Dale Franks, of QandO Blog, and his partner in crime, Bruce McQuain, have predictably banned me from posting comments on their site. Sure, I could easily get around it, but in fact I do respect their property rights — though they don’t deserve it; and after Franks’ locking up a peaceful innocent man for 10 years, then bragging about it, then both of them defending it…they both would deserve anything that came to them.
The man Franks stole 10 years from, in enforcing a public policy he disagrees with while being perfectly within his legal rights to delay process by hanging the jury, or doing his moral duty to stand up for his own stated principles as well as his policy disagreement by trying to sway the jury: Mr. Steven Rhett. Instead, he "followed his orders" and "just did his job," and put a peaceful man away who wasn’t hurting anybody. Ten years in federal penitentiary, a clear and direct violation of the man’s natural right to his own life and property.
Understand: It had to come to that. I was going to push it all the way, i.e., until they faced the music and at least engaged those so outraged by their criminality; until they copped to the crime like men (note: this is a moral crime, not a legal one: the state legalizes and "legitimizes" all sorts of moral crimes — slavery being the most famous — and relies on Good Germans like Dale Franks and Bruce McQuain to carry the water); or until they banned me from further comment.
Well, given the nature of the crime — and the braggadocio and belittling of the innocent man that ensued — it wasn’t difficult to predict what was going to come to pass. It’s all here at the original entry in the comments, and here as well, in another entry. My original posting on the matter (with comments as well) is right here. Sunday evening’s podcast, which opened on this topic, and wherein Bruce McQuain morally implicated and shamed himself to the maximum possible extent, is right here. Astute listeners will note that for one, this is a medium where they don’t have to face direct challenge. For another, it’s a lot of general hand waving and pretending that the outrage is merely a function of "usual suspects" and worthy of dismissal.
To those who might wonder: why the outrage? This stuff happens every day. Peaceful drug manufacturers, distributors, dealers and users get sent away every day. My answer is: where is the outrage? You expect the typical zombies who vote and sit on juries to do this sort of thing. You don’t expect so-called libertarians, with a so-called libertarian blog, with a tagline that reads "Free Markets, Free People," who write and publish reasonably sound essays on natural rights to be directly and causatively instrumental in advancing state injustice of the most illegitimate form, bragging about it, belittling the innocent, defending their actions, hiding from righteous outrage, then banning them for calling them to task. Disgraceful. Shameful.
Cowards, of the worst sort. I wish them all the worst and all the bad that can possibly visit them. In a rational world, Franks would suffer shame that would haunt him for the rest of his life. Unfortunately for Steven Rhett, this is irrevocable. He’ll serve out ten years of his one and only life for violating the arbitrary whim of the majority public lynch mob, enabled by Dale Franks; not for causing any actual harm to anyone. Millions of dollars worth of his property has been stolen, his life and the life of his family shredded.
As I see it, there’s really only one option for Dale Franks. He needs to take his own life. Honorable men that committed irrevocable injustice, bringing irredeemable shame upon themselves and their families used to do that sort of thing. I mourn its passing from modern culture. Failing that, he could do something significant and long term to educate people about how they ought to avoid the same fate as himself, with any funds raised in such an endeavor donated to his victim and family.
That’s how I see it. While this same suggested remedy could apply to anyone, it’s unreasonable to expect it of them because of simple ignorance. Calling one’s self a libertarian, publishing a blog, and so forth, implies responsibilities. They have failed miserably.
Update: Over the course of the day I’ve had time to consider my admonition that Dale Franks take his own life as the honorable thing to do. I think most people react on the raw unabashed radicalism, and not on the merit of the idea itself; but in any case, I’ve come to think it was too extreme a suggestion this early in the process. I think my error is a cart-before-horse kind of thing. For instance, if you opened the paper and found that a man had taken his life over causing irrevocable and real, substantial harm to someone, as Franks has caused Steven Rhett, then you would likely be totally at peace about it. Maybe you’d not have done the same thing, but most people "get it." Well, kook that I am, I simply think that if that’s the case, there’s no essential difference between that and suggesting that as a possible option for someone. The timeline doesn’t change anything. But I think I’m quite a minority in thinking of it that openly, and that much I get. Anyway, if I was writing this post right now, I would leave that part out.
Update 2: Banned Again.