Archive for the 'Law' Category

Assisted Suicide Now Legal in California

by Jason Stotts

The governor of California, Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown, has recently made the right choice to sign into law a bill that makes it legal for physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs for people who are terminally ill and still mentally competent to make the choice to die (LA Times). This is a great step forward for advocates of individual liberty, because there are few crueler fates than being forced to stay alive to suffer before death merely to appease someone else’s religious preferences.

This bill was made possible by Brittany Maynard, who advocated for physician assisted suicide and made headlines as she made this choice herself. Her death was a catalyst for the debate and her struggle really made it possible.

I’m very pleased in this positive movement for individual liberty and autonomy.

On the other hand, the governor also vetoed a bill that would have allowed patients to try experimental medications that have not received governmental approval yet in a bid to try to prevent their death. This is a tragedy and shows a deep lack of principle of Brown’s part. What difference does it make to the man who is dying of a terminal disease if a drug that may save his life may also kill him? The man will die anyway, he should be given the chance to fight for his life if he wishes to. Moreover, these brave people would also help to move forward medical science and help others who may be in the same position later.

So, while there was a significant win for individual liberty, there was also a setback. Overall, if we keep pushing these issues on the underlying principles, we shall keep seeing victories (like my friend Alex Epstein shows).

Boy Scouts of America Now Allowing Gay Volunteers

by Jason Stotts

Apparently the Boy Scouts of America is now allowing gay men to volunteer to be leaders.

The Boy Scouts of America on Monday announced an executive committee has unanimously approved a resolution that would allow openly gay adults to hold leadership positions within the organization.

The Boy Scouts of America Executive Committee on July 10 adopted a resolution that would allow openly gay adults to hold paid and volunteer positions. These include scoutmasters and unit leaders.

“No adult applicant for registration as an employee or non-unit-serving volunteer, who otherwise meets the requirements of the Boy Scouts of America, may be denied registration on the basis of sexual orientation,” reads the resolution. (Link)

This is definitely a big move forward for them.

I think I know someone else who is excited about this:

Big Gay Al

Marriage Equality

by Jason Stotts

Congratulations to all my friends, and people all over the country, who can now have their love recognized by the state and their rights protected under the law.



Operation Choke Point and the Erosion of Freedom

by Jason Stotts

Today is the Fourth of July or American Independence Day. It’s a day when we celebrate the freedoms we have by enjoying spending time with our families, having barbecues, going to parades, and watching fireworks.  It’s a day when we should be contemplating what freedom is and what it took to achieve it.

This has made me think about Operation Choke Point (OCP) and the erosion of freedom that began under Bush and escalated under Obama.  In OCP, the Obama Administration and the DOJ are going after “undesirable” entities and trying to get rid of them by cutting of their access to banks and financial services.  The two most targeted areas, or at least the two areas who are vocally standing up for themselves, are porn and firearms.  I’ve already written about this in terms of porn (The Obama DOJ and the War on Porn), but what I want to point out today is something different.

In both the porn camp and the firearms camp are people who are vocally rejecting this draconian and clearly immoral use of the government to try to stomp out things with which they do not agree.  Each camp stresses that they should have the right to do the things they’re doing because they’re not harming anyone.  Each camp is, to this extent, right.  The problem is that these two camps don’t like each other and each would be happy to see the other fall to the Obama DOJ.  Of course, not everyone in each camp thinks like this, there will always be exceptions, but it holds true for the general view of each side. But each side would like to see the other fall and so refuses to come to their aid.

The problem is that if we don’t defend freedom in principle, then we can’t provide a real defense of it at all. If I think the government should stop you from what you’re doing because it offends me, then what possible objection could I offer if my own actions offended someone else?  We need to stand together to fight against this tyrannical destruction of our rights to live the kinds of lives we want to lead.  As long as we violate no one else’s rights, there should be no restrictions on our actions.

We must either stand for freedom on principle, or fall individually one by one, and this is especially true of things that we don’t like and don’t agree with.

You either stand for freedom on principle or you don’t.


But Who Gets to Keep the Nudes?

by Jason Stotts

In a very interesting decision, a German court ruled that you can’t keep nude pictures of your former lovers, if they ask you to delete them.  Under this ruling a person can retroactively withdrawal consent from any nude photo.  Now, it’ll be interesting to see if the people in question needed to have had an intimate relationship or if any model can withdrawal consent later.  If it’s the latter and a paid model could withdraw consent later, that could have some serious problems.  Would works of art need to be destroyed?  Is it only photographs?  What if it’s digital and it’s already out in the world?

What do you think?  Is the court right in allowing retroactive withdrawal of consent?

(via: Engadget)