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Thread: Where do your rights begin and mine end?

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    This topic got started in another thread (http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/view_to...mp;forum_id=52), and has been touched on in many threads on this forum. So, I figured that we might as well bring it up for discussion. Here's the gist of the argument: Where does one person's rights end and anothers begin?

    We have essentially three broad-based rights in this country: The right to life, the right to liberty, and the right to property. Where do these rights begin and end, and how do we manage the overlap? Before we can answer these questions we first must determine what these rights actually mean. My definitions are as follows: The right to life means that you cannot be hurt or killed by another person against your will. The right to liberty means that you can do anything you want to yourself or to another consenting person. This includes the right to free speech, the right to assembly, freedom of religion, etc. The right to property means that you are free to do with your own property as you like, so long as you do not infringe on the rights of others.

    The question comes down to, in the event of two clashing rights, which one is the more important? I would maintain that the right to life outstrips all others. While I have a right to practice my swordfighting technique, that right ends as soon as I harm a non-consenting person. I have a right to property, but I cannot murder you for walking up my driveway and knocking on the door. For these reasons, I think most everyone can agree that right to life trumps all.

    So, now we must decide which order to put the other two rights in; property then liberty, or liberty then property. If we say that liberty trumps property, then that means that my right to move about freely is more important than someone else's right to property. So, I could essentially stand on your front lawn and shout obscenities (freedom of speech). I could walk into your house, sit down on your couch, and watch your TV (freedom of travel). I could enter your church and begin preaching a different religion (freedom of speech and freedom of religion). Basically, anything would go, as long as I don't harm another person or prevent them from speaking, belieiving in a different god, etc. Now, personally, I don't think these are things that any normal society would be willing to put up with, so we need to look at the other option, which is property over liberty. In the case of property over liberty, if you say something I don't like, I can force you to leave and practice your freedom of speech elsewhere. If I run a church and you choose to practice another religion, I can force you to leave and practice your freedom of religion elsewhere. If I own a few acres of land, I can let my friend Joe hunt on my land, but make you go elsewhere. To me, it seems like property overrides liberty in the sense that you have to make the choice between coming on my property and possibly forfeiting some of your liberties, or keeping all of your liberty but having to go somewhere else (your own property or the property of someone willing to tolerate your behavior).

    Now, in both of these cases we have undesireable side effects. If we let property override liberty then people can be discriminated against. If we let liberty override property then there is no way to be safe and secure in your property and posessions, nor is there any way to remove undesireables from your property. It would appear that the bad effects of having property override liberty (again, you're always free to do whatever you want on your OWN property) are not as bad as letting liberty override property.

    I'm curious what other people think about this and how it applies in certain situations. Do you think that the right to carry a weapon is the same as the right to life, or do property rights overrule the Second Amendment (I believe the latter). If property rights are higher on the totem pole than other liberties, doesn't that mean that store owners would be able to discriminate against people they don't like? Are there cases where these rules should not be hard and fast, but that we need to curb the right to property? Examples of this would be anti-discrimination laws (ie: I can own property, but can't keep you out simply because of gender or race). What about private property versus public accomodation? Are these one and the same, or is my private residence held to a different standard than a shopping mall or pub? If these things are different, how and why are they different and what laws apply?

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    Cue-Ball wrote:

    The right to property means that you are free to do with your own property as you like, so long as you do not infringe on the rights of others.

    I think most everyone can agree that right to life trumps all.

    So, now we must decide which order to put the other two rights in; property then liberty, or liberty then property. If we say that liberty trumps property, then that means that my right to move about freely is more important than someone else's right to property. To me, it seems like property overrides liberty in the sense that you have to make the choice between coming on my property and possibly forfeiting some of your liberties, or keeping all of your liberty but having to go somewhere else (your own property or the property of someone willing to tolerate your behavior).

    Now, in both of these cases we have undesireable side effects. If we let property override liberty then people can be discriminated against. If we let liberty override property then there is no way to be safe and secure in your property and posessions, nor is there any way to remove undesireables from your property. It would appear that the bad effects of having property override liberty (again, you're always free to do whatever you want on your OWN property) are not as bad as letting liberty override property.

    What about private property versus public accomodation? Are these one and the same, or is my private residence held to a different standard than a shopping mall or pub? If these things are different, how and why are they different and what laws apply?
    The right to property indeed means that you are able to do what you will on your property until it infringes on the rights of others. However, the right to life is not our only right.

    I absolutely agree that the first instinct ought to be the protection of property rights. But consider segregation: under your policy, as long as it was not occuring in government buildings, there would be absolutely nothing wrong with it. The same argument holds that slavery be allowable. If all the grocery store owners in a region decide that they don't want to sell anything to immigrants, how do you propose immigrants get food?

    Humanity is not inclined to do good if left unchecked: that is the purpose of government, to keep the populace in check. "Whatever you want" is extremely broad, and you've only specified murder as an exception. What about rape? What about assault?

    There is a huge difference between a hardware store and your house. Not letting any homosexuals into your house may be deplorable, but it's not illegal. Not to be too Kantean about it, but you have to consider what would happen if everyone operated in the way you think to be moral. All non-homosexual store owners agreeing not to sell to homosexuals is totally unacceptable.

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    I absolutely agree that the first instinct ought to be the protection of property rights. But consider segregation: under your policy, as long as it was not occuring in government buildings, there would be absolutely nothing wrong with it.
    No. It's not that there would be nothing wrong with it - it would simply not be illegal. Big difference. Bigotry is despicable, but it should not be illegal.

    The same argument holds that slavery be allowable.
    That is a bit of a leap. As a property owner I can say "no people with purple hair on my land", but I cannot say "All people with purple hair MUST work my land". Well, I could say it, but how would I ever make it happen? People with purple hair would either have to voluntarily come work for me, or I would have to force them. And forcing them to come work for me would violate their liberty (freedom of contract, freedom of travel, etc).

    If all the grocery store owners in a region decide that they don't want to sell anything to immigrants, how do you propose immigrants get food?
    What if all of the grocery stores in a region decide that they don't want to sell anything to people in green shirts? Is there a law that says they must serve people in green shirts? If not, how in the world are people in green shirts supposed to get food? "People in green shirts can change clotes, but people can't change skin color!" I hear you say. Well, why should we expect someone to have to change their shirt to get the same level of service that we guarantee others? If we're going to guarantee that people get served regardless of their skin color, religion, ethnicity, etc., shouldn't we also guarantee it no matter what kind of clothing they are wearing?

    "Whatever you want" is extremely broad, and you've only specified murder as an exception. What about rape? What about assault?
    Please do not misquote me. I said that people should be allowed to do whatever they want to themselves and to consenting others. You can't rape someone if they consent. If you don't consent, it's a violation of your liberty and property (your body is your property). Ditto for assault.

    There is a huge difference between a hardware store and your house. Not letting any homosexuals into your house may be deplorable, but it's not illegal. Not to be too Kantean about it, but you have to consider what would happen if everyone operated in the way you think to be moral. All non-homosexual store owners agreeing not to sell to homosexuals is totally unacceptable.
    Please explain to me the difference between a hardware store and my house. I want to be quite clear on why you think one is private and the other is not. I know how the law currently works. I would like an explanation of WHY the law should work this way and why groups of people should have special treatment under the law.

    You can't use the argument that "doing X is not illegal but doing Y is" when the legality of those things is the whole discussion of the debate. I might as well say "you can't carry a concealed weapon without a permit". We all know the law. The question is whether or not the law is just, and whether or not it is a function of government.

    Also, I think I've made it quite clear that I think bigotry is NOT moral in the least. The question is not about morality, the question is whether or not something is a natural right. While I agree that straights refusing to sell goods to gays is unacceptable, I do not believe that it should be ILLEGAL. Nobody has a right to the goods or services sold by a store owner, and the last thing that I want is government legislating morals to me.

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    Life, Property, Liberty.

    Absolutely, if you're in my home, you have no rights -- you're subject to my whimsical rules and policies under penalty of trespass, if you refuse to leave. Outside of life, the country was founded upon property rights; now, with the direction the subject is taking, it's definitely a difficult area.

    I feel that it was wrong for the government to enforce the smoking ban in most US states. Granted, I love it -- I'm a non-smoker and going out to eat is, on the whole, a much more pleasant experience; however, history has shown us that our society is not perfect and that some social situations needed to be remedied by law.

    Starting with discrimination of African Americans, de-segregation laws and anti-discrimination laws allowed other gender, social, religious and sexual classes to be added to the legislation. I highly doubt that, without that initial legislation, we would be the same world we are today... in my opinion, it has its place in the world.

    Though, when it comes to a place used a storefront for commerce, it falls under a set of different laws. In addition, they're in contract with the city/state by obtaining a bussiness license, OSHA inspections, insurance/liability... It's hard to say this without coming off sounding like a hippocrite, but I think that some laws governing places of bussiness are better off staying in place.

    I don't think someone should be able to say, "You're not allowed in my store because you're black," but I do think any storeowner should be able to say, "You're not allowed in my store because it's my property."

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    vote_no wrote:
    If all the grocery store owners in a region decide that they don't want to sell anything to immigrants, how do you propose immigrants get food?
    Sounds like a business opportunity for someone, an immigrant himself perhaps, who wants to sell groceries to some folks who can't get them locally.

    That's the thing about freedom, real freedom. You don't want to sell stuff to someone? Okay, I'll do it. And if we're really free, I don't have to stand in line and pay some nonsense license fee and wait weeks or months to start my business. I send the truck out tonight and start selling groceries to immigrants tomorrow.

    If you don't want to sell to them, that's your loss.



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    Hmm, this looks like it'll be a good thread. Unless certain posters start to argue something to the effect of, "There is actually no right to life, liberty or property. You stupid NRA-bashers".

    I'll admit that I don't really think about these three rights much, mostly because the only right that even remotely exists in this country today is the right to life. Liberty? You get thrown in jail if you merely possess the wrong herb. Property? No one actually owns their property, and the government exploits this fact to rape landowners with taxes and to use eminent domain to steal individuals' property to create better tax sources. Even the right to life has been cheapened by the criminally ineffective criminal justice system and the government's active interest in eliminating citizens' individual right to self defense. It seems to me that life, liberty, and property are all but completely dead in America 2007, replaced instead by the right to entitlements, the right to security at all costs, and the right to Christianity.

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    Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness/property. They are all on equal footing. One does not necessarily outweigh the other. However, based on the facts of a situation at hand will determine which one will carry more weight.

    The Question is who decides. Our system says the courts will decide. And I don’t mean that the courts decide, I mean the people are suppose to decide, in other words, juries.

    One of the problems is juries don’t know their duties. Juries are to judge the facts as well as the law.

    Most disputes between people are usually resolved between the disputing parties, without government interference. It’s when people loose their way as to the fundamental rights of man and man’s failure to respect his fellow man’s rights.

    If I put up a fence so I don’t see my neighbor’s junk car in his yard and the fence blocks the same neighbor’s view of a sunset. Who’s rights prevail? Which right takes president over the other?

    Reasonable people will compromise to settle the dispute.

    The courts are a substitution for war. Our society has adopted the pen over the sword to settle disputes. However, men are still territory in nature and believe the sword is mightier than the pen. That’s why the second Amendment exists.

    In a small town there was a mean rich man who no one liked and a poor nice man everyone liked. One day the mean rich man called the police and said the nice poor man stole his pig. Sure enough the police caught the poor man with the pig.

    At the end of the trial the judge gave the jury the law that stealing was against the law and the jury was to decide the facts and deliver their verdict.

    The jury came back with a verdict. The judge asked the jury what did you find. The jury said if the poor man gave back the pig to the mean rich man they would find the poor nice man not guilty.

    The judge was outraged and said the jury could not make such finding and sent the jury back to deliberate and to come back with a verdict of guilty or not guilty of stealing the pig.

    The jury went back, deliberated and returned with a verdict of not guilty and the poor nice man could keep the pig.

    So, which is it, Life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness/property that prevails?


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    Too many time we get hung up in which right takes precedence over the others and in fact they all should be equal. Balancing them is the question that has plagued us from the beginning and as long as we continue under our present system it will continue to. Our system my not be perfect but I feel that it is the best in the world and will continue in spite of others opinions. The story of the pig is a marvelous sample of how our system works that the final balance our founders put into place was the untimate power of the law is in the people. The final determination of the extent of the law is in the hands of a jury which can determine the definition and justification of a law. We hear the term jury nullification and immediately become either ourraged or pleased but that is in fact the final power granted by the founders.

    Even acts between consenting adults on private property are not exclusive of ivading the rights of others. For instance if you want to watch porn on your front porch and have an orgy among willing participants for all to watch while walking by do you have that right? The light,air and soundfrom you property does not remain there. These are the types of things that must be balanced. Just some thoughts while I am still not awake.:?

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    It seems to me that they are listed in the order of importance: life, liberty, and property. It was the intent of our forefathers that all (rich or poor regardless of birth) should be equal under the law. Our constitution reflects the belief that the wealthy should not enjoy tyrannical rule over the less fortunate.

    Aperson can be propertyless for whatever reason (escheatment, gambling debts, or other misfortune) but still enjoy life and liberty. Likewise, a person may be deprived of liberty by due process of law but still remain alive to someday regain liberty and even property. At the end of our lives all occupy plots of roughly the same dimensions (you can't take it with you, you know).

    Liberty is not a license to disregard the rights of others. A private landowner can indeed choose whom to allow access to his/her land. As we have seen though, there is no absolute right to own property and it can come and go. If it is in the public interest, government can even use eminent domain to force forfeiture of private property.

    A business, however,is allowed to remain open to serve the public interests only so long as it is compliant with legal requirements and/or restrictions. Businesses that violate the public trust can have their licenses to operate revoked. There is no constitutional guarantee to own an enterprise.

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    It seems to me that they are listed in the order of importance: life, liberty, and property.
    How do you address the issue I brought up in the first post, where your liberty would essentially allow you do many, many things on private property against the owner's wishes? For instance, if liberty (freedom of speech) is higher than property, then I would be able to walk into the local gun shop wearing a sign that says "guns kill" and they could not eject me from the premesis. Similarly, liberty (freedom of travel) would mean that I could go from point A to point B by walking in your house, through the living room, through the kitchen, then out through the back door. You would not be able to remove me or stop me, because your property rights would be lower than my right to move about freely.

    A private landowner can indeed choose whom to allow access to his/her land.
    You just said the opposite thing above.

    As we have seen though, there is no absolute right to own property and it can come and go. If it is in the public interest, government can even use eminent domain to force forfeiture of private property.
    There IS a right to own property. It's a natural right that is guaranteed by the Constitution. Taking someone else's property without their consent is theft. This is a very basic social idea that is set forth in our founding documents with the establishment of a court system to settle such matters.

    If the government takes your property via eminent domain they must compensate you. That compensation is also property. My money is property. My guns are property. My TV is property. It's not just the land I live on.

    A business, however, is allowed to remain open to serve the public interests only so long as it is compliant with legal requirements and/or restrictions. Businesses that violate the public trust can have their licenses to operate revoked.
    What should the legal requirements and restrictions on owning a business be? Why does someone need a business license? Assume that I have a product I'm willing to sell. Joe Sixpack has money and is willing to buy. If either of us tries to defraud the other, we have the court system there to resolve the dispute. What regulation is really necessary for us to complete this transaction?

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    I'll admit that I don't really think about these three rights much, mostly because the only right that even remotely exists in this country today is the right to life. Liberty? You get thrown in jail if you merely possess the wrong herb. Property? No one actually owns their property, and the government exploits this fact to rape landowners with taxes and to use eminent domain to steal individuals' property to create better tax sources. Even the right to life has been cheapened by the criminally ineffective criminal justice system and the government's active interest in eliminating citizens' individual right to self defense. It seems to me that life, liberty, and property are all but completely dead in America 2007, replaced instead by the right to entitlements, the right to security at all costs, and the right to Christianity.
    The issues you bring up are, in part, the reason I wanted to bring up this topic in the first place. People have gotten so used to how things are that nobody bothers thinking how they used to be, or how they should be. Why is it a crime to posess a plant? Why is it a crime to inject myself with a substance or snort a substance? Why do we have to pay taxes on cars and land every year? Why do we have to license our cars or license people to operate them?

    Fundamental, basic issues like these are just the tip of the iceberg, but I really want to know what people think about these issues and how we can rationally consider this country the "land of the free" when we're not even free to do things to our own bodies, or to peacefully associate with others.



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    To me private property is held by an individual (or group of individuals) for private use. Unless you receive explicit permission to enter private property, such as a residence, you can have no reasonable belief that it is okay for you to "walk into the house, sit down on the couch and watch TV." There are, however, things called easementswhich provide exceptions for access to private land. I repeat liberty is not a license to disregard the rights of others; neither can a property owner act without regards to the rights of others. Certain characteristics of private property can be considered attractive nuisances and people have been held liable for trespassers' injuries.

    A business is not exactly reserved for private use in thatthe business is a partnership with the government to provide a service to the public.You can generally expect to be allowed admission during normal business hours (which the business is at liberty to set) and the government may enforce certain standards for the convenience and safety of the public (such as requiring restaurants to have clean restrooms). One of the standards for the legal operation of a business is to require fictitious names to be registered with the State so that people who might have a dispute with the business can know whom to contact.

    I disagree with your assertion that property is a natural right and know of no one who was born with a deed between the toes or a pocket full of car keys.


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    There is no "order of importance", nor is there any need to "balance" rights.

    Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, and property, are all different versions of the same right. Your life is your property, your liberty is required in order to find happiness, your property is needed to secure your liberty, around it goes,it's all good.

    And don't listen to any snake oil about "balancing" freedom and security. Real security , such as is possible, requires liberty. Just ask the ghosts of various disarmed victims.

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    Why does someone need a business license?
    So the state knows from whom to collect sales tax.

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    I disagree with your assertion that property is a natural right and know of no one who was born with a deed between the toes or a pocket full of car keys.
    To clarify, his statement was in reference to OWNING property. Starting off, the world is our oyster -- we have the right to do anything. The Constitution, the Bill of Rights and federal and state laws then protect some of those rights and makes other things illegal. In the Fourth Amendment we're guarenteed the right to be secure in our houses...

    This country was founded on property rights. A primary reason that the framers ceded themselves from England is because they owned nothing -- the King held all property and only HE had god-given rights which he conferred to us at his whim and will. Some of the same issues that were fought in the English civil wars and is best articulated by William Pitt in 1763:

    The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the force of the crown. It may be frail - its roof may shake - the wind may blow through it - the storm may enter, the rain may enter - but the King of England cannot enter - all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement.

    I also hate quoting wiki; however: "English philosopher John Locke had argued that all men have inalienable natural rights and that the purpose of government was to protect property rights, ideas that became part of the American view of government. Madison, in the United States Bill of Rights, continued in the radical tradition of the American Revolution by further extending and codifying these rights."

    In my opinion, next to life, property rights come way before liberty, because as soon as you step on my property, your liberties cease to exist. I can order you to do anything I really want and, unless you comply, you must leave my property.

    If I fail to properly secure a well that I own and someone falls down that well, I'm liable because it was my property.

    That's the reasoning in my head. Some of it was derived by the seven hour 'US Constition for Patriots' lecture on Google video, and some of it from the law courses I've taken. Your mileage may vary.

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    Tomahawk wrote:
    There is no "order of importance", nor is there any need to "balance" rights.

    Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, and property, are all different versions of the same right. Your life is your property, your liberty is required in order to find happiness, your property is needed to secure your liberty, around it goes,it's all good.

    And don't listen to any snake oil about "balancing" freedom and security. Real security , such as is possible, requires liberty. Just ask the ghosts of various disarmed victims.
    1+

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    Tomahawk wrote:
    vote_no wrote:
    If all the grocery store owners in a region decide that they don't want to sell anything to immigrants, how do you propose immigrants get food?
    Sounds like a business opportunity for someone, an immigrant himself perhaps, who wants to sell groceries to some folks who can't get them locally.

    That's the thing about freedom, real freedom. You don't want to sell stuff to someone? Okay, I'll do it. And if we're really free, I don't have to stand in line and pay some nonsense license fee and wait weeks or months to start my business. I send the truck out tonight and start selling groceries to immigrants tomorrow.

    If you don't want to sell to them, that's your loss.

    Exactly. The only time discrimination really hurts anybody is when it is backed by violence. It is not right to force a store owner to serve anybody, regardless of his reasons to not serve them. Now, if that store owner terrorizes the immigrant-serving store's owner or patrons, then he's done something wrong. Otherwise, he's really only hurting himself; and I'm fine with that.

    Don't let political correctness blind your sense of logic. Logically, nobody has the right to force me into a contract (retail sales are contracts, in the literal sense). If I choose not to enter into contracts with people different than me, that's my loss. Let someone more worthy pick up the sales.
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    Exactly. The only time discrimination really hurts anybody is when it is backed by violence.
    To play devil's advocate, take this back 50 years or so when no one would serve African Americans and they weren't allowed to own stores. When you have a super-majority, couldn't an entire class of people can outed of a service?

    While your statement is pretty true to form in these times, I'd gamble to say that, in the times these laws started to come to form, it wasn't.

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    John Locke was an English philosopher and property rights are a European concept. (Didn't America fight a war to be free from those bonds?)American land was taken from the native inhabitants by force of arms. There is no natural right to use land ownership to oppress others. When land owners use their power to infringe upon individual rights, then individuals have the right to unite and rise up against tyranny.

    Governments are not natural either. They are a creation of man for man's benefit. When they cease to be perceived as a benefit then governments too can be replaced.

    No one is forcing anyone else to open a business, but when you do you must observe all laws pertaining to such business.If you don't want to provide any public service, then by all means keep your lands private- how you will earn the money to pay the taxes on your private property will be your problem.It is not likely that you will keep the property for long if you do not pay your taxes.

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    Wynder wrote:
    Exactly. The only time discrimination really hurts anybody is when it is backed by violence.
    To play devil's advocate, take this back 50 years or so when no one would serve African Americans and they weren't allowed to own stores. When you have a super-majority, couldn't an entire class of people can outed of a service?

    While your statement is pretty true to form in these times, I'd gamble to say that, in the times these laws started to come to form, it wasn't.
    Jim Crow laws were squarely in the category of "discrimination backed by violence". As you stated in yuor post, African-Americans weren't allowed to own stores (not sure if that's accurate, but let's assume it is). Who didn't allow them to own stores? The lawmakers, and those lawmakers were backed up by men with badges and guns. The threat of violence is explicit and clear.

    There is a difference between a storeowner who doesn't want to do business with you because of your skin and a government law that forces him not to do business because of your skin. The former is merely a racist a--hole who cannot legally use force against you, the latter is a threat to the liberty of all citizens that presumes a monopoly of the use of force.

  22. #22
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    ne1 wrote:
    John Locke was an English philosopher and property rights are a European concept. (Didn't America fight a war to be free from those bonds?)American land was taken from the native inhabitants by force of arms.
    No, we didn't fight a way to be free from philosophical concepts; however, if you're refering to European concepts, no, we did not fight a war to free ourselves from that, either. In fact, our law is still based on English common law -- several European concepts are still in our society today... We fought for the right to be able to own property, speak freely and practice whatever religion we chose. That's not possible under a monarchy.

    As for our land being seized from the natives... well, as sad as a point as that's become in our history, to the victor goes the spoils of war.

    Governments are not natural either. They are a creation of man for man's benefit. When they cease to be perceived as a benefit then governments too can be replaced.
    Amen. No argument there.

    No one is forcing anyone else to open a business, but when you do you must observe all laws pertaining to such business.
    No real argument there; however, once again trying to play Devil's Advocate, lets suppsoe that someones business is also their home -- maybe a home daycare or a storefront with a bedroom upstairs. With the smoking ban, does that, in effect, ban someone from smoking in their house completely?

    The framers gave us an unlimited ability to contract. Granted, it's been a while since I've looked what goes into actually setting up a business, but in obtaining a business liscence, I'm sure some of our rights, as property owners, are signed away in setting up our property as a place of business... I just wonder to what extent.

  23. #23
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    Tomahawk wrote:
    Jim Crow laws were squarely in the category of "discrimination backed by violence". As you stated in yuor post, African-Americans weren't allowed to own stores (not sure if that's accurate, but let's assume it is). Who didn't allow them to own stores? The lawmakers, and those lawmakers were backed up by men with badges and guns. The threat of violence is explicit and clear.
    Good idea, I'm not sure if it's 100% accurate; however, if we even roll it back 100 years, we can be fairly certain that it didn't happen.

    I can see a scenario where an African-American could fill out a form for a business license, take it to the county office, submit it with the fee and he'd simply have it denied. He could continue to submit an application and continue to be denied -- with no threat of force.

    I can see where that same person would try to buy property from a realtor or private party who would not sell it to him simply because he's black. No lawmakers or officers there.

    Keep in mind, that I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, just seeing if I can make points that will either prove or disprove that, at the time these laws were made, if they were legally/morally/socially/whateverly justified.

    The former is merely a racist a--hole who cannot legally use force against you, the latter is a threat to the liberty of all citizens that presumes a monopoly of the use of force.
    So, did the lawmakers make the laws so they, themselves, would make laws that are fair/take suffrage into account?

  24. #24
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    Wynder wrote:
    Tomahawk wrote:
    Jim Crow laws were squarely in the category of "discrimination backed by violence". As you stated in yuor post, African-Americans weren't allowed to own stores (not sure if that's accurate, but let's assume it is). Who didn't allow them to own stores? The lawmakers, and those lawmakers were backed up by men with badges and guns. The threat of violence is explicit and clear.
    ....I can see a scenario where an African-American could fill out a form for a business license, take it to the county office, submit it with the fee and he'd simply have it denied. He could continue to submit an application and continue to be denied -- with no threat of force....
    No, the threat of force is still there, very much so.

    The state has forced you to get a license to go about your business, on the state's terms. If the state denies you a license based on your skin color and you decide to resist it and exercise your right to conduct business anyway, you will be paid a visit by somestate employeeswith guns.

    The fact that a piece of paper has been inserted as a buffer bewteen your business and the state's force doesn't mean the force isn't there, it only masks it behind officialdom. In the end, the state demands you submit to the state's will or violence ensues.
    I can see where that same person would try to buy property from a realtor or private party who would not sell it to him simply because he's black. No lawmakers or officers there.
    Correct. In this case the realtor is a private party and you may defend yourself against any violence they bring to bear. The realtor is discriminating against you, maybe because you're black, or maybe some other reason. He doesn't have to explain himself, and you don't ahve to do business with him. Go find another realtor or buy the house directly.

    The main difference between the two examples is that in the business license example, you don't have a choice not to do business with the government. Any attempt to go around government licensing makes you an outlaw and subject to violence if you resist. With the realtor, you can choose not to deal with him. Choosing another realtor or method to buy a house doesn't make you an outlaw, and he canot bring violence to bear against you.

    And as before, the realtor is missing out on business some other realtor may be happy to take.


    EDIT: In some cases, the realtor mayhave connections in thegovernment that allow him to run a near-monopoly. If that is the case, theproblem isn't private discrimination, it's the use of government force.

    A good example is the guild of restaurant owners in Virginia. They wantconcealed handguns banned in their businesses. Any business-owner can do this without a law, of course, it's his right. But they don't like the bad publicity that comes with banning patrons, so they lobby the state government to maintain the restriction on CC in restaurants. This isn't a problem with private parties discriminating, it's a problem with state power being used to favor one group (restaurant owners) over another (CHP-holders).



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    Tomahawk wrote
    No, the threat of force is still there, very much so.

    The state has forced you to get a license to go about your business, on the state's terms. If the state denies you a license based on your skin color and you decide to resist it and exercise your right to conduct business anyway, you will be paid a visit by somestate employeeswith guns.
    Mind you, I'm trying to think of this in terms of a society that precipitated discrimination laws.

    So, with this situation, considering just the fact that someone applied for a license and was turned down based on the color of his skin and he didn't attempt to operate that business or, in any other way, retaliate. Just that act... I'd liken that to a sherrif not issuing a CHP in a will-issue state. What's to prevent a clerk from doing that again?


    And as before, the realtor is missing out on business some other realtor may be happy to take.
    See, here, I'm thinking south... deep south a bit after slaves were freed. All of the whites controlled everything and it was impossible for a newly freed slave to own anything there. There wasn't anyone else they could go to -- no one else would take their business. They couldn't patronize any other establishments.

    Just for the purpose of this discussion, I'm thinking of it in those terms because, someday in the future, some social stigma may be the new discriminated class... maybe, 200 years from now, they'll discover that slightly overweight people who wear eyeglasses are the primary cause of cancer and not smoking... in which case, I'd be in a lot of trouble.

    Granted, in todays PC society, your thoughts are valid... but in the time they were written, it was a completely different social environment.

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