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Laurence M. Vance

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A Senseless Sacrifice

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Staff Sgt. Travis Atkins last month posthumously became the fifth US service member to receive the Medal of Honor (the nation’s highest award for combat valor) for his actions during the Iraq War—in 2007.

According to an article in the Washington Post (“Soldier’s posthumous Medal of Honor highlights the Pentagon’s struggles to fully recognize valor in combat”), Atkins and his fellow soldiers rolled up in their Humvee on “two suspicious men in Iraq’s ‘Triangle of Death.’” Atkins “stepped out of the Humvee and walked toward the first stranger” while “an Army medic stepped out of the back seat, moving toward the second.” Atkins unexpectedly “began grappling with the first Iraqi,” “gabbed him in a bear hug,” “slammed him to the ground,” and “pinned him down.”

Then the detonation happened.

Atkins’s son, who was eleven when his father died, “accepted the award on behalf of his late father from President Trump, who highlighted how Atkins, then 31, died June 1, 2007, saving the lives of the three other soldiers by choosing to smother a suicide vest with his own body.” “In his final moments on earth, Travis did not run. He didn’t know what it was to run,” Trump said. “He laid down his life to save the lives of his fellow warriors.”
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Why Not Execute Alcohol and Tobacco Dealers?

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Although about thirty countries have the death penalty for drug trafficking, only in China, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Vietnam are drug offenders routinely executed. Yet, the worst place to be caught drug trafficking is in the Philippines, where thousands have died in extra-judicial killings.

In the United States, not only can some drug offenses result in life in prison, “the sentence of death can be carried out on a defendant who has been found guilty of manufacturing, importing or distributing a controlled substance if the act was committed as part of a continuing criminal enterprise.”

President Trump has said some outrageous things. He has said some dumb things. And he has said some outrageously dumb things. But talking about the death penalty for drug dealers is one of the most outrageously dumb things he has ever said.
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Are Republicans Libertarians?

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Our two-party system makes it almost impossible for libertarians to get elected to office, especially on the national level. In order for libertarians to get elected to Congress, their best bet is to run as a Republican. Ron Paul is a perfect example of this. But libertarians should have no illusions about the Republican Party. And they shouldn’t make the Republican Party out to be something it is not.

former member of the Libertarian Party who is now running for office as a Republican recently said about the Republican Party:
At its core, the Republican Party is supposed to be a liberty party—that’s why it was the party of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. For a Republican, so long as you are not violating the lives and liberties of other human beings—and that includes the lives of human beings in the womb—the government should give you the freedom to do as you see fit. The party strives to put the trust and the power back in the hands of the people instead of handing it over to unelected bureaucrats.
This almost makes Republicans sound like libertarians. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Let’s first look at some principles of libertarianism followed by an analysis of the above statement.
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