Friday, February 15, 2013

14. & 15. Bastiat ~ Perverted Law Causes Conflict & Slavery and Tariffs

Frederic Bastiat was a French economist and statesman. During and after the Revolution in 1848, he warned of the inevitable degeneration of socialism into communism in The LawPrevious Bastiat posts can be found here.

From The Law:

As long as it is admitted that the law may be diverted from its true purpose — that it may violate property instead of protecting it — then everyone will want to participate in making the law, either to protect himself against plunder or to use it for plunder. Political questions will always be prejudicial, dominant, and all-absorbing. There will be fighting at the door of the Legislative Palace, and the struggle within will be no less furious. To know this, it is hardly necessary to examine what transpires in the French and English legislatures; merely to understand the issue is to know the answer.

Is there any need to offer proof that this odious perversion of the law is a perpetual source of hatred and discord; that it tends to destroy society itself? If such proof is needed, look at the United States [in 1850]. There is no country in the world where the law is kept more within its proper domain: the protection of every person's liberty and property. As a consequence of this, there appears to be no country in the world where the social order rests on a firmer foundation. But even in the United States, there are two issues — and only two — that have always endangered the public peace. 

What are these two issues? They are slavery and tariffs. These are the only two issues where, contrary to the general spirit of the republic of the United States, law has assumed the character of a plunderer. Slavery is a violation, by law, of liberty. The protective tariff is a violation, by law, of property.
It is a most remarkable fact that this double legal crime — a sorrowful inheritance from the Old World — should be the only issue which can, and perhaps will, lead to the ruin of the Union. It is indeed impossible to imagine, at the very heart of a society, a more astounding fact than this: The law has come to be an instrument of injustice. And if this fact brings terrible consequences to the United States — where the proper purpose of the law has been perverted only in the instances of slavery and tariffs — what must be the consequences in Europe, where the perversion of the law is a principle; a system?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Things irritating me at the SOTU response

Clearly Marco Rubio took lessons from Obama's movement coach. Enough with the hands!
What's the focus here? Already lost me with every life is precious. Sounded like he was going pro-life and now into less government. Weird start.
Blue tie? Is he a secret Dem?
This speech is all over the place.
Cars going by in the window behind him. Looks like blue flashing lights.
Follow through on "broken promises"?
Responses are so boring-quite a disadvantage of setting.
Dry mouth! Hilarious. I thought he was going for a prop, instead of a gulp of water!
Cheese-mo ending smile.

Things irritating me at the State of the Union

Female Congressmen in jewel tones.
The First Lady's arms, again.
Those green ribbons on what seems to be only Democrat lapels. In honor of St. Patrick?
The word "healing" used multiple times.
Jewel tone ties.
The President jumping around and waving his arms all over the place.
Joe Biden chewing on a pen.
The President over-modulating his voice. Up and down and up and down.
Good Lord, an orange tie on Chuck Schumer. And with the green ribbon too. Well it is Mardi Gras.
"Good job Joe"
Where does he think this money comes from? $9/hour minimum wage? That means my loaf of bread just went up too, which means so did the cost of living for those people you just lifted out of poverty! Good job Barry!
Boehner carries a handkerchief. And uses it.
It looks like Easter with those three ties on the screen shot.
Hot pink on the Leader of Homeland Security.
"Help allies who take the fight to terrorists" - except we tend to arm up and coming terror groups who will turn against us.
Congressmen and the VP taking notes-clapping with pens in their hands.
Clapping. Just wait til the end.
People live on a dollar a day, but we need $9/hour?
White on Rice. Ha!
"Thank ya honey"
I'll bet the Justices are happy they don't have to jump up and down like the rest of the partisans.
"An improved voting experience." Yeah, I'd go for that too. I'd focus on outcome, I don't care if I have to wait.
Having victims of gun violence as props.
Desilene had to wait 102 years to get recognized. And does she even know it?
Everybody trying to touch the President on the way out.
Tottering old men.

But if I had to pick one thing, it would be the jewel tone abuse that crossed gender and party lines.  Tacky. Just trying to get noticed.

Classic Mardi Gras:

It [Mardi Gras] is a thing that could hardly exist in the practical North....For the soul of it is the romantic, not the funny and the grotesque. Take away the romantic mysteries, the kings and knights and big-sounding titles, and Mardi Gras would die, down there in the South. - Life on the Mississippi (Harper & Brothers, 1896), by Mark Twain 

Happy Mardi Gras!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Getting to the bottom of Benghazi

Bill Krystal and Pete Wehner at the WSJ:

"That's not all we discovered. We now know that despite Gen. Dempsey having been informed of Ambassador Stevens's repeated warnings about the rise of terrorist elements in Benghazi, no forces were put in place or made ready nearby to respond to possible trouble. It also seems that during the actual attacks in Benghazi, which the administration followed in real time and which lasted for some eight hours, not a single major military asset was deployed to help rescue Americans under assault.

"And we learned one other thing: Messrs. Panetta and Dempsey both knew on the night of the assault that it was a terrorist attack. This didn't prevent President Obama, Secretary Clinton and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice from peddling a false version of events in the days and even weeks that followed, as the administration called the incident spontaneous, said there was no evidence of a coordinated terrorist attack and blamed the violence on an anti-Muslim video. So the White House, having failed to ensure that anything was done during the attack, went on to mislead the nation afterward.
"Why the deception? Presumably for two reasons. The first is that the true account of events undercut the president's claim during the campaign that al Qaeda was severely weakened in the aftermath of the killing of Osama bin Laden. The second is that a true account of what happened in Benghazi that night would have revealed that the president and his top national-security advisers did not treat a lethal attack by Islamic terrorists on Americans as a crisis. The commander in chief not only didn't convene a meeting in the Situation Room; he didn't even bother to call his Defense secretary or the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Not a single presidential finger was lifted to help Americans under attack.
"This is an embarrassment and a disgrace. Is it too much to hope that President Obama is privately ashamed of his inattention and passivity that night? And that he has resolved, and instructed his senior staff, to take care that he not be derelict in his duty as commander in chief ever again?"

Switzerland Has The Lowest Crime Rate In The World

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Token Libertarian Girl: Oppose the Violence Against Women Act

13. Bastiat ~ The Fatal Idea of Legal Plunder

Frederic Bastiat was a French economist and statesman. During and after the Revolution in 1848, he warned of the inevitable degeneration of socialism into communism in The LawPrevious Bastiat posts can be found here.

From The Law

But on the other hand, imagine that this fatal principle has been introduced: Under the pretense of organization, regulation, protection, or encouragement, the law takes property from one person and gives it to another; the law takes the wealth of all and gives it to a few — whether farmers, manufacturers, ship owners, artists, or comedians. Under these circumstances, then certainly every class will aspire to grasp the law, and logically so. 

The excluded classes will furiously demand their right to vote — and will overthrow society rather than not to obtain it. Even beggars and vagabonds will then prove to you that they also have an incontestable title to vote. They will say to you:
"We cannot buy wine, tobacco, or salt without paying the tax. And a part of the tax that we pay is given by law — in privileges and subsidies — to men who are richer than we are. Others use the law to raise the prices of bread, meat, iron, or cloth. Thus, since everyone else uses the law for his own profit, we also would like to use the law for our own profit. We demand from the law the right to relief, which is the poor man's plunder. To obtain this right, we also should be voters and legislators in order that we may organize Beggary on a grand scale for our own class, as you have organized Protection on a grand scale for your class. Now don't tell us beggars that you will act for us, and then toss us, as Mr. Mimerel proposes, 600,000 francs to keep us quiet, like throwing us a bone to gnaw. We have other claims. And anyway, we wish to bargain for ourselves as other classes have bargained for themselves!" 

And what can you say to answer that argument!