Your humble correspondent has many favorite pass-times. At the top of my list is autocross racing; a form of road racing for beginners—using their own cars to get the thrill of something like Formula 1, without the $100 million dollar budget, death-defying 200+ mph speeds, or the need to be the best driver in the world. See the video below for a short, but wonderful documentary on autocross. If you like motorsports, I encourage you to check out your local SCCA or NASA (not that NASA) club and check it out. It’s cheap yet awesome!
Before every event, they have a driver’s meeting where the person running the event (a volunteer) lays out the plans for the day, and the safety steward (also a volunteer) explains the rules of safety.
One of these officers from the events I went to, one Jon Beerman, would always say, “Safety second! If we put safety first, we wouldn’t be out here doing this in the first place.” Jon has a crazy fast Corvette, and if you know me or follow me on Twitter, you know I have a deep love for all things Corvette, so this makes Jon a well respected man in my book straight away.
All kidding aside, I always thought this was pretty insightful of him, but also, a great analogy for the American spirit. We were a country born out of a passion for freedom. The freedom to do something really dumb, adventurous, dangerous, and/or even crazy (as long as you don’t hurt anyone doing it). Why would you do such a thing? Why not?!
The crew from the Jackass movies, for instance, put their lives and limbs on the line, just to make a living entertaining us. Nothing they do is ever advisable, and certainly isn’t safe. But obviously they are doing what they love for a living, and those of us who find it entertaining are thankful they do. But if all we cared about was safety, nothing like that would ever exist. Thankfully, both the Jackasses and us viewers live a happier life, in some small part, because they do.
Yet these days, that concept seems to be lost on most Americans as we strive to put warning labels on everything, barricade our children into the house until they’re 18, pass laws to erase any ounce of danger in life (even if we’re only endangering ourselves), and generally destroy anything that is fun in the name of safety.
The whole point of freedom is the ability to do things that other people might not think you should do, but so long as you’re not hurting someone doing it, you should happily be able to do so with no impediment from government.
Whether it be currently legal activities like skydiving and/or road racing, or things currently illegal like using recreational drugs, gambling, hiring a prostitute, or all of the above. It’s your life, you should be free to live it as you see fit.
As with most all things, we’re dealing with a simple trade off. You can lead a riskier life you enjoy more, but may die younger as a result. Or you can lead a more sterile life, live longer, but be miserable doing so.
After reading that last paragraph, you’ve probably thought about it and picked one life or the other for yourself. But here’s the thing that you should really think about. Whichever you picked, you have no right to dictate that someone else pick the same for themselves.
If you opted to go the Evel Knievel route, great! Have fun and good luck. The funny thing about such daredevils, is that they rarely, if ever, try to force that lifestyle on you. Some of them do their shenanigans in public and risk the populace around them, which I would never condone—that’s criminal, violates the rights to life of others, and they rightfully should be locked up.
But at the opposite end of the spectrum, those who think risk-taking is always bad and avoid them at all costs, love to vote on legislation to ensure you lead their sanitized lifestyle.
It can be something as benign as a helmet or seat belt law, or as intrusive as the aforementioned drug, prostitution, or other vice laws.
If you know a few friends who like to sit around and get high; you know they rarely if ever, hurt anyone. So how is it the business of anyone else if they do that to themselves? I know it’s popular opinion among those who aren’t around such people, mostly based on folklore, that people who sell or use drugs are violent killers, but most are just trying to pay a few bills, and escape the miseries of life peacefully.
While Hollywood paints prostitution to be a crime ridden enterprise, the fact is that many of the consumers are just lonely guys, maybe not very attractive, who want to know what it’s like to be with a beautiful woman, and often treat the providers fairly respectfully.
Here’s where the illegality part becomes the problem. If the consumers are abusive, the laws against prostitution actually work against the victims, because they cannot call the police to help them without admitting they were engaging in prostitution.
Some areas stipulate police cannot check a person’s immigration status if that person calls the police to report a crime, because we want those people to report those crimes without fear of deportation. Yet somehow, if someone’s rights are violated during a vice encounter such as drugs or prostitution, now the same legislators don’t seem to care.
It’s rather hypocritical, quite immoral, and nearly unconstitutional to worry about the rights of someone who isn’t a citizen, yet care less about the rights of someone who is, just because they were engaging in behavior you think is wrong.
So I will always argue that America should be safety second, and enjoy your life to the fullest should be the resounding first.
The knock on libertarians often revolves around their promotion of legalizing what many consider to be immoral acts. Some libertarians don’t talk about it much, but the facts are this. If libertarians were in power, the following would both be legal and largely, if not entirely unregulated:
Mixed martial arts
This is by no means a complete list, but also, some of you may say, “Hey, many of these things are already legal, depending on your location.” But the fact is that many are still illegal in certain areas, and others so over-regulated, they are essentially illegal. But let’s break them down one by one and realize why I believe government should recuse itself almost entirely from all of them.
While there are many states now legalizing marijuana, I specifically said drugs—I mean all drugs. The issue arises from the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), which requires all hospitals to treat anyone coming into the emergency room, regardless of their ability to pay. So then legislators can justify making drugs illegal by saying it infringes on the property (money) rights of everyone else by forcing them to pay to treat the addicts.
Simple fix: repeal EMTALA, that argument goes away. EMTALA infringes on the rights of the medical professionals and therefore is bad law.
YOU own your body, and YOU should have the right to destroy it if you see fit. What you don’t have, is the right to expect someone to save your life after you’ve made this choice.
Some people are highly depressed, highly unmotivated, have achieved little success, and are depressed as a result. They may then turn to substance abuse that snowballs into their eventual death. While this is sad, and any loving family members or friends should attempt to intervene, it’s not, nor ever has been, the duty of government.
We all know that laws are enforced at the point of a gun, so government is essentially saying “If you don’t stop attempting to kill yourself, we will shoot you.” It’s really that dumb.
I’m not encouraging people to kill themselves or use drugs, I think it’s stupid, but it’s their life and therefore their business alone, not mine.
While making adult film is legal, the issue often comes into regulations on the industry such as mandatory condoms in California now. I think almost all of us agree that laws prohibiting minors from performing is a good thing, aside from that, let them do what they want.
Hackers rarely hack someone solely for the purpose of following an adult film star. There was no hacker’s Tweet to make the politician look bad or anything like that. Clearly, like most of us, he probably finds her attractive, and he followed her. Since he’s a Democrat, I doubt it’s due to her political beliefs, she’s stated she’s a libertarian. But the point is, who cares if he follows her?
I’ve conversed with her on Twitter and seen a couple interviews with her on TV—she’s intelligent and engaging. Maybe instead of passing judgement, people should just try treating her and her coworkers like the human beings they are. As is true in any profession, there are going to be some wonderful people, and some less than wonderful people. Try judging them individually on their merits instead of as a complete unit like a bigot.
I get that many of us were raised that sex is bad, taboo, or that sex should only be between a married couple for procreation. But let’s be honest, sex is one of the most fun activities two consenting adults can enjoy with each other, and almost all of us do exactly that.
While I could find no studies on the percentage of people who engage in sex solely for procreation with their legally wedded partner, if this makes up more than 2% of the population, I’d be highly surprised.
Many people don’t always have a willing partner available to them. Adult film stars provide a fantasy for those people no different than James Bond movies provide a fantasy for men who want to imagine they’re an international bad-ass, or romantic comedies provide a fantasy for women who want to imagine a romantic relationship.
Adult film stars are entertainers. They’re not evil, dirty, sub-human, criminal, and most importantly, they aren’t violating anyone’s rights. They’re simply people who are more comfortable in their skin than you and I, more open and honest about their sexuality than you and I, and let’s be honest, more physically attractive than you and I.
We could learn a lot from adult film stars on how to be open, free, and unrepressed; so enough already with all the people who act like they’re bad publicly, try to pass laws to restrict them, but then tune in later in the privacy of their own home—it’s entirely hypocritical.
Elaborating on the above, let’s talk about prostitution. There is no federal law prohibiting it, but all states baring Nevada do, and this is a shame.
Again, we all enjoy the act of sex, except the overly prudish few, so can we stop acting like it’s taboo?
If you are fortunate enough to have someone you’re attracted to have sex with you voluntarily, what kind of selfish jerk must you be to attempt to deny that pleasure to someone else who isn’t so attractive.
So what if they have to pay for it; how is that relevant? While sex for procreational purposes should have a love component to benefit the oncoming child, sex for fun doesn’t need one. I’ve been in a purely sexual friendship, and it was very liberating. So long as both agree that’s what it is, feelings won’t get hurt.
Sex workers are effectively dream-makers. For those who are either unattractive and/or shy, it may be the only way they get to experience such a fantasy. If these people are willing to provide that service for a nominal fee, where exactly is the victim?
Some argue it ruins marriages when men or women cheat with a prostitute, but is that the prostitute’s fault? Of course not! That marriage was clearly over already.
Due to the illegality of prostitution, it also fosters a dangerous environment when, if legal as in Nevada, it would be clean and much safer for both parties.
Many people believe gambling is only illegal in many areas because it’s too hard for government to collect the tax dollars they’re owed. Maybe this is part of it, but not being one to buy into conspiracy theories sans evidence to support them, I’m not pushing that notion, and I frankly don’t care.
In a free country, we have property rights, and money is our property. What we do with it has NEVER been anyone else’s business. Adopt a consumption tax system like the Fair Tax proposal, and the tax issue is solved.
Set up local and/or federal gaming commissions if you must to investigate and prosecute fraud, but opening a gambling establishment should be treated no differently than opening any other business.
A random person on the internet posted a very poignant observation.
“Being upset that people who are gay can marry if you’re not gay yourself is like being mad that someone is eating a doughnut because you’re on a diet.”
There are NO independent studies showing that gay marriage leads to ANY detrimental effects to society over conventional marriage. And like all the issues in this post, quite frankly it’s none of YOUR business what two other people do, so long as they aren’t hurting you.
Then the argument is that if they either adopt, or procreate a child in vitro, they’ll likely raise a gay child.
Two issues here:
The evidence clearly supports that a homosexual’s preferences are innate. Acting out on those instincts may be a choice, but having an attraction to others of the same sex is purely instinctual. It may be a natural anomaly, but it’s not a choice. Anyone who has suffered unrequited love has effectively proven this. Because they would stop wanting that person if they could, but attraction is an instinct you don’t have an ounce of control over.
So what! Until we have some evidence to say that gay people are more apt to infringe on the rights of others, even if gay parents did produce gay children, there’s no argument to be made that this is overtly bad.
Happily, the tide is turning recently in favor of gay marriage, so I believe this is evolving into a non-issue that seems to be working itself out on its own.
The point is that in a free country we should be allowed to own whatever we want, so long as we aren’t hurting someone with it—guns included. But more importantly, we should have the right to stand up to oppressors of any sort, whether it be people trying to rob us, murder us, or an overly oppressive and corrupt government.
A gun is the only true equalizer that can make a fight between a 100 lb. woman and a 300 lb. body-builder a 50/50 endeavor. If I have a right to life, then I have a right to defend that life, and government has no right to force me into being the underdog.
While there are private schools all over the country, the fact remains that they are often not allowed to exist. The ones that do exist usually had to get special exemptions from the community, which often have the kibosh put on them by public school unions who have worked tirelessly at making it nearly impossible for private schools to spring up as easily as a McDonald’s might, and that’s a shame.
We know free markets bring us better goods for cheaper prices, there’s no evidence to suggest that it wouldn’t do exactly the same thing for education. But school unions, afraid of losing the monopolized power they currently possess, fight tooth and nail to prevent free markets in education, and our children’s education suffers as a result.
So if you care about the education of children over the careers of unionized teachers, this is a system that must be changed.
Mixed Martial Arts
When the UFC first came to be, the rules were simple: no biting, no eye-gouging.
I’ve heard many people complain about the myriad of rules that have come to be in this sport, ruining what was originally a very exciting event.
But what most people don’t know, is that the UFC has to get a license from the boxing commission of the state the event is to be held in. All the rules the UFC has added through the years, are mostly to done solely so they can acquire a permit.
I hate to repeat myself, but again I must point out, if two consenting adults want to beat the bejeezus out of each other, how is it anyone’s business but theirs? And if they’re then going to do so, what is wrong with others watching it, and even paying to watch it?
As evidenced by prohibition, our country has a long and sometimes stupid history with alcohol. But like all of the above, it stems from what is usually religious zealotry by folks that feel they have the right to tell you how to live what they feel to be a morally correct life. To those people I say, “F*** you! You don’t get to be the arbiter of morality.”
If there’s a sound argument for why someone can be trusted to carry a weapon and get their leg shot off fighting a war for their country, but then can’t be trusted to responsibly have a beer when they return home, I’d like to hear it.
But let’s also talk about the open container laws. I am the first person to lash out at drunk drivers—how dare you selfishly put the lives of others on the line in such a careless way. But the idea that drunk passengers would lead to drunk drivers fundamentally makes no sense.
This is born from the idea that we should effectively outlaw temptation. So what’s next? Are we going to outlaw movies or books with violence as they might lead to temptation too?
The only law on the books should be one that says you must be an adult to purchase it. If a parent wants to allow their 14 year old to drink a glass of wine with dinner, or a dad wants to share a beer with his 16-year-old son in order to bond with his budding little man, is there any scientific proof to say this is harming the child? If not, then as above, it’s none of your damn business.
As I stated earlier, this is by no means a complete list, but hopefully you see the underlying theme. In each instance, the “no victim, no crime” mantra couldn’t be more clear. The sooner we embrace the idea that the actions of others are none of our business, so long as they aren’t harming another, the better we’ll all be at peacefully co-existing. And isn’t that the worthiest of goals?
A common libertarian theme is “No victim, no crime.” If this were true, there would effectively be no police vice squad. With that in mind, since I’ve already asked about drugs in a previous poll, this time let’s talk about what is presumed to be the world’s oldest profession (I still contend hunters preceded prostitutes).
log·i·cal: capable of reasoning or of using reason in an orderly cogent fashion lib·er·tar·i·an: an advocate of the doctrine of free will; a person who upholds the principles of individual liberty especially of thought and action