Why does everything need to be banned? Whenever there is a problem, however big or small, the immediate thought is to ban it. Even libertarians joke about how X or Y activity or thing should be banned. With the recent death of Otto Warmbier, an American who was kidnapped and thrown in a cage for a 15 year term starting last year in North Korea, there is growing talk of the US government restricting travel to North Korea. Is there such a pressing number of Americans going over there that the government needs to spend time stopping people from putting themselves in harms way? The results of travel to North Korea seem to speak for themselves. While its only been a few people, the proportion of tourists being kidnapped in North Korea seems to be the highest in the world. The only places more dangerous might be Afghanistan or Daesh Islamic State.
Statements have come out from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and CIA Director Mike Pompeo that the US will seek to arrest libertarian hero Julian Assange, known for heading Wikileaks. The organization has been a dumping ground for all sorts of incriminating activity by the US government in particular and has frustrated three administrations and a presidential campaign. Assange has been under an effective house arrest for several years since fleeing to the Ecuadorian embassy in London to escape interrogation for alleged rapes in Sweden. Ecuadorian officials brainstormed multiple plans to get Assange out of the embassy and to Ecuador, but none of them were considered viable. He has also had run-ins with embassy staff and after leaking many Hillary Clinton campaign emails, his internet was temporarily shut off. There was a brief concern that if a right-wing candidate won the recent presidential election, Assange would be asked to leave.
Last night I attended my first cop block event here in New Hampshire, where libertarians from across the country are migrating to help one of the most liberty-minded states become more so. Several times a year, police in Manchester set up a DUI (and every other driving offense, such as broken headlight) checkpoint. For years, libertarian activists, many of whom moved from other states like me, have been holding signs and shouting warnings at the entry to the checkpoint when drivers have one last chance to turn away. They have also filed lawsuits to make the police give clearer notice about these checkpoints, which have not been proven to reduce any harmful behavior, and mostly seem to net police departments fine money.
Earlier today, the director of the New Hampshire Department of Revenue and an associate came to PorcFest to check whether food vendors were collecting the meals tax. New Hampshire has no sales tax, but does have a tax on meals and lodging. Ian Freeman of Free Keene, who is well known for filming police and government agents, quickly arrived on the scene to film and interrogate the two suits. He was joined by an effective militia of attendees armed with regular cameras and cell phone cameras.
In July 2014, a man named Eric Garner was stopped by police for selling untaxed cigarettes. He was tired of being harassed regularly by police for engaging in a peaceful exchange of goods that harmed no third parties. He made the mistake of pushing them away, which was his right as a human, but never a wise idea. The original officer who stopped Garner, along with another nearby, proceeded to attempt to arrest him. The latter put him in what is described as a chokehold. Chokeholds are legal police tactics under New York State Law, but have been prohibited by the NYPD for over two decades, for obvious reasons. Garner couldnt breathe, and eventually his heart gave out and he died. He was morbidly obese and had a whole host of health issues that almost certainly contributed to his death.