Civil Asset Forfeiture in Hawaii

Is Governor David Ige’s veto of a bill to reform civil asset forfeiture in Hawaii proof of corruption?  I am not aware of any valid reason for the veto.  Civil asset forfeiture has been an effective tool when properly used against illegal drug cartels, but it is now being used inappropriately and is being abused all across the United States.  Some of the results are blatantly unfair!  If your property is confiscated when you were not convicted of, or even charged with, a crime, then something is wrong!  Hawaii is a very “blue” state that is well on its way to becoming a socialist (actually, a fascist) state that will make slaves out of all of its citizens.  The government wants to be all-powerful and to control our lives.  Failing to reform civil asset forfeiture is only one of many examples.  The financially disastrous high-speed rail is another.  Which politicians received big illegal payments to promote it?  We need to reform all government in Hawaii, not just its laws on civil asset forfeiture.  A very small government of limited power, as per our Constitution, is the ultimate protection against corruption.  Would you bribe a politician to do what he has no power to do?

On a side issue, how do career politicians making meager salaries retire as millionaires, or even as billionaires?  Are the tax returns of these politicians the ones that we should be most interested in examining, rather than President Trump’s?  We could start with Governor Ige’s!

Our overall goal should be to drastically reduce the size of government.  People do not seem to understand that demands for the government to “do something” are counter-productive.  The government “doing something” only makes it bigger and more powerful.  The only “something” that we need the government to “do” is to eliminate regulations, departments, and agencies.  We need to reduce, not increase, the size and power of our government.  Smaller government means less governmental power and more freedom for us; more government means they have more power and there is less freedom for us.  Following our Constitution, the primary law of the land, would dramatically reduce the size of our government.  The United States is supposed to be the land of the free, and we cannot really be free with a big government.

Capitalism is the economic system of freedom, and it logically follows from a philosophy of individualism and individual rights.  That means no regulations.  The opposite of capitalism is statism, all-powerful big government, which follows from a philosophy of collectivism and “duties” to your collective (group).  The three forms of collectivism are socialism, fascism, and communism.  The Democrat Party has become a bunch of alleged “socialists”.  Under socialism the government owns the means of production.  Under fascism the means of production are privately owned but controlled by the government through regulations.  Regulations are fascist!  The most prevalent form of the collectivism in our mixed economy is fascism, not socialism!

The people in Hawaii really do believe in rights and freedom, but peripheral issues (wanting to give unfortunate people welfare, entitlements, and other “free stuff”) cause them to vote blue.  Hawaiian culture has a lot of empathy, but this characteristic should not be confused with the concept of rights.  Making someone economically dependent on welfare payments destroys his self-esteem!  Killing them with a smile is not compassionate at all!  Our biggest challenge is to communicate our message of freedom–which comes with responsibility.

Hawaii Governor Vetoes Bill Aimed to End Confiscation of Property Without a Conviction

Hawaii will continue to deny its citizens due process and make a profit in the process.


What are Individual Rights, and What are Not Rights?

Most Americans do not understand the concept of individual rights, yet it is crucial to being able to understand the concept of freedom.  When your government honors and respects your rights, the result is freedom.  Try to formulate a definition of rights and see how far you get.  The concept of rights was central to our Declaration of Independence, the greatest political document in history.  Ayn Rand defines rights as: “A ‘right’ is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context. There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man’s right to his own life. Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action; the right to life means the right to engage in self-sustaining and self-generated action—which means: the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life. (Such is the meaning of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.)”

Everyone has the same rights, equally, all of the time.  No one has special rights that others don’t have.  The only valid application of the concept of equal rights is equality under the law.  The law should treat all of us the same, equally.  But, in reality people are not equal (the same).  Some are taller, faster, smarter, or better looking.  A 5 foot tall guy could not be a professional basketball player.  How do you apply “equal rights” to him?  Simple!  The law should treat him the same as a professional basketball player.  No problem!  There is a difference between equality (equality under the law) and equivalence (equal results, like getting the same salary).   Please recognize the distinction!

What about the radical Democrats who are advocating free medical care for all, including illegal aliens?  Is medical care a right?  First, what about the rights of the doctor who will be forced to provide that free medical care?  What about his rights?  Is he a slave?  That is why medical care cannot be a right!  All of this also applies to the idea of socialized medicine, by the way.  Secondly, the U.S. government has an obligation to protect the rights of American citizens, and no one else.  See the Declaration of Independence.  The U.S. government does not have an obligation to protect the rights of everyone in the world.  Saying that the U.S. is a sovereign country means something!  It means that we make our own independent laws and rules.  We do not obey the dictates of other countries or of the United Nations.

Anything that needs to be provided by another cannot be a right.  What about the rights of the  provider?  Is he a slave?  Examples are a job, a roof over one’s head, enough food to eat, a “living wage”, a welfare check, entitlements, subsidies, or the example of medical care from above.  The only valid concept of freedom is the freedom to earn that something for yourself–and then to keep it, which is the right to property.  This is where the idea of responsibility comes in.  You, and only you, are responsible for your own life.  No one else is responsible for you.  Understandable exceptions are children and other dependents.  Contracts are not rights, by the way.  The model for capitalism (freedom) is a bilateral contract.  Both parties must consent, or there is no legal contract.  Please do not confuse a legal obligation with a moral one.

Note that property rights are the only way to implement (carry out or apply) your right to life.  Our Founding Fathers talked a lot about property rights, but they did not know how to logically connect it to the right to life.  That is why property rights are not mentioned in our Declaration of Independence.  Only in the 20th century did we get the philosophical answer contained in the first sentence of this paragraph from Ayn Rand.  Here is an example of connecting the dots, an additional mental step.  Any “redistribution of wealth” is a violation of the property rights of the person who earned the money.  A welfare check, for example, is being redistributed (stolen) away from the person who earned it and is being given to someone who did not earn it.  What about the person who receives the welfare check?  It is his responsibility to support his own life, yet his sustenance is being provided by another.  What about the property rights of that other?  That other earned the money which is being taken away from him against his will.  Is he truly free, or is he a slave.

My economic principle is: A nation’s prosperity is proportional to its freedom.  Look at the world and you will see that all dictatorships are poor.  The most prosperous countries are semi-free (there are no fully free countries).  America (at one time) was the freest and thereby became the richest and most powerful nation on earth.  The reason we have an immigration problem is that many people from all over the world want to come here to improve their lives.  Why?  Because of freedom.  With notable exceptions like civil asset forfeiture and welfare, you get to keep what you earned, which is the right to property.  By increasing your assets you can increase the comfort and enjoyment of your and your children’s lives.

The flip side to my principle is that the U.S. will become poor when it becomes a collectivist dictatorship.  No freedom means no prosperity.  It will not be able to afford to give away all of the “free stuff” the socialists promised.  The history of collectivist dictatorships in the 20th century is clear.  One of the “benefits” you will “enjoy” once we become a dictatorship is starvation.  Red China and the Soviet Union (Russia) starved about 100 million of their own citizens to death, and starvation is a miserable death.  See Venezuela today.  You can vote yourself into tyranny (dictatorship), but you cannot vote yourself out of it.  In a dictatorship you will lose your rights, including your right to vote.  Those who vote for “free stuff” deserve their miserable fate, but those of us who do not, do not.  What about us?  That is why you should take an active interest in politics.  Fight for your freedom!  Once you lose it, you will never get it back!

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