Phillip Hofmeister

Phillip Hofmeister is a libertarian advocate and philosopher. Phillip has a history in gun rights activism in Michigan as a former president of Michigan Open Carry, Inc.

The Handmaid’s Tale – A lesson in the dangers of socialism

I’ve watched a few episodes of the Handmaid’s Tale.  Admittedly, you get the gist of the series after the fist few episodes.  The real short version:

From Wiki: The plot follows a dystopian future following a Second American Civil War wherein women, called “Handmaids”, are forced into sexual and child-bearing servitude.

Me: Many women (and men) are left infertile reportedly due to environmental factors.  The women that are fertile are forced to bear children for couples (seemingly always wealthy or at least government connected) whose wives are presumed to be infertile.

This line of thinking seems to fit with the Socialist/Communist Karl Marx mantra: from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

These women (handmaids) clearly have the ability to bear children.  The infertile couples clearly have difficulty conceiving children and have a perceived need to raise children.  I would like to think that most people can agree that forcing these women into sexual and reproductive servitude is wrong.  Yet, doesn’t this scenario fit exactly into the classical Maxist statement quoted above?

How is it morally incorrect to force fertile women into reproductive servitude to meet the reproductive “needs” of other people yet morally correct (or acceptable) to force other working people into servitude to meet needs of others.

An oft quoted line in the series is from Genesis 30:1:

When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!”

Needs, in the eyes of many, can be subjective.  Our present society proposes several “needs” that are subsidized for the poor, which aren’t requirements for maintaining life.  The fictional society in this story line certainly seems to frame raising children as a need.

Who decides which “needs” of whom deserve forced enlisting of the services of others in order to fulfill?  Who decides which services are acceptable to seize?  Once you put the infrastructure in place to enlist/enslave people to meet the needs of other people, it could get used in ways you never intended or even foresaw — ways that would horrify you.

You Betcha! (4)Nuh Uh.(1)

Satire – Call To Action: Stop child predators! Pass Common Sense Cell Phone reform today!

I must credit some of this to my co-worker Mike.  He and I discussed this “solution”.  We had some laughs discussing a gun-control like approach to solving abuse of technology to pick up on young people.

I’ve seen articles about Brooke Lajiness and her predilections for young males pop up in my news feed recently.  It got me thinking, society cannot let this happen!  We must take action to stop future cougars from using these tools to prey on the young and vulnerable.  It’s time for common sense reform, and I have some ideas of how!

Step 1 – Government Licensing of Smart Phone dealers

First thing we need is the Federal Government to step in and start licensing business that sell smart phones on a retail level.  Additionally, the Federal Government should license manufacturers and importers of smart phones.  Manufacturers, importers, and retailers should be required to keep a registry of all smart phones they manufacture, import, or sell and keep  serialized records for 20 years.  Federally licensed retailers should be required to run background checks of potential smart phone buyers.  This will keep smart phones out of the hands of known predators — people that have a past of: child pornography, furnishing pornography to minors, sexual conduct with a child, and other such sex offenses.

Step 2 – Universal Background Checks for Phone Purchases

I think we can all agree ensuring there is a background check every time ownership of a smart phone changes hands is the next most common sense step we as a society can take to protect our children!  This will make sure people reselling their smart phones to others will have to first make sure the person passes the same federal background check we require retailers to run.  It’ll close the street sale loophole left by the previous proposal.  If we only implement Step 1, the criminals will be able to procure smart phones by going on to Craigslist.

Step 3 – Age Restrictions on Smart Phone ownership

People under the age of 18 should not be able to buy (or perhaps even possess) smart phones!  If we keep these devices out of the hands of the young and vulnerable then we will be making steps towards a society that is safer for our children.

Step 4 – Limit availability of certain dangerous features

Certain things are just plain dangerous to have in proximity of cell phones, I’ve included a few examples below.

4.1 Selfie Sticks

Selfie sticks are a common tool of those who provide indecent material to minors and solicit them for sex!  By making sure these devices are not available, we limit the ability of these predators to operate.  It should be a federal felony for anyone to possess (without a license) a selfie stick while also possessing a smart phone that fits on said stick.  The licensing process to possess these sticks needs to be very thorough, including fingerprinting, submissions of photos of yourself, and getting sign-off from local law-enforcement.

4.2 Phones that shoot pictures in rapid succession or record videos

This technology is simply dangerous!  It can be used to lure young people into horrific activities such as described in the new story cited in the top of the article.  Similar steps in 4.1 should be followed for controlling this technology.

4.3 Military Style Smart Phone features

These are features dangerous when combined with other features.  Phones with 2 or more of these features make them especially useful for abuse.

  • Otter Boxes and other military-style similar phone cases
  • Phones that are Black in color
  • Storage Capacity in Excess of 4 GB
  • The ability to install third party apps
  • Phones smaller than 8″ in diagonal measurement
  • Phones that can install applications that haven’t been approved by the phone manufacturer

 

I hope we can all agree to these common sense reform measures.  We must preserve the innocence of our children!

You Betcha! (11)Nuh Uh.(0)

Trump a disappointment on Civil Asset Forfeiture so far

I live in Tim Walberg’s district.  In fact, his residence of record is about 10 miles from my house.  Those of you that live in a Rural setting may appreciate that this is “right around the corner”.  I’ve not been a huge fan of Tim Walberg because of his repeated support for the PATRIOT ACT.  I once confronted him over his support for this act at a tea party meeting and he and I got into it a bit.  Anyhow…I smiled this morning while doing some quick research for this piece to discover Walberg sponsored legislation (albeit in 2015) to reform Civil Asset Forfeiture.  Good job, Tim!

I hope Tim continues his Civil Asset Forfeiture reform efforts in the new congressional session.

The new leader of the United States Government, on the other hand, disappoints on this front.  Many of you may have seen this video, I made this post for the benefit of those who have not.

A Texas lawmaker has the audacity to introduce legislation that requires the State Government there convict a fellow of a crime before they gank his stuff! GASP!  What’s Trump’s solution? Ruin the lawmaker’s career!

I think we need to call out bad actors on Civil Asset Forfeiture (and other violations of civil liberties and due process), whether they are Republicans, Democrats, or a beloved (by many, not I) newly elected President.  I recognize he’s not the only bad guy in this regard.  Civil Asset Forfeiture was popular during alcohol prohibition — the better part of 100 years ago.  Let’s hope Mr. Trump sees the error of his ways in the future.

One thing is for sure: he must NOT be given a pass simply because he’s a Republican (at least he says he is now — he was a Democrat between 2001 and 2009).

 

You Betcha! (6)Nuh Uh.(1)

Harbor Beach Mayor fulfills legal requirements, tells public he’s a “nice guy” for doing so

Pious Harbor Beach Mayor Booms obeys Open Meeting Act and then tells the public how we should be thankful he's a nice guy for doing so.

Recently the Mayor of Harbor Beach told a member of the public during a public meeting:

When I allow people to speak during city council meetings, I do it because I’m a nice guy.

Harbor Beach Mayor Gary Booms

Harbor Beach Mayor Gary Booms

WRONG, Mr. Mayor don’t-know-the-law.  It’s a legal requirement.  In that spirit, I have decided to publish an email I recently sent “Gary” — so more light may be put upon his false self-virtue.  Below is that email:

Hi Gary,

I hope you don’t mind me calling you Gary. I don’t mind me calling you Gary, so we should be good.

I read a recent comment you made during a public meeting as Mayor.

One part of this caught my attention, aside from the fact you have no regards for an employee’s natural right to self-defense. It was:
Booms added, interrupting Armitage’s attempt at a question. “When I allow people to speak during city council meetings, I do it because I’m a nice guy.”
Let’s not make this about you and how nice and virtuous you are. Based on what I’ve read about your respect for Casey’s rights, I’ll go ahead and assume you’re not really that virtuous. Anyhow…
You don’t let people speak in public comment because you’re a nice guy. You let people speak because the Michigan Open Meetings Act requires that you let them speak.
(5) A person shall be permitted to address a meeting of a public body under rules established and recorded by the public body. The legislature or a house of the legislature may provide by rule that the right to address may be limited to prescribed times at hearings and committee meetings only.
A professional tip: if you’re going to extol your virtues, it shouldn’t be over something the law requires you to do. That just seems tacky and insults the intelligence of anyone who is informed.
Kindly,
Phillip Hofmeister
My hope is to reach nearly every voter in Harbor Beach, to let them know what a self-righteous and pompous guy their Mayor is.
You Betcha! (36)Nuh Uh.(4)

Response to HuffPost “The Real Reason White People Say ‘All Lives Matter”

This write-up is in response to A post on the Huff Post called “The Real Reason White People Say ‘All Lives Matter’”.  There are so many things wrong with it, the only way I could address them all is point-by-point.

Let me start out by saying this article makes a lot (and I do mean a lot) of collectivist statements.  That makes sense that a person that would promote a statement such as “Black Lives Matter” would be a collectivist.  In fact, if I had to summarize what’s wrong with this article (and the Black/Blue Lives Matter movements) succinctly, that would be the word I’d use: collectivism.  The article starts:

Dear fellow white people, let’s have an honest talk about why we say “All Lives Matter.” First of all, notice that no one was saying “All Lives Matter” before people started saying “Black Lives Matter.” So “All Lives Matter” is a response to “Black Lives Matter.” Apparently, something about the statement “Black Lives Matter” makes us uncomfortable. Why is that?

Now some white people might say that singling out Black people’s lives as mattering somehow means that white lives don’t matter. Of course, that’s silly. If you went to a Breast Cancer Awareness event, you wouldn’t think that they were saying that other types of cancer don’t matter. And you’d be shocked if someone showed up with a sign saying “Colon Cancer Matters” or chanting “All Cancer Patients Matter.” So clearly, something else is prompting people to say “All Lives Matter” in response to “Black Lives Matter.”

Many of the people saying “All Lives Matter” also are fond of saying “Blue Lives Matter.” If you find that the statement “Black Lives Matter” bothers you, but not “Blue Lives Matter,” then the operative word is “Black”. That should tell us something. There’s something deeply discomfiting about the word “Black.” I think it’s because it reminds us of our whiteness and challenges our notion that race doesn’t matter.

(Continued below)

You Betcha! (7)Nuh Uh.(0)

My thoughts about restrooms…

There are more pressing issues than who uses what bathroom. Let t he free market sort it out.

I get the feeling that many people are worked up about this restroom issue…*sighs*.  It’s become a huge issue for many people.  It really is a war that the Government started and doesn’t belong in.

North Carolina awoke a sleeping bear that has been around for decades.  I hear many transgendered individuals have been using the public restroom of their sexual identity for decades now…mostly without concern or controversy.  Why is there suddenly attention to this issue?  Ask North Carolina.

My take?  This isn’t an issue that concerns government.  It concerns private property owners and their rights — and the rights of consumers to freely associate/shop where they wish, for any reason they wish.

So, Target allows people to use the restroom of the gender they identify with.  If you aren’t comfortable shopping at Target because of that, that’s fine.  Go shop elsewhere.  You can even tell Target why you will no longer shop there, if you wish.  Want to start a boycott of places like Target?  I support your right to do that as well (note: supporting one’s right to do something is different than supporting them doing it — there is a distinction).

What if you want to boycott businesses that have segregated restroom policies?  I support your right to do that as well.

What I cannot condone or abide is you using the guns of government to force your will onto other private people and businesses.  Any time you pass a law, you are sending out a man with a gun who is willing to steal and/or kill (if necessary) to enforce it.

What about public schools and other publicly owned institutions?  I submit to you the problem isn’t the restrooms, but the public ownership f these institutions.  Bring an end to the practice of publicly owned institutions (schools, libraries, parks, etc.) and you will solve this problem of restrooms on publicly owned property.  If there is a need for these services, the free market will provide for it (either through customer/provider relationships or donations/charity/patron relationships).

Logically, most restrooms have stalls as well as urinals (men’s rooms).  When you’re in an opaque stall, what does it matter to you what’s between the legs of the person in the private next to you?  Can they see you while you’re doing you business?  No, not unless they are peaking under the stall..in which case the store management might want to remove that person (regardless of gender identity).

Some people say, “I don’t want to share a bathroom with some sexual pervert.”  Just because a person has a different gender identity than the one they were born with, does that make them a pervert?  If it does make the person a pervert, would you rather this person go to the restroom of the gender they were born with and be around your sons, daughters or other loved ones?

Food for thought, I just wish people would focus time having debates that matter more like: the debt of the US Government, the Quantitative Easing policies (read: printing funny money) of the US Federal Reserve, endless world policing and war mongering…or any of a number of other issues that will drive our country to certain financial ruins.

You Betcha! (9)Nuh Uh.(1)

Oppose Aggression, Oppose HB 5574

Open Carry Activists speak out against proposed legislative violation of property rights that would favor gun carriers.

About NAP

About the Non Aggression Principle (NAP)

I’d like to thank Jason Gillman Jr. of RightMI who co-authored this piece with me.  He and I are of one mind on this topic as we share the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) as a core value of our lives.

About the authors…

So, I’m a huge gun guy.  As a former President of Michigan Open Carry, Inc. (MOC) and the person who has held that office for the longest period of time, my creds on guns speak for themselves.  But what brought me to advance gun freedom in the first place?  My passion for human freedom and liberty.  I must respect this drive foremost.  That is why I am opposed to HB 5574.  I believe that in order to have our (gun owner’s) rights respected, we must also respect the rights of others, even if we don’t agree with how they are being exercised.

Likewise, Jason’s credentials on guns are beyond reproach as well.  Aside from Tom Lambert and myself, I’d be hard pressed to put my finger on someone who has done more in the last 5 years to advance open carry in Michigan other than Jason.  Jason is presently (and has been for about 2 years): A member of MOC’s Board of Directors, Assistant Legislative Director of MOC, Deputy Treasury of MOC, and MOC’s IT Director.  The man has sacrificed and continues to sacrifice a lot of time and energy for the cause.

About the topic…

HB 5574 of 2016 is a legislative proposal that is supported by many gun owners.  HB 5574 would prohibit employers (private sector and public sector) from banning employees from keeping firearms locked in the employee’s vehicle in the employer’s parking lot.  Employers who fire employees for keeping a gun in the employee’s car parked on the employer’s parking lot would be forced to rehire the fired employees.

Our rights end where someone else’s begin…

It’s an old cliche, but it hold true here.  Your right to move your arm freely stops where my nose starts.

You Betcha! (29)Nuh Uh.(18)

Huron Valley School leaders think feelings trump State law on guns

Government officials breaking the law without care or regard

Article originally posted on Michigan Open Carry, Inc.

The Free Press today had an article about Huron Valley schools and open carry.  In the article, Huron Valley Superintendent Baker is quoted as saying:

“I am grateful he went to the building administrator and told that principal what he planned on doing in advance,” Baker said. “I’ve had multiple conversations with (the parent), he’s talked with the building administrators, and he’s been very forthright, in some regards very progressive, and I appreciate that. He didn’t just show up unannounced. But that doesn’t change the way I feel about the law.

I for one am tired of Government types making up rules that they expect us to live by, but when the rules become an inconvenience for them or their jobs, then they feel the rules can be ignored.  For people who have been paying attention for these past 200 years, this shouldn’t be something that is a surprise.

The US Constitution is supposed to be the highest law of the land.  It was designed not to restrict what people can do, but rather restrict what the people that call themselves the Government can do.  Indeed, the Constitution creates only two prohibition against individuals:

  • Don’t commit Treason
  • Slavery

The word “Constitution” has the word “constitute” as a base word.  The document was intended to be an outline of what constitutes the US Federal Government and its powers.  But as we all know, our governments (Federal, State, Local) haven’t been good at heeding their own laws — even the Constitution.

Circa 1870 Lysander Spooner wrote this of the US Constitution in his essay No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority:

But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.

It should be of no surprise the people in the Government are breaking and ignoring the rules (rules that people in the Government made).  They’ve been doing it a very long time.  Like the US Constitution, Michigan’s Firearm Preemption Law has no “teeth”, no consequences for those who break it.  That is why it is so important that HB 5500 becomes law.

Sadly, it seems House Judiciary Chair, Kevin Cotter (R) has no intentions to let the bil out of committee before the end of the legislative session this December.  Given the law stalled at its first step on a long path, it’s doubtful it’ll become law this session and with this Governor.

There is an answer to the tyranny of schools like Huron Valley though.  If the State legislature won’t address the problem, Michigan Open Carry, Inc. will seek redress in court.  We are seeking to prosecute a K12 school very shortly for their violation of State firearm preemption law.  Won’t you consider helping us today with your most generous donation?

You Betcha! (8)Nuh Uh.(0)

Is the drug trade truly violent?

Before I get started, let me say this: A LOT OF DRUGS OUT THERE (including legally prescribed pharmaceuticals) ARE A BAD, BAD, BAD IDEA AND YOU SHOULDN’T USE THEM, TRY THEM, OR OTHERWISE GET INVOLVED WITH THEM. (See: Heroin, Cocaine, Crack).  Many drugs are bad, mmmmmkay, kids?

That aside, I’ll go on…

Yesterday I had lunch with one of my colleagues.  He’s a younger, very logical, well reasoned guy.  His father is a State Trooper.  That is to say, he’s probably grown up with the idea that the state (that is, a general term for Government) and maybe even the drug war are good things.  Along the way, we got talking about crimes and how I believe the only true crimes are crimes that involve a victim (crimes against person or property).  This lead into a talk about the drug trade.

One argument he brought up in support of Federal and State prohibition policies was: well, the drug trade is inherently violent and that’s why we need to keep prohibition.  Then I asked him: Why is the drug trade violent?

Let me ask you, the reader, the same question: Why is the drug trade violent?

You Betcha! (9)Nuh Uh.(9)

Candidate Rick Snyder (2010) vs. Gov. Rick Snyder (2012) On Guns

Originally posted on MIOpenCarry.org (Reposted with permission)

According to OnTheIssues.org, in 2010 then gubernatorial candidate Rick Snyder’s campaign website contained the following in regards to whether or not he would support the 2nd Amendment and the rights of gun owners:

“In one word: absolutely. I actually own three guns myself. I have a 12 gauge shotgun and two .22 rifles that I use for target shooting. I believe the 2nd amendment also protects the right of citizens to have a gun in their home to protect their family and property. I also support the rights of gun owners to responsibly carry their gun, as long as they have attained the legal permit. While I’m not an avid hunter, I support the industry and believe it plays an important role in our economy and quality of life. It also can have a valuable environmental conservation impact and I would work to streamline the processes so that hunters get better customer service from the state and local governments. We have a long tradition in our state of supporting gun rights and the hunting industry in Michigan and I would continue to support that tradition as Governor.”

Now there are two big problems with the highlighted portion. The first problem is that rights and permits are mutually exclusive. A right, by definition, is something that belongs fundamentally to everyone, as opposed to a permit which gives you the ability to do something you could otherwise do. The second problem is that when Gov. Snyder was given the opportunity to backup his words he folded.

You Betcha! (13)Nuh Uh.(0)