Saturday, February 23, 2013

18. Bastiat ~ How to Identify 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 how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.

Then abolish this law without delay, for it is not only an evil itself, but also it is a fertile source for further evils because it invites reprisals. If such a law — which may be an isolated case — is not abolished immediately, it will spread, multiply, and develop into a system.

The person who profits from this law will complain bitterly, defending his acquired rights. He will claim that the state is obligated to protect and encourage his particular industry; that this procedure enriches the state because the protected industry is thus able to spend more and to pay higher wages to the poor workingmen.
 
Do not listen to this sophistry by vested interests. The acceptance of these arguments will build legal plunder into a whole system. In fact, this has already occurred. The present-day delusion is an attempt to enrich everyone at the expense of everyone else; to make plunder universal under the pretense of organizing it.

16. & 17 Bastiat ~ Two Kinds of Plunder & The Law Defends 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
 

Mr. de Montalembert [politician and writer] adopting the thought contained in a famous proclamation by Mr. Carlier, has said: "We must make war against socialism." According to the definition of socialism advanced by Mr. Charles Dupin, he meant: "We must make war against plunder."

But of what plunder was he speaking? For there are two kinds of plunder: legal and illegal.

I do not think that illegal plunder, such as theft or swindling — which the penal code defines, anticipates, and punishes — can be called socialism. It is not this kind of plunder that systematically threatens the foundations of society. Anyway, the war against this kind of plunder has not waited for the command of these gentlemen. 

The war against illegal plunder has been fought since the beginning of the world. Long before the Revolution of February 1848 — long before the appearance even of socialism itself — France had provided police, judges, gendarmes, prisons, dungeons, and scaffolds for the purpose of fighting illegal plunder. The law itself conducts this war, and it is my wish and opinion that the law should always maintain this attitude toward plunder. 

***

But it does not always do this. Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Thus the beneficiaries are spared the shame, danger, and scruple which their acts would otherwise involve. Sometimes the law places the whole apparatus of judges, police, prisons, and gendarmes at the service of the plunderers, and treats the victim — when he defends himself — as a criminal. In short, there is a legal plunder, and it is of this, no doubt, that Mr. de Montalembert speaks.

This legal plunder may be only an isolated stain among the legislative measures of the people. If so, it is best to wipe it out with a minimum of speeches and denunciations — and in spite of the uproar of the vested interests.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Teddy Turner blames Jane

Teddy Turner swears he's not like his dad:
Jane Fonda was the primary factor in Ted Turner’s transformation into a liberal, according to the media mogul’s conservative son Teddy Turner.

“I was raised in a different time at the Turner household … a very conservative household with capitalism and all of that kind of stuff,’’ Turner told Steve Malzberg on Newsmax TV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show" on Thursday.

According to Turner, it was his father’s 1991 marriage to actress and left-wing activist Jane Fonda (nicknamed “Hanoi Jane” for posing with a Viet Cong anti-aircraft gun and speaking out against America’s participation during the Vietnam War) that turned him into a liberal.
Jane and Ted Sr divorced in 2001. But it's not like he didn't know what he was getting into - the Hanoi Jane thing was more than 20 years prior to their wedding. And she hadn't changed a bit.

Gun control is about people control

NRA has origins in protecting newly freed slaves

Thursday, February 21, 2013

68 years ago this week

Iwo Jima:
The battle had raged for four days, and would continue for 31 more, a marathon of sand and heat and unrelenting death. But at that moment there was an order from the brass: Get a bigger flag up there. The small American flag fluttering atop Mount Suribachi, the volcanic peak on the island, was too small to be seen by the troops fighting below.
From his makeshift command post near a captured Japanese airstrip, a 24-year-old Marine combat photographer named Norm Hatch began to scramble.
The story of the famous photograph is here.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How quickly things have changed

One excellent tidbit from Victor Davis Hansen's latest column:

There Is No Media
About four years ago, the media just dissipated. Gone, buried. Did we notice our newsreaders are virtual government employees? The media is a Ministry of Truth where spokespeople vie for superlatives — a living “god,”  a man who creates tingles in our legs and is pictured as a “messiah” on our magazines. Each sermon is a new “Gettysburg Address,” each gesture is Lincoln’s, each new Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton part of the new Lincoln’s “Team of Rivals.”
Journalists are now Photoshoppers of news: Guantanamo once bad, now good; we all grew to stop worrying and to love Predators; renditions, the Patriot Act, and preventative detentions must have gone with George W. Goldstein.
Those noisy free-for-all press conferences are now like Xerxes’s court at Persepolis, where toadies compete with kowtows. “Investigative reporting” is how some reactionary, enemy-of-the-people hacks dig up dirt on a progressive like Sen. Menendez or Susan Rice. The video maker sitting in jail and the 16-year-old American who was vaporized were reactionary troublemakers — and that is all ye need to know.
There is a lot more here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Why Universal Pre-K is another assault on your freedom, and it doesn't work anyway

Penelope Trunk on Universal Pre-K:

Putting universal pre-K on the table is taking away the very idea of choice that women have been fighting for. Women should have a choice to work or stay home with kids. Women should be able to choose parenting. Today we raise girls to think they are in school expressly to get a job that is not parenting. That’s as damaging to girls as telling them they are going to school to stay home and have kids.
We do not need our politicians to use their federal funding to denigrate the job of parenting any more than so much of society already does.

The Tactics of the Progressive Left


Prof. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection discusses websites like Buzzfeed and Upworthy:
And therein I learned what millions of very low-information young liberals already knew — there is this website called Upworthy which is one giant liberal activist social media machine which creates viral social media memes in the cause of liberal political activism.
Read the whole thing - a very succinct statement summing up tactics of the Left. It rivals Cloward-Piven in its strategies to infiltrate progressive ideas into the culture.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Say No to Sanford for Congress


Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post quotes Pete Wehner:
Facts and circumstances are crucial. Was the infidelity an isolated instance or a chronic pattern? Were the transgressions long ago or recent? What levels of deception and cover-up were involved? What was the position of authority the person held when the infidelity occurred? Was there an alarming degree of recklessness on display? What evidence is there that this person has changed his ways? Has this person shown other worrisome signs when it comes to character and trustworthiness?
Under this rubric Sanford strikes out on nearly every point.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Rubio inspires, and hydrates

I have to admit, I think he handled this well:
When Marco Rubio paused to take a sip from a water bottle during his response to the State of the Union this week, it become an instant viral sensation. The Florida Senator has now capitalized on the moment to raise more than $100,000 for his Reclaim America political action committee by selling branded water bottles.