It’s the Arbitrariness, Stupid

Arbitrary government operating by force, by terror, must destroy the best, the boldest dissenters in sheer self-defence; soon it finds itself destroying all who, on the one hand, do not actively assist it or, on the other, do not passively submit. – Edward Crankshaw

In other words, if you won’t have a government of laws and customs, then you simply must destroy the very best people you have…those who think in the boldest terms and seek to do the best. Arbitrary government cannot exist except when everyone is beaten down…and mindless, bureaucratic hacks are free to just grind away.

A strict – even Draconian – legal code is no problem, at all. If you know what the law is and if the law applies equally to all, then we all know where we stand. We can take care. We can take evasive action. We’re fine, even if rather inconvenienced. But when what the law is resides in the merest whim of those who enforce the laws, then no one really knows the law – no one knows what may be done, or what may bring punishment. People become fearful, dissent and innovation dry up…and the world is left to those who enjoy wielding arbitrary power (and make no mistake about it, some people do enjoy it…such people exist in all societies…and an arbitrary society just brings such people out of the woodwork in droves).

What we saw in Wisconsin is an example of arbitrary law – even if one wants to believe that Walker supporters were breaking the law, it was still an arbitrary enforcement…and done with such crude (disgusting, actually) force that everyone involved in right of center politics in Wisconsin became fearful. What our liberals – who are still mostly silent on the issue – don’t realize is that while they might think it good for such things to be done to conservatives, they will eventually be done to liberals, as well. People who like to arbitrarily enforce laws in a cruel manner never get tired of it – and when the enemies are all destroyed, they simply go after the friends, as well. You see, once you’ve got people empowered to do whatever they wish, they’ll do it – and, indeed, they have to, in a sense. If all the enemies are disposed of and it is now time to close up shop, that forces a bunch of people off the government gravy-train. They’ll invent new enemies as needed in order to justify their continues bureaucratic existence.

The lesson for all of us here – left and right – is strict rules strictly enforced. There is no half-way house. It is liberty or tyranny – no shading in between. We, as a people, must demand that our government officials scrupulously follow the rules…and if we find a gap in the rules, then we must fix it, and the government must follow the new rules, as well.

Some Things I Found Interesting Open Thread

Missing the point is a very fine art; and has been carried to something like perfection by politicians and Pressmen to-day. For the point is generally a very sharp point; and is, moreover, sharp at both ends. That is to say that both parties would probably impale themselves in an uncomfortable manner if they did not manage to avoid it altogether. G. K. Chesterton, Utopia of Usurers and other Essays, 1917

In case you were thinking the dishonesty of our press and politicians was something new.

America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance — it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded. – Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Yeah – and methinks it has only gotten worse.

Cultures spring from religions; ultimately the vital force which maintains any culture is its philosophy, its attitude toward the universe; the decay of a religion involves the decay of the culture corresponding to it – we see that most clearly in the breakdown of Christendom today. The bad work begun at the Reformation is bearing its final fruit in the dissolution of our ancestral doctrines – the very structure of our society is dissolving.

In the place of the old Christian enthusiasms of Europe there came, for a time, the enthusiasm for nationality, the religion of patriotism. But self-worship is not enough, and the forces which are making for the destruction of our culture, notably the Communist propaganda from Moscow, have a likelier future before them than our old-fashioned patriotism.

In Islam there has been no such dissolution of ancestral doctrine – or, at any rate, nothing corresponding to the universal break-up of religion in Europe. The whole spiritual strength of Islam is still present in the masses of Syria and Anatolia, of the East Asian mountains, of Arabia, Egypt and North Africa. – Hilaire Belloc, The Great Heresies, 1938

Our civilization lost it’s religion (Christianity); it substituted patriotism for a while, until that went cold. Then various forms of communism became fashionable and while they still exist, the don’t really call forth any devotion. Islam, however, continues. If you wonder why some children of the West go to join Islam and fight for it, look no further than the fact that we believe in nothing…and Belloc figured this out in 1938, when Islam – as such – was completely decayed and almost entirely under the European thumb. The Muslims believe – you can say they believe wrongly, but they believe…and only those who actually believe in something stronger than Islam will survive.

Campaign 2016 Open Thread

I am curious as to everyones thoughts on the early stages of the 2016 field which filled out a little more over the last couple of days with the announcements of Hillary and Marco Rubio. The contrast between the roll outs of Hillary’s and Marco’s campaign could not have been more stark. Hillary is stale with the charisma and the charm of a ferret while Marco came off as fresh and invigorated with a vision for the 21st century. I have always liked Marco but need to see him command the stage a little better with a firm grasp of the issues. I think he will grow into that role. I also like Walker and Cruz and it will be fun to watch them develop their campaigns over the next year.

I think the Democrats are in real trouble. The only viable candidate they have is Hillary who does not exactly warm the hearts of many Americans. Aside from Hillary, there is a possibility that O’Malley and Webb might run but I don’t see that happening – I think both of them are probably angling for the VP slot. And then of course you have two full blown communists in Sanders and Warren which shows you just how far left, and how small the Democratic Party has become.

The youth, energy, and the diversity are found in the GOP field. The future belongs to common sense, personally responsible conservatives – and that is a good thing for this country.

 

 

Who Killed Walter Scott?

Immediately, of course, the police officer – who has now been charged with murder. None of us know all the facts, of course, so there is still room for reasonable doubt to emerge but for the present, things seem weighted heavily against the officer. I don’t know what was going through his mind, but it appears that he did very wrong. Now, we’ll have a trial which will sort out the facts – unless, that is, the facts are so overwhelming against the officer that he pleads out. Time will tell. But in the larger sense, what do we know – so far – about this case?

First off putting out the caveat – this is stuff which is emerging as the case unfolds, and some of it may not be true. Having said that:

Scott appears to have been pulled over because of a broken tail light on his car. He may have attempted to flee the scene due to fears of being sent to jail over unpaid child support. Scott was the father of four children (some of whom, presumptively, he owed child support for). He was engaged to be married. Former Coastguardsman (some say an officer, but the picture I saw appears to be in an enlisted man’s uniform). Scott has ten arrests in his record: this is being downplayed, but I’m 50 and I’ve only got one arrest in my record (and not really in my record – me and some buddies were rounded up for drunk and disorderly in Norfolk, VA back in my Navy days and we were just dropped off at the base): having ten arrests seems a bit much.

So, a man is pulled over for a busted tail light and winds up dead – because he ran, and he ran because he feared going to jail over unpaid child support. Anyone see a problem here?

Why are our over-whelmed police forces pulling people over for busted tail lights? Was there nothing else the officer could have been concerning himself with during that time? Why is a man facing jail time for unpaid child support? I agree – a man who doesn’t support his children is a bum…but so is a man who cheats on his wife. We going to send him to jail? Along with all the adulterers in the world? In addition to, say, everyone who fails to hold down a steady job? Boozes it up too much? Not standing up and being a man is a wrong thing – but it isn’t a crime worthy of being sent to jail over.

In a rational society, no person would fear going to jail for unpaid debts – and so no one having unpaid debts would worry so much about a traffic stop that he’d run away from it. In a rational society, no one would care if someone has a busted tail light (or expired plates, or no insurance) and so the only time an officer of the law would take notice is if it were in connection to some other incident (ie, now that you’ve rear-ended another car, we do care a bit more that you’re driving with a busted tail light…here’s an extra ticket for you). In a rational society, there would have been no traffic stop – and if by some chance there was a traffic stop, there would be no cause impelling the detainee to run…wouldn’t really matter how bad the cop was, no one would be dead.

Here’s the real kicker – the reason police are avid to write up tickets for trivialities like busted tail lights is because our cities are strapped for cash. Our cities are strapped for cash, most of the time, because they are run by liberals who have driven the cities into something close to bankruptcy. The reason we send men to jail because of unpaid child support is because we went into a fit against “dead beat dads” (with no mention of the moms who shacked up with dead beats) and wanted to really punish those lousy guys…this was done because our liberals wanted us to. In short, because of a bunch of liberals, we’ve set up a system where trivial laws grind up people – and set up situations where a bad cop can come into contact with a poor fool and the poor fool winds up dead.

Who killed Walter Scott? An insane system killed him. We tell people – go ahead; have sex outside marriage. Produce children willy-nilly. We won’t censure you or, indeed, even mention that you might not be living a decent life. But when you do this, if you don’t pay the money we prescribe via the courts, watch out! We’re coming for you. We don’t expect you to be responsible and marry the girl you’re having kids with – but failure to pay her some cash after the passion has cooled? We’re sending you to jail for that one, buddy. So, no social opprobrium for being a cad – but there is a warrant out for your arrest. After all, we all know how guys who have four kids and are behind on their child support are otherwise upstanding citizens who hold down steady jobs… So, keep looking over your shoulder. There’s a cop out there, somewhere, and he’s just waiting for his chance to pull you over so he can write some revenue-generating tickets to ensure that the city employee pension fund is in good shape. And when you get pulled over, that warrant will pop up. Now, what do you do? Just go to jail, or run?

Pick one boys and girls – either an immoral society with no rules at all, or a moral society. Right now we’ve got a lunatic mish-mash of the two and it is killing people…and not just by having them shot by a cop. Think of all the young people who wind up dead because they grow up in fatherless households where no one teaches them decent behavior? And then these kids get a bit older and out in the streets and they don’t know how to act – and often act badly.

We don’t have to eradicate racism – worthy as that goal is. We don’t need to tolerate diversity – though tolerance of diversity is often a good thing. We don’t need more studies and programs – though at least such things keep psuedo-intellectual pinheads occupied. What we need is to stop being insane. We need to be rational – reasonable – people. Rational people don’t send people to jail for unpaid debts – and they don’t tolerate men who don’t step up to the plate and do their duty. Just as soon as we start being sane, we’ll stop this sort of thing from happening.

The Democrats’ Hot, New Plan: More Social Security

Yeeehaw:

Social Security has a long-term funding gap that just keeps growing. Neither political party has a plan to pay for the promises we’ve already made to people contributing to the system. But Democrats are bringing a new idea to the table: make even more promises.

Almost all Senate Democrats have lined up behind a proposal by Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Joe Manchin of West Virginia to expand benefits for current retirees. Liberals are exulting that Warren has shifted the politics of Social Security to the left: Where once we were debating cutbacks to the program, now we’re debating benefit increases. Too bad that also means the debate is shifting further away from fiscal reality.

Social Security is becoming a worse deal for each generation. Those now joining the workforce are expected to pay more into the system than they get out of it. Warren’s plan is to shower more money on the current generation of retirees, but without increasing the deficit over the next 10 years. That means, in all likelihood, raising taxes on current workers while also increasing the program’s long-run fiscal deficit…

Now, in raw politics, this is a good idea – you see, elder voters are increasingly trending GOP and they tend to vote very consistently…thus playing a huge role in the anti-Democrat blow-outs of 2010 and 2014. In 2016, which is expected to be a close-run race, getting a few more elderly voters to pull the lever for the Democrats might make the difference between President Hillary and President Walker. So, off we go: raise social security benefits for current retirees and hope that out of gratitude they vote for you.

Of course, as noted in the quote, this can only be done by increasing taxes on current workers and it would also, naturally, put a heavier strain on social security in later years. The bottom line is that social security just doesn’t work – it is predicated upon a very large number of working people supporting a relatively small number of retired people. Trouble is, the work force keeps getting smaller and the miracles of modern science are keeping us alive ever longer. My father retired in 1992 at the age of 65 and died in 2009 at the age of 82 – seventeen years of picking up the SS check. Suppose I live 10 years longer than my dad did…even if I retire at 67, that will still work out to 25 years of SS payments for me. And a kid of 25 today might easily live until his late 90’s, or even longer. Meanwhile, we’re not having all that many kids. The program eventually goes belly up. But what is that to Democrats? What they need is a way to buy votes now – what will happen later is irrelevant; whatever happens, their program to deal with it will be to promise more free stuff.

Ok, so how do we fight against this? Can’t just say, “screw the old folks”. That would just play into Democrat hands. We have to come up with some sort of program which both benefits the oldsters while also helping out the younger folks who are paying for the goodies. My preferred option is to start implementing a privatization of social security without being too explicit that full privatization is the ultimate goal (politics is the art of the possible, folks). Something along the line of “10% of the money you pay into ss, today, will go into a private account owned by you and your heirs”. Whatever we do, we have to do it well – because this will be a potent weapon for the Democrats in 2016.

Killing Common Sense

Idolatry is committed, not merely by setting up false gods, but also by setting up false devils; by making men afraid of war or alcohol, or economic law, when they should be afraid of spiritual corruption and cowardice. – 9/11/1909

This is the age in which thin and theoretic minorities can cover and conquer unconscious and untheoretic majorities. – 12/20/1919

The purpose of Compulsory Education is to deprive the common people of their commonsense. – 9/27/1929

Three quotes from G. K. Chesterton, and I bring them up because I have another quote for you by Mark Steyn, via Ace:

John Moulton was a distinguished judge, a man of science, and a chap who held the splendid title during the Great War of Britain’s “director-general of explosive supplies,” a job he did brilliantly. Lord Moulton divided society into three sectors, of which he considered the most important to be the “middle land” between law and absolute freedom — the domain of manners, in which the individual has to be “trusted to obey self-imposed law.” “To my mind,” wrote Moulton, “the real greatness of a nation, its true civilization, is measured by the extent of this land.” By that measure, our greatness is shriveling fast: The land of self-regulation has been encroached on remorselessly, to the point where we increasingly accept that everything is either legal or illegal, and therefore to render any judgment of our own upon the merits of this or that would be presumptuous.

A small example: The other day, I visited a Shaw’s supermarket in New Hampshire. On the front door was a sign: “No bare feet — for Health & Safety reasons.” Really? Yes, it’s true that the bare foot is particularly prone to fungus and bacteria, and one wouldn’t want it promenading in large numbers around the meat department — in the same sense that it would be unhygienic to take a leak in the produce department. But the reason a civilized person neither urinates nor pads barefoot amid the fruit and veg is not that it’s a health-code violation but that it’s (in the Moulton sense) ill-mannered. Shaw’s can no longer rely on its clients to know this (and to “obey self-imposed law”), and it apparently feels it cannot prohibit such behavior merely as an affront to societal norms, so it can disapprove of barefoot shopping only as an act of regulatory non-compliance…

Rather mission accomplished, wouldn’t you say? We are, indeed, afraid of things which no real man or woman would fear – but we aren’t at all afraid of being complete moral zeroes. We fear war so much we’ll let ISIS go nuts over the Middle East…but are so unafraid of moral corruption that we’ll let even the most egregious lies in our press and politicians slide. We, as a people, have been deprived of that old common sense which basically regulated our attitudes…towards both things like war and things like lying…and, of course, whether or not you should wear shoes to the grocery store. And that brings us to Steyn’s quote. We’re going to have to get a federal ruling on who shall bake a cake and when for the same reason we need a sign posted against bare feet…because we’ve been so completely crushed by a thin and theoretic minority, so propagandized by a compulsory education system, that we are unsure if we have a right to not bake a cake if we don’t want…nor are we 100% certain we can really insist that people wear shoes to the store.

If you really think about it, the thin and theoretic minorities have been doing this to us for more than a century and they have always done it via idolatry. Every time they needed we, the people, to be moved against our will, they’d cook up something into a crisis we were supposed to fear so much that we’d cede power…or, more accurately, a few judges and bureaucrats would see to it that the power was ceded. A false idol is set up for us to either worship or fear (which ever seems to work best for the moment), and off we go. Think about how many people fear war, as one for-instance. It really isn’t remotely the worst thing which can happen – things like what happened in Kenya a few days ago are the worst things which can happen. Innocent people being massacred and enslaved – that is the worst thing that can happen. Brave men and women fighting (and, yes, dying) in a noble cause to prevent massacre and slavery should be considered among the very good things of the world. Common sense dictates that if it be true that a 20 year old man has to die – as much as we’d like to avoid it completely – then better he dies armed and trained for battle and fighting for what is right, than to be cruelly murdered in his college class. But we have been deprived of our common sense…and so we’re not sure it would be better to die fighting than to die for nothing.

Until we get back to being a people who (a) have common sense and (b) are fearless enough to act on it, we’re not really going to get anywhere. Until we just “know” that ISIS is to be fought, shoes are to be worn in the market and no one can be forced to bake a cake, we’ll remain at the mercy of the thin and theoretic minority. It’ll take a bit of rebellion to get there, to be sure – not taking up arms, but still some rebellion. Actually, that Memories Pizza store getting hundreds of thousands of donations after being snookered on whether to cater a gay wedding is indicative of the sort of rebellion we need. That was common people exercising their common sense: it is absurd that anyone would be troubled over expressing such an opinion, and each dollar donated was a symbolic affirmation that we just “know” its ok if you don’t want to participate in a particular activity.

It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out over the next 10 to 20 years – whether common sense will rebel and win, or whether that thin and theoretic minority can cook up enough false idols to distract us?

Happy Easter!

On the first day of the week,
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head,
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture
that he had to rise from the dead. – John 20:1-9