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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Re : [LPplatform-discuss] LP PlatCom Meeting This Weekend

Harland Harrison wrote:
I support Brian Holtz addition to Plank 3.5,  which will protect children from abusive guardians. 

I oppose all the other changes proposed by Holtz.  Some of his "defenses"  for candidates actually deny people rights which they enjoy now.

Specifically, my other defenses-for-candidates changes would
  • deny children the right to buy drugs
  • deny politicians the "right" to subsidize or dictate reproductive choices
  • deny children and violent criminals the right to bear arms
Force and fraud are not "attempts to make choices for others"; they are attempts to deny the victims a choice.
Initiated force is clearly an attempt to impose a choice, and fraud is by definition an attempt to trick someone into a choice they otherwise wouldn't make.  Denying someone a choice is often not aggression -- for example, not hiring her or declining to go out with her -- so we can't say that choice-denial is equivalent to aggression.

"Banished from human relationships" sounds like a call for government to meddle with families.

The phrase you quote here has been in the Platform for at least two decades.
"The right to make a choice depends on the individual both understanding its consequences and accepting responsibility for them."  People have the right to make their own choices and take risks, even when NOBODY fully understands the consequences.
The word "fully" isn't in the proposed language you quote.  Would you seriously claim that the right to make a choice is completely independent of one's mental competence to understand any of the consequences of that choice?

The addition about intellectual property takes away the ordinary rights of "fair use" and time limitations under current law and centuries of tradition: "We defend the right to freely reproduce original expression when doing so does not divert commercial benefit from the author to the reproducer." When Disney's copyright expires they should just stop making money from it.  Whether my parody hurts your sales or not,  satire is a fair use.

You need to read the statutory definition of fair use e.g. at the bottom of  My change would radically reduce government-created copyright privileges, by legalizing most of the "piracy" that happens on the Internet today.

The addition for information technology also denies the ordinary limitations on patents, copyrights, and contracts.  "Limits on the use of information technology should be decided by contracts between producers and consumers."

This language obviously does not deny contract rights, and is not about copyright at all. It's about e.g. the DMCA, and laws against reverse-engineering.

"We favor the freedom of association among private parties to negotiate how they use information voluntarily disclosed to each other."  Is it about medical records,  blackmail,  court testimony,  secret recordings,  or what?

Yes, no, no, yes.  It opposes all restrictions on private parties' ability to negotiate how they use information voluntarily disclosed to each other.  Is there some restriction of this kind that you favor?

The deleted text protects many freedoms like gambling, prostitution, travel, trade, and communication with forbidden countries, forbidden sex acts, and choice of safety equipment. "Adults have the freedom and responsibility to decide what media and substances they knowingly and voluntarily consume, and to accept for themselves any risk to their own health, finances, safety, or life."

The "risk" language covers all the freedoms you list above.

"Knowingly" implies the government could forbid drugs from Canada on the grounds of uncertain purity!

Again, you're tendentiously reading into the text claims of epistemic absoluteness that just aren't there. "Knowingly" here essentially means that the adult isn't being deceived.

inserting the disclaimer "peaceful adults" actually has the opposite effect intended.  It implies that non-citizens,  felons,  and schizophrenics should have equal access weapons!

I like how you use exclamation points to mark your non-sequiturs.  It's very helpful. :-)

2.2. Environment.  The deleted text is complete.

The deleted text uses the vague and value-laden terms "sensible use" and "misuse".  The LP is not the arbiter of people's utility functions about how to use resources.  Our job is simply to oppose aggression.

  The added text is inaccurate. The biggest pollution problems come from polluting the "commons",  the air, ocean, and water table.   "Individual rights" do not address the issue.

All rights, even rights to the natural commons, are ultimately individual rights. I'd love to add to the LP platform a cogent discussion of the natural commons (as in my Free Earth Manifesto), but the LP is not yet ready to talk about a "commons". The best we can do for now is demand that polluters pay.

The deleted text is important   libertarian,  and is not replaced:  "While energy is needed to fuel a modern society, government should not be subsidizing any particular form of energy"

The second clause is redundant with the next sentence: "We oppose all government control of energy pricing, allocation, and production."  The first clause is a vacuous truism that has nothing to do with Libertarian principle.

The added text is inaccurate; "free market" does not mean the government protects the players from fraud.

The language doesn't say that the fraud protection comes from government. I wouldn't agree that a market can be considered "free" if it is rife with unprosecuted fraud.

  Also, governments can (and should) buy on the free market and their losses are clearly "socialized".

Neither I nor any NatCon supermajority would agree with you that the State should count as an investor whose losses should be socialized.

The added text is a weird scheme which would not work:  "as long as ultimate responsibility for each non-contractual liability of the firm is accepted by at least one of the individuals in it. "A corporation would just need to hire one homeless guy to sign for the liability

Thank you for agreeing with me that the alleged problem/scandal of limited corporate liability is in principle no different than if all corporations were just limited partnerships with at least one general partner. Thanks also for explaining exactly why this scheme in fact would work as intended.

We could advocate full insurance to cover all liability of a corporation,  but this language does nothing of the kind.

Does your "full" insurance means that at least one person has last-penny liability (e.g. the "names" of Lloyds of London)?  If so, your proposal is equivalent to mine.  If not, you're simply disguising your advocacy for limited corporate liability.

I, for one, do not oppose the "use of insurance for routine care". 

Nor does my language.  What it opposes is subsidies for that.
The proposed change removes the protection of civil liberties for non-citizens.
No, the platform already says "This requirement must not take priority over maintaining the civil liberties of our citizens."  Strictly speaking, neither the current nor proposed language opposes protections for non-citizens. 
Instead of deleting, just accurately describe the Bill of Rights. 

"The Bill of Rights REMAINS IN FORCE DURING a time of war. "

We can do better. Or do you advocate the wartime quartering of troops?  :-)

The added text, "pay for any costs they impose on others," adds a vague, unworkable, and unfair restr iction on migrants.

The principle is that migrants remain liable/responsible for the costs they impose. Are you disagreeing with that principle, or just how it is worded?

I don't have to pay for the costs I would impose on San Francisco by moving there from Los Angeles

Yes, because those two jurisdictions are already reasonably close to equilibrium in terms of migration induced by their relative levels of economic freedom, public goods, natural resources, and economic prosperity. For more on this subject, see here.

The pre-Portland platform's call for unrestricted immigration is gone, and won't be coming back in 2010.