitution?

How would Judge Narragansett in Ayn Rand’s best-selling novel “Atlas Shrugged” perfect the U.S. Constitution by removing the “contradictions in its statements that had once been the cause of its destruction”?

Professor Brian Simpson has some ideas.

According to Simpson, “One clause that I repeal from the Constitution is the Commerce Clause. This clause allows, among other things, Congress to regulate commerce among the several states.”

Quoting his book, A Declaration and Constitution for a Free Society, he writes:

“To have a proper understanding of why this clause must be eliminated, one must understand what it means for the government to regulate.  Regulation in this context refers to the government interfering in the market by initiating physical force to change some outcome that government officials do not like.  Regulation is not the same as protecting individual rights.  When the government protects rights, it bans the initiation of physical force, such as when it protects people from fraud.  When the government regulates, it violates individual rights because it initiates physical force.  The government regulates for many reasons, including to forcibly change the wages workers can earn in the market (through minimum wage laws), to impose laws based on environmental ideology (through the Environmental Protection Agency), and to impose drug safety and efficacy rules on drug manufacturers (through the Food and Drug Administration).”

You can learn more about the book on his website.

WSJ: Jan 6th Was No Coup d’état

From the WSJ:

“The chairman of the Jan. 6 committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson, claimed in his opening remarks Tuesday that “the rioters came dangerously close to succeeding” in their effort to “upend American democracy.” This is in service of Mrs. Pelosi’s political narrative that Mr. Trump conspired with a mob to stage a coup d’état. She wants to run against Mr. Trump again in 2022.

“This gives the mob far too much credit. Rioters believed Mr. Trump’s falsehoods about a stolen election, and some of them apparently thought they might stop Congress’s certification of the electoral votes. But that was an impossible fantasy. The Electoral College had already voted. Vice President Mike Pence had concluded, correctly and bravely, that he had no authority to reject the results. The rioters had no apparent leader and no coherent plan.

“Even if they’d managed to steal or destroy the official Electoral College certificates, do Democrats think some knucklehead in face paint and a fur hat could have simply declared the election void? The public and the courts wouldn’t have stood for a rabble overturning the 2020 result. Mr. Trump didn’t have the military on his side, or even most of his own Administration. The investigations so far have turned up no guiding cabal. Rioters have been arrested and many will go to prison.

“The riot was a disgrace, and it’s a stain on Mr. Trump’s Presidency. The police officers who testified Tuesday are heroes for holding the line and giving Vice President Pence and Congress time to evacuate.” [Two False Narratives About the Capitol Riot, July 28, 2021]

Related:

The Jan 6th Capitol Riot Show Trials Punish Political Opponents Not For Their Actions But For Their Ideas

Writes Senator Ron Paul on how The Jan. 6th Show Trials Threaten All of Us:

The recent felony conviction and eight month prison sentence of January 6th protester Paul Hodgkins is an affront to any notion of justice. It is a political charge and a political verdict by a political court. Every American regardless of political persuasion should be terrified of a court system so beholden to politics instead of justice.

We’ve seen this movie before and it does not end well.

Worse than this miscarriage of justice is the despicable attempt by the prosecutor in the case to label Hodgkins – who has no criminal record and was accused of no violent crime – a “terrorist.”

As journalist Michael Tracey recently wrote, Special Assistant US Attorney Mona Sedky declared Hodgkins a “terrorist” in the court proceedings not for committing any terrorist act, not for any act of violence, not even for imagining a terrorist act.

Sedky wrote in her sentencing memo, “The Government … recognizes that Hodgkins did not personally engage in or espouse violence or property destruction.” She added, “we concede that Mr. Hodgkins is not under the legal definition a domestic terrorist.”

Yet Hodgkins should be considered a terrorist because the actions he took – entering the Senate to take a photo of himself – occurred during an event that the court is “framing…in the context of terrorism.”

That goes beyond a slippery slope. He is not a terrorist because he committed a terrorist act, but because somehow the “context” of his actions was, in her words, “imperiling democracy.”

In other words, Hodgkins deserved enhanced punishment because he committed a thought crime. The judge on the case, Randolph D. Moss, admitted as much. In carrying a Trump flag into the Senate, he said, Hodgkins was, “declaring his loyalty to a single individual over the nation.”

As Tracey pointed out, while eight months in prison is a ridiculously long sentence for standing on the floor of the “People’s House” and taking a photograph, it is also a ridiculously short sentence for a terrorist. If Hodgkins is really a terrorist, shouldn’t he be sent away for longer than eight months?

The purpose of the Soviet show trials was to create an enemy that the public could collectively join in hating and blaming for all the failures of the system. The purpose was to turn one part of the population against the other part of the population and demand they be “cancelled.” And it worked very well…for awhile.

In a recent article, libertarian author Jim Bovard quoted from Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago about how average people turned out to demand “justice” for the state’s designated “political” enemies: “There were universal meetings and demonstrations (including even school-children). It was the newspaper march of millions, and the roar rose outside the windows of the courtroom: ‘Death! Death! Death!’”

While we are not quite there yet, we are moving in that direction. Americans being sent to prison not for what they did, but for what they believe? Does that sound like the kind of America we really want to live in?

While many Biden backers are enjoying seeing the hammer come down on pro-Trump, non-violent protesters, they should take note: the kind of totalitarian “justice” system they are cheering on will soon be coming for them. It always does.

Made available by the Ron Paul Insitute.