25 Apr 2013

Boston Suspect: Trials Part of a Free Society

Big Brother, Shameless Self-Promotion 33 Comments

33 Responses to “Boston Suspect: Trials Part of a Free Society”

  1. joeftansey says:

    Are you speaking slowly on purpose? It seems like you don’t have a lot of energy in this video. Like you’re tired and don’t really care…

    • Bob Murphy says:

      I wanted to make sure you understood it, Joe.

      • Major_Freedom says:

        IMO, I liked the pacing. I wish every educator always spoke like that.

  2. Keshav Srinivasan says:

    Bob, aren’t you an anarchist? So don’t you believe that government force, whether just blowing up the boat or by going through the niceties of a trial, is equally illegitimate?

    • David K. says:

      Anarchism doesn’t entail the crazy view that all government force is equally illegitimate. The Swiss government is less bad than the North Korean one.

      • Ken B says:

        Hmm. I think they would argue that all the uses of force are equally illegitimate. That’s not the same as saying all uses are equally odious, equally immoral, equally destructive. As an example, we have many here who think property rights should be inviolable; they would argue that taking their property to feed the poor and to pamper the rich are equally illegimete but they wouldn’t claim these were equally bad.

    • Tel says:

      I think the point is that the citizens as individuals submit to government as part of an agreement. With all agreements there are two sides, and if either side decides they can’t bother upholding their part of the deal, then the whole agreement becomes voided.

      Before you say, “social contract”, yes there do exist unwritten agreements that are generally well understood in society… but this is not one of those. This is a carefully and explicitly written agreement, starting with the Constitution and working from there. Many, many details of law and due process have been documented over the years and this information has been inspected and considered by both officialdom and citizens alike. That, and only that, is what makes certain actions legitimate… because there is an agreement in place.

  3. Yosef says:

    It’s ok Bob, they don’t need a trial. God told these two brothers “Go and attack [Boston] and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” So it’s fine, as God commanded.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Next week I’ll put up a video of cute puppies because I’m dying to see how the usual suspects will find ways of criticizing me.

      • Yosef says:

        You know who else liked cute puppies? Hitler!

      • The Existential Christian says:

        The world doesn’t need any more puppies! Spay or neuter your pets!

        • guest says:

          The poor need the strays for food. Please don’t spay or neuter your pets?

    • guest says:

      It WOULD be fine, IF God actually commanded it. But you still have to prove he did so.

      What now?

      In the Biblical paradigm, everyone already knew that God was responsible for the Israelites’ success.

      • Yosef says:

        Guest, prove to me that everyone the Israelite’s killed knew that God was responsible.

        I can find quite a few people in a certain area of the world who would agree that God commanded these brothers in Boston. Would you accept that as proof?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’ll just leave this here:


  5. Collin says:

    I appreciate your message of peace and tolerance.

  6. Ken B says:

    Well I agree completely Bob.

    Interestingly enough I have made the same point often here, and been attacked for it on this blog. Here is an example

    and here another http://consultingbyrpm.com/blog/2013/02/ed-show-takes-the-joke-too-far.html#comment-58454

    Here’s one of the milder criticisms http://consultingbyrpm.com/blog/2013/02/ed-show-takes-the-joke-too-far.html#comment-58357

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Yes you’re right Ken B., in this video I’m saying we all need to support ObamaCare to be sure we are free. Same thing.

      • Ken B says:

        No Bob, as you know I don’t support Obamacare. I do support the rule of law, even to the point of giving the devil or the bomber its full protection. Support for rule of law means allowing it to operate even you don’t always like the results. There are many who don’t like the result of the Boston bomber being fed and housed and tried at tax-payers expense for instance. But they can’t have a functioning rule of law without such things. I thought that was part of the point of the video.

        • Christopher says:

          Ken B, I am not saying I disagree with you, but in legal theory there is a difference between
          (a) a state not respecting fundamental rights of its citizens and
          (b) citizens not respecting the authority of the state.

          It is not inconsistent of Bob to say that we need (a) but not (b). The principle of the rule of law as it is usually understood only concerns point (a).

          • Ken B says:

            I’m not sure that’s quite right Christopher. Lynch mobs are an example of people not respecting the authority of the state. Often too is jury nullification, but that’s a different kettle of fish. (I would argue that juries nullified with Brron de la Beckwith.) So I agree there’s a distinction, and it gets involved with civil disobedience etc, but I think you need to define it a bit more carefully.

            I think that if this guy is tried and acquitted on a technicality that the rest of us have to respect that judgment; that is part of respecting the state’s right to make the decision and the process used.

            • Christopher says:

              Lynch mobs are a question of citizens respecting rights of other citizens not the authority of the state. So we have three different issues:

              (a) state respecting citizens right
              (b) citizen respecting gov authority
              (c) citizen respecting other citizen

              They are all interwoven, I agree, but they are still separate questions that partly work on different principles.

              • Ken B says:

                Its both. It’s a matter of who can punish whom and by what process. Nullification is clearly a rejection of the state. It’s also a double edged sword, rather dangerous on balance.

        • valueprax says:

          ” There are many who don’t like the result of the Boston bomber being fed and housed and tried at tax-payers expense for instance. But they can’t have a functioning rule of law without such things.”

          Way to argue by assertion, Ken B!

          Keep on keepin’ on with your assuming what you’re trying to prove. Good work brother.

          • Ken B says:

            Huh? The whole premise of Bob’s video is that there are people who don’t want a trial for this guy. Bob mentions hearing such comments. I have heard such commewnts. So are you denying there are people who object to giving this guy a trial? And there are people who will object if he is imprsioned not executed should he be convicted. Do you deny that?

            I don’t see how you can plausibly deny either of these. So your objection must be to my saying that you can’t have a free society and rule of law if you skip trials and just let the mob at him. Are you saying yes you can have a free society and rule of law without trials?

            Help me out here. How have you not said something ridiculous?

            • valueprax says:

              Your assertion: You can not have rule of law (justice) without housing and feeding suspects/the accused at taxpayer expense (ie, involuntary financing).

              I do not deny people have made comments suggesting X should not get a trial.

              I do not deny people may object if he is imprisoned and not executed following a guilty verdict.

              I do not deny that justice requires being reasonably sure that the accused is responsible for committing the acts in question.

              I do not deny that “mob rule” is unlikely to equate with justice with a high degree of probability.

              I am not sure if “having a trial” is the only, necessary and/or sufficient way to “have a free society” and ensure the “rule of law”, but it does seem to play a role.

              But those are all separate issues. The observation I made is you have made an assertion whereby you claimed that X is conditional upon Y, implying that if one wants X, Y is the only way to get it. And I think that’s your belief but I don’t think you demonstrated that logically other than to state it as your belief (X being “justice” and Y being “house and feed suspects at taxpayer expense”).

              • Ken B says:

                My point, which I think really should be obvious, is that people saying hey let’s just skip the hassle and expense and off this Boston guy are really saying hey sometimes we can just decide we don’t need trials and due process.
                Because one implies the other. Which is Bob’s “assertion” too I think.

              • Ken B says:

                “Your assertion: You can not have rule of law (justice) without housing and feeding suspects/the accused at taxpayer expense (ie, involuntary financing)”

                Just to be clear, this is not my assertion and no reasonable reading can make it so. I am talking about THIS guy. Maybe in some future Libertopia you can have private law and no taxpayers needing to pay. But for this guy unless you want to change the law ex post facto you need the taxpayers to pay to hold him and try him. Because that’s how the current law works.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                “Just to be clear, this is not my assertion and no reasonable reading can make it so.”


                “There are many who don’t like the result of the Boston bomber being fed and housed and tried at tax-payers expense for instance. But they can’t have a functioning rule of law without such things.”

                I think a reasonable reading of what you said is….what you said.

              • valueprax says:

                Right, if someone doesn’t understand you, it must be because they’re unreasonable. It couldn’t be because you haven’t managed to make your REAL, SUPER SECRET HIDDEN MESSAGE clear for all.

                “Ha, you must be dense, clearly when I say X, I actually mean Y. Any reasonable person could see how obvious that is.”

              • Ken B says:

                Look at the context. We’re discussing the Boston bomber and my pronoun clearly refers to him. You want to distort that into a broader quite different claim. I have explicitly disavowed your reading, and yet still you persist. Telling.

  7. Z says:

    Bob, I was wondering which lapel microphone you are wearing, like the brand and model number. thanks.

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