Trashing the Constitution on HBO: Bill Maher “Wrong Again, Wrong Again.”


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Just as Michael Bloomberg did recently …

https://freelegaladvice.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/trashing-the-constitution-in-new-york-city/

… Bill Maher has gone from Just Plain Incorrect …

https://freelegaladvice.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/bill-maher-just-plain-incorrect/

… to falling off the edge of the political table.

Friday night, April 12, 2013, on his HBO television show “Real Time”, Maher was discussing gun control with his guest panel.  After castigating “liberals” for what he perceived as their “weakness” in the gun control debate, Maher, not exactly making an insightful or clever  addition to the conversation, said:

“Everyone on the left is so afraid to say what should be said.  Which is, the Second Amendment is bullshit.”

http://www.guns.com/2013/04/13/bill-maher-the-second-amendment-is-bullshit-video/

Bill Maher 041213

Maybe so, though I disagree.  But if it is, anyone who thinks it is BS should have the courage to try to change the 2nd Amendment, rather than simply ignoring it and trying to enact legislation which violates its terms.

One of Maher’s guests on this show was David Stockman, former budget director for President Ronald Reagan.  Stockman, an ostensible conservative, commented that the idea of armed citizens rising in the face of the government is a modern day fantasy, saying:

“People who believe in liberty, like I do, we’re up against a 21st-century state equipped with drones, hundreds of satellites in the sky, watching everything we do.  Why would you believe that an 18th-century civilian militia equipped with the equivalent of muskets has anything to do with liberty? It doesn’t.”

Which, to be blunt, is just dumb.  For starters, no one involved in today’s gun control discussion is advancing the idea that an “18th century civilian militia” has anything to do with fighting “a 21st century state … watching everything we do.”  And if you think that a “well-armed civilian militia” equipped with modern weapons cannot resist a “21st century state”, please explain to me how a ragtag militia in Afghanistan has managed to resist the two most powerful military organizations in the world for a combined total of 21 years (the Russians for 9 years, the US for 12).

Never mind the possibility that a time will come when there are no drones, satellites or 21st century weapons and we will have to protect ourselves against or without the aid of any government.  I have discussed this before:

https://freelegaladvice.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/gun-control-and-your-right-to-defend-yourself-your-home-and-your-loved-ones/

Scroll down to the second half of that discussion, “Self-Defense in Case of a National Emergency”, for a more complete discussion of this issue.  To briefly repeat the primary point, the book One Second After by William Forstchen, fictionalizes what might happen in the US in the aftermath of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) event.  An EMP event (which could occur as part of a foreign attack or as a result of natural occurrences) could conceivably shut down all electricity in large portions of the US.  That would mean no electrically operated devices would work — some obvious examples, computers, televisions, radios and telephones.  Less obvious examples, refrigerators & freezers, microwave ovens, washers & dryers, both interior and exterior lighting, and even most modern motor vehicles (the engines of which are operated by electrical commands).

Should this happen, of course, most “21st century” weaponry, as well as drones and satellites, would be rendered useless.  And, as Forstchen says:

You are on your own … for weeks, maybe months.   Those of you living in Louisiana, Mississippi and coastal Texas know what I mean.  Don’t count on the government to come to your rescue in a post EMP America.  Consider yourself on your own from “one second after,” the event.  Those who realize that now have the greatest chance of survival.”

And, if you think his book is science fiction and farfetched, see the Wikipedia article on EMP:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_pulse

And this Heritage Foundation article about Congressional hearings on the subject:

http://blog.heritage.org/2012/09/11/congressional-hearing-raise-emp-awareness-now/

The possibility of an EMP event and the potential consequences thereof are science fact, not science fiction.

And keep in mind that an EMP event can also result from natural occurrences, such as a major solar flare, and not just as a result of a nuclear attack.  The website “Disaster Survival Resources” …

http://www.disaster-survival-resources.com/emp.html

… provides a relatively minor example of what can happen as a result of a solar flare:

“On March 13th, 1989 a huge solar induced magnetic storm that played havoc with the ionosphere, and the earth’s magnetic field. This storm, the second largest storm experienced in the past 50 years, totally shut down Hydro-Quebec, the power grid servicing Canada’s Quebec province.”

As we grow increasingly dependent on electronically controlled devices, we also become increasingly vulnerable to the adverse effects of an EMP event.  And, having the ability to protect ourselves in case of such an event becomes increasingly important.

So, I call bullshit on Maher, who is wrong again, wrong again.  And on Stockman, who is not just wrong, but dangerously so.

Bill Maher Just Plain Incorrect


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“Many years ago on a television network far, far away”, there was a show called “Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher“.  I was a big fan, rarely missed watching and was sorry to see the show cancelled, though I have to admit that the comment which led to its demise went beyond politically incorrect to politically just plain dumb.  See Note 1 below.

I do not subscribe to HBO, so have not had the opportunity to watch Maher’s current show, “Real Time with Bill Maher“.  Thanks to a Facebook post by “Can this poodle wearing a tinfoil hat get more fans than Glenn Beck?“, however, I became aware of this “New Rules” segment by Maher regarding libertarians:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9PezT3n4To

One of the reasons I liked Maher was that he was a self-professed supporter of libertarianism.  As a libertarian myself, I usually found his “politically incorrect” commentary in tune with my political philosophy.  Apparently, however, as demonstrated by his “New Rules” on libertarians, Maher has deserted some of his libertarian ideals, no longer understands what drives the libertarian philosophy and/or simply can no longer recognize a libertarian when he sees one (or doesn’t).

As examples of “libertarians” who are ruining libertarianism, Maher cites Wisconsin republican congressman Paul Ryan and Kentucky republican senator Rand Paul.

Sorry, Bill, but Paul Ryan is mostly a flat out right wing conservative and not a libertarian at all — see this Mother Jones webpage for a 2012 venn diagram showing just how little overlap there is between modern libertarian ideals and Paul Ryan’s political positions:

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/08/paul-ryan-libertarian-chart

And Rand Paul is no Ron Paul; nor is he anything like real libertarians like two-time Libertarin Party presidential candidate Harry Browne or Judge Andrew NapolitanoSee Note 2 below.

In his monologue, Maher says he once supported libertarianism because he didn’t want “big government in my bedroom, my medicine chest and especially not in the second drawer of the night stand on the left side of my bed”.  (Exactly what do you keep there, anyway, Bill?)  Though professing to still believe in those ideals, Maher charged that libertarianism has “morphed into this creepy obsession with free market capitalism based on an Ayn Rand novel called ‘Atlas Shrugged'”.

Sorry again, Bill, but those of us who are still truly libertarians base our political beliefs on such foundational documents as the Declaration of Independence and (especially) the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution, not “Atlas Shrugged” (or any other work of fiction).  Ayn Rand, by the way, in “Atlas Shrugged” or otherwise, was no libertarian (and, contrary to appearances, Rand Paul was not named in honor of Ayn Rand — his first name is actually Randal).

Ayn Rand in her time was extremely critical of libertarians, and once explained that she disapproved of them because they are “a monstrous, disgusting bunch of people” and “perhaps the worst political group today”.  See note 3 below.

Anyone who wants to learn what modern libertarianism is really about can do so by going to the Libertarian Party website here:

http://www.lp.org/

… or by visiting the Facebook page of The Advocates for Self-Government here:

https://www.facebook.com/SelfGov

The Advocates for Self-Government publish a libertarian newsletter, The Liberator Online, the most recent edition of which is available online here:

http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=8f8d44f1fc10bd074f648a4de&id=6039093196&e=16f5dddde4

The Liberator Online is also distributed by email, for which you can sign up on this page.

And, to see if you are a libertarian, go here and take The World’s Smallest Political Quiz:

http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz

It’s just 10 questions (5 on personal issues and 5 on economic issues) and can be completed in a few minutes.  Perhaps Bill Maher should take it as a refresher course on what libertarianism really is.

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Note 1:  For a brief explanation of how and why “Politically Incorrect” crossed over into “Politically Stupid” and got cancelled, see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Maher#Politically_Incorrect_with_Bill_Maher

Note 2:  For more on Judge Andrew Napolitano, see this earlier “Free Legal Advice” blog:

https://freelegaladvice.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/lies-the-government-told-you/

and his own website:

http://www.judgenap.com/

Note 3:  For a detailed explication of Ayn Rand’s views on libertarianism, see this Q&A page on the Ayn Rand Institute website:

http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ar_libertarianism_qa