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Government

Culture is King

[O]n the one hand there are well-developed cultures, which could have good government or good anarchy, while on the other hand there are poorly-developed cultures, which could have only bad government or bad anarchy.

Quoted from: Arnold Kling

Via: Chicago Boyz

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Replacing Leviathan

http://blog.aarp.org/2014/07/08/tell-congress-protect-seniors-from-hunge...

This is the first in a 3-part series to outline the importance of programs funded by the OAA –such as Meals On Wheels –to the dignity of seniors across America. Please read, share and tell Congress to take action and not play political games with seniors’ health and well-being.

This FedGov law funds local Meals on Wheels programs. By the political structure I wish we lived under, it would have never been under Federal jurisdiction. But we can’t act on the world as we wish it was.

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I Hope God is Laughing

The State of Minnesota has passed legislation to legalize same-sex marriage. Still just between two partners, and between people who are not already related.

There is a massive emotional outpouring of joy. The law is not a surprise, so there is really only perfunctory statements of grief from opponents of SSM and opponents of any kind of government involvement in marriage.

A few comments on Facebook have coalesced into a recognition.

For all the happiness and love I see from and for homosexuals today, they are still a shadow. A same-sex couple will never get to experience the joy produced by the birth of a child conceived in a loving union between bodies and souls.

No earthly power can overrule God’s design.

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The Worth of Work

Sippican Cottage muses on the difference between working and making:

Unlike most of the world, I am not allowed to have the Process be the Product. At the end of the day there has to be something tangibly different with the world or we don't eat. Sometimes we don't eat anyway. Most of the world we inhabit now is all Process and no Product. What is Twitter, or Tumblr, or Facebook, or a million other things you could name that consist solely of: This is how I go, when I go like this.

The federal government thinks the process is the entire product. The public school system can produce only public school teachers. The EPA is now supposed to protect the air from humans. The Department of Energy doesn't make any, and would prefer you didn't as well --or else. Cities like Detroit are trying to exist with no population now. Search your mind. You'll have to search hard to find exceptions, not examples.

As I have complained more than once, talking about jobs and creating jobs misses the point. What matters is creating value. Not just something you value, or that has an abstract value, but something that has tradable value. Something you can exchange for food and shelter.

The speedometer doesn't make the car go faster. Showing up to a job is no guarantee that the effort is genuinely adding to the global wealth. Process is a cost, an expense. It may be necessary, but keeping busy isn’t a sustainable strategy. The process must lead to a product. Otherwise, after all the effort, somebody ends up more hungry than if we didn’t go through the process at all.

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Above the Law

Moral people cannot depend on legality alone to guide them.

Quoted from: Walter E. Williams

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The Fabric of Church and State

The reading material for Week 2 of Constitution 101 includes the Virginia Declaration of Rights:

a document drafted in 1776 to proclaim the inherent rights of men, including the right to rebel against "inadequate" government. It influenced a number of later documents, including the United States Declaration of Independence (1776), the United States Bill of Rights (1789)

I have read this document before, but the course is delivering on its promise of giving familiar material its proper philosohical underpinnings.

Like the Bill of Rights, the less specific but more essential points are listed at the end. Here are the last two rights declared by Virginia:

XV That no free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.

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Americans are the Choosing People

Conveniently coincident with, but not necessarily a part of my personal Lent, I am taking Constitution 101: The Meaning and History of the Constitution:

a 10-week online course presented by Hillsdale College.

Featuring an expanded format from the “Introduction to the Constitution” lecture series with Hillsdale College President Dr. Larry Arnn, Constitution 101 follows closely the one-semester course required of all Hillsdale College undergraduate students.

I have just completed the material for Week 1. It is magnificent. After a 2-hour lecture (in four segments) and some reading, Dr. Arnn took some questions about the ideas he presented.

One of the questions was particularly meaningful in context of my annual quasi-religious experiment. Another student asked (paraphrasing): If Jefferson and the Founders looked to so many sources for roots, and if our Founding documents are based those ancient ideas, why didn’t the Greeks or the Romans create a free society themselves?

Dr. Arnn said:

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I Want a New Right

Neo-neocon has a new post about political changers. Changing political alignment is one of her core topics. And she holds that change is almost always in the same direction, away from left/liberal toward right/conservative.

I read the post and the comments, then dashed off this contribution to the conversation:

I’m in the midst of a change, too.

“Conservativism” is poorly defined, but I seem to be moving away from it. And part of the problem with conservatives is that they then presume I must be going left. That’s silly, if you could be inside my mind.

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Unicorns in Green Eyeshades

The Social Secuity Trust Funds are one of many topics where political factions talk past one another. Some say that there is no money in the funds, that the FedGov has spent them on other things. The response insists that the Trust Funds are invested in Federal securities, as required by law. It would be silly, says the responding faction, to leave piles of cash under a mattress in Washington, earning no interest. And to invest the Trust Funds in the private markets would represent a higher risk and create incentives for Wall Street to rip off the public, since the FedGov still has to redeem the investment even if the its market value goes down.

Turns out the Social Security Administration has a pretty good FAQ on the Trust Funds:

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Vigil for the Intertracks

Since the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has stalled in the face of a popular uprising, I am stealing* this description:

The soft leftists are realizing the hard leftists meant what they said.

(*If I remembered where I read it, I would happily give credit.)

When we give government some power, we must expect it will use that power:

As for all of the people out there on the internet having a massive freak out about the government potentially damaging something they love… WELCOME TO THE PARTY.

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Blame or Blowback?

It’s one of my maxims that “the people” is not “the government”. When we talk about America, the nation, the country, the idea, I say that’s something quite different from the electeds and bureaucratic structure which seeks to administer law and uphold social order.

Righty hawks fairly accuse the current President as “blaming America first”. Obama has stated the country is flawed. He sees racism and victimization that government power must rectify. He wants a Constitution that includes positive rights, obligating each of us to a collective goal. Barry blames the American people and the American culture.

The concept of blowback,

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Turn This Ship Around

CVN-76 nuclear carrier listing to port under hard rudder at full speed

The USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) under full rudder at speed. She is 1,092 feet long, her deck is 252 feet wide, and she weighs 101,400 tons.

If you zoom waaay in, you can see Ron Paul at the helm.

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Plutocracy Rising

Conspiracy theorists are held in disregard for their crazy conclusions about hierarchies of control. The New World Order, a canonical example of conspiracy theories, is alleged to be:

a secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government—which replaces sovereign nation-states—and an all-encompassing propaganda that ideologizes its establishment as the culmination of history's progress.

To me, that’s more than far-fetched. It presumes a god-like ability to coordinate and control conflicting factions. People don’t fall into line so easily, and local conditions are always pushing them out of line. Even God can’t seem to get everyone to agree on who He is or what He demands.

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Fragments on Foreign Policy

As I argue around the intertracks, I find it necessary to confirm, extend and adjust what I think I know. As Big Media and the Righty Establishment is apoplectic over what they think Ron Paul’s foreign policy is, I wondered what the current foreign policy of the United States claims to be. To Wikipedia!

The officially stated goals of the foreign policy of the United States, as mentioned in the Foreign Policy Agenda of the U.S. Department of State, are "to create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community." In addition, the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs states as some of its jurisdictional goals: "export controls, including nonproliferation of nuclear technology and nuclear hardware; measures to foster commercial intercourse with foreign nations and to safeguard American business abroad; international commodity agreements; international education; and protection of American citizens abroad and expatriation." U.S. foreign policy and foreign aid have been the subject of much debate, praise and criticism both domestically and abroad.

The essential test for all of that is: Is it Constitutional?

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Declaration, Rough Draft

A true first draft of The Declaration of Independence is not available to historians. Jefferson’s “First Rough Draft” has the same feel as the final version we are used to be familiar with. It begins:

A Declaration of[1] the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in General Congress assembled.

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Tax Day 2011

It’s Tax Day. Both ends of my radio dial can talk about little else. But I didn’t hear them explain why it was moved back from April 15th. Tax Day was postponed because a District of Columbia holiday (Emancipation Day) fell on the Fifteenth this year.

It’s interesting to me that today is also Passover, but the Jews do not get any official holidays. Even after decades of multiculturalism and diversity worship. Anyhoo…

If I could make only one point about taxes, it would be this:

Every nickel a government spends is a tax.

The spending may be a nickel that was taxed away last year and deducted from the government treasury. Or it may be a nickel borrowed from the private economy which will need to be taxed away at some time in the future to settle the debt.

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State of the Palin

Sarah Palin’s Facebook column in response to this week’s State of the Union speech is excellent. Not merely because she argues from a perspective I embrace, but also because it is simply good writing. To whatever level the words are hers and not her copywriters’, and to whatever level she can use the same kind of language without a script, she is a great communicator.

Twenty percent of the public would never agree. In advertising, one of the commandments is to speak to your audience. That implies that your message doesn’t have to be tailored to people not in your audience. Political talking heads like to chatter about how rhetoric might influence the middle people. But their analysis usually takes the form of pointing out how the message will be regarded by staunch opponents. That’s irrelevant.

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Irreconcilible Differences

I’ve argued around the intertracks and in the meat world that the United States is already in a state of civil war. There’s been no organized violence. Or at least none perpetrated by anyone outside current governments. But physical combat is only one aspect of war.

I see several factions with irreconcilible differences. They’re currently waging rhetorical and legal battle to bring the force of the state to bear on their enemies. I say the so-called uncivil dialog we’re being lectured about is not a precursor to war, but evidence that war is at hand. Because we’re hiring lawyers instead of Hessians to fight on our behalf certainly makes day-to-day living easier, but there’s a bullet waiting behind every legal brief.

The factions are not perfectly aligned into two camps. But as the differences become more obvious, polarity will increase. My forecast sees manifest violence precipitated not by the anti-government factions. Instead, I see all the dependents of the government getting unruly when the state can no longer afford the handouts and the structure of protective favoritism collapses.

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To Those Calling for Civility

Fuck off.

Fuck that
I’ll say what I want to say
the First Amendment made it that way


Sure
It would be nice to eliminate violence
but you can’t
so you must get it straight
and I hate
when people try to block it out
ignore a situation
you know what I’m talkin’ ’bout

Ironically, the video is set to a censored PG-13 version of the song. The real version does not hold back.

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One of Us Has to Go

It’s been a busy day on the intertracks. The TJIC spur saw a wave of new visitors not in tune with the anarcho-capitalist ranting usually found there.

Regular TJIC rider “eddie” collected all the appeals to authority against the operation there:

“Shouldn’t the FBI or Secret Service look into this?”
“i have blocked and reported @tjic: to twitter”
“Well I just gave the FBI his twitter ID and a link to his website”
“I just reported you to the Washington field office of the FBI. You are worth checking out”
“I will make sure the FBI has your number. You belong behind bars”
“Feel free to FW this to a Homeland Security or FBI. Vilest #rwnj blog found (yet)”
“I’ve been grabbing screen-snaps of your site all ding dong damn day.”
“This dude needs reporting early and often for hate speech”

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