There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly. - Henry David Thoreau
Three more examples of the suppression of individual freedom (by two governments and a huge corporation), plus a fourth item just for fun and a correction.
Creating Criminals (January 15th, 2011)
For reasons which include the fall of the Iron Curtain and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, Western nations in general (and the U.S. in particular) have begun to develop considerable anxiety about people who cross borders without jumping through all of the hoops so beloved by bureaucrats. As I previously discussed, the hysterias about “human trafficking” and “illegal aliens” are actually one and the same thing, so it’s no surprise that unconstitutionally-broad, civil-rights-trampling legislation on both subjects have become politically popular at the same time. But as the State of Georgia has recently discovered to its chagrin, when one turns large numbers of people into criminals with the stroke of a pen, there are often side effects one hadn’t considered:
After enacting…a law designed to drive illegal immigrants out of Georgia, state officials appear shocked to discover that [it] is, well, driving a lot of illegal immigrants out of Georgia…Thanks to the resulting labor shortage, Georgia farmers have been forced to leave millions of dollars’ worth of blueberries, onions, melons and other crops unharvested and rotting in the fields. It has also put state officials into something of a panic at the damage they’ve done to Georgia’s largest industry.
Barely a month ago…Gov. Nathan Deal welcomed the TV cameras into his office as he proudly signed…[the] law. Two weeks later, with farmers howling, a scrambling Deal ordered a hasty investigation into [its] impact…as if all this had come as quite a surprise to him…According to [a] survey of 230 Georgia farmers…[they will] need more than 11,000 workers…over the rest of the season…In response, Deal proposes that farmers try to hire the 2,000 unemployed criminal probationers estimated to live in southwest Georgia…
As an editorial in the Valdosta Daily Times notes, “Maybe this should have been prepared for, with farmers’ input. Maybe the state should have discussed the ramifications with those directly affected. Maybe the immigration issue is not as easy as ‘send them home,’ but is a far more complex one in that maybe Georgia needs them, relies on them, and cannot successfully support the state’s No. 1 economic engine without them.” According to the survey, more than 6,300 of the unclaimed jobs pay an hourly wage of…roughly $8 an hour…[and] few…include benefits…the truth is that even if all 2,000 probationers in the region agreed to work at those rates and stuck it out — a highly unlikely event, to put it mildly — it wouldn’t fix the problem.
…Deal’s pledge to find “viable and law-abiding solutions” to the problem that he helped create seems naively far-fetched. Again, if such solutions existed, they should have been put in place before the bill ever became law, because this impact was entirely predictable and in fact intended…Georgia farmers could try to solve the manpower shortage by offering higher wages…[but that] would drive up their operating costs and put them…at a severe price disadvantage against competitors in states without such tough immigration laws…People are going to lose their crops, and in some cases their farms. The small-town businesses that supply those farms with goods and services are going to suffer as well. For economically embattled rural Georgia, this could be a major blow…
An AP follow-up story describes the predictable results of the astonishingly stupid idea that 2000 lazy Americans can take the place of 11,000 industrious Latinos. The War on Whores has unplanned effects just as the War on Migrants does, but few of those effects are as sudden and dramatic as crippling a major sector of the economy practically overnight.
The Swedish Disease Spreads (February 16th, 2011)
Who needs government censorship when media companies will do it for you? In this June 24th column from the Times-Colonist, Jody Paterson describes how Google has encouraged anti-prostitution activists in Ireland while censoring those campaigning for human rights:
…Ten escorts launched “Turn Off the Blue Light” this year, responding to a major campaign in Ireland to outlaw the last legal vestiges of prostitution. The anti-prostitution campaign is called “Turn off the Red Light.” The escorts picked their name as an allusion to the blue lights on Ireland’s police cars, and the impact of criminalization…The Red Light campaign – a coalition of 39 religious groups, unions, non-profits, feminist organizations, political parties and so on – is pushing for Ireland to follow Sweden…Desperate to be heard on the subject, a few Dublin escorts and supporters struck up their own small rights campaign and bought a Google AdWord – those paid links that you’ve probably noticed at the top of some of your Google searches. The ad linked to the Blue Light website…[and] said: “Turn off the Blue Light: Sex workers in Ireland need human rights, not legal wrongs.” It ran for several weeks without issue. But in May, Google yanked the ad, having suddenly decided the content was an “egregious violation” of company ad policy…[against] selling adult sexual services…Blue Light isn’t selling sexual services. It’s campaigning for human rights…As if to add insult, the company then sold an AdWord to a religious organization leading a campaign against sex trafficking in Ireland…
I guess concern for human rights is more than we can expect from Google, which until it came under fire from rights groups last year was only too happy to whore itself to the Chinese government by censoring search results.
Creeping Rot (April 18th, 2011)
Ireland isn’t the only country under attack by anti-whore fanatics; as I reported in this column the Swedish Model is spreading like gangrene across Europe, and the European Commission has “recommended” it for all European countries and wasted public funds on an ad campaign which can only be described as “ridiculous”. On June 19th Laura Agustín wrote:
…By what twisted logic did the European Women’s Lobby decide that a film of a man pretending to lick a series of pussies would work to discourage other men from paying to lick pussies or have their own parts licked, or both? The incoherency of this End Demand product is mind-boggling. The EWL, as noted not long ago in a post about European anti-prostitution trends, has been running a Together for a Europe Free From Prostitution campaign, despite the fact that some members of the EU legally permit and regulate some branches of the sex industry…In the one-minute video, the man (meant to be a sex worker though he looks anything but) doing the licking acts out feeling sickened by it. He brushes his teeth a lot. In contrast, the women throwing themselves back on his bed look quite pleased. Just how is this meant to discourage men from paying for sex?…the psychology of this campaign certainly shows how anti-sex the campaigners are.
Take a look at the video and then ask yourself what kind of mind would actually believe it would discourage men from hiring hookers.
Another Super Bowl Invasion (May 18th, 2011)
…Crows have been attacking police in the parking lot of a [suburban Seattle] police… station. They’ve been swooping down and dive-bombing the officers as they walk to and from their cars. Lt. Bob Johns said he recently was flanked by the aggressive birds and “got zinged.” “They’re like velociraptors,” Johns said. One officer used his siren to try to scare away the crows, but it didn’t work. The birds responded by decorating his car with droppings, The Daily Herald reported. State Fish and Wildlife Department biologist Ruth Milner said the birds are simply protecting baby crows that have been kicked out of the nest and are learning to fly. Adult crows are quite protective of their young — a common trait among larger birds and birds of prey. “All they’re doing is defending their nest,” Milner said. She noted crows also can recognize people’s individual features. And they hold grudges. “If your cops have done something that (the crows) perceive as a threat, they could be keying in on them because they’re all wearing the same kind of uniform,” Milner said…
“Velociraptors” indeed. Obviously cops feel compelled to exaggerate the threat of 500-gram birds just as they do everything else.
In Their Own Words (June 10th, 2011)
Regular reader Friend called my attention to the fact that the Catharine MacKinnon quote “All sex, even consensual sex between a married couple, is an act of violence perpetrated against a woman,” is a misattribution from the October 1986 issue of Playboy. We do not need to lie about our enemies, so I replaced the incorrect quote with two properly-attested quotes. My sincere apology to Professor MacKinnon for the error.